Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 195 - July 2013

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Wincanton Spring Fling 2013
6. PJSM Prints - The Long War Competition Result
7. Gramarye Competition
8. News Update from the Irish Discworld Convention
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 195. Once again sorry for the delay in getting this month's issue out. I've been extremely busy at work and after ten or more hours in front of a PC work didn't really feel particularly motivated! Still, that's what weekends are for isn't it?

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We've just had confirmation from Transworld that Raising Steam (the 40th Discworld book) will be released on 24th October 2013.

Transworld had the following to say: "It's no secret that Terry has been writing the novel and he revealed the title earlier this year, but this is the first time we can officially confirm details of publication.

More details to follow very soon... but in the meantime, we can reveal the book will see the Disc's first train come steaming into town."

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I've just found out that the Cosgrove Hall / Thames Television production of Truckers is due to be released on DVD for the first time on my birthday (October 7). I still have a version on VHS but haven't had the means to play if for some time.

You can pre-order Truckers now from

This appears to be only listed on Amazon UK at the moment - when I find out about other countries I'll let you know.

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The Discworld Monthly facebook group now has now moved to nearly 5,250 members and continues to have lots of lively and fun conversations. Anyone can join in the fun but it might take me a few hours to add you to the group (no facebook access at work you see)... If you want to chat with fellow Discworld Monthly readers between issues make sure you visit us at our new facebook address:

Please note that the facebook page is in addition to the newsletter and doesn't replace it!

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Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.

Also if you have written an article that you think we might want to include in the newsletter please feel free to email me at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (High Tech Detective)

2. News

The British Humanists Association (BHA) has recently awarded Terry the 2013 Services to Humanism Award.

The Humanists website states: "Through his extensive body of work he has challenged and changed the way a generation thinks about the universe, heroism, and story-telling. It is for this but also for his personal fortitude and the example he has set - very publicly - of how a humanist deals with life's darker times that the BHA recognises Sir Terry with the 2013 award for Services to Humanism. He has turned his personal suffering into a positive campaign: firstly to fund greater research into Alzheimer's disease and secondly for the right to die with dignity. He has had an enormous impact on the public debate around that issue and showcased humanist values in doing so."

* * * * *

Mayfair Games will release Martin Wallace's The Witches, a Discworld board game, in the U.S. in October.

In the game, players take on the role of trainee witches, learning their craft and tackling problems such as pregnancies and ill pigs. Each character has a cackle track which shows how far they are moving towards becoming like Black Alice but one of the great features of the game is meeting up with another character and having a cup of tea which helps to reduce the witch's cackle.

The game plays in about 60 minutes, and carries an MSRP of 50.00 USD.

UK gamers will be able to purchase copies initially from The Discworld Emporium in October and from other retailers later.

I found the following clip on YouTube that explains that basic premise of the Witches game:

* * * * *

A member of the Eurobricks message boards has recreated Pseudopolis Yard in Lego. The model features many of the Discworld's most famous characters. Around the back in the basement there are some small vignettes one of which features a Lego version of Terry and his business manager Rob Wilkins.

* * * * *

The Long War Reviews Round Up.

SFX Magazine: The issue with the Wolverine cover features a review of The Long War (I sadly no longer subscribe to SFX so haven't read the review).

The Express:

The Long War is underwhelming. As you turn each page, there is a sense of approaching excitement and action that never actually materialises.

A.V. Club:

At this rate, it could take dozens of books to tease out all these disparate threads and characters and make them relevant to one another. But readers would be more likely to make it through dozens of books in this series if the individual instalments were more cogent. Reading the first two volumes feels like trying to live on a dozen parallel worlds at the same time, without committing to any of them.

Novel Kicks:

In my opinion, the book took a while to really get going and feels like the second part of a trilogy, setting the stage for further adventures. However it never failed to draw me onwards through the pages and I consequently read the whole thing in a little over a day.

Barnes and Noble Reviews

Like Greg Bear's infinite corridor in his Eon series, Philip Jose Farmer's overstuffed Riverworld, Larry Niven's Ringworld, or Roger Zelazny's feuding realms of Amber, or any of a dozen other allied venues, Pratchett and Baxter's Long Earth is a quintessential SF construct tailored to offer an infinity of exploration and a bounty of fresh readerly joys.


The characters remain engaging and the new ones are welcome additions to the cast, and the polished writing is bright with understated wit. And there is, admittedly, something very appealing, even wish-fulfilling about the idea that there could be millions of new worlds where we can try again, and not mess up the way we have here on the Datum.

* * * * *

News update from Lady Sybil.

A carefully coordinated flash mob recently shocked shoppers in a Netherlands mall when they reproduced the Rembrandt painting Night Watch (which Paul Kidby parodied for the cover of Terry's Night Watch.)

The purpose of the mob is was to announce that, after an absence of a decade, all major pieces in the Rijksmuseum's collection were back in the Rijksmuseum (a museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam and the Netherlands).

Tony Robinson (reader of many of the abridged Discworld audio books and friend of Terry) was knighted recently in the 2013 Birthday Honours for public and political service.

Robinson was quoted as saying "I'll use my new title with abandon to highlight the causes I believe in, particularly the importance of culture, the arts and heritage and the plight of the infirm elderly and their carers," adding, "I also pledge that from this day on I'll slaughter all unruly dragons, and rescue any damsels in distress who request my help."

An article by Purves about author Iain Banks a couple of months before Iain Banks' death features a paragraph about Terry. The article is an interesting read about Iain Banks and his stoic attitude towards his own imminent demise.

Finally some Bookseller stats - 5th July Issue:

Top 50, all genres and ages - The Long War at no. 39 (24 previous week) total sales over 11 and a half thousand (11,598).

Top 20 original fiction (hardback or original paperback): The Long War at no. 2 (no. 3 previous week) to the no. 1 of Dan Brown's Inferno.

Top 20 hardback non-fiction, The Science of Discworld 4, down to no. 20 from no. 15 previous week.

Lady Sybil.

* * * * *

SFX Magazine features an interview with Alex Maskill, the winner of this year's Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize.

Alex's novel The Hive takes us to New Cairo, a city built on technology, from the huge solar panels that keep civilisation going in a changed world, to the artificial implants that have become the answer to any and all medical problems. When a powerful new computer virus begins to spread through the poorest districts shutting down the life-giving implants, it threatens to tip the city into a violent class struggle. Hiding out amongst the riots and underground resistance, Zala Ulora, one of the most wanted criminals in the city and a gifted hacker, must trace the virus to its source before it destroys the city, or the city destroys itself.

* * * * *

Terry has been quite quiet on Twitter this month - below is a roundup of his posts. You can follow Terry at:

17th Jun 2013: Come and see us! Terry and Stephen will be chatting about The Long War at the IET on 25th June

24th Jun 2013: Thank you @fentonstevens for all your efforts! Please, everyone, raise a cold beer in his honour! #LongWar [On completion of recording the audiobook version of the Long War - Ed]

6th Jul 2013: Really enjoyed reading an extract of #RaisingSteam to #NADWCon2013 last night. It seems real once the words leave the office.

* * * * *

Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.

From issue 190 onwards recurring monthly meetings have been moved to their own area at the bottom of the dates section.

* * * * *

[US] North American Discworld Convention 2013 - Baltimore Marriott

Waterfront July (5-8)

A Worlde of a Thousande Surprises awaits at this 4-day event, dedicated to the beloved works of Sir Terry Pratchett.

Taking as its theme: "L-Space: Another place, another an age of wander!", the North American Discworld Convention will reach beyond the Disc, embracing all of the Creator's works, from Carpet People to the Long War!

Honored guests will include: Sir Terry Pratchett, Rob Wilkins, Rod Brown, Jennifer Brehl, Anne Hoppe, Colin Smythe, Dr. Pat Harkin, Bernard Pearson, Reb Voyce and Ian Mitchell, Esther M. Friesner

Among the varied entertainments will be a Pub Quiz / Trivia - Bedtime Stories - Cthinema - Charity Auction - a magnificent Gala Banquet - Plus a special July 4th Fireworks reception, presenting a unique opportunity to mingle with many of the invited guests in an informal setting.

All the latest information on the biggest Discworld event in North America may be found at:

Don't delay and sign up today!

* * * * *

[CA, New] Socratic Theatre Collective is very proud to present Terry Pratchett's MONSTROUS REGIMENT as part of the Site-Specific program at the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival.

Performance Dates: Friday July 5, Saturday July 6, Sunday July 7, Friday July 12, Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14

Schedule: Friday and Saturday 7:00pm, Sunday 2:00pm

Please be advised that in accordance with Toronto Fringe Festival policy, no late comers will be admitted.

Tickets: 10 CAD at the door, 9 CAD in advance (2 CAD service charge applies)

* * * * *

[NZ, New] Wyrd Sisters are coming to New Zealand. Onewhero Society of Performing Arts is proud to present an amateur production of Wyrd Sisters between 13th and 20th of July 2013

* * * * *

[AU, New] The Brisbane Arts Theatre (located in Echs Echs Echs Echs) is holding their first ever Hogswatch Event in Hardgrave Park (opposite the theatre) on Saturday 20th July from 10am to 4pm. There will be sausages, assassins, morris dancers, traditional Sto Lat cabbage rolling, turnip bobbing, witches vs wizards obstacle race, games tent & a visit from the Hogfather!

* * * * *

[UK, New] Veryan Players proudly present an amateur production of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters adapted by Stephen Briggs at Portscatho Memorial Hall, Truro, Cornwall, UK on Thursdays and Fridays, 25/26 July and 1/2 August 2013 at 8 pm. Tickets priced 6.00 GBP may be reserved by telephoning 01872 501670 or by email at

* * * * *

[UK] Wadfest 2013 will take place from the 9th - 11th August 2013. Wadfest has a new home and will be at Wood Green Animal Shelter, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH

The new site features a licensed bar, an event area with its own PA system, a cafeteria and a couple of shops.

The event organisers have managed to negotiate a much better deal with the new site and have therefore managed to pass on a huge discount on the price of tickets which are now 20 GBP each (5 GBP per ticket less than Wadfest 2011).

* * * * *

[UK] Nine Worlds Geekfest Convention takes place from the 9th - 11th August 2013. It's about gaming, film, cosplay, fandom, literature, science, geek culture, meeting people and having a really big party. There will be a Discworld stream within the convention.

* * * * *

[DE] Postponement / Cancellation of the German Discworld Convention 2013.

The castle that we booked has a new management and recently communicated its new, drastically altered conditions to us. Sadly these leave us with no other option than postponing the convention to 2015 and moving to a new castle. The good news is that we have found a new, way better castle with an obliging management. Pictures of the new castle will be

posted on our facebook page:

* * * * *

[IE, Updated] The Third Irish Discworld Convention 2013 takes place from Friday 1st November to Monday 4th November 2013 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick, Ireland.

For more information see section 8 of this issue.

Visit or see the facebook page at:

* * * * *

[UK] Terry is due to be the special guest at Eastercon 65 from April 18th - April 21st 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.

* * * * *

[UK] The Discworld Convention 2014 will take place in Manchester at the Palace hotel from 8th - 11th August. People with long memories will remember that the original Discworld Convention took place in Manchester in 1996 but at a much smaller hotel.

Visit or see the facebook group at:

* * * * *

[AU] Nullus Anxietus V will take place from 10th to 12th April 2015 and will be in New South Wales, Australia.

Details are sketchy at the moment but keep an eye on the facebook page at:

* * * * *

Recurring monthly meetings:

[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on

Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.

The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors. You can find out more about the Drummers at

* * * * *

[AU, Updated] Perth Drummers is a group which celebrates the works of author Sir Terry Pratchett, and welcomes any fans of science fiction and fantasy. Join us for our monthly discussion of Discworld, Terry Pratchett and all things sci-fi and fantasy. We meet the first Monday of each month, subject to holidays, and all are welcome.

Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA).

For details follow us on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook

Otherwise message Krystel directly at"

Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.

* * * * *

[AU] The Downunder Drummers (Sydney) meet at Maloneys Hotel on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia from 6.30pm. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on

Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.

* * * * *

[UK] On the first Friday of every month there will be a meeting of WOTS - Omnian Temperance Society - Wincanton branch - to be held at The Bear Inn from 7pm. New members or visitors from other places always welcome.

* * * * *

[Adelaide, AU] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. We have regular dinner and games nights, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit:

* * * * *

[Brisbane, AU] The Pratchett Partisans meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. For more info about their next meetup, check out: or contact Ula directly at

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may or may not edit your letters, depending.

It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.

* * * * *

* From: "Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild"

The River Ankh has been located at last! You really can walk all over it. Whether that is a good thing or not, you must decide for yourself.

Just check out the Citarum River in Indonesia. There are pictures and video clips online...

* * * * *

* From: "Thomas Seeling"

I attended the "Eric" play by "Die Dramateure" in Hanau the month before last.

Quite unexpectedly this former student theatre group reunited after finishing school and plan to rehearse even more plays in the future.

I have written a review in German and English, but it contains lots of photos, so it's quite impractical to include in DWM.

I have included the links below:



* * * * *

* From : "Jakub Gruszka"

I am writing regarding information about Wyrd Sisters staged in Warsaw, Poland.

Clicking the link you can find a short review of the play (staged 01.06.2013). There are some photos included, what can be more interesting than the text for non-Polish speaking users.

DWM replies: Google translator does a pretty good job of translating Polish into English so that us non-Polish speakers are still able to enjoy the review as well as look at the pictures.

* * * * *

* From: "Aidan Karley"

Facing Extinction programme in April - as you can see form the fact that I'm only now reading last month's DWM, I don't keep terribly up to date on these things, and I completely missed the Facing Extinction programme through being out of the country at the time.

But ... "The new documentary is the third filmed with director Charlie Russell "

Would that be the Canadian (-ish?) Charlie Russell who has done a number of programmes about living with wild bears in Kamchatka? If so, fascinating bloke, and I'll now have to make the effort to find the programme online, when I get to a part of the internet that doesn't block the BBC online thing.

DWM replies: Having looked up your Charlie Russell I can definitely say that this is a different Charlie Russell.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I've opened Turtle Recall at random pages and found a question from each page visited. Some are easy, some are quite hard. Well at least I think they are ...

Who killed Greicha the First?
What is the only plant that grows in Llamedos?
How was Banana N'vectif killed?
Who had the most intelligent mind in Holy Wood?
Whose distinctive cry was 'Yerwhatyerwhatyerwhat'?

The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.

5. Review: Wincanton Spring Fling 2013

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

The Spring Fling took place over the weekend of 3rd - 5th May in the small Somerset town of Wincanton.

I arrived mid-afternoon and immediately popped into the Discworld Emporium store to see what was happening over the weekend/ After chatting with the lovely Ian and Reb I headed back over to the Dolphin for my first pint of the weekend.

In the Dolphin I met up with some friends who were playing the Fluxx card game. I've discovered over that last few Wincanton events that a lot of my friends are also avid game players. I was dealt into the game and a weekend heavily based on dice, card and board games began.

It was soon time for dinner and twelve of us enjoyed a really good curry at Amin's restaurant at the bottom of Wincanton High Street.

While we were eating our curry some other people were eating things less savoury. The 1st Assassin's Guild Sponsored Bush Tucker Trial had been arranged to take place in the Sweetman room of the Bear. I'm not sure what the contestants were required to eat but I am quite frankly glad I wasn't there!

Saturday morning starting bright and early (well around 9ish) with a great breakfast at the Dolphin and plenty of tea and fresh juice. We each planned our day and then headed off in various directions.

A makers market had been set up in the Balsam centre and featured people selling various items including: games, hats, jewellery and clothes. A face paint area had also set up along with a cake sale which was raising money for Macmillan.

Various events had been set up in the Bear including The Humorously-Shaped Vegetable Competition (don't ask), The Burlesque Workshop (something to do with gloves) and the 1st Discworld Poetry Writing Contest. I can't actually remember what I was doing at the time (probably playing Fluxx, Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice or some other game) but somehow managed to miss them all.

In the afternoon I did make it down to the Bear where the Iconographers Workshop was taking place. I was persuaded to play a game of Discworld: Ankh Morpork which I lost. After that we played a game of Star Wars X-Wing (it was Star Wars day after all). While we were playing the game Terry arrived in Wincanton and spent a few hours talking to fans and seemed to be on very good form. He sat and watched us play X-Wing for a while before declaring - 'I'm off to find a woman to talk to!'

After Star Wars I headed back to the Dolphin where I met up with some other friends one of whom had just purchased a card game named Braggart. After a quick study of the rules we played a few rounds of the game which proved to be a lot of fun and quite quick to play. I think this is one of those games where being slightly inebriated helps a lot.

We then headed off for the dinner which turned out to be a really good carvery which was all the better for the great company.

Soon it was time for the charity auction so I headed over to the Discworld Emporium to pick up lots. After waiting for Ian to get back from the pub, we carried the boxes of items down to the Bear and started setting up while a short show of "Arts & Culture" took place.

The auction went well and over 1350 GBP was raised for RICE (The Bath charity that look after older people with dementia), and 22 GBP for Macmillan. After all the various charity collections were added together a total of 1414.50 GBP was raised for RICE! and over 200 GBP for Macmillan

It was now well past midnight and we needed to get out of the hall so we headed back up to the Dolphin for a pint or two before crashing out some time after 2am.

Sunday came round too soon but a hearty Dolphin breakfast helped a lot. The days seemed to go by in a bit of a blur. Games were played. Then in the evening (as it was a bank holiday the following day) I decided to stay for one more night. A group of us invaded the Nog Inn and had a really fun meal together before heading back to the Dolphin for an epic game of Zombie Fluxx. I believe there were as many as 11 players at one point. The first two games were completed before all players got a go. The third game took so long that the bar staff locked up the bar and asked us to turn the lights off when we finished...

Monday started again with a wonderful Dolphin breakfast (as in a breakfast at the Dolphin not a breakfast made of dolphin - that would be cruel!). After breakfast I took a quick trip to the shop to sort out some leftover items from the auction and then said my farewells before heading onto the A303 and home.

It was great to be back in Wincanton again especially as I had to miss the previous Hogswatch event. For me the Wincanton events have become much more than just events. Its all about meeting up with my extended Discworld family - and I can't wait to see them all again at Hogswatch in November.

Steve James has made some of his photos of the event available to view at his Flickr account:

6. PJSM Prints - The Long War Competition Result

Last month the wonderful people at PJSM prints offered us a stamped and signed UK proof copy of The Long War to give away. The UK proofs were really limited and signed ones are only available via PJSM prints.

To enter the competition you needed to answer two questions and as often happens I made a mistake on one of the questions.

We asked excluding delivery, what price in GBP are PJSM Prints selling pre-ordered signed copies of The Long Earth for? We actually meant The Long War but we accepted either price. Secondly according to PJSM Prints' website what is the name of the new "America"?

The answers we were looking for were 25 GBP and Valhalla. The first name drawn randomly out of the virtual hat was Rebecca Crombleholme of Bolton in Lancashire. I've forwarded your details to PJSM prints so they can get your prize to you as soon as they can.

Thank you to all 173 people who took the time to enter the competition and to Rob and Sandra at PJSM prints for supplying the wonderful prize.

For more information about PJSM prints visit:

7. Gramarye Competition

As promised last month we have two copies of the new edition of Gramarye to give away. This issue features an article by Jakob Lofgren all about the folklore of the Hogswatch events that take place in Wincanton each year. I've met Jakob at some of the events and he is a really nice guy. The article is quite academic but it does make very interesting reading.

To enter the competition you need to send the answer to the following question along with your postal address to by 25th July 2013.

Graymarye is published by which university?

Competition Rules: Your postal address is required and will only be used if you are one of the two randomly selected winners and only for sending out your prize - once the prize is sent out all address information will be destroyed. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other emails address will be considered invalid. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.

8. News Update from the Irish Discworld Convention

If you are interested in giant space turtles, music with rocks in or the escapades of the city watch then you are probably already a fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Now you might want to keep this to yourself but if like many other fans, you want to share your love of Discworld or just find out what all the fuss is about then the Irish Discworld Convention is the place for you.

The third Irish Discworld Convention will be held from the 1st to 4th of November this year in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick. Award winning author Sir Terry Pratchett, creator of Discworld and renowned for his creative works of fiction as well as recent documentaries, will be our Guest of Honour. Sir Terry will be participating in interviews, guest panels and enjoying the best of Irish hospitality while mingling with the rest of the convention. Isobel and Bernard Pearson, managers of the Discworld Emporium, will also be attending. Isobel and Bernard have a long history of creating themed Discworld merchandise and their store will be supplying models, maps and other paraphernalia.

Other big events include the premier of "Troll Bridge", a short film made by Snowgum Films. The fan-made production is based on the Terry Pratchett short story of the same name and is intended for screening at the convention. The trailer is available for viewing at the convention website:

The convention also boasts a diverse range of games, quizzes, panels, costume competitions and activities to entertain convention goers. These include special events designed for younger fans and the uninitiated in the ways of Discworld as well as games that will test the knowledge of the most well-read fans.

Information on membership tickets and discounts are available on the membership page of our website. More events and guests are being confirmed regularly so keep up to date with the Irish Discworld Convention at our website :, our facebook: or follow us on Twitter: @IDWCon.

Be there or be a rectangular thing.

For more information, please contact Rachel Scanlon, Media Officer, by email on

9. The End

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* Latest Book Information *

The Long War (with Stephen Baxter)

The Long Earth (with Stephen Baxter)



TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion

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* DiscTrivia Results *

Who killed Greicha the First?
His daughter Liessa.
What is the only plant that grows in Llamedos?
Holly - all the rest just rot.
How was Banana N'vectif killed?
He was trampled by 1,000 elephants.
Who had the most intelligent mind in Holy Wood?
Evil-Minded Son of a Bitch (the camel).
Whose distinctive cry was 'Yerwhatyerwhatyerwhat'?
Yob Soddoth.

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