Discworld Monthly Issue 234 October 2016
Table of Contents:
3. Upcoming Book Releases
4. October Events
5. Future Events
6. Recurring Monthly Fan Meetings
7. Readers' Letters
9. Rincewind at Bugarup University
10. Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Dragons at Crumbling Castle Competition Result
11. Mort at Edinburgh Festival
12. Discworld Convention 2016
13. Hushed Hogfather 2016
15. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
16. The End
Welcome to issue 234. I know it's late September / early October but the end of the year is fast approaching and it is now time to announce details of our 2nd annual Hushed Hogfather event. Please see later in this issue for details. It was a lot of fun last year and we hope that many of you will take part and help prove that Terry's fans really are the best.
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- Richard Massey (Random Screen Rotator)
South Devon College has named a brand new English classroom in honour of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Laura McEwan (Programme Coordinator for English and Lecturer in English), as part of her Yr10 teaching last year, decided to stretch the top set English class by asking them to compare "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding with Terry's "Nation" - as there are several similar themes and issues addressed within both books.
The college has just had a brand new area built within their main college, specifically designed to teach their 14-16 High School learners. This area is state of the art with large open plan rooms and top-notch technology; perfect for really engaging young people. When Laura realised that these rooms were going to be named as well as numbered, she proposed to her other English colleagues that one should be called Pratchett. She had the full support of her team and went to see the Head and Deputy Head about the proposed name.
They had planned another name, but after Laura had clearly dazzled them with her eloquent arguments, they relented and renamed her main room Pratchett after the man himself. Laura was delighted to say the least and for the rest of the day she beamed from ear to ear. Needless to say, the students took one look at the name, turned to her smiling and said "That was your choice, wasn't it?" Laura loves teaching in there and knows that he would have loved to see that his work had inspired others in so many ways.
You can see a photo of the plaque at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/837
WB adds: I would have gone with 3B but I suppose it wouldn't have been so conducive to learning...
The Shepherd's Crown has won the best young adult / middle grade novel award at DragonCon 2016's inaugural Dragon Awards announced 5th September.
The Somerset town of Wincanton (twinned with Ankh-Mopork) has recently had a naming ceremony for a new footbridge. The new "Troll Bridge" was opened on 25th August 2016.
We caught up with Troll Bridge's director [of the movie, not the bridge in Wincanton] Daniel Knight at the recent Discworld Convention. Things are progressing on the film and the team are in the enviable position of having more animators than they need but are currently trying to build rigs for Beryl and Scree. Once complete they will be able to hand them over to the animators to work their magic.
Daniel also mentioned that there are many backers of Troll Bridge that still haven't updated their information. Having now looked at the list, several of the people on it were actually at the Convention! Please, check the missing backers page (www.trollbridge.film/missing-backers) and see if your name appears on the list and if so get in contact with Daniel as he is desperate to ensure that all backers are properly rewarded.
'Cosmic Comedy: The Social Satire of Sir Terry Pratchett' will run from Sept. 12 through Dec. 7 in the Bookers' display area in Mantor Library, 116 South St, Farmington, University of Maine.
The event is made possible by The Shiretown Bookers (The Community Friends of Mantor Library) in affiliation with the University of Maine at Farmington.
The Shiretown Bookers are a group of book lovers and collectors who support the university library by fostering its relationship with the community. The group provides exhibitions and lectures on literary subjects throughout the year. All exhibitions and lectures are free.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-306-1002.
Pratchett players raise over 20,000 GBP for dementia research
A Cardiff-based theatre company has raised over 20,000 GBP by staging theatrical versions of the late Sir Terry Pratchett's works with all proceeds going to the charity he was patron of, Alzheimer's Research UK.
Monstrous Productions Theatre Company has been putting on adaptations of Pratchett's works since 2012. Their latest play, 'Going Postal', was performed at The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff, over four nights in August. It raised over 3,000 GBP for the UK's leading dementia research charity, helping the group to reach their fund-raising goal of 20,000 GBP.
Amy Davies, 31, is co-founder and co-director at the company. She directed her first Terry Pratchett play, 'Monstrous Regiment', with Cardiff University's drama society, Act One, while studying for her Master's degree. The success led to a flood of requests from fans, wanting them to stage more.
Now an assistant psychologist with the NHS, Amy has directed seven plays with Monstrous Productions. It was decided from the beginning that all proceeds from the performances should go to Alzheimer's Research UK. Pratchett became a patron of the charity after he was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia called Posterior Cortical Atrophy in 2007. He died in 2015, aged 66.
The company now has nearly 50 voluntary members and two co-directors, Amy Davies and Edward Thomas. Amy, who lives in Abergavenny, said:
"I am lucky not to have experienced dementia in my family, but many of the cast have been affected by it. It's always been very important to us that our profits go to Alzheimer's Research UK, as it was a cause that Sir Terry believed in.
"The performances of 'Going Postal' went brilliantly and we had some fantastic audiences who were really generous in donating to the charity. It was great to see many returning audience members and some people had travelled for hours to see the play."
'Going Postal' tells the story of Moist von Lipwig, a con artist who is tasked with revitalising the city's defunct post office, or else face death. The novel is the 33rd installment in Pratchett's Discworld series.
Zoe Baggott, Regional Fund-raising Officer at Alzheimer's Research UK, said:
"Monstrous Productions is an amazing group. We're so grateful to them for supporting Alzheimer's Research UK. Not only are they a talented bunch, but they're extremely generous too. 225,000 people in the UK will develop dementia this year - that's one every three minutes. With enough research, we can beat this devastating condition."
Find out more about the theatre group and upcoming productions at monstrousptc.com
For further information or to learn more about fund-raising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
From the Folio Society Newsletter: CHARITY AUCTION AT DISCWORLD
The August bank holiday weekend saw the return of the biannual Discworld Convention.
We donated a hors de commerce limited edition of Mort, and our collector's editions of both Mort and Small Gods to the event's charity auction.
We're delighted to say that these three editions raised over 900 GBP for Music Therapy Works and Terry's favourite charity The Orangutan Foundation, with the overall evening raising an amazing 11,000 GBP.
* Calling USA / Canadian Fans *
Appreciate Discworld and Sir Terry Pratchett? Want to chat and gather with other Discworld fans in the US and Canada? Regional Discworld fan Facebook groups are linked below!
Holy Wood Dreams (covers WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, NM, and HI):
Central US Discworld Fans (covers ID, MT, WY, ND, SD, NE, UT, CO, KS, OK, and TX):
Midwest Discworld Fans (covers IL, IN, WI, MI, KY, MN, IA, and MO):
Southeast US Pratchett Fans (covers AR, LA, TN, MS, AL, GA, NC, SC, and FL):
Mid-Atlantic Discworld Fans (covers PA, OH, WV, VA, Washington DC, and MD):
New England Discworld Fans (covers DE, NJ, NY, Ct, RI, MA, VT, NH, and ME):
Canadian Discworld Fans (covers Canada and Alaska):
If you are in a border state or a province between two groups, feel free to join both groups.
Den of Geek have reviews of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
Omar Rayyan who illustrated both the cover of Once More * with footnotes and The Folio Society's Mort has returned and illustrated The Folio Society's new edition of Small Gods. The Guardian has an article entitled Illustrating Terry Pratchett's Small Gods - in pictures.
EpicStream has an article entitled "10 Awesome Schools from Sci-fi and Fantasy That'd Never Get Boring". Hogwarts takes the first spot but in second comes the Unseen University.
* UK Releases *
The Terry Pratchett Diary by Terry Pratchett and The Discworld Emporium should be published on 13th October 2016. It will be a perennial diary full of remembrances and tributes from some of those who loved him and his extraordinary body of work. With an introduction by Rhianna Pratchett and an afterword from Rob Wilkins.
Transworld are continuing with the Discworld Collector's Library of hardbacks with covers by Joe McLaren. By popular demand, Transworld will expand the collection to include all the adult Discworld novels.
The first four novels will be released on 20th October 2016. We have uploaded an album of the new covers at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/808
The Fifth Elephant (464 pages) www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/085752416X/87
The Truth (448 pages) www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0857524178/87
The Last Continent (416 pages) www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0857524143/87
Carpe Jugulum (416 pages) www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0857524151/87
The four titles listed above should soon be available to pre-order. We believe the RRP for each title will be approximately 12.99 GBP.
Discworld.com have the titles available for pre-order for 20GBP each featuring an exclusive embossing of Terry's signature.
Discworld Emporium have the titles available to pre-order for 12.99GBP each featuring an exclusive book plate.
We really hope they keep the size and format the same as the original Gollancz editions so that we, as fans, can have a complete set of Discworld novels in one consistent format.
The Carpet People (with Mark Beech cover) is due for release in paperback on 1st June 2017.
Author Joanne Harris (via Twitter) has confirmed she has written a new introduction for Wyrd Sisters. We don't have a release date for this yet but we suspect it will be sometime in 2017.
It has been confirmed that the new paperback editions of Mort and Guards! Guards! we mentioned previously will now be released in 2017.
[New: USA] Lee High Drama presents Wyrd Sisters adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: 1200 North Coalter Street, Staunton, VA 24401
Dates and Time: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29-Oct. 1 and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 2
Tickets: 5 USD
More info: staunton.k12.va.us/lee or phone (540) 332-3926
[Australia] Brisbane Art Theatre present Guards! Guards!
Location: 210 Petrie Terrace, Petrie Terrace, Queensland 4000, Brisbane
Dates: 8th October - 12 November 2016
Tickets: 31 AUD Adults, 25 AUD Concessions. Group rate 10+ 25 AUD each, 75+ 20AUD each. Student rush 10 AUD (10 minutes before curtain up). Subscribers can redeem tickets for the show. www.artstheatre.com.au/show/guardsguards
[UK] Bathford Players presents Wyrd Sisters adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Bathford Parish Hall, Church Street, Bathford BA1 7RS
Dates: Weds 19th - Sat 22nd October 2016 at 7:30pm
Tickets: 8GBP available from the Bathford Village Shop by phone: 01225 859111 or from www.ticketsource.co.uk/bathford-players
Facebook Event page: www.facebook.com/events/1667203456939738/
[UK] ACE Theatre Company presents Wyrd Sisters as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead, West Sussex.
Dates: Thursday 20th and Friday 21st October 2016 at 7:30pm and Saturday 22nd October at 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
Tickets: Evenings 13GBP (concessions 11GBP) / Matinee 11GBP (concessions 9GBP) from 01342 302000 * Card transaction fee applies. *
Facebook Photo Album: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/836
[NEW: Australia] ARENAarts presents GUARDS! GUARDS! as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: LC Theatre, 60 Cleaver Tce, Belmont, Western Australia
Dates: October 21, 22, 28, 29 at 8pm, October 23, 30 at 2pm, November 3, 4, 5 at 8pm, November 6 at 2pm
About: Since 2001 ARENAarts have staged WYRD SISTERS, LORDS AND LADIES, CARPE JUGULUM, MONSTROUS REGIMENT, GOING POSTAL and MASKERADE.
[New Zealand] Paeroa Little Theatre presents Mort as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Paeroa Little Theatre, 1 Francis Street, Paeroa, New Zealand
Dates: November 9th to 18th 2016.
[UK] The Quaysiders present Carpe Jugulum as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Seagull Theatre, Morton Road, Pakefield, NR33 OGH
Dates: 10th-12th November 2016 at 7:30pm
Tickets: 9GBP (8GBP Concessions) - 01502 589726
[UK] Newport Players present Wyrd Sisters as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Dolman Theatre, Kingsway, Newport, NP20 1HY
Dates: 15th-18th November at 7.15pm and 19th November at 2.30pm
[UK] Leeds Children's Theatre presents The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
Dates: Weds 16th - Sat 19th Nov 2016
Times: 7pm 16th-18th, 12 noon & 5pm on Sat 19th
Tickets: 12GBP/10GBP concessions Family (2+2) 40GBP (Early bird 1GBP reduction if booked before 23 October 2016). Phone (0113) 376 0318 or visit: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/828
[New: UK] Woodlands Drama Group presents Mort as adapted by Stephen Briggs.
Location: Harrogate Studio Theatre, 6 Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF
Dates: 1st - 3rd December 2016 at 7:45pm (extra matinee on Saturday 2:30pm)
Tickets: 10GBP on 01423 502116
Box Office: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/829
[USA] The Side Quest are having a Hogfather Book Club evening.
Location: The Side Quest Bar, 17900 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107
Date: Tuesday 6th December at 20:00
[UK] Monstrous Productions present The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents as adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: The Gate Arts & Community Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Dates: Wed 22nd - Sat 25th February 2017
Times: Doors open at 7pm, Matinee (on the 25th) at 2.30pm
Tickets: 7 GBP (5 GBP concessions) from 029 204 833 44
[UK] Bolton Little Theatre present Wyrd Sisters adapted by Stephen Briggs
Location: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Dates: 6th - 11th March 2017 at 7:30om
Tickets: 10GBP from 01204 524469
[UK] The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum
Location: Halifax Place, Nottingham, NG1 1QN
Dates: 22nd - 25th March 2017 at 7:30pm (and 2:30pm on Saturday).
Tickets: 11GBP (10GBP Concessions) from 0115 950 7201
[Germany] All the Witches and denizens of the Chalk are invited to the 5th German Discworld Convention which will take place at Castle Ludwigstein from May 18th to 21st in 2017.
Tickets are available now: www.Discworld-Convention.de
[Netherlands] Cabbagecon 4 - July 2017
The Cabbagecon team is proud to announce a new edition of the one and only Dutch Discworld convention.
After visiting the Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild in 2015, we will team up with the Guild of Merchants to explore the great city of Ankh-Morpork some more in 2017.
Come and see the sights, meet the colourful city-dwellers, try the local food and, in general, experience the unique atmosphere of the Disc's most famous city. The Ankh-Morpork Guild of Merchants has gracefully agreed to provide a balanced and representative programme of activities to keep all visitors entertained.
Cabbagecon 4 will be held at the Hotel Carlton President in Utrecht on 1-2 July 2017.
Check out our new website at www.dutchdwcon.nl
[Update: Australia] Australian Discworld Convention - Ten Months To Go!
Yes, that's right - at the start of August next year, we'll be setting sail on The Discworld Grand Tour!
Tickets for Nullus Anxietas VI - The Australian Discworld Convention are available in the shop (ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/) so make sure to book your spot!
Over the next ten months, we'll be sending out regular updates about what you lovely tourists can expect - starting right now!
Events and Activities
On your tour, there will be a wide range of lovely events and activities for you to enjoy! Of the many available, we would like to give you a taste of just a few to whet your appetite...
* Witness (and participate in) the vast array of talent in Vaudeville Le Maskerade. One event, under the one roof, all in the one afternoon. So dust off your finery, limber up those vocal chords and join us in this amazing experience.
* Eat, drink, explore your senses, and be merry at the Gala Dinner "Around the Disc in 7a Courses" - a whirlwind, steampunk culinary trip around the Disc.
* Re-stage the Battle of Koom Valley, machinate your way to rule Ankh-Morpork, or send a message to Genua faster than the Ankh-Morpork Post Office! That's right, all the Discworld board games - and many more - will be available to play in Mr Shine's Thud Parlour.
* What is a tourist without a Passport? Get your passport stamped at the convention by participating in activities, taking iconographs, playing games and many other mystery tasks! Collect the full set and win a prize!
* Join us for one final chapter in the convention story on Monday, 7 August 2017 by spending a day exploring the delectable delights and tantalising tastes of the Adelaide Hills on the Wine and Gourmet Tours.
More details on all the above, plus some of the other events and activities available can be found at ausdwcon.org/convention/events/
Tickets for the Gala Dinner and Wine and Gourmet Tours will be available in early 2017. We will keep you informed over the coming months about all activities.
Help us to help you! Volunteers needed!
We are working hard behind the scenes to put on a fantabulous convention for all of you next year. We've been kicking around lots of ideas for possible activities and events so that we can bring you a programme chock-full of things to do. But at the moment these are just ideas - in order to turn them into reality we need people to run them!
So, if you've been wondering how you can get involved with the convention, now's your chance. Volunteer to run an activity or event!
There are lots of things you could do. You could:
* run a workshop teaching a skill or craft, or something fun for kids of all ages;
* deliver a presentation, demonstration or information session;
* be part of a group panel discussing a topic;
* perform something for everybody's entertainment (a bit longer than a Maskerade act);
* ... or maybe you have an idea for something totally different that we haven't thought of yet!
Head to the volunteers page and fill in the form (ausdwcon.org/volunteer/) saying that you are interested in running an event and give a brief explanation of the activity that you think you could run. The Events and Activities coordinator will then get in touch with you to get more details about your idea and possible requirements. You won't have to do it all by yourself - if you need help in the organisation or running, we'll be able to find you volunteers, and of course, if it's something that needs participation, you're bound to get lots of support.
If you have any further questions, please contact email@example.com
But wait, there's more!
* Can you draw, paint, or make fancy art? We would love to have a few more artists on board who are willing to create some lovely Discworld
fan art for games, passports, the programme book and more!
* Want to help out in a more general capacity during the convention? Do things like taking official photos/video, helping with lights and
sound, teaching board games, or just running around being useful?
For any of the above please also complete the form on the volunteer page at ausdwcon.org/volunteer/
If you've already volunteered - don't worry, our Head Gopher will be in touch with you soon!
Remember, all Discworld conventions run entirely on volunteers, and anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated!
Join the tour groups
You can find out more about Nullus Anxietas VI - The Discworld Grand Tour - The Australian Discworld Convention on this website, and chat with other potential tourists at:
* Website: ausdwcon.org
* Facebook page: facebook.com/Ausdwcon
* Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/ausdwcon2017
* Twitter: twitter.com/ausdwcon
[USA] The Forth North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 1st - 4th 2017 in New Orleans, LA.
[Ireland] The 2017 Irish Discworld Convention will take place from 6-9th October 2017 [the weekend of my 46th Birthday - Ed] at the Cork International Hotel.
Sign up now for entry to all events except the gala dinner (tickets available separately) at:
[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on firstname.lastname@example.org
Also please note that due to email problems some addresses have been lost from the mailing list. If you are not getting Drummers emails and want to, please email Helen Nicholls on email@example.com
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 www.brokendrummers.org/ or
[Adelaide, Australia] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. They have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join their mailing list, visit: cityofsmallgods.org.au
[Brisbane, Australia] 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: www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/
[Melbourne, Australia] The Victorian Discworld Klatch is a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett. We meet monthly for fun activities and to talk all things Pratchetty. Information on our current event can be found on www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
[Perth, Australia] The Treacle Mining Corporation meet up to celebrate the works of Sir Terry Pratchett, and welcome any fans of science fiction and fantasy.
Join them for their monthly discussion of Discworld, Terry Pratchett and all things sci-fi and fantasy. They meet the first Monday of each month, subject to holidays, and all are welcome.
The group meets up at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, WA. Meeting at a cafe means they are under-18 friendly!
Otherwise message Alexandra Ware directly at email@example.com
Unless otherwise stated the group meets up on the first Monday of each month.
[Sydney, Australia] Sydney Drummers normally meet on the first Monday of every month.
They meet at: 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney, 2000 from 6:30pm
For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any letters or comments, please email them to email@example.com
We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may edit your letters by selling their secrets to the highest bidder...
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: "Tom Wake" firstname.lastname@example.org
"Men at Arms" introduces us to the Bucket, a tavern favoured by members of the Watch, and run by Mr Cheese; in "Maskerade" we meet Seldom Bucket, the opera house owner who formerly produced cheese and dairy products. So that's a Mr Cheese who works in the Bucket, and a Mr Bucket who worked with cheese.
I remember it striking me when I first read through the complete (at the time) series in 1999, and I've never seen anyone else mention it since then (although I couldn't guarantee it's never come up on 233 issues' worth of readers letters). Has anyone else picked up on it? Is it likely to be coincidence, or an incredibly subtle reward for paying attention?
* From: "Terry Moore" email@example.com
I live in Canada and wish to purchase the new Discworld colouring book. It is not being released here until 2017 but don't wish to wait that long. Is there any way to get it sooner?
We're back with five challenging trivia questions for you. Good luck, Jason.
The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.
Article by Dr. Rod Pitcher, PhD. (ozzwhispers.blogspot.com.au/)
In this article, Rincewind finally arrives at Bugarup University where he sees the end of his epic journey to bring back The Wet and save XXXX from the drought.
Rincewind heads for Bugarup University, hoping that the wizards there have a rain-making spell to break the drought, but he is disappointed to find that they don't even believe that water can fall from the sky.
While at Bugarup University, Rincewind meets its arch-chancellor, Bill Rincewind, who appears to be a distant relative. It is disconcerting to Rincewind because he has never had a relative before: he has always claimed that his mother abandoned him before he was born.
While wondering what to do next, Rincewind rescues his fellows from Unseen University. Due to an anomaly in time and space for the last few weeks they have been trapped underground for several millennia.
The wizards from UU are condescending towards the wizards of BU because their tower is only twenty feet high. They don't realise that it is only twenty feet high at the bottom. It is about half a mile high at the top.
It starts to rain. By releasing the UU wizards from captivity in the ground, Rincewind has corrected a disturbance in the distant past which was keeping the rain away. The Wet has arrived and the drought has ended. Rincewind has saved the world or, at least, the country. Again.
Time and space have a strange relationship on XXXX. Things happening now can have repercussions in the distant past. History and time are non-linear. You have to be a wizard to understand it.
Rincewind and the Librarian are at the top of the BU tower when it is struck by lightning. Due to the strange nature of the tower the lightning strikes everywhere on it the same time. It destroys the tower and is not kind to Rincewind and the Librarian.
While waiting for the ship to take him home, Rincewind is approached by The Watch. They don't want to arrest him, but to give him a free pardon (for the sheep stealing he didn't do). It is a reward for being a good escaper and making such a good chase of it.
The free pardon is signed by the Prime Minister who is in jail. The Ecksians have the eminently good sense to keep their Prime Minister and other politicians in jail where they can't do any harm.
Like Bugarup, Sydney is on the east coast of a large continent. Also like Bugarup, Sydney has an Opera House that people say looks like a discarded box of tissues, a harbour and a University.
The Opera House and harbour are very similar, but Sydney University is not much like Bugarup University. For a start, a very good point in its favour, there aren't any wizards at Sydney University!
Sydney University does have a small tower on the front of its main building. I was unable to find out its height and whether that height varies between the bottom and top.
The tower has the University flag on the top.
Last month we arranged to give away a hardback of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and a paperback of Dragons at Crumbling Castle as our competition prize.
We asked you to answer one simple question:
The answer we were looking for was: Mr Swimble
The randomly selected winner of the competition was Robert Taylor of Axbridge in Somerset. Your prize will soon be on its way.
Review by: Kenneth Hay firstname.lastname@example.org
As a long time reader, after attending Duck in a Hat's production of Mort at the Edinburgh Festival, I thought I should put pen to paper and write a review of it.
[Jason had to go to a lot of trouble typing up Kenneth's handwritten review (not really) - WB]
Having never seen a stage version of any of Terry's work, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but as Mort is one of my favourite Discworld novels, it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.
The venue at St. Augustine's was a relatively small room somewhere in the church basement. The atmosphere was somewhat... cosy, even before the production started. With no curtain and limited stage space, the production could have been described as minimalist, but the acting was top notch. In many ways, I felt the minimal scenery enhanced the performance, leaving more to the audience's imagination.
The show started with a brief voiceover reading the passage from the book just before midnight began to strike at the Apprenticing Fair. The lights came up, introducing Mort, dressed in the "loose garment of imprecise function that had been unclaimed by a previous owner". The actor playing Mort managed a fantastic job of portraying his "vague, cheerful helpfulness that serious men soon learn to dread", which gradually lessened as the play went on.
Death was either played by a very tall man, or a man with a false head and shoulders on top. One minor deviation from the book was the lack of a skull. Death instead had an apparently empty cowl, complete with glowing blue eyes. I don't know quite how the sound crew managed it, but Death did SPEAK LIKE THIS with the aid of a lot of bass boost and a hint of echo, giving a brilliant effect somewhere between Darth Vader and Marvin the Paranoid Android.
With only an hour and a half, a number of scenes were cut from the book, but all the important bits were there. One scene which wasn't strictly essential featured Death at Keeble's job broker. The character of Keeble was very well played by an actress who reminded me of a call centre I recently had the misfortune to deal with! The university cook meanwhile was played by a man, very much in the style of Brian's mother from Monty Python!
Another actress played Cutwell, capturing a very "cheerful but useless" wizard. I must admit, it's not quite how I imagine Cutwell but nevertheless it went down well with many fun moments.
One thing which struck me was how much funnier some lines are when acted rather than just read in the book (notably Death's take on "I'M A WIZARD, SIR. BE SILENT, WIZARD") although some other lines didn't get the laughs I had expected.
Ysabel was well played by a dark haired actress wearing a dress made out of frills, nicely summing up the character without any of the scenes taking place in her bedroom.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the production and would recommend any future Duck In A Hat productions to anyone who has the opportunity to see one.
While I enjoyed it, having previously read the book, one of my friends had never read any of the Discworld books and said he had a great time, so clearly enough of the book was included to help folk who didn't already know the story.
Review by Jason Anthony
The 2016 Discworld Convention took place in Warwick over the weekend of the 26th - 29th August. It was the first UK Discworld Convention to take place since Terry's death in 2015 (Terry was too ill to attend the 2014 Convention but this was the first one planned with the knowledge that Terry wouldn't be able to attend).
Despite knowing that Terry would not be at the Convention, tickets sold out in a matter of hours from going on release. We took Rachel's eldest son and his girlfriend with us. It was Milly's first convention so it was interesting to see how she found it.
After unloading the car and settling down we met up with friends and enjoyed a drink at the bar just before heading off to the opening ceremony. Sometimes these things can drag a bit but this has to be the first opening ceremony where it takes longer to get into the room than it does for the ceremony to take place! Kudos to Eelco the chairman for keeping things concise.
At Bedtime Stories Rob Wilkins (Terry's Business Manager and best friend) read to us from one of the many unfinished manuscripts that Terry and he had been working on. It was fascinating to hear such an early draft. After reading the manuscript Rob put it through a paper shredder that had been set up on the stage to ensure that nobody used the script again. Rob then read from various sources for another hour or so, which was a great way to round off the first day.
Saturday was busy for us, preparing for the Auction that was planned for Sunday morning. We spent time collecting items that had been pre-arranged. We ran around and collected from some of the people donating items that wouldn't be able to get to the drop-off slot and then made sure we were able to collect items as they were dropped off in ops.
We went to a talk all about Discworld Merchandise which was very interesting. Then I went to a talk by Rob Wilkins and Charlie Russell about the thee documentaries that they had made for the BBC and to discuss a little bit about the fourth documentary that should feature on BBC2 before Christmas. Charlie was busy filming bits and pieces of the Convention and some of the attendees so hopefully some of that will end up in the finished documentary.
The Maskerade took place on Saturday night and some of the costumes looked amazing. We didn't go to the actual event, preferring to spend time chatting with friends in the bar area.
For many, Sunday started with The Church of Om Service. It is reported that "Mole" who was leading the service was taken over by Music with Rocks in and lead a song based on Minnie the Moocher (made famous by Cab Calloway and used in the film The Blues Brothers) called Horace The Oooker. Which was followed by Everybody Needs Om's Body!
For us, though, Sunday started with the final preparations for the auction. We started setting up the room an hour before the auction was due to take place and by the time the auction started the room was full with people queuing outside. We are pleased to say that due to the wonderful generosity of the people donating items and the frantic bidding of those in the room we were able to raise 10,799 GBP. The convention team split this between two charities: The Orangutan Foundation and Music Therapy Works. Also the lovely Chris-an-under offered to shave his hair and beard off for the charity and the collection taken raised a further 255 GBP again to be split between the two charities. After the auction Rachel and I settled down for a drink or two knowing our main responsibility for the Convention was over. It was fun organizing the auction but a huge amount of work. We discussed it and have offered to do it again in 2018!
The highlight of Sunday evening was the Nannies. The special gala dinner (an additional ticketed event) where those attending dressed in their finery and/or costumes and enjoyed a three course meal with entertainment provided by a magician. It was very entertaining but a mix up by the hotel staff meant that one person at our table with special needs had a meltdown when the wrong meal was put in front of them five times.
On Monday we visited the rather ambitious musical of Witches Abroad. It was incredible given the limited time the cast had to practice. Sadly we felt it was let down by a poor sound mix. The music was so loud it was almost impossible to hear more than half the words the cast were singing. We do have to say that casting Tony Perkins as Nanny Ogg was inspired. Oh, and it goes without saying that we saw more of Director Richard Atha-Nicholls that I expected or wanted to! You need to look at the photos on the Convention Facebook group to see what I mean...
And then it was almost over, the closing ceremony was only marginally longer that the opening one and that was it ... Time to go home. We had a great time and want to do it all again in two years' time.
Len Brook has made a huge number of pictures available on his website from the Convention. All Len's photos are free to download but he is currently offering discounts on any prints you order from his site!
General images including Gala Night, Auction, and Strangely Fascinating: www.lenbrookphotography.com/discworld
Morris dancing images:
There are also thousands of other wonderful photos from the event (including all the lovely green screen photographs taken and manipulated by the very talented Pam Martin) available at the Discworld Convention Facebook Group at:
If you don't know what a Hushed Hogfather Event is, let us explain. It's a Secret Santa type event.
What's a Secret Santa event? Some offices used to run them every year. You get the name of a colleague (who you may not know very well) and you get to make / purchase them a small gift. The present goes into a sack and because everyone takes part, you will receive a present from the sack bought just for you by another work colleague. It could be anything from a rubber duck to a diamond bracelet. The challenge has always been to give something that everyone will like. There is usually a budget for each gift to ensure balance.
The difference between an office Secret Santa and Discworld Monthly's Hushed Hogfather is that the Hushed Hogfather event is done by post (rather than at the office party) and everyone is a Discworld fan. So it should be easy to put together a parcel for a Discworld fan? Yes? Maybe? No?
Last year, the best parts of the Hushed Hogfather event were seeing what everyone got as their present, hearing from the senders about how much fun they had choosing the gifts and how much the recipients enjoyed receiving them.
Everyone posted photos of their presents on our Hushed Hogfather Facebook album. This year we will be asking you to send your photos to the Hushed Hogfather team via email and the photos will be put in an album on our Facebook page.
How do I take part?
To take part please register via the special Hushed Hogfather email address (email@example.com) - we are only accepting registrations via this email address, you cannot register in any other way. The closing date for registration is: 21ST OCTOBER 2016.
In your email please state: your name, the gender you identify yourself as, your email address, your home address and whether you wish to send to your home country or if you you are happy to send worldwide! (Please use the email address you use most often as the Hushed Hogfather team will need to contact you!)
Once you've registered, there will be a waiting period. The team have to wait until after the closing date for registration before they start telling you who you have to send a Hushed Hogfather parcel to.
Once we get to the closing date the Hushed Hogfather team will allocate senders and receivers based on your preferences and you will then receive a single email from the team telling you: the gender, age range and general location (ie country) of your recipient. You will not get their address at this stage!
You will have 21 days to put together your parcel. (Please read the Bad Parcel/Good Parcel list for ideas.) As soon as you have your parcel ready to send, you need to email the Hushed Hogfather team a photo of your parcel. Once the team have seen the photo of your parcel, you'll be given the address to send it to. Where possible, please remember to keep the name of your recipient and your own name secret.
Then you have to actually send the parcel! Make sure you get proof of posting just in case anything goes missing in the post.
Once you have sent your parcel, you have one last job. When you receive a parcel, you MUST take a photo and send it to the Hushed Hogfather team (you can add a caption or send a message with it to be posted with the photo.) The Hushed Hogfather team will then upload it to the Facebook page. This is really important as it shows your Hushed Hogfather that you have received their lovingly created parcel (It also soothes worried minds) ...
Important! Please Pay Attention!
We all appreciate that this time of year is expensive, which is why we have a suggested maximum spend value for all Hushed Hogfather Parcels. This makes it affordable for all to take part.
This year the suggested Max Value is: 10 GBP / 13.30 USD / 12 EUROS / 17.50 AUD or 17.25 CAN (or whatever 10 GBP translates to in your local currency). The Hushed Hogfather team suggest that postage is not included in this value so please remember to consider postage costs.
If at any point you feel you cannot send your gift please get in contact with us as soon as possible and we'll reallocate your recipient so they don't miss out.
Bad Parcel / Good Parcel.
Last year there were some issues with items being sent to people that were not suitable, so this year the team have created a list of items to advise you on what is suitable for a Hushed Hogfather parcel.
Bad Parcel List (items to avoid)
Food stuffs - food items can go off or cause problems due to allergies etc. It may also be illegal to import food into some countries.
Alcoholic items - there are lots of reasons why alcohol could be a problem (we are sure you can work out what they are).
Heavy items - postage will be expensive if your parcels contain heavy items, especially if sending to foreign climates.
Good Parcel List
Home made items - we loved seeing all the awesomeness that you can make at home and we know, from experience, the recipients love them too. In fact they are probably some of the best items we have seen in Hushed Hogfather parcels.
Small items - items which are easy to safely send in the post.
Anything that doesn't belong to the Bad Parcel list (for example: books, artwork, cuddly toys etc etc etc - it really is up to your imagination).
Finally, a summary:
Remember you must register via this email address only firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for registration is: 21ST OCTOBER 2016.
Read all of the above.
The Hushed Hogfather is all about having fun sharing a bit of seasonal cheer. Last year was brilliant fun - let's make this year even better.
The team are really looking forward to seeing all your pictures...
This month we have a US edition of The Art of Discworld signed by Paul Kidby to give away. To win this wonderful book send us the answer to the following question:
Send your answers, along with your postal address to email@example.com before October 21st. Your address will only be used for sending out your prize should you be the lucky winner. Once prizes are sent out all address details will be destroyed. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted - multiple entries will result in a ban from the competition. Failure to answer the questions or provide your postal address will prevent you from being entered into the competition. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final. The competition is open to all readers.
Review by Jason Anthony
The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is the second in the series of short stories that Terry wrote early in his career at The Bucks Free Press under the pseudonym of Uncle Jim. The book features an introduction written by Terry in very early 2015.
The book features fourteen short stories (the slipcase edition features an additional two stories and a print) from the titular Witch's Vacuum Cleaner to Rincemangle, the Gnome of Even Moor. As with Dragons at Crumbling Castle many of these stories build to a single climatic joke [i.e. a joke about the weather - WB] BUT there are some gems in there. I particularly enjoyed the stories set in the Wild West - Wales and a village called Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo. Having lived in Wales for a little while I've discovered that Terry had a fondness for the country (as is obvious from the writing) and some of his observations on Welsh life were spot on.
Rincemangle while sounding like a prototype Rincewind turns out actually to be the prototype Masklin, as a very short version of what Terry would later expand into Truckers. It's wonderful to see that even in less than 30 pages Terry had many of the ideas that would become the first of the Bromeliad books.
The books is full of wonderful illustrations by Mark Beech which add immensely to the enjoyment of the stories. I also love how some of the rules of typesetting have been thrown out the window with lots of different font sizes and styles included in the text to highlight a particular point. The joys I guess of aiming the books at a younger audience.
The stories are fun to read and once again show that Terry always had the story telling gene. I still find it amazing how quickly his writing skills developed from these to his full time novels. I think it's important to read an author's early works to demonstrate just how much a master wordsmith he became. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is a very welcome addition to our book collection.
Please let us have any submissions for issue 235 of Discworld Monthly BEFORE Friday 21st October 2016.
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