Posts Tagged ‘Discworld’
I was going to do a Nullus post with photos and links to videos but I didn’t take any so I’m relying on Hex who took lots and commissioned lots more, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view as you haven’t seen me singing) Hex has a day job and seems to be expected to do stuff for them as well. I’ll give you a couple of highlights from the weekend and then let you move on with your day.
The marquee got damp. The Fourecks Factor! We were just about to get started on the first act, the committee got talked into making idiots of ourselves to break the ice, the rain started, the thunder clapped and Blind IO took credit, yes Blind IO was there. Having suggested we just sing louder we got underway, the video may come later if I can find footage of it, a bit challenging as Hex was in it too. At the end of our ‘act’ I heard a voice ‘don’t touch that!’ and realised water was pouring into the marquee onto the speaker. The power was turned off carefully with due attention to safety and we got on with proceedings.
I was threatened by Foul Ole Ron, he offered to cough on me unless I gave him guild points, I was far too amused to do more than laugh. I got the boot from Arnold Sideways who had managed to get something to scoot around in. I got a bookmark from the frog lady who is campaigning for the right for frogs not to be turned into Dried Frog Pills for the Bursar or anyone else. Martin Pearson had a new show which I missed as I was on duty somewhere.
The costumes are getting better. For Nullus 1 I turned up with a witches hat and cloak I’d very quickly decorated with craft stuff, while I took this I didn’t get it out as I would have been outclassed in seconds. There will be photos.
Two of our committee made the most awesome Discworld Cake. Most of it was edible but I managed to buy the disc and the elephants, everything else was eaten. There were even mini Discworlds for the gluten free people.
Terry Pratchett gave us a world exclusive and unveiled the name for his new book. By now I’m sure you all know the name is Raising Steam as it was on Twitter in seconds but it’s the story of how the announcement got to us that’s just awesome. It’s the sort of thing that would take careful cutting and editing for a movie only it happened in real life. We had a really dodgy Skype connection and it kept on cutting out completely, just as Terry and Rob got to the words it froze and then dropped out, several times. It took ten minutes to show us two pieces of paper.
Anyway, enough for now, get on with your day and check back in here next week for photos and videos.
It’s been a while since I updated people on Nullus Anxietas 4, the fourth Australian Discworld Convention. I think the last update included me having delusions of grandeur and totally forgetting the fact that we needed to have elections before we could have a new committee. Me and my memory, I was so excited by the prospect of bringing Nullus back to Melbourne I just forgot the elections. Anyway, I didn’t get into the Executive and there’s good reason for that which I’ll leave to another occasion. I’ve been elected as Co-Chair of the PR sub-committee. I can’t reveal any plans for the convention as yet but they will come. I will say we have an awesome committee, lots of new talent and lots of enthusiasm
There’s lots happening besides the Committee. We’re starting up one or more groups in Melbourne, which for want of a better name we’re calling Klatches. All we need is to find a time and place to get everyone together. There’s already one in Sydney called The Broken Drummers Downunder, one in Adelaide called City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club, one in Brisbane Brisbane Broken Drummers and one in Perth which is still unnamed. Basically, we’re taking over Australia and making it Discworld!
Yesterday was lovely. We met in Federation Square, I had my Moist von Lipwig hat on and for the first time felt really silly wearing it. A number of others had their Nullus Anxietas 3 tshirts on and we ended up being 14 adults and 1 child. We found a table in a nearby cafe and sat and talked. We didn’t talk much about Discworld as we had so much to cover with the structure we’d been planning for Discworld in Victoria.
Among other things which are too soon to go public on my blog, we’re looking at creating a monthly function to enjoy all things Discworld. They might include Significant Quest if Ben can be there, or Werewolf, Thud or even just a discussion about Discworld in general. The plans are still fairly fluid but we’re having another meeting in four weeks time to bring together some research and have more discussion.
We have some interesting experience in the group. Some people have been attending conventions for years and have volunteered a lot of time to help out while others have only ever attended one convention. They’re a nice bunch of people and I’m going to enjoy spending some time with them.
I figured there’s just time enough to fit in another Terry Pratchett before the Third Australian Discworld Convention (aka Nullus Anxietas 3 or NA3) starts on Friday. For some lucky people the fun and games start on Thursday as they get together for some stargazing with Sir Pterry but I’m not getting to Sydney until 10am Friday so I’ll have to forego that pleasure. I managed to fit in Men at Arms a couple of days ago and I’m now going to scribble a few words for you.
Here’s the description from the back of the book. It tells you enough but not too much and makes some things totally unclear which is just as it should be.
‘ Be a MAN in the City Watch! The City Watch needs MEN!’
But what it’s got includes Corporal Carrot (technically a dwarf), Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detritus (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman…most of the time) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving).
And they need all the help they can get. Because they’ve only got twenty-four hours to clean up the town and this is Ankh-Morpork we’re talking about…
What this doesn’t mention is Captain Vimes impending nuptials to Lady Sybil Ramkin and therefore his moving into the upper echelons of society which is a big shock to most of the echelons. It doesn’t tell us about Corporal Carrot and the rumour that he’s royalty, nor does it tell us about his charisma oozing from every poor without him even trying. It doesn’t tell us about Angua or Nobby Nobbs…not that you want to know about Nobby Nobbs, he’s a good person not to know about.
It is a bit misleading, as they don’t need to clean up Ankh-Morpork, they only need to solve the murders that have been happening and do this without upsetting the guilds as they feel they should look after their own.
I picked up this Pratchett as I do all Pratchetts because I wanted a light read. I should know better by now, while all of his works can be a light read they have several depths to them and it depends on how extensive your knowledge is as to how deep you read them. This book has a great deal about politics and I’m not politically adept so there’s one area I’m left guessing at. It does skirt around the edges of society and also puts in a great deal about policing. We see how the Night Watch go around achieving more than they normally would as they’re thinking about Corporal Carrot and Captain Vimes and how they would not appreciate them coming back with the job only half done. It’s interesting seeing how these people operate and how they achieve so much more by looking at their superiors, they don’t need to be told what to do.
I find Corporal Carrot absolutely fascinating. He is friendly to everyone and expects everyone to be friendly not just back to him but to everyone else. Here’s a small example.
A beggar looked Carrot up and down. His mouth dropped open.
‘It’s Cumbling Michael, isn’t it?’ said Carrot, in his cheerful way.
The door slammed.
‘That wasn’t very friendly,’ said Carrot.
On another occasion Carrot was between a legion of Trolls and a legion of Dwarfs. A fight was about to explode and he just stood there telling them all off and telling them to put their weapons down…just as if they were errant children. It worked and they stopped all thoughts of fighting…until he walked away when the world exploded.
Pratchett has a particular turn of mind that comes up with some very interesting ideas and that includes someone called Bloody Stupid Johnson who invents things but has no idea of scale. His Colossus of Morpork was easy to lose; the caretaker checked his pockets for it. According to Corporal Carrot
‘I’m afraid that for Mr Johnson accurate measurements were something that happened to other people.’
As with all Discworld books, I’m left feeling I’ve learned a lot about people and how they work. I’ve been entertained and fallen in love with Corporal Carrot once more…actually that’s not true, I much prefer Captain Vimes. I don’t really like people who are too good to be true so Captain Vimes is much more my style, he’s got foibles and weaknesses and is a truly rounded character.
As some of you know I’m rather excited by Terry Pratchett and his writing. So imagine my excitement when I found this reading challenge. The Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge hosted by ReadingAdventures. Of course, I’m going to join and the way to do that is to blog about it and then go back to ReadingAdventures and comment. And this gives me an excuse to tell you about Nullus Anxietas 3, the third Australian Discworld Convention which has been scheduled for the 8th to the 10th of April 2011 at Penrith Panthers. Where is the Penrith Panthers? Somewhere in Sydney, Australia. All sorts of fun will be happening and you can keep up with the impending excitement at the NA3 website.
The challenge will start from 1 December 2009 and run through to 30 November 2010. There are several different levels of participation for you to choose from:
1-3 books – Cashier at Ankh-Morpork Mint
4-5 books – Guard of the City Watch
6-8 books – Academic at the Unseen University
9-10 books – Member of Granny Weatherwax’s Coven
10-12 books – Death’s Apprentice
You can either be reading the books for the first time, rereading, or even watching the TV adaptations if you like! Please also do not feel limited to only reading the Discworld books as any books by Terry Pratchett will count for this challenge.
For a full list of the Discworld books in publication order, check out this page on Sir Pterry’s website or his page at Fantastic Fiction. The number of books either written by Terry Pratchett or about his work is a bit mind boggling really.
Each month, ReadingAdventures will put a Mr Linky up so that you can link your reviews or Pratchett posts if you want to do more general posts say on individual characters, places, events etc.
I’m not quite certain what to say about this book. It’s not part of his Discworld series, in fact, not part of any series I know of. I can’t quite decide whether it’s a dig at science fiction stories or a salute to them. What I do know is that there are many jokes and many references to other books.
Ok, this is science fantasy – I reckon it’s science fantasy, I’m happy to have someone argue with me. The story is that of Dominick Sabalos who is about to come into his inheritance. What he doesn’t know is that his death was predicted by his father. Why then does he survive? His father was an undisputed expert in P Math so this should have been a certainty, but survive he does and gets a new skin colour to go with it. His black skin colour now has a tinge of green. He survives a few more attempts on his life during his journey. This book is the first book to mention Hogswatch and Small Gods so Sir Terry Pratchett must have taken these concepts across to Discworld. There are several mentions of Isaac Asimov’s Laws of Robotics (rather modified but still identifiable). I suspect Sir Terry was having a dig at a number of authors who give their characters rather unpronouncable names when he gave the Phnobes names as they all have names made up entirely of consonants making them even harder to pronounce than normal.
There is some violence, there has to be to enable Dom to survive. It’s fairly moderate, there are no swear words or adult concepts. To quote Sir Terry from Hidden Turnings, an anthology put together by Diana Wynne Jones. “…if you can get all the jokes, you’re old enough to read them. My mum isn’t.”