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Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony, Barnett & Massey
#GNU Terry Pratchett

Discworld Monthly - Issue 21: January 1999

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Terry Pratchett writes about book signing queues.
4. Readers' Letters
5. David Hodges: The Real Hodgesarrgh!
6. Results of Discworld Cross-Stitch Competition
7. DiscTrivia
8. Feature: Interview with Perfect Entertainment - Part 2
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 21. Things have changed for me since last month. On Sunday 27th December 1998 at 8:38GMT I became a dad. My daughter Emily Mary weighed in at 7lbs 8ozs. Mother and daughter are doing well and Father is walking round like a zombie.

Last month I stated that the Third Clarecraft event would run from July 1998 to August 1999. What I actually meant was Friday 30th July 1999 to Sunday, 1st August 1999. I would like to thank everyone who pointed out my mistake (but I won't). More information about the event can be found on Clarecraft's (almost) NEW website www.clarecraft.co.uk/

Whilst I'm in humble apology mode. I should also apologise for our mid-month bulletin in which I stated that Wyrd Music would be shown on Channel 4, instead of Wyrd Sisters. One kind person (who pointed out my mistake) asked if C4 would also be showing Soul Sisters?

Mike Richardson converts each issue of Discworld Monthly into DOC format for easy reading on the Palm Pilot. If you have a palm pilot visit www.grim-reaper.freeserve.co.uk

--
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (New Age Traveller)


2. News

Canandian television channel TVO will rebroadcast Discworld: Soul Music on Wednesdays at 12 midnight (or later), starting December 30, 1998.

Neil Gaiman, co-author of Good Omens, will be chatting live on the web to Barnes and Noble on January 5th 1999. Visit www.barnesandnoble.com for more information.

A transcript of PTerry's live chat for Barnes and Noble on 18th December 1998 can be found at www.barnesandnoble.com/community/archive/authors/pratchett_1.asp

Wyrd Sisters will be played at Chelsfield Village Hall (Near Orpington, Kent) on 18th, 19th and 20th February 1999 at about 19:30 (time to be confirmed). For more information email:

You can obtain a limited edition First Day Cover featuring the Royal Mails Magical Worlds stamp issue, signed by Terry Pratchett from Westminster Stamps. They cost 9.99GBP and are available on 01923-475575.

Australian fans can order most PTerry books via the Dymocks Bookstore online at www.dymocks.com.au/

Apparently this site has a collectors version of Carpe Jugulum worth about $688.

There is an Australian Terry Pratchett fan club that can be contacted via email on

Sylvain Chambon ( ) is considering creating a French PTerry fan-club if there is enough demand.

Small Ads....

The following Discworld fans are looking for correspondence, friendship or just someone to share a pizza with:

"Maria Herrera" ( ) is looking for Discworld Fans in Chile.

"Simon Kincaid" ( ) is looking for Discworld Fans in East Anglia and is also about to set up a new website and would like advice etc.

"Bernie" ( ) is looking for good Discworld-type screen savers. The few already found were apparently pretty lame.

"Jonathan Cooksley" ( ) writes: My wife and I are intending to visit Borneo next year and plan to see the Orang-utans. We would like to work for free on a sanctuary if that is at all possible. If not we would like to do a tour of Tanjung Putting or any similar Parks. The most important thing is that we want the money we spend to go to help the Orang-utan Charities. Can you give us any pointers on who to contact

Dave & Kirsty ( ) would be grateful if anyone could furnish them with copies of Wyrd Sisters & Mort from the television VHS (pal or ntsc) and in fact any other Discworld features that have been on the "box". They would be willing to pay for tapes and postage........... thanking you in advance....

( ) writes: Where can a friendly American bloke get some of the Discworld cartoons for a reasonable price? Web pages, addresses, any secure way of getting them that I wouldn't need to leave the country for?

"A. J. Kerr." ( ) writes: During the summer of 1999 we (Sterts Moorland Amphitheatre in Cornwall) will be "doing" Lords & Ladies. One of our talented members has obtained permission from PTerry to adapt the book into play format and we have just begun readings and casting.

Can anyone out there help us with a costume for the Librarian? Despite a rigourous search of our costume department we have found ourselves curiously devoid of a lifelike full size orangutan outfit! Please give generously!!


3. Terry Pratchett writes about book signing queues.

In recent issues there have been many letters about how many books you can have signed at a signing and what rights you have about getting your complete back catalogue signed. Terry Pratchett sent us the following, to deal with the subject of signing queues and the amount of books an author 'should' sign.

Most authors will sign at least one copy of the book advertised -- what is the point otherwise? -- and there are those, even within the SF/fantasy field, who'll leave it at that and also stop signing precisely when the signing is supposed to end. Some authors won't sign backlist. Other are a little more relaxed. That's their choice.

But in my queues, the rules are mine. No one is going to tell me that any particular number of books is 'right', or that someone's 'entitled' to have 25 books signed because they haven't been able to get to one of my queues before. Common sense -- my common sense -- suggests that books bought that day get signed, even if the person had bought a handful, and that people with 30 battered copies get hung up by their thumbs...oops, sorry, I meant are forced to settle for just having a few signed. And sometimes I make exceptions, for various reasons. It's my choice. But I'm not there as a machine for getting books signed.

The point I'm making is that it's *always* down to the author -- there is no British Standard, no 'rule' to be imposed, no number of books that an author must sign. Sad but true. The man in the hat has the final say.

Right now, for future tours, we'll be trying to cut down on the amount I sign and the 'big bags' will be first to go -- sheesh, I've been signing for more than five weeks a year for the last ten years! I've not giving up on tours, but 'big' tours (three weeks eating bookshop sandwiches and hotel room service, and signing books for seven hours a day) are going to be trimmed, if I'm going to survive them.

The signing at Forbidden Planet this year was timed at five hours and thirty-eight minutes -- and not many people had backlist. It was fun, in a way... but I'm pretty sure I don't want to do it again!

--
Terry Pratchett


4. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters / comments, please email

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters to completely reverse their meaning.

Each month the writer of the month's best letter will receive two Discworld badges with PTerry quotes on them from Snapdragon Gifts. You can contact Snapdragon Gifts at or www.snapdragongifts.com. Please mention DWM in any correspondence.

*
* From:
*
On book signing, I "paid" for Neil Gaiman to sign several of my books (comic and otherwise) when I met him, and I would do it again. Why you ask? Well, all of the proceeds went to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund here in the US. This sort of arrangement works well for two reasons. 1) Funds are raised for a good cause. 2) It keeps the author from being harassed by inconsiderate fans who want a dozen books signed when there are dozens of folks behind them waiting for the same privilege.

*
* From: "Kerryann Pankhurst" ( )
*
At Terry's Oz signing tour a few years back (Canberra), I travelled fourteen hours by train to get there, bought thirty two books (complete collection and Christmas presents), plus a Clarecraft Death, and was first in line at each of the three signings of that day. On the strength of that, Terry was so amazed at the amount of money I spent (the trip cost about a thousand dollars all up - and worth it, too - I saved for two and a half years for it) that he signed (over all three signings, and afterwards) everything, signed two posters from two different bookshops (who'd given them to me, impressed at the eagerness with which I flashed the visa), signed the Death AND sent (or had someone send) me a signed poster from England. At the second signing, he looked at me and said "Weren't you at the first signing?".......At the third signing, he said "Hi, Kerryann!"

Amazing man - if you're going to get him to sign that many books, spread some joy around - buy more copies of the books. Besides, the reading copies wear out so fast - in the bed, in the bath, in the garden, at work, in the traffic.......

Memories are made of this..... every penny spent was worth it, and I'll do it again. When the bank account can stand it.

*
* From: "Toby Meek" ( )
*
I just thought I'd write in and tell you how much of a stupid twit I felt at the book signing in Nottingham a little while ago. I'm only twelve and I'd gone to the book signing with three of my mates all of us devoted Pratchett fans. I stood waiting in the cold for an hour before the doors even opened and an hour and a half after that when we did get near Terry one of my mates (who's a bit of a freak) started going hysterical so there I was with loads of people watching & Terry himself and me trying to calm my mate down (in the end I had to hit him till he settled down) then when I got to Terry I just stood there for a couple of seconds and then said in a small voice (which I don't know how he heard it) "Err will you please sign my book" so as you can probably see I made a right twit of myself.

*
* From: "Nicholas Spooner" ( )
*
In the disctrivia section (issue 20) the word wymberg is mispelt, just to be a prat about it.

WB replies: I don't want to be a prat about this either, but you've misspelt misspelt.

*
* From: "Ben" ( )
*
One week ago I was asked by a guy at work if I would like to go to the Terry Pratchett book signing with him at Cambridge. I like reading the Discworld books. They're very good, but I haven't read that many compared to most fans, seven maybe. We got there before the doors to the shop actually opened. Once they did we were inside purchasing our copies then waiting by his desk. We waited for two and a half hours as we watched a queue of three get longer and longer. Whilst waiting I thought what do I say? I thought about letter's that other people wrote about what they said and how he was such a nice man. I started to get a little nervous. I looked at the long queue of people. Every male in the queue is someone that could be considered as a sad stereotyped person. I don't want to be rude, but that's how I saw them.

When Terry finally appeared he got his stuff out and prepared himself on the table. He started immediately.

Ben "Alright, how are you?" (friendly).

Terry "Who's it to?"

Ben "Ben please".

He signed and that was it. No smile no nothing. I felt a bit upset that my favourite author just rushed me by like that. The guy who I was with though said he thought he was very nice. Is it me? I tried to be smiley and friendly. I work in a shop, I do it every week. Is it just me that he gave this impression to? I mean I may have offended some people in this letter saying that everyone else seemed to be of a stereotypical nature, but every one has the right to be how they want to be. I just feel he should be a bit more friendly, after all we are keeping him going.

*
* From: "davlig" ( )
*
I've got an experience which goes back to May 16 In Newcastle. I went to Dillons for a book signing (you should have seen the queue!) bought my book and headed out at the back of the queue, I'll tell you how long it was, the bloke in front of me started reading TLC and was nearly finished by the time we got in the door of the shop!!! Anyway I waited two hours, my feet aching like buggery. When I got into the shop. There he was, PTerry signing books with black hat and bag of sweeties resting on the table. Half an hour later, and I was there... A young woman asked me to mark a spot in my book and I strode off towards the master. I placed the book in front of him and grinned pathetically. There was an embarrassing pause. He looked at me and said in that lispy calm voice of his 'Well, what's yor name?' 'Er....Duh-David, David Light!' I squeaked. 'Calm down, I've only know you five seconds!' he replied 'I'll put David in, okay?' I brayed nervously, my face red. 'Thank you Mr Pratchett' I mumbled. 'Call me Terry' he said off-handedly, I was halfway out the bookstore at the time, completely glowing beetroot. There you are. My afternoon with PTerry. 15 seconds long, and deadly embarrassing. It's long I know. Yes I doesn't have a point. But he did sign it: NO WORRIES MATE! and put in that scythy thingy.

JA replies: Davlig gets this month's Letter Of The Month.

*
* From: "Mehrangez Musa Rahman" ( )
*
I think I am owed some thanks. It is due to me (i.e. my constant nagging) that Terry Pratchett has a small but (very) devoted following here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I can identify with the Ramptons' complaint about the situation in Hong Kong, it's pretty much the same here. The only Pratchett books you can find here are in the British Council Library, where smart alecs explain the jokes in the margin, and other not-so-smart ones underline words that they don't understand! I hate seeing books defiled in any case, so just imagine how I feel when I see it done to Terry Pratchett!

I'm sorry that this must sound a bit stupid, but after having read JINGO (my absolute favourite) about 4 times, I still don't get one thing: what is the significance of the Klatchian wolfhound that Vimes notices at the beginning, when he's running ahead of the procession? That's the only thing I don't fully grasp in that book. Don't you think that Vlad and Igor from CARPE JUGULUM ought to be recurring characters? And the Nac mac Feegle! One thing about that book though - though excellent in all other respects, I was taken aback by Magrat's ceasing to be as lovably wet as before.

WB replies: Well, it's Angua, but I guess you'd already gathered that.

*
* From: "Mark Silvan" ( )
*
I'm replying to Arnold Warhonowicz's mail, telling us that it's difficult to get english TP books in German stores. Apart from going to www.buecher.de, you could also try to go to the "Thalia-Buchhandel" if you're in a hurry (I usually am :)). They usually have a big collection of english books, including TP books.

*
* From: "Ziv Wities" ( )
*
We've been seeing a lot of Discworld spin-offs lately - the Discworld companion, graphic novels, screenplays, maps (Including the Tourist's Guide to Lancre. How can anyone get lost in Lancre? I thought that it was so small that "wars would start just because someone wanted somewhere to put the coal."), and so forth. And here there is an idea, so simple, and yet so much better and more fulfilling then any of the other merchandise that fans are expected to buy just because it has "Terry Pratchett" written on the cover.

I quote from The Streets of Ankh-Morpork: "[Stephen Briggs said] It would be the work of a moment to lay out the Map."

My idea is this: a simple collection of PTerry's short stories. After all, he seems to have over a dozen, right? More then enough to fill up a book. Wouldn't it be great if instead of scouring the bookstore for each and every collection (don't you love it when in the Short Story article it goes "this book is extremely rare and in fact the only existing copy lies guarded by the undead in the Temple of Doom, neener neener neener"?!), and with each one found, only getting one short story? Wouldn't it be great to just have one nice big collection of all of them?

This is, of course, only my opinion, but I think it's a good idea. How about you?

*
* From: "Elizabeth" ( )
*
Floris, you are not alone - my Mapp was signed exactly similar.

*
* From: "Rachel Turner-Peard" ( )
*
PTerry did a book signing in Plymouth, just before Christmas in 1996, as I was on holiday with my family down there at the time, and had to return to work before the event I approached the bookshop, and they were as usual putting requested (and bought & paid for) books 'out the back' for PTerry to sign.

I left a letter along with my choice of books, explaining why I was unable to attend in person etc, and some time later I GOT A REPLY!

the main point of my writing this is that in his letter PTerry states

"...........But the way things are going, unsigned copies will soon be worth more than the signed ones!"

I hope this resolves some issues for some readers. I have a few signed copies in my collection. I also understand the need to get everything signed though.

*
* From: "Ben The_Foot" ( )
*
I would just like to retort to the crack smoking "smurf" who believed that it is our "right" as book purchasers to have our books signed by Terry Pratchett.

What a load of (bleep). I am grateful to Pratchett for writing his novels, and will demand no more of him. Why should he be obliged to sign our books, when he's doing us a service just by writing them? I discovered the Discworld novels while living in New Zealand (what a marvelous country) but have since moved back to Vancouver, where Pratchett isn't quite as popular. I am not the least bit bitter that Pratchett never tours Canada though, as I rather he spent that time writing new books. Admittedly I would like to see one of his talks, but with any luck he'll tour New Zealand this summer, and I'll have an excuse to reunite my self with that wonderful country.

*
* From: "Viv & Stu Davidson" ( )
*
Re: signing books, I was fortunate to get a book signed by Terry in Auckland, NZ, and it did take a long time because he doesn't just put a signature and phrase inside - he draws a picture as well. He's been here twice now and I noticed that the queues were made up of all ages - except the elderly.

Now I'm fast approaching the big FIFTY and I'm worried that the humour is going to fade away like everything else. Do tell me this isn't so! Are there lots of over 50 TP fans out there?

*
* From: "sarah elizabeth reed" ( )
*
Good Lord! Does the Clarecraft event really last from July 1998 to August 1999? I'd better bring a packed lunch!

*
* From: "Sam Lister" ( )
*
I have an idea that I want to put out: Rincewind should settle down to be Library Assistant for ever, and only be seen briefly in Ankh-Morpork and UU from then on. The way I see it, there's only so many stories you can write about a guy who's always getting into trouble and running away from it. I've got nothing against the Rincewind novels (I'll be polite, seeing The Colour of Magic is a Pratchett book and Pratchett is my idle), but I think it's time he settled down for good. He may love boredom, but I don't think we need it in the Discworld series.

*
* From: "THE JONES FAMILY" ( )
*
Am I the only person who has noticed what could be called a little clue to Great A'Tuin's Sex at least in my copy of colour of Magic on the first page of the story A'Tuin is referred to as "HE" so unless the great PTerry made a mistake (God forbid me suggesting that possibility) then he has given us a really big clue - unless it's like Dwarfs and he uses male as a technical convenience.

*
* From: "Mindy and David Johnson" ( )
*
Bloody kids, think no one has done it before, can't understand that adults enjoy PTerry as well, and we get the jokes. I too am a history teacher, I really enjoy Discworld novels (and I'm an Aussie). Discworld books appeal to all ages. The question you should be asking is why don't more of your teachers read Discworld. Are history teachers the only smart ones in this world?


5. David Hodges: The Real Hodgesarrgh!

David Hodges writes about his new book: The Arts of Falconrie and Hawking a Beginners Guide by HODGESAARGH (David Hodges) and Terry Pratchett.

I am well known at conventions as I am the one who often dresses up in silly costumes and gets very drunk. I also run a humourous database known as the "REAL HITCH-HIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY" (details can be found on my homepage at visitweb.com/realhhg) for which I am always trying to bully people into writing things.

I had seen Terry Pratchett at quite a few cons. He had noticed that most people who know me, upon seeing me arrive would say something like "Oh no its Hodges aargh!!!!" and run away to hide. This is how the name started.

I do also own a bird of prey called Lady Jane who is extremely old and can be a bit temperamental (the operative part of the word here is MENTAL) at times and as Terry wanted a falconer for Lancre castle Lords and Ladies he asked me if I would mind if he used me, my reply was of course "Great, yes please, go ahead" and so I sent him some details of birds of prey, the rest is of course history and now I am back in Carpe Jugulum.

As I work with birds of prey (and cannot write) I thought I would write a falconry book as Hodgesaargh. As he would be a semi literate peasant I could get away with quite a lot of deliberate mistakes and no one would know.

You can order the book direct from: Dave Hodges, 68 Gotch Road, Barton Seagrave, Kettering NN15 6UQ, United Kingdom

In the UNITED KINGDOM you can buy this, the first Discworld book ever written by a Discworld character for only 3 GBP plus 20 pence postage or overseas for 5.60 US$ (surface mail).

It may work out cheaper if a group of people got together an order for several books. Don't forget that for each copy sold 1GBP goes to the orang-utan foundation of which Terry Pratchett is the patron.

I will be presenting a cheque to Terry at Stephen Briggs production of Carpe Jugulum on 23/1/1999 for the Orang-utan Foundation for the proceeds from my book to date, and another one when a suitable amount has built up again. You can meet me and Lady Jane at the Clarecraft event in July where I will be doing a falconry display.


6. Results of Discworld Cross-Stitch Competition

Last month we offered the chance to win a Librarian Cross-Stitch by answering the following questions.

  1. In ounces, how much does the Librarian weigh?
    Answer: 4800 ounces
  2. The Librarian likes to drink in the drum/broken drum/mended drum, but can you name three more inns in Ankh Morpork?
    Possible Answers: Biers, Bucket, Bunch of Grapes, Crimson Leech, King's head, The stab in the back & Troll's head
  3. What's the Librarian's pet name? (Clue:LAL)
    Answer: Pongo

The winner was randomly selected and is Angharad Ramshaw of Wellington, New Zealand

Lyndisfarne who make the cross-stitch kits can be contacted at:

Lyndisfarne, Quarry lane, Kelsall, Tarporley, CW6 0NJ, ENGLAND or visit www.lyndisfarne.demon.co.uk


7. DiscTrivia

Hi. As you have probably guessed, this month we have some Hogswatch trivia for you. And if you like the sound of a Discworld trivia game, go to www.listbot.com/subscribe/disctrivia and join the discussion group.

We're now submitting questions to be used, so pitch in and help. Also, the Discworld Ring now has 21 high-quality sites - including DWM! Go to www.users.bigpond.com/Hormel for the homepage.

Q1
- What sort of tree is used for Hogswatch?
Q2
- What are bad children given by the Hogfather?
Q3
- What are the four pigs' names?
Q4
- What season does Hogswatchnight see the beginning of?
Q5
- What is another festival exactly the same as Hogswatch but held
alternately through the Spin-year?

See you next month, Danu Poyner Brisbane, Australia

This month's answers can be found in section 9.


8. Feature: Interview with Perfect Entertainment - Part 2

In issue 20 we started an interview with Chris Bateman from Perfect-Entertainment. This month we complete the interview.

Perfect Entertainment are working on their third Discworld game called Discworld Noir. The new game is due for release in late March 1999 for the PC and Playstation. They may also produce a version for the new 128Bit SEGA monster Dreamcast.

[DWM] What will people get out of playing a Discworld game that they wouldn't get out of reading the books?

[Chris Bateman] Interaction! Visuals! Sound! Music! Need I go on? 8-) Playing 'Discworld Noir' will be very much like being put in control of an entirely new Discworld character in an entirely new Discworld book. (Or perhaps, a Discworld film...) Because the character is new, you have the freedom to shape their story according to how you wish. The speed at which they solve the problems and unweave the web of treachery and deceit in the city of Ankh-Morpork is entirely dependent on you. It's a more participatory experience than just reading.

[DWM] Will the game appeal to non-Discworld readers? If so, maybe there should be something on the packaging that says who Terry Pratchett is and how to get his books.

[Chris Bateman] I would be very surprised if this game doesn't have a wider appeal than just the Discworld fans. This is the first time traditional fantasy and Film Noir have been combined in this way and its appeal will hopefully attract a lot of people who might not have been interested in the first two Discworld games.

As for notes in the packaging to tell people who Terry is and how to get his books: well in the UK I think that's somewhat like telling people who the Queen is. You'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard of him by now. In the US, though, it's probably not a bad idea. I'm sure the marketing people will get in sync on this one - they usually do.

[DWM] How did you get the contract to create the Discworld games in the first place? Did Terry approach you or was it the other way round?

[Gregg Barnett - Discworld Noir director and designer] Discworld is a wonderful license for a game in Europe, plus it was something we really liked. I must also emphasize that it is the type of license that helps a developer produce a good game; it's not just a name to be slapped on a box. I guess that was a fair part of our success; we wanted something that would contribute to a good game and Terry wanted somebody who would use the Discworld to contribute to a good game, rather than just slap his name on a box and hand him a cheque. Anyway we approached Terry and he basically said 'show me'. So we went away for a couple of months and wrote a story and game design. We showed him, he liked it and the rest is history as they say. At the time we knew that Discworld was a hot license, but we were not aware that publishers were waving money at Terry. They just didn't get it I suppose, you have to show Terry you can do something worthy of the Discworld first, then he'll happily haggle business issues! This seems to be indicative of all Discworld merchandising and licensing actually. The deals tend to go to the people who can actually create something worthwhile, not to anonymous money men.

[DWM] How can you ensure that the histories involved in the game won't impact the histories of the books? Will Terry have to make allowances for things that have happened in the game as well as in the novels?

[Chris Bateman] Terry views the games as taking place in an alternative universe - a 'parallel Discworld' (like the one into which Vimes' organiser disappeared in 'Jingo'). However, I have tried to write the game in such a way that it will fit into the chronology of the books.

Roughly speaking, I believe 'Discworld Noir' takes place a short time after 'Feet of Clay' and before 'Jingo' - certainly well after 'Men at Arms'. Fans are welcome to draw their own conclusions after they've played the game, however - there's certainly room for interpretation.

[DWM] Are you a fan of Terry?

[Chris Bateman] I often get asked this, and I usually ask: what does it take to be a fan? I have read about half of Terry's books, and enjoyed them, but I wouldn't consider myself a fan in the sense that most people use the term. That said, I know what it's like to be a fan of something and it was important to me when working on the project that we should be as true to the Discworld canon and mythos as much as was humanly possible.


9. The End

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* Answers to this months DiscTriva *

Q1
What sort of tree is used for Hogswatch?
A1
Oak

Q2
What are bad children given by the Hogfather?
A2
Sack of bones

Q3
What are the four pigs' names?
A3
Gouger, Snouter, Rooter, Tusker.

Q4
What season does Hogswatchnight see the beginning of?
A4
Summer

Q5
What is another festival exactly the same as Hogswatch but held alternately through the Spin-year?
A5
Crueltide

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