Discworld Monthly - Issue 49: May 2001
Table of Contents:1. Editorial
3. Readers' Letters
4. The Collectors Guild Competition Results
5. Thief Of Time Tour Dates
6. An Interview with Josh Kirby
7. The End
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Mad Scientist)
Harper Collins are running a contest for USA residents only to win a copy of Terry's new book The Thief Of Time. For a chance to win or just to browse visit www.terrypratchettbooks.com
Stephen (CMOT) Briggs' bank, in common with all or most UK banks, will now not accept sterling Eurocheques as the cost of processing them outweighs their value . He'd like to let his European fans know that this means he can't take payments for merchandise (or royalty payments for productions of the Discworld plays) in the form of sterling Eurocheques. For his merchandise, though, he *can* now of course take payments by Visa, Mastercard and Switch. Full details of his range, as usual, from
The Classical Association's website, which has a selection of
articles from CA News, includes a short essay about Terry. Go to
www.sas.ac.uk/icls/ClassAss/ and look under CA News.
Carol Henderson has got a new web site for stuffed toy baby dragons and thought you might be interested. To find out more visit www.berighteous.com/dragon
Kennet Amateur Theatricals will be performing Carpe Jugulum at the end of August 2001, in Thatcham, Berkshire. More information is available on their web site at www.kats.org.uk
Melissa McDaniel ( ) and her friends are holding a sponsored walk in London on Sunday, 10th June to support the Orangutan Foundation UK. If you would like to join in please get in contact with Melissa.
The Unseen Theatre Company will be performing Men at Arms at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide, Australia from the 22nd June to the 7th July at 8pm. For bookings call Betty on 82962004 or BASS 131246.
Doncaster Little Theatre will be presenting "Masquerade" from 1st to 5th May 2001, at 7.30 pm. Bookings 01302 340422. Between 6 to 8 pm Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, or email
Dorian Griffiths wrote to tell us about a new web site called
www.great-atuin.co.uk which features free email
discussion boards, chat and a white board for
Berry ( ) would like to get in contact with the girl who was behind him in the queue at the Terry's booksigning at the Elf Fantasy Fair in Alphen aan de Rijn at the 7th of April. Terry signed a copy of Hogfather for her and a copy of Man at Arms for her brother (who wasn't there, but she brought her own copy to switch it with her brother's). Berry would like to order some of the pictures she made of Terry.
Andrew King ( ) is looking for a copy of Discworld 1 for his son. Any reasonable price paid, UK only.
Terry S ( ) has The Last Continent, Jingo, Carpe Jugulum and The Truth all in hard back for sale for 20GBP with free postage in the UK.
Anji Capes ( ) is looking for any Discworld fans in Portsmouth / Southampton who can talk to her and increase her Discworld knowledge.
Claire Howard ( ) has compiled a list of ISBN numbers for the hardback Discworld books. If you would like a copy of the list drop her a line.
The Lady ( ) is looking for a copy of Discworld 1 for the PC in excellent condition (complete and boxed) and also the Assassins Guild and City Watch Diaries. She also says: I would really like to meet more Discworld addicts like myself to chat about the books, characters and Terry in general. I am a 24 year old married mother of one little boy, live in Fourecks and have started my own community called Addicted to Discworld. I will respond to all emails!
Fiona Wedgner ( ) is 17 and studying at Wyke college in Hull, England. As part of her Key Skills course she has to study something of interest to her. The first thing that sprung to mind was the Discworld.
Fiona would love you to email her with:
- Your all-time favourite character
- Favourite book
- An area mentioned in the books that you would most like to visit
- The funniest quote you have read.
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 give you humorous sounding names.
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: "Barbara Bessat-Lelarge" ( )
I've been a bookseller for six months now in Paris in a bookshop called the Village Voice, in the 6th district. We sell anglophone books exclusively. Anyone interested in TP, living in France or anywhere, can ask us for TP books. We can send them by post for those who don't trust online bookshops (which I abhor), we are real people, and it always is a comforting thing to know.
I must say I enjoyed TToT, even letting aside the excitement of having read it in March, two months before the publication date. I find you pitiless in your review. You might find it easy to deal with time concepts (that's what I understood from the comments you made), but you did not convince me. Maybe I'm easy to please, but it didn't spoil my pleasure, far from it. The problem does not have to do with the omnipotence of the author in the field of time manipulation: the difficulty is to understand the theories he raises: in TToT, the descriptions are great, and the way he manages to make us understand the slicing and everything about time on the Discworld is incredibly easy to swallow (as easy as chocolate). Maybe you were too interested in the concept of time, maybe you were waiting for an incredibly difficult concept to arise... but the skill of the man, for me, is to manage to expose a concept and to make it quite easy to understand, to create objects to represent it, situations and characters to reflect it.
I did not make a thorough analysis of the book, and did not have time to read it a second time (so many things to read in a bookshop) but I must say that I enjoy apocalyptic plots, and how could a plot be otherwise when Death is getting involved (himself or through his granddaughter, or should I say the embodiment of his human impulses?). What is most appreciable, I think, is the absurdity of the situation and the absurd means used to defeat those who threatened to ruin the "time unbalance" of the Discworld. The absurdity and the bantering counterbalance the seriousness of the situation, playing on extremes, and it makes me laugh a lot.
* From: "Samuel Caddick" ( )
Actually the Thieves' Guild motto is 'Whip it Quick'.
* From: "J Littlewood" ( )
I would like to say "WELL DONE" to Chris Gayney & Co, of HMS Collingwood's Theatrical Association in Gosport. Portsmouth.
Myself and a colleague went to see their production of The 5th Elephant on Tuesday 20 March, and it was absolutely fantastic.
Although I have read the book, my colleague hasn't (in fact the last book she read was Hogfather), and was worried that she would 'miss the plot'. She picked up the story more or less instantly and we thought the adaptation was great and the fact that GASPODE was the narrator was a nice addition.
Steven Briggs was there in person, and also an adjudicator, who came on stage after the production to give his critical expertise. He gave a good overall appreciation of the performance and gave full marks for interpretation of the author's work.
This production is apparently now going to the Edinburgh Festival.
The only possible letdown (and this is personal) to the evening is; "A friend of my colleague, who was a guest of Chris's, took our programmes at the interval with a promise to get them signed by Chris, Steven, and the cast after the performance, and was promised they would be forwarded back on to my colleague". Chris if you are reading this could you please chase this up (as you know who your personal guests were)? Thank you. Thank you also for a brilliant night out.
* From: "Jonathan Krikov" ( )
I don't know if it's a British thing or something like that but I'm no British person and not even close so if someone can explain to me the: prithee, nuncle (Fool's sayings in Wyrd sisters), what is Morris men and last, who is M Escher? if someone can help I'll be thankful (promise(really, I will be)).
DWM replies: Briefly, prithee, nuncle is a colloquialism (we expect) used by Shakespeare amongst others. Morris men are these blokes who do a traditional British folk-dance with sticks and a bladder and M C Escher is famous for his optical illusion paintings.
* From: "Peter Wilson" ( )
I do not know if your readers know or not but it is science year starting in September and I was wondering if the readers that had read the Science of Discworld had any ideas about how we could promote science using the ideas in this book.
I have not read the book although I have it and it is on my list to do so.
* From: "Sarah Cuypers" ( )
You shouldn't act as if Belgium is on the other end of the world. Because the last time I looked it wasn't. I happen to live there too and I never had any trouble whatsoever with tracking down Discworld books. In Antwerp, near the groenplaats is a mall with a bookshop called "Fnac". They have all the books of Pratchett right there. Hardcover if you're fast but mostly the books are in softcover. Both in English AND in Dutch. And in - what I believe - is the original cover. And I believe they should be selling it too in the Fnac in Brussels.
* From: "Mark Davis" ( )
Can anyone tell me what a "diaphanous pegnoyer" is? (The former, I c'n find in a dict but not the latter.) The quote comes from Reaper Man.
WB replies: 'pegnoyer' is a humorous representation of British mispronunciation of the French peignoir - sexy women's nightware (or so we are told).
* From: "Bindu Nayar" ( )
Thanks for printing my earlier letter. There's been a new development re: my bad copy of Wyrd Sisters and I thought I should definitely report that, considering how I whined earlier. I wrote to Transworld Publishers and a nice lady there not only sent me a fresh, GOOD copy of Wyrd Sisters, she also threw in another one of The Fifth Element for good measure! I already own that one, but I appreciated the thought and so will my impoverished brother, who has been enriching his library at my expense. Hooray for capitalism!
* From: "Han B" ( )
I notice your comment on TToT in the last edition of DWM ('I don't come to the Discworld for a load of grief, but for a light laugh' or similar) and I think Terry would be very upset to hear that. The whole thing about being a writer - even a comic fantasy writer - is not only to make people laugh, but to make them look at things in another way, from another angle. When I write my short stories the thought in the front of my mind is that I want people to think 'I never thought of it like that before'. I don't want to change people's perceptions or anything like that, but to make them see things as someone else does, even if just for a short period of time. I think even Terry would agree with me - there has to be more to a novel than a series of lines to make people laugh, which is one thing you criticised TToT for- you said that it was purely banter and hard to get into. Make your mind up! Which do you want - a light laugh or a plot?
I look forward to reading TToT for myself. I especially look forward to the classroom scenes, as Terry captures the innocence (and peculiarly, also the totally evil side!) of young children perfectly. My favourite word ever has to be 'glubs' from The Hogfather!
* From: "Ingemar Olsson" ( )
This is Ingo speaking. May I have your attention please. Point one: Anyone looking for Latatian translations should go to hem.passagen.se/clicker/disc.htm Point two: Does anyone know why Britons keep pulling bad jokes about swedes and Sweden? I somehow got the impression that it has to do with the Viking invasions around year 900, but those were mainly Danes.
WB replies: Latatian?
In reply to Elliot Fry's letter regarding Pratchett's work sounding like someone else's. Of course it sounds like someone else's work: TP is the only author I've come across that has taken plagiarism and turned it into an art form. For me one of the best bits about reading his books is identifying where he has borrowed a bit from, or when he introduces an idea or theme trying to work out what he's getting to. The thing is I still laugh when I reach the punchline and find I am right. One of the things that tickles me so much is how he had me racking my brains out to why he called GLOD in Soul Music such an odd name. He kept the joke until about three quarters through the book. What a touch of brilliance, all that for one joke.
* From: "jachap52" ( )
In reply to Luke Goaman-Dodson's comments on how the Discworld is "messed up." I would say that, yes, this is probably true. But how is this a bad thing? If we examine our own world, roundworld, life is diverse, differing from place to place, from country to country. People in one place live in great luxury, others in medieval poverty. Discworld is a mirror of our world (and others) so, therefore, life there is also diverse and varied. I think what you have to see here is that underlying the Disc's fantastical new inventions and things, it is still strongly medieval. Mr Pin may have been taken from Pulp Fiction and yet he still uses a crossbow and a knife. The Disc is evolving, changing. Whether to a more modern state or something else, it doesn't matter that much does it? People want a return to the fantastical land of dragons and orcs? Why? Other authors write about that, go into WH Smith and look at all the books with places called Arkarnia and Dwarfs called Frurge and magical swords and goblins. I am not saying this is a bad thing, but TP is a refreshing change from the monotony of ice covered kingdoms ruled by dark necromancers. In The Thief of Time we see a return to the Apocalyptic stories like Sourcery and The Colour Of Magic. Isn't this what some fans wanted? A change from the dark conspiracy theories of the latest books? Well, I have liked all the recent books. And I think we should remember a line on the back of The Light Fantastic "The funniest and most unorthodox fantasy in this or any other galaxy." Who can say that the Discworld is no longer unorthodox? Just slightly more modernised unorthodoxity (which isn't even a word). So if TP keeps writing books which are as clever, as well written and as funny as ever... who really cares that much? Who needs to care?
WB replies: Who wrote this book with the dark necromancer? It sounds cool!
* From: "Helen Towers" ( )
The Bursar was sane in Moving Pictures, although extremely irritated by the antics of the new Archchancellor, whom he had been told would be incredibly gullible and easy to control. The next time we see them is in Lords And Ladies, where it is revealed that Ponder Stibbons (Victor's roommate and fellow student from Moving Pictures - who passed an exam paper by simply writing his name ... ((re)read the book for a fuller explanation)) is now the Reader of Invisible Writings. It is also revealed that Ridcully has driven the Bursar over the brink of sanity, and onto the dried frog pills. The Truth also gives a more in-depth analysis of how the dried frog pills work (he hallucinated constantly, so they needed to make him hallucinate that he was Completely Sane).
DWM replies: Letter of the Month goes to Helen for drawing our attention to Ponder's promotion.
* From: "Dragon" ( )
Million to one shots happen 9 times out of 10, right? So what's the chances of going your entire life, never hearing of a momentous occurrence and then 4 times in 6 months staring it right in the face.
I first came across the story of John Harrison last October when Peter Graham composed a piece of music called "Harrison's Dream" for last year's Brass Band National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall (yes the same competition that featured in Brassed Off). The piece depicts the story of John Harrison's search for an accurate timepiece. Not long after I heard of it through this medium, I encountered a documentary on Harrison's obsession. Just after that, I saw another documentary, a dramatisation of Dava Sobel's book, Longitude.
Now after all that comes the announcement that Thief of Time is all about an attempt to make an incredibly accurate timepiece. I can only believe that Harrison's story was the basis of Terry's latest book. I suppose I'll have to wait until I have my copy to verify this, however, I would not be surprised to find certain characters or events to be familiar to me.
This may be nothing at all to do with Terry's book, but the coincidences from the pre-release press just struck me. If it is, then hopefully some readers may now understand parts of it as they read.
* From: "Daniel N Stankiewicz" ( )
I know you closed this section, but I have to include my two cents' worth. This is the first time that I'm writing to DWM. My recommendations are: H.P. Lovecraft, Leonard Wibberley, L. Sprague deCamp, Fletcher Pratt, Christopher Stasheff, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Craig Shaw Gardner.
Why aren't there more Discworld conventions held in the States? I'm 48, disabled, and don't have the means to travel anywhere. I'd like to see more conventions held here where we can have access to similar activities. It's possible to hold them at D&D conventions like Gen-Con. Let me know what you think.
* From: "Alex Wills" ( )
A Challenge! It is possible, if you look carefully, to determine Nanny Ogg's weight. Would anyone care to try?
* From: "Ian Kenny" ( )
As a theme park and park ride designer I have often thought that the Discworld would make a great subject for a fantasy experience that people could interact with first hand. Given that visual reference of most major characters, environments etc is available, it would be interesting to develop an interactive adventure ride or experience which was based, either on the Discworld as a whole or a particular book. I would be interested to hear fans' views on this and also Terry's.
The technology is available to bring Discworld to life and I for one would relish the chance to be part of any development of such an exciting opportunity.
* From: "Niall Perry" ( )
It is mentioned in the April DWM that "a number of Irish authors' books that wouldn't have been published either". Please name names, surely such a comment can't be made without some damning evidence given to support it. And besides I'd like to avoid these books !!!
* From: "Lynne Gladman" ( )
This is in the main a reply to Claudia Seppen's (or anyone else's) thesis problem. One of my most treasured possessions is a literary criticism (my first and only one) that I wrote for Eng Lit in college six years ago that Terry very kindly signed for me. The first hurdle to overcome is to ensure that your tutor has actually read one of his books. When mine looked at me and said "Who?", I knew that I was in trouble. However I insisted that it was my choice and that she could not possibly mark my work effectively without any knowledge of the author's work. As my piece was to be entitled "Witches, Wizards, Sex and Headology" I gave her "Equal Rites" to read. This is another tip to get a tutor to read one of series. This particular tutor was a bit of a feminist and I hoped that the title would intrigue her enough to actually read the book. If she had been keenly religious then Small Gods, a bit of a film buff, then obviously Moving Pictures. With the magic of Discworld and the witches and wizards there is plenty of scope to research, refer, quote and analyse from such classics as Shakespeare and real life history (King James I, the Spanish Inquisition) and of course Tolkien who is considered classical in the fantasy genre and The Hobbit is still on the suggested reading list in education! My tutor admitted to only reading halfway through the book when she marked my work (if she had read it all I may only have got a 2!). Although I have to say I had to go and buy another copy as I never saw that one again! Whilst flicking through my small essay before he signed it Terry asked if I had written what I wanted or what I thought the tutor wanted to see. I had to admit to mainly the latter (erm... Terry tut tutted at me and I hung my head in shame). On saying that though, unfortunately you have to get your marks. On the other hand Terry's writing and content make this very easy to do (it must have been if I managed it!) and all the references that I used were relevant. I will be more than happy to send Claudia a copy of this if she thinks it would help her and I would be very interested to see how she gets on with her thesis. Good Luck to her and anyone who is brave enough to take on the "Old School"
* From: "Anony Mouse"
I just read the latest issue. (a bit late, I know, but busy, busy busy) I live in Holland, and I have been to the ElfFantasy Fair. The reason I went, though, is precisely the one which you neglected to mention. Terry was there! He did signings on both days, and there were interviews too.
I stood in the queue to get an autograph (apparently I wasn't the only one who had found out), and when I got there, I got my autograph, hopefully a picture, and some nice words from PTerry.
On the program later were a reading from PTerry latest work, a lecture and an interview, but the only thing that actually happened, at least on Saturday, was the interview. This didn't really matter, because Terry is just as funny answering questions as he is telling stories. And no, there wasn't a question about when his next book was going to come out, although he did mention it three times.
JA replies: I guess it would have been helpful if we mentioned Terry was going to be there!
* From: "yasmin mazur" ( )
This is just off the top of my head, but there are several reasons why we, the fans, wouldn't like a Discworld movie to come out:
1] As far as I know, Mort has been in the stages of becoming a movie for about 9 or 10 years now, with no luck. 2] Every book turned into a movie in Hollywood has a tendency to be totally destroyed [see Bicentennial Man or Starship Troopers for examples]. 3] While getting the attention of the world with a good movie, a bad movie will cause many potential fans to stay away from the series, and bad movies are so much easier to make than good movies.
It's a good idea to wait and see how Good Omens looks in movie form before trying to get another book into production.
* From: "Graham Cragg" ( )
"We laugh in the face of Danger... .....then we hide under the table until it goes away."
I came across this quote recently; it seems very Discworldly.... Is it from a Discworld book I haven't read yet? - Anyone able to help?
The answer was of course, Errol (dragon was also accepted). The randomly selected winner is Alastair Wilson. Your Vimes should soon be on its way.
Don't forget to visit The Collectors Guild web site to see their huge range of Discworld figurines. The site now also includes a revamped forum for sharing information with other Discworld fans.
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Thursday 3rd May, 12.30-1.30pm
Hammicks, St Peter's Street, St Albans AL1 3LF
Thursday 3rd May, 4.30-5.30pm
Ottakars, Unit 32-33 Castle Quay, Banbury, OX16 5DZ
Friday 4th May, 12.30-1.30pm
Waterstones, Merry Hill Centre, Brierley Hill, West Midlands DY5 1SJ
Friday 4th May, 4.30-5.30pm
Waterstones, 91 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW
Saturday 5th May, 12.00-1.00pm
Borders, 34 Colisium Way, Ellesmore Port, Cheshire CH65 9HD
Tuesday 8th - Tuesday 15th May doing US Tour
Friday 18th May, 12.30-1.30pm
Books Etc, Cabot Place East, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QT
Friday 18th May, 4.30-5.30pm
Hammicks, 8 The Carfax, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1DP
Saturday 19th May, 12.00-1.00pm
Ottakars, 6/8 Grace Reynolds Walk, Main Square Shopping Centre, Camberley GU15 3SN
Thursday 24th May, 12.30-1.30pm
Ottakars, The Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland SR1 3RB
Thursday 24th May, 4.30-5.30pm
Waterstones, Emerson Chambers, Newcastle NE1 7JF
Friday 25th May, 12.30-1.30pm
Borders, 1-5 Davygate, York YO1 8QR
Friday 25th May, 4.30-5.30pm
Waterstones, 25-26 Butts Court, Leeds LS1 1JS
Saturday 26th May, 12.00-1.00pm
Waterstones, 1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham NG1 2GR
Tuesday, May 08, 2001
At: DANGEROUS VISIONS
13563 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA
Tuesday, May 08, 2001 08:00 PM
At: BOOK SOUP
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, May 09, 2001 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
At: MYSTERIOUS GALAXY / Speaking, Q & A, signing
San Diego, CA
Thursday, May 10, 2001 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
At: BOOKSMITH / Speaking, Q & A, signing
1644 Haight St. San Francisco, CA
Friday, May 11, 2001 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
At: CODY'S BOOKSELLERS / Speaking, Q & A, signing
2454 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704
Saturday, May 12, 2001 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
At: UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE / Speaking, Q & A, signing
Monday, May 14, 2001 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
At: STARS OUR DESTINATION / Signing
705 Main St. Evanston, IL
Monday, May 14, 2001 07:00 PM - 06:00 PM
At: BORDERS #58 / Speaking, Q & A, signing
150 N. State St., Chicago, IL
Tuesday, May 15, 2001 07:30 PM - 08:30 PM
At: BARNES & NOBLE #2538 (CHELSEA) / Speaking, Q & A, signing
675 Sixth Avenue New York, NY 10010
KS. What was the first thing you remember ever drawing or painting?
JK. A butterfly in junior school at the age of about seven.
KS. What do you think you would have been if not a painter?
JK. No idea, I don't think there was an alternative. I decided very early to be a painter.
KS. The first Discworld painting was in watercolour. Why did you
decide to do the rest in oils rather than watercolour?
JK. I always worked in oils and the first Discworld painting (Colour of Magic) was done in watercolours because I happened to have a very good piece of watercolour board at the time and I wanted to use it. It was of the old-fashioned sort that then went out of production (Whatman watercolour board) and it seemed a shame to use it for an oil painting.
KS. The Discworld paintings all vary in shape rather than being one
standard shape why is that?
JK. The shape of a hardback or paperback cover vary and I've had to do something to allow for the cropping of the image in different ways according to the type of book it was going on.
KS. If you could be commissioned to do the cover for any fantasy
book ever written what would you most like it to be?
JK. I prefer to paint my own subjects so any other subject is secondary to that.
KS. What do you think of the new breed of artists who manipulate
images on computer?
JK. I don't know anything about them.
KS. Who do you think are the most promising new talents to have
emerged in the art world in the last ten years?
JK. I live away from the mainstream of art and therefore don't have a great deal of contact with what other artists are doing.
KS. How did the idea for Voyage of the Ayeguy come about?
JK. It came about because it is traditional subject matter from Renaissance times and carrying on today. They painted altar pieces and frescos commissioned by the church. It was one of the main occupations of painters in the early days. Bruegel and Bosch embodied that tradition and it appealed particularly to me and I wanted to follow that tradition.
KS. Who do you think have been the most innovative and influential
fantasy artists of all time?
JK. Bruegel and Bosch.
KS. What is your favourite colour?
JK. I don't have one.
KS. What made you decide on the incredible floor-level perspective
for the cover of Small Gods?
JK. I just do angles that seem to make a striking picture. I work by intuition and it's a different level of thought to intellectual thought.
KS. What advice would you give to young artists who want to become
really top-class in their artistic achievements?
JK. Learn to draw. They have to draw everything that is around them and become proficient in drawing the world around them.
The new Artists UK Amazing Fantastic Art Catalogue has just come out. It contains 48 pages of limited editions, prints, posters, T-Shirts and pendants by many of the top fantasy artists and other very talented but lesser-known artists. There are British artists and artists from other countries represented here. Some old masters from the past like Rackham and Blake as well as new computer graphics artists... and of course there are tons of Discworld images by Josh Kirby. To get your FREE copy send an email to with your name and address. You can also have up to four favourite artists and four favourite subjects listed and then we'll send you emails of updates for those special interests. Anyone who wants a catalogue but has no email can phone, fax or write for one:
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