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Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony, Barnett & Massey
Serving The Discworld Community Since 1997

Discworld Monthly - Issue 181 - May 2012

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Discworld Convention - News Of The Disk 4
6. Unseen University Convivium: The Countdown Begins
7. The End


1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 181. This is our 15th birthday edition of Discworld Monthly and we plan to celebrate the event by enjoying a few ciders in Wincanton over the weekend of the 5th and 6th May.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to all of you for your continued support over the years.

* * * Happy Birthday Discworld Monthly. * * *

While we are wishing ourselves a happy birthday we would also like to wish Sir Terry Pratchett a very happy and slightly belated birthday for the 28th April. Many happy returns Sir Terry.

An finally we would like to wish our very own Bill Barnett a very happy and again slightly belated 40th birthday for the 29th April.

* * * * *

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

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

--
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Water Skier)


2. News

Last month we mentioned that Terry and Rob were jetting off to Indonesia to make another documentary on Orang Utans. Terry and Rob are now safely back in the UK. Here are some of the tweets they tweeted while away:

The timing of this http://bit.ly/HiRG5A [Indonesia to ban mini-skirts - Ed] coinciding with our trip is a complete coincidence.

Thursday; we're on the edge of a sliver of rain forest north of Pangkalan Bun tracking a lonesome male orangutan... http://pic.twitter.com/hBNPzzvA

We've just rolled back into Pangkalan Bun after days without email, mobiles and often electricity; it's been wonderful for our souls.

And when we're on a klotok sailing down the Sekonyer river we are mostly reading Apocalypse Cow [One of the winners of the Terry Pratchett - Anywhere but here, anywhen but now award - Ed]. Thanks http://pic.twitter.com/hcMQ0rdU

And Half-sick of Shadows by David (no relation) Logan [the other winner - Ed]. http://pic.twitter.com/j33v96nv

We're going to give our battered copies to @dwmoook [That's us - Ed] and @LynseyDalladay [from Transworld - Ed] as competition prizes.

Yes, we're back from the jungle and have fallen head first into multiple deadlines. What joy!

Choosing to Die has been nominated for a #BAFTA! We're seriously chuffed!

* * * * *

Terry and Rob presented the Literature award at the Sky Arts Awards on Tuesday 1st May. Sharing Terry and Rob's table were: Jason Isaacs, Dominic West, Grayson and Mrs Perry and Rob Brydon.

The South Bank Sky Arts awards were shown on channels 129 and 239 on 1st May at 9pm. Terry and Rob were up 4th. [Sadly I forgot to record the show - Ed]

* * * * *

The latest SFX magazine (the one with MIB) on the front cover features two short interviews with both winners of Terry's Anywhen but now, Anywhere but here award: Michael Logan and David Logan (not related).

http://www.sfx.co.uk/

* * * * *

If you like your Discworld News in audio format then you will be pleased to hear (pun intended) the seventh Pratchett Podcast is now available. In this month's podcast Graeme and Rhys review The Colour of Magic.

You can find out more about The Pratchett Podcast at:

https://twitter.com/#!/UULibrarian, https://www.facebook.com/groups/126205344153979/ or http://thepratchettpodcast.wordpress.com/

* * * * *

Damian Hockey is putting together a Reaper Man radioplay and is looking for people to volunteer to voice some of the characters. Head over to his requests on the Pratchett Podcast facebook page for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/126205344153979/

* * * * *

More Discworld Beer! A request from Paul Kruzycki - Ales by Mail

We're developing a set of four Discworld Beers and need your help.

The four beers will each be inspired by one of the students, graduates, professors of UU. Think of them if you will as the illicit underground home brew creations in the UU boat-house brewery of Ponder et al.

Each will be a different beer style - an oatmeal stout, a pale ale using Aus hops, a golden beer and a blonde beer. But, I am looking to you lot for suggestions for the name of each beer and a wizard who would have brewed it.

The beer will be bottled and available on draft in pubs around the UK. In addition, we can deliver internationally.

We have a team of designers standing by to turn your ideas into reality and those that get chosen will receive a very special reward from us.

So, get those thinking caps on, and post here!

http://www.alesbymail.com/

Twitter: @alesbymail

* * * * *

Terry appeared in the January issue of Writing Magazine. Part of the interview is available on the site below. You can subscribe to Writing Magazine via the interview page.

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/INTERVIEW181

* * * * *

In a case of life imitating Discworld - a recent article in the Daily Mail featured a man named Wayne O'Donnell who takes his pet duck Boris with him everywhere. One of Boris' party tricks is to dance on his owner's head and to act as a rain cover. Is this the Round-world's Duck Man?

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/DUCK181

* * * * *

In more Duck related news (I never thought I'd be writing that!): Peter and Paul two ducklings who got separated from their mother have been rescued by Secret World (the wildlife sanctuary whose Call of the Wild Appeal Terry launched a couple of months ago).

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/DUCK181A

* * * * *

Terry will be one of the headline acts at the The Hay Festival. The Hay Festival is one of Britain's top arts festivals. It will run from 31 May to 10 June.

Terry will discuss his career and his battle with Alzheimer's disease at event 279 - Wednesday 6th June 2012, 5.30pm, venue: Barclays Pavilion

Tickets cost 7.25 GBP and are available from:

Hay Festival Box Office, The Drill Hall, 25 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD

Telephone: 01497 822 629

http://www.hayfestival.com

* * * * *

Snuff is one of the finalists announced in the 2012 Prometheus Awards as run by the Libertarian Futurist Society. The awards will be presented during the 70th World Science Fiction Convention over Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

http://lfs.org/releases.htm

* * * * *

Terry's thought provoking documentary about Britons travelling to Dignitas in Switzerland to end their lives has been nominated for a television Bafta in the single documentary category. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday 27 May 2012.

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/BAFTA181

* * * * *

News from Colin Smythe (Terry's Agent): STAGE ADAPTATIONS OF SIR TERRY PRATCHETT'S NOVELS

With immediate effect, all requests for permission to produce the following of Terry Pratchett's novels as adapted by Stephen Briggs:

in English and in translation should be sent to Stephen Briggs' and Terry Pratchett's agent Colin Smythe () or posted to him at

Colin Smythe Limited, 38 Mill Lane, Gerrards Cross, Bucks SL9 8BA

Tel: +44 (0)1753 886000 Fax: +44 (0)1753 886469
Website: http://www.colinsmythe.co.uk
Terry Pratchett related pages: http://www.colinsmythe.co.uk/

Nation, adapted for the stage by Mark Ravenhill, is published in two versions: that of the play prior to its first performance at the National Theatre, London, published by Corgi, and an edition for schools, published by Heinemann in their New Windmills series, publishing the revised version and with additional material for schools. Requests to perform either version should be sent, before commencement of rehearsal, to Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd, Waverley House, 7-12 Noel Street, London W1F 8GQ. No performance may be given unless a licence has been obtained, and no alteration may be made in the title or to the text of the play without the author's prior written consent. Applications should be sent to

Other adaptations of Terry Pratchett's novels are published by Methuen Drama (part of A & C Black), and Samuel French, details of which follow

For copies and details of Methuen's Pratchett plays (all adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs),

see http://www.acblack.com/books/search/pratchett

and for their application form, see http://www.acblack.com/images/Drama/MethuenDramaForm.pdf

Musicals for schools. A&C Black Publishers Ltd publish the following Terry Pratchett musicals (and control licences): The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents (adapted and music by Matthew Holmes) Johnny And The Bomb (adapted and music by Matthew Holmes) - published August 2012

For more information, please visit:

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/TAMAHER181 http://www.terrypratchettmusicals.co.uk/ http://www.acblack.com/musicals

In case of difficulty please contact

Samuel French publications

https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/making-money (adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs) https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/carpe-jugulum (adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs) https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/maskerade (adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs) https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/lords-and-ladies (adapted for the stage by Irana Brown)

To contact Samuel French, see https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/contact

All companies wishing to have extra publicity for their productions should notify Lynsey Dalladay at Transworld - - who administers the Terry Pratchett website http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk and the information they supply will appear on the EVENTS page of the site. General enquiries can also be sent to

* * * * *

The BookSeller has an article about all Terry's new books being released this year:

The paperback of Snuff and the hardback of The World of Poo will get released on 7th June.

The reissue of the first five Discworld novels with stripped down covers and the new collaboration novel The Long Earth (with Stephen Baxter) will be released on 21st June.

Dodger (set in the same universe as Nation?) will be released on 13th September.

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/BOOK181

* * * * *

Japanese scientists must have been inspired reading about about Hex and Anthill Inside (the thinking machine at Unseen University) when they came up with the crab computer. In research solider crabs always react in predictable ways and the scientists have found a way of building logic gates (the basic building blocks of digital computers) using the behaviour of these crabs!

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/HEX181

* * * * *

The band Lavington Bound have been creating Discworld themed songs. Lavington Bound have performed at a couple of the Wincanton events and have obviously become Discworld fans. The new songs include Lords and Ladies and A Camels Tale (lyrics not suitable for young people!)

https://www.facebook.com/lavingtonbound

* * * * *

Paul Kidby has created a Discworld parody based on the Beatles Sgt Pepper's album cover featuring The Band With Rocks In and many other famous Discworld characters. If you look at the back you might even see Terry standing next to Nanny Ogg.

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/KIDBY181

* * * * *

Snowgum Films have finished filming the bridge scenes of the adaptation of Troll Bridge. Filming took 4 days and the process of taking down the set has been completed. Snowgum have made hundreds of photos available on their Flickr album at:

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/SNOW181

The pictures look great and I cannot wait to see the final film.

* * * * *

Discworld Dates...

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

* * * * *

[UK and AU, Updated] The Broken Drummers and The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in the UK and Australia.

Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. In May this will be Monday 7th. However the UK drummers had their may meet on 30th April to avoid clashing with the May Spring Fling.

The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia. You can contact the organiser Daniel Hatton on

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

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

The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors.

* * * * *

[AU] For fans in Adelaide, The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St. Details, discussions and organisation of extra events (such as play outings) are held on our email mailing list, so please sign up at https://groups.google.com/group/adelaide-discworld-fans

* * * * *

[UK] The Truth will be performed by The Shoestring Theatre Company in Stanley Community Centre, Tyne Road, Stanley, Durham (DH9 6PZ).

Thursday 3rd May to Saturday 5th May 2012. Performances start 7:15pm. Tickets 5 GBP (4 GBP concessions)

More details email or 0776 675 1048

http://www.theshoestringtc.co.uk

* * * * *

[UK] The Discworld Emporium Spring Fling will take place on 5th and 6th May 2012 in Wincanton.

More details at: http://www.discworldemporium.com/

* * * * *

[UK, New] Merrow Dramatic Society are performing MORT at The Electric Theatre in Guildford 16th -19th May 2012, 7.45pm (Sat matinee 2.30pm).

Tickets are 11.50 GBP, concessions 10.50 GBP and all Saturday matinee tickets are 9.50 GBP.

Tickets can be booked over the phone on 01483 44789 or online at http://www.electrictheatre.co.uk (a small booking charge does apply).

* * * * *

[UK, New] Maskerade will be performed by HIADS (Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society) from Sat 19th May - Sat 26th May at 7:45pm. Tickets cost 7.00 GBP.

Location: Station Theatre, Station Road, HAYLING ISLAND, PO11 0EH

http://www.hiads.org.uk

* * * * *

[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be presented by Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company at the Boxmoor Playhouse, 72, St. John's Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP1 1NP at 7.45.pm from 23rd to 26th May 2012.

Tickets available from http://www.boxmoorplayhouse.co.uk or 01442 234004.

Tickets are priced at 8 GBP / 10 GBP.

* * * * *

[AU] The Unseen University Convivium 2012 takes place from July 6 - 8 2012.

You can find out more information and purchase tickets by

* * * * *

[UK, Updated] The Eighnnnnnn International Discworld Convention will take place from the 24th to 27th August 2012 at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.

For more information visit: http://www.dwcon.org

The convention has allocated all 950 tickets for the event and have even had to close down their waiting list. So it looks like it really is far too late to go now.

* * * * *

[UK, New] Going Postal will be performed by Grantham Dramatic Society from November 30th to December 3rd 2011, starting at 7.30pm nightly at Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham.

Tickets: Wednesday 30th November: 8.00 GBP / 7.00 GBP concessions Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd December: 9.00 GBP / 8.00 GBP concessions

SPECIAL OFFER!

Group discount: book 8 tickets or more and get 1 GBP off every ticket. Please note, group discounts are not available when booking online!??

http://www.granthamdramaticsociety.co.uk/p/latest-production.html

* * * * *

[US] North American Discworld Convention 2013

The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013 in Baltimore, MD.

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/NADWCON117

* * * * *

[DE] German Discworld Convention 2013

After successfully surviving the Assassins of Ankh-Morpork in 2011 we are taking the German Discworld Convention 2013 to their home continent Klatch! Make room in your schedule from October 3rd to 6th in 2013 for the fourth German Discworld Convention.

http://www.Discworld-Convention.de

* * * * *

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

http://satellite4.org.uk/

* * * * *

Small Ads...

Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.

* * * * *

Miffany Hackney writes: I have a large collection of Discworld figurines, 43 in total including Death on Binky and A'Tuin with the Discworld on his back. Ideally I would like to sell them as a collection however I would be happy to separate them if anyone is looking for a particular piece.

Please feel free to email me at or to get the full list of figurines.

I have had these figurines since my 21st Birthday when I had a cabinet especially commissioned to hold them. I do not have the original boxes or cards as they have been on display behind glass.

I am upset to sell them as they mean so much to me, however my monkeys [Miffany's children - Ed] mean much more.


3. Readers' Letters

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

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters using a 3DES encryption algorithm.

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: "Michael Calow"

I must have driven past the sign on the A607 at least twice a week for the last 5 years without really taking any notice until my daughter pointed it out to me, a quick search on Google Maps and Streetview reveals why she was so excited.

Could Havelock Gardens, Thurmaston, Leicestershire, be Lord Vetinari's retirement plan? We also have Havelock Street in the city centre which runs down the side of the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/gfx/havelockgdns.jpg

* * * * *

* From: "Andy Gingell"

Do you have any idea if the leather bound Unseen Library editions are to be continued? It seems to have stopped at the first 18 novels.

* * * * *

* From: "Jean Lamb"

From Dodger's encounters with fictional villains to his meetings with Darwin, Disraeli, and Dickens, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking tale of adventure and mystery, unexpected coming-of-age, and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating world.

Marvellous! I am a long-time Disraeli fan (was the first person at Oregon State University to finish all six volumes of the Moneypenny and Buckle six-volume biography--I had to cut pages on the last two books). And I _almost_ acquired a monograph by his father Isaac D'israeli, but was outbid on eBay (drat).


4. DiscTrivia

This month I've taken three random quotes from the Discworld series and ask you to name which book they came from.

Q1.
"All the shops have been smashed open, there was a whole bunch of people across the street helping themselves to musical instruments, can you believe that?" "Yeah," said Rincewind. "Luters, I expect."
Q2.
They turned into a wider street leading into a more affluent part of the city (the torches were closer together and the middens farther apart).
Q3.
"I didn't become a soldier for this. Not to go round killing people."

The answers as usual can be found at the end of this issue.


5. Discworld Convention - News Of The Disk 4

Happy Soul Cake Tuesday (ish)

A word from our Chair

Those of my committee who pay more attention to matters of time tell me that spring has sprung and we are now firmly in April, leaving us a scant four months before the extraordinary, life changing event that will be the Discworld Convention 2012.

Of course the proximity of the event does mean that you can now apply for tickets for the Gala Dinner!

Remember, places are limited, but we will have alternative entertainment for those who, whether by choice or accident, can't make the dinner on Sunday evening. Personally I plan on spending the next four months deciding what to wear. It's not like I've anything else to do, is it?

Before you read on and find out more about the delights we have in store for you, I'd like to run through a few numbers that we've pulled from the database. The full details are on the convention blog, but these highlights really put things into perspective.

1 Terry Pratchett,
12 wonderful guests,
33 amazing committee members,
950 fun-loving attendees,
326 new members,
32 countries,
5 continents,
1 Convention.

I can't wait!

Brian

* * * * *

No Sects please, we're Morporkian?

Welcome, lowly neophyte, most humble and abject disciple of the Great God INSERT_NAME_HERE!

The ineffable paths of Destiny have placed you in the rare position of being able to serve your God at a difficult and dangerous point in history.

A dark and evil time, where madness and murder threaten to overwhelm all that is good and holy. (...as well as a whole load of other people, but they're less important.)

You may face horrors both named and unnamed, endure privations and reverses, and even be called upon to lay down your mortal existences in the name of your God.

Don't you feel lucky?

During recent Discworld conventions, there has been a friendly competition involving groups of people. This is intended to serve as an icebreaker for those new to the Convention, as a way of getting people to be entertainingly silly in groups - and for people to have fun!

These groups have previously been Guilds, but this year's Convention is set in an earlier Ankh-Morpork, where the Guilds are not the stabilising factor they later become.

Instead, the Members are being assigned to Sects, belonging to various of the Disc's deities; we hope the Sects appeal to your creative instincts!

So what's new in 2012?

Aside from the different setting, the Sects in 2012 will be more integrated into the programme as a whole; there will be events that are specifically focused on Sects and Sect-based participation in programme items (e.g. team events) will aid you in your overall goals.

The Competition is being restructured; there will be daily totals taken and special benefits for Sects that make the running, but the Competition will ultimately be decided in one single event held on the Monday morning; being ahead on points before that will help your Sect, but it will not guarantee your Sect's victory!

This means that a Sect that is slow in getting off the ground or small in number will still have a decent chance of winning on the final day ... if Fate smiles upon you.

Creativity and inspiration will be as welcome as ever, but we hope that the pressure to deliver them will be lower this time; and that the prime goal will be to have fun (while winning!).

And that's all we'll tell you for now. (Spoilers, sweeties!)

Just remember: 'Sects - all the fun of Guilds, but less of the performance anxiety!'

What happens now?

Membership of the various Sects will shortly be made public, and you will be able to see them - on your membership details on the Convention website

The initial Sect assignment is not final and it is possible to switch between Sects before and at the Convention, so do not fret if you're herpetophobic and have been assigned to the Sect of Offler - you can change it!

And of course, you can defy the gods if you don't want to take part in any Sect activities; as Sects are opt-in and you will need to register with your Sect Deputy in order to be recognised as a member of that Sect.

* * * * *

GRAND Reconciliation BANQUET

Back at the dawn of time, when Discworld Conventions were brought forth upon the land, it was decreed that there should be a "Gala Dinner"

This was such a success, that every subsequent Discworld Convention has featured a variation on the theme and this year the setting will be a "Grand Reconciliation Banquet"

In keeping with the main theme of the Discworld Convention 2012, we place our banquet in the early days of the administration of Havelock Lord Vetinari.

Doubtless, you recall that in those early days "dead men's pointy shoes" marked progress in the Orders of Magic. As may be imagined, this constant intrigue, bickering and murder was the cause of discord throughout the twin cities and, as his Lordship remarked somewhat tetchily, had a negative impact upon the smooth running of commerce and "This Simply Would Not Do".

The Heads of all of the Magical Orders (7+1 of them) were invited to attend talks in the Oblong Office where his Lordship was good enough to apprise them of his feelings. There followed a frank and open exchange of views, with limited casualties, and the Heads of Magical Orders (some of them newly promoted) found themselves in whole-hearted concordance with the views His Lordship had expressed.

To celebrate the new accord it was decreed that there should be a Grand Reconciliation (Big Dinner) which, after some thought, gained the official title of the Grand Reconciliation Banquet.

The Banquet will take place on the Sunday evening of the Convention in the presence of Honoured Guests. Members' attendance will be by ticket only at a cost of 45 GBP each. Highly sought after, tickets are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Application forms include menu choices and other pertinent details and will be available on-line from 15th April 2012. To access these, please visit:

http://www.dwcon.org/gala

While the banquet is in progress, our other attendees will not be forgotten. It is anticipated that there will be Fun and Games provided for all where knowledge and skills to enhance your standing in the Order may be developed. It's not exactly dead mens' pointy shoes but things may get competitive! Further details will be provided in the programme.

* * * * *

Bring out yer dead erm... bits and bobs

The Great Hedgehog race has become a traditional (1) part of the Convention programme, themes have been many and varied - occasionally even involving a Hedgehog(2).

The idea is simple: design and build something with stuff. We decide what, and stuff is provided. This is where your Convention needs you!

We are looking for a few people who can bring basic tinkering materials to the Convention: cardboard, plastic cups, drinking straws, an thousand elephants(3) you get the picture?

Ideally enough to supply 10 groups of people. Please email if you think you can help

(1) It's actually been done many times - this is now a longstanding ancient tradition.
(2) No stool though.
(3) Please ensure all elephants have suitable travel documents.

* * * * *

Warning, Invisible Monsters in the Dysk!!!

Amidst the bustle of the Con, you may be forgiven for not noticing us. No doubt you'll have your eyes, and ears, fixed on the Guests of Honour or the fantastic costumes or be rushing to get a drink (1).

But you'll eventually notice some of us ...

We are the secret legion of disabled fandom. We are the people walking too slowly in the corridors or, even worse, we're wheeling vicious contraptions below eye height, waiting for a chance to crush your toes.

So first let me introduce you to Beaker.

It's a lightweight mobility scooter. No flashing lights, no noisy bell, but it gives me the freedom to join you at the Discworld Convention.

Well that's the theory.

The reality is that navigating corridors full of enthusiastic fans can be my worst nightmare (OK, maybe not the worst one, but close). In spite of driving a vicious monster who could leave you with bruises and very sore feet, somehow Beaker and I are invisible.

So, if we are all going to have a good time that doesn't include accidents, frustration or any other unpleasantness. I have a few suggestions.

People with disabilities/disabled people (please select the current acceptable form) find conventions tiring. Most of us appreciate a helping hand.

Rule 1: Ask us, don't assume

Suddenly pushing someone from behind is scary and dangerous. And yanking open doors when we are carefully balanced with a hand on the door leads to bad accidents (as the tech crew at another con discovered when someone did it to me).

On the other hand, wheelchairs do not like carpets. It's very hard work wheeling around hotel corridors and some of us might want the occasional push while the arms recover. As for those heavy doors!

OK, that's the easy bit. You haven't stepped backwards without checking for us, or small children, and you rescued that hot drink I was trying to carry with my third hand.

But I'm riding a scooter so you are more likely to notice me, who else did you miss?

THE BLUE DOTS

You may not realise they are there; not all of us have pet monsters to convey us through the crowded halls. BUT, we can be identified by the small dots of blue on our badges.

And the fact that those little blue dots mean we get into the main con rooms first.

Not just because we feel we sometimes deserve a little extra, but because it is safer. We can take our time getting in and finding suitable seats without anyone tripping over us.

(And if you have never tried walking sideways down a row of seats with crutches or a walking stick we'll be happy to show you why it doesn't work.)

But why is she wearing a blue dot? (Where are the really Invisible Monsters?)

You've just seen someone in the fast-track queue. But they aren't in a wheelchair, or using a walking stick, and they don't have a white cane.

If you are a tabloid media reader in the UK, you might assume they are faking a disability to get a good seat.

But there are hundreds of disabilities that you can't see without blood tests, scans, etc. And many invisible illnesses cause pain and exhaustion, and many treatments cause weight gain. Some of us have good days (or a few minutes of good) when we might walk the halls, followed by pain and collapse - so give us the benefit of the doubt and offer help.

But he didn't answer me!

Umm tricky one - maybe he only speaks KLINGON.

Oh, and did you check for a hearing aid?

Maybe he's too busy staying upright.

Or, just maybe, he's had a bad day and feels grumpy.

Please don't give up! Some of us welcome help, some find it a reminder of their lost independence or are still adjusting. And remember we are fans too, rushing to get in the queues for food, drink and Him - and looking at costumes.

Summary

Blue dots = be careful, don't rush, please offer help. Useful help = opening doors (check first), offering to push, carrying hot things, giving way in the corridors, getting up from the comfy chair, ..., but mainly BEING AWARE. And talking to us!

AND US?

Be polite when you're offered help - decline politely if you don't need/want it, but explain why. Otherwise the rest of us might be a bit fed up when no one offers to help any of us.

(1) The hotel put the ramp at the far end of the bar, so even if we get a head start we'll end up at the back of the bar queue - grump.

* * * * *

DISCWORLD ART EXHIBITION - At the 2012 Discworld Convention

It would appear that the Gods are dissatisfied, and wandering what use the merely mortal inhabitants of Discworld really are.

Sir Reynold Stitched (Curator of the Royal Art Museum in Ankh-Morpork) was approached by Anoia (1) in a cloud of cigarette smoke and spraying sparks all over the etchings that he had left out on the kitchen table. Sir Reynold recounted what took place, saying, 'She was somewhat perturbed, to say the least. Some of the major Gods had been perusing the Gallery and found the collection to be 'rather stale' and had delegated - Anoia to 'have a word with me about it.' It seems our classical works are 'dull.' DULL! I ask you? The Battle of Koom Valley painted by Methodia Rascal (He went mad you know?) is, according to Blind Io (2) 'Just a picture of a scrap tween some Dwarves 'n' Trolls'.

Even the famous, The Goddess Anoia Arising from the Cutlery no longer impresses even Anoia herself; regardless that the artist did have three i's in his name. No amount of smiles, small bunches of grapes, or urns can raise a celestial eyebrow.

Ms. Daniellarina Pouter, on the other hand is, 'refreshingly contemporary with an intriguing twist,' I presume they mean getting herself nailed to a post! Which sadly, she hasn't managed to repeat (surprisingly!).

So it falls to me to procure some 'stunning' contemporary Discworld Art. And this is where YOU come in. For all of you out there who make Discworld Fan Art here is a chance to SHINE IN THE EYES OF THE GODS.

Therefore, to demonstrate how varied and copious Discworld artists (and their art) are, I have arranged an Exhibition of 'so-called' Fan-Art to be held at the 2012 Discworld Convention at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham.

Under the guidance of my Acting Lance-Deputy Curator - Mr. Keith Stewart [Keith_art on his Convention badge] the exhibition is open to all those Convention Members who are attending and can lug their work along. FOR FURTHER DETAILS EMAIL KEITH :

Works will be open to scrutiny by all the Discworld Art-lovers attending and every Conventioneer will have ONE VOTE to select the piece they feel contains the qualities the Gods would be most pleased with [Or whatever piece you like best]

The lucky 1st, 2nd & 3rd placed artists will of course get the Praise of the Gods heaped upon them [yeah, a lousy rosette - but it's better than a poke in the eye with a bolt of lightning!]

So; Get Excited - Get Creative - Get lopping-yer-ear-off-artistic!'

Sir Reynold Stitched (Head Curator) Royal Art Museum, Broadway, Ankh-Morpork.

(1) The Goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers.
(2) Chief of the Gods.

Invisible Monster article written by Tricia Williams


6. Unseen University Convivium: The Countdown Begins

As the days get shorter, and the weather colder, we hope that your anticipation for the Unseen University Convivium is ramping up! Ours certainly is - to quote the Librarian - "Oook! Oook! Eeek! Oook!"

EXCITING NEWS! ANNOUNCING VIRTUAL GUESTS

Through the magic of the Omniscope we have the fantastic opportunity to chat with some Discworld luminaries!

First and foremost, the man in the hat we all want to talk to - Professor Sir Terry Pratchett himself! Sir Terry has kindly agreed to join us for a call, and we are definitely looking forward to it!

Secondly, Professor Ian Stewart and Doctor Jack Cohen, co-authors of The Science Of Discworld series, will join us for an enlightening scientific discussion.

Our final virtual guest is the Cunning Artificer, Bernard Pearson, proprietor of the Discworld Emporium and creator of artwork, sculptures, stamps and currency.

Find out more about our guests (actual and virtual) at http://ausdwcon.org/pages/guests

Many other additions and refinements of the Convivium programme have recently been made - find out the full details at http://ausdwcon.org/pages/programme

WIN A FREE, DELUXE ANKH-MORPORK!

Convivium Attendees have the chance to win a Deluxe Edition of the "Ankh-Morpork" board game valued at 150 AUD, kindly donated by Treefrog Games.

All you have to do to enter is purchase tickets or merchandise by *MAY 15TH!* Every purchase gets you more entries into the prize
draw. Full details on the competition are available at http://ausdwcon.org/pages/winankhmorpork

DEADLINES ARE LOOMING LIKE MISS TREASON'S LOOM

As the Convivium approaches, so does the closing date for certain items.

* Tickets to Gaudy Night can only be purchased up to JUNE 1ST. They
will not be available _at all_ after this date, so if you wish to attend our gala dinner, now is the time to buy! Info: http://ausdwcon.org/pages/gala_dinner

Tickets: http://ausdwcon.org/gala_tickets/new

* The exclusive Convivium attendees-only t-shirt and scarf can only
be ordered up to JUNE 6TH. They will not be available to order _at all_after this date. http://ausdwcon.org/pages/exclusive_merch

* Winery and Gourmet Tour tickets are available online until JUNE 22ND. However, places are quickly running out, so get in fast to secure your seat! Info: http://ausdwcon.org/pages/tours

Tickets: http://ausdwcon.org/tours_tickets/new

* And of course, the Convivium Tickets for the entire convention are
available online until JUNE 22ND. After this date, you may be able to buy at the door (depending on attendee limits), but it will cost extra to do so. Info: http://ausdwcon.org/pages/membership

Tickets: http://ausdwcon.org/memberships/new

ACADEMIC DISCUSSIONS GALORE

If you would like to discuss things and stuff with other fans, please head over to our forums at http://ausdwcon.org/forums There are already discussions about room-sharing, billetting, the Great Debate and the Nullus Anxietas IV Band with Rocks in challenge, but feel free to create new ones!

You can also keep up to date by using social media:

UUC: http://twitter.com/UnseenUni, http://facebook.com/UnseenUni

NA4: http://twitter.com/NullusAnxietas4

http://facebook.com/NullusAnxietasIV

https://plus.google.com/105712341206990016676

Yours academically,

The Faculty, Unseen University Convivium, University of Adelaide, July 6-8, 2012

http://ausdwcon.org

PS. Happy Birthday Terry!


7. The End

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* DiscTrivia Results *

Q1.
"All the shops have been smashed open, there was a whole bunch of people across the street helping themselves to musical instruments, can you believe that?" "Yeah," said Rincewind. "Luters, I expect."
A1.
The Light Fantastic
Q2.
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A2.
Mort
Q3.
"I didn't become a soldier for this. Not to go round killing people."
A3.
Wyrd Sisters

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