Discworld Monthly Issue 209 September 2014
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 209. Wow, what a month - August was a really excellent month with two amazing events, the Discworld Convention 2014 and Wadfest 2014. I'm really lucky to have gone to both events. But just need to catch up with reality ... and sleep.
I've decided to put back Nanny Oggy's casting article back another month because of the size of the two reviews included this month. Normal service should resume next month.
The Discworld Monthly facebook group membership has stabilised since last month and still has around 10,800 members!! Anyone can join in the fun but it might take me or a member of the admin team a few hours / days to add you (depending on when we can get online). If you want to chat with fellow Discworld Monthly readers between issues make sure you visit us at: www.facebook.com/DiscworldMonthly/
Please note that the facebook group is for chatting with other Discworld fans rather than as a source of news. The group is provided as an addition to the newsletter and in no way replaces it.
Don't forget if you are looking for the rather excellent Flaming Trebuchet (the virtual pub that grew out of the Discworld Monthly facebook page) you can now find it located at:
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 (50 is still middle aged isn't it?)
Transworld will be releasing a collection of Terry's non-fiction essays called "A Slip of The Keyboard" on Steptember 25th. The introduction will be written by Terry's friend and co-author of Good Omens, Neil Gaiman.
A Slip of the Keyboard brings together for the first time the finest examples of Pratchett's non-fiction writing, both serious and surreal: from musings on mushrooms to what it means to be a writer (and why banana daiquiris are so important); from memories of Granny Pratchett to speculation about Gandalf's love life, and passionate defences of the causes dear to him.
With all the humour and humanity that have made his novels so enduringly popular, this collection brings Pratchett out from behind the scenes of the Discworld to speak for himself - man and boy, bibliophile and computer geek, champion of hats, orang-utans and Dignity in Dying.
You can pre-order A Slip of the Keyboard at:
Amazon UK - discworldmonthly.co.uk?ISBN=0857521225
Amazon US - discworldmonthly.co.uk?USISBN=0385538308
In case it gets lost in the review of the Convention: Terry has announced that he is working on book five of the Tiffany Aching series and that the book will be entitled The Shepherd's Crown.
Fancy yourself as a bit of a crochet expert? As far as I can tell that involves knitting with one slightly hooked needle (I know my aunt used to do it). Why not take a look at the Great A'Tuin that Planet June has produced at:
The Abominable Snowman: Out Now
Aged seventeen, Terry Pratchett began work as a journalist for the Bucks Free Press. As well as covering news articles, he began writing short stories under the pseudonym 'Uncle Jim'; as he later recalled, 'Nobody wanted to do the children's corner so I volunteered. I would do little children's stories, one-offs and running narratives.'
This September Random House are publishing a collection of these stories called DRAGONS AT CRUMBLING CASTLE - full of Pratchett's trademark wit and imagination these will be adored by anyone aged 8-108. Brimming with knights, dragons, abominable snowmen and even more abominable crooks, the stories are a joy to read and share with young readers.
To get an early flavour of the collection, one of the short stories, THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN is available now to buy as an e-short at just 1.49 GBP.
Captain the Honourable Sir Herbert Stephen Ernest Boring-Tristram-Boring (known to his friends as Bill) is very rich but very bored.
When famous explorer Alfred Tence* shows up at his front door, life gets considerably more exciting. Before long, he's speeding off in a taxi to the mountains of Chilistan in search of the hairiest, most mysterious monster ever known - an ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN!
[*Yes, that Alfred Tence - the same man who punted from Brighton to Bombay in the bath. It's true.]
Buy Now for 1.49 GBP
The Winner of the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award: The Hive Construct by Alexander Maskill will be published on 25th September 2014.
Praised by Sir Terry and the judges for its originality and invention, The Hive Construct is an exciting SF debut to watch!
The New York Times has a fun little interview with Terry called Terry Pratchett: By The Book in which Terry talks about his favourite authors.
The Discworld Calender for 2015 is available to purchase now. I haven't seen a copy so I don't know what pictures it contains but I am sure it will be beautiful if previous years are anything to go by.
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.
From issue 190 onwards recurring monthly meetings have been moved to their own area at the bottom of the dates section.
[UK] Youth Music Theatre UK, the leading music theatre company for young people aged 11-21 will be performing Soul Music at the Rose Theatre, Kingston from 28-31 August.
[AU, New] "The Last Continent" adapted for the stage and directed by Pamela Munt will be performed by the Unseen Theatre Company from September 19 to October 4, 2014 (Wed to Sat) at 8pm at Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Tickets cost: Adults 20AUD / Conc 18AUD / Groups (10+) 16AUD / Fringe Benefits 16 AUD / Preview all tix 15 AUD / (Companion Card accepted).
To book visit: www.bakehousetheatre.com or at the door on the night (subject to availability) NO phone bookings.
[UK, New] Guisborough Theatre Group will be performing "Carpe Jugulum" as the follow up to the very successful "Wyrd Sisters" they performed Nov 2013
Performances:- Thursday 6th, Friday 7th, Saturday 8th November 2014
Details are on
so keep watching for further details or contact
or Tel. 07843 429129
[UK] East Essex Players take a stroll through the Discworld with their production of Wyrd Sisters. Wyrd Sisters will be performed in the Dixon Studio at the Palace theatre in Southend on the 12th - 15th November 2014. Tickets can be booked online at southendtheatres.org.uk or by calling the box office on 01702 351135.
[UK, New] Stage-Door Theatre Company will be presenting Wyrd Sisters from Wednesday 10th to Saturday 14th December 2014 at The Windmill Theatre, Littlehampton.
Evening performances start at 7:30pm. Matinee performances at 2:30pm.
Tickets cost 11GBP (Concessions 10GBP)
Call the box office on 01903 856801
[AU] Nullus Anxietus V - The Fifth Australian Discworld Convention is getting all geared up and ready to go for 10th to 12th April 2015. Come to our new website and register here: ausdwcon.org/
There will be lots of Discworld fun and games, people in costumes, people in T-shirts, people in suits, and they all read and enjoy Terry's works. Sign up for announcements on our web page to find out about the exciting events we are planning for you already.
Our Venue is the Novotel on 'eat street' (AKA Church Street), so no shortage of eateries for our guests.
Like us on 'Australian Discworld Conventions' on facebook to get updates on ticket bookings and competitions.
[NL] News from the Netherlands: Cabbagecon 3 will be held on 27 and 28 June 2015 in Hotel Golden Tulip Val Monte in Berg en Dal (near Nijmegen). Registration and info on www.dutchdwcon.nl and
We now have as special guest at Cabbagecon 3 the Dutch translator Venugopalan Ittekot.
[DE] With a 1000 camels the German Discworld Convention moves to the mysterious continent of Klatch! Make room in your schedule from September 10th to 13th in 2015 for the fourth German Discworld Convention at Castle Ludwigstein. Be there when it's getting hot!
Visit the homepage for some pictures of the lovely new castle or join the facebook page to receive further updates:
[IRL] The Irish Discworld Convention 2015 will take place in Cork, Ireland at the Cork International Airport Hotel from the 2nd to the 5th of October 2015. Join us as a Special Constable for the Watch Open Weekend.
Recurring monthly meetings:
[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors. You can find out more about the Drummers at www.brokendrummers.org/
[Perth, AU, Updated] The Perth Drummers have changed their name. They are now known as the Treacle Mining Corporation in honour of their beloved state. They still meet up to celebrates the works of author Sir Terry Pratchett, and welcome any fans of science fiction and fantasy.
Join them for their monthly discussion of Discworld, Terry Pratchett and all things sci-fi and fantasy. They meet the first Monday of each month, subject to holidays, and all are welcome.
The group meets up at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, WA. Meeting at a cafe means they are under-18 friendly!
Otherwise message Alexandra Ware directly at
Unless otherwise stated the group meets up on the first Monday of each month.
[AU] Sydney Drummers normally meet on the first Monday of every month.
We meet at the NEW venue, 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney, 2000 from 6:30pm
For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on
[UK] On the first Friday of every month there will be a meeting of WOTS - Omnian Temperance Society - Wincanton branch - to be held at The Bear Inn from 7pm. New members or visitors from other places always welcome.
[Adelaide, AU] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. We have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit: cityofsmallgods.org.au
[Brisbane, AU] The Pratchett Partisans meet monthly at either Brisbane
or Indooroopilly to eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. For
more info about their next meetup, check out:
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 edit your letters while waiting to see if anyone notices that I can't think of anything funny to put here this month.
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: "Roger Spivey"
Is there a [Discworld fan] group on the Isle of Wight?
DWM replies: Not that we are aware of. If you know different please let us know.
* From: "Holly Blair"
I've noticed in the images from various Discworld conventions and meetings that there are always people knitting and possibly crocheting. Is there perchance a Seamstresses Guild Auxiliary for those that actually participate in the needle arts? If so, where can one sign up? Thanks in advance for any info you can give me.
DWM replies: It would be ungentlemanly of me to hazard a guess how many seamstresses own a needle and thread. I am sure some even own a mushroom. If you know of such a group maybe you can get in touch with us - in a purely professional way.
* From: "Heather Robbins"
Due to a recent change to Gramarye's [the magazine of folklore that has featured several articles about Sir Terry - Ed] funding, we are having to rethink how we produce the magazine. If you could help us by answering two quick questions here - www.surveymonkey.com/s/MNTN5MP - you could win a prize (and also we'd be very grateful!).
* From: "David
Just been in the Elihu Yale (Wetherspoon's) in Wrexham, where I sampled a couple of pints of Brecon Brewing's "Modo's Midden", a Discworld inspired beer!
It's a nice robust golden beverage, perfect for idling away a summer's afternoon.
All I can say is that, if this is what they serve down the Shades, I'm surprised that anyone can bother to cause the Watch problems!
DWM replies: I can't remember if I tried that one. I've sampled most of the Discworld beers (that reminds me, I must get in contact with Paul). You can purchase Discworld Ales direct from www.discworldales.co.uk/
* From: "William Mefford"
Whether truth is stranger than fiction is a moot point when round world keeps mimicking the Discworld!
DWM replies: It's not the first time we've heard about postmen hiding mail. I guess once you start it is impossible to stop.
This month I've opened Turtle Recall at random pages and found a question from each page visited. I've attempted, wherever possible, to include which book the answer belongs to. Hopefully some of the questions are easy and some are quite hard. Well at least I think they are...
The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony
The 2014 Discworld Convention took place at the Palace Hotel, Manchester over the weekend of 8th - 11th August.
The Palace hotel is a large Victorian grade 2 listed building with impressively high ceilings and many wonderful period features. It could easily be the Patrician's Palace or the Ankh Morpork Opera house.
After dropping off my kit in my room I wondered around the Palace trying to get my bearings. The hotel has been extended a number of times which makes navigation a little confusing, with multiple staircases and rooms on multiple levels.
The first room I discovered was Sator Square (the traders' room) where I found old regulars such as The Discworld Emporium, PJSM Prints, Steven Dean (selling books and Discworld film adaptation costumes) and Ales by Mail and smaller independent traders such as Eclectic Games, the Irish Discworld Convention and many others.
Shortly after exiting the traders' room I bumped into Daniel Knight of Snowgum Films, the man behind the long running Troll Bridge adaptation. It was great to actually meet Daniel face to face and he turned out to be a really nice guy. After a couple of beers and some very strong rum, Daniel was part of the gang. We'll hear more about Daniel later in the review.
We headed down to the Dysk, the largest room in the hotel which was capable of holding all of the attendees for the opening ceremony. Chairman John Hicks apologised for keeping us waiting so long but apparently Terry's hat got slightly mislaid! Terry was sadly unable to make the convention so Rob his business manager took on the role as honorary guest of honour for the convention. Terry's hat was carefully paraded through the Dysk and delivered to Rob on the stage where it was placed ceremoniously on the chair that Terry would have sat on.
After the opening ceremony came Terry's bedtime stories. Rob read Neil Gaiman's introduction to A Slip Of The Keyboard (Terry's new book of his non-fiction works due out soon) in which Neil rages against Terry's PCA in a very emotional piece about losing his friend to the disease. Rob then went on to announce that there would be a fifth Tiffany Aching book, with the title The Shepherd's Crown.
The next event was a special one-off performance by Mitch Benn (of The Now Show fame). Unfortunately I'd consumed a few pints of cider by then and hadn't eaten so went off in order to find food. The main dining hall was closed but the Palace had a great little bar area in the basement, renamed The Drum for the weekend, where I spent a pleasant few hours in the company of some wonderful new friends.
Saturday morning started shockingly at 5:30 with the fire alarm going off in the hotel. After my initial confusion and realising it wasn't my mobile phone alarm I grabbed enough clothes to be decent and exited the hotel with all the other guests. Manchester is quite quiet and quite cold on August mornings at 5:30am. After about 15 minutes the hotel managed to identify the problem as water (from the heavy rain the previous day) seeping into the alarm system and we were allowed back into our rooms. At this point it seemed silly to go back to bed so instead I booted up my laptop and headed off to facebook.
The guest of honour interview was just after midday so I spent the morning chatting and giggling with my friends from The Flaming Trebuchet (the wonderful on-line virtual pub) and possibly imbibing a drink or two.
The guest of honour interview was obviously different to previous years with Terry not being able to come to the event. So Rob his business manager and best buddy took on the role. The Convention Committee had asked guests to send questions in and a video of the q&a session between Rob and Terry was shown. Terry had obviously woken up on the day of the q&a session with some new ideas and kept interrupting Rob's questions with his urgency to get writing. It's great to see Terry still showing so much enthusiasm for writing after so many books. After the video Rob and fellow Narrativia director Rod Brown talked candidly about Terry's fight with PCA. It seems that the PCA is currently affecting the visual part of Terry's brain which means that he has lost almost 90% of his vision. Sadly this cannot be corrected by glasses because the problem is in his brain not his eyes. Rob talked about how they are constantly looking at new ways of getting the ideas in Terry's head onto the word processor (and that they still use Word 2003 to save the files). Rob then went on to talk about the folio they had produced as a gift to the 800 convention attendees. The folio is a lovely little book with a couple of deleted scenes from Raising Steam, a moving piece by Rob about working with Terry and a very poignant piece by Terry about living life well. When Rob read that out there were very few dry eyes in the room. It was only after the Convention when I read the folio I discovered to my delight that I and Discworld Monthly got a mention in the dedication. Thank you Sir Terry - that helped a lot with my post Convention blues.
At the last convention a group of fans (myself included) came up with the idea of a QI type panel event. It was called Strangely Fascinating and was very successful. So this time round it was run again. It once again lived up to its name and it was a lot of fun to hear the bickering between the guests.
Rob Wilkins was back again for another talk and I stayed to see if he was going to impart any new information. There was talk about the various Discworld adaptations that were coming up including Good Omens (hopefully on TV by the end of 2015) and The Watch (still in pre-production but very much alive). There was also talk of The Wee Free Men, which Terry's daughter Rhianna is currently working on, and then news of a Mort film. The screen writer of all the Pirates of the Caribbean films is on board to write the screenplay. Apparently he is a Discworld fan and the two inept pirates in the films were heavily based upon Nobby and Colon. So hopefully this will eventually happen. It also appears that the much talked about Truckers film is unlikely to appear.
Next up was the Maskerade. After joining the massive queue (a lot of the weekend seemed to be based around queuing) and waiting for around 30 minutes, my desire to go to the bar outweighed my need to see the event and I and several of my new friends left the queue in search of alcohol and food. We ended up staying in the Drum until they closed up at 1:30 in the morning. We then went back to the main bar area for a while before heading off to bed a while later.
Sunday morning meant auction time. I had been asked to be involved in the auction as I have been part of the auction team at Wincanton and Wadfest for many years and due to the sad death of Richard Hartley last year a new team was needed. So after a large breakfast and as much tea as I could consume I wondered off to find the rest of the auction team. Some two hours later we were all set up and ready to go. We had three hours and just over 190 items to sell. We managed all but the last 16 before we had to vacate the room for the next event. It was a successful auction and we managed to raise over 10,600 GBP for charity.
The next event and something that I had been looking forward to was the test screening of the latest version of Troll Bridge, the film that has been in production for over 10 years. It was still rough in places with a lot of green screen stuff that will need to be replaced and only partially rendered trolls but the film has the correct shape and at times looked amazing and was a lot of fun. In the question and answers section afterwards, Daniel explained how close they are. They have most of the assets designed and are now in the process of compositing them all together. Hopefully by early next year the project will be completed.
Sunday evening is reserved for the gala dinner. I've never actually been to the gala dinner at any of the Conventions and this year was no exception. I'd previously arranged to spend the evening with the Trebbers at a buffet restaurant in the middle of Manchester. So after a quick pint we met up at the entrance of the hotel and headed into the middle of the city. Luckily one of us (not me) knew where we were going and with only a couple of minor hiccups we ended up at the restaurant where we had a very enjoyable meal with lots of traffic light jellies. Soon several hours had passed and the restaurant was closing so we headed back to the hotel. Unfortunately at this point two things happened 1) we got separated from the person who knew where he was going and 2) we caught the tail end of the storm that had been threatening the north of England for a few days. I have never been so wet in my life. There was so much rain that it wasn't worth wearing my glasses so we were lost, wet, unable to see and probably walked round more of Manchester than you would believe possible. We eventually made it back to the hotel totally drenched. We dried off the best we could and then met back up in the Drum for another evening of drinking (can you see a theme developing here?).
Monday started with a visit to Sator Square (I was good and didn't buy anything - mainly because I would have to carry it home on the train!) and then off to Daniel Knight's behind the scenes talk on Troll Bridge. Daniel took us through some of the assets he talked about the day before, showing some of the amazing CGI trolls and backgrounds that they are working on. It filled me with confidence that it will eventually be a great film.
The next item on the agenda, after stepping out for a quick hotdog, was the radio play. The four performers decided to compress all the Discworld novels into an hour long performance. They did it in various styles such as only fools and horses, a day at the races, pantomime, social media and musicals. The pace was manic and it was sometimes hard to understand what was being said but it was hugely entertaining, the witches section almost gave me a heart attack when suddenly in the middle all I heard was "Jason ... STOP IT!". I almost fell off my seat before I realised it was Jason Ogg they were talking about... and that I hadn't in fact done anything wrong. Although the people around me still laughed at me ... a lot.
And then, that was it. I had to catch my train back home so had to leave before the closing ceremony. I would have loved to have stayed behind with my friends but alas time was against me. It was horrible waiting on the station for my train surrounded by hundreds of commuters isolated in my own little world of misery. I'd had so much fun surrounded by such wonderful and excellent company all weekend and now just five hours of sitting alone on a train. My only consolation was that I would be meeting some of them again the following weekend at Wadfest and the rest of them online just a day or two later.
The Discworld Convention 2014 will, I think, be my best convention ever. I can't imagine how one would top it. To all the people that made it so special - thank you, thank you, thank you.
You can see many of the wonderful photos on the Convention website at:
Now, where do I sign up for 2016?
Reviewed by Jason Anthony
Just four days after getting back from the Convention in Manchester I was picking up my eldest two girls and heading off to Godmanchester near Cambridge for Wadfest 2014. We left reasonably early and arrived at the camp site just after midday. After signing in we wondered around the site to see who had already arrived and who we could borrow a mallet from as I had forgotten to pack one in all the excitement.
After a quick packed lunch I set about putting up the tent and was soon set up. Shortly afterwards some of my friends started arriving so I helped them put their tents up as well. By the end of the evening I think I had helped assemble seven tents and a marquee.
I cooked some dinner for myself and the girls and then we headed over for the quiz. Unfortunately we were a little late arriving so met up with some friends and drank cider instead until the bar closed. We then had mead and more cider at our tents until my girls wanted to go to bed. While we were consuming mead the traditional cocktail party took place at the other side of the field - I did pop in to see how it was going and the party was in full swing.
Saturday morning started at 7am when I was woken by my hungry children. So after feeding them cereal and putting some water on to boil I was soon joined by many people that wanted hot drinks. My gas stove got a workout over the weekend and became the sort of de-facto meeting point which was nice.
Wadfest is one of those events you can take part in as much or as little as you want. It also runs to what is commonly known as Waddy time. Events take place at about 12ish (give or take an hour) so everything is very relaxed. So while we were chatting, Hannah was busy organising the kids to build and paint their vehicles for the dry boat races on Sunday. After a light dinner at the animal shelter we headed back for the Zombie wars game. This was a new game that Waddy introduced last year and judging by the number of Nerf guns at the event a lot of people really enjoyed it. The rules appear to have been tightened up and now everyone is required to wear safely goggles because a Nerf dart in the eye could hurt! The game was a lot of fun - I was a zombie and got shot a lot. We then did the traditional British thing and swapped ends - zombies becoming hunters and vice versa. I did better as a hunter than I did as a zombie and managed to make it to safety - yay. Finally we had a free for all where everyone was allowed to shoot everyone else. It was a lot of fun but I was latter assassinated as pictures on facebook will show!
After the zombie game was over it was time for the now traditional kids game of Smack the Penguin - where the kids are required to see how far they can hit small plastic penguins with a cricket bat. Some of the distances are quite impressive though I wonder how Tim has lasted so long without one of the hitters taking out his knee caps.
I took a little time out to sort out the auction files on my laptop and headed over to the animal shelter to prepare for the auction. As we were on Waddy time and everyone else was eating I grabbed some dinner before the auction started. There were several book proofs and some very nice items and some of the bidders got some great bargains. In the end we raised just over 900 to be split between Cancer Research and The Wood Green Animal shelter. We took a short break while the murder mystery which had been running all day was resolved and then set up again for the second auction which was to raise seeding money for next year's Wadfest. This second auction raised around 250 for Wadfest.
After collecting all the monies and giving out the auction lots my next role of the evening was a judge in the talent contest. Sadly we only had three entries this year but the standard was varied. Each of the three entrants came up with something that represented Wadfest in different ways. We deliberated for a while but couldn't come up with a definite winner so we gave the vote to the people and let the guests decide the ultimate winner - the crowd voted and Jaxx was announced the winner with her version of 'I'm dreaming of a dry Wadfest' (inspired by a downpour the previous evening).
With my judging and auction responsibilities out of the way I was able to relax and have a few ciders while the disco took place. It was great to see all the kids, dancing and playing. After the bar closed and after putting my kids to bed I joined our neighbours in their excellent outdoors indoors gazebo kitchen for a few more drinksand lovely banana stuffed with Malteasers cooked in the fire. Finally around 2am I decided that I'd had enough to drink and staggered off to my tent.
With the weather forecast looking pretty nasty we took advantage of a nice dry morning to pack up all our gear. Part of the great Wadfest community meant that we all pulled together and had about five tents taken down before the downpour.
We retired to the animal shelter to have a drink and to chat with the other campers. Soon the weather improved and we headed back to the event field for the dry boat races and the closing ceremony.
As suddenly as it started it was all over again. Waddy announced that next year's event "The Library" will take place on the weekend of August 21st - 24th and will be a three day event instead of two.
After saying our goodbyes we heading back home happy but very tired. What a great weekend.
The new 2015 website site is now up and running at www.wadfest.co.uk
Wadfest really is a great camping weekend. Please take a look at the website and then come along and help make Wadfest 2015 even better event than Wadfest 2014.
Discworld Monthly would like to thank Pixel Source for hosting our mailing list for us free of charge. For more information about Pixel Source visit their website at pixelsource.co.uk/
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