Home Back Issues Issue 222
Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony-Rowlands, Barnett & Massey
Being More Terry Since 1997
Subscribe to our FREE monthly email newsletter (for all the latest news / reviews / trivia and readers' letters.)

Discworld Monthly Issue 222 November 2015

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Events
4. Readers' Letters
5. DiscTrivia
6. Review: The Perpetual Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship
7. Competition Result: The Shepherd's Crown
8. New Competition: The Compleat Atlas and Emporium Care Package
9. Review: The Irish Discworld Convention 2015
10. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 222. Rob Wilkins and Sandra Kidby have released a video on Discworld.com's YouTube channel answering a number of questions for the German Discworld Convention.

A summary of the news is as follows:

You can watch the video yourself at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCLq7KNMu_8

* * * * *

Rob Wilkins has recently won the auction for the Discworld Knight as painted by Paul Kidby.

The statue will reside in Terry's local pub The Queen's Head in Broad Chalke in Wiltshire, where it will be on display for the next couple of months before moving to its permanent home in the Chalke Valley.

A clear case of Rob "being more Terry". Congratulations Rob on your win.


* * * * *

We have released a small range of limited run Discworld Monthly branded pin badges, keyrings and fridge magnets. Each range will be limited to 100 of each type. We will ship worldwide and any profits will be put back into covering costs of running Discworld Monthly. The first two ranges will be retired at the end of October. Four (and possibly a couple more) new ranges will be released on the 1st November - so be sure to visit soon or you may lose out.


Also keep an eye on the site for other Discworld Monthly branded items such as car window stickers and mugs which will be coming soon.

* * * * *

We are happy to announce that we have got our hands on our copy of Clacks by Backspindle games. We've had time to play one quick game and really enjoyed it. Will post a full review for next month when we've had time to play some of the game variations.


* * * * *

We've also received our copy of The Compleat Discworld Atlas from the Discworld Emporium (again, slightly too late to review this month). From a cursory glance it looks like a beautiful book - we'll review it properly next month.


* * * * *

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.

2. News

Stephen Briggs recorded a short video about his work with Terry for the Irish Discworld Convention. Discworld Monthly was recently given permission to add this video to our YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/c/DiscworldMonthlyUk

The video "Stephen Briggs - The Narrator Speaks" can be viewed directly at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7250OniIA

* * * * *

The Washington Post featured an article written by Michael Dirda at the end of August entitled "A worthy crown to Terry Pratchett's phenomenal artistic achievement."


* * * * *

The Muskogee Phoenix includes a rather strange article entitled "Food by the Book: Author leaves legacy in literature" in which the author of the article comes up with various meals inspired by Terry Pratchett.


* * * * *

The Shepherd's Crown is still getting reviews. Here is the latest round up of new ones:

Geek and Sundry features a good review of The Shepherd's Crown:


Stuff.co.nz's review is entitled "The Shepherd's Crown: an uneven but fitting farewell from Terry Pratchett":


Book Corner: The Shepherd's Crown has a short review of The Shepherd's Crown:


Popzara.com features a review entitled: A fitting ending to the Discworld series that really isn't an ending at all; a reminder of stories that will never be told.


Otago Daily Times in New Zealand has a nice article entitled "Final from fantasy's finest" about Terry's research and about The Shepherd's Crown.


* * * * *

The Radio Times online features an article entitled "How Terry Pratchett changed the way we think about Alzheimer's disease" at:


* * * * *

Rob Wilkins has now taken on the role of executive producer on Snowgum Film's adaptation of Troll Bridge. For us, the consumers, this should make no noticeable difference - it is still a fan film and we will still get DVDs etc. as promised.

Having Rob on board gives the team at Snowgum an added push to get the project finished and in line with other work that is going on at Narrativia.

Producer Ahren Morris says "Rob made it clear that Troll Bridge is an important part of what is happening in Discworld right now. It's up to Dan and I to deliver on that promise and we're working hard to make that happen."

Hopefully this news will mean that we will see a finished version of Troll Bridge sooner rather than later.


* * * * *

The World of Poo has finally made it Stateside. It was originally published in June 2012 in the UK but has now finally received a US release.

"Terry Pratchett presents Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo - A Discworld delight for readers of all ages."



* * * * *

Exclusive Books (South Africa) recently held a Terry Pratchett Farewell Launch Party at their store in Rosebank. There was a Discworld Survivor Quiz, a reading of The Shepherd's Crown, a Great A'Tuin cake and Shepherd's Crown cookies and of course wonderful fans dressed up as their favourite characters!


* * * * *

Issue 267 of SFX (the Sci-Fi magazine) with Katniss Everdeen on the cover features a review of The Compleat Discworld Atlas on page 105.


* * * * *

In the trinkets section of the Player's Handbook for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition (page 160), item 45 on the list is: A tiny chest carved to look like it has numerous feet on the bottom... A reference to Terry Pratchett's Luggage perhaps?


* * * * *

Issue 8 of Gramarye (the biannual journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy) that features a review of The Shepherd's Crown is now available for pre-order. The journal costs 5 GBP if you collect, 6 GBP for UK, 8 GBP for EU and 9 GBP for the rest of the world.


* * * * *

Stephen Briggs has confirmed that he has finished his script for Terry Pratchett: The Shakespeare Codex. Actually he says just about and that he might still tinker ... a bit.

The play will premiere in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England in April 2016 and tickets will go on sale on January 1st. Discworld Monthly readers will be given exclusive access to the booking line for nine days before they go on general release. We'll provide more information nearer the time.


3. Events

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] Chorlton Players will be performing Mort from Thursday 22nd October - Saturday 24th October 2015 at 7:30pm at St Werburgh's Parish Hall, St Werburgh's Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 0TL


Online tickets account for approximately 60% of our overall capacity. Once this limit is reached, the remaining 40% will only be available for purchase on the door on a first come first served basis. In order to guarantee entry, we highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance online via the link above.

* * * * *

[UK] For all the Farscape / Vintage Sci-Fi fans out there, Starbase 24 are presenting The Ninth Banquet in Peterborough on October 23rd and 24th. The Friday features vintage sci-fi, hot buffet, quiz and disco and the Saturday features a Farscape-themed 3 course meal, entertainment, auction, raffle and disco with special guest: Virginia Hey.

The 75GBP weekend ticket or 57GBP (Saturday only) ticket includes a formal photo with Virginia Hey with profits going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

See www.starbase24.co.uk

* * * * *

[UK, New] The Alexandra Players will be performing Wyrd Sisters on Wednesday 28th - Saturday 31st October 2015.

The Alexandra Players are based in Alexandra Hall, Bramshot Avenue, London SE7

See alexandraplayers.org.uk/ for more details.

* * * * *

[UK] Wyrd Sisters is being performed by Uppingham Theatre Company from Thursday 29th - Saturday 31st October 2015. Tickets cost 10 GBP including 2 GBP charity donation to Rutland Reminders. Tickets are available in person only from Uppingham Sports and Books, 9 High Street East, Uppingham and online at wegottickets.co.uk

* * * * *

[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by Watlington Players from 29th - 31st October at 7.30pm at the Watlington Village Hall.

Tickets: 7GBP and 5GBP (concessions) from 0845 052 9645 (6.00pm - 7.00pm) or www.ticketsource.com/watlingtonplayers or www.watlingtonplayers.com

They would like to invite you all to dress up as your favourite Pratchett or Halloween character for the Saturday night performance, however this will not be an essential! For more info check out their Facebook page.


* * * * *

[UK] Making Money will be performed by Thalian Theatre Group from Thursday 12th November to Saturday 14th November at Townsgate Theatre Basildon - Mirren Studio.

Tickets cost 10 GBP, Concessions 8.50GBP, booking fee of 1GBP applies.

Phone 01268 465465

Or online at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/696

* * * * *

[NI] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by The Bart Players on 25th, 26th, 27th & 28th November at 7.30pm each evening.

Tickets are 10GBP for adults (18-65) and 8GBP for concessions (under 18 / over 65 / students). Group rates are negotiable.

The venue is the Canon Lindsay Hall, Stranmillis, Belfast.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketsource.co.uk/bartplayers

* * * * *

[UK] Wyrd Sisters will be performed in Hexham at The Main Theatre by Queen's Hall Theatre Club from Thursday 26th - Saturday 28th November 2015 at 7:30pm

Tickets cost 10 GBP, 9 GBP concessions and 7 GBP under 18s.


* * * * *

[UK] Sadly there will be no Discworld Emporium-run Hogswatch event this year, but there will be a fan-run, much more low key "Gathering of Loonies - Winter Event" on the same days, November 27th - 29th in Wincanton. More news will be provided as we are given it. The fans organising the event have set up a Facebook group at: www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

* * * * *

[UK, New] Paul Kidby will be doing a book signing at the New Milton Library, Gore Road, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 6RW on Saturday 5th December from 10am - 12 noon.

Jason and Rachel from Discworld Monthly will also be there so come along and say hello.

* * * * *

[UK, New] We Are Theatre are holding auditions in York for their production of Mort in June 2016. The auditions take place on 10th, 17th and 24th January 2016.

To book an audition contact or call 07521 364107 with the following information: Name, age (if under 18), email address, phone number and preferred audition date.

Rehearsals will be held on Sunday afternoons / evenings from Spring 2016 onwards.


* * * * *

[UK, New] Monstrous Productions will be performing their production of Eric! in February (dates to be confirmed) at the Gate Theatre in Cardiff, South Wales.



* * * * *

[UK, New] Dereham Theatre Company in Norfolk will be performing Wyrd Sisters from March 10th - 12th 2016 at 7:30pm.

The venue is: Dereham Memorial Hall, 61 Norwich Street, Dereham, NR19 1AD

More details (including audition forms) can be found at: dosoc.co.uk/production2.asp

* * * * *

[UK, New] Stephens Briggs' new production The Shakespeare Codex (based loosely on The Science of Discworld II) will be performed from 6th - 9th April 2016. Tickets go on sale on January 1st and are, as usual, expected to sell out fast.


* * * * *

[UK, New] Mort will be performed by "We are Theatre" from 21st - 22nd June 2016 at 7:30pm at Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York.

Tickets cost 10GBP (8GBP concessions) and are available from York Theatre Royal Box Office (01904) 623568. Group bookings contact or call us on 07511 364107


* * * * *

[UK, New] Wadfest 2016, the Science Fiction Camping Event, dates have been announced. The event entitled: "Putting on the Flicks: It came from Planet W" will take place from 12th - 14th August at the Wood Green, The Animal Shelter, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmachester, Cambs. PE29 2NH

Adult camping tickets cost 20 GBP with junior tickets costing 1p when booked with an adult. Adult visitor tickets cost 10 GBP. Concessions are available for students / people on low income and cost 15 GBP each.

These prices are expected to increase by 5GBP per adult ticket in the new year. So beat the increase and purchase your early bird tickets soon.


* * * * *

[UK, New] Monstrous Productions will be performing Going Postal from August 17th - 20th at the Gate Theatre in Cardiff, South Wales.



* * * * *

[DE] We invite all the Witches and denizens of the Chalk to the 5th German Discworld Convention which will take place at Castle Ludwigstein from May 18th to 21th in 2017.

More information will be released on our Facebook page:


* * * * *

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] 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 celebrate 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!

For details follow them on Twitter @Perth_Drummers, Instagram perth_drummers, and Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/

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: www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/

* * * * *

[UK] The A 2 Z Science Fiction Group meet from 8pm on the 3rd Thursday in the month in Chelmsford. They are happy to discuss anything from Asimov to Zelazny [passing Pratchett somewhere in the middle - Ed]. They meet at the United Brethren Pub, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0LF


4. 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 edit your letters by viewing them using an ultraviolet lamp to check for secret messages.

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: "Stewart Range"

I'd like to know why there seems to be a definite lack of readers letters recently. I suspect that there won't be a single letter published in the latest issue of Discworld Monthly.

I recently received my copy of The Shepherd's Crown but haven't yet faced taking it out of its plastic wrapping yet. Is this normal?

JA replies: You are not alone. I know of quite a few people have decided not to open their copy of The Shepherd's Crown yet. If your copy is wrapped in plastic please do take off the plastic and let the paper breathe. Terry wrote books because he wanted to share his stories and ideas with people. I suspect he would find the idea of readers not reading his books a little strange. When you are ready to pick up The Shepherd's Crown I am sure you will enjoy it as it really is a fitting end to the Discworld series.

5. DiscTrivia

We're back with five more challenging trivia questions for you. This month all the questions relate to Soul Music. Good luck.

What word is missing from the song "Don't Tread On My New ____ Boots?" a) Suede b) Leather c) Blue d) Black
Who is Wheedown? And who is his Roundworld equivalent?
What type of tea does Albert bring to Death?
What does Colon say people from Llamedos are called?
How much is the Band with Rocks in asked to pay the guide for its licence?

The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.

6. Review: The Perpetual Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship

Written by Danny Sag.

As you may have heard, Sir Terry Pratchett has - posthumously - created a perpetual scholarship at the University of South Australia (UniSA), allowing Masters students to undertake their research at the Hawke Institute at UniSA and the Long Room at Trinity College Dublin.

On Monday September 28, Rob Wilkins - Terry's long time PA, Business Manager and friend presented the scholarship to UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd. You may have seen some of the news articles, or the official video from UniSA (links below), but I'm here to tell you about a fan's perspective.

Members of the Australian Discworld Convention committee including myself were fortunate enough to be invited to this event, and so we stood there nervously amongst many other university dignitaries, feeling a little out of place - until Rob came in, recognised us, and gave us all hugs!

Once the formalities began, Professor Lloyd introduced Rob and the scholarship. Rob spoke for a short while about Terry's life since the embuggerance, and the relationship Terry and Rob had developed with Prof. Lloyd at his time at Trinity College Dublin and later UniSA. Terry was given an honorary doctorate at Trinity College in 2008 and at UniSA in 2014, and for some of the time in between, Terry was a visiting Professor at Trinity College giving some lectures on writing. Rob then told us how last October - on the day after Prof Lloyd had visited to present Terry with his UniSA doctorate (together with a graduate's hat with corks) - Terry wrote letters to his family and to Rob which were not opened until Terry's birthday this year, after his passing.

The letter to Rob included a phrase similar to "I fancy a memorial scholarship in my name. Speak to David Lloyd and make it so." - and it has now happened! This is special as it's a perpetual scholarship - worth one million Australian dollars (there or thereabouts) - which should tie the two universities together in Terry's name forever.

After the speeches, Rob presented Professor Lloyd with a large novelty cheque from the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork, the official documentation was signed (and stamped with Terry's bee), and a few of us had Rob sign our copies of The Shepherd's Crown.

A fun morning all around, and we were *also* lucky enough to catch up privately with Rob a little later to discuss the 2017 Australian Discworld Convention, which will be held in Adelaide. But we can't possibly tell you about that.... although if you sign up to the mailing list at ausdwcon.org you'll find out about Nullus Anxietas VI when we have stuff to announce!

UniSA Media Release: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/726

UniSA Video of the Ceremony: youtu.be/mE4coOWdeKI

Photos of the event by Justin Baldock: imgur.com/a/MlZfc

7. Competition Result: The Shepherd's Crown

In issue 220 we offered you chance to win one of two copies of The Shepherd's Crown which Discworld Monthly purchased to give away. We asked you to send your answers to two simple questions to us by 21st October 2015.

The two questions were:

According to our new Terry Pratchett Bibliography page on the Discworld Monthly website, when was Eric published?
How many sites do we link to in the list on the Discworld Monthly website links page?

The correct answers were that Eric was first published in 1990 and that there are 15 website links on the links page. We had 49 correct entries in the UK competition and 40 in the non UK competition. We also had a small handful of incorrect entries.

The correct entries were split into two pots, one for the UK and one for the rest of the world. We randomly selected one winner from each of the pots.

The UK resident winner is: Mike Stanford from Liverpool, England

The non-UK resident winner is: Erik Bauer from Pittsburgh, USA

Congratulations to our two winners - keep an eye out on the post (your prizes should be easy to recognise) but may take a couple of weeks to get to you, Erik.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the competition. All address information collected as part of the competition has now been deleted. discworldmonthly.co.uk

8. New Competition: The Compleat Atlas and Emporium Care Package

This month the lovely folks at The Discworld Emporium have agreed to give away a copy of their new book, The Compleat Atlas, and an "Emporium Care Package". We'll leave it up to the winner to let everyone know what the care package contains.

To be in with a chance to win this fabulous prize we need you to answer the following question:

What are the Discworld Emporium giving away with their copies of The Compleat Atlas?

Send your answers to the question, along with your postal address, to before 18th November 2015. Your address will only be used for sending out your prize should you be the lucky winner. Once prizes are sent out all address details will be destroyed. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Failure to answer the questions or provide your postal address will prevent you from being entered into the competition. Multiple entries will be banned. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.


9. Review: The Irish Discworld Convention 2015

Reviewed by: Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson

Thoughts and musings on the Irish Discworld Convention 2015.

Back from another great convention which was much enjoyed by this old Discworld campaigner. I met up with many old friends who, like me, meander from convention to convention and from one smoking area to another. And there were many new faces who soon also became friends. The warmth and hospitality of the Irish Discworld Con is unique.

And it's not just the Guinness or, in the case of Cork, the Murphy's Irish Stout. What elixir, what a smooth, creamy delight. Comforting, satisfying and inducing a mellow warmth in the old cockles of the heart in much the same way that meeting with old friends does.

As usual the opening ceremony was nicely done and because this was the first convention since dear Terry's passing it was particularly special. The theme of the con was hung round the muscular neck of the 'City Watch' and the committee had organised a really good 'murder mystery' to run throughout the weekend. I thought the acting was excellent and it was great fun. This was an excellent convention in a superb hotel and was cram packed with things for fans to do regardless of age and degrees of sanity.

The lovely Siobhan Greaney was chairperson and she and her team did a fantastic job to make everyone's time at the con very special. Thanks to everyone there for making this such a memorable and wonderful time in the company of fellow Discworld fans.

* * * * *

Advert time: Isobel and I have done 'em all - conventions that is.

We have been writing down some memories and observations on our blog which, if you're bored or looking for displacement activity, might amuse.

We have written about the first Discworld gathering in Woolpit in 1995 and now are moving on to the first real Discworld Convention in 1996.

You can have a look if you go to: thecunningartificer.com/

10. The End

Discworld Monthly would like to thank the Pixel Fairy for hosting our mailing list for us free of charge. For more information about the Pixel Fairy visit her website at thepixelfairy.uk

* eBook Editions *

Since issue 166 we have produce a version of Discworld Monthly that is formatted better for the Amazon Kindle eBook reader and since issue 186 we also produce an ePub version for other eBook readers such as the Kobo, Nook and Sony readers.

You can download either version from discworldmonthly.co.uk/ebooks.php

* Contact Information *

We prefer information to be sent via email, but can accept information via post at the following addresses:


Post: J Anthony (DWM), 20 Cambrian Place, Pontarddulais, Swansea, SA4 8RG

* Latest Book Information *

The following links take you to the book pages on the Discworld Monthly website where you will find cover photos, cover blurb and direct links to UK, US and Canadian Amazon sites.

The Shepherd's Crown -


Raising Steam -


The Long Utopia -


The Long Mars -


TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion . . . So Far -


* Subscription Information *

To subscribe to Discworld Monthly simply enter your email address in the form on the Discworld Monthly web page. Our web site contains all back issues and links to other Pratchett sites.


Current circulation approximately 19,500.

To unsubscribe please follow the instructions at the end of this email.

If you have any problems un-subscribing visit our removal help page at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/remove.php

* DiscTrivia Results *

What word is missing from the song "Don't Tread On My New ____ Boots?"
c) Blue
Who is Wheedown? And who is his round-world equivalent?
Blert Wheedown is a guitar-maker, in Roundworld he would be Bert Weedon.
What type of tea does Albert bring to Death?
What does Colon say people from Llamedos are called?
How much is the Band with Rocks in asked to pay the guide for its licence?
Seventy-five dollars.

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

If you are looking for Terry books or videos over the net, simply visit our web page at discworldmonthly.co.uk and follow the Merchandise link at the top of the page.

* Supporting DWM *

Discworld Monthly was created as a totally free newsletter and will continue to remain so for as long as it continues. However, the costs of maintaining the website, postage, travel etc. adds up. If you feel you would like to make a small contribution towards these costs please consider doing so via www.paypal.com

My account for Paypal is


* Small Print *

We make no effort whatsoever to ensure the information in this newsletter is accurate or even legal. Remember to always exercise caution when passing your credit card details over the Net (or over the phone for that matter). All trademarks are recognized as the property of their respective owners, whoever they may be.

* Thanks *

Thanks for reading this issue of 'Discworld Monthly'. We hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments or suggestions for the future of this newsletter please email:

GNU Terry Pratchett...

Subscribe to our FREE monthly email newsletter (for all the latest news / reviews / trivia and readers' letters.)