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Epic gifts for the Discworld Nerd in your life…..

This is I think, going to be a list of wonderful things that I feel every disc fan would love, plus, it’s a great way for me to plug friends or companies I know, use and love.

There are so many great things for the fan of the Disc, with suppliers of such things as signed books, artworks, socks and even models (Clarecraft for the Vintage and Paul Kidby for some more recent stuff) and the joy that i’ve found is that there are things you can get for really cheap, and those where you can splurge and get something truly fantastic.

I have a friend called Lee who runs Doodlee Crafts (here’s the facebook link)

Gotta love Vime’s badge and some gorgeous Lilac! Especially around this time of year.

I should also take this time to plug my own mini cottage industry Half Baked Productions http://www.facebook.com/pollyHBP/. I make jewellery and suchlike and every time I do something for charity, if my Disc friends donate, they get a bit of Disc themed stuff. I’ve just moved into making bookmarks too and they all have a special place in my heart as the Disc has always been so special to me.

There are 2 main groups where I do my purchasing normally. The Discworld Emporium (a place I have yet to visit in person and this is probably a good thing otherwise a) I may never leave and b) i’d be bankrupt!.

http://www.discworldemporium.com

This is the official home of the Disc in my opinion, a mini museum and shop all bound into one, with the wonderful Bernard behind the counter to regale you with stories and tales of his and Terry’s time together. It isbased in Wincanton (also a place where I need to visit) and full of wondrous things to purchase. Some of the things I have got from there include…..

Discworld Monthly is a group I’ve been part of for well over 10 years now, Rachel and Jason are lovely people and massive fans, they make wonderful handmade gifts and bits related to the fandom.

I love their stuff as it is made by them and they put their hearts and souls into supporting and keeping the Disc alive in the eyes of new (and old) fans alike.

I got this from them last year…

All in all there’s so many wonderful things you can buy for your friend the Discworld fan…..games, books, models, apparel, jigsaws and the like that I wouldn’t want to say “these are the must haves” and make everything else simply superfluous. I think if you’re friends with someone who is a fan, and you’re looking to buy them something, gauge their likes and dislikes….or at worst, buy them some kind of gift voucher!

I’d just like to add one final paragraph – about the newest items I have been given from the Disc.

Last year a friend of mine passed away, she lived in Spain and was always amazing to me and after she died, a package arrived from the Emporium with the newest Pratchett diary that I had not been in any way part of buying – I mean, I’d drooled over it, lusted over it but no, I hadn’t purchased it. I managed to check and was told that it was purchased by someone in Spain and although no note or whatnot was enclosed, I don’t know who else it could have come from and now I can’t check with her if that was the case but now I am keeping the diary as the last thing I got from her. Look how beautiful it is!!

Last but not least, possibly the most beautiful piece of jewellery I have ever received, my partner got me a Tiffany Aching snowflake necklace. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t know the significance of this as I hadnt been able to bring myself to actually read that last set of books but I now have, this necklace is from Wintersmith, where love is a major theme and I’ve now resolved that i’d like to wear it every day. A gift of love, from my love and a gorgeous piece of the Disc to forever carry with me.

The joy of the Disc is that we’re all together, our aim in life is “Be More Terry” maybe try to talk to your disc loving friend and see what they suggest. Watch one of the DVDs together or play a couple of hands of Ankh Morpork…..one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever gotten from the Disc is the joy of passing it on, to share the love and joy that I feel about the series and I think for me, that is the most important thing. We all get the joy of the books and now we’re all part of a community.

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Hogfather: Sir Terry Pratchett

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“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers?”

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

“So we can believe the big ones?”

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

“They’re not the same at all!”

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET— Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME . . . SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”

MY POINT EXACTLY.

I love the above lines, they are possibly some of my favourite everyday and most definitely from my favourite Christmas themed novel. I re read this book every year and love it!

I think it’s a great story, even for those who are not into either Christmas or Kids things (so, pretty much me then!) it’s festive, fun and once again STP has managed to catch the mood and idea and weave it through the story, so you start of reading about 1 thing, which leads you to another, which segues into another and then finally, you understand what’s going on – plus I also spend a lot of time being sent off to the dictionary, or some kind of encyclopedia so I actually learn a lot when reading his stories too.

This book in typical Disc fashion, zooms from one place to another & one time to another at a sometimes breathless speed, calling in on favourite characters and also fleshing out some other minor characters. It both deeply respects but also makes a mockery of the Christmas that everyone knows and loves and as far as i’m concerned, shines a light on some of the flaws we all have.

I know it’s now after the festive period that i’m updating this but if you haven’t read it, I’d suggest popping to your local library and seeing if you can get it. Well worth it.

I also have the DVD but I honestly would recommend reading the book first, as this has a lot more information and nuance which is missed out (probably inevitably) within the film. – plus, all books are better than the film versions * If you disagree, tell me your thoughts in the comments, am always happy to have a new book/film to watch! Anyway, I digress…..

My favourite character in this book is DEATH, a 7 foot tall anthropomorphic skeleton who is fascinated with humanity, fascinated yet confused and trying to make sense of us all. His exploration into the minds of humans always makes me think and if there is such a thing as Death (the Grim reaper or whatever you would rather call him), Sir Terry has taken a lot of my fear of him away.

In Hogfather, Pratchett has finally achieved what I have sometimes found lacking in the other books written around this time: a perfect balance between the storylines. There is just the right amount of wizard comedy, lots of  time dedicated to Death and Susan grappling with what it means to be human and normal respectively, truly stellar worldbuilding, and big questions on the nature of belief and the holiday spirit that will stay with me for a very long time. I have mentioned in my other Discworld reviews that Pratchett is a philosopher and a humanist, and this is where all his views and ideas come together to form a book that is both light and heavy at the same time. Not an easy feat, and making it look effortless is the sign of a truly gifted writer. Whether you’re looking for a fun romp or a thought-provoking exploration of what it means to have faith, Pratchett’s got you covered.

There are so many great moments in this book, I don’t even know where to start. Every time you think to yourself, “wow, this is my favourite part,” Pratchett fires something new at you and raises the bar a little bit higher again (“no, wait, this is the best part”). Pascal’s Wager jokes! Susan making her way through a children’s drawing! The Death of Rats hiding on top of a Hogswatch tree! Hex writing out a letter to the Hogfather! Alfred throwing snowballs at two grumpy angels! Death saves the little match girl!

Hogfather is an incredibly fun ride and I can’t wait to reread and relive it all over again next year. And the year after, and the year after……ad infinitum.