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3 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Hogfathe... · 0 replies · +9 points

The only thing I found a bit disappointing in this adaptation is that we never got to see Susan go totally feral with rage. Anger is such an important motivating force in Discworld as a whole, and it felt like Michelle Dockery was only allowed to stay in exasperation mode and didn't get to unleash Susan's full fury on the Auditors at the bridge. That said, I *loved* her delivery of most of Susan's other lines.

I'm so glad they went with the practical effect for Death, he looks so good and Marnix Van Den Broeke did an amazing job matching the physical performance with Ian Richardson's vocals.

It's really hard to strike the right tone in a comedy like this where there's a lot of dramatic stuff going on without it sliding over into either "drama with funny bits" or "farce where nothing is taken seriously", but in this instance they thread the needle and I appreciate it.

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Shephe... · 1 reply · +14 points

Rob Wilkins read this chapter to a small group of us at the 2015 Australian Discworld Convention, which took place in April, about a month after Terry's death. It hit us all pretty hard, and having to keep it a secret for the following six months didn't help.

All of the Tiffany books have dealt with the loss of a mentor or fixture in her life: Granny Aching, one of Miss Level, Miss Treason, and the old baron. This time it's a lot more personal for us as the audience, but it's in keeping with what's gone before in Tiffany's story.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +10 points

(this book) "Ur’f tbg gb unir fbzr bs uvf crbcyr ba gung genva"
Oh, Mark.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +15 points

It hit me especially hard in Science of Discworld 4, but in the last few books it's been hard to tell who's speaking without the dialogue tags. There's just not as much subtext in general as there used to be, and it's kind of sad to watch it happening gradually.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Scienc... · 0 replies · +8 points

Kind-of-spoilers that will never come to be, due to Wilkins crushing Terry's hard drive with a steamroller: Gurer jnf tbvat gb or nabgure Fhfna obbx va juvpu fur jnf gur urnqzvfgerff bs gur Dhvez Pbyyrtr sbe Lbhat Ynqvrf. Ab fcrpvsvp cybg qrgnvyf unir orra zragvbarq va zl urnevat, ohg V pna vzntvar fbzr fbeg bs fhcreangheny guerng gb gur fpubby shyy bs frafvoyr Fhfna-genvarq grrantr tveyf ol n crefba be perngher jub unf ab vqrn jung gurl'er va sbe...

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +20 points

I think a large part of what makes a witch is the desire to be a witch. Sam Vimes, for example, fits a lot of the qualifications for witch-hood up to and including having met Death*, but if you suggested to him that he might be a city witch he'd violently reject the idea. Preston has a lot of skills and a general outlook compatible with being a witch, but he's never indicated any desire to actually be one. Esk in Equal Rites concluded that she was both a witch *and* a wizard, and that the pressure to choose between the two was a false dichotomy.

*In Night Watch, Death was actually surprised that Vimes wasn't able to see or hear him.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +13 points

On my first read of this book I didn't read most of Tiffany and Preston's interactions as romantic, but that's mostly because 1) I'm super aroace, and 2) I didn't recognise any romance tropes that I'd read in other books. Neither her scenes with Preston or her thoughts about Roland have Tiffany's internal monologue mention feelings of attraction, appreciation (or even much notice) of either guy's physical attributes, or physical reactions on Tiffany's part. I'd grown up with books where being romantically interested in someone would at least elicit a mild case of increased heart rate or dizziness when in the presence of their smile/face/touch/eyes/hair. Tiffany is extremely aware of what her thoughts and emotions are doing at all times, so if anything like that happened to her, I'd expect her to notice, and probably examine it.

Jr qb trg ercrngrq rknzvangvbaf bs ubj gur srryvatf gung fur unq gbjneqf Ebynaq ghearq bhg gb qrsvavgryl *abg* or ebznagvp be frkhny, ohg gurer'f arire nal cbvag jurer fur qrirybcf gubfr srryvatf gbjneqf Cerfgba naq unf nal fbeg bs "bu, gung'f jung guvf srryvat *npghnyyl* srryf yvxr" vagebfcrpgvba. Vg jnfa'g hagvy dhvgr yngr va gur obbx jurer ur zragvbaf nfxvat nebhaq nobhg ure gung vg pyvpxrq naq V ernyvfrq "Bu, ur snapvrf ure. Jryy, ur frrzf yvxr fbzrbar jubfr pbzcnal fur zvtug npghnyyl rawbl, ng yrnfg."

These trends hold pretty true for Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith, as well. If there was a scale of Describing Your Teenage Protagonist's Romantic Feelings, Tiffany Aching's books would be at one end and Harry Potter's angry chest monster would be at the other.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 1 reply · +12 points

From's entry on "Grasp the nettle":

This little figure of speech is known wherever Urtica Dioica, the Stinging Nettle, is commonplace, which covers most of the English-speaking world. The figurative advice to be bold and 'grasp the nettle' derives from the property of the plant to inject toxins into the skin of any person or animal who brushes against its stiff, hollow hairs. If the plant is grasped firmly, especially if that is done in the direction the hairs are growing, the hairs tend to be pushed flat and avoid penetrating the skin.

Nettles favour disturbed ground and consequently are often found near human habitation. Fortunately, the antidote to nettle stings is found in the leaves of Dock, which also grows on disturbed soil and is usually to be found near nettles.

The property of the plant was well enough known by the 16th century for John Lyly to have included a reference to it in Euphues, 1578:
"True it is Philautus that he which toucheth ye nettle tenderly, is soonest stoung."

Aaron Hill's Works, circa 1750, contains the first example that I can find that advises that a nettle be grasped:
"Tender-handed stroke a nettle, And it stings you, for your pains: Grasp it like a man of mettle, And it soft as silk remains."

That last quote is very reminiscent of the Duchess's little poem.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +19 points

We get a lot of instances of Tiffany musing on what "being a witch" means. In previous books we've had "Witches think differently than other people", "Witches have to go away and then come back again to be a bit mysterious and foreign", "Witches are always noticeably a bit odd", and a few instances of witches having disabilities of a magical nature or using magic skills like Borrowing to assist with disabilities. Gender can be one of the factors in who might become the target of a mob driven by the Cunning Man, but you're right, it's by no means the only thing people will be willing to hate.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +3 points

Or possibly an uncle or cousin of Derek's.