Another place, another time... in an age of wander

  • Senior librarians are also taught how to deal with the dangers of navigating L-space, such as the "harmless kickstool crabs, large and heavy wandering thesauri, the .303 bookworm and the dreaded clichés, which must be avoided at all costs."
  • The name L-space is based on use of E-space (Exo-space) and N-space
    (Normal space) used by Doctor Who.
  • L-space, short for library-space, is the ultimate portrayal of Pratchett's concept that the written word has powerful magical properties on the Discworld, and that in large quantities all books warp space and time around them. The principle of L-space revolves around a seemingly logical equation; it is an extension of the aphorism 'Knowledge is Power'
  • {Books} = {Knowledge} = {Power} = {{Mass} x {Distance}2} x {{Time}3}.
  • Large quantities of magical and mundane books create portals into L-space that can be accessed using innate powers of librarianship that are taught by the Librarians of Time and Space to those deemed worthy across the multiverse.
  • Libraries with enough books to open a portal are often large and sprawling; those venturing into L-space may not necessarily know that they have arrived.
  • The floor and ceiling of L-space follow the floor and ceiling of the library used to access it; the best example of this is that the central dome of Unseen University's library is "always overhead".
  • In every direction and as far as the eye can see bookshelves stretch off, meaning the nature of any walls are unknown.
  • Essentially, all bookstores are potentially infinite in extent; gateways into literary hyperspace: "a good bookshop is just a genteel blackhole that knows how to read."
  • Because L-space links every library, (and also possibly Death's Autobiography Library), it is possible to reach any one of these throughout space, time and the multiverse. This means that there are potentially other forms of data storage other than books as it represents every library anywhere.
  • One can read any book ever written, any book that will be written at some point and books that were planned for writing that were not, as well as any book that could possibly be written.
  • Adventurers may find markings and scribbled notes on the shelves to help them navigate.
  • Opening Ceremony: 7pm Friday July 5

  • Closing Ceremony: 3pm Monday July 8

Sir Terry Pratchett

Creator / Satirical Comic Genius / Keen Astronomer / Blackboard Monitor

Since NADWCon 2011, Sir Terry Pratchett has again been extremely busy. He was appointed an Honorary Fellow at University College London, become the fastest selling British novelist in the UK with Snuff selling over 55,000 copies in its first three days, he won the Bollinger Everyman P.G.Wodehouse award and had a Gloucester Old Spot pig named after the winning title ‘Snuff’.  The books have continued to top the best-seller lists with Snuff (October 2011), The World of Poo (June 2012), The Long Earth (June 2012) in collaboration with Stephen Baxter and Dodger (September 2012).

As if that weren't enough, the powerful documentary Choosing to Die which was shown by the BBC in June 2011 won the BAFTA (British Association of Film and Television Awards) for Best Single Documentary and has since been nominated for an International Emmy. Several television adaptations of Sir Terry’s works are in pre-production, including a series on the City Watch, and Good Omens with Neil Gaiman. Terry and Rob have also managed to find the time to visit Borneo to film a documentary based on the same orangutan sanctuary that Terry had visited in 1995 to see how things have developed and changed. 

Fear not though, there has still (somehow) been time for some writing. A Blink of the Screen, which is a collection of Terry’s shorter fiction and The Compleat Ankh-Morpork map, a delightful collaboration with the Discworld Emporium, were published at the end of last year. This year heralds A Slip of the Keyboard, Terry’s non-fiction shorter writings, paperback editions of the Long Earth and Dodger and who knows what else?! With all this and much, much more going on we are honored to have Sir Terry Pratchett as our guest of honor at the North American Discworld Convention 2013.

Rob Wilkins

Personal Assistant / Business Manager / Everyman’s Moral Compass

Rob and Terry have worked together for more than twelve years and they still use the rather ambiguous title of PA because a) neither of them really give a damn about titles and b) how do you describe what it is that someone does who is so intrinsically linked with every aspect of the Discworld Empire?

In short, if you want to know what Rob does then the simple answer is everything.  Well, not exactly everything, but today it could be the fun and excitement that is the preparation of the quarterly VAT return followed by a slice of editing the work in progress. But it’s not all fun and games as there are often BAFTA award winning documentaries to make and those infamous trips to Hobbiton. It really is hard work, but someone’s got to do it…

Lee Moyer

Although Award-winning Illustrator, Designer and Art Director Lee Moyer now lives in Portland, Oregon, he is no stranger to Charm City. And, in addition to illustrating many a show at the Baltimore Planetarium, the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural History Museum, and the National Zoo, his work has been shown at the Society of Illustrators in both New York and Los Angeles.

Lee collaborated with Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, along with Peter S. Beagle, Ray Bradbury, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Jacqueline Carey, Charlaine Harris, Robin Hobb, N.K. Jemisin, George R. R. Martin, and Patrick Rothfuss for Check These Out, his 2013 Literary Pin-up Calendar. His other career highlights include:
Covers: Iain M. Banks, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michael Swanwick, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Philip Jose Farmer, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Michael Bishop, Mark Hodder, Edgar Pangborn, Jack McDevitt, HP Lovecraft, Tad Williams and Joe Haldeman.

Comics: Starstruck, Buckaroo Banzai, Aquaman, Tom Strong, Zauriel, and Raymond Chandler's Trouble Is My Business

Games: 13th Age, Gloom, Dungeons & Dragons, Eberron, Shadowrun, L5R, HeroQuest, Mythos, Over The Edge, Legends of Norrath, and The Doom That Came to Atlantic City.

Posters: The Call of Cthulhu, Tori Amos, Alfred Hitchcock, J.R.R. Tolkien, David Sedaris, Mo Willems, Athol Fugard, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andre 3000, John Mellencamp, and Stephen King.

Lee's curious penchant for bizarre Kickstarter projects has been much remarked upon (in Forbes and elsewhere). He plays a mean game of Anagrams.


Jennifer Brehl

Senior Vice President, Executive Editor, and Director of Editorial Development of Morrow and Harper Voyager Jennifer Brehl has edited a variety of bestselling and award-winning books – fiction and nonfiction, literary to “lite.”
She started at Doubleday in 1983, and after stints in consumer market research and book continuity program development, ultimately moved to Avon in 1995 (under publisher Lou Aronica). She moved to William Morrow after Morrow and Avon were acquired by HarperCollins Publishers in 1999. She has worked with Terry Pratchett for the past fourteen years.

Anne Hoppe

Anne Hoppe discovered her life’s true purpose when she started working with Terry in 2001. She has been the U.S. editor for all of the original and reissued Pratchett children’s books published by Harper. She began her new role as senior executive editor at Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this January.

Colin Smythe

Colin Smythe was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1942, and was educated at Bradfield College (1955-59), graduating in 1963 from Trinity College Dublin. He started his publishing company, Colin Smythe Ltd, in 1966, moving from London to Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire in 1967, and has lived and worked there ever since. In 1968, he met Terry Pratchett, then a young reporter with a local paper, The Bucks Free Press, and published his first five books, The Carpet People (1971), The Dark Side of the Sun (1976), Strata (1981), The Colour of Magic (1983), and The Light Fantastic (1986), before coming to a co-publishing arrangement with Victor Gollancz. That did not work out and he became Terry's agent the following year. He has also published fantasy works by William Barnwell and Hugh Cook.

His publishing activities do not now feature very prominently in his life, being crowded out by the busy-ness of acting as Terry’s literary agent, but they have involved works of Irish literature and criticism, Irish epic myths, fairy and folklore, heraldry, orders of knighthood, diplomacy, politics, trout fishing, and parapsychology (one of his publications, Konstantin Raudive's Breakthrough (1971), having been the inspiration for the film White Noise.)  He also acts for the literary estates of a number of Irish authors.

Colin was a visiting professor in the English Department of the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, from 1993 to 2002. For his services to Irish literature he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) in 1998. He has edited and written various books relating to Lady Gregory and her family, and is working on a bibliography of the writings of  the Nobel laureate W.B.Yeats (380,000 words and growing). He is a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Some more information about Colin Smythe can be found at his company website.. www.colinsmythe.co.uk, which also holds his checklist of Terry’s publications in 38 languages, a short biography, and his articles for all the past Discworld Convention programs - www.colinsmythe.co.uk/terrypages/tpindex.htm

Dr Pat Harkin

Dr Pat Harkin’s official biography is rather dull – university, degrees in genetics and medicine, short spell working for the British National Health Service and a much longer spell working for Leeds University School of Medicine where he has been a lecturer in pathology, Academic Sub Dean, Associate Director of Student Support and currently Acting Director of Admissions. He has two children, one wife and not enough cats.

Fortunately, his unofficial biography has a bit more to tell than that, and to tell it we need to travel back to a time before the world-wide web (no, seriously, there was) when the few people with computers at home communicated through modems and telephones and something called bulletin boards. What’s a bulletin board? Well, try to imagine a chat room run on the clacks. It wasn’t suitable for ‘chat’ but it was excellent for sharing technical information and support. Pat (who was by this time a Discworld fan) was able to help another board user set up a CDROM drive. That user turned out to be Terry – but such is the nature of on-line identity that Pat didn’t realize this for some time, and is now unsure whether he first met Terry on-line or at a signing! Over the years he has been able to provide Terry with technical information, answering questions like “How much force would it take to tear someone’s head off?” and “How much earwax do you produce in a lifetime?”

Pat has attended a lot of Discworld events, including 16 conventions in 6 countries and has acquired regular Convention roles – often without quite understanding how. At the 2002 UK Convention auction, he stepped in to give Bernard Pearson a short break. Mr Pearson scuttled off chortling something which sounded suspiciously like “Sucker!” and has yet to return. At the 2006 Convention, he entered the Maskerade as a singing wizard. He was promptly offered the post of 2008 Convention Maskerade MC and after he had accepted, it was pointed out that that being MC meant he could no longer enter. Or sing. They were quite firm about the singing bit.

But it’s not all Discworld. Pat has been a guest on a BBC comedy game show “Genius”, promoting the idea of popsicles made of frozen soup to get children to eat their vegetables1,2. He has a monthly slot on BBC Radio Leeds breakfast show where he finds silly stories in the morning newspapers, and has been interviewed  by The Guardian, a British Sunday Newspaper, on his role as a “superfan”3. He has given public talks on “How to get thrown out of university” and “How to commit the perfect murder”. He has also been interviewed by Death for the Hogfather promotional trailers “Twelve Days of Hogswatch”4 and was an extra in The Color of Magic and Going Postal. OK, it is just about all Discworld. And why not?!

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsvigbdZGzE
2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00bp0th
3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jun/24/meet-the-superfans-interview-celebrity
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La25JB5KNvw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59_4HUkVLJA

Bernard Pearson

Bernard Pearson co-founder of Clare Craft and the Discworld Emporium reached the retirement age of sixty five on the thirteenth of September 2012. At his retirement dinner in the senior partner's canteen he was given a wheelchair as a mark of appreciation from his fellow partners in the Emporium.

As one of the partners explained to the writer, Bernard was wont to drink in nearly all the public houses in the town justifying this by saying that as the de-facto Ankh-Morpork Consul as well as being a town councillor he was duty bound to 'spread his custom'.

However, of late, arthritis of the knees and other less savoury medical conditions have made walking both painful and difficult. It is hoped the wheelchair will allow him to coast down to the Bear and the Nog or tack to the Dolphin and Uncle Toms. It is unfortunate that the footpaths in the town are so narrow and his home is almost at the apex of a steep hill.

The wheelchair has been fitted with a 'wide load' sign in conformity with current traffic regulations concerning low-loaders.

The staff clubbed together and gave him an inscribed box of Swan Vesta’s and an economy size tube of Anusol.

In his speech to the assembled partners and staff, Bernard said how much he had enjoyed working with them all in bringing into existence some of the artefacts and objet d'art that the writings of his good friend Sir Terry Pratchett had given life to.

For over twenty years he has lived and breathed Discworld, made thousands and thousands of quite interesting but normally useless items and seen some of them change hands for almost obscene amounts of money on eBay and other places of ill gotten gains long after he had sold them for a bloody pittance.

Now that he is in receipt of a pension sufficient enough to keep him in tobacco he is going to spend his twilight years in pursuing one of the dreams of his life, namely to do and make exactly as he wants to until they nail him in his box.

The Compleat Ankh-Morpork now finished and published, Bernard and the gang are working on a new Discworld Atlas for publication in 2014. The same lush production values and close cooperation with Terry to bring the whole of the Discworld, its geography, peoples and customs up to present times. Then of course the Bestiary for publication in 2015. Oh and by the way certain interesting facts that made up parts of the ‘World of Poo’ were researched on our kitchen table.

And of course now he is retired he can spend a more time with his eight grandchildren and still have time for those enjoyable lunches with Sir Terry that seem always to involve bubble & squeak.

His wife and best friend of thirty years, Isobel, told us that she thought it was good that he had found a hobby and one that would keep him out of her hair for a few hours each day though she would miss his getting up to catch the early bus to get into work on time.

They both plan to travel to visit friends and loved ones in his retirement (the dear friends and loved ones are currently working out the best way to go in to hiding).

Reb Voyce & Ian Mitchell

Reb, once introduced by Terry as his hairdresser, has had her life hijacked and couldn't be happier! A 'grade-1 grown-up', she does her best to keep Ian and Bernard's noses to the grindstone and fingers out of the till. Having been made a partner at the Discworld Emporium, Reb knows there is no escape.

Ian has learnt an awful lot over the past years working with Bernard and Isobel Pearson at the Discworld Emporium, perhaps most notably a cruel and unusual new vocabulary. He accidentally became a Fine Arts graduate which may some day come in useful; in the meantime he continues to make silly things in the name of Discworld. Ian's work can be seen adorning the now infamous Discworld Stamps and the Treefrog games production, 'Ankh-Morpork, A Discworld Board Game'. After co-producing the Compleat Ankh-Morpork, Ian is hard at work on the forthcoming Discworld Atlas, as well as as well as a project very close to his heart, the Discworld Bestiary.

Esther M. Friesner

Esther M. Friesner is well aware that her presence as a guest of the Third North American Discworld Convention owes much to her having served as M.C. at both the First and Second incarnations thereof. Thus, like haggis on Robert Burns Night and lutefisk in Minnesota, she has become Tradition. It beats working.

As some people might wish further justification for her presence, have at thee:

She traces her association with Sir Terry to London’s 1988 World Fantasy Convention. They met in the hotel bar. On the floor. The bar room floor. Yes, really. There were no more chairs and it was all perfectly respectable and British. That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.

When not salvaging her reputation (See above: “The bar room floor”) she writes things such as the introduction to Sir Terry’s own Once More with Footnotes. Having learned nothing from Socrates, Esther is now corrupting the youth of Athens--and anywhere else--by writing Young Adult historical novels. Her ʺPrincesses of Mythʺ series includes the imagined girlhoods of Helen of Troy (Nobody's Princess/Nobody's Prize), Nefertiti (Sphinx's Princess/Sphinx's Queen) and Himiko of Japan (Spirit's Princess/Spirit's Chosen). Next up is Deception's Princess, starring Maeve of Ireland. Lock up your cattle!

She won two Nebula awards, one of which — “Death and the Librarian” — was inspired by a pair of pewter miniatures given to her by Sir Terry at the 1993 WorldCon in San Francisco. In the hotel bar. No, not on the floor, this time. (Oh, grow up!)

She lives in suburban Connecticut with her husband, is the mother of two, harbors cats, and will inflict photographs of her grandson on the unsuspecting at the drop of a (black) hat. You’ve been warned.

All guests are subject to availability and professional commitments.