Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 3: July 1997

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. Contact Information
3. Subscription
4. Back issues & web pages
5. Discworld Monthly Subscribe Forms
6. News
7. Clarecraft Competition
8. The Second Clarecraft Discworld Event
9. News from "The Wizards Knob" magazine
10. Obtaining PTerry's books
11. Pegasus Email - Random Pratchett Quote Signatures
12. Discworld Convention 1998
13. Feature: PTerry's Short Stories - Part 1 - "THE HADES BUSINESS"
14. The End

1. Editorial

We're back and we've made it to issue 3! Contrary to what we stated in issue 2, we've decided to release issue 3 early rather than late. I will be out of town for a week but will answer any queries when I get back. We would like to say thanks to everyone that has subscribed. We now have over a thousand Discworld fans on our mailing list. Thank you for all your PTerry questions, now all we have to do is sort out which of the questions are the best - then get in contact with PTerry: hopefully we should have the ultimate PTerry interview in issue 5. It was going to be issue 4 but PTerry is likely to be in Australia for most of July. We were a bit disappointed that so few of you turned up to the live Discworld Chat meeting on the 7th June. This month we include details of Clarecraft's second Discworld Event and have also arranged a competition with those nice people at Clarecraft to coincide with their release of four new models. This month's feature comes from Phil Penny of "The Wizards Knob" fame and is about the first of PTerry's short stories. Each month we receive lots of correspondence and have decided to include a readers letter section in future issues. If you feel your views would be welcomed by other readers why not write to

*The Hedgehog Saga*

Is it true the hedgehog can never be buggered at all? A few nights ago our dog was going mad in our rather small back garden. When we went to investigate we found a hedgehog being harassed by the dog. Although it didn't seem that worried I got a shoe box and scooped up the hedgehog and took it down the road to a grassy area. Next night the dog starts going mad again, so we went out in the garden and found a hedgehog. Was this the same hedgehog? I put this hedgehog in the box and took it to the same grassy area. So, why was the dog getting so wound up? Doesn't it know the words to the song?

We need your input: please send us any articles, book reviews, details of events or anything else that other PTerry fans might enjoy. We need to receive all articles no less than a week before the next issue is due. We should receive all submissions for issue four by Thursday 24th July 1997.

Jason Anthony, (editor / web & email)
William Barnett (deputy editor / features)
Richard Massey (proof reading / comments)

2. Contact Information

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

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

3. Subscription

To subscribe to this monthly newsletter simply send an email to with a subject of "subscribe" or fill in the form on our web page. You will receive an email confirming your subscription as soon as we can reply (usually within a couple of days).

To un-subscribe from this newsletter simply send an email to with a subject of "remove". You will receive an email confirming your removal as soon as we can reply (usually within a couple of days).

NOTE: In order to keep the subscription list current any addresses that bounce will be removed. If you fail to receive an issue, please subscribe again.

4. Back issues & web pages

All issues will be accessible from the "Discworld Monthly" web site, where you will also find links to other Discworld pages.

5. Discworld Monthly Subscribe Forms

Since last issue the following people have been kind enough to add subscription forms to their pages. If you add a form please let us know!
Degrees, reviews, links!
Terry Pratchett's
World Wide
Lyn-Howdill's Home
Nicola's Discworld
Dragon Wizards Discworld

6. News

The next book Jingo (due out in November) will be the last Discworld book to be published by Gollancz. From then on Transworld will be taking over. They have announced that "The Last Continent", the first Transworld book, will be released on 7th May 1998.

According to "The West Australian" newspaper, Terry Pratchett will be in Perth in July, at Dymocks book store.

We have been in contact with Astrion about the international release dates of the Soul Music videos and have been told they are currently organising the dates and will let us know them as soon as they are finalised.

*New Zealand dates*

PTerry has recently posted the following to

I think these are pretty okay by now -- we've just settled the last few:

July 2, Christchurch: 6pm talk/signing, University Bookshop, Canterbury

July 3, Christchurch: another event at the UBS at noon (seems odd, but that's what it says here ...and a real short one, to judge from my flight schedules

Then later:

July 3, Wellington, 4pm: Whitcoulls, Queensgate, signing
July 3, Wellington, 6pm: Ahradsens bookshop (no address given, but how many can there be?) talk/signing
July 4: Wellington, 12.30pm: Whitcoulls, Lambton Quay, signing (another one that can't be overlong or I miss the plane)
July 4: Auckland, 6pm: Whitcoulls, Newmarket, signing
July 5: Auckland, 10.30pm: Whitcoulls, St Lukes
July 5: Auckland, 1pm: Dymocks, Atrium on Elliott talk/signing

7. Clarecraft Competition

Clarecraft, the company that create the excellent Discworld figures have agreed to offer one of their new July pieces as the prize in our competition. For more information or a catalogue of Clarecraft products contact Elton at please quote reference (DWM) in any correspondence.

To enter the competition all you need to do is answer the following three questions and email them along with your name and full postal address to

Q1: What was Rincewind's room number when he was a student at Unseen University
Q2: What colour is magic?
Q3: Which Clarecraft figure stares at Death from the opposite end of a book shelf?
Form removed as not longer valid

All correct entries received before 24th July 1997 will be placed in a suitable receptacle. The first randomly drawn entry will be the winner. The winner's name will appear in issue four. The judges decision is final and no cash alternatives will be offered.

8. The Second Clarecraft Discworld Event

Venue:Near Woolpit, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.
Dates:9-10th August, 1997.
Theme:Reaper Man
Guests:Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs, Paul Kidby, The Orangutan Foundation, various other Discworld related bodies.
Cost:2 pounds (UK) per ticket payable in advance.

The Event takes place on a farm (hence the "Reaper Man" theme) and is designed as a gathering of Discworld fans for the purpose of indulging in "pure Discworld" for a weekend with like minded persons. There will be activities taking place throughout the weekend, including the much demanded "Paint Your Own" opportunity and a themed bar.

Camping space is provided, although facilities extend no further than the provision of a field!

As the Event takes place on a farm, those attending are reminded that the British climate can be unpredictable and that Anoraks may be required:-)

A booking form can be obtained by sending an email to please quote reference (DWM) in any correspondence.

9. News from "The Wizards Knob" magazine

There is certainly plenty to keep Discworld fans happy between books at the moment. Cosgrove Hall's animated series of Soul Music is available on Astrion video in two parts. They feature an interview with PTerry, split over the 2 videos, and a set of 6 postcards - 3 in each. General opinion seems to be that Soul Music is better than Wyrd Sisters which Channel 4 have been showing. The Wyrd Sisters video won't be available until November, at which time Channel 4 will show Soul Music. Later this year, there will be illustrated "TV tie-in" versions of both novels.

Stephen Briggs playscripts of "Guards! Guards!" and "Men at Arms" have now been published, with cover art by Stephen Player. PTerry will now have to take a harder line with amateur productions because two of the plays will be granted professional rights this year.

The revised edition of the "Discworld Companion" is in the shops. The definitive Discworld reference book, compiled by Stephen Briggs and PTerry, has been updated to include references from "Interesting Times", "Maskerade" and "Feet of Clay", as well as notes from the forthcoming "Jingo". There is also a new interview with PTerry conducted by Mr Briggs himself.

With the paperback of "Feet of Clay" recently published, the next release will be "Jingo" in hardback in November and "Hogfather" in paperback at the same time. "Jingo" is about a war between Ankh-Morpork and Klatch and has already been completed by PTerry who is now working on a Discworld novel for next May. Based on the continent XXXX, it has a working title "The Last Continent". Also in PTerry's out-tray is a Discworld short story with Granny Weatherwax called "Sea and Little Fishes". This will appear in a UK anthology published by Hartley Collins.

PTerry will spend July in Australia on an exhaustive signing tour. He'll have a week to get over his jet lag before attending the second Clarecraft Open Day on August 9/10th. See section 8 for more details.

Paul Kidby is working on artwork for a Discworld diary to be published in November. It'll contain excerpts from the books and possibly some text from PTerry.

Phil Penney

The Guild of Fans and Disciples - The Discworld Fan Club

[ You can find out more about the unofficial fan club and fanzine TWK by sending an email to or visiting:]

10. Obtaining PTerry's books

If you live in the UK you can go to most book shops and pick up PTerry's books without problems. Other countries may find it more difficult. You can order any of PTerry's books over the Net from (they even provide an on-line currency converter for anyone outside the UK).

11. Pegasus Email - Random Pratchett Quote Signatures

If you use the email program Pegasus you may know that you can place a random quote on your signature files. Jeroen Wijnands has produced a file that will allow you to use the Pratchett Quote File available from LSpace as your source of random quotes.

LSpace -
Jeroen Wijnands -

12. Discworld Convention 1998

As a regular feature we will be keeping you up to date with the latest news and gossip that is the Discworld Convention 1998. For more information email

Convention Programme Breaks New Ground

An exclusive first look at some of the 1998 Discworld Convention's programme

The organising committee of the 1998 Discworld Convention met in its entirety for the first time in June. Matters discussed included an extensive review of the 1996 Convention programme and some serious brainstorming to conjure up a host of new and exciting events to tickle everyone's fancy in 1998.

Old favourites like the Maskerade Ball, Unseen University Challenge, Alchemy Demonstration, Charity Auction and Art Show make a welcome return. Among the new events planned we will be presenting a Discworld Olympics, Dwarf Opera and Hall Costume Contest. We have also reorganised the Kaffee Klatches to give all attendees a fair chance of receiving an invitation, and will be filming interviews with our guests prior to the event, which we will then show in the video room at the Convention.

Rob Wilkins, who is assisting with the programme at the Convention, will be filming many of the events so that, even if you can't be there in person, you won't miss out on anything that happens.

With the programme spanning four days, the weekend of 18th - 21st September will be packed full of fantastic events, making the Discworld Convention the place to be in 1998. The first issue of the Discworld Chronicle, the magazine of the Discworld Convention, will be published in late July and will feature more details about the planned events.

Membership forms are available from: PO Box 3086, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8TY. We will also be at the Clarecraft Event in August and at the Jingo signing tour in November.

Paul A Rood, Chairman, Discworld Convention 1998

13. Feature: PTerry's Short Stories - Part 1 - "THE HADES BUSINESS"

In a new series, Phil Penney gives us a history of PTerry's short stories. You can contact Phil at

How many Terry Pratchett short stories can you list? One? Five? Ten? TEN??!!! Yes, there really are that many! In fact there are more than ten - and not even PTerry has a copy of them all. Colin Smythe, PTerry's agent / publisher for the last 25 years has more than anyone else, but even he admits that his collection is not complete. The fact is that PTerry didn't keep copies of his early stories, and he can't even remember which magazines they were published in. Intriguing, isn't it?

So what are the stories that we know about? I'd like to tell you about them over the next few issues of the Discworld Monthly. Let's start at the start...

You're thirteen years old and school is "getting in the way of your education". You want to leave at the earliest opportunity, but there's no obvious career move. You love reading, although you only really got into books at a late age, and then it happens. A story you've written gets printed in the school magazine. At last, something you're good at! You tentatively send the story off to one of the "pulp" magazines you're so fond of reading - science fiction / fantasy short stories with lurid covers - and they print it! Maybe a person could make a career out of this writing lark...

And so PTerry became a journalist on a local newspaper. The story in question is called "The Hades Business" and it was accepted by the magazine "Science Fantasy" in 1963 (issue 60). The same issue featured a story by Mervyn Peake, which gives you an idea of what an achievement it was for the young PTerry. If you wanted to buy a copy today, you could pay 50 UK pounds, but I've not come across one in my searchings. And I've looked pretty damned hard. Two years later, the story was included in an anthology called "The Unfriendly Future" (edited by Tom Boardman, Jr and published by Four Square Books). However, this book is nearly as hard to find as the magazine!

"The Hades Business" is a truly remarkable work for a 13 year old. The Devil is having trouble finding candidates for Hell (not easy to believe, I know) and in desperation he approaches a business man, Crucible, with the idea of opening up Hades as a Theme Park. But as the popularity of Hell increases, the Devil realises he's made a big mistake and is so desperate for some peace, he returns to Heaven. This extract is taken as Crucible enters Hell with the Devil for the first time:

They entered.
"Down, boy; get off Crucible."
Three tongues licked Crucible simultaneously.
"Back to your kennel, boy."
Whining, Cerberus slunk off.
"You must excuse him," said the Devil, as he picked Crucible up and dusted him down, "he has never been the same since he took a lump out of Orpheus's leg."
"It didn't say that in the story."
"I know. Pity, because the real story was much more - er interesting. But that's neither here nor there."

Whilst not comparable with his later work, the story nevertheless shows what promise PTerry had and is an enjoyable read even today. While the basic plot is not original, the way it is handled is amusing and entertaining. You wouldn't laugh out loud, but you'd probably smile. I suppose there are echoes of "Eric" in there.

PTerry had a lot to live up to after this. Next time, I'll tell you how he completely failed to do so with his next short story!

14. The End

Thanks for reading this issue of the "Discworld Monthly". We hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments or suggestions for the future of this newsletter please email:
Facebook Twitter X Instagram Kofi Tumblr YouTube