Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 7: November 1997

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. Contact Information
3. Subscription
4. Back Issues & Web Pages
5. Discworld Monthly Subscribe Forms
6. News
7. Music Review: Soul Music Soundtrack
8. Waxworks Competition
9. Readers' Letters
10. Obtaining PTerry's Books
11. DiscTrivia
12. Discworld Convention - Update - November 1997
13. Feature: Book Review - Jingo
14. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 7. After professing our success last month we expected the world, as far as DWM is concerned, to fall apart around our feet. As this hasn't happened you either ignored the editorial completely and went on to read something more interesting or you didn't find it as pretentious as some of us expected.

This month I must apologise for missing one or two of the venues out of the signing dates we reported about last month. It was pretty obvious that some of you knew the dates a lot better than we did. The missing / corrected dates are listed below.

November 15, 1997

From 1.00pm - Forbidden Planet, Oxford Street, London

November 19, 1997

12.00 - 2.00pm - WH Smith, Bath

4.30 - 6.30pm - Blackwells, Cardiff

While I am in grovelling mode I should also point out the correct address of LSpace. I have been informed that it is better with a slash on the end.

* Jingo Offer *

On a brighter note, Jingo (the new Discworld novel) is now out. See section 13 for a full review. To celebrate this occasion Discworld Monthly have arranged a deal with If you order Jingo via the following link you will get 10% off the price of the book. This offer will be valid for a limited time only, so make sure you get your orders in early. Delivery is free for UK orders over 25GBP and European orders over 75GBP.

This is the first issue that will be sent out using a new email program that is designed for sending the same message to thousands of recipients. If you have any problems with this issue please report it to us at

From this month the writer of the best letter we receive will be sent two free badges with Discworld quotes on them. The badges are supplied by Snapdragon Gifts. See the Readers' Letters section for more information.

For reasons of space there is no Who's Who this month instead we have included a review of the new Soul Music CD.

*Request for input*

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 eight by Tuesday 25th November 1997.

Jason Anthony, (editor)
William Barnett (deputy editor)
Richard Massey (nappy changer)

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". It would be helpful, but not necessary, if you could explain why you are un-subscribing. You will not receive any further correspondence unless you subscribe again.

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. Form details are available from

6. News

* Wyrd Sisters in Birmingham *

A stage version of Wyrd Sisters will run for 6 days from 10-15 November 1997 at:

The Cresent Theatre Birmingham Brindleyplace, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2JA, England

Tickets are priced at 5GBP in advance and concessions (OAP's and unemployed) or 7GBP on the door. The Crescent Theatre box office can be contacted on 0121-643-5858.

* Wyrd Sisters in Brighton *

Wyrd Sisters will also be staged by U.B.S.U.D.S. at the Sallis Benney Theatre, Grand Parade, Brighton on 27th, 28th & 29th November 1997. Doors open 7.30pm, performance starts 8.00pm. Tickets are available on (01273) 671740 and are priced 4.50GBP or 3.50GBP for concessions.

* Soul Music the CD *

All the music from the Cosgrove Hall's cartoon "Soul Music" has been compiled on to a new CD. It contains all the songs from the cartoon, but lengthened and with additional incidental music and dialogues. It also contains a booklet with all lyrics and visuals from the TV series. This new CD is due to be released on 3rd November 1997. The CD will be available in the shops or direct by sending 15.49GBP (13.99+1.50GBP p+p) to:

Pluto Music Limited, Freepost NWW 15259, Tarproley, CW6 9DJ, England

See next section for a review of the CD.

7. Music Review: Soul Music Soundtrack

We received an early pre-release copy of the Soul Music CD, which doesn't contain the booklet with the lyrics and visuals, so we will concentrate souly (sad - Ed) on the music.

Jason: The first thing that I noticed while listening to this CD is the diversity of influences and musical styles, from Chuck Berry to the Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis to Jimi Hendrix.

The songs were originally written for the Soul Music cartoon and therefore needed to be instantly recognizable in style. This makes them quite formularized, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

The most disappointing track (not to mention annoying) has to be Gatherin' Rhubarb, the folk music song that Imp starts singing in the drum before the soul music takes over. I now know why the clientele of the drum threw axes at the stage. I can only assume this track was included for completeness.

On the other hand, my favourite track has to be "The Touchstone". I love the little melodies that play throughout the song. I can even put up with the child's narrative in the mid section which is similar in style to the prayer in Metallica's "Enter Sandman" but without the loud guitars.

Keith Hopwood and Phil Bush have done a great job of mixing great musicianship with contrasting styles. For the first few plays you will probably find yourself involuntarily racking your brains for the names of the original artists.

As to the long term appeal of this CD, who knows? The novelty value hasn't worn off yet.

William: I think the question is: would you normally buy a soundtrack CD? If you listen to this with some friends you can have a good time playing "Name That Tune", but I certainly wouldn't buy it to stick on the stereo for a quiet moment. Maybe in the car, though (you haven't got a car - Ed). It's true that there's a lot of variety on the CD, but for me that spoils it - I like to stick on tunes to suit my mood, man, rather than hear a whole bunch of different styles in rapid succession. Besides, there isn't a Motorhead pastiche/tribute, but I guess that's principally a matter of taste. Devoted fans and soundtrack enthusiasts only, I think.

Richard: The sound track of Soul Music give the listener the opportunity to hear the songs from Soul Music without the distraction of all the moving about on screen. The first two tracks are from Imp's early days in the valleys: folk music, with lyrics very much in the vein of the Hedgehog Song and the Wizards Knob. Then, after our hero hits the streets of Ankh-Morpork the style changes somewhat, ranging from (or at least including) Fifties rock'n'roll to late Sixties Hendrix and Beatles. Let's be honest, this is no "Sgt Peppers", there's very little on the album which isn't directly taking off some well known classic - but that's the whole point. Just as you can spend hours arguing which stories PTerry is parodying in one of his books, so older readers (or younger readers with good taste in music) can enjoy guessing which songs have inspired a particular track on the album. Even some of the incidental music behind the dialog between some tracks sounds very familiar.

8. Waxworks Competition

Have you ever wanted to set fire to the Mended Drum? Discworld Monthly has arranged a competition with Waxworks, the company that produces some excellent Discworld candles. You can see some photographs of their products at or email for a catalogue. Please mention DWM in any correspondence.

The prizes are:

1st: Silver Hogfather candle
2nd: Librarian candle
3rd: Assassin's Guild candle

To enter the competition you need to answer the following questions:

What was the name of PTerry's first short story?
Who supplied the match that burnt down the Broken Drum?

Send your answers along with your name and postal address to before Tuesday 25th November 1997. Your address information will only be used if you are one of the winners and then only passed on to Waxworks (so they can send you the prize).

The winning entries will be drawn at random from a suitable receptacle on Wednesday 26th November 1997 and the results should appear next issue.

9. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters / comments, please email

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters for reasons of clarity or space, or if we don't like what you are saying.

Each month the writer of the month's best letter will receive two Discworld buttons (badges to non-Americans) with PTerry quotes on them from Snapdragon Gifts. You can contact Snapdragon Gifts at . Please mention DWM in any correspondence.

We've received an unprecedented amount of correspondence this month, so apologies to all those whose letters have suffered too much of a hatchet job. You can always write in and complain, but we'll have to edit your complaints as well. We look forward to receiving your comments about Jingo.

* From: "John Drummond"
With reference to the question about US and UK versions of the books. I bought Small Gods in America when I was over there recently, and although I have not studied it carefully, I must say that I have not noticed ANY difference in the actual version of the story. The spellings are indeed Americanised, but nothing else has been changed. The covers are indeed very different, and I prefer the English ones in General, though Soul Music is quite nice in the US version!! Hope this clarifies things...oh, and they're cheaper in Merkia!! Rachel Drummond

* From: "Keith Jackson"
If memory serves, there are more differences in the non-Discworld books. Truckers, Diggers and Wings are a single volume in the States called The Bromeliad Trilogy. The US edition of Good Omens has some extra info on the US ambassador's son and I've got the feeling that there were some mods made to one or more of the Johnny books.

PTerry's collaboration with Neil Gaiman on Good Omens is dealt with on, I'm sure. Neil was struggling to keep Sandman going at the time while PTerry could step away from his work so PTerry did most of the actual writing. They discussed the next sections as and when they could, PTerry put them into words and Neil modded as needed. Neil's bits are the darker ones, like Hastur & Ligur and the maggots. PTerry insisted that the phone operatives were resurrected, btw, and wrote a lot of The Them.

The Mastermind Discworld questions as originally given to the BBC were by Stephen Briggs, though those used in the programme were not exactly as he sent them. Regards, Keith

* From: "Leo Breebaart"
My Annotated Pratchett File at goes into some detail on the differences in American editions.. As far as I am aware, "Good Omens" was the only adult book that was in any way significantly changed for the American market. The new manuscript then became the canonical version, and was used for later UK reprints as well. The truckers trilogy also had some elementary changes made, but I don't think the Discworld novels themselves undergo any form of "translation". The APF also has lots of interesting quotes from PTerry on his writing partnership with Neil Gaiman, that this (and other) readers may want to check out, plug plug plug.

* From: "forrest"
In issue 6 some reference was made in the Reader Response section to PTerry being in Australia at the time of the interview. Since I actually LIVE in Australia (god help me) I found this piece of news (i.e. that I missed a chance to see the great man in person) very distressing. In the future could you please refrain from publishing any news that will leave me in the crippled emotional state that this left me in :^) On a slightly different note, what the hell was he doing in a tiny backwater country like this, why weren't more people told, and what exactly makes you think that he likes Banana Daiquiris? Jeff Forrest.

JA replies: regarding the daiquiris, see the witty author blurb in Good Omens.

* From: "Palmieri"
You have a great news letter happening here! I live in Australia & have easy access to all of PTerry's books. I just have one question; has Jingo been released in the UK yet? I can't wait to get my hands on it! I was also very upset to hear that PTerry had done a signing tour of Australia in July & I had no idea! As I was not online at that time & there was no publicity about it whatsoever. Thanks for taking the time to read my email; Sara

* From: "Sam South"
I do enjoy this newsletter. I come from Australia and whilst PTerry has a HUGE number of fans here, there is not a lot of information on his upcoming books. Could you please tell me what Jingo is about? Also, I felt that PTerry answered the questions quite well, considering the type of questions they were (issue 5).

I am one of those unusual PTerry fans that have never actually read every fantasy book or played any role-playing games. However, when I came across PTerry's books I fell in love with his style of writing rather than fantasy itself. I realise that I have a rather warped sense of humour and the thing that I enjoy the most about PTerry's books is the subtlety. In my belief, unlike Douglas Adams, PTerry doesn't try to hit you over the head with a mallet and say "look here is a comment on life". I have always said that you could read PTerry in two ways. 1) as a nice, funny, fantasy story and 2) as a funny story with many subtle insights into human nature and society as a whole. I used to be disappointed when friends I had lent my book to didn't quite get it. I admire the obvious depth of knowledge that PTerry has and uses in his books.

I do not agree (issue 6) that Rincewind did not grow as a character in the more recent books he was in. Rincewind is the only character that could have been in those situations and therefore made the story. It is no secret that PTerry's writing style has changed since The Colour of Magic.

JA replies: Sam receives the coveted Letter of the Month award for this thought provoking missive that had us scratching our chins and nodding sagely. Details of Jingo's release date and how to obtain the new book can be found in this month's editorial.

* From: "Aamir Hussain"
I think it's really sad that PTerry changed the nature of his Discworld novels the way he did. I mean.. the thing that attracted me to the novels was the crazy mix and jumble of ideas that for me characterised the Discworld universe. The earlier Discworld novels will always be my favourite, and the slowing down of the zaniness seen in Feet of Clay and the such has made me feel really disappointed... Does anybody else have any ideas about this stuff? If so I'd like to hear about your opinions and stuff..

* From: "R Ilott"
I have just read Issue 6 of Discworld Monthly and I read a question where someone wanted to know what the Mastermind episode was like.... I saw that episode. I would tell PTerry that the questions should have been harder for a so called Discworld Fan. The contestant got 13 right - I got 14, miss-heard one and was in the kitchen for another. All in all I think 14 out of the 16 wasn't too bad don't you? Keep up the good work with the Monthly and thanks.

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. DiscTrivia

In a new regular feature Jacqui Goosen from Cape Town in South Africa will be testing your grey matter with regard to the Discworld...

Finally, an article by a female in this newsletter! I thought I'd bring a little South African flavour with me as well. If there are any South Africans subscribing to this newsletter, feel free to email me at I'd love to hear from you. I'll start you off with some nice easy questions this month.

  1. What common card game does Twoflower try to teach Death in "Light Fantastic"?
  2. From what type of wood is The Luggage made?
  3. What is the literal meaning of "Skund" as in the Forest of Skund?
  4. What is the basic unit of magical strength?
  5. What are the 3 greatest things in life according to Cohen the Barbarian?
  6. How many steps does the Tower of Art's famous spiral staircase have?
The results and more teasers will appear in next month's issue.

12. Discworld Convention - Update - November 1997

The organisational committee for the Convention is now fully staffed. We have a number of 1996 Convention members lined up to run specific events such as the Assassins' Guild competition and the role-playing games room. The Committee and support staff are based in three countries - Britain, Ireland and Norway. We will shortly be announcing American and Australian agents who will be able to dispatch Convention information locally thus reducing postage costs.

Negotiations with British Airways to arrange for cheap trans-continental flights continue and we hope to announce details before the New Year.

Any Convention members who have an idea for a programme item or want to get involved by running something should contact us about it. We will have some slots in the programme for member-organised events.

The Discworld Convention 1998 recently became a limited company. Discworld Convention (1998) Ltd is still a non-profit making organisation, but the change ensures the long-term security of the next and future Conventions. It also protects those volunteers involved with the organisation of the Convention.

Paul A Rood, managing director of the new company, said "The establishment of a limited company for the Convention was the next logical step. With our current turnover we needed a legal foundation to protect our members' interests. While our goals and plans have not changed, it will serve to increase the credibility and future security of the Discworld Convention in this country. We will be re-launching in November with a completely new image." Paul was also heard to say "I never realised becoming a Managing Director was so easy!"

Issue One of "The Discworld Chronicle" was dispatched to all current Convention members on August 26th. Some delays in the publication of the new format magazine were experienced due to set up difficulties at the printers. A limited number of the magazine will be on sale to non-Convention members. Please send a cheque for 1.70 GBP to the Convention's address, (PO Box 3086, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8TY), along with your name and address, to receive a copy. Subscriptions to the magazine only are also available: please write for details. Issue One contains an exclusive piece by Dave Langford in which he talks about his involvement in the Discworld before the Unseen University Quizbook. The 34-page magazine is full of Discworld entertainment wrapped up in a sesame seed bun*.

Issue Two of the Chronicle will be out in November. Terry, Stephen Briggs and Paul Kidby have been interviewed for the magazine about their latest project, the 1998 Discworld Diary.

The current membership of the Convention is around 350. We would remind you that there are no on-the-day memberships available due to security constraints, and that no membership applications can be accepted after 15th July 1998. It would be advisable to obtain memberships now to avoid disappointment later.

* Bun may be substituted for colour cover featuring Paul Kidby artwork depending on availability.

13. Feature: Book Review - Jingo

This month Phil Penney interrupts his ongoing series about PTerry's short stories with a review of the new Discworld book "Jingo". See this month's editorial for a special Jingo offer. Phil runs the unofficial Discworld fan club "The Guild of Fans and Disciples". For more information email him on or visit

Jingo is about a territorial fracas between Ankh-Morpork and Klatch. The tension between the two sides builds while Commander Vimes and the Watch work desperately to solve a crime intended to start a full blown war. Racial hatred surfaces between normally reasonable people and the upper classes form private armies.

Jingo is at its best and funniest when characters interact. There are some excellent scenes involving the Patrician, but Corporal Nobbs steals the show in the second half of the book. However, there are also a lot of scenes which seem a bit too familiar - Vimes struggling to solve riddles, Angua watching Carrot with disbelief, Vetinari manipulating Vimes etc. It makes me wonder whether PTerry has taken the Watch about as far as he can.

You wouldn't expect PTerry to write a book with this theme without making moral points about our society. We are shown the stupidity and pointlessness of racism and a demonstration of how idiotic governments can be in times of war. This is all very well, but I feel it's laid on a bit thick and could have been handled with more subtlety.

I'd been led to believe that Jingo marked a change in writing style for PTerry. SFX said it was much darker and was less "gag-driven" than the average Discworld novel, but I can only think this was written by someone who hasn't read Discworld in quite some time. PTerry's work is continually evolving and has been heading in that direction since Small Gods! For me, Hogfather is the darkest novel to date, not Jingo.

In summary, I can't deny that I was disappointed that Jingo *wasn't* radically different from previous Discworld novels. I'd like to see PTerry try something new - either in style or with new characters. Having said that, I still laughed out loud at times and I still found it hard to stop reading the book.

Finally, spare a thought for Stephen Briggs as he sits down with his proof copy of Jingo. He'll be adapting it for the stage and reprising his role as Lord Vetinari at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon in December. [Oh yes, PTerry told him, Lord Vetinari has an important role in the book]. Flicking happily through the pages, he comes to a paragraph. Then re-reads it. Then leans back thoughtfully. Oh My God...!

"...Vetinari picked up the melons and started to juggle... Anyone can do melons... let's try something *sharper*..."

PTerry has a wicked sense of humour!

14. The End

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:
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