Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 7a: December 1997

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. Contact Information
3. Subscription
4. Discworld Monthly Subscribe Forms
5. News
6. Some Information From Waxworks Designer, Bernard Pearson
7. Results of Waxworks Competition
7a. Readers' Letters
9. DiscTrivia
10. Review of Clarecraft's New Piece Foul Ole Ron
11. Who's Who on the Discworld - Ankh Morpork's Beggars
12. Obtaining PTerry's Books
13. Discworld Beer
14. Feature: PTerry's Short Stories - Part 5 - "FINAL REWARD"
15. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 7a. Each month as editor it is my job to write an interesting and hopefully witty introduction to the newsletter. Normally I sit around for ages thinking about what to write. Once I finally get an idea I can normally write a few hundred words without too many problems. This month however was different, I had a definite idea about what I would write about. I wrote a couple of paragraphs ... and then came to a complete stop. All my ideas had run out. This led me to believe that although sometimes ideas may come readily, it is often difficult to keep the ideas flowing, even for only a few hundred words. I wonder if PTerry and other great writers ever start a project and then come grinding to a complete halt?

This is likely to be the unluckiest issue we are ever going to write. Forget issue 13 (that's for the superstitious), we are talking about issue two times four, the issue between seven and nine.

For those who are somewhat confused by the previous paragraph allow me to explain. After the great magical wars were over, powerful magical books were kept under lock and key, hidden away from most mortals. Probably the most powerful of all these grimoires is the Octavo, purported to be the Creator's own magical book. The Octavo contains the eight great spells that created the Discworld (well it would if one of them hadn't jumped into the mind of Rincewind, but that's another story). Two times four is also the number of Bel-Shamharoth whom Rincewind accidentally killed in "The Colour of Magic". No wizard would ever consider saying the word "e***t".

* Holiday Wishes *

Richard, William and myself would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas / Hanukkah / Hogswatch Night / appropriate end of year holiday and a prosperous new year. If you are saying "but it's only early December," remember the next time you will hear from us it will be 1997a.

*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 nine by Tuesday 23rd December 1997.

Jason Anthony, (editor)
William Barnett (deputy editor)
Richard Massey (upholstery correspondent)

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 "Discworld Monthly" simply enter your email address in the form on the "Discworld Monthly" web page. Our web site contains all back issues and links to other Pratchett sites.

Current circulation: ~3947

To unsubscribe simply send an email to with a subject of "remove". It would be helpful, but not necessary, if you could explain why you are unsubscribing. 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. 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

The Anchor at Lancre -

Wolfs Linkpage -


Heisenberg's Links Directory -

5. News

* Videos *

We have been informed that ITEL will be responsible for the international releases of the Discworld cartoons: "Soul Music" & "Wyrd Sisters" contact:

Dominic Rayner, ITEL, 48 Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7FB, England

Astrion have both the cartoons available on home video in the UK as double video packs for 19.99GBP with offers to purchase 3 enamel badges from each series for 1.99GBP per set.

* More Cartoons *

Catalyst Television are developing versions of "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic". They are expected to be more adult than the Cosgrove hall versions of "Soul Music" and "Wyrd Sisters" with mixes of live action and animation.

* Wyrd Sisters *

UBSUDS are performing "Wyrd Sisters" from 27-29th December in Brighton at the Sallis Benney Theatre (just down from the pier, and opposite the King & Queen pub!). Tickets are 4.50GBP and 3.50GBP (concs.) and can be bought on the door or on 01273 671740. Doors open 7:30pm.

* MORT *

The Southampton University Theatre Group present Terry Pratchett's "Mort", adapted by Stephen Briggs, at the Nuffield Theatre, University Road, Southampton from 4 March - 7 March 1998. This is fully authorised by Stephen Briggs and we hope to see him there! Ticket information and sales are available on 01703 671771.

For more information on the production, please don't hesitate to email

6. Some Information From Waxworks Designer, Bernard Pearson

Bernard Pearson, who designs Waxworks' Discworld candles, has been kind enough to tell us a bit about why he does what he does.

I really can't say exactly when I really became a "Cunning Artificer". Probably when I was about 11 and the sheep were divided from the goats. As a goat of good standing, I had no preconceived notions of any career other than getting a job, preferably one that required the minimum of effort for the maximum of return, indoors, with no heavy lifting. But to my surprise, and the total astonishment of the educational Gestapo, I was able to make things. Out of wood, metal, on paper, and more especially in clay. Whereas I could hardly write my name, was to all intents and purposes innumerate and completely anarchic, making and drawing was something that gave me consummate joy even then.

My muse, the monkey on my back, has for the most part been in creating the world of Faery, legend and myth in clay and sculptural form. Tolkien from the sixties, Merlins in the seventies, and Dragons in the eighties. You name it, I've probably made it and flogged it. Sometimes I made a lot of money, sometimes not. But I always told the story, gave words a feel, wrung out the image.

Then I met him.

Now when I was first given the book to read it was like drawing teeth. I was a Tolkien freak, your Snorri Snurlsson, your Mabigodun, taken with a dash of Jung and a side order of Anglo Saxon poetry. Pratchett! With those covers, sod off. Besides he had ruined my sex life for a week, while Isobel sat up till all hours reading his ruddy book's laughing... enjoying reading FANTASY...laughing outruddyloudatallhours. I gave in, grudgingly. They were fun, they were funny, they were - hang on, they ARE - so bloody clever. Here was I, the man who made the ultimate fantasy sculpture, for the serious collector, narrative sculpture, the biz, and there was this clever sod putting images in my brain that not only fired my imagination, but made me laugh. Made me look at the world, sideways. Changed the way I would make things, and whose ideas and world view resonated so well with my own.

There followed a period when my fortunes were linked to Clarecraft or companies like it. Discworld was a means to an end in the corporate structure. But the books weren't, not for me. Images ran rampant through my mind, one phrase or sentence would conjure up an image that just had to be made. Now I am back where I have always been. A craftsman in a shed, working with such good friends who are also craftsmen; well, Isobel is a ruddy good potter, therefore a craftsman... Making things, some commercially, for shops and the like. Other things I make to indulge myself and my friends. Foremost of which is a man whose writing and view on the world and the human condition has given me more joy than any other author, a man who is the most unpatronising patron a craftsman could make for, a man who has become a friend, who makes me think, lets me build his dreams with my hands and skills.

7. Results of Waxworks Competition

In last month's issue we gave you the opportunity to win some Discworld candles, supplied by Waxworks. You can contact them at please mention DWM in any correspondence.

The questions and answers are:

Q1. What was the name of PTerry's first short story?
A1. "The Hades Business" (see issue 3 of Discworld Monthly). Not "The Carpet People" which was PTerry's first full novel.

Q2. Who supplied the match that burnt down the Broken Drum?
A2. DEATH (in "The Colour Of Magic"). Although Twoflower did give Broadman the metaphorical match, with the idea of "Inn-sewer-ants".

The winners in reverse order are:

3rd Place "Michelle Osmond" who wins the Assassin's Guild candle
2nd Place "Shonaigh Douglas" who gets the Librarian candle

and finally......

1st Place goes to "Iwan Lamble" who gets the Silver Hogfather candle.

Don't worry if you were not one of the winners, as we are planning another competition with Clarecraft for issue 12.

7a. 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 are feeling particularly nasty.

Each month the writer of the month's best letter will receive two Discworld buttons (badges to non-Americans as opposed to the things you do up your trouser with) with PTerry quotes on them from Snapdragon Gifts. You can contact Snapdragon Gifts at . Please quote reference DWM in any correspondence.

* From: "Heleanor Feltham"
I must admit to being bemused by the idea that Pratchett readers are all 14 year old boys. Especially as I am a female in my fifties, who hopes that DEATH will let her reincarnate in Ankh Morpork, running a public museum/art gallery for Vetinari, perhaps, but certainly with a long-term research entry card for the University library. My only real beef with the author is his discriminatory policies regarding women at Unseen University.

It's the fourteen that gets me. I can imagine enjoying the plots and the characters, but I can't actually imagine anyone with only nine (maybe ten) years of reading managing to get the Pratchett jokes. Look at all the dreadful band names in Soul Music, for instance. Or the theological background to Small Gods. You really need, like the author, to have misspent a life-time prowling through the wormholes in the world's libraries! (He probably found the route to Alexandria's long-burnt treasures some time in his childhood). What I enjoy most is the sheer breadth and depth and tongue-in-cheek awfulness of the man's scholarship, from his animation of Jungian archetypes, to his transmutation of Elizabethan theatre and his inspired creation of that inimitable early architect/landscape gardener, Bloody Awful Johnson.

Mind you, I love the characters - It's dreadfully hard to pick a favourite among so many - DEATH, Rincewind, Greebo, Twoflower, Susan Sto Helit, Cohen the Barbarian, Carrot, Detritus, Vimes, the Patrician, Mustrum Ridcully, Esme Weatherwax (who could be an extra sister somewhere between my mother and my aunt Emma), Verence ....... and the way they evolve from book to book. The stories are pretty good, too. In fact Terry Pratchett is probably my favourite author, which, for a confirmed bookaholic, is saying quite a lot. Long may he write!

WB replies: The idea that all Pratchett fans are 14 year old boys is of course complete rubbish. If the early books were written over ten years ago, how old are the 14 year olds now? (Over 24 of course, you fool - Ed.) Besides I'm certainly not going to argue with someone who knows about Jungian archetypes and the transmutation of Elizabethan theatre.

* From: "Kelly Wolfe"
When I was in the UK last I discovered Discworld audio tapes read by Tony Robinson (of Blackadder fame) and I must have suffered a terrible head trauma because I didn't buy any. I regret this deeply. I also searched for the album "From The Discworld". I believe it is by Dave Greenslade. It was difficult to find a shop that would order it in the UK but here in the States it is virtually impossible. Now I hear about the Soul Music CD?! Where can I find these things in the US?? I am seriously distraught.

JA replies: You can get the audio books over the net from see section 12 for more information. In issue 7 we included an address of where you can purchase the Soul Music CD.

* From: "Emma Tinsley"
I just received the latest Discworld Monthly, and I felt I had to comment on Aamir Hussain's letter. How is Feet of Clay slow? It is my 2nd favourite Discworld book (after Moving Pictures), the plot is outrageously complex. I've read it 3 times and still picked up new subtleties I missed last time round. I am disappointed that Jingo sounds very similar though. Thanks for another absorbing issue.

* From: "Martyn Hutchby"
As I was re-reading Mort I realized that Death's Library, where the biographies "live", must be connected to L-Space, it's a library after all. So this must mean that the Librarian (oook) must be able to visit - Do I detect a potential PTerry story line? Another chance for Rincewind to panic I feel.

* From: "Ilana Halupovich"
Why do people think that something is gained by writing : "I loved this writer, he is better than that one?" I like reading (and re-reading) Anne McCaffery and Douglas Adams and I think Discworld fans will enjoy Esther Friesner, Robert Asprin's M.Y.T.H. series, John de Chancie's Castle Perilous series or Tom Holt's humour.

What do Discworld fans read beside Discworld novels? (I know many trekkies, that do nothing, but Star-Trek connected things) and what do you call a Discworld fan?

* From: "Lord Vetinari"
In response to the part in Issue 7 about PTerry mellowing out from the beginning of the series to the latest.

I just started reading his novels at about "Lords and Ladies" and read all the ones going after that, and am only now reading the earlier ones as I can find them in the US used bookstores, so my idea of Pratchett and how he has changed may be different from others. I agree that he started off as more gag-driven writing, it seems like it could go anywhere if it made a good joke but he started changing from "Reaper Man" to "Lords and Ladies". Now it's more like he comes up with some great and witty philosophical idea which is the basis of the book, which has reasonable events, just based on this absurd premise which makes it far funnier. I am also glad at this new batch of regular characters, like Death's family, the Watch, and a stable list of the UU. I feel more appreciative of these characters whose groups we can picture as being part of our lives as well.

Oh, with everybody commenting on how he has changed his writing style and some even saying he seems to be running out of material for the Discworld (I notice Maskerade, Moving Pictures, and Soul Music especially) then maybe it is not too much of a surprise why he said he would be stopping the series soon. Let's be happy with what we got while we do :)

RM replies: Who can argue with Lord Vetinari. This letter receives the now coveted letter of the month award. By the way your name's not Kevin is it?

* From: "Vicky Kingsley"
I just want to use your excellent publication (creep, creep) to voice a major moan of mine. For the last six months I have desperately been trying to find out when Discworld II will be out for the Mac, and the only reply I have received is that it won't. I have no idea why. Am I the only PTerry fan who owns a Mac? This is the ONLY game I want to spend money on, and they won't take it. There must be more people out there - if so, please contact me. Anyone got any ideas on how to solve this minor crisis???? Help!!!!! I shall be eternally grateful for any assistance!!!

JA Replies: As we can see from the above anyone who needs 7a exclamation marks is a very deranged or very desperate person. Perfect Entertainment (who wrote the games) can be found on the web at but they'll probably tell you to get a PC.

* From: "Peter Hart"
I bought Jingo on 27th Oct. in Gatwick Airport on my way to Russia on a school trip. I spent a third of my money before I'd even got there! I think Jingo's the best book so far - it's the first new Discworld book out since I got addicted and I've read all the rest - I think Vimes is a brilliant character. In relation to Phil Penney's review, I wouldn't like to see PTerry change his style - I like it the way it is. I can't wait for the next one - any news on the front? Anyway keep up the good work PTerry and DWM.

PS. Discworld MUD rules!! Yes I know it's totally text-based, but give it a chance for a few days and who knows, you might get hooked like me (petri)!

9. DiscTrivia

I was pleasantly surprised to hear from so many South African PTerry fans and apparently the man himself will be visiting South Africa in February next year (no details as yet). I thought I'd let you know that I recently chose "The Discworld Companion" as my book prize at our high school prize giving so this will no doubt be very useful for this trivia section. Here are the December questions and the November answers. Enjoy!

Last month we asked the following questions:

Q1) What common card game does Twoflower try to teach Death in "The Light Fantastic"?
A1) Bridge

Q2) From what type of wood is The Luggage made?
A2) Sapient Pearwood

Q3) What is the literal meaning of "Skund" as in the Forest of Skund?
A3) Your Finger You Fool

Q4) What is the basic unit of magical strength?
A4) Thaum

Q5) What are the 3 greatest things in life according to Cohen the Barbarian?
A5) Hot water, good dentistry, soft lavatory paper

Q6) How many steps does the Tower of Art's famous spiral staircase have?
A6) 8,888

December Trivia Questions:

Q1) When in Ankh-Morpork, where does Albert (Death's manservant) stay?

Q2) What is Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey well-known for?

Q3) What is the Patrician's first name?

Q4) Name the zombie who founded the Fresh Start Club.

Q5) What colour are Lady Luck's eyes?

Q6) Who invented the "gonne"?

The answers can be found in section 15. No cheating now.

10. Review of Clarecraft's New Piece Foul Ole Ron

Clarecraft have just supplied one of their creations for us to review: "Foul Ole Ron", the most famous of the beggars on the Discworld.

Foul Ole Ron smells so bad that his odour has taken on its own personality. Unfortunately (or should that be fortunately) the most famous of stenches is not captured in this model (maybe it went off to haunt someone). I think a slight problem with the model is not how it has been done, it's more that he is not enough of a character to be able to build a convincing model. I don't think Clarecraft have done it wrong (who can argue?), it's just that there is nothing that makes it especially Ron. I think the piece is great, but perhaps it's just not the piece I expected it to be.

Clarecraft have a full colour catalogue available. To get your copy write to please remember to mention DWM in any correspondence. You can also see pictures of some of Clarecraft's models at

11. Who's Who on the Discworld - Ankh Morpork's Beggars

To coincide with Clarecraft's creation "Foul Ole Ron" we have decided to talk about some of Ankh Morpork's more famous beggars.

The Beggars' Guild is the longest running guild in Ankh-Morpork and predates the current guild system by centuries. Of all the guilds in Ankh-Morpork the Beggar's Guild has to be the most typically Discworldly. A guild conjours up images of stately guild headquarters whose chairmen are invited to the best social functions, so the whole notion of such a body existing for down-and-outs is rather like an Amish web-page. Later books seem to have forgotten about this institution, though, and we're left with the individual beggars.

Foul Ole Ron is the most famous of all beggars. His smell is so well developed that it has taken on a personality and is considered socially higher than its *owner*. I wonder (not too hard) what Ron smells like when his smell is elsewhere? Ron is a mumbler, who follows people around until they pay him to stop. You may think all beggars are the same, but there are many different grades of beggars including Dribblers, Walking Around Shouters and People Who Call Other People Jimmy.

Coffin Henry also deserves mention due to his almost solid cough and amazing assortment of skin diseases. Henry has a tendency to turn up to social events and start examining bits of pussy skin until he is paid to go away. It is socially acceptable (nay, recommended) in Ankh-Morpork to pay a small donation to the Beggars Guild so people like Henry don't turn up.

Duckman is different. Other people think he has a duck on his head, but Duckman doesn't seem to think so. In Soul Music, Death asks WHAT IS THAT DUCK DOING ON YOUR HEAD to which Duckman replies "What duck?".

The first beggar we were introduced to in "The Colour of Magic" was blind Hugh, whose nerves tingle whenever there is gold within fifty paces and who makes the mistake of thinking that the Patrician pays for useful information, a common misconception among beggars.

Foul Ole Ron's particular gang of vagrants serves an unusual purpose in the Discworld books. Their principal role seems to be to reassure us that life isn't so bad - here are a group of down-and-outs, without homes or money, yet they aren't bothered about their situation. In some ways, this approach has got to be a bad thing: does it mean that, the next time you pass a beggar in the street, you can walk past safe in the knowledge that life isn't so bad for them? One of the most important messages to come out of PTerry's writing is that the world isn't such a bad place, but I find it hard to believe that he would really espouse such a callous viewpoint.

12. 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).

13. Hogswatch Beer

Eric & Arth, the Wall brothers, have had some success brewing Discworld beers. For Hogswatch they've once again pulled out the stops to deliver a Hogswatch porter. Not, we assume the sort of porter who carries your bags at a railway station.

The basic gift pack consists of 2 bottles of the porter, a bag of sweeties, a Discworld Hogswatch card and a beer mug designed by Bernard Pearson. We'd like to tell you what it's like but our free samples must have got lost in the post.

For further details contact Eric the Beer-Monster.

Tel/Fax: 01509-216057
Address: (Hogswatch beer) Wallbro, 11 Hornbeam, The Fairways, Loughborough, LE11-2NY

14. Feature: PTerry's Short Stories - Part 5 - "FINAL REWARD"

In the fifth part of our Short Stories series, Phil Penney tells us about "FINAL REWARD". Phil runs the unofficial Discworld fan club "The Guild of Fans and Disciples". For more information email him on

PTerry wrote "Final Reward" for the role-playing magazine GM and it was published in the October 1988 issue. This short lived publication often had Discworld-related features; partly because Discworld has great potential for role-playing and partly because PTerry had a strong interest in the genre. He used to write scenarios for friends and several Discworld characters originated from these games - most notably The Luggage.

This story is about a best-selling author of serious fantasy who, after a row with his girlfriend, kills off his barbarian hero, Erdan. The next day, he answers the door to find his creation "come to meet his maker". At first the author, Dogger, tries to find a rational explanation, but as the story progresses, he comes to accept Erdan and Erdan becomes more accustomed to the comforts of the modern world.

In this passage, Erdan has just followed Dogger out of a supermarket with a trolley full of stolen groceries:

Dogger crept up to the trolley. "But it's not yours!" Erdan looked puzzled.

"It is now," he said. "I took it. Much easy. No fighting. I have drink, I have meat, I have My-Name-Is-TRACEY-How-May-I-Help-You, I have small nuts in bag."

Dogger pulled aside most of a cow in small polystyrene boxes and Tracey's mad, terrified eyes looked up at him from the depths of the trolley. She extended a sticker gun in both hands, like Dirty Harry about to have his day made, and priced his nose at 98p a lb.

"Final Reward" is written in a similar style to Discworld and is just as funny. What initially threatens to be a one gag plot develops into an interesting and unusual story with an ending that is not exactly unexpected, but surprising nevertheless.

You'd have to be fairly fortunate to come across a copy of the original magazine, although they are not particularly expensive when you do. A friend of mine paid 50p for a copy recently. Fortunately, this story has been reprinted in the recent anthology "Space Movies II" edited by Peter Haining (1996, Severn House 0-7278-4897-6). I get the impression that Peter Haining tends to churn out these anthologies without too much consideration for accuracy and this book is no exception. The fact that his editorial notes contain errors is bad enough, but "Final Reward" is badly typeset with paragraphs running into one other (didn't they *read* the book before publishing it? Grrr!). Maybe this was corrected in later editions, but it's still worth buying for the die-hard Pratchett fan.

By penning a story about a writer, you can't help wondering if PTerry was writing himself into the role of Dogger. Well haven't you ever wondered why Rincewind has always escaped certain Death...?

15. The End

The answers to December's trivia questions are:

A1) At the Young Men's Reformed Cultists of the Ichor God Bel-Shamharoth Association.
A2) Being the stickiest child in the world.
A3) Havelock
A4) Reg Shoe
A5) Emerald green
A6) Leonard of Quirm

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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