Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 20: December 1998

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. Discworld Cross-Stitch Information and Competition
5. DiscTrivia
6. Carpe Jugulum Competition Results
7. Attention all Pratchett fans in North America!
8. Feature: Interview with Perfect Entertainment - Part 1
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 20. Happy Hogswatchnight, Missus! Another year has been and gone and amazingly we are still here. This time last year we had nearly 4,000 subscribers this number has more than doubled to around 11,000 thanks to your continued support.

1998 has been an interesting year for Pratchett fans: PTerry had his 50th Birthday, spring saw the first professional production of a Pratchett play "Guards! Guards!", the second Discworld Convention took place in September and PTerry released two books: The Last Continent in May and Carpe Jugulum in November. Not to mention the plethora of extras.

Due to demands of space, the final installment of Phil Penney's PTerry Short Stories reviews has been moved to a future issue.

You can now easily recommend Discworld Monthly to a friend. Visit and fill in the form. We will then send a short introduction to your friend on your behalf.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (New Age Traveller)

2. News

Clarecraft have arranged the dates for their 1999 event. The event starts on Friday 30th July 1998 and finishes on Sunday 1st August 1999. The theme is not yet set in stone, although Soul Music looks promising. Confirmed guests include Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs and Dave Hodges. For more information email Elton on

Terry Pratchett's Maskerade will be performed by the Drama Society of the University of Kent, at the Gulbenkian Theatre, The University, Canterbury, Kent on the 10th - 12th March 1999. For more details please e-mail Neil ( ) or see the UKC Dramatics Webpage (

There will be a dramatisation of Mort between 26 January and 6 February 1999 at the Crescent Theatre Birmingham. Apparently they are one of the leading amateur theatres in the country.

Address: The Crescent Theatre, 20 Sheepcote Street, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B16 8AE Box Office: (Mon-Sat 12-7.00 pm) Tel: 0121 643 5858

They are now taking bookings for what should be a great show. They received very good reviews for their production of Wyrd Sisters last season.

The next phase of Paul Darrow's Guards! Guards! phenomenon will be unleashed on the British Countryside in the new year, hot on the heels of the panto season! So far the confirmed dates are:

Mercury Theatre Colchester from Jan 21 Theatre Royal Brighton from Feb 1st Wimbledon Theatre London from Feb 8th Civic Theatre Darlington from Feb 22 Grand Theatre Swansea from March 1st

The first tour was in Spring '98 was a big hit so the producers suggest that you book early, especially for the slightly smaller venues at Coventry and Colchester.

Wyrd Sisters is begin performed by the Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre (CAST) from 8pm on December 9th/10th/11th/12th 1998. The venue is Colnbrook Village Hall, Vicarage Way, ColnBrook, Berkshire. Tickets are available from priced 6.00GBP for adults/ 4.00GBP for concessions or contact Claire at the Box Office on 01784-881907 or Steve on 0831-575938.

Wyrd Sisters is being performed by the Lichfield Players from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th December at 7.45pm. The venue is at The Lichfield Civic Hall, Castle Dyke, Lichfield, Staffs. Tickers are 6.00GBP (5.00GBP Concs.) available from the Box Office on 01543-254021.

Wyrd Sisters is being performed in Scotland in December. The Strathclyde Theatre Group are playing in the Ramshorn Theatre from December 11th (Fri) to December 19th (Sat) except Sunday 13th.

Ramshorn Theatre, 98 Ingram Street, Glasgow Telephone - 0141 552 3489

Guide headquarters in Ilkley, Yorkshire, and Victoria Elliott ( ) are considering holding a Discworld Quiz evening to raise money. They are looking for tips or ideas about how they could go about it.

The Internet Bookstore is running a half-price sale on Carpe Jugulum at

This month sees the creation of two new Pratchett email newsletters:
Unnamed at

Small Ads....

The following Discworld fans are looking for lurrvve (or maybe just correspondence):

"teoh ai ling" ( )
"Tim Donovan" ( )
"Brenden Matthew" ( )
"Frances Laycock" ( )
"Kevin Ward" ( )
"Mauro Roma" ( )

David Hopkins ( ) would like to know if there are any Discworld clubs or similar in Australia (or, more importantly, in Melbourne, Victoria - as he doesn't feel like travelling 400 kilometres to a monthly club meeting!).

Due to an unfortunate 'drunken' episode "Jim Underwood" ( ) missed the 4th and final 1/2 hour episode of Radio 4's adaptation of 'Wyrd Sisters' in their 'book at bedtime' slot a few year ago. If anyone still has a recording could they get in contact.

"Stephen Robb" ( ) is studying BA Visual communications at Leeds college of art and his latest project is designing a book about Discworld fans. He is interested in what attracts such a wide audience to the books. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

3. 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 to completely reverse their meaning.

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

* From: "Stephen Billington" ( )
Last months quiz states that the chances of a man with soot on his face,... hitting a dragon's voonerables are a million to one.

I must (and indeed do) disagree, otherwise sgt Colon would almost certainly have hit.

If I recall, the chances of it being exactly a million to one are millions to one (or somet' like that).

JA replies: We had similar responses from "The Magic Hedgehog" and "Brommer". Have you considered that this could have been the tenth time it was tried?

* From: "Becky Swaney" ( )
After I read "Adam Linvilles" letter from last month, I decided to do a little inquiring myself. I emailed Harper Prism about three times before I got this:

We are in negotiation to acquire rights to the first eleven books in the Discworld series, all of which had previously been published by ROC/NAL. If the negotiation is successful, we will start publishing new editions of the titles, probably beginning in late 1999.

I hope this will help!

* From: "Juliet Rowley" ( )
In response to the Ramptons's letter about no-one reading PTerry in Hong Kong, I think I can prove how different it is in Kent (UK), where I live!

At my secondary school, many people read PTerry. It's not a normal week unless I see someone walking around reading a PTerry book (you can tell by the cover illustrations). Top of the unofficial tally so far is Men At Arms. Small Gods has been placed on our senior school reading list. And get this, my History teacher reads them! That was a shock. Even so, may I pay homage to a teacher who can teach about Hitler's foreign policies and Unseen University at the same time!

* From: "W. J. Smith" ( )
In response to jadesity's letter last month about busting a butt muscle, I find the saying to be true, but on the other hand, who cares if people look at you funny and edge away? More room for you! You notice crazy people can always get a seat with no one in it, even if the seat did *happen* to have somebody in it a moment before.

* From: "Ben Dobyns" ( )
Ben Dobyns' translations of Carpe Jugulum.

Carpe Jugulum: pluck the throat (Perhaps it is a chicken's throat?), pull off the throat (My guess is that vampires are finicky, and wouldn't want to make a mess, so we can discard this rather gruesome possibility), select the throat (a contemplative vampire's modus operendi), enjoy the throat, graze the throat (Bovine vampires, perhaps?), carp at the throat (The act of carping did not begin with a bad fish as many believe. Our derivation is sound.), slander the throat (That guy was so drunk that his blood made me tipsy. How tacky. See if I ever frequent that throat again! What an insensitive clod!), weaken, annoy, or harass the throat (Vampire sued for throat harassment, details at 10.), and so on.

* From: "Mark Bullock" ( )
I'd just like to thank all those folks who responded to my 'Wyrd Sisters' plea concerning staging problems i.e. outside/inside dungeon and onstage/backstage.

It was most heart warming to discover so many helpful individuals in the world. For a humble writer/director as myself I will make an added effort to get those Thespians 'That's Thespians!' working a lot harder just to justify your response.

I've just got permission to do the play from Mr.Briggs. I'll let everyone know when it's on. There are some subtle changes. (Not to the script...not allowed) I won't bore you with details now but if anyone wants to know how I solved my problems or my production details drop me an e-mail. (Preferably not on my head er?)

Also...also... I've just read the review of 'Hogfather' at the Edinburgh festival. I saw it and totally agree Grrreeeaat! There was one BIG problem though. At the interval I had two pints of beer. Half way through Act 2 I was bursting. But thought the imps would follow me when I went to the loo, so I grinned and bore it.

* From: "Ronald Hogenboom" ( )
I just received the latest Discworld Monthly, it's getting something to look forward to! However, I just read your review of Carpe Jugulum in which you say it will be released on 5 November. How is it possible then that I bought it (IN THE NETHERLANDS !!!) last Saturday, the 30th of October? What's even worse, I've already finished it...

Personally I agree with your review, I appreciate the "growing" of the characters like Agnes' alter ego Perdita X but also I was very pleased with Mightily Oats and Hodgesaargh. Magrat is struggling a bit in her new role as mother however, a bit more depth wouldn't go amiss.

I enjoyed the book VERY much and consider it one of PTerry's best, I really do. It never stops to amaze me that a single head can contain such a source of inexhaustible fantasy.

As you say, the book encourages you to read faster to see what happens next so I'll soon will have to read it again to enjoy the finer elements of the plot.

* From: "mueldner" ( )
Since you included the Discworld calendars it struck me odd that you didn't mention the extraordinary Diary for 1999! It's called the Ankh Morpork City Watch Diary and includes an introduction by Vetinari, a description of the members of the Watch, an introduction on how to write crime reports, pictures from the Watch members, a full calendarium with 8!!! days a week (one for the Watch to feel like they've got a day off, called Octeday), small notes throughout the Calendarium from Nobby that he has to take days off to go to his grandmother's funeral (the first was the wrong grandma, the next wasn' t quite dead, they exhumed her and moved her to another funeral...).

* From: "Al Woods" ( )
Just thought I'd let you know (in case you would like to pass it along) that there are two new online book sellers in Canada that, I presume because of their connections with UK publishers, have Discworld books available that I haven't been able to find on either or BarnesAndNoble.

- ChaptersGLOBE (I just ordered the 4 books I was missing in my collection from them!)

- Canadian Bookshelf

* From: "Brad Rogers" ( )
Dave Hopkins missed a couple of acronyms last month:

HTTP: Hive Technology Transfer Protocol
MIME: Magical Interior Maze Extensions

* From: "Dina Ellen Flockhart" ( )
Re the letter from David Hopkins in DM 19 -

I rather think that information transfer might accomplished by ATM (Ant Transfer March) rather than FTP.

The transfer rate would be measured as the BAUD (Basic Ant Underground Distance) rate.

And are you sure that the Unseen University has not already had an effect? I often get mail that is UU encoded, and some of it is routed via UUNET or UUCP.

* From: "Arnold Warhonowicz" ( )
Being from Germany I discovered the joy of reading TP while studying in the UK. After my return to Germany I tried to find shops that stock TP in English (the German translations are really bad in my opinion). After about 10 unsuccessful visits to different book stores I gave up and visited and discovered that they have most TP books in their database. They also ship them free of charge within Germany and do offer special prices and have even better specials every once in a while. I think it's really worth a try, even though my fiancee is by now rather mad at me for having to run to the post office to pick up yet another parcel with a TP book every two weeks.

* From: "Lachlan Rendall" ( )
I found out from Discworld Monthly that PTerry was coming to Wellington again and as I had brought "Interesting Times" two days before I found The Man himself was coming I was forced to buy "Maskerade" in hardback - the only one in my complete Discworld collection, but certainly worth the extra for the signing. This time I had more warning from your issue 14 with dates and times. I checked and found that the date was during a week off from my Polytech Mechanics course, so set about deciding which books to get signed "Mort" and "Guards! Guards!". But then the boss where I do work experience offered to pay me to work for the week. It was a very hard decision but I decided I needed the money, what with all these new books and maps coming out. You should also note that as well as PTerry appealing to people of different countries and ages, he is read by people of diverse occupations, myself being an almost trained mechanic (wot, a mechanic with cult-ure!) and a friend a computer programmer.

JA Replies: Lachlan gets this month's Letter Of The Month.

* From: "Floris vdMeijs" ( )
Since everybody today is writing about their embarrassing moments in front of PTerry, I decided to write about "PTerry's embarrassing moment in front of me":

When it was my turn to get signed, I stepped forward and handed over "The streets of Ankh-Morpork" and "The Discworld Mapp". First, he signed my "Streets" with the phrase "Don't get lost!". Very nice, and I was already in the 7th heaven of delight. Next was the "Mapp". He wrote "To Floris" and then he stopped! he held his pen just two millimeters above the paper and just sat there for about one minute. I said "Oh boy" and everyone held their breath. Then finally he wrote "You are here!". I said "thank you" and left. Just outside the bookshop I began to realize the imbecility of the phrase. Why do other people get, e.g., "ach, ye fingle" in CJ or "Deary deary me" in the Witches trilogy, and all I can show to friends is "You are here". It's not even right! I'm not there. I'm on Earth, not the Discworld (although I'd like to).

Don't get this wrong, I really liked being there (not the book by Jerzy Korzinsky), but you just don't expect this sort of thing from the Prophet Of Comic Fantasy. PTerry should be a *bit* embarrassed.

* From: "A & M Lysle" ( )
I just want to know where all the Discworld fans are in Australia? All the letters and comments I see are from the UK. Are there ANY PTerry fans in the great Oz????

JA replies: When we ran a survey in Issue 10, nearly 10% of the forms were completed by Australians. If that proportion has stayed the same, there could be around 1000 on our mailing list alone.

* From: "smurf" ( )
I write a response to a letter that you published in the last news letter by Linda Bowland.

While I agree 30 books is over top when expecting an author to sign them all, she should also remember this:

It could be argued that it is a price of being a famous and collectable author. Mr Pratchett is truly a nice person, this I know as I have had the pleasure of meeting him at 2 book signings but it has to be understood that these book signings do not and can not take place "no where near" as often as fans would like therefore access to Mr Pratchett is limited. If a person is a avid collector, like me, then they are going to want all their books signed, and why not, they are fans and they paid their good money out for them so if they want them signed then it is their right. On this point I feel Miss Bowland should stop moaning, aspiring author or not, it comes with the job "so to speak", but I do agree that 30 books in one go is "a bit much". Maybe 4-5 at one signing is more like it. After all, we all know it does not take long to sign your name 4-5 times. I may be opening a can of worms here but it is my opinion and I am allowed to have that unless of course Miss Bowland objects to that too.

WB replies: Quite apart from the inconvenience for PTerry, isn't there also a lack of consideration for the other fans in the queue? PTerry once said that bringing more than one carrier bag of books to be signed is almost life threatening.

* From: "Stuart McDonald" ( )
In reply to Glyn Bradlys letter about winning the lottery I would just like to point out that you have a one in 13 million chance of winning the lottery, catchphrase "It could be you!" and a 1 in 14 million chance of catching CJD, catchprase "It'll never happen".

* From: "floopy jedi" ( )
I was watching the Discovery channel and I think I finally figured out what is Great A'tuin gender. Because only female turtles go back to their birth place and males are never seen again (staying in the ocean) that must mean great A'tuin is female because it went back to the place of its birth in Light Fantastic. I just thought people would like to know! Bye!

4. Discworld Cross-Stitch Information & Competition

You've read the books, seen the cartoons and played with the figures - now you can stitch up your favourite Discworld characters with a range of cross-stitch kits from Lyndisfarne.

Julia Froggatt is a one woman band producing cross-stitch kits of the Discworld characters based on the drawings of Stephen Briggs, Josh Kirby but mainly Paul Kidby. She does other designs as well but the Discworld ones are her biggest range. Anyone wanting a catalogue should write to Julia with a SAE at:

Lyndisfarne, Quarry lane, Kelsall, Tarporley, CW6 0NJ, ENGLAND or visit

We have a Librarian cross-stitch up for grabs if you can answer the following questions set by Simon Froggatt.

  1. In ounces, how much does the Librarian weigh?
  2. The Librarian likes to drink in the drum/broken drum/mended drum, but can you name three more inns in Ankh Morpork?
  3. What's the Librarian's pet name? (Clue:LAL)

Send your answers to along with your postal address (so we can mail the prize) before Saturday 19th December 1998. The winners will be selected randomly.

5. DiscTrivia

This month match up the book name with anything you think goes.., and don't forget to visit the Discworld Ring now with 18 members

We are making real progress with the Trivia Game. If you want to help, join the other 115 people on the mailing list at

Colour Of Magic 2 300 009
The Light Fantastic 27.4
Equal Rites 71-hour Ahmed
Mort Downspout
Sourcery Cutwell
Wyrd Sisters Drum Billet
Pyramids Fat Lunchtime
Guards! Guards! Joye Of Snackes
Eric Long Man
Moving Pictures Lupine Wonse
Reaper Man Mr. Clete
Witches Abroad Nijel The Destroyer
Small Gods Quezovercoatl
Men At Arms Nullus Anxietus
Lords And Ladies Pork Futures
Soul Music Red Star
Interesting Times Ruby
Maskerade Scraps
Feet Of Clay St. Ungulant
Hogfather Theft of eye of Offler
Jingo Vitoller
The Last Continent Wyrmburg
Carpe Jugulum Xeno

This month's answers can be found in section 9.

6. Carpe Jugulum Competition Results

Last month we asked: Which Discworld book is entitled "Go For The Throat"?

The answer is of course none of them, but Go For The Throat is a rough translation of Carpe Jugulum.

The three winners were chosen at random and are:

Sorry, If you didn't win this time. You can always order copies of Carpe Jugulum with huge (up to 40%) discounts from 0385409893/87

7. Attention all Pratchett fans in North America!

Andrew Millard writes about the North American Discworld Society. (WB - doesn't anybody else find this amusing?)

The November issue of WOSSNAME, the free e-mail publication of the North American Discworld Society, has recently been sent out. Each month it includes personal musings on aspects of being a Pratchett fan in North America, announcements of fan meetings and events, information on shops and other sources of Terry's books and Discworld merchandise, and puzzles and competitions to win such prizes as Clarecraft figures and the latest releases.

As well as publishing WOSSNAME, the North American Discworld Society helps its members obtain Discworld books and other items directly from Britain, often at substantial discounts, through our connection with the Guild of Fans and Disciples. You can find out more about this and our other activities by visiting our newly renovated Web site at

People outside North America are welcome to join our newly formed special membership section, the Klatchian Foreign Legion. Membership in either the Legion or the Society is free, so why not join today? Just send e-mail to Joe Schaumburger, the Society's founder, at

giving your name and location and we'll add you to the rosters! You can also subscribe directly by visiting

8. Feature: Interview with Perfect Entertainment - Part 1

Perfect Entertainment are working on their third Discworld game called Discworld Noir. The new game is due for release in late March 1999.

DWM recently interviewed Chris Bateman, the game's scriptwriter and designer, about the game. The interview is quite long so we have only included the first half this month.

We understand this game is a big departure from the previous two Discworld games. Why is this and what makes it different?

[Chris Bateman]
I think there comes a point when you have to say to yourself: we've done a pretty good job with these products, but isn't it about time we did something new? Both Terry and Gregg (my boss) felt that if there was to be another Discworld game, it had to be something different.

As for what makes Discworld Noir different, well five reasons spring to mind:

  1. It's in 3D
  2. It's an original storyline, not a game based around particular books.
  3. The conversation engine is more advanced, and more dynamic.
  4. Entirely new Discworld characters have been created and integrated into the existing universe.
  5. It's much darker, having the gritty feel of the Film Noir of the 40's rather than the more humorous stance of the earlier games.

I saw a rolling demo of the game at the Discworld Convention. You appear to have made up your own characters, how can you be sure it's still Discworld?

[Chris Bateman]
When Terry invents new characters, how can he be sure its still Discworld? 8-) Trust me, no character was added without Terry approving the character concept and name - indeed, many of the new characters were named by Terry himself. He would never let us do something that would violate his image of the Discworld.

It's a bit like a TV series, I guess. You have a certain setup that persists, but you have different writers working on it all the time and they invent characters, some of whom get integrated into the show and some of whom are just guests. I'm not trying to suggest that any of the new characters will turn up in Terry's books, but the point is that we've taken care to ensure that the new characters fit in.

What is Terry's involvement in the game?

[Chris Bateman]
Terry has floated godlike above the proceedings, approving and guiding us along the way. His single biggest contribution was taking the script away to Australia and tweaking it, putting in lots of Pratchett-style humour and changing anything that he felt didn't fit with his view on the Discworld (and let's face it - he should know).

This is another reason why I can say that even with new characters it's still Discworld: Terry has been through the dialogue and edited it to his heart's desire. If he's happy with it, we'd like to think everyone else will be too.

If the story is new, who has written the plot?

[Chris Bateman]
It's an entirely new story. The plot was developed by myself with a lot of input from Gregg, and with lots of little chats with Terry to make certain that he was happy with it. Once Terry and Gregg were okay with the plot, I took it away and produced the script, which Terry then took away and put the finishing touches to.

As preparation for writing this script I read over half the Discworld books (it is nice having a job where I can take an hour off here and there to read a good book and it counts as 'working'!), the companion, the maps, and the Annotated Pratchett Files. I also re-read books that had influenced Terry in some of the darker aspects of the Discworld (the works of HP Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber, in particular) and only then did I start trying to put the script together. (And that's not to mention the vast number of Film Noir movies that I borrowed from Gregg's seemingly endless video library so that I could get all the Noir references straight).

It's not easy to copy another writer's style, especially one with such a unique style like Terry's, but I was confident if I could just get close, Terry's editing would make up the difference.

As for the results - well, you can judge for yourself when the game comes out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

What (in)famous Discworld Locations will appear in the game?

[Chris Bateman]
Probably the most famous locations used in the game are the Patrician's Palace and the Unseen University - although you'll be seeing corners of those you don't normally see, and certainly places that we haven't used in any of the previous games. There are also several Guilds - one of which is entirely new - and that's not to mention Pseudopolis Yard, Maudlin Bridge and Dagon Street.

I should stress at this point what a great job the artists here at Perfect have done on putting together these locations. There are some beautiful locations in 'Discworld Noir', and a lot of care has gone towards getting everything just right (or as just right as a tight schedule allows).

The final half of the interview will appear in next month's issue.

9. The End

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* Answers to this months DiscTriva *

Colour Of Magic Wyrmburg
The Light Fantastic Red Star
Equal Rites Drum Billet
Mort Cutwell
Sourcery Nijel The Destroyer
Wyrd Sisters Vitoller
Pyramids Xeno
Guards! Guards! Lupine Wonse
Eric Quezovercoatl
Moving Pictures Ruby
Reaper Man Theft of eye of Offler
Witches Abroad Fat Lunchtime
Small Gods St. Ungulant
Men At Arms Pork Futures
Lords And Ladies Long Man
Soul Music Mr. Clete
Interesting Times 2 300 009
Maskerade Joye Of Snackes
Feet Of Clay Downspout
Hogfather 27.4
Jingo 71-hour Ahmed
The Last Continent Nullus Anxietus
Carpe Jugulum Scraps

* Obtaining PTerry's Books *

If you are looking for PTerry books over the net, try or visit for a list of PTerry books with direct links to ordering pages.

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