Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 31: November 1999

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. November Tour Dates
4. Readers' Letters
5. Recommendations
6. DiscTrivia
7. Clarecraft Competition and Review
8. Review: Discworld Noir
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 31. Our review of Nanny Ogg's Cookbook will not appear until next issue due to lack of space in this issue. The book however will be released this month with Fifth Elephant (hard cover) and Carpe Jugulum (soft cover).

We get lots of mail suggesting ideal actors to play Discworld characters should a Discworld movie ever be made. We have discovered three web sites that accept and collate this information to produce some unusual results.

The "Discworld Casting Couch" can be found at the "The Ultimate Discworld Casting Page" can be found at and "Psychoboys Discworld Dimension" can be found at

One of the other most common subjects is the Discworld Computer games. If you need help with any of the games, you can visit the excellent l-space web site at and follow the links for games.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Sub-human Editor)

2. News

Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson has a new website that includes a new range of jewellery at Next month we will include a chance win a silver Death's head.

Stephen Briggs' adaptation of Carpe Jugulum will be published by Samuel French sometime before Christmas.

Colin Smythe has checked up with Astrion/Panasonic regarding availability of the Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music videos. While W.H.Smith branches may not stock them, they are definitely still available and if customers have the video numbers - AST 1046 and AST 1047 - they can be ordered by the shops. He goes on to say "Of course, it is not unknown for lazy assistants to pretend the video is no longer available because they can't be bothered to process the order. It happens with books too."

During the four years' existence of BookTrack's weekly bestselling chart, over 60 titles have been constantly in the top 5000 bestselling titles. The author with the most titles in this listing is Terry Pratchett with 12, namely: The Colour of Magic, Guards! Guards!, Pyramids, Soul Music, The Light Fantastic, Reaper Man, Interesting Times, Sourcery, Men At Arms, Equal Rites, Mort and Wyrd Sisters.

Dave Hodges (the real Hodgesaargh) successfully raised 291GBP for the orang-utan foundation at the recent Clarecraft event. Clarecraft have also released a hodgesaargh character that seems to be selling well. Dave still has copies of his book about falconry available which cost 3.20 GBP with 1GBP going to the orang-utan foundation. Dave will be at the 2000 convention and the final performance of Stephen Briggs' adaption of Fifth Elephant should anyone want to meet / avoid him. For more information on the book visit or email

The Strathclyde Theatre Groups will be playing Maskerade from Tuesday 30th November 1999 to Saturday 11th December 1999 (but not Sunday 5th December 1999) at: The Ramshorn Theatre, Ingram Street, Glasgow. Tickets cost: Mon-Tues 5GBP/1.50GBP concs, Wed-Sat 7GBP/3BGP concs. Tickets can be booked from The Ticket Centre on 0141-287-5511.

Acorn Media, the U.S. distributor of Wyrd Sisters on video, is gearing up to release Wyrd Sisters on DVD and they need our help! For the DVD release, Acorn is working with the producers of the Wyrd Sisters video to come up with interesting "extras" that will accompany the program. If you have a DVD player and recently rented releases like "The Matrix" you know that extras can turn a DVD into something far more than a mere 2 hour experience. They are looking to do this with Wyrd Sisters and need ideas on what sort of extra features should be included on the DVD. Some preliminary ideas include a Pratchett bio, a section introducing Discworld, trivia questions, weblinks, booklist, art gallery and a production / broadcast history for the video. What do you think? What extra features do you think would make a Wyrd Sisters DVD a true collectors item?

As of now, the Wyrd Sisters DVD is scheduled for release during the first part of next year followed by the release of a Soul Music video/DVD later in the year. To purchase the current release of Wyrd Sisters on video visit Acorn Media at or call them at 1-800-999-0212.

Your ideas and contributions would be greatly appreciated. Please email any ideas to Sylvia George ( )

Small Ads....

"Mark Ward" ( ) is looking for pictures of DEATH and The Luggage for tattoo purposes, please send any pictures of drawings you have.

"Pierre Benz" ( ) would like to get in touch with Discworld fans in Cape Town, South Africa.

"Crimson" ( ) is looking for a penpal who likes anything and also people who would like to send trivia.

"Michelle" ( ) is a busy working mum who is also a humungous Discworld and science fiction fan and will happy converse with anyone from 1 to 100!

"Leah" ( ) is looking for epals. She likes Formula One Motor racing and various outdoor activities.

"Hayley Marsden" ( ) says: "I have a large amount of information on the Discworld due to helping with enquires at "Ramtop to Rimfall" so if anyone want to ask anything please email me. I will try to reply to your emails as quickly as possible but please be patient!!!"

"Ellen" ( ) is looking for an e-pal any age between 13 and 20 or anyone who doesn't mind writing to a 15 year old and rambles on about nearly anything. It would be preferred if they like any of the following: X Files, Due South, South Park and to some degree Start Trek.

"Josephine" ( ) is looking for on-line maps of the Discworld! She tries to search the web but gets thousands of links every time.

"Clive Gillard" ( ) is looking for any shops in Australia that sell any of the harder to get books in the series or any of the diaries. He also wants to know where you can buy the audio tapes, videos, statues or the games?

"Roderick MacLeod JNR." ( ) is looking for anyone to correspond with via email. He is 15, enjoys PTerry's books and has a serious thing about music and the X-Files. He would also like to know if anyone knows about any fan clubs in the JHB area (South Africa).

"Liv Ruddy" ( ) is looking for Discworld II for the PC. And is willing to pay a reasonable price.

"Dane Bruce" ( ) from Australia is looking for the first Discworld game in its original box with all the stuff contained. And says "I will pay any price."

"Chris" ( ) has been a Pratchett fan for some time now. He got hooked after playing the old ZX Spectrum game "The Color of Magic". His favourite book is Guards Guards! He hasn't had the time or money to get Discworld Noir but would like to talk to like minded people of any age to have a bit of a banter (his words) about Discworld.

"Patrik Karlsson" ( ) wrote to say that there is another assassin site on the web, based on the MUD, at

"Neil Gibson" ( ) is 18 and looking for a female friend to chat to over email. He likes guitars and heavy music, and defiantly loves Pratchett novels.

"Mark Langford" ( ) has a US first edition of Interesting Times. And is interested in any offers, especially trade for Clarecraft figures.

"Pete" ( ) is looking for a CD version of Discworld 2 at a reasonable price.

"Fay Stodart" ( ) has a copy of Discworld 2 - Missing, presumed...?! She has completed it and will pass it on for a nominal amount.

"David Blackman" ( ) wants to know where to get the Discworld Puzzles from. He has a "Map of the Disc" puzzle glued, framed and mounted over his fireplace, and also has "Soul Music" but wants to complete the set.

"The Hogfather" ( ) would like to invite you all to the Hogswatch grotto at

Due to the imminent arrival of a baby "Robert McKenzie" ( ) is having to clear some room. He has a few books for sale:

Stephen Briggs Play Adaptations of: Guards Guards 3.5 GBP, Wyrd Sisters 2.5 GBP, Mort 2.5 GBP


Wyrd Sisters Illustrated Screenplay 5GBP Soul Music Illustrated Screen Play 5GBP

All the above prices include p&p in the UK and are in "as new" condition.

3. November Tour Dates

The details of Terry Pratchett's November tour for The Fifth Elephant, Carpe Jugulum paperback and Nanny Ogg's Cook Book are:

Wednesday 3 November

Thursday 4 November Friday 5 November Saturday 6 November Tuesday 9 November Wednesday 10 November Thursday 11 November Friday 12 November Saturday 13 November Wednesday 17 November Thursday 18 November Friday 19 November Saturday 20 November Thursday 25 November

4. 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 avoid having to answer any complicated questions.

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: "Greg O'Leary" ( )
I don't know why people have reported to be having difficulties getting the Discworld books here in Canada. Chapters always has an excellent selection. And Coles (the other big chain here in Canada....which is now owned by Chapters [I believe]) has been very good at ordering in some of the earlier ones that I have been trying to track down. The only book that I can't seem to get my hands on is Eric. Although I have located a specially Sci-Fi/Fantasy book store here in Ottawa (Basilisk Books on Bank Street) who said they will be able to get it in (and normally have some in stock). They order directly from the UK for his books (and it shows in the price....they are nearly double the cover price. But what can you do if you want to read the books :)

* From: "redkite" ( )
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh no...... what rubbish is this parading as a Discworld game? Lets face it even the very worst of the Discworld novels has more wit cynicism and downright gobsmacking pleasure than this p-pooooooor effort... I give full credit to Cut Me Own Throat Pratchett and yield to no man in an outright condemnation of this expensive C.R.A.P.[ Contemptible Rip-off,-Allegedly Pratchett] this stuff makes Weird sisters the video look exciting... Can I have my money back? There was a keen anticipation waiting for the next game....... "Terry Pratchett of hallowed memory... "yer dun ripped me orf mate"... it will be a long time before I forgive you this one..... and I would have forgiven you almost anything... SOB....

* From: "David Brauchli" ( )
I think my favourite Pratchett books are ones that invent new characters and scenarios, such as Pryamids, Small Gods, Moving Pictures, etc. I know new characters are invented in each 'episode' novel, and even in the 'new scenario' novels there are always cameo appearances by established characters that we can all delight in recognising, but I somehow enjoy the ones that are one-offs more. I also find the Lancre witches my least favourite, especially Granny Weatherwax who is unnecessarily stereotyped and mean to people I feel, which makes it hard to sympathise with her. I guess I have a kind of grudging respect for her, which is perhaps what Mr Pratchett has intended, but I generally get bored with these scenarios fairly easy. The first installment of the Lancre witches was quite enjoyable because of the obvious Macbeth, Hamlet parodies and the later Lords and Ladies because of A Midsummer's Nights Dream parodies, but I am slowly becoming soured to them. Currently I am reading Carpe Jugulum which I discovered unexpectedly in paperback just recently (in Australia). Do you know if The Fifth Elephant is a 'new scenario' novel or not? Also I must say that the 'childrens' series Diggers, etc., was very good and the television adaptation is definitely worth seeing, which uses animated puppets and is of a high standard, worth seeing for any Discworld fan.

* From: "Ty Browning" ( )
Any chance of you blokes having a competition in which us, the readers, have a chance of winning the complete set of Discworld books, including spin offs (eg the Streets of Ankh-Morpork)? Being a student and strapped for cash I would certainly enter such a competition. So how about it eh?

JA Replies: Ty, we would love to run this type of competition, but unfortunately as we run this newsletter free of charge, I'd personally have to buy the complete set to give it away. Our competition prizes are normally kindly donated by the supplier.

* From: "Gareth Pickard" ( )
Having not read Men at Arms for a long time and currently not being at home I can't check up on this but it is possible for hand guns to be loaded with one round in breach ready to fire plus a full magazine so therefore making a total of 7 rounds, I think. My knowledge of the subject comes from a somewhat scary mate from my old school... and I am not a nutter (I hope!).

* From: "Pamela Munt" ( )
Just to let you know that our "Unseen Theatre Company" is not in South Africa. It is in fact in South Australia, AUSTRALIA, as I did write in my last email. We are still intending to produce "Mort" in March/April of next year, but we don't intend to travel overseas to do it:-) and are still interested in contacting any fan clubs in SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

* From: "Emma Rigby" ( )
There is a sign outside Dillon's the bookshop in Birmingham which says that Terry Pratchett will be signing copies of the Fifth Elephant [the book not the elephant - WB] some time in November. Can't remember when, sorry.

JA Replies: See section 3 for full tour details.

* From: "Stuart Dowler" ( )
I was wondering if either of the Pratchett computer games will EVER come out on the Amiga and if they will when?

WB Replies: For a start there are 4 computer games and no they won't ever come out on the Amiga, or the Atari 2600 for that matter.

* From: "Anna" ( )
In response to 'Dote Stone'....

As someone who knows most of Lloyd-Webber's musicals off by heart (in particular Phantom and Starlight Express), then I must say that I think you are missing the point of Maskerade. Sure it's a p*ss take, but unless you know the musical off by heart you're going to miss a lot of the funny lines. For example, in the musical Christine says 'Father once spoke of an angel/I used to dream he'd appear/Now as I sing I can sense him/And I know he's here', which obviously relates to a line spoken by Christine in the book - you can look for that one yourself. Also 'Like yellow parchment is his skin/A great black hole serves as the nose that never grew'. Aah, I could do this for hours. And remember, Lloyd-Webber only writes a musical every couple of years....he can't help it if Cats has been playing for 18 years in the West End, Starlight Express for 15 and Phantom for 13!

Also (while I'm writing this email), I'd like to announce that my Discworld site, the ever popular Ankh-Morpork City Watch House, can now also be found at as well as its normal address,

* From: "Healahni" ( )
I am trying to locate a hardcover copy of ERIC but thus far I have only found one. It was on the internet -- a first edition for $130.00 which is WAY out of my league! Otherwise I only see trade and mass market paperbacks. Do you know if ERIC was only published hardcover in the UK, first edition? If so, I will know to change my focus unless I can somehow manifest that which was not originally so.....

* From: "Tom Prince" ( )
To Oly Brown...

Dearest Oly,

while I have lived and breathed my metal since I was ten, I'm under no illusion as to what degree of talent and writing prowess lies with most metal bands. METAL RULES! Everybody got that? But don't go around spreading porkies Oly.

DWM Editorial Team Replies: The only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud.

* From: "Ghost" ( )
For reasons that I need not go into here, I was in Sweden during the middle of September. Imagine my delight when I recognise an all new Pratchett sitting in the bookshop, proudly displaying the title "The Fifth Elephant". I open it. It's in Swedish. I curse.

What's going on when a highly popular English author releases his books in Sweden two months before England, eh?

* From: "L.J.Thomason" ( )
I notice several of the letters in the last issue contained opinions about music. Surely PTerry is allowed his own opinion on music, just like the rest of us and if he chooses to write about it in his books, that's his prerogative. As a classically trained musician and a totally non po-faced one at that, I think I have sufficient grounding to say that Andrew Lloyd-Webber's music is not "total drivel" as Dote Stone so passionately believes and I thoroughly enjoyed "Masquerade" (sic) both in its references to the "Phantom" musical and to the original text by Gaston Leroux. All PTerry's novels are tightly constructed works of genius, just like Webber's. If Dote Stone regards musicals as the poor relation of 'classical' music then he/she must also regard PTerry's novels as inferior to the literary greats, and I sincerely doubt that!

JA Replies: L.J.THomason gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: "Steve Raines" ( )
You've probably had umpteen e-mail's on this already...... Item 6. The Wow Wow sauce recipe... 'Eschalot' is indeed French for Shallot, a small onion.. It is not 'scallion', which is French for what we know in more cultured climes as a good old spring onion.. You can buy eschalot vinegar, which is probably what Dr. William Kitchiner was referring to as Eschalot Wine.

* From: "Michele Mulholland" ( )
I've only just joined this fan club and so far I've been very impressed with all that I've read. The only thing I'm a bit 'miffed' about is all the letters stating famous people who are right to play characters in PTerry's books. We should band together as a collection of PTerry fans and demand that only fans get to play the characters if Hollywood intends to do the RIGHT THING and make a movie based on the Discworld (With Terry and only Terry to do the scriptwriting)

If any Hollywood director is reading this I'm free for a screen test at any time.

JA Replies: You forgot to mention what role you would play.

* From: "Cirtheru" ( )
When can we enjoy a Spanish version of DWM? If I'm not mistaken it's the second most spoken language in the world. Also, if many Spanish-speakers don't know Discworld it's because there are very few references in this language, sadly. Come on, we are many and we want it.

Another thing, I'm looking for information about the role-playing game of Discworld and all the related topics, especially LARP. There was a 'Pub Game' that I wanna get; it was run in Oxford some time ago. That LARP was only developed in pubs and it was about the death of Vimes or Colon (I don't remember). If somebody knows something about that, please contact with me.

JA replies: Unfortunately our Spanish is about as good as our Klatchian (and that's not good) so we would not be able to do a Spanish version unless some kind fan wants to do the translation each month. If you would like to do the translation or would like a Spanish version, let us know!

5. Recommendations

In order to reduce the size of the letters section with large letters recommending other authors we thought we'd keep things simple by listing the name of the person doing the recommendation and the recommendation itself.

Discworld FanAuthor
Joanne FosDavid Eddings, Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers", Piers Anthony, TP's non Discworld books.
Debbie Savannah GeorgeCharles De Lint - Dreams Underfoot

There is also a list of comic-fantasy authors at

6. DiscTrivia

I recently received an email from Danu to say that school work is taking up too much of his time, so there will not be any Trivia until his return.

7. Clarecraft Competition and Review

Clarecraft have offered two of their latest pieces, Detritus (DW105) and Cuddy (DW106) for our new competition.

Detritus is a huge piece standing (actually sitting in this pose on a large fallen tree trunk) at over 15cm high making him the tallest Clarecraft figure in my collection. Detritus has been captured in full uniform with polished (although dented) breast and back plates and chainmail shirt. He also has is trusty club under one arm and is wearing his special cooling helmet. Considering the weight of this model you could conceivably use it as a bookend!

In stark contrast Cuddy is only half the height of Detritus and is captured sitting in a similar pose albeit on a smaller scale. Cuddy has a large beer in one hand and a part eaten rat in the other, the tail of the rat can be seen hanging from Cuddy's mouth. Cuddy's ever useful axe is on the floor within easy reach.

Both these pieces are up to Clarecraft's normal high standard. It is nice to see characters that don't appear in many books included and Cuddy's piece shows a lot of character.

In order to win one of these pieces email the answer to the following question to .

Q. How much does Clarecraft's Detritus (DW105) cost? (Visit Clarecraft's web site for a clue)

The winners will be randomly selected from the correct entries received before 21st November 1999. The winners will be announced next issue.

For more information about Clarecraft and their products visit their web site at

8. Review: Discworld Noir

It started on a Monday. It always seems to start on a Monday. It was early morning and like most other Mondays it was the day after the weekend when you most needed a break. There was a rap-rap rapping on my door. Putting aside visions of big black birds I opened the door; nobody was there! I looked down and found a jiffy bag leaning against the step. It was addressed to me, but had no other distinguishing marks other than a few stamps. Funny, I wasn't expecting anything. I opened the bag which contained nothing but a box with "Discworld Noir" written on it. I had no idea where it came from so I decided to open the box to see if there were any clues inside.

In Discworld Noir you take on the role of Lewton, a private investigator who is hired to discover the whereabouts of a man who arrived in Ankh-Morpork by ship a few days earlier. Lewton talks in a deep (and almost irritating) voice reminiscent of Humphrey Bogart in classic Noir films like Casablanca. At one point he even mutters "play it again Sam," although as Sam points out, no-one will believe he really said that.

The look and feel of the game is excellent. The intro is moody and atmospheric and Lewton has a real attitude. The game plays in a similar way to the previous Discworld titles, involving picking up objects to use with others. However, it also relies heavily on picking up clues from conversations with other characters in the game. Once again, as in the previous games, some of the clues are quite cryptic and it is not always clear what you should do next.

Incidentally, when I first ran the game I found it crashed whenever I opened Lewton's notepad. I discovered that resetting the graphics card down to 640x480 by 256 colours before starting the game solved the problem. Isn't it neat when you have to do a bit of detective work of your own to actually get on and play the game itself?

A major problem I discovered is that if you accidently cancel an important conversation or cut scene before it's completed you will not always receive the clues from that event. This is surprisingly poor for such a polished product. When showing the game to friends I accidently hit the mouse button during a set piece conversation, which cancelled the conversation, didn't provide the clues and made it impossible to complete the act. It was then impossible to recreate the conditions to run the set-piece again. Mind you, it didn't matter too much because by then the friends had emptied the fridge and flushed one of my dogs down the loo.

Apart from the problem mentioned above and the fact that the game won't install over the original version of Windows 95, I feel Noir is a vast improvement on the previous two games. It's a shame that the problems may never get fixed because Perfect Entertainment, the game's creators, recently went into receivership. Possibly forced out of business by owners of the original Windows 95...

9. The End

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