Discworld Monthly - Issue 35: March 2000
Table of Contents:1. Editorial
3. Readers' Letters
4. Discworld Convention 2000 - MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp
6. ISIS unabridged Jingo Audio Book Competition
7. Feature: Guilds & Guards!
8. Feature: Conquering the World - with Laughs - From Publishers Weekly - January 17, 2000
9. The End
On a brighter note we have just been granted a Site of Excellence
award by the Discworld Site Reviewers. Apparently we scored 27 out
of 30 (which at the time of the award was the highest score yet
achieved). You can find out more about these awards at
Without trying to give anything away about The Fifth Elephant, last month Simon Crowe asked about the significance of the three sisters. Many people wrote to us and Simon to let him know the sisters are from the plays of the Russian playwright Chekov [nothing to do with the Star Trek character of the same name], including "Three Sisters", "The Cherry Orchard" and "Uncle Vanya".
We have received mountains of mail regarding the Terry Gilliam Good Omens movie this month. We will attempt to consolidate all these letters for next month's issues.
Thanks for the letters on the Carrot / Vetinari is / isn't a werewolf / vampire debate. However we've received so much correspondence on this that is would take up to much space to cover it all. Obviously alt.fan.pratchett is always a forum for this type of discussion...
Last month Patsy Nevins ( Nannyogg80@aol.com ) placed a small ad but it appears that her email address was invalid. Patsy please get in contact with us as with your correct email address which we will post next month.
Jason Anthony (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (the Derek Smalls of Discworld Monthly)
React! Theatre will be performing Stephen Briggs' adaptation of "Carpe Jugulum" from May 10-13, 2000 at the MADCAP Theatre, Milton Keynes, England. Tickets cost 5GBP. More information can be obtained by emailing David Lovesy at email@example.com
Lion and Unicorn Players proudly present "Mort" 7.30pm on the 25th, 26th & 27th May 2000 at Petersfield Festival Hall, Heath Road, Petersfield, Hampshire. Tickets are available from One Tree Books, Lavant Street, Petersfield or by telephone from 01730 263254
Workington Playgoers are putting on Maskerade from May 16-20, 2000 at the Theatre Royal, Washington Street, Workington, Cumbria. For more information call 01900-603161.
Mort is being performed by the Unseen Theatre Company in conjunction with Blackwood Players at the Tower Arts Centre which is located at the corner of Daws Road and Goodwood Road, Pasadena, South Australia. Performance dates are March 24, 25, 30, 31 and April 1, 6, 7 and 8 all at 8pm. There is also a matinee performance on April 2 at 2pm. Bookings can be made by calling Val Averis on (08) 82704639 (between 9am and 7pm) or Bass on 131246. Prices are 10AUD adults, 8AUD concession. They are also offering a theatre dinner deal which gives you a three course meal at the Happy Buddha restaurant plus your theatre ticket for either 18AUD or 20AUD (depending on meal). If choosing this option please use Val's number.
Brickhouse Theatre Company will present Wyrd Sisters from 7th - 11th March 2000, 7.30pm at the Robinson College Auditorium, Grange Road, Cambridge, England. Tickets cost 4.50GBP / 3.50GBP concessions and are available from the Arts Box Office (01223) 503333 and more information can be found from Anna (director) on firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also received new information about the Terry Gilliam - Good Omens movie via Clarecraft's web site (www.clarecraft.co.uk) from Colin Smythe, Terry's agent.
"In case it has not filtered through to you, there's a statement on Terry Gilliam's and Neil Gaiman's newsgroups that's been posted to AFP and elsewhere, to the effect that Mr Gilliam is attached to GOOD OMENS. He will direct it, and write it with Tony Grisoni, for producers Peter Samuelson, Marc Samuelson and Chuck Roven. A studio deal for development is pending - there are talks and negotiations ongoing with several studios."
Gilliam is still waiting for a green light on his Don Quixote project, and if all goes well, this should be on track for commencing in Spring 2000. In the meantime, so the message went, Terry is preparing to start adapting GOOD OMENS for the big screen with Tony Grisoni."
There is a Discworld Chatroom on the MSN web site in the communities section called Ankh-Morpork.
About a year ago Emma ( email@example.com ) sent us an e-mail saying she could get Discworld calendars at a reduced rate for anyone who wanted. She was swamped with replies, but managed to keep everyone happy. This year she read in the small ads that people are desperate to get a hold of the Discworld games and has a contact who has a small supply of Discworld 2 for Playstation. If you want a copy the price is 25GBP + 5GBP P&P. There is a limited supply so Emma suggests you get in contact ASAP.
Ramya Ramani ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is looking for Discworld fans in Delaware, US or in India.
Sarah ( email@example.com ) would like to hear from those people who read Discworld Monthly all the time and can never be bothered, like herself, to send in a message. Anybody who is into life, Manga animation, especially The vision of Escaflowne, reading all sorts of strange and bizarre books, art, computers, and is anywhere between the ages of 19 and 25 (male or female irrelevant) should drop her a line!!! (Weird and good sense of humour very important!!!)
( MAEWE5T@aol.com ) would like to know where to get Terry Pratchett jigsaw puzzles?
Jo ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is 27 years old and would like an e-pal. She enjoys reading horror books, and of course loves Terry Pratchett. She likes horror movies and collects Myth & Magic figurines.
Felicity ( email@example.com ) is looking for Discworld Noir for the PC for her boyfriend, but has been unable to get it in Australia. If anyone is willing to sell, or perhaps swap for Discworld II then please get in contact.
Keon Goeroe ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) has the second Discworld game but can't find the first and asks: Do you know where I can buy this game?
Andrea Turner ( email@example.com ) is VERY willing to offer her services with any Pratchett productions in the London/M23/M1 area either backstage or as a character.
James Norrie ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is looking for a British or Irish girl (preferably) or boy (aged 11-13) who is crazy about Discworld. He also likes role-playing, pop music and computers. His favourite characters from the Discworld are Death and The Librarian.
Joooooolia ( email@example.com ) is looking for Boston area folks to learn/practice "Cripple Mr. Onion" for the St. Louis Con in July. She is also likely to attend Lunacon (near NYC) and Balticon (Baltimore) if people want to arrange practice sessions there. Also, does anyone know, or know how to program, a version of the Microsoft Office helper window animation that could feature the Luggage rather than the little computer on legs?
Finn's FMA Discworld Site has nearly one hundred images "from the
Anya ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is looking for Discworld MUD (Multi-User-Dimension[?]) players (Discworld MUD page being discworld.imaginary.com) Discworld MUD is the best free online MUD she's found, and it follows closely to the stories too.
Debora Williams ( email@example.com ) wonders if there are any amateur dramatics groups in West London/Ealing area that are either putting on a Pratchett play or are interested in doing so. She would love to get involved. Debora is also interested in e-pals from anywhere and everywhere, any gender, any age as long as the are interested in Discworld. She also likes line dancing, reading and computers, but says you don't have to!
Tim Huges ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is looking for any sites that contain Discworld icons and wallpaper etc. He is especially interested in the pointer used in Discworld 2.
Scott ( email@example.com ) has duplicate signed 1st UK copies of Pyramids and Guards! Guards! as well as a unsigned 1st UK Equal Rites to trade. He say please don't bother with cash offers as he is looking for signed 1st UK copies of Sourcery, Interesting Times and Jingo.
Julie Scott has a full adult membership for the convention for sale at 40GBP the membership numbers is M93 - Mrs Hilda Scott, there is also a child membership which is free, that can be claimed with or without the full membership, M94 - Matthew James Scott. Only UK cheques sterling accepted. If you are interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org all details of transfer will be confirmed and approved with the Convention.
Allycat is in the process of setting up a site that allows those who enjoy writing short stories or poems to get 'heard' on the web. Each story will be read by at least 10 people and then voted on as whether to include it or not. Anything too Pratchettesque will not be accepted. If you wish to have a SHORT item included then email it to: email@example.com
Carrie Yarrow ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is looking for Discworld 1 and 2 for the PC.
Ed ( Carrot104@hotmail.com ) is looking for an e-pal. And says: I am not bothered about the whereabouts of this person but would prefer a female of around 17-19. I am interested in Discworld, Football, Star Trek: DS9, Buffy and action films.
There is now a web site dedicated to "the world's smallest
nuclear-capable country" called Djelibeybi at
MariahQ@aol.com is looking for any older Pratchett fans to talk with, only late thirties and above need reply.
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 make them subject to litigation.
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 email@example.com or www.snapdragongifts.com. Please mention DWM in any correspondence.
* From: "Stephen Briggs" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
I'd have to take issue with Martin Collins (Issue 34) about staging Discworld plays. It is, of course, up to him and William Barnett whether they buy, act in or go to see stage versions of the books. I should point out, so that Discworld Monthly readers have the full picture, that the plays do nevertheless seem to be very popular - with audiences and actors literally all over the world. I've licensed hundreds of productions. More than half the groups go on to stage a second play and some have staged as many as five.
As for finding Terry's dialogue impossible to perform ... well, I think that probably says more about the actor than the author.
I would, however, urge caution to any Discworld Monthly readers who might be tempted to accept Martin Collins' idea of work-shopping some piece of theatre using the 'concept' of the books and Terry's 'suggested dialogue'. This would take you into the shark-infested waters of Copyright. To paraphrase the sign once seen in pubs - "Do Not Ask to Take Liberties With Discworld, As Refusal Often Offends""
* From: "The Gardner Family" ( email@example.com )
Just a quick annotation to 'Floris vd Meijs' info that the next PTerry book will be called 'The Truth' and is about a newspaper. For those who lack education in Russian, the communist newspaper edited by Lenin around the 1917 revolution was called 'Pravda' - Russian for 'the truth'. Cue lots of revolutionary writings - hopefully.
* From: "Neil Brunton" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Could PTerry find a way to put some more Blues Brothers references in the books? I still laugh my ass off every time I read the 'mission from Glod' line in Soul Music. How can anyone NOT be a Discworld fan? I don't get it.
* From: "Tom Prince" ( email@example.com )
In agreement with Paula Sucking on how PTerry novels should carry warning messages about their potential effects if read after major surgery... Years back, when I were a lad, my bedroom was connected to my mother's by a door. After having just discovered PTerry, I would read his books late into the night with my bedside light on. Since I would read them every night, on school nights, any noise (being caught staying up...) meant instant trouble. It got to the point where I would usually be "discovered" because of I was simply not capable of controlling the waterfall of laughter that tried to stay in my room, courtesy of Soul Music and Sourcery. I conclude by insisting that the novels should also carry labels that say "Warning. May cause severe sleep deprivation."
* From: "Wendy Palmer" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
It is possible to do some sort of spoiler alert when people are talking about new books. I haven't read Fifth Elephant yet and so far I've gleaned, without actually wanting to know, that Carrot might be part werewolf, Vetinari might be a vampyre, and that some people were disappointed with it. And this is just from reading far enough to realise I don't want to read it. A warning would be nice, or put all the letters referring to the newest book in one section.
DWM replies: We had a few other letters along these lines. We certainly don't want to give plot lines away and the comments about Carrot and Vetinari are just observations and not necessarily part of the books. We will, whoever, endeavour not to include any spoilers in future issues, particularly on the subject of Vetinari's impending demise.
* From: "Ramya Ramani" ( email@example.com )
I may be missing the obvious but can someone tell me what is the significance of the term 'millennium hand and shrimp'? Also 'urinating dog, urinating dog'! I can hazard a guess that shrimp is @ (i.e part of an unprintable #@^% comment but........)
DWM replies: 'Millennium hand and shrimp' in one of Foul Ole Ron's senseless mutterings. Whereas Urinating dog is the symbol for an exclamation mark in the Agatean Empire's script.
* From: "Peter Hart" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
In Issue 34, Andy Reynolds wrote:
L.J.Thomason is spot on - Lloyd Webber is enjoyed by a considerable percentage of the world's population as opposed to Pratchett who is enjoyed by a few thousand anoraks.
First of all, you are being unbelievably rude with this letter. How dare you label Discworld fans as anoraks? Have you no clue whatsoever as to the range of people who read Discworld? There are a great many middle-aged people and even pensioners who read it. Are they anoraks, may I ask? I can barely believe you have the audacity to send a letter in to a newsletter devoted to the appreciation of the Discworld novels and blindly insult the newsletter's audience. Secondly, you are wrong. Very wrong. May I point you towards the top of the bestseller lists every time a new Discworld novel comes out? And there are a great number of fans who don't buy the book, but just borrow it. Once again, try to find out some actual facts before you write such a letter. In short, kindly take your Pratchett-bashing elsewhere, don't base your point around imaginary facts and figures, and learn some bloody manners.
DWM replies: Peter receives Letter Of The Month for sending the most affecting letter we've read for some time.
* From: "Alex Rose" ( email@example.com )
In response to the comments about PTerry not having blacks in his books I find interesting because after re-reading a number of the books I found he makes little comment on the colour of anyones skin. Apart from main Characters he does not say what colour skin background characters have. Further more I think that there are few references to race apart from in Jingo when it talks about Klatchans born in Ankh Morpork. Vimes is the opposite of a Racist, this is shown when he says " just because you're ethnic doesn't stop you being a complete Barst..."
I think that the different species count as different races for example Dwarfs are the Discworld blacks with the committee for equal heights (Rights) Though there are no dwarfs in the committee... Klatchans are obviously the Discworld's Asian community and Trolls I think are the Discworld's BIG people. The undead on the other hand are just plain weird.
DWM replies: Perhaps the undead are the Discworld's Pratchett fans?
* From: "Mary Jessie Campbell" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
After reading some speculation about the species Wee Mad Arthur et al belong to, I thought I might chip in my tuppence worth and air some opinions!
Just a hint about Buggy Swires, Wee Mad Arthur, and the 'Pictsies' (Carpe Jugulum)... with the blueness and more obviously in Carpe, the accent and language, look at the recent history of Scotland, especially the devolution after 'New' Labour were 'invited' into power (and what THEY did to the countries), and the tartan army business during the '98 world cup, and suddenly we see loads of similarities... I personally think Terry Pratchett was making a profound point with them. And being Scottish myself, I love the pictsies. Even if I'm way off the mark with my theory I still think the pictsies are brilliant!
* From: "Colin Maggs" ( Colin.email@example.com )
In response to Who's Who in issue 34, RM said "When was the last time Rincewind pulled, hmm?" I seem to remember an incident on a tropical island, (possibly at the beginning of 'The Last Continent') with Rincewind - dreaming of potatoes - and some sparsely clad young women. This is just before the UU Wizards ping-pong him across the Disc. Of course, I could be wrong.
RM replies: I bloody didn't it was WB, and besides it was Interesting Times.
* From: "Leo" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
In reply to Paul Marion's letter last month about Galder and Granny Weatherwax:
Lords and Ladies tells us that Galder and Granny are distant relatives and PTerry seems to leave it at that... however, I did notice another similarity between the two. In Light Fantastic, Galder's assistant, Ymper Trymon, says something like "I suppose I have to get up pretty early in the morning to outsmart you," and Galder replies "My boy, you have to stay up all night." This conversation is repeated almost word-for-word in Maskerade, with Nanny Ogg saying the first line and Granny saying the same line as the previous Weatherwax. Coincidence? Intentional? PTerry playing a joke, just to see if anyone would get it?
* From: "Harry Shearman" ( email@example.com )
I've just finished reading the latest edition of DWM and I'm amazed, nay, shocked and stunned at the "in depth" look at Angua.... What a load of drivel.... Ferchrissakes just enjoy the book and the characters, and spare me this amateur psychoanalysis. I read the books, buy the odd bits and bobs, hell, I've even written a couple of short stories based on Discworld characters for "The Wizards Knob" magazine. So you could say I'm an avid fan.. But what I don't need is to see the characters peeled apart layer by layer. Heres a clue..... The books are works of fiction, as are the characters, lets leave something to our own imagination.
* From: "Raga" ( RagaStMewan@tesco.net )
A reply to Doyle. Terry has included many other ethic groups in his books. For example, "Pyramids" is about Egypt, "Witches Abroad" is a mix, "Small Gods" is set in the middle east, "Interesting Times" is set in China, "Jingo" sounds very French, "Last continent" is Australian, and "The Fifth Elephant" is set in Russia (hence the reference to the three sisters and Uncle Vanya's trousers - Uncle Vanya being a play written by Russian author Chekov).
I have a question to ask. I want to know if Lancre resembles Cornwall in any way. Cornwall's full of myths and superstitions (we hold the franchise on that) and we also have lazy winds (sometimes they don't even both blowing over you and so they push you over.) but some of the things written about Lancre are also about Devon, so I was just wondering if Lancre is really the South West rolled up really, really small, or is Lancre just the "countryside"?
* From: "Niamh Kavanagh" ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
I travel a great deal, my job demands it, and although I have read every novel many times I have invested in most of the Isis stories that are available, they are without a doubt the best company for me on the lonely road, especially as I drive home from gigs late at night and need to stay awake. Nigel Planer is excellent, and makes me laugh so much even though I know the jokes, and funnily enough his narration is so good that I often get a nuance I didn't get originally.
Incidentally I once had the pleasure to receive the best compliment I ever got, thanks to Monsieur Pratchett. I was asked to perform a song for Mr Spike Milligan, he of the amazing talent, for a TV program in my own native Ireland and I was reading Reaperman. He was in the green room and as I was reading he asked what the book was, well I told him matter of factly that I was reading a book about Death and what occurred when he was retired due to his finding a personality. He looked me straight in the eye and said "You have a very warped sense of humour my child!" I have achieved many wonderful things and had many amazing experiences, met most of my idols and received a few prestigious awards in my time, but I have never received a better compliment!
* From: "Andrea Turner" ( email@example.com )
Terry Pratchett has commented in the past on the fact that trolls can't spell - it is more than likely Krysoprase (LF) and Chrysoprase (SM and also MAA) are one and the same. In fact there is a Chrystophrase in WS too. As for Galder Weatherwax, Granny confirms in L&L that he was a distant cousin.
I'll wager you already know about the rerun of the Unseen University Challenge, and the return of the Slaughterthon with Lord Downey, not to mention the Charity Auction. And don't forget the old favourites like the guest interviews with Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, the many panel quizzes and discussions with Paul Kidby, Graham Higgins et al, and the Gala Dinner. There'll be the usual Cafe Klatches, where you can sup piping hot brews with the Discworld personalities, the Merchants Hall of Wonders, where you can spend the price of your poor Grandmother, and the Tower of Art, where you can just wander.
This time around, as part of the grand finale on the Monday, MillenniCon is proud to bring you A Song For Ankh-Morpork ~ a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest, but without Terry Wogan. Nanny Oggs' Cookbook comes eerily to life with the lovely Tina Hannan, whilst the Leonard of Quirm Challenge will take place in record time, and the Build Your Own Disaster will be judged wanting by the Patrician himself.
As for bettering the 1998 Convention well, only you the fans can judge that. However, we are negotiating a suitably stunning free gift for the membership packs this year. For that alone, your membership fee is worth its weight in gold (as long as you don't get it from CMOT Dibbler).
Finally, to whet your appetite further, we have a pair of membership tickets to give away. All you have to do is answer the following question ~ What is the maximum number of characters you are allowed on your badge? And the tie-breaker is ~ I deserve to come to MillenniCon because . . . (in no less than 23 words!) Send your entry to:
Free Comp. Entry MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp PO Box 189 Patchway Bristol BS32 8YE
Don't forget to enclose a SAE if you want a membership application. Last entry should be in by 10th March and the winner will be drawn on 29th March.
In the mean time, pop along to the web site www.lspace.org/fandom/cons/dwcon2k/ for regular updates (and the answer!) on the weekend of the Millennium!'
|Andrew Harmen - It Came From On High
There is also a list of comic-fantasy authors at members.tripod.com/de_29/home.html
Q. Who is the normal narrator of the ISIS Discworld Audio books (see issue 33 for the answer /dwarchive/issue0033).
Please send your answer, along with your postal address, to firstname.lastname@example.org
ISIS would like to send to all entrants to the competition a free catalogue. If you would prefer not to receive the catalogue please say so on your email.
We respect your need to privacy and will not pass on your address to any third parties, other than ISIS if you allow the free catalogue to be sent. Once the competition is over and the prizes sent all competition entry details will be destroyed.
For more information bout ISIS books you can contact ISIS on 01865-250333 or email Peter.Johnson@isis-publishing.co.uk
email@example.com ) sent this interesing piece of information about the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh.
KEEPING LAW AND ORDER
The town guard's job was to keep law and order on the streets of Edinburgh. They were easily identified by their red uniforms and Lochaber axes they carried. But the guards were very unpopular, and they were known as the "Town Rats". They could only recruit either old, weak men or Highlanders who often drank to much! The Guardhouse was in the middle of the High Street.
The wealthy merchants formed "Guilds", which gave them great power in running the town. Craftsmen, another powerful and wealthy group, also formed themselves into Guilds. There was a Guild for each craft - weavers, hatmakers, tailors, wig-makers, fleshers, cutlers and other crafts were each made into a guild. Each Guild also had its own badge or symbol, and was responsible for training its apprentices, setting standards of work, and looking after its members. In 1432, the craftsmen received their famous flag, the "Blue Blanket", which was used to rally men in any dispute.
Do these sound familiar?
Are Terry's American publisher finally taking him seriously? Find out in this article sent by ( Demona667@aol.com ).
Consider these astonishing facts: British fantasy author Terry Pratchett's last seven novels have been #1 hardcover bestsellers in the UK. By some estimates, as many as 1% of all books in Great Britain are by Terry Pratchett.
During the 1990's, Terry Pratchett sold more hardcover copies of his novels than any other living author. That includes Stephen King, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell - anyone you care to name. Yet you may not have heard of him before. Most readers in the US don't know who Terry Pratchett is.
But his publisher, HarperCollins, hopes to change that. They're setting out to make 2000 "the year America discovers Terry Pratchett." The house is mounting a very aggressive publishing campaign, featuring two new Pratchett novels in 2000 and reissues of his earlier books with smart new packages. In March HC will publish the first three of Pratchett's Discworld novels in mass market paperback with a 3.99USD price, and in April Pratchett's latest novel, The Fifth Elephant, hits the stores.
Pratchett's already got a healthy following among readers of humourous fantasy, but HarperCollins hopes to bring his work to a wider audience, including those who might not read fantasy at all. "Pratchett has so much to say about the world," notes executive editor Jennifer Brehl, "and in such an entertaining, spot-on way, that we really feel we can break him out of the category and reach an even wider US readership."
Pratchett's brand of humour has an intelligence and satiric relevance that could appeal to readers of any stripe. He's clearly reached far beyond the limits of the core fantasy readership in his native land. Who knows? If Pratchett can do the same in the US, he might start outselling the Bible.
[Editors Note: If Terry starts outselling the bible, will we have to pile Discworld books up in the streets and set fire to them? As we did with our Beatles albums, or will we have found a new religion.]
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