Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 36: April 2000

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Cancellation of the third Discworld Convention
4. Readers' Letters
5. ISIS unabridged Jingo Audio Book Competition Results
6. Feature: Artists UK - Discworld Art Goes Limited!
7. Short Review: Wyrd Sisters - Cambridge
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 36. We have recently been informed of the sad news that MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp, the third Discworld Convention, has been cancelled. More information can be found in section 3.

Oops, done it again, damn typos... Last month I accidentally said that Andrea Turner ( ) could help with Discworld Plays in the M23 area whereas I was meant to say M25 area. Sorry.

We've run out of space again, so the promised Good Omens movie consolidation has slipped back until next month.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Science Correspondent)

2. News

The Boardwalk Youth Theatre Company presents "Mort" on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th of April at 8pm and also for a matinee on Saturday the 8th of April at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah, Western Australia. Tickets are available on 9550 3900 and cost 15 AUD for adults, 12 AUD for children and 45 AUD for a family pass.

Two new jigsaws, of Josh Kirby's cover illustrations for MASKERADE (ref. G596) and CARPE JUGULUM (ref.G597), are being launched by Gibsons' Puzzles. They'll be in the shops at about 10 GBP. (As recommended retail prices are no longer permitted, it is impossible to give an exact figure: it depends on the shops themselves as to what they'll price them at.)

For information as to nearest stockists ring +44-181-685-1515. Gibsons' Web site is:

A message for Canadian readers: Doubleday's (Transworld) Bromeliad Trilogy should have been on sale in Canada since publication, but due to an error it hasn't been. This is being rectified, and copies will be available soon.

Terry's 25th Discworld novel, THE TRUTH, is now complete and with his publishers, Transworld. It will be published by their Doubleday imprint in November. He is already writing the 26th, THE THIEF OF TIME, which originally started as a strand to THE TRUTH but got too big for that role. All being well, Terry will complete it later this year, and it is expected to be published by Doubleday in May 2001.

Griffin Youth Theatre are performing Sourcery at the Merlin Theatre in Sheffield. The play is being performed on May the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th and starts at 7.30pm. For more information contact or

The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, England is putting on a production of Maskerade which will run from Saturday 17th June to Saturday 1st July 2000. Tickets will be priced at 7.50GBP and 6.50GBP concessions if purchased 24 hours before or 8.50GBP and 7.50GBP if purchased on the door. The Crescent has done various Pratchett works in the past, most recently "Mort" and they have always been extremely well received by fans. As a result, they will hopefully be performing "Guards! Guards!" later this year. You can contact the box office on 0121-643-5858.

Guards! Guards! will be playing at The Hexagon, Reading, from 8th - 13th June 2000. Mon-Sat Evenings at 8pm and Fri & Sat Matinee at 5pm. Tickets cost 14.50GBP, 12.50GBP, 10.50GBP for Tues-Sat & Saturday Matinee and for Monday evening and Friday matinee 10.50GBP. Tickets are available from the box office on 0118-959-1591.

Changes are afoot at the North American Discworld Society, Andrew Millard editor of WOSSNAME has resigned and the post has been filled by Jason Parlevliet of Australia. The society has also been broken into regions so there are now South American, European and Australian branches and will be renamed The Klatchian Foreign Legion. The KFL will retain its affiliation with The Guild of Fans and Disciples in the UK.

The Wyrd Sisters suite for wind band (written by Roderick Oakes, ) has now had its first performance, and has been successfully recorded live. Whilst the sound quality is not perfect, it is quite adequate to hear the music. They hope to transfer the master recording onto CD, from which they can make further tape recordings. Copies of which are likely to be available just after Easter. Roderick is happy to hear from anyone who is interested to listen to a copy.

If anyone's interested in seeing the sheet music, at present it would be available only in a fairly functional version. They're hoping to put it into the rather more beautiful "Sibelius" music publishing package, but this will probably be a while off.

Mort will be played at The Street Theatre, corner of Childers Street and University Avenue, Canberra, Australia from 13th April until 29th April 2000 with student rush prices for Wednesdays and Saturday Matinees. Plays start at 8pm Wednesday to Saturday with Saturday also having a Matinee at 2pm. There is also a Good Friday Matinee at 3pm. For enquiries and bookings please ring The Street Theatre on 6247 1223 Mondays-Fridays 10am - 5pm and Saturdays 12 - 5pm

"Fionnbarr Austin" has created Discworld related WinAmp and Yahoo Messenger skins. Visit the files section at for more details.

Small Ads....

Cereal_Killa ( ) is looking for people in the Johannesburg area (Randburg) in South Africa to start a drama group using Pratchett's work. If anybody is interested, please mail urgently.

Martin Leigh ( ) says: If you like the Discworld audio books always order direct from ISIS as they are much cheaper than Amazon, which claims their prices are much cheaper than the 45 GBP rrp.

Vicky ( ), is looking for an epal. She is 20 and is into all kinds of sci-fi stuff and doesn't mind where her epal comes from, but they must have a crazy sense of humour. She also enjoys reading and doing things to and with computers.

Darklord 217 ( ) is looking for Discworld 2: Mortality Bytes for the PC. He would prefer a website but other is fine.

Richard Hampshire ( ) suggests: to get Discworld 2 (playstation) for 14.99GBP and Noir (PC) for 19.99GBP. The will apparently ship to all countries.

Van Rompuy ( ) says: "I'm a student of animation (from Belgium) and also a (big) fan of Pratchett's Discworld novels... I always wanted to make some (short) animated (3D) movies of stories taking place on the disc... (parts of the DW novels or self-written DW stories)... You can see that this can take an incredible amount of work (certainly when you're working alone), so I'm looking for people who can draw, model, write or animate and who are interested to work together (over the internet) on some 'clickies' in their free time... I've got to say that this is only for fun, so if you decide to help out, you're not gonna earn any money with it... even worse!! it's gonna cost you... only a lot of sweat and blood of course... ;-)"

Steven Anderson ( ) is looking for an epal, his interests include Oasis, Football, Discworld and WWF.

Mohieldin Gamal ( ) is looking to correspond with younger Discworld fans. Mohieldin is 14.

Keith Smith ( ) would like to know which is the best novel to read. He thinks it is Mort but would like to hear from other people.

Kerry Gaffney ( ) is looking for Discworld Noir in the UK.

Azrael ( ) has recently created "Cable Street Particulars", a site dedicated to what's on regarding the Discworld series and Terry Pratchett. If anyone has any news, please email me, or otherwise just visit the site.

Jon Chase ( ), a long time reader of DWM, is looking for anyone in the Cannock - South Staff - North West Midlands area. Preferably 30++ or 40's. Females preferred as he is not, but this is not essential.

Joseph Zinfolino ( ) says that he has seen listings for the first 2 Discworld games for the PC on and and suggests doing a complete search on both, especially on Amazon's auction section.

Nick Smart ( ) is looking for Discworld 2 on the PC, if you know where to get it please let him know.

Niamh Kavanagh ( ) has the Discworld Mapp Jigsaw for sale. Offers should be emailed.

Kerry-Ann ( ) asks: Are there any DA support groups meeting in London? Are there small numbers of folk meeting in corners of pubs around this city taking turns to admit that they to are "an addict"? If not, are there any other folk living here who, like me, would like to start up an informal gathering to meet, drink, discuss, drink, argue, drink, generally go over our beloved Discworld Books? If you are interested please get in touch.

Mad Turnips ( ) is trying to find anyone in Jersey C.I who is willing to help convince one of the local am-dram groups to put on a Discworld play.

Rona Oreilly ( ) is a final year psych student and is doing her final project on why people find Discworld novels so funny, and needs some Discworld fans to contact her.

Sylvain Chambon ( ) is a 22-year-old Frenchman who's going to work in Stockholm from April to September, and he'd like to meet friendly Pratchett-loving people there to sort of show him around.

Agnes Boddington ( ) writes: My children have managed to "lose" my original Discworld game, and I am desperate to try and find a replacement.

Ann ( ) would like to exchange e-mails with anyone regardless of age or species who is willing to converse on such subjects as (naturally) the Discworld, Arts, Animation, books, computers and life in general. I would also like to learn how to play Cripple Mr Onion (a group of us here in NI want to have onion parties.)

Harry McDonald ( ) would greatly appreciate any information about Discworld plays in Adelaide, but would be happy to hear about ANY plays in Melbourne.

Colin Wood ( ) would be interested in any comments that people have on past Discworld theatre productions. He also wonders if there are any such groups wanting volunteer help back stage in the Derby area.

"Dave" ( ) has noticed a lot of fans have been desperate to get their hands on a copy of Discworld I. He purchased his copy of Discworld II at Compusmart (a computer store in Western Canada), and Discworld I was included in the box.

3. Cancellation of the third Discworld Convention

This letter was recently received from Claire-Louise Ruffle, Madam Chair of MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp.

Dear Members and interested parties,

Conventions are funded not only through the sale of memberships, but by those members joining in the spirit of the event and staying at the Convention hotel. An agreement is then made, estimating a percentage of members requiring rooms and offsetting this against charges for the conference facilities.

Unfortunately this hasn't been the case with the third Discworld Convention, MillenniCon Hand and Shrimp, where the take-up on rooms has been far lower than our worst expectations. In 1998, the ratio of members staying was in excess of 90%, but now with take-up figures of little more than 15% of the total membership, the likelihood of us reaching a break-even point by the Convention are low and with the penalties the hotel would charge, make this event totally uneconomical.

The 1998 Convention, while very successful from the point of view of the attendees, nevertheless had financial problems which had to be informally resolved after the event. The committee of the 2000 Convention do not want to find themselves in a similar situation, and feel that they should not proceed with MillenniCon knowing that it would be reliant on 'informal' assistance, however willingly that may be offered.

It is therefore, with great regret that we inform you of the cancellation of the Convention due to this insurmountable problem.

It is our intention to offer all members a full refund and this will follow shortly, but in the meantime we wanted to inform you of this sad news as soon as possible.

Please accept our sincerest apologies: we really hoped that we could make this an event to remember, but there comes a point when however hard one tries, the numbers simply do not add up.

We intend to post updates here and on the web, though if you require any further information please e-mail us at or write to:

MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp PO Box 189, Patchway, Bristol, MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp The Discworld Convention 2000, BS32 8YE

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 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 or Please mention DWM in any correspondence.

* From: "David Easthope" ( )
In issue 35 Raga said that the word Jingo sounded French. The word is actually taken from a British music-hall song, written in 1878 by G.W.Hunt, supporting Disraeli's decision to send gunboats to oppose the expansion of the Russian navy into the Mediteranean. The refrain was "We don't want to fight, yet by Jingo! if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, and got the money to". The Patrician of course states that the exact opposite is true of Ankh-Morpork.

The word was the root of the term jingoism (belligerent nationalism, expressing itself in hostility towards other countries) and I think it interesting that PTerry has used a word meant to support warfare as the title of a book which shows the futility of war.

* From: "Barry Pryor" ( )
Do you know when terry will be making another PTeppic book, I really liked pyramids, if so what is it going to be called and who else will be in it also.

WB replies: Hopefully never - we don't want another 'franchise' series.

* From: "David Tzu" ( )
I just wanted to let you know that your being up to date on all things PTerry has helped me out with an ailing grandfather. He is a rather intelligent man (holds 4 patents and spent his life working on particle accelerators) but due to a stroke he is now unable to read, after ravaging the local library of all the sci-fi and fantasy audio tapes he was rather bored. I decided to chance it and found a copy of jingo on audio. (Have a travelling friend who I made the suggestion to and he grabbed a copy for me) now I am plagued with requests to locate any and all other books on tape by PTerry or he will run my foot over with his wheelchair again.

I have been trying to keep him up to date by reading to him the DWM and his only comment was about: 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.

with this he waved his cane about and mumbled something about Cripple Mr. Reynolds(Onion).

It is a 4 hr drive to his home and he has asked me to read to him Good Omens as he plans to see the movie when it comes out, so I best be off.

DWM replies: We've awarded David Tzu LOTM to ensure that he doesn't send his grandfather round here to see us...

* From: "Rachel" ( )
A reply to Raga. Lancre is more likely to be connected to Lancashire and Lancaster in particular (Lancrastrians/ Lancastrians - only 1 letter different). This is also supported by the fact that there were the famous Lancashire witches (who were around the Pendle area, but that's beside the point) of whom one was called something very similar to one of the Lancre witches. There's something in either the Companion, Quizbook or Lancre Map. I can't quite remember.

* From: "Henrik Olsen" ( )
This is a comment to Stephen Briggs' (Issue 35) response to Martin Collins (Issue 34).

This is not aimed at Stephen's general response, which I agree with completely, but only at the last paragraph, as it might be willfully misunderstood.

Stephen said: "Do Not Ask to Take Liberties With Discworld, As Refusal Often Offends"

From what I know about the way Pratchett works, this should NOT be read as "don't ask".

If you want to adapt a book for the Theatre (or anything), you MUST ask permission first, in this case the chance of a yes is high. As I haven't read any of the published adaptations, I don't know if permission to use them is explicitly given or you have to ask again, but at least they should be explicit about it. If you want to use the Discworld, its characters or plots to a play you write you MUST still ask permission first, but in this case the chance of a no is very high, AND MUST BE RESPECTED. To use the Lawyers Associations version, "Do not ask before taking liberties with copyrighted material, and the lawsuits will pay our wages"

* From: "ioannis tikis" ( )
This may sound like an easy question (to the rank of Extreme Stupidity) but I have to confirm my thoughts: is the little country of Ephebe the DW equivalent of Greece?

DWM replies: Yes on all counts.

* From: "Stef Spetsieris" ( )
It's almost a year I'm getting DWM and still I haven't seen any news about when we'll see the Discworld continue in Greek, I know that it's not depending on you but I have personally asked the Greek editor about and they say they don't know, is there anything I can do? I would be very proud doing something for this because I think the Discworld is one of the most important creations of our era.

DWM replies: Maybe some Greek Discworld fans could get together and start translating?

* From: "Marc Elias" ( )
Just a note to remind everyone concerned with this wonderful list about the value of fact-checking before they embark on a journey to see one of those elusive, non-UK performances of a Pratchett/Briggs play...

My wife, whom I will refer to here as Granny Weatherwax Fan #1, and I were thrilled to read in THIS VERY newsletter that "Wyrd Sisters" was being performed at the Great Canadian Theatre in Ottawa in early February. We called up, ordered our tickets and settled in to look forward to the two-hour drive from Montreal and our seemingly unerring ability to pick great restaurants in unfamiliar cities.

We knew as soon as we arrived at the Theatre that this wasn't a typical Terry Pratchett-style crowd, a suspicion that was confirmed when it became apparent that I was one of 12 men in the 150-seat Theatre, and that a concert by a band apparently very big with the Lesbian community was about to begin. You guessed it: "Wyrd Systers." Fear not--while there were no obvious witches, the concert was actually very good, and Wyrd Sisters are a fine jazz-folk vocal ensemble with a lot of very political things to say that might make men squirm a bit, but with a fine, fine sound.

Good, but not Pratchett. Next time, I'll ask more questions! :-)

DWM replies: an EXCELLENT point, Marc. As our disclaimer at the end of the newsletter states, we won't (or for that matter can't) check all the information we receive.

* From: "Irene Donovan" ( )
In response to Harry Shearman.... Thank you for speaking out against the stupid destructive analysis of Discworld characters. They are there to be laughed at, laughed with, confused by.... whatever. Deep searches into the purposes of characters and what they represent serve only to destroy readers' enjoyment. Get over it. These self important "discshrinks" should go study psychology and bugtheshitoutof their friends and leave the Discworld to the individual interpretations of the real Discworld fans. (-:

RM replies: 'whatshrinks'? Oh, 'DISCshrinks'. You had me worried there for a moment.

* From: "Mark Oosterveen" ( )
I am writing in response to Mr Harry Shearman, who wrote in last month to complain about the article in the previous month that dared to look in depth into Angua's personality. He wanted to tell us all that he was "amazed, shocked and stunned" at the "load of drivel" article. First of all, I would like to disagree and say that I found the article to be well-written and informative. Secondly, I would like to presume that Mr Shearman has never studied Literature in any form and as such is incapable of appreciating the intellectual stimulating prospect of literary character analysis. Perhaps if he allowed characters more depth and actually gave them some thought, his "short stories" wouldn't be so damned awful...

* From: "Geoff Hunt" ( )
Re Harry Shearmans e-mail. I wouldn't mind an in depth look at Angua. Tee Hee

RM replies: ten Who's who on the Discworld's go without comment, write one about Angua and we get a flood of letters... hmm, interesting...

* From: "Matt Harris" ( )
With reference to Peter Hart's reply to Andy Reynolds e-mail - surely it is obvious that the original contains a typing mistake. It should have read : "L.J.Thomason is spot on - Pratchett is enjoyed by a considerable percentage of the world's population as opposed to Lloyd Webber who is enjoyed by a few thousand anoraks."

I mean, it's obviously a typo. Hands up who prefer LLoyd Webber to Pratchett? 'nuff said!

* From: "Dr. Dirk Pilat" ( )
In reply to Alex Roses letter I would venture the educated guess that the trolls are probably the Discworld's Germans: sometimes dimwitted, violent and obnoxious, the accent including a strong "D" where the "th" belongs, definitely functioning better at lower temperatures (see Mallorca) and some of the better examples actually quite nice. I should know, I am one.

DWM replies: What, a Troll or a German?

* From: "Richard Wilcox" ( )
Over the last few issues of DWM, I've seen several requests for help in tracing Discworld Games for the PC.

The current situation as to who has the licence to re-issue Discworld 1 and 2 seems muddled, but Gameplay ( are listing Discworld 1 in current magazine adverts.

Discworld 2 has been included in Megapak 9 by Megamedia Corporation ( This bundle of 8 games also includes Civilisation II. You don't get a printed manual, but the full manual is provided on Disk 1 of the game. The bundle is still available from traders at computer fairs (All Formats, UK Computer Fairs, Compute UK, Northern Computer Markets) in my area (Bucks/Northants), for around 12.99 GBP.

DWM replies: We've also received several letters supplying URL's for downloading the Discworld Games (which we have deleted from our systems - so please don't ask for them). Please don't take this course of action, it is illegal and prevents Terry from being paid for his work.

* From: "Pete Mccann" ( )
In regard to the previous warnings that have been expressed that should be included on the cover of PTerry's work. I have another caused by supposedly being asleep and not wanting to be caught reading PTerry by one's parents.

I used to sit on the end of my bed with the relevant book resting on the windowsill reading by the street light across the road. This I am sure is the cause of me now being short sighted. Therefore I suggest the following should be printed on the cover of PTerry's books. WARNING: Reading under cover of darkness may lead to permanent eye damage!

* From: "Binky" ( )
As a practising American and an avid PTerry fan, I think that PTerry's American distributors Harper Collins have really missed the boat in terms of promoting the Discworld books. Every time I go to England, I have to stock up more books, because my US friends wind up "permaborrowing" them. And then, of course, they become hopelessly addicted.

A note about anoraks, which I am going to assume means something along the lines of "dweeb"- unless people are actually stating that other people are not people but in fact very warm outer garments--well, it's simply not so. I can say (because this is anonymous and therefore not name dropping) that in the last few months I have gone bowling with the bands Korn and Limp Bizkit, gone out to lunch with Harvey Keitel, and dated a pop star who shall remain nameless... and my Discworld addicted friends in the US are all in film or music, as well. Totally nonAnorakky.

DWM replies: Do we believe him / her, Ladies and Gentlemen?

* From: "Daven Wu" ( )
I thought that enough was enough and certain facts should be set straight. I keep reading references to Josh Kirby drawing the illustrations for the Discworld book covers and the whole charade is beginning to irritate me. Can I just say for the record that those illustrations were done by Josh and a group of friends YEARS ago when they were in their teens and way before Terry had even written Colour of Magic. Somewhere along the way, the various murals (huge wall like stuff, I understand) were either sold off for a song or copyright was misappropriated by certain members of the group of friends and eventually ended up in some publishing house and from there ended up being the trademark drawings of the Discworld series.

The jacket covers you now see are computer manipulated with add-on's (to fit the story line of the book in question) from the original pieces. In short, the story that Josh Kirby is the artist of the book covers is exactly that - a story. He continues to be baffled at why he is being credited with the drawings when he lost control of the copyright a long time ago. Or does this mean that he is entitled to some copyright revenue? If there are any naysayers out there, then I challenge you to contact Terry's publishers and ask to meet Josh and if you do meet "Josh", ask him to do you a few sample drawings to prove his bona fides. I'm willing to bet that no one has ever seen or met the Josh Kirby, supposed illustrator of the Discworld books.

5. Results of ISIS unabridged Jingo Audio Book Competition

Wow! This has been the most successful competition yet, with hundreds of correct entries and only a few incorrect ones. Last month we asked the question.

Q. Who is the normal narrator of the ISIS Discworld Audio books?

To which the correct answer is Nigel Planer.

Note to those who answered Tony Robinson. Tony Robinson usually narrates the abridged audio books from Corgi not the unabridged (and therefore possibly superior ) ones from ISIS.

The randomly selected winner, of Jingo on either Tape or CD is: David Perkins of Kent, England.

If you didn't request otherwise (and you entered the competition) your ISIS catalogue should be arriving in the post soon.

For more information about ISIS books you can contact ISIS on 01865-250333 or email

6. Feature: Artists UK - Discworld Art Goes Limited!

Artists UK specializes in the publishing and sale of Limited Editions and other prints, posters, books etc. mainly in the fields of fantasy and science-fiction. A twice yearly catalogue is produced and sent to everyone on the database with a current mailing status. The database also allows for four favourite artists and four favourite subjects to be listed for each person (there are a lot of "Discworld" entries!). Mailings are sent to people with special interests between catalogues so we avoid sending junk mail and people get first crack at their favourites before the catalogue comes out. This is very useful when rare items turn up.

Artists UK has published five Limited Edition Fine Art prints of Josh Kirby's Discworld paintings which are 'Soul Music', 'Discworld Companion' (the best painting of the Librarian!), 'Men at Arms', 'Interesting Times' and 'Witches Trilogy' (used for the collection of the three witches books). Josh says these are excellent quality prints. He did the proofing to ensure a perfect colour match. They are printed on a really thick 350gsm acid-free board (it won't go yellow like old paper does) with light-fast inks (they don't fade).

There are only 500 copies of each one signed and numbered by Josh himself. There are also some proof copies for the avid collector - both pre and post production ones. The five limited editions which were published in two sets cover all the main Discworld characters. Of course, these prints are the full back and front covers before the words get smothered all over them! There are also lots of other standard prints of Discworld and masses of other stuff - Tolkien, Dragons, Celtic, Horror, Pin-ups etc. Artists UK has also published Limited editions of other major UK artists' work such as Alan Lee (his beautiful painting of Tolkien's 'Rivendell') and Brian Froud (his unique take on 'Caterpillar's mushroom' from Alice in Wonderland).

You can contact Artists UK by writing to Artists UK Mailorder, 45 Thurcroft Drive, Skelmersdale, Lancashire, WN8 8PD or calling 01695 558822 / 558833. You can also fax them on 01695 558845 or email them on:

7. Short Review: Wyrd Sisters - Cambridge

The Wyrd Sisters play adapted by Stephen Briggs, and performed last month by The Brickhouse Theatre Company of Robinson College, Cambridge, was in my view a most excellent and very funny production.

The witches, played by Victoria Morris, Amy Jacobs and Rachel Horton had me in stitches, the same goes for...oh everyone! Except for Lady Felmet (Lydia Nelson), she was scary!

May I congratulate the entire cast and crew for a very entertaining evening.

Although I do recommend wet and dry as opposed to sandpaper for Duke Felmets' hands...doesn't clog up so much.

Mark Rose

8. The End

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