Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 37: May 2000

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. Recommendations
5. Competition
6. Review: Wyrd Sisters DVD Video
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 37. Please allow me to apologise for the slightly shortened issue this month. Heavy work commitments and illness have prevented me from spending as much time as normal on Discworld Monthly. Normal service should resume next month.

We would like also like to say Happy Birthday to Terry Pratchett for April 28 and hope you have now recovered from the banana daiquiri induced hangover.

For all the fans looking forward to the Guards! Guards! performance at the Hexagon in Reading, I am sorry to say you've missed it (by a couple of years). The individual who gave me this information failed to notice the last updated 1998 message at the bottom of the page. I hope you will forgive my friend who is several months pregnant for not noticing this minor problem and join me in wishing her good luck with the rest of the pregnancy.

Danu Poyner has recently written to me to officially give up his position as DiscTrivia writer. If you would like to take over the role of writing some Discworld trivia questions each month, please get in contact with some sample questions and an example introduction to the section.

With the recent disappointing news that the third Discworld convention has been cancelled, Elton Murphy has stepped in and offered to do a Clarecraft 2000 event. We should be able to include some more details in the next issue. In the meantime don't forget to visit the Clarecraft web site at

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

2. News

Katherine ( ) is crocheting doll clothes based on Discworld characters. Models of PTraci, Magrat, Violet, Susan and Rincewind can be seen at

Mike Yost ( ) has recently been informed by GT Interactive that Discworld Noir will not be re-released and they don't have any left over in stock.

Danu Poyner ( ) has just recently launched a web site which contains original stories, scripts, poems and other miscellaneous rubbish (his words), of which much is influenced by the likes of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, et al. The address is

Mark Barlow has created a web site called Virtual Discworld and would like visitors. The address is

The Chelmsford Theatre Workshop will be presenting Terry Pratchett's "Lords and Ladies" from 16th to 20th and 23rd to 27th May at the Old Court Theatre, Springfield Road, Chelmsford (opposite the prison). Tickets are now available from the box office on 01245 606505, priced 6GBP (and 5GBP concessions).

Terry Pratchett's 'Sourcery' is going to the stage at the Merlin Theatre in Sheffield, May 10-13 with the show starting at 7.30 pm. Contact the box office on 0114 255 1638 for more details and ticket bookings. Apparently, it's a really good show for Pratchett fans, and the student population as they're blowing up the stage.

The Science Fiction Foundation have just published a book of essays called "Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature". More information can be found at the web site

Wyrd Sisters is being performed at the Putney Art Centre (Ravenna Road) from the 2nd to 6th May. The show starts at 19:45 and tickets are 2GBP to 5GBP.

Small Ads....

Richard Randall ( ) is looking for more members of his clib for Discworld fans, The Mended Drum. They have a message board, chat room and lots of other stuff on the site. Go to to look around. You can join the club free from the site.

Carl Rawson ( ) would like to get in touch with fans to organise a Discworld "bit of a do" in his busy Sheffield City Centre pub called Dikkins.

Katrine ( ) is an 18 year old student moving to South-London to go to college in the fall (Autumn for non Americans). Knowing no-one there I would like to know if there are any Discfans there who wouldn't mind showing me around. Please mail me so I can get to know you.

J Heyes ( ) wants to know: Is anyone is doing the Discworld maps on CD-Rom?

Graham Smith ( ) has recently completed (as far as web sites can be.... ) his Discworld web site, and would welcome any constructive criticism from fans. The site can be found at

Brenden Matthews ( ) would like Leah to send him an email as he has a new computer and has lost your address. (Ahhh!)

Kirsten L Stahley ( ) writes: My boyfriend is slimming down his Discworld collection, and would like to sell his miniatures. He has: Rincewind, Twoflower, The Librarian, Luggage, Death, Granny Weatherwax Carrot, Detritus, Teppic, Conina, CMOT Dibbler and Cohen the Barbarian. They are all perfect, polished and very very sweet - and would let them go for any reasonable offer (even cutting his own throat to do so) Can any one mail me who would be interested in this sort of thing.

Mark ( ) is desperately looking for the Paul Kidby limited Librarian print (the 5000 print run sold out through Paul). He is hoping someone will be willing to sell him theirs.

Bill Bledsaw ( ) has recommended the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE) for locating second hand Pratchett Books. (Bill didn't provide us with a URL so you will need to search the Net to find it - Ed). Bill says: I checked ABE and found 1,110 Terry Pratchett books listed for sale on their network.

Sim ( ) has just started playing GURPS Discworld, and would like some advice from other players of GURPS and GURPS Discworld.

Scott Pierson ( ) together with his mate Shane are making a new Web site called the CowardsGuild and need another person to help edit and organise it. One of the main features of the site will be graphics done by Daby Liu, they will also allow you to post your works of art to the site. For more information email the above address. Scott is also looking for some new epals aged 18-50. Apparently It doesn't matter where you live and gender isn't important. Scott claims to be a GREEN GIANT fan of PTerry, James Herbert and Stephen King. He likes all types of music (except dance) and enjoys dancing (presumably in silence- RM), climbing, writing horror fiction, computers and the net, playing Discworld MUD and chatting to people online.

Felicity ( ) would like to thank all the people who replied to her plea for a copy of Discworld Noir in a previous issue of Discworld Monthly.

Robert Best ( ) is looking for an epal, preferably female aged 16-25. He is into Discworld, Buffy, DS9, B5 and comics. He adds. Anne Rice fans need not apply.

Thomas Wake ( ) is starting an unofficial poll of the most popular novels. And would like you to email him to let him know your favourite.

Pete Schott ( ) has written to suggest as a place to find Pratchett books in Canada and the US. The store is based in Canada and provides comparable prices and reasonable shipping.

Ben Clymo ( ) has discovered the "From the Discworld" CD by Dave Greenslade on-line at The CD costs around 8GBP plus postage and packing.

Ian Fisher ( ) is looking for information about plays being performed on the East coast of the US, as he cannot afford to visit England to see a play.

Julie Squire ( ) wants to plug "an extremely interesting and often hilarious Pratchett message board on the net". You can visit Room 3B at

Mirjam Hengeveld ( ) is looking for peoples' top ten reasons why you shouldn't go to live in Ankh-Morpork. The results will appear at

D Mcleod ( ) is looking for Science of Discworld and Discworld Noir.

Scott ( ) would appreciate people sending him emails with some suggestions on which books to read first. He would also like to meet people from around the world to discuss the books.

Jessica Wilson ( ) is looking for a place in Melbourne that sells Discworld puzzles.

Mandie Donaldson ( ) found a copy of Discworld 1 for the Playstation in a shop that buys, sells and exchanges computer games in Liverpool. Whilst her copy is not for sale, she is willing to keep an eye on the shop to see if any more copies become available.

Becky Schofield ( ) is a BA Hons student who is lucky enough to be able to write a dissertation about Discworld. She is producing a Christian Communications dissertation about Granny Weatherwax and how her philosophy reflects or subverts biblical wisdom. If you feel you can help please get in contact.

Graham Smith ( ) wants to compile a pamphlet about the frequent references to the Guilds' Guide to Ankh Morpork and is looking for help.

Trevor Wilkinson ( ) would like to say: To Rickq; Sandra the student; Deb from nz and Margo from c, WHERE ARE YOU! You know who you are. I know I've been off line for a little while but I still exist. So if you know what I'm on about then email me.

Juilia from Berlin ( ) would like to know if there are any German translation of the Discworld plays and if there are any stage directions in the playtexts?

Peter Stanton ( ) has a sealed, un-opened "Terry Pratchett 2000 Discworld COLLECTOR'S EDITION CALENDAR", full of Paul Kidby's best illustrations as found in 'The Pratchett Portfolio' for sale and will consider any offer of money, items, or other.

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 make them sound like the mad ravings of a lunatic.

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: Douglas Townsend ( )
In reply to Daven Wu's letter regarding Josh Kirby, might I refer you to SFX issue #52 in which Dave Langford's column discusses the commentary he is writing for a book of Kirby's paintings? The article includes many quotes from the man himself and mentions that his name is actually Ron Kirby - Josh being a nickname. The article concludes with the following:

'Discworld paintings are still Josh's favourite work, although here he is he victim of his own success. Authors get more royalties as their books sell and are reprinted. Artists generally get a one-off payment for a cover, and hope for repeat sales when the book's reprinted with a new jacket. Unfortunately, those Kirby covers are so much part of the Discworld image that the same ones are printed again and again... Josh admits, philosophically, that the only way to get rich doing book covers is to work quickly. "I work very, very slowly." But it adds up to an awful lot of paintings in 45 years'

Which should I hope clear the issue, and, if I am not mistaken, didn't PTerry and Josh COLLABORATE on ERIC? Plus there's the famous painting of PTerry's head by Josh.

DWM replies: Thanks to Douglas and the many other who pointed out that Josh Kirby is the real artist on the Discworld covers. We meet Josh at the 1998 convention and found him to be very amusing and entertaining. We at DWM cannot, and don't particularly want to, check the authenticity or truth of any information received. We won't be held accountable to the mad ravings of every lunatic out there. Moving on...

* From: "Perumynar Arumugam" ( )
In response to Irene Donovan's message from last issue, congratulations for your brilliant analysis. Anyone who chooses to do literary analyses on Discworld characters obviously has a problem.

I mean, was there anyone out there who liked [or does like] high school English??

If yes, then please learn the pure joy of reading a book merely for the pleasure of it.

To Mark Oosterveen, the WHAT!? If you are of the opinion that literary character analysis is intellectually stimulating, please, please, follow Irene's advice.

In any case, could someone who has access to PTerry possibly contact him and ASK him whether he has ever considered all this?

I am certain that absolutely 0 authors in history have ever written books that they believed were designed for literary analysis, as opposed to writing for the entertainment value of the books [textbooks, etc. excepted].

Getting back to the topic, is there anybody out there who actually wants to get literary analyses occurring of Discworld characters?


Thought not. So please, try keeping your god-of-(7+1) inspired ideas off this newsletter.

* From: "helen and ger" ( )
A reply to 'Raga' (DWM 35) who wrote: " "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 " I'm sorry to be pedantic, but I thought the books were all set on Discworld! Individual books have 'resonances' that may be familiar to people living on round blue planets. And as for 'Jingo' sounding French splutter-mutter-outraged-mumble-urinating-dog-urinating-dog. Try reading about your own country's imperialist colonial history for a 'taste of cold steel, by jove'!

* From: "Raga" ( )
To David Easthope. I did not say the word "Jingo" was French, or that it sounded French. I said that Klatch was French because of all the stuff about Garlic and Johnny Klatch running away at the first taste of cold steel. The aristocracy in Ankh-Morpork put me in mind of the upper class in the Victorian years when Britain was an empire, who all went off to India and much of Africa to kill, pillage and enslave other peoples. A lot of the stereotypes, like Lord Rust and the Aristocracy, in the Discworld books are British stereotypes, which Terry Pratchett tries to send up at every opportunity.

* From: "Rik van der Schalie" ( )
Imagine picking up the March 2000 issue of Scientific American and being stared in the face by an ant with the caption "What computers are learning from them". It would appear that HEX has made it to this prestigious journal. Of course, since the great book "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hoffsteadter we all know that anthills have a personality of their own, but this proves that HEX probably deserves an even more prominent place in Discworld books.

JA replies: For discovering proof that HEX exists we have decided to award Rik Letter of the Month.

* From: "Ben Crisp" ( )
Recently I went to the performance of Mort by the Unseen Theatre Company as advertised in a previous issue of Discworld Monthly. The performance was fantastic and the casting immaculate. Especially notable were the special effects, specifically the use of large echo speakers and hidden microphones that could allow Mort to make his voice boom whenever needed, and the use of strobe lights to enhance the slow-motion scenes, namely whenever Death's scythe was swung and the fight between Death and Mort near the end. All in all, the opening night was a huge success, and I look forward to the future productions by the group.

* From: "han dumme stogge..." ( )
I brought Discworld Noir a couple of months ago, and spent a great couple of weeks playing it. It was my first Discworld game, and I must say I was impressed, even though my expectations weren't the highest. I liked the characters and the voices, and especially the music. The Tom Waits like troll-rythms from inside the Octarine Parrot was superb, and those slow saxophones really set the mood.

There was only one thing I didn't quite like: the game's presentation of Commander Vimes. The little we heard or saw of him made him seem very unlikable, and I feel this does the good sir injustice. It seems to me as if Lewton has taken over Vimes's characteristics; with a few changes here and there the whole thing could have been just another of Vimes's investigations.

Apart from that I found the game very enjoyable, and recommend it to Pratchett fans worldwide...

* From: "Scott B Gunther" ( )
Is there any hope for an American in love with Pratchett? Alas, I argue, no. I have initiated a very small movement here amongst my friends in reading Pratchett. Indeed, Pratchettism has spread across the Atlantic, and over two-thirds of the American continent to at last find a solace in Utah. Nevertheless, I mourn. Only after a long period of search was I able to find the Fifth Elephant, and that same day was the day I found The Last Continent. There is nothing in America (Utah at least) for the TP fan. A Good Omens movie? Who knew? (Not us Utahns) Then there's all this talk of where TP's plays are showing. I cry myself to sleep knowing I cannot fly to Australia every time TP is on stage. What is the American Pratchett fan to do? Will I ever see Good Omens?

* From: "Rachel Berry" ( )
Just a quick update - Perdita looks like being from the Latin 'perditus' (perdita being the feminine adjective) meaning renounced or profligate. Thought you might like to know! (following earlier e-mails about the Lancre Witches.)

* From: "Clive McCartney" ( )
Before I rant, here's a little disclaimer: I have been reading and enjoying the Discworld since more or less the very beginning, and remain a huge fan. DWM is doing a pretty bang up job too, so I hope nobody feels too offended after they read what I have to say. (Flattery will get you no-where - Ed).

So THE TRUTH is finished in March, great news we hear. But wait, it won't be available to us paying public until... wait for it... November. Just before Christmas, what a surprise that we will all be rushing around with hardback copies of the new tome as presents for self and friends, probably at almost 20 quid a pop (in my case this will be even more because someone will have to wrap it up and send it to me in the USA). Would it be too much trouble (not to mention a consideration of his market), for PTerry to insist that the book is published sooner rather than later. I know that he does the whole signing tour thing, which is very demanding, but he could choose not to do it.

In the meantime, I have AM$100 that says THE THIEF OF TIME will not be published until November 2001 (do we see a pattern developing here?).

RM replies: Are you suggesting that PTerry and his publishers are actually in it for the money? How dare they!

* From: "joop post" ( )
When is there going to be a convention in South Africa Cape Town?

JA replies: The previous Discworld conventions have been created by dedicated fans. Why not get together with other South African Discworld fans and organize one yourself?

* From: "Bianca Mux" ( )
Is there anyone out there who is also asking himself when Ruby will finally agree to marry our long-suffering Detritus? I think the poor guy has done enough now to deserve her. It would break a heart of rock.

* From: "Rona Oreilly"
I was in contact with you before about a psych project I was doing. You kindly put an add in your e-zine and I was overwhelmed by the responses I received (in a good way!). It really helped me to get all the info I needed.

Anyway the project is finished now and all handed in. With finals coming up I dont think Ill be able to get around to thanking all the people who responded to the add in person. So, I'd really appreciate it if you could put an add in the next issue thanking them all for me and letting others know that the project is now complete.

Many of the people who responded said they would be interested to know the results of my research. I have no problem with sending you a complete copy of the thesis but I do fear that people may be dissappointed if they think I have discovered the secret formula for discworld humour and theres so much psych theory etc. in there.

I'd kinda like to send the man himself a copy but I have to say I have this image of him laughing his head off at the though of some poor student trying to disect his work. What do you think?

Anyway let me know if there is any interest in the results of the project. Thanks again for all your help with this.

* From: "Steve Edney"
I just want to express my appreciation for DWM - it has convinced me that l am, at least, more sane than a large proportion of your readers.

Whilst I am not usually in favour of disecting fantasy literature I would like to pose a question which should give many subscribers hours of endless amusement:

'Why, when the double headed Kangaroo is one of the 64 signs of the discworld zodiac, do the Wizards not recognise the creature described by Ridcully as "Grey. Long hind feet like a clown's boots. Rabbit ears. Tail long and pointy." which appears "twenty feet across, one inch thick and deep fried" in place of Rincewind at the end of Interesting Times? Just a thought...

4. 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
David BrauchliRobery Rankin - Snuff Fiction
AmylaseStephen King - The Dead Zone
William BarnettDavid Gemmell, Craig Shaw Gardner, Milton

There is also a list of comic-fantasy authors at

6. Competition

Ian Jarrett is trying to raise some money for the Florence Nightingale Hospice. Over the last few years he has seen what they can, and do, do for terminally ill patients. He has finally given in to a {massive} argument, and is running a competition to help raise some money.

For prizes Ian has:

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning a prize is to send a check/PO for 1 GBP to

Ian Jarrett, 17 Cottesloe road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 8DL

And tell him who plays the part of Death in both the animated films?

All competition entries should be received promptly. We will hopefully announce the winners and the amount raised for charity next issue.

Please note: This competition is being run independently of Discworld Monthly. Discworld Monthly's only involvement is the advertising of it in this issue and the displaying of the results in a future issue. Any questions, suggestions, complaints etc about this competition should be sent to Mr Ian Jarrett at the postal address above.

7. Review: Wyrd Sisters DVD Video

The animated Discworld films caused plenty of debate when they first came out, some fans loved them whist many hated them. Now for the first time American Discworld fans (and those with multi-region DVD players) will be able to get Cosgrove Hall's animated version of Wyrd Sisters on DVD from Acorn Media (

The single disc contains the full 140 minute story as well as the animated introduction to the Discworld complete with Great A'Tuin fly past. Also included are brief descriptions of the main characters, some story boards (with pictures and animation instructions), a short Pratchett Biography, a book list, assorted book covers and a web links page which includes a link to Discworld Monthly.

I've personally found that although DVD produces excellent pictures, animation doesn't tend to look a lot different on VHS or DVD. The sound, however, will be much clearer because of DVD's almost CD quality sound.

If you own a DVD player then I would recommend this over the VHS version as you get a few extras and the complete series on one disc in a small and convenient box. Those without DVD's would need to purchase the double VHS box set.

I believe Acornmedia are looking at creating the DVD version of Soul Music in the future. For more information about the Wyrd Sisters DVD visit Please mention Discworld Monthly in any correspondence.

8. The End

Just checking to see how many people read this rubbish at the end of the email? Go on, do something else, you have read all the semi interesting stuff for this issue!

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