Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 47: March 2001

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTriva
5. Article: What To Call Discworld Fans?
6. Synopsis: The Thief Of Time
7. Discworld Convention 2002 Update
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 47. We have received many requests from people wanting to buy Discworld computer games. If you have a supply of these games or know of one, please let us know and we will publish the information in a future issue.

With the recent requests for information about readers ages etc. we have decided to try to produce a new readers poll for next month. The poll will be in the form of a web based questionnaire. Details of which should appear in next month's issue.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Alumnus)

2. News

News from Colin Smythe:

I'm delighted to say that at the British Book Awards (known as the Nibbies because the award takes the form of a large pen-nib) given out in London last night, Terry received 'The Bookseller Services to Bookselling Award'. Here's what Nicholas Clee, the Editor of The Bookseller, said:

"The winner of The Bookseller's award for a lifetime contribution to bookselling is an author . He is the kind of author who tends to get overlooked when awards committees meet. One reason for this neglect may be that he produces bestsellers year after year, and so gets taken for granted; another, that the genre in which he writes is unfashionable among the kinds of people who sit on awards committees. Yet for a good many years he has been one of the three most popular novelists in Britain, and no author has done more to help booksellers, chains and independents, to sell his books. Ladies and gentlemen, please pay tribute to Terry Pratchett."

For Pratchett fans who have difficulty reading the type in the novels, Ulverscroft/Thorpe (who've just bought ISIS) have just published large print editions of The Carpet People (0-7089-9527-6 - it has Thorpe on the spine and Spectrum on the title page, which is their paperback imprint) and The Fifth Elephant (0-7089-9210-2, which has Thorpe on the spine and Charnwood on the title page - their hardback imprint).

Andrew M.Butler's "Pocket Essentials: Terry Pratchett" is a book by book guide to the Discworld series, the Johnny Maxwell and Bromeliad trilogies and the early novels, plus Good Omens. Each entry includes first publication details, notes on recurring characters, a mini-essay and a contentious score out of five. To be published April 2001. ISBN1-903047-39-0. Pocket Essentials is an imprint of Oldcastle Books Ltd. 18 Coleswood Road, Harpenden, Herts AL5 1EQ.

ISIS have now issued THE TRUTH, read by Stephen Briggs, whose reading of THE FIFTH ELEPHANT was released just before Christmas.

Samuel French expect to publish Irana Brown's stage adaptation of LORDS AND LADIES in May - ISBN 0-573-01888-X

MADSODS* presents "Wyrd Sisters" at the Underground Theatre at Massey University's Auckland, New Zealand campus. Performances March 7th through 10th at 8pm (also 2pm matinee March 10th). Tickets NZ$15 (discounts available).

To book call +64 9 443-9787 or email check out or call +64 21 618 562 for more information.

* Massey @ Albany Drama, Singing, Operatic and Dance Society
[Nothing to do with me -RM]

"Cable Street Particulars" have moved their web site. It is now located at

The Discworld Convention 2002 Committee have got an advance copy of "The Thief Of Time" to give away in their new prize draw. Entry costs 2.50GBP, which will go to Terry's adopted charity, The Orangutan Foundation. To enter, visit

Arena Theatre of Perth, Western Australia will be performing Wyrd Sisters at the Nexus Theatre, Murdock University from the 4th to 7th and 11th to 14th April 2001. Tickets cost 14 AUD and 10 AUD for concessions. Bookings can be made on either 9362 4550 or 9362 4080

The rough version of a new, huge Discworld site called "Ook" is now online. Apparently the site will eventually be the home of a huge Discworld community controlled by Guilds which the visitor can join and interact with. In addition, Stephen Briggs has agreed to allow the staff of Ook to conduct an interview with him, so that can be expected to be up soon! The site is temporarily located at:

Small Ads....

Mark Datko ( ) is looking for Discworld fans in South Yorkshire. Mark is also contemplating organising some Discworld activities to raise money for Red Nose Day over the weekend of March 16, 17 and 18.

Chris ( ) is a Spanish Discworld fan looking for a e-pal.

S.M.Moyes ( ) writes: Like you all I'm a huge TP fan, I've lost track of the number of people I've 'shown the light' by introducing them to the wonderful world of TP fiction. Anyway, I live in Eastbourne, East Sussex (UK) and a friend and I have been pondering the possibility of starting up a TP role play in the area. Role play! I hear you laugh, but wait, I have recently found out that this is actually quite fun and so I hereby offer an invitation to any TP fans in the Eastbourne area interested in starting a hip and groovy role play group.

Megan Perr ( ) just wanted to let everyone know that plans for an American Discworld Convention are underway! They need volunteers though to be able to make this happen, and any creative ideas to make this convention awesome are welcome. Please visit for more information. Please fill out the volunteer forms and send them to . Thanks, everyone!

Syed Karim ( ) is an enthusiast of the Discworld series and would like to know if there are any other fans of the series in the Dayton, OH area.

Sarah Demb ( ) will be in Budapest March 18-22 and would be happy to meet other Discworld fans/get the low-down on hot-spots to visit, etc.

Finn ( ) wants to publicize his club, Death's Domain. It's an online Discworld club where it's possible to participate in quizzes, fan-fiction games and many other activities involving Witches, Wizards, Assassins, Fate, Pestilence, War, the City Watch and of course DEATH (as well as many other characters). You can reach DD at - everyone is welcome.

Martin Kessel ( ) writes: How about a link to my page about the Discworld event 2000?

Samantha ( ) would like to know if there are any Pratchett fans from New Zealand? (Apart from herself, of course!)

Adam Wilcox ( ) has a Discworld web site that features animated gifs, Java Script DW games, songs, links, news, and the new "Discworld Time Zones"!

Carl M Di Stefano ( ) was wondering if there are any groups in Victoria, Australia that do Pratchett plays. He is ready and awaiting with keen excitement.

Ed Marin ( ) is looking for a copy of Discworld 2 for the PC.

Jenny Kirton ( ) says: I bought a Discworld Mapp jigsaw in a charity shop for 50p and tried to look for some more on the Internet but you can't buy them anymore. Does anyone have either Soul Music, Mort or Reaper Man?

Daniel Lossner ( ) is looking for a copy of Discworld or Discworld 2 - Mortality Bytes for Playstation. If anybody has any leads or can point him in the in the right direction, he would appreciate it.

Anthony Smith ( ) is looking for the Discworld 2001 calendar but cannot find it.

Yonatan Krikov ( ) is also looking for a copy of Discworld Noir. He doesn't however say what format he requires it on.

Sarah Hipgrave ( ) recently found a copy of Discworld Noir in a sale in Game (computer games shop) in Newcastle, England for 4.99GBP. Their website is

Phantasia ( ) are an online bookshop that will happily ship all Terry books anywhere in the world and especially within XXXX. Their secure website is located at

Paul White ( ) is looking for Eric in hardback as has cash waiting.

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 into a scrambled mess of chaos.

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: "Roslyn MacPherson" ( )
I live on an island off the west coast of Scotland, with no shops, so I rely on my little sister to buy me each new book as a Christmas present, when it goes into paperback. So I've only just received The Fifth Elephant. Having often humiliated myself by laughing out loud in public while reading various PTerry books, I have not always found them all hysterical, but after reading the Fifth Elephant I do have a complaint. I laughed so much in some places, that I not only humiliated myself in front of strangers, but as I was in hospital at the time recovering from a caesarean section I caused my self quite considerable pain. Perhaps, being on a morphine drip, my judgment was impaired, and those who criticised the book as formulaic were right, but if they were I LOVE THAT FORMULA. One other point - Thanks to PTerry, I have a scar down my left shin, several inches long having fallen down the side of a subway train after trying to board while reading one of his books. All the pain that man has caused me!!!

By the way, are there any PTerry fans in the Outer Hebrides, 'cos my family and friends think I'm insane!

* From: "Ellen Clegg" ( )
I want to respond to Rucha's article 'Converting Friends and Family to Pratchettism. I converted my dad by giving him a tape of something else that happened to have the Corgi version of Men at Arms on the end of it (not the full version obviously). He wanted to hear the full story but I had given the original tape back to the kind friend who lent it to me, so I gave him the book. He has now read Men at Arms and the Colour of Magic and is deeply immersed in The Light Fantastic, so there you are. Just give your friends and family the tapes to get them hooked. Lastly I feel I should tell you that the aforesaid friend and I believe we have found the real life Foul Ole Ron. There is a certain beach in Lyme Regis (not far from where Terry used to live) where you will often find an overpoweringly smelly old man who mutters to himself in his own private language. And we have heard tell that he has been known to say 'millennium hand and shrimp'. Whether this is true or not I cannot say but the old man certainly does exist. Could he have been Terry's inspiration? We may never know, but it's a nice thing to believe.

* From: "Helen Stacey" ( )
Have Cripple Mr Onion got a web address? They sound like my sort of band.

* From:
Has anyone else noted that Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip (from the Truth) bear a striking resemblance to Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere?

The two pairs seem to fit a pattern; two evil bad guys hired by a higher bad guy; one big, one small; one brains, one brawn; one wholly bad, one could have been redeemed... I could go on.

Perhaps this formula is more common in literature than I am aware, but if not, it seems odd that both PTerry and Gaiman (who are acquaintances, are they not?) should both use it.

DWM replies: We though that Mr Tulip and Mr Pin are parodies of Vincent and Jules from the movie Pulp Fiction (hence all the ___ing swearing!)

* From: "Alwyn Thomas" ( )
Does anyone have, or know of, a list of all the Discworld Latin phrases and there translations?

* From: "Peter Halpin" ( )
Here's a holiday tip for Discworld fans: the Baiersbronn region in Germany's Black Forest hosts scything competitions! I jest thee not: check out this URL

I reckon it might be interesting to see that, but should a guy called Wilhelm Tur be competing it might be a good idea to give it a miss (Wilhelm Tur = Bill Door)

* From: "Matt Esterman" ( )
I've been reading TP for a while now and I've got most of the books at home for myself.. and I'm in my last year of high-school at St. Augustine's college, Brookvale. I meant to write this sooner but I never got the chance so here it is... at my school we have two personalities that seem to have been put there just to humour me. Everyone knows of Lord Downey and Mr Boggis of the Assassin's and Thieves Guilds respectively, so now I am absolutely gobsmacked to tell you that I have a Mr Mark Downey and a Mr Les Bobis as my Student Welfare Co-Ordinator (or giver of harsh punishments) and Year CO-ordinator (or stealer of free time) respectively. You may not believe it but there you go.

If you want a mental image of what these two look like... think Mr Downey a spittin' image of Agent Mulder and Mr Bobis and a cross between a short man and a Koala.

* From: "Paul" ( )
My response to someone who carelessly mentions chocolate oranges and my beloved collection of Discworld books in the same sentence would be: "They're not Terry's, they're mine!"

[While UK fans will be rolling around on the floor laughing I doubt many others will recognise the quote - Ed]

* From: "Cordula Muldner" ( )
I love The Truth! Just because there is less slapstick comedy in there doesn't mean it s not funny! This book made me smile all through it! Yes, it might be true that you don t have an uncontrollable urge to laugh out loud, however it s a brilliant book and I enjoyed it way more than other recent DW books. And to the different levels of meaning... maybe Neerav should be reading the Truth again more open minded... Surely Reaper Man is great fun and way faster to read than the Truth, however these 2 books should not be compared to each other and there s really no need for us to read 25 books that will all be in the same style! That ll be kind of boring! Variation is the word. Otherwise how can you stick with one and the same author over all these years, when you already know, how the next book will be like apart from guessing which characters will be in it? And why would he want to find people who agree with him? I'd like to have my own opinion about things... luckily we are all very different in style, age, character, geographical background and what else and I admire Mr Pratchett s ability to be able to touch a nerve in all of us with each of his books... and I bet, when you start asking each of us which one of the 25 books we enjoyed the most and which one the least there will be all the same books in both lists-just perfect...!

* From:
Hopefully this will encourage the American fans not to give up trying to locate fellow readers. I live in England and a while ago I printed a few hundred flyers inviting people to spend an evening with D.O.N.G (the Discworld's obsessed nutter's guild) then a brief description as to how it was a place for fans of Terry to meet and discuss books, merchandise etc.

Well, come the night there I was sat on my todd, apart from two faithful friends who sat with fixed grins and kept looking at the door.

So, either there are no fans in my town or they all think I'm a complete nutter :) (not far from the truth) but the search goes on , I will not give up till I have converted the world !! MMWWAAAHHHHHH HA HA HA. ok that might have been a tad overkill (sigh) well if any other fans feel incredibly sorry for me and want to mail me, thats super!

P.S the uneducated, fiction starved town to which I refer is Barrow-in Furness, so if anyone from there gets this newsletter drop me a line and let me know I'm not alone!

* From: "Catherine Lamin" ( )
Earlier this year I bought the fools guild diary in attempt to save myself from my continual inability to remember important dates. On the front of the diary is the guild slogan "Dico Dico Dico" Having never studied Latin, I have absolutely no idea what this means, but would hazard a guess that it means "I say I say I say". Could anyone tell me if this is right or correct me if I'm wrong.

* From: "Stevie D" ( )
Something I hadn't spotted before - from 'Book 8', you quote "As a, member of the dead community Reg Shoe naturally thought of himself as an ethnic majority."

But, here on Roundworld, there are more people alive now than have died in all of history, or so my Geography teacher at school used to say. I don't how the population growth compares with Discworld, but Reg could be (if you'll pardon the phrase) dead wrong.

DWM replies: Haven't you seen Day of the Dead?

* From: "Farah Hanna" ( )
I wrote a while back about a Malaysian online fanclub thingummy. I've got some responses, but not many seem to be interested in joining an actual CLUB. So just in case there's anyone out there still hesitating, here are a couple of things you should know:

#1- There are currently 4 members [pathetic, I know], and contrary to popular belief, we're really not that psycho. honest.

#2- If you ARE a Malaysian Pratchett fan, then why not show it? And while we're on the subject, the club is open to all Malaysians overseas OR in Malaysia OR foreigners residing in Malaysia. Got that? Good.

#3- I think the sole male member of the club is getting just a tad lonely, being surrounded by three females. Either that, or he's enjoying himself too much.

So please please join up. The URL is:

* From: "Richard Wilcox" ( )
As a beer-drinking Discworld fan, I have enjoyed the "real ale" references to such wizard-friendly brews as Winkle's Old Peculiar (nod of recognition to Theakston's brewery) and Turbot's Really Odd.

The most apt brew I have so far discovered in the real world seems ideal for ale connoisseurs from Unseen University - it's "Blustering Bursar" brewed by Morrell's of Oxford. There must surely be more liquid links out there?

* From:
I am hoping that someone will be able to answer this because it is driving me crazy! I recently got The Truth signed by Terry and he wrote Happy Birthday, p.s. got your potato!

I have this feeling that Nanny Ogg has made a reference to Birthdays and potatoes somewhere either in the books or the cartoon. Can anyone tell me if I am right or not or is it just a reference to The Truth??

* From: "Sheila Perkins" ( )
Harmlessly occupied reading a little Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the other day, I stumbled upon this sentence, and had to re-read at least three times, it struck me as soo PTerry-like:

"We ain't nervous folk, as you know well; but when it comes to makin' a week-end visit and findin' you've run full butt into the day of judgement, it wants a bit of explainin'."

This occurs in the etext of "The Poison Belt". I do not recommend it to you, for it is a hodgepodge of casual racism and innocent sexism, lashed with the science of the times, but the sentence itself is a beauty. I wonder who would have spoken it, were it indeed part of the oeuvre?

Next question: Is there any indication that PTerry would consider re-releasing his body of work as ebooks? I am rapidly becoming addicted to the format (especially for handhelds) and commit right now to buying every single book all over again. Although I would hope that the price might be more in the range of a second-hand paperback, still if others feel likewise that's a lot of MONEY for NOTHING, and since we all can use some of that perhaps PTerry or his publisher(s) can be persuaded.

And finally, for those of you into demographics, I am as old as PTerry and I live in Tennessee.

* From: "Ben Pobjie" ( )
A couple of things... firstly, those who complain about recent Discworld books being too 'modern' and not 'fantasy' enough should obviously stick to the more static type of fantasy author. The Discworld is an evolving place, which is why new innovations and moves towards modernity are featured in the books, because the real world does not stay the same forever, and neither should the Discworld. As for later books following crime fiction lines, why not? Who ever said every Discworld book had to be about wizards and dragons and whatnot? Just because it's an imaginary world doesn't mean it can't encompass all kinds of themes and literary genres. Secondly, I would like to support the person who wrote in saying that Discworld plays should be allowed to have altered dialogue etc. Terry Pratchett himself has said that his job is an author, not a playwright, screenwriter, or adapter of novels, and so he is happy to leave adaptation to those whose job it is to adapt. And everyone knows that adaptations never turn out exactly the same as the books they're derived from. OK, now that I've raved on to a ridiculous extent, can I ask if there are any Discworld societies, or dramatic societies interested in putting on Discworld plays, or even Discworld fans, in the Frankston/Bay area of Melbourne?

DWM replies: Ben get this month's letter of the month.

* From: "Sharla Hardy" ( )
I've probably been to too many Career-Track seminars, but "The Thief of Time" makes me think of an organization and scheduling pep talk. I've been hearing Discworld seminars as I drift off to sleep ever since I read the title. Things like "Dealing With Difficult Personifications at Work". I wish I could remember them when I wake up - they're hilarious.

Does this ever happen to anyone else?

4. DiscTriva

Before I present this month's thrilling instalment of Discworld Trivia, I would like to make my own comment in reply to something Josh mentioned in the last issue of dwm-46. I enjoy watching Star Trek, but do not wish to be known as a "Trekkie". I love reading Terry Pratchett, but do not wish to be known as a "Prat" or "Prattie".

There - that's that off my chest

Simon Greener ( )

First and Last Lines

Book 1

"The Morris Dance is common to all inhabited worlds in the multiverse"

"And at the end of all stories Azrael, who knew the secret, thought : I REMEMBER WHEN ALL THIS WILL BE AGAIN."

Book 2

"The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth the effort."

"Which soon became a glint among the stars, and disappeared."

Book 3

"The bees of Death are big and black, they buzz low and sombre, they keep their honey in combs of wax as white as altar candles."

"And this, too, was happiness. Of a sort."

Book 4

"This is where the gods play games with the lives of men. on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world."

"'Do you understand? Are you listening?' he said. 'That's the last time the universe is going to trick Rincewi-'"

Book 5

"It was a moonless night, which was good for the purposes of Solid Jackson."

"There would be trouble later on. People would ask questions. But that was later on - for now, gloriously uncomplicated and wonderfully clean, and hopefully with never an end, under a clear sky, in a world untarnished...there was only the chase"


Book 6

"Distillation of alcohol was illegal in Lancre. On the other hand, King Verence had long ago given up any idea of stopping a witch doing something she wanted to do, so merely required Nanny Ogg to keep her still somewhere it wasn't obvious. She thoroughly approved of the prohibition, since this gave her an unchallenged market of her own product, known wherever men fell backwards into a ditch as 'suicider'."

Book 7

"The role of the lower intestine in the efforts to build a better nation is one that is often neglected by historians."

Book 8

"The study of invisible writings was a new discipline made available by the discovery of the bi-directional nature of Library-Space. The thaumic mathematics are complex, but boil down to the fact that all books, everywhere, affect all other books. This is obvious: books inspire other books written in the future, and cite books written in the past. But the General Theory* of L-Space suggests that, in that case, the contents of books as yet unwritten can be deduced from books now in existence. *There's a Special Theory as well, but no-one bothers with it much as it's self-evidently a load of marsh gas."

Book 9

"Words resemble fish in that some specialist ones can survive only in a kind of reef, where their curious shapes and usages are protected from the hurly-burly of the open sea. 'Rumpus' and 'fracas' are found only in certain newspapers (in much the same way that 'beverages' are found only in certain menus). They are never used in normal conversation."

Book 10

"One of the universal rules of happiness is: always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual."

5. Article: What To Call Discworld Fans?

Last month Josh ( ) asked what we should call collective Discworld Fans. We have, of course, received hundreds of emails on this subject and have included many of the ideas below. If you wrote in with suggestions we thank you but can't include individual names.

So, in no particular order, here are some of the ideas:

The Guild of Discarians, Discheads, Turtle-Necks, Discopolitans, Dweebs, PTerrorists, PFans, Discworldians, Mad, Diskies, Discies, Intelegent, Pratcheteers, Prats, Disks and Diskettes, Discos, Ankhoracks, Chelonians, Wyrdos, DWERs (discworlders) and DAFFTs (Discworld and Fantasy Fanatic Tortoises).

We also got several email rejecting the who naming process, for example:

"I have no desire to mock his enthusiasm but I feel compelled to ask if such a special term is really necessary? I'm sure that when non-fans want a derogatory and diminutive tem for Pratchett enthusiasts ala 'Trekkies' they'll invent one without our intervention or assistance." -- David A Harvey

6. Synopsis: The Thief Of Time

We've been avidly reading Terry's latest, 'The Thief of Time', and we'll have a full review next month. Briefly, the story is alternates between set in Ankh-Morpork and the Hub and concerns a clockmaker's efforts to build a truly accurate clock - at the behest of a mysterious sponsor. Lu-Tze, the History Monk last seen in 'Small Gods', makes a reappearance with a gifted acolyte in tow. Susan, Death's grand-daughter, gets drawn in as well. Oh, and without giving anything away, Vimes stops breathing. Don't miss next month's issue for further confused misinformation!

The Thief Of Time is now available to pre-order. At the time of writing, Sunday 25th February 2001, were selling it for 13.59GBP and WHSmith On-line were selling it for 11.89GBP. Both are subject to postage and packing.


7. Discworld Convention 2002 Update

In 2002 the Usenet group is 10 years old. It seems an ideal time for a party, not that any of the regulars need an excuse...

2002 will be a year full of AFParty birthday meets all over the world, of which the largest single event will be the 10th Birthday Bash at the Discworld Convention 2002. This will take place on Saturday evening at the Convention, and will be hosted by the mysterious Bofho the Clown - who is that green-haired, white-faced man? Being a 10th birthday party, there will of course be lots of games (such as Pin the Banana on the Monkey) and party food like jelly and ice cream. Past and present AFPers will be invited, including one T. Pratchett.

The committee have sent you a very special invite, which can be found at - have a look around the card for more details of the Party. If you want further information about the other AFP Birthday celebrations, then have a look at

If you'd like to attend the Big Birthday Bash but haven't yet joined the Convention, please go to Ideas, comments and Party suggestions are always very welcome, so email .

The Convention is offering new members a very special AFParty gift - have a look in your invite to learn more!

The Committee Discworld Convention 2002

8. The End

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* Trivia Answers *

Book 1 Reaper Man Book 2 Light Fantastic Book 3 Eric Book 4 Interesting Times Book 5 Jingo Book 6 Maskerade Book 7 Carpe Jugulum Book 8 Lords and Ladies Book 9 The Truth Book 10 Jingo

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

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