Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 52: August 2001

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. Feature: Convention 2002 News.
5. Article: Discworld MUD
6. Review: The Thief Of Time Audio Book
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 52. Last month we asked for a new trivia writer, to which we received many replies. We are still reading through the lists and working out which individuals we will exploit in future issues.

The Collectors Guild Event is once again almost upon us. I will be visiting the event so don't forget to say hi if you see me. For those that don't know about these events, over a thousand Discworld fans get together for a few days in a field and drink lots of beer. Some try painting the figurines and other spend all their hard earned cash on Discworld goodies... There are usually a couple of fun events including Q&A sessions with various Discworld celebrities. I will attempt to write a review of the event for next month's issue.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Beard Scientist)

2. News

On August 1st Isis Publishing will be releasing an unabridged audio version of Eric. Eric was missed from the series because it didn't appear to be a proper Discworld book, but after much deliberation, all parties have agreed that the book is a bona fide Discworld novel [Except me - WB]. So, after trillions of requests from TP fans, they're publishing it.

The audio book is narrated by Stephen Briggs and the cassette version costs 17.99GBP plus postage and packing and the CD version costs 19.99GBP plus postage and packing.

You can order Eric from Isis web site at

KATS will be performing Carpe Jugulum at the Kennet School in Thatcham, Berkshire, England on the 30th, 31st August and 1st September. Tickets cost 6GBP and full details of the show can be found at

Andrew Norris ( ) will be performing two one-act plays between August 28th and September 1st. One is based on Terry's short story "Turntables of the Night" and the other on "The Shrink & The Mink" by Robert Bloch. Unfortunatley we have not been able to contact Andrew to confirm where the plays will take place and how much they will cost. We assume that they will be in Andrew's hometown of Ashford in Kent.

Harprec ( ) writes: I have a copy of Witches abroad (paper back), practically unread (unwanted present as already owned) which I would like to sell to a Discworld fan. It is the corgi edition and I am happy to send it to America for the right incentive, postage and packing. It may be most attractive to the US audience as it has the British cover.

Small Ads....

Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who follow up any of these contacts.

A collaboration scheme similar to the @ project has been created to try to find a cure for cancer. If you would like to get involved visit and also follow this link to a Discworld team who are looking for more Discworld fans to help. A382-D0B372A89D3F (clicking this link does not give me any money, you can get to the same page by searching for Discworld teams at

Claire Robins ( ) only needs a hardback copy of Eric to complete her collection and says: I am 30 and have 2 kids and 1 on the way and desperately need to complete my collection now before ALL my money runs out.

Annalisa has a newish website called "Ankh Morpork General Hospital" located at

Sandra JULIEN ( ) is dealing with a big problem, she is French and is finding it hard to discover other Discworld fans. She adds: It's also difficult to find English versions of the books (I try to read them in English but after the French one!!). So, I'd like to talk about Discworld with other french fans or other fans who'd like to learn French, why not??? I'm also looking for postcards with Josh Kirby's illustrations (I really like them !!!), or calendars. Perhaps does someone have shop adresses in France? I hope you understand my English!!! A bientot !!

T.W. O'Bryan ( ) is looking for a hardback American edition (not book club) of Lords and Ladies. It was published by Harper, and the cover has a picture of a smiling mouth, and (maybe, he's not sure on this) a crown. He will pay any reasonable price.

Ellyn ( ) lives in America (ew) and is a devoted fan of TP and can't seem to find anyone else in her world who has read any of his books (or really even heard of him). She's not sure how to convert her friends to it, since TP is extremely difficult to describe to the uninitiated. Having read all but a few of his books in a few months, she's looking for anyone from anywhere (this planet or not) to chat with about TP, life, the universe, and/or everything. Some things are better shared, and she thinks TP is one of them. No worries.

Helen ( ) has a copy of Discworld Noir on the PC and is completely stuck, so if you can help please get in contact.

Philippe Hyndrikx ( ) is looking for the Unseen University diary since it is the only one he is missing. He would also like to know if there are any good Discworld screensavers.

Kerstin Hoffmann ( ) is a 23-year-old Discworld fan from Germany and was wondering if there are any Discworld fans in Scotland. Kerstin is spending nine months in Glasgow from September and would be glad to get in contact with some people, preferably from the Glasgow and Edinburgh area. However, emails from everyone else are very welcome, too.

Nadim Jasani ( ) is looking for a copy of the UK 1996 hardback reprint of Sourcery, ISBN 575064099. Nadim is of course willing to pay for shipping from anywhere in the world.

Rebecca Stephens ( ) writes: My name is Rebecca and I'm from Melbourne Australia, and I need some help. Early 2002, my theatre group is looking to perform Wyrd Sisters. We are a youth organisation, and unless we get good audiences, we may not be allowed to continue performing. Could anyone let me know of any fan clubs/ enthusiast groups in the melbourne/victoria area who would be interested in seeing a great Pratchett play done well?

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 because one of its legs are both the same.

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: "Magic man" ( )
I know I'm going to regret this, but does anyone know the dirty joke about the priest, the old woman, and the rhino that Nanny refers to in Carpe Jugulum? I know that TP has taken a dirty joke from Earth and Discworldized it in the past (ie in Jingo). Is this one of those jokes?

* From: "Ken Clarke" ( )
A friend of mine recently gave me a copy of a book called "Legends of Northeast Scotland" by Fenton Wyness (copyright 1970, Gramercy Publishing Co. ISBN: 0-517-135981). In it was a story called 'The Witch of Findrack'. The author told of 'the Torphins coven', and of a member named Margaret Ogg from Marywell. I was certainly surprised to find an historical figure who was not only an Ogg, but a witch as well. I wonder if she had a particularly evil tempered cat...

* From: "Colin Furlong" ( )
In the last issue Kevin Breen said he saw a bar in Ireland called "Sean Og's". Just to let you know, "Sean Og" means "Young Sean" in Irish. And unfortunately it's pronounced "oag" not "ogg".

* From: "Rob Westwood" ( )
"Jon" ( ) spoke about how poor he thought the Soul Music animated movie was.

Some people may have trouble accepting Jon's statement, but I think that he raised a valuable point:

The characters and concepts in the Discworld (and indeed any) novels communicate in different ways to the readers. As a result, when the stories are made into movies or animated adaptations (even the audio books to an extent), we all react to them differently. The characters in a movie, although still complex, are the representation of how the directorial team envision them. They cannot appeal to everyone.

As for Death being portrayed as a sad character in the Soul Music animation, I do understand what you mean but I thought they did it quite well. That emotionless skull always brings out a sadness in me when I read the books anyway. He is sad in that he cannot create and deep down, all he desires is to be human in a way. Key scenes that demonstrate the sadness (in my mind) are the fight with Mort, the turning over of Mort's hourglass, watching Mort and Ysabelle go over the cliff and of course spending time in his black garden. 'HO HO HO' also speaks volumes!

I personally believe that Soul Music was one of the better adaptations of Pratchett's work. However, I must admit that I hated that Wyrd Sisters one. But that's just my opinion. I bet there are people out there that thought it was the other way around.

It's a matter of perception, I guess. Just like many things in the Discworld.

JA replies: Rob gets this months letter of the month.

* From: "David Taylor" ( )
The literal meaning of the Polish "Sto Lat!" is "A hundred years!". I imagine it is wishing the recipient a hundred years of good health.

* From: "Adam Rae" ( )
I have loved the music from the Discworld Noir game for ages and am trying to find out if I can find the musical score for some of the pieces (if there is one). I have the vocal part sung by Ruby from the back cover of the manual, but I'd love to get the score for Otto's song ("When you met her") with lyrics by Chris Bateman. The music was written by Paul Weir I believe, and if anyone could help I'd be really grateful.

* From: "Cindy L Wells" ( )
In response to Tom Sutcliffe's letter about the appearance of Ogg in J.K. Rowling books, and the appearance of two Hermiones in Pterry's books, I have another coincidence to add to the list: in J.K Rowling's second Harry Potter book "The Chamber of Secrets", Pixies are described to be bright blue in colour, similar to the Pictsies covered in bright blue woad in Carpe Jugulum. Before Carpe Jugulum I hadn't seen any reference in folklore and legend to Pixies/Pictsies being specifically that color.

* From: "Bostjan Gorenc" ( )
Currently, I am in the middle of translating Eric into Slovene (beautiful language but unfortunately with only gnome trilogy translated). I am dong it mostly for the fun of it and as a means of gaining experience (well, if I'm satisfied with the outcome, I might send the translation to some editors).

Anyway, the thing with the aforementioned translation of Eric into Slovene has gotten some new aspects in the last few weeks. It seems that I will be able to present it as my BA degree paper in English-Slovene Contrastive analysis (You know: how to translate names and jokes in order to preserve the meaning but also to replace some specific British cultural elements with the elements from your own culture.)

So, I would like to ask the DWM readers to e-mail me on how the names of the characters (especially in Eric) have been translated into their own languages.

* From: "Julia and Chris" ( )
With reference to Jane Atkinson saying the translation of the Thieves motto should have been "Flog it quick"

Nope, you are falling behind on your UK slang. Whip it quick is absolutely correct - as to whip something is to nick, pinch, filch, purloin, acquire, thieve or steal it!

* From: "hazel" ( )
Hi, I'm a huge Discworld fan, and I enjoyed the cartoons immensely. What I'm asking is, why did Cosgrove Hall stop making the cartoons, because I did hear a rumour that they were going to do a 90 minute special of Hogfather for Christmas. Is this true, or is there no chance of another Discworld cartoon?

JA replies: From what I can remember, Cosgrove hall did a number of illustrations for MORT in order to sell the concept but I don't think they ever made it. When the cartoons came out they were met with a mixed reaction. Whilst many fans thought they were great, many really disliked them.

* From: "Steve Pearce" ( )
Terry Gilliam has been interviewed in the latest issue of Total Film magazine (it's got Angelina Jolie on it, ooh!) and mentions some stuff about his planned adaptation of Good Omens.

He says he's going to "p*ss off" a lot of fans because he's re-written the ending - which he has never liked!

* From: "Katy Nicholls" ( )
Just thought you might be interested to know that a Discworld book is in the recommended reading list in my Bursary English textbook (New Zealand). Yes, they say you should read Men at Arms. Unfortunately, my English teacher hasn't followed the advice..

* From: "Bill Moore" ( )
There is an article in the current issue of Computerworld magazine that reports how computer scientists are studying ant colonies to discover ways of getting software to solve complex problems. A sample quote from the article:

"Rather than relying on complex, centralized logic, systems that mimic ant behaviour use many small, autonomous software agents. Each acting on the simplest of rules, these agents together can solve problems that are enormously complex when viewed as a whole. Higher-level, or "swarm," intelligence emerges from those rudimentary rules in ways that would be difficult to program into conventional software."

Once again, Mr. Pratchett is ahead of the times... though of course, with HEX he just skips all the theoretical research and uses real ants.

Here is a link to the original article:,1199,NAV47_STO61394,00.html

* From: "Elliot Fry" ( )
I have recently found in my library of forgotten books a wonderful collection named THE BOOK OF HEROIC FAILURES this includes a title name, the least popular christian names. A man named Leaver wrote to the Times naming the 20 most popular christian names in the font last year. Between 1838 and 1900 were many crazy names, one particularly caught my eye: Strongitharm, coincidence?

* From: "Matthew Aldridge"
Today (13th July), a contestant on the ITV quizshow, "The People Versus" had "Terry Pratchett's Discworld" as their specialist subject.

If you are not yet acquainted with this show, the idea is (very basically) that if you don't know the answer to a general knowledge question, you can "flip" it for one of three questions on your specialist subject.

For the record, the questions (and answers) were:

- What is Rincewind's Room Number at the Unseen University? - 7A

- Who owns the horse Binky? - DEATH (incidentally, the programme did not use small capitals. Tut tut...)

- In which year was the first Discworld Novel published? - The answer was 1983 (I knew!), but (after much forehead rubbing) the contestant guessed 1978

Incidentally, about a week ago, a female contestant chose the same specialist subject. She passed on question 1 and got question 2 wrong (Who wrote "The Importance of Being Earnest? - George Bernard Shaw - D'OH).

* From: "yasmin mazur" ( )
I don't understand the problem a lot of PTerry fans have with Harry Potter - I am a dedicated reader of both authors, and I like Rowling for a lot of the same reasons that I like Pratchett. There is nothing wrong with the Harry Potter series or with the attention it's getting - in fact, it increases the attention to fantasy and science fiction, and helps people who have never heard of it to get to know the genre (including the Discworld). Don't be jealous of other writers' success, they are NOT competing against each other. BTW - you should read the interview with PTerry in the Times, where PTerry says things along those lines too. You'd think fantasy fans would be a little more supporting, considering there aren't so many of us. You should think of HP fans as Discworld fans in potentia, since they get a good glimpse to the world of fantasy in Harry Potter, and may continue to look for similar books by other authors, and thus find the Discworld.

* From: "Shane Mc Carthy Lyons" ( )
I'd just like to make a small but significant correction to my letter in issue 51. The last line in the paragraph involving Irish events should have read "maybe even a book signing." Sorry for the trouble but I felt there is an important difference. I certainly did not mean to belittle Terry's efforts at book signings. Thanks and once again sorry for the trouble.

4. Feature: Convention 2002 News.

By The Bursar (

We are pleased to announce that membership of the Convention now stands at over 300 people and is rising steadily towards our membership target. In fact, it didn't stay there for long and is now creeping closer to 340 members.

We do have a limit on the number of attendees we can accept, so if you haven't joined yet, or know someone who might want to come along, make sure you or they secure a place today by applying for supporting membership and upgrading when you are ready. You can do this online at


Terry Pratchett is our confirmed Guest of Honour and we have a busy weekend planned for him at the Convention - but not too much work, as we want him to have a good time too. Those of you who haven't attended a Discworld Convention before may also be meeting Terry and the other Discworld personalities for the first time. Terry and all our other guests are always happy to talk to their fans about Discworld, provided they aren't dashing off to a programme item. So, feel free to talk to Terry, buy him a drink and get to know the man behind the Discworld phenomenon.


As you will be aware, we at the Discworld Convention support the Orangutan Foundation in its work around the world.

Following the conclusion recently of our highly successful Prize Draw, we are pleased to announce that the Discworld Convention has been able to donate a total of 620 GBP to the Orangutan Foundation.

We hope to be repeating the Prize Draw when the next Discworld novel is published. Many thanks to Colin Smythe for donating the first prize of a bound proof of The Thief of Time.


Please drop in to our Web page at where you can find many newly added products, including some items from the 1998 Convention. Everything is available to order online and normally takes about 10 working days to arrive.

We will be adding more items to the merchandise section soon, including custom painted trolls.

The Chronicle

Later editions of the Chronicle will include pieces by our guests as well as information about the programme for the Convention and the venue. Terry has agreed to write about the new observatory he is having built at his home. Members of the Convention with Internet access should also have received a password to the online version of the Chronicle. If not, please contact us at .

In case you missed it...

Terry recently posted this information on AFP.

"I'm planning three more novels, one a year, for the next three years -- the first coming out in November 2002. Titles and outlines are on the computer and the contracts have been signed.

The Science of Discworld 2: The Globe is likely to be published around the middle of 2002, and I'm also planning 'For Fear Of Little Men' (working title!) a classic fairy story but with the addition of the Nac Mac Feegle."

Of most interest to our members will be The Science of Discworld 2 and the next Discworld novel, as they are going to be published around the time of or just after the Convention. We will be twisting the publishers' arms for an extract from the new novel for the Convention programme book and hope to have Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart as guests at the Convention to talk about this second collaboration with Terry. More news in the next issue.

On Hollywood...

With the recent sale of rights for Truckers to Dreamworks there has been renewed interest in the media about Terry's work. One journalist suggested that the sale would make Terry a millionaire... I think he was a little shocked to be told that Mr. P was already seriously loaded. Perhaps one day the world will wake up and recognise Fantasy as a respectable genre. Still, the interest might just generate enough momentum to get a Discworld movie off the drawing board and into production. We live in hope.

Until next time...

The Bursar

5. Article: Discworld MUD

by Emma/Flurble,

While reading this month's issue of the newsletter, I was interested to read Ian Coelwy's letter referring to the Discworld MUD, and thought I'd do a quick plug for any curious readers that haven't come across it yet.

The Discworld MUD is an online game/culture/way of life. It is full of characters from the books (NPC's), and player characters. You can stroll around Ankh-Morpork, run away from muggers in the Shades, go visit Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg in Lancre, and much more besides.

But the best aspect for me is the social interaction with loads of other PTerry fans. You can chat away about anything you so desire. Tis a really friendly place, with plenty of help on hand if you're new to MUD's (Multi User Dungeons). Having tried AFP and got nowhere (too much bumpf, and scary emails shouting at people coz they posted something with the wrong letter in front (?) ), this is by far the best form of social contact with other fans. Meets happen all over the country/world on a regular basis, and are lots of fun (or so I think I remember...).

Anyway, give it a try, and have fun :o)

6. Review: The Thief Of Time Audio Book

by Jason Anthony,

The hardback of Thief of Time was released in May and ISIS amazingly had it available in unabridged audio book format at the beginning of June - which is quite an achievement. Considering the expedience of the recording there is no sign (or sound) of rushing to meet any deadlines.

Stephen Briggs has established himself well as the new reader of the Discworld audio books and I now find it strange to re-listen to the older recordings not read by him.

As Stephen is so involved with the working of the Discworld it is obvious that he has a deep understanding of the characters and how they should sound. His reading style is clear and easy to understand and his comic timing is good.

I really find listening to the ISIS audio books really entertaining on my travels to and from work and they even help to prevent stress.

I actually prefered listening to Thief of Time to reading it and look forward to re-reading it again soon.

The Thief of Time fits on eight audio cassettes and lasts for about nine and a half hours.

As always you can order this and all other unabridged Discworld audio books from ISIS web site or via 0800 731 5637.

7. The End

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