Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 78: October 2003

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Librarian Jigsaw
6. Competitions
7. Review: The Truth Live
8. Review: Discworld Beer
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 78. My apologies for getting the issue number wrong last month. It should have been 77 but I forgot to change it.

I've just got back from spending a wonderful weekend at Wadfest. I will include a full report of the event next month when I have had time to recover and remember the fun activities of the weekend.

Keep an eye out at for updates and pictures of the event. My pictures from the event can be seen at

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Painter and Decorator)

2. News

Monstrous Regiment will be released in the US on 30th September. You can listen to an interview with Terry about Monstrous Regiment at

The UK release date for the hardback of Monstrous Regiment is 3rd October. The paperback of Night Watch will be released on the same day.

We have received the following confirmation of US Tour dates from Harpercollins.


September 30, 2003, 6:30 PM EST
Washington Post Book Club/Conversation with Michael Dirda
Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert St. NW

October 1, 2003, 7:30 PM EST
Border's #1
612 E. Liberty

October 3, 2003, 7:00 PM PST
University Bookstore
At Kane Hall, University of Washington

October 4, 2003, 7:30 PM MST
Tattered Cover
1628 16th Street

October 5, 2003, 7:30 PM PST
Powell's City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St.

October 7, 2003, 7:00 PM PST
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

October 9, 2003, 8:00 PM PST
Mysterious Galaxy
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

October 10, 2003, 7:30 PM PST
Cody's Books
2454 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA

October 11, 2003, 12:00 PM PST
Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Ave.

October 11, 2003, 7:30 PM PST
Barnes & Noble
3600 Stevens Creek Blvd.

October 13, 2003, 7:00 PM CST
603 N. Lamar

October 14, 2003, 7:00 PM EST
Barnes & Noble, Union Square

The signing tour then comes back to the UK for the following dates.

Saturday 18 October
12 noon: Ottakars, Festival Place, Basingstoke

Monday 20 October
12 noon: Border's, Clifton Promenade, Bristol
6pm: WH Smith's, 10-12 Regent Street, Swindon

Wednesday 22 October
1pm: Ottakar's, George St., Edinburgh
6pm: Border's, Buchanan St., Glasgow

Thursday 23 October
5pm: Waterstone's, St. Ann's Square, Manchester

Friday 24 October
11.45am: Border's, 1-5 Davygate, York
6pm: Waterstone's, Grand Buildings, Jameson Street, Hull

Saturday 25 October
12.30pm: WH Smith, Listergate, Nottingham

Wednesday 29 October
12pm: Barrett's of St. Neot's, 47 Market Square, St. Neot's, Cambs.
6pm: Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London

The 2004 Discworld Calendar - officially 'Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2004 Calendar' - (ISBN 0-575-07549-X) has now been published by Gollancz at 10.99 pounds including VAT.

The illustrators :-

Cover and July: 'Night Watch' - by Paul Kidby
January: 'Thief (Detritus vs. Here 'N' Now)' - David Wyatt
February: 'Leonard of Quirm' - Mark Edwards
March: 'The Witches' - Sandy Nightingale
April: 'A'Tuin' - Gino D'Achille
May: 'The Gods of Discworld' - Angelo Rinaldi
June: 'Mr Brookes' Patented Elf Remedy' - Les Edwards
August: 'Wyrmburg' - Jackie Morris
September: 'Rincewind having trouble with the Octavo' - Stuart Williams
October: 'Carpe Jugulum' - David Frankland
November: 'When books of magic are left to themselves' - Sandy Nightingale
December: 'Mr & Mrs War' - David Wyatt

The German version of Night Watch has just gone into the best sellers list at number 14.

Watford Grammar School for Boys are putting on a big budget production of MORT at the James Theatre, Watford Grammar School for Boys, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, Herts,WD18 7JF on Thursday 11th, Friday 12th and Saturday 13th December at 7.30, all seats are 5GBP, available from above address, cheques payable to Watford Grammar School for Boys.

Unseen Theatre Company will be presenting MORT, directed by Pamela Munt and produced by Danny Sag, from October 15 to November 1 from Wednesday to Saturday evenings at 8.00pm at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide

Bookings: Betty 8296 2004 (7am-7pm, 7 days) or BASS 131 246 (booking fee will apply) Tickets: Adult 14 AUD, Concession 12 AUD, Group (10+) 10 AUD

PREVIEW Wed Oct 15, all tickets 10 AUD, only available on 8296 2004

THEATRE DINNER DEAL - Thai Hutt Restaurant 214 Hutt St, Adelaide - Entree, Main, Soft Drink and Ticket 30 AUD only available on 8296 2004. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL.

There is no justice. There's just us.

According to Harpercollins The Bromeliad Trilogy will be released for the first time in the US in one volume.

The three books, Truckers, Diggers, and Wings, follow the Nomes' search for safety, a search that leads them to discover their own astonishing origins and that takes them beyond their wildest dreams.

If you live in the US you can enter a competition to win the book from

Wyrd Sisters will be performed at Brize Norton's station Conference Faciltiies on the 9th, 10th and 11th October. The shows start at 8pm and tickets cost 5 GBP for adults and 2.50 GBP for concessions. For tickets call 01993 843535.

Merrow Dramatic Society are performing Maskerade from Wednesday 15 - Saturday 18 October 2003 7:45pm, at the Electric Theatre, Onslow Street, Guildford, GU1 4XP. Box Office: 01483 444789.

Mort is going to be performed by the Inklings Society at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. We don't have any details of when or how much. If you find out please let us know so we can provide some more details.

Lords and Ladies will be performed at Thameside Theatre, Thurrock, England from Nov 13th-15th at 7.30pm. For tickets call 01375 382555

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.

m l writes: Do you know if Discworld Noir was ever released in the United States? If so, do you happen to know of any links to sites that sell it? I am assuming that the UK version wouldn't work on a US computer due to the disc region coding.

Tom writes: Is someone from Boston in the group??? I am also in Boston but not in the playgoers although will be attending the show. I am a member of the Youth Theatre however and would love to know a few more Disc fans in my area.

Peter Neale writes: I have a 1st edition (sbn 900675 497) of the Carpet People with dust jacket (suger cube), the book appears to be in an unused condition. Could you please advise me where would be the best place to get the book evaluated? Much obliged.

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

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 and burp loudly.

It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.

The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied by Bonsai Trading. Bonsai Trading, is the Discworld store that brings you Clarecraft figurines, diaries & calendars, Thud and much more.

* From: "Matthew Del Papa"
Let me get to the praise before the criticism. I look forward to receiving the newsletter every month. Good work, and thanks.

I have one complaint, and it probably isn't your fault. Noone mentioned that Terry was coming to Toronto for Torcon 03. Imagine my surprise when looking through the list of discussion group members and finding him! I figured he must be attending via teleconference or something -- but no he was really there. In person. I got lucky, but I bet there's lots of people who missed out on the opportunity of meeting him. Someone missed the ball.

On a happier note Terry will be Guest of Honour at next year's NoreastCon (I think that's the name) in Boston. So get your tickets early. For most of us on this side of the Atlantic this is a rare opportunity. By the way, from what I hear, the GoH almost always has a book of unpublished, out of print, and/or new material for the event. Limited edition no less. So start saving your pennies for 2004.

DWM replies: We are sorry you missed Terry at Torcon 03. We rely on people letting us know about events that Terry is going to be at. Unfortunately we don't have direct access to Terry's diary - although that could make interesting reading.

* From: Remy Levin
I am a huge fan of Discworld. In my opinion, these books aren't fantasy. It's not that I'm saying that Discworld really exists (though who knows with all the quantum floating around these days!), but I am saying that the series, since approx. "Moving Pictures", has taken on a more real aura, many times being used as direct social criticism (through parody, of course). PTerry isn't "less dead than Dickens", he is one of those who keep Dickens' spirit of social reform alive.

* From: "Peter Williams"
Small Gods on tape! What a gem! Do yourself a favour and have things come to life in your car - mind the lamposts. Rush thee to a library (or retailer) and get it. You'll be laughing even louder. It's fantastic; and what a reader.

* From: "Keith & Liz Lovell"
I'm fairly new - don't suppose you have a recipe for scumble? I have two about-to-turn-legal-drinking-age lads here in Adelaide who would love it!!!

* From: "Lutz, Jennifer"
Just wanted to let you know that sometime at the end of September, Michael Dirda of Washington Post's Book World will be doing an on-line chat with Terry Pratchett. It was originally supposed to include Neil Gaiman as well, but it sounds like he won't be able to make it. Michael is a fan of the Discworld books. I don't think the date has been set yet, but keep an eye on

* From: "Steve Kydd"
I've recently read 'Wee Free Men' and noticed that it is the only Discworld novel that doesn't feature Death as a character, even in one of his cameos. Because Death pops up in all the other novels, including the other children's one, I had assumed that Pratchett would continue this trend.

His absence here seems more notable given that death (with a small 'd') is a recurring subject in the book. Perhaps Pratchett felt that one of Death's brilliant cameos, which are typically amusing, would be out of place and unnecessary in this more condensed Discworld story, and felt strongly enough about it to break his trend. To me, the subject of death, in this case the death of Granny Aching and Tiffany's subsequent grief, is treated more seriously and movingly than in many of his adult novels, so perhaps a 7-foot skeleton who TALKS FUNNY popping up would have dampened the effect.

Or he could've just forgotten. Any ideas?

DWM replies: Steve gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: "Taylor, Paul (MLIM)"
I am always pleased to see Discworld Monthly appear in my inbox, and this month I particularly enjoyed reading about the Clarecraft Discworld event. I love Terry's books but I am constantly impressed by the efforts his dedicated fans will go to see him and meet like-minded people. I can't profess to being an 'uberfan' (I have read all his books though) but it's great to hear about all these get togethers - be it Clarecraft Events, Wadfest or any one of the many Discworld plays that are continuously performed. This got me thinking about how huge Mr. Pratchett's fan base is - 23 million books sold worldwide and still counting - and how big the Discworld Industry is. Now I get to the real reason for my email - how much is Terry Pratchett worth? Yes, I know it's a sign of the times that I spend my time thinking about cold hard cash but there we go. If he's sold 23 million copies he must be a millionaire many times over, but I don't remember seeing him in the Sunday Times Rich list. So any ideas?

JA replies: I am sure Terry is not about to divulge how much money he has, but rest assured it is a lot more than me.

* From: "Lindsay"
Does anyone know if there are any plans afoot for a Discworld real time strategy game? I think one based around the Watch would be brilliant. The game could start with just Vimes, Nobby, Colon and Carrot with one watch house and it would be the task of the player to recruit and train new watchmen, build and develop watch-houses, organise patrols and keep the peace in the city. There could be a big political element involved with keeping Vetinari happy and playing the guilds off against one another, not letting anyone get too powerful. There would also be a balance of races to include in the watch. The game could have a variety of difficulty levels ranging from just controlling a small section of the city up to the entire thing including... the Shades!!! I'm sure a more creative mind than mine could come up with even more ideas!

If such a game hasn't been thought of, someone should be contacting whoever has the game rights!!!

WB replies: There is already a plethora of rts games out there - I think the world will be a better place with at least one less.

* From: "Andrew J. Brook"
The cover of "Night Watch"" is very clearly indicated as a parody of "The Night Watch" of Rembrandt van Rijn. But I recently picked up my never-touched Penguin Classics edition of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" only to see slap-bang on the front the cover picture from "The Science of Discworld"! Ahem, "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" by Joseph Wright of Derby in the National Gallery. Are these the only covers of Discworld novels parodying other works, or is my ignorance of art even greater than hitherto suspected?

* From: "Craig Tate"
After years and years (well, ok, a couple of months) I found a second hand copy of Discworld Noir for Playstation at a games shop called Electronics Boutique. The best part was that it only cost me 19.95 AUD!!!!!!

* From: "noel wray"
Will this [a collection of Terry's short stories and other short writings] be available only at the Worldcon 2004, or will it be a general release book? I have been waiting a number of years in hopes that a book of all PTerry's short stories would be released, and had heard that one was possibly in the works. Is this it? Also will it include PTerry's first ever short story, { SS01 - 1963 - 'The Hades Business' }, as well as all the Disworld and non-Discworld short stories? Will there be any new short stories in the book?

* From: "Jennifer"
I've found an easy solution for those readers in the US who prefer the Josh Kirby covers.

If you order the books on (the Canadian version of Amazon), you not only get the Josh Kirby covers, but you also get the original spelling (colour vs color and so on).

You have to pay international shipping, but at least it's not transatlantic. With the current exchange rate "Monstrous Regiment" works out to 28 USD including shipping.

* From: "Alex"
The New Discworld Companion is a great book (much nicer than the first one), but it has one (or at least "a") problem: it misses out a whole story! "Discworld Noir" may not be a book, but given its length and the fact that it introduces several new Ankh-Morpork locations (like the Cafe-Ankh) I think it should have been included. In fact there is even a whole family bit added: The VonUberwald family, which I presume is a branch of Angua's family in Uberwald... Actually, come to think of it, if there are VonUberwalds living in Ankh-Morpork, how come they don't get a mention in the books, The Fifth Elephant in particular? Wouldn't Angua have something to say? If Mr. Pratchett wrote the story for the game (and I presume he did), why does it's content not come up anywhere else in the Discworld series? Or was it thought that because it was a game that it was sort of "cast-a-side and forgotten about"? On the Radio4 broadcast Mr. Pratchett made it clear that he was opposed to the Discworld being made into a film, does he have the same opinion of PC Games?

Hope you can you puzzle this one out! - 'cos I can't :(

4. DiscTrivia

For the next few months we thought we would concentrate each trivia section on a certain subject. This month we have decided to ask questions about pets. If the answers are wrong this month you will have to blame Jason .

1. Goodboy Bindle Featherstone is also know as .....

2. What type of dog is Wuffles?

3. Eric Thursley has a pet:

a) Dog
b) Cat
c) Parrot
d) Horse

4. How many legs does Rincewind's pet have?

5. The Amazing Maurice has a pet one?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.

5. Review: Librarian Jigsaw

by Jason Anthony

Out of the Hat kindly sent me one of their exclusive collector's wooden jigsaws based on "The Librarian" by Paul Kidby. The jigsaw comes in a small box similar in size to a PC computer game. The jigsaw pieces come in a small draw-string bag to keep them all together. Once complete the jigsaw measures approximately 360mm wide by 250mm high.

I must admit I don't often find time to do jigsaws. So I set aside an evening to give it a go. My first impression was how well built the jigsaw pieces are. Being made of wood means they were about 5mm thick rather than the thin cardboard ones one normally finds. My second impression was how similar all the colours are. Paul Kidby has used a very limited palette which makes matching pieces much more difficult.

Having spread out the pieces across the table you notice some of the strange shaped pieces and the 'whimsies'. Whimsies are unusual shaped pieces that Victorian puzzle cutters made 'on a whim'. Whimsies in this puzzle include among others the Librarian's head, Death's head, the sock eater and the Death of Rats.

Another way to make the jigsaw more fun was to have some of the middle bits have straight edges, so the old method of building the outsides first no longer works.

I spent about two and a half hours poring over the jigsaw until I managed to place the final piece, much to my relief. At times I did wonder if I would ever complete it.

The Librarian jigsaw costs 39 GBP and includes UK delivery. Here's hoping they produce more wooden jigsaws in the future. For more information about the Librarian jigsaw and carriage costs outside the UK visit

6. Competitions

Please note that unless stated otherwise our competitions are open to all readers, regardless of where you live.

* Clarecraft Competition Results *

Last month we asked how much Cheery Littlebottom sold for at the Clarecraft Weekend charity auction.

The correct answer was of course 850 GBP.

The randomly selected winner of the pewter letter opener is Vicki Preston of West Yorkshire.

We would like to thank Clarecraft ( for supplying the letter opener.

* Bonsai Trading Competition Results *

Last month we asked: How much does a 'Pyramids Set' cost at Bonsai Trading?

The answer we were looking for was 227.96 GBP.

The randomly selected winner of the Greebo and Nac Mac Feegle piece is Marie heightley of Durham.

We would like to thank Bonsai Trading ( for supplying the prize. Bonsai Trading is the Discworld store that brings you Clarecraft figurines, diaries & calendars, Thud and much more.

* Monstrous Regiment Competition *

We have a hardback copy of Monstrous Regiment to give away courtesy of Olav the Hairy. If you would like to win this copy of Terry's great new novel simply send the answer to the following question by 24th October to remembering to include Monstrous Competition in the subject.

What name does Polly assume when she joins the army?

The randomly selected winner will be announced next month.

7. Review: The Truth Live

by Rob Crisp

The Truth performed by the Purple Monkey theatre company at Queen Street Central hall, Scarborough 11th-13th September 2003.

There's a rumour going round that the Purple Monkey theatre company have turned lead into gold! If classic theatre could be put into a pill and sold in bottles then the Purple Monkey has not only OD'd on it but been arrested for attempting to push it on unsuspecting members of the public!

In the last few years this little theatre company has made the transition from amateur to a very professional group look as easy as faking your own signature and getting away with it.

The Truth is the story of the first Ankh-Morpork newspaper (as if you didn't know!) and how it came into being.

The first thing I noticed about the show was the fantastic costumes. Many had a feel towards the gothic that I never previously associated with the citizens of Ankh-Morpork but it really worked! The two most noticeable costumes were Mr. Slant (Who you could quite believe had just been dug up from somewhere unpleasant) and Duckman (it was the soul-less boots detail that worked here).

A top class performance was put in by Jamie Simcox as William De Worde, he played the part in his now trademark energetic way that left me exhausted just watching him!

Marie Greenley played Sacharissa Crisplock with a genuine mix of strength and femininity that seems to be a requirement in Terry's leading ladies but is often difficult to portray on the stage.

John Arthur and Allan Thorndyke's Pin and Tulip were very much the unsung stars of the show and had me in hysterics every time they came onstage! Allan also played a very strong Vimes.

I am always uncertain about having female actors playing male roles but Karen Tite's portrayal of Otto could have walked out of the book and I was once again forced to eat my words!

In the interval drinks were sold by members of the cast who seamlessly remained in character throughout and I was bullied into buying a raffle ticket by Otto, I didn't dare refuse!

Other roles were played by Stuart Metcalfe, Dan Shepherdson, Chris Gibson, Rosie Tite, Rachelle Lieghton, Kerry Barber, William Arthur and Simon Sutcliffe. All of whom played their many parts to the full.

The show's success I feel lends itself to the partnership of Jamie Simcox's vision with Simon Sutcliffe's skilful direction coupled with the fact that all the cast and crew clearly enjoyed putting on the show as much as the audience enjoyed watching it! All in all it was a hugely enjoyable evening and I look forward to the Purple Monkey's next production if only to see how they can top this one!

8. Review: Discworld Beer

by William Barnett

Bursarvixen have been good enough to send us samples of three of their Discworld beers for review: Bonk Beer, a lager, and two ales, Ridcully's Revenge and Old Kingdom. Apologies if this review seems more than ordinarily subjective; you have to bear in mind that the reviewers are respectively lager- and cider-drinkers, so we may not have brought the breadth of taste and experience to the exercise that you might expect.

Bonk, the lager, comes in a 330ml bottle with a cool black-and-white Paul Kidby label, a stylish bat motif and a neat purple bottle cap. We drank it cold, as recommended, and heartily enjoyed it - although I question the 'unique flavour' quoted on the bottle. It tasted like lager to me. It turns out that this is the first edition, limited to 500 bottles, which we only noticed after we'd drunk it. We've still got the empty bottle, I suppose.

We gave bonk a Belch Factor of 8 out of 10 - it successfully brought tears to my eyes.

Ridcully's Revenge is in a 500ml bottle with a full colour Paul Kidby label featuring a rather serious-looking Ridcully. Apposite for someone about to exact their revenge, of course. It's a dark brown ale with a foul smell - our cider drinker suggested it reminded him of the urine sample of someone suffering from a bladder disorder (apologies to any legitimate bladder-disorder sufferers who happen to be reading). In fairness, it's not too offensive to non-ale drinkers... provided you only sip it. This may be the authentic taste of Discworld beer, based on descriptions in Monstrous Regiment.

Belch Factor a measly 4: delayed, but mild nose pain.

Old Kingdom, likewise a 500ml bottle thereof, featured an impressive full colour label (predominantly dark purple). It proved rather lively and wouldn't stop oozing out of the bottle once we'd opened it. It's very murky and fizzy and really does taste like it's a few hundred years old... or like the water coming out of the tap in a building with old rusty pipes and a dead rat in the water tank. Bloody horrible, basically, and I really mean that - I couldn't force down the small amount I'd poured for tasting purposes.

Belch Factor? I'm afraid we didn't drink enough to find out.

All the beers are exceptionally well presented. For the beerocrats out there we can reveal that they're all 5% alcohol by volume and please insert your own joke here about drinking them loudly. You can join the BVE Beer Club for 5 GBP a year if you want to sample more of this sort of thing, and if anyone's concerned about it, not all of these beers were brewed by the same brewers.

The ales may well go down better with large, bearded real ale drinkers - and their husbands, ah, ha! - while the lager is just like lager throughout the world (i.e. great!). As a final word, JA would like to see the return of Nanny Ogg's Scumble, there being no ciders included in this selection.

9. The End

* Contact Information *

We prefer information to be sent via email, but can accept information via fax or post at the following addresses:

Post: J Anthony-Rowlands (DWM), 20 Cambrian Place, Pontarddulais, Swansea, SA4 8RG

* Next Book Information

Discworld hardback: Monstrous Regiment 0385603401/87

* Latest Book Information *

Discworld paperback: The Thief of Time 0552148407/87

Discworld hardback: The Wee Free Men 0385605331/87

Collaboration: The New Discworld Companion 0575074671/87

* DiscTrivia Answers *

Goodboy Bindle Featherstone is also know as .....
Errol, a swamp dragon.

What type of dog is Wuffles?
A wire-haired terrier.

Eric Thursley has a pet:

How many legs does Rincewind's pet have?

The Amazing Maurice has a pet one?
Stupid looking kid

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