Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 84: April 2004

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. A Special Request from Bernard Pearson
6. Competitions
7. Special Wadfest Announcement
8. Who's Who: William de Worde
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 84. The new Tiffany Aching book A Hat Full of Sky is due to be released at the end of April.

At the end of March Amazon UK were taking pre-orders of this sequel to The Wee Free Men for 7.79GBP + Delivery for release on 29th April ( WH Smith also are taking pre-orders for the same price but have it listed as being released on the 6th May (

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Laser-wielding cyborg)

2. News

The Cunning Artificer's May Gathering. The event takes place on the 29th and 30th May 2004 in the town of Wincanton in Somerset, England.

From Bernard's Poster:

Tis Spring Time again, and time to Crown the May Queen.

Let us then Gather amid the daffodils & buttercups, the dear little lambs, & happy, happy, piglets, and Celebrate the Spring.

We can dance and sing in the merry hostelries, we can meet with friends old and new, we can dress up, or down, or even sideways, and have a jolly time with added fun and games.

Uncle Bernard & Great Aunt Isobel will ensure that only nice things happen to you throughout the weekend, and that you will only fall in with a 'bad lot' if you really, really want to.

There will be a visit from Mr Terry Pratchett who will, as ever, sign things and be very patient with us all, again.

There will be a visit from Miss Tiffany who will help to judge a special competition. You will need to bring with you the following: String, A Small Egg Spoon, A Nutmeg, A Thimble, A Stone with a hole in it, Twigs, Perhaps a Small Key, A Match Box, A Crystal, A Lucky Charm, Feathers, A Pin, Button, Anything Else

Be a May Queen

We will crown our own May Queen, for which there will be A Prize. And remember, The Cunning Artificer's May Queen Competition is an Equal Opportunity Event.

For more details visit Bernard's web site at

The Crown Players will be performing Maskerade at The Kings Theatre, Gloucester from Tuesday April 27th to Saturday May 1st. Tickets are 6GBP (5GBP OAP, Student, Children) and on Tuesday it is 2 for the price of 1 (no concessions).

Call 01452 532661 to reserve tickets or visit the website

ARENA Arts and Entertainment Inc. has secured the rights to present the Australian premiere of Monstrous Regiment in July this year.

The performance will take place at The Sun Room, Maylands from 14th-17th and 21st-24th July.

Contact details will be provided soon.

The Hellesdon Players will be performing Guards Guards (as adapted by Stephen Briggs) from Wed 21st to Sat 24th April 2004 with each performance starting at 7:30 pm.

The performance will be at the Hellesdon Community Centre, Hellesdon, Norwich and tickets will be 5.00 GBP (4.50 GBP for concessions).

Further information as it becomes available can be found via the Group's website at

Terry will be a guest on Radio 4's bookclub on Wednesday 26th May 2004 from 6pm where he will be discussing Mort. The BBC are looking for an invitation only audience who will be willing to ask Terry a question. For more information or to become a member of the audience visit

Unseen Theatre Company will be peforming Maskerade at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St, Adelaide, South Australia from April 30 to May 15, Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm. (Preview Night April 29 where all tickets cost 10 AUD).

For all other performances tickets cost: Adults 15 AUD, Concession 12 AUD, Groups of 10 or more people 10 AUD.

For bookings call Betty on 82962004 (7am to 7pm, 7 days) Or BASS 131246 or

More information can be found at

News From Colin Smythe:

Terry, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen have signed an agreement with Ebury Press for a third Science of Discworld book, presently called Darwin's Watch. From Amazon's site, I gather the ISBN is 0-09-189823-4 and expected publication date is May 2005.

As many will now know, The Wee Free Men was judged winner of the Teen Choice WHSmith Book Award for 2004. For further information, visit Photographs of the awards ceremony in the Ballroom at the Dorchester Hotel in London are promised on this site.

For those who are unaware of the site, I'd suggest you look at Transworld's About Terry. Among other things, it reproduces the posters used on railway stations and the Underground for Monstrous Regiment

Sekatchev Publishers of Moscow have contracted to publish Russian language editions of STRATA and THE DARK SIDE OF THE SUN, the first volume to be published within the next 18 months, the next within the following year.

Psichogios intend to publish Greek translations of Sourcery and Wyrd Sisters in Autumn 2004

Mondadori will be publishing an Italian language edition of A Hat Full of Sky.

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.

master writes: I just wanted to drop you a line about the new e-mail service I've started. You can have an e-mail like now, checkable by POP3, IMAP or Web. It's not going to be anything big or too commercial you know. It will be just a distinctive mark for the dedicated pratchett fans.

Genevieve Grace Tsai writes: Does anyone have a B&W print of Paul Kidby's Rincewind, where he is sitting on a tree stump and a butterfly has alighted on the tip of his hat? I tried to purchase one from Paul Kidby's site but they were sold out, unfortunately. Here is a link to what the print looks like:

If you have a print you would like to sell, please contact me - Thank you so much!

Brian Oxenham writes: I am a great TP fan even though I am in my 50's. Every book is like a bit of fresh air. When I read some of the Discworld books it reminds me of the area where or near where I live and that is on the outskirts of: Plymouth "DARTMOOR" I can visualise some of the characters running around out there in the wilds as DARTMOOR is a weird place at night with strange people and sounds. But I am also a fan of all SCI-FI books and films. Can anyone recommend a web-site for me please?

Vicki writes: I have a number of Discworld items, which I am unfortunately forced to sell, due to the birth of my daughter, Alex. These items range from jigsaws, to Clarecraft figures, to the books themselves. Anyone interested should email me for a full list.

Kirsty Hambling writes: I am going to be selling Unseen University model number 18 of 250 all parts in original condition (Includes the optional extras which were offered at the end) with all documentation. I will be putting it on e-bay some time during April and I wouldn't want any fans to miss out on this rare oportunity.

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 so that they end abruptly.

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: "Takahe Notornis"
This has been publicised before but perhaps it is a good time to repeat it.

There is a mistake in the recipe for Dried Frog Pills (p88).

The recipe calls for 30gr of sifted icing sugar, but unless you increase this amount by a factor of about 10 (300gr) you will end up with a sticky semi-liquid that will never set.

And beware of outbreaks of homicidal sanity from those who partake of the pills.

* From: "Adam Wilcox"
In reply to Mads Levi Haslund's question about I asked Terry about this some time ago - his response was:

"Two books a year, or one book and a spiffy website. Don't make me choose."

Sadly I know what he means - websites take up loads of time to keep updated, although there are plenty of Discworld fans who are competent web designers - myself for one.

* From: "Martin Walker"
A reader pointed out the bit about Mr de Worde and his 15th century printing press and wondered about where Terry gets his trivia.

Another one I came across recently was about the father of the Protestant faith Martin Luther. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V held a council meeting or diet at the town of Worms in Germany. The Diet of Worms was where the schism (we like those) took place in the Catholic church and those Protesters made their impact.

Nothing at all like the meeting between the Vampires, Werewolves, and Dwarves in Uberwald, referred to as the Diet of Bugs (Fifth Elephant).

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

* From: "Howard"
I would like to comment on David Woodall's letter regarding Jack Wilde. It may be of interest to note that Jack Wilde died shortly after forming his insurance scam, when for some reason he was turned in. I have read he was boasting in the ale house of a robbery he had arranged and that he would get more money when he apprehended the felons and gave the jewellery back. Problem was one of the customers in the bar was a servant of the people from whom the Jewellery had been stolen. (Ooops). He was hanged at Tyburn in front of one of the biggest crowds ever for an execution.

* From: "Lynda Flanagan"
Greetings from the Pacific Northwest of the US.

Some time ago I heard that it was actually possible to take a test and receive a UU diploma. My recollection is that Josh Kirby was doing this. Recently I introduced my son to the Discworld and he is totally hooked. I would love to give him a way to get a UU diploma. He is currently unable to make these inquiries for himself. Can anyone tell me about this?

* From: "yasmin mazur"
Borogrovia first appears in the Discworld Mapp, and in Jingo is mentioned as one of the nations of the world. It's also mentioned as one in The Fifth Elephant, and in Night Watch Carrot tells Vimes about the invasion that started then.

I know those are not big mentions, and Borogrovia doesn't really have a lot of history like Lancre or Ankh-Morpork, but frankly most people in the world don't know much about the history of the eastern European countries in this world either (unless they are from there originally). Hardly "never heard of", right?!

* From: "Veronica Brown"
I am an English teacher at a high school in Australia, and having just read "Monstrous Regiment" and passed it on to a few of my more discerning students, we were all amused when we read "All Quiet on the Western Front" and came across the phrase: "being a soldier was different. It wasn't as if you could take it off, like a pair of socks, and go back to a normal life". Needless to say we are now looking at those soldiers in a different light.

* From: "Priya Subramaniam"
I noticed that there are quite a few readers of DWM who do not have access to all of TP's books because of their unavailability in their city/country of residence. Why not start a regular section in DWM which advertises second hand/new copies of TP novels for exchange or sale? Maybe you can make some advertising income by asking second hand bookshops which have a regular source of TP books to advertise (I am not sure if there are such shops in the UK. In Australia, it is near impossible to get second hand Discworld books, they are too popular). I am sure that Pratchett fans all over the world will appreciate it, and like Constable Washpot, we can help to enlighten other parts of the world by circulating the works of the Great God Pratchett!!!

* From: "Philip John"
Apropos Bookworm Baz's fascinating two parter on the folklore section of his library, may I suggest a book that he didn't mention and one that I have found immeasurably readable. Although it is not strictly speaking just about folklore I cannot help but think that a well thumbed copy sits on PTerry's desk. The book is "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable". It's available in many editions the most recent being the "Millennium Edition", Casell, 1999 ISBN 0304350966. The reason why I think PTerry uses a copy a great deal? Because the foreword to the "Millennium Edition" is written by the man himself. To quote him, "reading one item in Brewer's is like eating one peanut. It's practically impossible." I heartily recommend this to any Pratchett fans. There's also an online version of the 1898 edition at Bartleby:

* From: "Saurio"
With reference to Spanish Translations

Go to and look for the TP Special, there's a complete bibliography where the translated books are mentioned. Or else, go to, which is the best Spanish pratchettian site ever!

* From: "Emiel Langeberg"
Hey fellow-Discworldfans out there! More and more friends around me are infected with the DW-virus, which is good news after the plague, madcow, and chickenpox. The only problem is that I live in the Netherlands, and I haven't been able to find much of a Dutch fanclub or community or anything. I'd also be thrilled to hear if Mister Pratchett himself would do a signing session in this cold, rainy and low country. Is there anyone who has any news about Dutch Discworld events, or is Holland simply not the place to be? :{ I hope someone has some information for me.

* From:
I've been reading the Discworld books for years, and had a small smile last week when, listening to the London radio station LBC, I heard presenter Nick Ferrari use the phrase "he went mad, he went absolutely bursar". Just shows you how these phrases get into the common language - I wonder if this is how Shakespeare's stuff started to get quoted? Makes you wonder what will be in common usage in 400 hundred years time...

* From: "John Ritchie"
My wife and I discovered Terry's books three years ago. Living in a sequestered conservative town in the middle of Kansas, we often wondered whether he was popular elsewhere and gaining the recognition he so rightfully deserved. We are pleased to have discovered Discworld Monthly and enjoy reading the comments from people around the globe, and especially from my former homeland of England. We are especially pleased because it means someone might be able to help us answer a nagging question: is Lord Vetinari a vampire? The hints are numerous - his ties to the vampires' homeland, his wealth of information, Vimes' absolute hatred and mistrust of them (an almost too obvious ironic twist) - but we have never been able to find definitive proof. Has this ever occurred to anyone else? Does the answer exist somewhere, or at least as close to an answer as Pratchett will give us? Thanks for your consideration of our question.

A veterinarian and her exiled British-American husband.

* From: "David Ridgway"
I realise that this subject has been bought up a lot in the last few months but I have an idea. I'm talking about the Discworld Diary and the absence of a 2004 diary. Much has been said about the major groups having been done and there not being material for another. I feel this is wrong and two large groups have been discounted, stop me if I am wrong but what about the alchemists? or even the Palace? I'm sure the Patrician has a lot of appointments to keep! Or what about DEATH? On a sort of related note has anyone applied for an Ank-Morpork passport? If so what do you get for the price of a stamp?

* From: "Maggie Wilde"
I just found this as I don't often read the paper. In last week's Mail on Sunday there was a free booklet listing Britain's richest people. Terry doesn't really figure in the top 300, the 300th has 125m GBP! But there is a section on the 10 richest authors in the land and Terry comes in at no 10 with 15.5m GBP. The statement reads: "With royalty statements taking up 10ft of shelf space and 32m sales, Terry Pratchett says he is rich enough to keep Hollywood away from his Discworld series. Pratchett, 55, whose books were once shoplifted more than those of any other writer in the world, reckons his greatest achievement is growing a 3lb 4oz carrot!"

Go, Terry!

* From: "Joshua C. Sommerman"
I was flipping through an old collection of books I've had for years called the Junior Classics that contains ten volumes. In the tenth volume, labelled poetry, there is a poem credited to Anonymous called "the Wee, Wee Man." and I was wondering if some of the inspiration for their Scottish sound came from this, here are a few verses:

"as I was walking by my lane,
atween a water and a wa'
there sune I spied a wee, wee man--
he was the least that ere I saw.

His legs were scant a shalmont's length,
and sma and limber was his thie;
between his een was a span,
betwixt his shoulders there was ells three.

he has tane up a meikle stane'
and flang't as far as I cold see;
ein thouch I had been Wallace wicht,
I dought na lift it to my knie.

"O wee, wee man,but ye be strang!
tell me whar may thy dwelling be?"
"I dwell beneth that bonnie bouir--
Oh, will ye gae wi me and see?"

On we lap, and away we rade,
till we cam to a bonny green;
we lichted syne to bait our steid,
and out there came a lady sheen.

wi four and twentie at her back,
a comely cled in glistering green;
thouch there the king of Scots had stude,
the warst micht weil hae been his queen.

I'm not really sure, but it reminded me of our lovely blue lads and I thought you'd be interested.

* From: "Barrie Wakeford"
I wonder if anyone out there on the Roundworld could answer a couple of questions?

The answers may be of no interest to anyone but me, Oh well here goes.

1: I travel a lot and I always carry at least one of my trusty Discworld books with me. I have a Roundworld version of a disorganiser, this has a large but empty memory card and would be great for filling up with ebook versions of the Creators work. I wondered if at some point the books may be published in this form (I don't mind paying the proper people as I'm wearing out the printed ones fast). And my favourites have been to many a strange place, both in the UK and around the world and I can never find my luggage. (Oh for some sapient pearwood)

2: Do any DWM readers know of the location of any Discworld currency (coins or notes) I believe that some were produced but have been unable to track any down. Again I would be happy to purchase some if the exchange rate were favourable. the reason for the currency becomes clear in Q3. (just how much is an Ankh Dollar worth these days ?)

3: Point two leads me to my last question. I have been asked to make some Discworld Guild charms for a customer (Oh I'm a Jeweller if I hadn't said before). This leads me to a slight headache, do I need the permission of that wonderful person Stephen Briggs and the Creator to adapt their designs into Jewellery ? (I'm on my knees and its hard to reach the keyboard) If anyone in the know could contact me I would be most grateful. (not financially this time)

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 Lord Vetinari. If the answers are wrong this month you will have to blame Jason

What is the name of Vetinari's personal assistant?
Vetinari had a romantic interest in Uberwald. What was unusual about this person?
What shape is Vetinari's office?
a. Oval
b. Oblong
c. Octagonal
d. Oculiform
What does Vetinari have in common with Charlie, a man who ran a clothes shop in Pseudopolis?
Apart from his dog Wuffles, what pet does Vetinari have in MORT?

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

5. A Special Request from Bernard Pearson

And it has come to pass that the stout party [Bernard's words - Ed] is in need of a piece of kit.

To whit, a Laptop. Free range Computer. Not, I must hasten to add, a new one. Nor one that is all singing and dancing. But one that has Word, can write to floppy or disc, and bloody well works. Not new, just lived with, and simple to use.

He will swap, trade, exchange, the following:

A one off, never to be repeated, ever, Tiffany Mirror [Tiffany Aching - not the multi-coloured leaded glass things that my wife likes - Ed]. Now the metal ones are selling for 240GBP, but as this finish will never be repeated on this item we think it might make more than that in auction. The reason we are not offering this finish is simply that you can have too much of a good thing, and the other finishes take long enough as it is.

So, if you fancy a mirror but not enough to shell out a few hundred quid, but have a laptop surplus to requirements, then drop the stout party a line.

Pictures of the mirror should soon appear on Bernard's web site located at

6. Competitions

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

* BursarVixen Enterprises: Discworld Mugs Competition *

Last month BursarVixen asked you how much a set of six Discworld mugs cost? Of course they didn't mention that their extensive range of products includes more than one set of Mugs, some with Paul Kidby pictures and others with Josh Kirby pictures.

This meant that we got a range of results varying from 30 to 50 GBP (depending on postage!)...

We have therefore decided to enter all entries into the winner's hat and have randomly selected Sarah Thomas of Mid Glamorgan as the winner. Your set of mugs should soon be on their way.

Details of the Discworld mugs and all BursarVixen's other products can be found at

7. Special Wadfest Announcement

Wadfest 2004 is shaping up to be what looks like a great event. It takes place over the weekend of the 17th-19th September at Callow Top Holiday Park, Ashbourne in Derbyshire. This year's theme is Koom Valley, so expect plenty of Troll / Dwarf references.

Events planned include Luggage Wars, Live Thud, Paint your Own, Maskerade, Live Music with Rocks In and a charity auction.

The organizers of the event have asked us to remind you that the price of tickets will rise in April from 10 GBP to 12.50 GBP per adult. One child can go free for each paying adult providing they share a tent. If a child brings their own tent there will be an additional charge of 5 GBP.

The new Wadfest 2004 Troll / Dwarf T-shirt and sweatshirt designs look great. The T-shirts cost 10GBP and the sweat shirts cost only 5GBP more which represents great value for money.

The Callow Top Holiday Park is an excellent campsite with all the facilities you could want, including showers, heated pool, on site shop and pub.

Full details of the event, the site and merchandise can be found at the official Wadfest web site located at

8. Who's Who: William de Worde

At the start of The Truth, William de Worde is a reasonably well-off, educated young man who's good with words. This skill lets him earn a living doing odd writing jobs for those Ankh-Morpork residents who have trouble expressing themselves on paper - i.e. most of them - and sending a monthly roundup of news and events to well-off, interested aristocrats who no longer live in the city but want to keep informed.

The turning point comes when William discovers (abruptly) a new dwarf invention, moveable type. Discworld devotees know that several well-established bodies, such as the wizards, the priesthood and of course the Guild of Engravers, are vehemently opposed to printing, unless it's done by carving letters into a block of wood. This is slow, arduous and expensive. It's easy to understand why the engravers might not like the idea of high-speed, cheap printing catching on. The wizards and the priests, however, seem to be motivated by superstition, unwillingness to share knowledge and perhaps a fear of being caught out by documentary evidence.

As in so many of the recent Discworld novels, though, the march of progress can't be stopped (despite efforts from certain quarters). William's news sheet, the Ankh-Morpork Times, proves phenomenally
popular; so much so that it very quickly acquires a competitor, the more down-market, sensationalist Ankh-Morpork Inquirer. A close-fought circulation war ensues, fuelled by William's determination to get to the bottom of a plot to oust The Patrician.

There may be a lot of Terry's personal experience in William's story. We know Terry worked on local papers for a number of years, so he was probably exposed to more than his fair share of aggrieved members of the public or people wielding hilariously-shaped fruit and veg. The journalism in The Truth is alarmingly convincing and the parodied newspaper articles could, with a few minor updates for the modern world, appear in several tabloids today without causing undue comment.

William himself is a sympathetic character. We know he is a great
disappointment to his family, particularly his fiercely conservative father, and this sense of failure or injustice gives him much of the drive he needs to pursue his ambitions for The Times and truth and fairness in general.

Interestingly, although generally inoffensive and good-natured, William can become determined and defiant in pursuit of a story,
even to the point of facing down Vimes and Vetinari himself - within reason. There is an extra dimension to William that makes him one of the most satisfying, enjoyable characters to read about on the Discworld.

9. The End

* Contact Information *

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* Latest Book Information *

Discworld paperback: Night Watch 0552148997/87

Discworld hardback: Monstrous Regiment 0385603401/87

New Discworld Young Adult: A Hat Full of Sky (May 2004) 0385607369/87

Current Discworld Young Adult: The Wee Free Men 0385605331/87

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What is the name of Vetinari's personal assistant?

Vetinari had a romantic interest in Uberwald. What was unusual about this person?
She was a vampire

What shape is Vetinari's office?

What does Vetinari have in common with Charlie, a man who ran a clothes shop in Pseudopolis?
They look very similar even in a good light

Apart from his dog Wuffles, what pet does Vetinari have in MORT?
A Swamp Dragon

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