Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 88: August 2004

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Mort performed by the Hilton Amateur Theatrical Society
6. Competitions
7. The Heraldry Of The Disc - Part 1 of 2
8. Last Minute Convention News
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 88. This month sees the fourth Discworld Convention take place at Hinckley near Leicester. I am looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new, and remember if you are going to the bar mine's a Strongbow. For more information about the Convention see section 8 of this issue or visit

The UK and US proofs of Going Postal have recently been sent out to reviewers. First impressions are great and the fake parcel look of the UK cover fits in well with the postal theme. Look out for a full review nearer the October release.

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

2. News

After receiving reports from several different sources about Terry having various heart operations I contacted Colin Smythe to try to find out what had happened. Terry wrote back with the following so we could put the rumours to bed.

"What I had was an angioplasty, where they widen arteries in the heart by going up through your leg (believe me). No real cutting, no weeks in bed, it's an out-next-day-job. I gather there was some 'excitement' because I reacted badly to something or other, but I was out of it and dreaming of sandwiches and, indeed, was out next day.

I'm not making a big deal out of this one way or the other. It wasn't an emergency operation, although it would have had to be done sooner or later; it was needed because of the long term effects of high blood pressure I didn't know I had, and which is now nice and low because they've got the pills right."

Terry Pratchett.

News from Colin Smythe:

The estimated audience for Terry's radio satellite tour for HarperCollins in America on 25 May was very nearly 4 million.

Gollancz have licensed Interesting times, Maskerade, Feet of Clay and Hogfather to Varrak in Estonia, and Lords and Ladies to Karisto in Finland.

Vuzev/Arhont-V have acquired Bulgarian licences for Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment and Nanny Ogg's Cook Book from Transworld.

The Wee Free Men has won the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel of 2003. Announced in the July issue of Locus Magazine, which is currently on newsstands, the awards will officially be presented at a ceremony at Worldcon in Boston, on September 3, 2004.

Isis Publishing are releasing A Hat Full of Sky on unabridged audio book on the 1st August. The book is read by Stephen Briggs and will be available on 7 cassettes for 18.99GBP (+ p&p at 2.50GBP; +3.50GBP for two or more), or on 8 compact discs for 24.99 GBP p&p as above).

To order this title, please call the Isis Publishing telephone sales line on 0800 731 5637. To buy online, and to browse the full range of Discworld titles in both formats, visit

We are hoping to include a review of Isis's A Hat Full of Sky next month.

There is now a web site advertising a musical production of Only You Can Save Mankind at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month. For details visit

[If you go to see this production please send us a review - Ed]

Terry is commissioning a set of Discworld stamps to raise money for The Bath Postal Museum (which is trying to stave off a grave threat of closure).

The stamps will be in a strictly limited edition as they are to be printed on an original and authentic stamp press. For more information visit

There will be a BAD DISCWORLD POETRY competition at the Discworld Convention in August. It is listed as THINK VOGON at

This is an invitation to people to submit poems for consideration in advance. Even if you are not attending, you can still submit poems, ditties, odes, rhymes whatever.

There will be prizes, there will be shame. Two categories - one for the under 14s and the others!

Send entries to Remember they have to be on a Discworld theme and be bad!

The Science Fiction Foundation is publishing a second edition of "Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature".

It's due out in August, in time for WorldCon. The new printing will include new essays, so even if you have the first edition there will be something in it you haven't seen before.

The first edition can still be obtained from Pathway Book Services; contact details are on the SFF website under publications.

Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.

Dave Hodges is planning an impromptu visit to the Real Broken Drum in Baldock near Luton on the evening of the 3rd August.


Unfortunately this event has been arranged at short notice so DWM will not be attending this time.

Subject To Change Theatre Co will be performing MORT at the Ballroom Theatre, Trades Hall, Corner Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton, Victoria, Australia.

The performances are at 8.00pm August 19-21 & 24-28 and 2.00pm August 21 & 28.

Tickets cost: 12.50 AUD full, 10 AUD conc.

Booking email line: Enquiries: 0405 638 493 (Chris) or 9645 3610 (Anna)

Sudbury Dramatic Society based at The Quay Theatre in Sudbury, Suffolk are about to pay a return visit to the Discworld to perform Carpe Jugulum after their successful previous ventures there with Mort and Wyrd Sisters. Production dates are Tuesday 7th to Saturday 11th September at 7.45pm with a matinee on Saturday 11th September at 2.30pm. Tickets are available now from the Box Office on 01787 374745. Visit the SDS website at

Wadfest, the camping weekend run by fans for fans, takes place from Friday 17th September and winds up on Sunday 19th and promises to be bigger than ever. Be prepared to become a troll or a dwarf for Live Thud and the Koom Valley battle re-enactment. There will be things to buy, things to paint, lots of things for the kiddies to do such as Luggage Wars. Dressing up as Discworld folks is encouraged among children of ALL ages and prizes given for the best!

Callow Top campsite is a luxurious place with showers, hairdryers, washing up sinks, a swimming pool and laundrette, a shop and a pub.

The cost of the whole weekend is just 12.50 GBP, kids come free unless in separate tent. (5 GBP per child's tent). Visit to book or to get more info plus pictures of previous Wadfests or call Waddy on 0115 849 1537.

The New Stagers Theatre Club based in Wandsworth, South-West London, will be staging Guards! Guards! at St. Ann's Church Hall on Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd October 2004 at 7.45 pm. Visit for details.

Stafford Players will be staging Carpe Jugulum from 10th -13th November 2004.

The play will be performed at The Stafford Gatehouse, Eastgate Street, Stafford, and tickets are available from the Stafford Gatehouse Box Office - Tel (01785) 254653.

Ticket costs are 7.50 GBP (6.00 GBP concs.) with a special "3 for 2" offer on the first night.

Further info from

Colsterworth Music and Drama society are performing Wyrd Sisters on 12th and 13th November 2004 at their spacious village hall. Tickets will be on sale in September. You can pre-order tickets by emailing - any other queries can be sent to the same address.

The Longueville Little Theatre Company is producing Wyrd Sisters at the Jennie Lee Theatre in Bletchley, Milton Keynes from 24th to the 27th November 2004. Tickets are available from the box office tel. no. 01908 613145, and cost 6.50 GBP each. Further details are available on

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.

Lin Saunders writes: Offers Wanted - 1995 Edition of Discworld 1, PC CDROM game for sale. The game comes in the original packaging with instruction manual and visitors guide to Ankh-Morpork.

Viola Halada writes: For over ten years now I'm impatiently waiting for the next Discworld novel. In the last two years my teenaged sons have joined my obsession. Alas, their English is as yet not good enough for the original versions I own. So I've started buying a second set in German. Unfortunately 'The Colour of Magic' - 'Die Farben der Magie' is no longer available. Do you know when the book will be available again in German? Anyone got a copy to spare?

Paul Chapin writes: Can anyone help me find the value of a first edition copy of Colour of Magic in very good condition? I would greatly appreciate the help. I figured I would give you guys the opportunity to make an offer before I put it up on Ebay.

Caroline Lee writes: Hey, I am an American who is having quite a hard time. I am looking for Discworld books to read, but unfortunately, I go to the libraries and they hardly have any. I was wondering if any good soul would be willing to let me borrow them long enough to read and then return. I don't have a lot of money, and so this is why I ask if I may borrow the books, because if I did have the money, I would have 20 copies of each book, lol.

The Browns writes: Having bought the Rincewind trilogy recently I now have a spare hardback copy of Interesting Times, well thumbed but otherwise in good condition. Anyone willing to pay the cost of postage is welcome to it.

Kilyth writes: My brother very thoughtfully gave me copies of The Last Hero and The Truth for my birthday not realising that I always buy them on the release date. They have never been opened and I'm open to all offers for them. People from Ireland will be given priority.

Ellie the magic elf! writes: I am a devoted Discworld fan and would like to invite other fans to join the role play web site found at We are a busy and in depth site and there is always a lot going on, including questing, quaffing and even a site newspaper 'The Times.' (of course!)

Jo Howes writes: You mentioned Radio 4's Mort. Do you also know about Guards! Guards! on BBC Radio 7? At 6pm.

Kimberley Beattie writes: The Room 3B community is looking for new blood! (Or even old blood, we're not picky). Room 3B has been active for years (and years and years), with no indication yet of curling up and dying, but new members are always welcome, so feel free to come along and liven things up a bit! You can find us at: or via the Unseen University website:

Please note: Being so old, the forum has become rather large, but stick to the most recent threads and you should be safe.

"David Harvey" writes: Reading the article in your last issue on PTerry`s appearance in Radio 4`s Book Club. Since I missed it I checked and it is available to listen to online on the BBC website. Click on the link for "Listen again to the most recent edition" rather than the one below it labelled Terry Pratchett(July) because their links are (at the time of writing) a bit mixed up.

There is also a recording of his interview by Mariella Frostrup on Open Book writes: I am looking for "Johnny and the Bomb" in hardback and signed by the man himself. Will pay by Personal Cheque anywhere in the region of 5 GBP to 15 GBP, or more if a sensible price.

- 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 draw on them in crayon.

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: "Philip John"
I am a graduate student studying for my PhD on the topic of early printed books and I thought I might help answer David Park's question #2.

He asked "2. Why are some words with 's' in them spelt with an 'f'. I know this could be to show an accent but I am positive I saw it written like this for an Ankh-Morporkian in one of the books."

I thought it might interest readers to know that it is not actually an "f" at all that replaces an "s" but rather a symbol that denotes a "long s". This indicates an "s" that could otherwise be written as "ss" and pronounced with a hissing sound. If you look at early printed books (and even not so early printed books) you can actually see that it looks like an elongated "s" and doesn't have the horizontal line like an "f". Obviously when you read the word aloud a "long-s" does indeed almost sound like an "f" sound. I presume Terry's use of it is to try to simulate an archaic way of spelling that is difficult to do in modern typefaces because it is no longer a letter in everyday use. As an interesting aside "w" was often typeset as "uu" which is why the letter is known as "double-u". As someone who often has to copy verbatim these weird and wonderful ways of spelling and typesetting, I can inform you that the "false f" (as it were) can actually be found in Times New Roman. If you open Word or similar word processor, type 017F and then hit ALT+X you can see what the letter looks like.

WB replies: Philip gets this month's Letter of the Month for providing a thing we can all try on our computers. Mine's overclocked by 5%. [I couldn't get it to work - Ed].

* From: "Gareth Pearce"
In Issue 87 Shirley Pomeranz suggested a calculus text in the style of The Science of Discworld. In such a book's absence she may be interested in a book I studied when I was younger called "Calculus The Easy Way" which was the sequel to "Trigonometry The Easy Way" which was the sequel to "Algebra The Easy Way". They're part of a set of books, which all end with 'the easy way', but these 3 are special. Unlike the others in said series of books these 3 are written in story format, very basic fantasy setting. These were the best textbooks I have ever had. I hadn't considered a Terry Pratchett version, and it probably wouldn't quite fit. Maybe a calculus text by Leonard da Quirm though...

* From: "Yael Lotan"
As time goes on I discover more sources of the materials used by Terry Pratchett in constructing and detailing the world on the Disc. What seems like pure invention - e.g., Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky - is quite often taken from place names, historical names, phrases in various languages, etc.

The other day I discovered (or so I think) the origin of the name of the kingdom of Lancre, home of the witches Esme Weatherwax, Gytha Ogg and Magrat Garlick. In the early 17th century a member of the Parlement of Bordeaux in southern France by name of PIERRE DE LANCRE was sent to the mountainous Basque region to investigate complaints made by the local inhabitants about witches and their doings. His report concluded that it was the local population's ignorance and the harsh conditions of their lives which accounted for the problems, rather than witchcraft...

Terry Pratchett has the ability to retain Ramtop mountains of data gleaned from everything he comes across - scientific publications, history books, films etc - which he then painstakingly works into his stories. That is what gives the Discworld such verisimilitude, and distinguishes it from all other imaginary worlds.

* From: "Adam Corres" (Email address withheld)
Last month the following question was asked:

"On another note, being myself a non-English speaking native I don't get the pun in the title "Witches Abroad". Since this is the only pun-in-title I don't get, please be kind and tell me."

Actually... I think this may refer to an old joke; along the lines of (rustic accent): "Don't set foot on them moors! There be witches abroad tonight" to which the reply is "Good. They won't be bothering us then".

* From: "Jared Foley"
Something of small interest to Discworld readers.

A group of Second Year students studying history at Birmingham University gave a presentation on martyrs and heretics in the reformation era, and one of the sources cited was the "Theatrum Crudelitatum Haereticorum Nostri Temporis" of 1587, by Richard Verstegan (probably Dutch, I think).

As we all know, that translates something like: The theatre of cruelty of heretics of our time. Remind anyone of the title of a short story by Mr Pratchett?

* From: "Philip Resheph"
I wonder if anyone can recall any instances of Polari in the Pratchett canon.

Re-reading Wyrd Sisters I was struck by 'latty', which only in TP seems to mean 'cart'. Latty was, as aficionados of Round the Horne will know, the Polari word for flat or home.

No doubt TP grew up, as did I, enjoying (though perhaps with less than complete comprehension), the adventures of Jules and his friend Sandy, and I would be interested to hear if there are any other Polari usages that I have missed.

* From: "Weevil Stepmother"
I just wanted to let you know that Terry received a Doctor of Letters degree today from the University of Bristol. I was there for the ceremony and managed to say hello to Terry at the garden party afterwards. I've always wanted to shake him by the hand and say "thank you" for the books. Today was my day :)

More details and some extraneous guff can be found at

4. DiscTrivia

This month we continue our series of trivia based on quotes. We provide the quote and you need to guess the character and novel. We would like to thank Peter McElwee for researching and organising these questions.

Dead is only for once, but running away is for ever.

We've got time for another fondle

Isn't being a werewolf curse enough?

Wasps don't complain too loudly when they're stung

Darn them to Heck

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

5. Review: Mort performed by the Hilton Amateur Theatrical Society

by Maggie Wilde

I heard about this production from Discworld Monthly on the net and thought, it's June I can go and camp. So that's just what I did.

The village hall wasn't hard to find and although the play started at 7.30pm by 7pm there was already quite a queue. Hilton Amateur Theatrical Society (HATS) are very popular it would appear. There were signs outside warning people of the strobe light effects and pyrotechnics - my mind boggled. I bought a programme for 30p in the shape of a life-timer. A neat touch, I thought. (1 GBP worth of raffle tickets came to nought but then I couldn't win an argument).

The opening act took place on the lower part of a split level stage. The hiring fair where Mort waits, only to be hired by the very last comer and the last person you'd wish to meet at midnight or any other time for that matter.

Death was a very tall impressive figure. His height, I discovered was enhanced by a lethal pair of jogging shoes that added about 6 or 7 inches hidden under Richard Kirkland's black robes. The special effects for his piercing blue eyes were also innovative but I won't give all their secrets away. Like the illuminating scythe as it cut through the last remains of mortality, again, very neat.

Death's study played most of the backdrop for the rest of the play although you could believe you were somewhere entirely different when the moment arose. I had wondered how they would portray a flying horse and I was not disappointed. Binky took to the air by the magic of lighting effects all around the auditorium to several well known themes one of them being E.T.!

The characters were fantastic, a very believable Cutwell, played by Paul Redfern, with ingenious reversible outfit made by an inventive wardrobe department, looked for all the (Disc)world as you would have expected and performed just so.

Albert had a rather menacing sniff made all the more sickly by a dewdrop permanently on the end of his nose, Ugh! Make-up, costume and characterisation again, in keeping with the character.

The part of Mort, a very difficult part, as the character changes from a bumbling inquisitive boy to a likeness of Death Himself proved to be a great challenge for this amateur company.

The acting was as you would expect from an amateur company, but very entertaining. A haughty Princess, an arrogant Ysobel, some players taking several parts but very well, all contributed to a very enjoyable play.

Well done to Ben Dowell the director, Rob Chorley for his special effects and an admirable cast and stage crew. And thank you, too for making me so welcome.

For photos and an alternative review of the play visit:

6. Competitions

* Bonsai Trading Competition *

Last month Bonsai Trading were offering a goodie bag of 6 different standard size pewter miniatures, either chosen by the winner, or randomly selected if they have no preference.

All you had to do to enter the draw for this great prize was to answer the following simple question.

Q. What Discworld character is immortalised in the Pewter Miniature with the code DMP64?

The answer was of course Lord Vetinari and the randomly selected winner is Martin Wesley of Luton. We will be in contact shortly to arrange your prize.

More information about Bonsai Trading's extensive range of products can be found at

* Nac Mac Feegle T-Shirt Competition *

This month we have an extra large Nac Mac Feegle T-shirt created by Paul Kidby to give away. The T-shirt depicts several Nac Mac Feegles charging in to battle in silhouette. You can see this and many other T-shirts at

For a chance to win this T-shirt, simply send the answer to the following question along with your postal address to by 22nd August 2004.

Q. How much does this T-shirt cost from ?

The randomly selected winner will be announced next month.

7. The Heraldry Of The Disc - Part 1 of 2

by David Woodall

Given recent media interest in the Grant of Arms to Colin Powell by the Court of Lord Lyon in Scotland, I thought it would be interesting to do a survey of the Science of Heraldry as practised on Discworld, and how it compares to its use here on Earth.

As a world with a strong aristocratic tradition, it is not surprising that Discworld has a large heraldic heritage. The most extensive evidence for heraldry on Discworld is contained within Feet of Clay and the Companion.

At least around the Circle Sea, heraldry appears to be the responsibility of the Ankh-Morpork Royal College of Heralds, equivalent to Roundworld's Royal College of Arms in England, and the Court of Lord Lyon in Scotland. For the purposes of this study, Discworld heraldry will be examined in the light of the Royal College of Arms (henceforth the RCA). The Ankh-Morpork College (henceforth the AMC), unlike its Roundworld equivalent, appears to have no separate figure like the RCA's Earl Marshal as its head: instead, control of the college is given over to one of the Kings of Arms. Like the RCA, the AMC has three of these officers, including Dragon, who is the equivalent to the RCA's Garter Principle, in that he is the senior with special responsibility for the aristocracy. He combines these duties with those of the Earl Marshal. The other Kings, Hubward and Rimward, are equivalent to the RCA's Clarenceux (south of the river Trent) and Norroy (north of the Trent).

The AMC has six heralds: Chirm, Al Khali and Genua Heralds (under the jurisdiction of Rimward King) and Pseudopolis, Lancre and Sto Lat (under Hubward King). Many of these are named after states which at one time or another have been in some way subordinate to Ankh-Morpork. Likewise the RCA has six heralds named after possessions of the Royal or Beaufort families: Chester, Lancaster, Richmond, Somerset, Windsor and York. Both Colleges have four Pursuivants (assistants). In the case of the RCA, Bluemantle (blue cloak), Portcullis, Rouge Croix (red cross) and Rouge Dragon (red dragon), all names with royal or national associations. The AMC's Pursuivants are listed as Pardessus Chatain (Brown Overcoat), Croissant Vert (green crescent, not as Vimes believes a small breakfast roll!) [*1] , Garderobe (toilet) and Rouge Dragon de Marais (red swamp dragon). The AMC also has two Pursuivants Extraordinary, Scrote and Ankh; although the Companion states that their "duties are unclear", presumably like Roundworld Pursuivants Extraordinary they are part time assistants.

Unlike in the RCA, only three positions are filled at the time of the novels: Dragon King of Arms, Croissant Vert (Sid) and Pardessus Chatain (Frank). After events in Feet of Clay it is not clear if the post of Dragon King of Arms is currently occupied.

As for the practicalities of drawing up an achievement of arms, Discworld Heraldry deviates somewhat from Roundworld practices. There are variations in terminology, for example 'right' and 'left' are sometimes used in preference to 'dexter' and 'sinister', and a different method of blazoning (describing) the arms is used. For example, compare the description of the Assassins' Guild Arms given in the Companion [*2] with how an English herald might blazon them [*3].


*1 There appears to be some confusion here. Sid introduces
himself in Feet of Clay as Croissant Rouge, not Vert, and he should know. But it would seem unlikely that two Pursuivants would bear the same colour, and the Companion states Vert. Or is this an indication that he is combining the duties of Croissant Vert with Rouge Dragon de Marais? In any case, see the Famous Note About Consistency, i.e. "there are no inconsistencies, merely alternative pasts."

*2 "a shield, bisected by a bend sinister, purpure. In the
upper-right half a poignard d'or, draped with a masque en sable, lined gris on a field gules. In the bottom-left half two croix d'or on a sable field."

*3 Per bend sinister a bend sinister purpure, dexter gules on a
mantle sable lined gris a dagger or, sinister sable two crosses or.

8. Last Minute Convention News

It's less than a month away, now. The barriers between this dimension and the Discworld are becoming thinner and on the 20th of August, in a hotel in Hinckley, when the two worlds are at their closest, a portal will open and a rabble of exotic and degenerate creatures will pour through it. Let's hope they don't scare the inhabitants of the Discworld too much.

In other words, the Fourth Discworld Convention will be taking place from the 20th to the 23rd of August at the Hanover International Hotel in Hinckley.

At the head of our invasion force you will find the regular command staff of Bernard Pearson, Steven Briggs, Trevor Truran, Dave Langford, Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, Paul Kidby, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen, Colin Smythe and, of course, General Terence "Drywall" Pratchett. Lionel Fanthorpe (of Fortean TV fame) and Graham Higgins (illustrator of the graphic novels "Mort" and "Guards! Guards!") have also been issued call-up papers.

We've organised some entertainments for the troops. There will be aphrodisiac recipes, belly dancing classes, book signings, book readings, books to buy, read and sign, auctions, plays, workshops, competitions, panel games, the Gala dinner, a Maskerade, the Great Hedgehog Race and the Leonardo de Quirm Aerial Challenge. The full list of programme events is available at our website where you will also find maps, booking forms and other helpful information.

So what are you waiting for? We still have a few places left, so sign up to see the Discworld, visit new places, meet interesting people and kill them in colourful ways. Your convention needs you!

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

* Latest Book Information *

Discworld paperback: Night Watch 0552148997/87

Discworld hardback: Monstrous Regiment 0385603401/87

Next Discworld hardback: Going Postal - October 2004-07-13 0385603428/87

New Discworld Young Adult: A Hat Full of Sky 0385607369/87

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

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* Disc Trivia Results *

Dead is only for once, but running away is for ever.
Rincewind - The Last Continent

We've got time for another fondle
Death - The Light Fantastic

Isn't being a werewolf curse enough?
Lobsang - Thief of Time

Wasps don't complain too loudly when they're stung
Angua - Feet of Clay

Darn them to Heck
Archchancelor Ridcully - Reaper Man

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