Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 91: November 2004

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Wadfest 2004
6. Competitions
7. The Discworld 21st Birthday Party
8. Librarian's Corner - With Bookworm Baz - Witches
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 91. Those bemoaning the loss of the Discworld diaries will be pleased to know they now have a replacement, The Discworld Almanak. This year's Almanak, subtitled The Year of the Prawn, is available from all good stockists now.

You can purchase a copy from Amazon for only 5.99 GBP via the following link:

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

2. News

Terry will be visiting Australia to promote 'Going Postal' and celbrate 21 years of Discworld. He will be giving a public lecture at the Australian National University in Canberra on the 10th November at 12:15PM. The location is Lecture Theatre 1, Manning Clark Centre, ANU.

Troll Bridge: Discworld Film Documentary

As some of you may (or may not) be aware, Snowgum Films recently screened a documentary at the recent Discworld Convention (and later on at the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention). It covered their process thus far in creating the world's first ever live-action Discworld movie!

This documentary is now [or soon will be - Ed] online for you all to view and enjoy. For more information, and to download the files, visit:

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 Entries will remain until they go out of date.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.

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

[New] Buxton Drama League are performing Carpe Jugulum 11-13 November at 7.30 pm at the Buxton Opera House. Tickets are available from the web site or on 01298 27563 and cost 7.50, 8.50 or 9.50 GBP (with concessions 1 GBP off).

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

Arena Theatre, based in Christchurch/Bournemouth in Dorset are about to start rehearsing for a production of Maskerade. The dates of the fortcoming production are Thursday 25th through until Saturday 27th November 2004. All shows begin at 7.30pm. Ticket prices are unconfirmed as yet. All ticket enquiries should be made to

Crossfyre Young Theatricals Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, are doing their performance of Mort on 30 November - 2 December 2004. Crossfyre is a drama group for 13-18 year-old thespians, linked to the Ipswich Little Theatre. For more information about Crossfyre or Mort, anyone interested can send me an email on this address

CAA will be presenting their own Terry Pratchett - authorised adaptation of Witches Abroad between 9th and 11 December 2004.

The show takes place at the MADCAP Theatre, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, and tickets can be booked via their box office on 01908 320179. Ticket costs are 8.00 GBP (5.00 GBP concs.) The curtain goes up at 7.30pm and there is also a 2.30pm matinee show on the Saturday.

Further information is available from its dedicated website -

Ankh-Morpork Post Office (Wincanton Branch). There will be a grand opening of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, and Hogswatch Fayre, On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December 2004. Events include: Traditional sausage supper, Pin Market, a signing of parts, Games & other seasonal diversions as are allowed in the bye-laws.

Details can be found at

Unicorn Theatre, in which Stephen Briggs performs and directs, will be presenting the first ever production of Going Postal from 25 to 29 January at 7.30 (2.30 matinee on 29/1) at Unicorn Theatre, Thames Street, Abingdon.

Tickets are 7 GBP from

[New] The New Dawn Theatre Company, Sponsored by Rowland's Music (Swansea) will be presenting Wyrd Sisters at the Theatre Elli, Llanelli, Wales on the 9th, 10th 11th February 2005. Doors open at 7:30 and tickets cost 5.00 GBP.

[New] The 2005 Clarecraft Event will take place on 29th - 31st July 2005 at its usual venue of Warren Farm. The theme of the event will be Monstrous Regiment. Details will soon appear at

[New] Wadfest 2005 will take place over the weekend of the 2nd to 5th September 2005 at a new campsite. More details can be found at the Wadfest website

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. writes: I am currently in possession of ten books-on-tape by Terry Pratchett. All ten books are the Corgi abridged versions narrated by Tony Robinson. The books belonged to my mother who is no longer able to enjoy them. I would like to sell the books and would entertain any reasonable offer. The titles are as follows: The Truth, Thief of Time, Lords and Ladies, Equal Rites, Feet of Clay, The Colour of Magic, Witches Abroad, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Wyrd Sisters. Please email me if you think you might be interested.

Lesley Goodwin writes: Help! I ordered this collection [The Unseen Library Collection - Ed] from my book club, but they've run out, and aren't going to get any more...

This was supposed to be hubby's main Xmas present. Can you help me locate any of these books please?

Mario Contrino writes: Wanted: Complete set of leather "Unseen University" versions of Discworld books. Available from "" and, or so I hear. Planning to give them as a Christmas present to my brother, but can't get them as they don't deliver to the USA. Will pay 20 USD$ extra, per book, plus, obviously, price of books and all shipping and handling charges. Please help! Contact me if interested.

Steve Waldron writes: I have a number of paperbacks and hardbacks for sale, from: The Colour of magic to The Thief of Time. I would like them to go as a collection but will split up if necessary. Please e-mail for full list if interested.

Cherie J writes: I live in Tasmania - that little Island State at the bottom of mainland Australia. We call ourselves the South Island. I would welcome some local contacts or suppliers of Discworld merchandise.

Michael Riber Jorgensend writes: I'm a student at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and for a while now I have - more or less enthusiastically - been trying to attract fellow students and just about everyone else I meet to the fantastic world of TP and DW. My efforts have been somewhat fruitless, so now I'm resolving to try this way of getting in touch with other fans in my general area. If you are out there and, like myself, looking for others like you, feel free to e-mail me!

Carolyn Buckle writes: Has anyone by any chance got an unsigned (rare, I know!) hardback copy of Lords & Ladies going spare? Mine seems to have slipped into a parallel universe! Reasonable offer, er, offered. (Birmingham based)

Dave Owen writes: I have a bunch of Clarecraft figures to sell - contact me for details.

Chris Rands writes: For sale: An (almost) complete set of Terry Pratchett novels in hardback. The 40 book set includes the ENTIRE Discworld series together with a number of Terry's other works (Johnny Maxwell trilogy, Strata, Good Omens etc.) All books are in collectible condition and there are a number of first printings. If you would like to make an offer or request more details please email me.

Carey Hall writes: My name is Carey Hall and I'm doing my Master's Thesis in Communications on the series called Discworld. Not sure exactly what my exact topic is yet, but I'm going to be doing it. I'm Canadian but my advisor is British - she understands the references I make to quotes and occurrences from the books.

I am the envy of the rest of my class and astounder to the rest of my friends - you should have seen the way their eyes lit up when I told them about looking at fantasy fiction, magic and Discworld as a commentary of power relations and traditional institutions. So much for not being part of academia or literary!

If anyone has any comments or suggestions as to the direction I should take, please feel free to drop me a line!

Joyce Mureau writes: We are an enthusiastic team of amateur players from Wageningen, The Netherlands. In 2002/2003 we performed 'Mort' four times successfully in small theatres in The Netherlands.

In the near future, we want to start rehearsing Wyrd Sisters! There is only one small problem: at the moment, our group consists of only four players! Therefore, we are looking for players (a lot!) and people who can help us with other aspects of theatre (costumes, scenery, technique). Since we are a Dutch group, based in Wageningen, it is handy if you are able to travel to Wageningen regularly (rehearsals on weekend days).

The four of us are all experienced amateur players. We will not hire any paid experts though. In order to stage a good play, we ask everybody to participate in the whole process (playing, designing and making costumes, building scenery, art direction etc.).

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact us. Also, if you have good ideas for other sites, groups etc. where this message should be posted, feel free to do this for us or to inform us about these sites.

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 recycle our jokes.

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: "Ian Williams"
Just in case anyone might be interested, last night (26 September) David Greagg won his semi-final on ABC TV's programme "The Einstein Factor", his special subject being "Terry Pratchett's Discworld". He will be appearing in the Grand Final in 5 weeks' (I think) time. Sunday 18.30.

David's brief bio is "A teacher from Victoria who loves cricket, martial arts and reading science fiction novels, especially those in his special subject; Terry Pratchett's Discworld".


* From: "Thilo Schaufler" (email address supplied)
I've just returned from Seattle where I learned some amusing facts about the city's more dark (or more interesting) history. It seems the city had a major shortage of female citizens around the 1870s and had to pay women from the east coast to come westwards. These ladies affection for the place they lived in was at least as negotiable as their affection to people. Consequently, a census in 1887 showed that 10% of the citizens were young women who stated they were working as seamstresses. A committee examining the matter further couldn't find a single sewing machine in the three block area they all lived in. To reduce the filthy activities the city and the leader of the seamstresses, Madame Lou Graham, agreed to introduce what one might call a negotiation fee. Thereafter, these fabulous sewers [not drains - Ed] paid 87% of the city's budget...

* From: "Frances"
Can someone please enlighten me as to the meaning of the name of Lt. Blouse's mare Thalacephalos; I know Alexander the Great's horse was Bucephalos 'Oxhead' so presumably Thalacephalos means ---head???? This is slowly driving me nuts..! Thanks.

* From: "Lily Thorns"
I have several US copies of Discworld books with errors. It's quite annoying. Nothing as major as your "...pages 25 through 56 are replaced by 329 through 360." though I have had a couple of the books that have repeated pages, but mostly grammar [surely grammatical - Ed] errors. I was discussing this just the other night with my boyfriend, and we both wondered if Terry was aware of the major mistakes his US publisher/editors where making. And I've always wondered why they even change the books in the first place. The covers, the spelling and slang, that sort of thing. It's annoying. But I suppose buying the books through and Canada works. It would be so much easier if they would just leave them as they were originally printed.

* From: "John Blackburn"
I would just like to share my joy at meeting Terry at Borders in York on 8 October. I met my eldest granddaughter, Claire, at the station and we raced to the queue. Although Terry was only scheduled for an hour, he'd been signing and chatting for 90 minutes when it was our turn and the queue was still about 40 or 50 strong!

What a wonderful chap he is, happy to talk about anything. I told him that I used to work for the CEGB and am now working in my local Post Office. I also asked him why there are no sports on Discworld. He said that there isn't any football on Discworld because most of the inhabitants can read and write!

I last met Terry 11 years ago at a signing at Waterstones in Leeds. At that time he came back in the evening and gave a talk on Discworld and being Terry Pratchett. Probably about 20 or 30 people turned up for that. Nowadays you'd need a provincial theatre.

* From: "Stan Flatters"
I arrived at WHSmith, Listergate, Nottingham at 10:45 on Saturday 9th October. Having taken an early train to miss the footie fans. Never having been to a signing before, I was surprised to see the queue already reaching outside the door. The great man was due to start at 12:30am. I took a troll size relative with me for moral support. Just as well as he was able to supply me with nourishment. Two members of the cast of Wyrd Sisters plying at the Nottingham Arts Centre handed out leaflets and sold meat pies. They were in C.M.O.T. Dibbler and Nanny Ogg costume and added to the atmosphere. The WHSmith staff handed out M&Ms to keep the queue going.

We started moving bang on time, at this point I looked down the street and the end of the queue was out of sight, it must have been a quarter of a mile long!

My copy of Going Postal was signed at 1:15pm. My suspicions were confirmed, he is a nice guy!

It was very pleasant to be in the company of so many enthusiastic fans. Thanks to the two young ladies in front and the well behaved youngsters with mum and dad behind who made the time slip by quickly.

DWM replies: Stan gets this month's Letter Of The Month.

* From: "michael wilson"
I have just read Terry's new book "Going Postal" and I thought it was fantastic. Personally I think that Moist Von Lipwig could take over as the new Patrician when /if Lord Vetinari dies. I would like to know if anyone else thinks the same thing. I am 15 years old and have all of Terry's books and I read all of them time and time again and each time I read them I still laugh and I always find a new level to each book.

DWM replies: Whilst we agree it is great fun reading Terry's books may we suggest that reading other authors can be fun too.

* From: Jaxene Hyger
I recently got a puppy (after about 2 years of being without and wanting one so badly!). We spent about a week coming up with all different names, and none of them seemed to appeal to everyone. We went through all of the Lord of the Rings names, and "Tolkien" variants, but it just didn't seem to apply to this funny little creature. So then I thought, well, I'm reading Terry Pratchett and loving it, so maybe I can find a name in there ... but again to no avail, he definitely wasn't a Rincewind. And then it dawned on me, he has patches! Patch... Pratchett... hmm... hey, I know! Patchett! And he has turned out into one of the most clever and funny dogs that I've known (and he kind of makes me think of something that could be found on the Discworld, strange little thing that he is ... perhaps the Luggage...), so I think the name suited him just fine.

DWM replies: You could have gone for Scraps, Gaspode, Laddie or even Wuffles.

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.

We fight for liars
No eating people. It causes no end of trouble.
You know what happens to boys who are bad?
Blimey, you don't half look like your picture
The sea, that's the place. You just dissolve away.

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

5. Review: Wadfest 2004

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

When the organisers of Wadfest came up with the tag line "I survived Wadfest's Koom Valley" little did they know how appropriate it would be...

Last year's event was blessed with very good weather. This year, however, was quite the opposite. For several days before the event it rained almost constantly which consequently meant that the whole campsite was completely sodden. The path around the main field resembled those famous images from Glastonbury festivals.

We arrived at the campsite late on Friday night after a nightmare five hour journey. The Wadfest comradery showed itself almost immediately with several very kind people offering and providing us help with putting up our tents. By the time we had finished erecting our canvas accommodation it was time for bed.

Saturday morning started cold and wet and gave us our first glimpse of just how big Wadfest had become. There were almost twice as many tents in the field as last year. After boiling water for what seemed to be about half the campsite for hot drinks, we took the opportunity to meet up with old friends. Due to the very poor weather many of the planned events has to be postponed. This did however give us a chance to look at the various merchant tents. Shortly after lunch the weather made a change for the better and the postponed events were re-scheduled. Trevor Truran (the inventor of the Discworld board game Thud) gave us a very funny and amazingly detailed history and tour of the scene of the famous battle of Koom Valley.

One of the main aims of Wadfest is to raise money for charity. Peter Chapman did a fantastic job organising such varied and high quality auction pieces. Considering the weather and the limited number of people at the auction an amazing 3208 GBP was raised for Cancer Research UK. A list of the auction pieces, and the prices they raised, can be found on the Wadfest 2004 web site.

After the charity auction we were entertained by the very talented Lupin the wizard and then by Errol the mind reading dragon! Later Kev and has gang demonstrated the Stick and Bucket dance using scaffolding poles.

At this point having our young children with us we went to bed. I have been told that much drinking and enjoyment happened late into the night and quite possibly early into the morning. There was a period of cross-over where I saw people heading to bed after we got up!

Sunday morning started off very cold but eventually the sun made an appearance and started to dry up some of the mud. By the time we had got the water boiling it was beginning to warm up. Sunday's events included constructing and painting of the Luggages for later use in the Luggage wars. There was also an archery and crossbow demonstration with the opportunity to give it a go. In another part of the field a live version of the infamous Yeti games that can be found on the Internet was being played. This involved batting a model penguin as far as possible. Prizes were awarded later for the winners. The last event of the day was the Luggage Wars, in which three children get into each of the Luggages and have to negotiate their way up and down a course. This is made harder by the fact that you cannot see where you are going. After the children's event the adults had a go. This event proved to be a great deal of fun.

Finally the awards for the various events were given out and it was time to pack up and go home. After saying our goodbyes we finally left the site and got stuck in traffic for another five hours before arriving home.

Even given the problems with the weather this event was a great success. A huge amount of money was raised for a good cause and everyone appeared to have a brilliant time.

Next year's event has been moved to a new venue and brought forward to the 2nd September (so hopefully the weather will be better!). I also have it on good authority that barring illness Terry Pratchett will be at Wadfest 2005.

More information about the this year's event including many photos can be found at

News about Wadfest 2005 will soon start appearing on the site. Remember to book as soon as you can - places will be going fast!

6. Competitions

Last month Bonsai Trading offered a set of all five Clarecraft Nac Mac Feegles. All you needed to do to enter the draw was to correctly answer the following question:

How much is Bonsai Trading selling Clarecraft's Tiffany with all 5 Nac Mac Feegles for?

The answer we were looking for as 63.15 GBP. The randomly selected winner was Barry Beck of Sunderland.

For more information about Bonsai Trading and its massive range of Discworld Merchandise visit

7. The Discworld 21st Birthday Party

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

The Discworld 21st Birthday Party took place at The Royal Society of Art's Vaults in London on Tuesday 28th September. Unfortunately this day was right in the middle of my holiday in deepest Dorset, but never one to miss the opportunity to visit a Discworld event I decided to abandon my family and head off to London. Four hours later I made it to Richmond and took a tube to central London.

On the way to the Vaults I bumped into a number of Discworld fans who were all wearing suits. I, however, turned up in jeans and a Discworld T-Shirt! One of us was going to feel pretty stupid!

We made our way down to the Vaults and were shown down to the basement where the party would take place. The vaults are made up of a number of small linked rooms with vaulted brick ceilings. Upon entrance to the vaults we were given complementary drinks and staff were on hand to keep drinks flowing and to offer tasty canapes. Does life get much better?

I recognised many faces at the event and it appears that Terry had a hand in who got invited and ensured that he was surrounded by friends and fans rather than just journalists and Transworld employees (very nice people, no doubt).

Once everyone had turned up and a few rounds of drinks had been drunk, Patrick Janson-Smith (one of Transworld's directors and organisers of the party) got up to say a few words about Terry's history with Transworld. Whist making this speech he was interrupted by Stephen Briggs (dressed as The Patrician) and taken away by members of the Watch.

The Patrician went on to say that as a fictional character he would like to know what Terry had in mind for him and to hope that Terry would continue writing Discworld novels. Terry was then invited to talk about 21 years of Discworld. I personally loved the bit when Terry described realising he could make a living out of writing books, then went to his wife Lyn to ask her permission to stop working!

Terry was presented with a special present created by Bernard Pearson and commissioned by Transworld. The present was a large book stand complete with a huge magical grimoire. The grimoire was held in place by chains and had a rather effective eerie glow coming from inside. The book was held open with a bookmark made from a banana skin and had other bookmarks made from a old pair of Terry's glasses and a pack of Wizzla cigarette papers. Set into the back of the stand was an eye that cycled through different colours and a pair of arms that ended in candles. The overall effect was very impressive and Terry appeared to be very happy with his gift. There followed the opportunity to take Terry's picture with his new toy.

With the formalities finally over, the guests split back into mini groups and many more drinks were consumed until eventually the party was over.

In true Discworld style, and with the permission of Mr Boggis (of the Thieves Guild), all the display posters and stands were surreptitiously removed from the building. Some of the more enterprising thieves even stopped to have Terry sign their booty. We then made our way back to Charing Cross Tube station and made our various ways out of London.

So, am I glad I abandoned my family and part of my holiday to go to this party? Of course I am, it was great fun and I wouldn't have missed it for the (Disc)world.

8. Librarian's Corner - With Bookworm Baz - Witches

A central tenant of Terry's books, as I'm sure you'd all agree, are witches. We all know what a witch is; the pointy hat sort of gives it away. They've been with us since ancient times, guardians of the old knowledge: the cunning midwife, the wise women, the evil crone. Then, since they obviously worshipped Satan, we burnt the lot. Saving, of course, those few who managed to conceal themselves and their covens and who the modern witches all descend from. I mean, you hardly need me to tell you any more really. But the story isn't really that at all, the history of witchcraft is a lot more convoluted and uncertain - even unravelling the history of the history is a bit of a task in itself. This is a subject I rather enjoy, and here are a few of the books from my library that might give you a start if you're interested.

The Witch Cult in Western Europe, Margaret Murray, 1962, Oxford Paperbacks.

First published in 1921, this book is one of the cornerstones of the whole modern witchcraft revival. Here the author, a noted scholar and Egyptologist announced to the world that the witches of history were in fact members of the ancient pre-Christian religion. "Satan" was a man in a horned costume, portraying their God, and there was a uniformity of ritual and practice all across Western Europe. Unfortunately it's not quite so simple, Murray was known to have ruthlessly edited her quoted sources, removing all trace of any contradictory evidence, a habit which did not endear her to many academics. The Folklore Society (of which Murray had been president) has even seen fit to print a small book, "A Coven of Scholars", where her working methods are held up to criticism. Nevertheless, this book and Murray's later "The God of the Witches" brought witchcraft into the modern arena.

Witchcraft Today, Gerald Gardner, 1966, Arrow Books.

In 1951 the last Witchcraft Acts in British law were repealed. Three years later the first edition of "Witchcraft Today" was published by one Gerald Brosseau Gardner. In it he told how, now that the threat of persecution had lifted, he could tell the truth of the ancient religion of witchcraft, as he was himself one of those witches. Building on the foundation of Murray's book, he detailed the worship of the God and the Goddess, the yearly rituals, the ritual tools and the use of magic. Naturally this upset a lot of people. Folklorists claimed he'd cobbled together the whole thing from superstition, Masonic ritual and the works of Aleister Crowley (who Gardner had met). Witches came out of the broom closet denouncing him for revealing them, while others praised him for lifting the veil under which they'd been forced to operate. It is known that Gardner was a notorious plagiarist of other people's works, which might have called this particular book into question. But it was too late now, the black cat was out of the bag, and the foundations of the modern wiccan religion were well and truly laid.

The Witches Way, Janet and Stewart Farrar, 1986, Robert Hale Ltd. ISBN 07090129934.

Gardner went on to initiate many people into the wiccan religion, or at least his version of it. Some, like Robert Buckland took the whole thing to America, others like Alex Sanders took Gardner as their inspiration and gave the tabloid press a good run for their money here in the UK. Sanders in turn initiated Janet and Stewart Farrar, and it is to them that much of the credit could go for spreading wicca as a workable and coherent religion. This is just one of their many books on the subject of Garderian and Alexandrian wicca. More studious and less flashy than Alex Sanders, they went back to Gardner's original ideas and worked with his close friends, like Doreen Valiente, to lay down the principles of modern witchcraft. Some witches feel that this tying down is too restrictive, that a witch should be far more spontaneous in her practices, but the Farrars freely admit that this is just one brand of the craft. Here we have some genuine and intelligent people giving a true account of the religion they practice, and it is in the Farrars' books that many people first find their way to wicca.

A Witches Book of Spells, Rituals and Sex Magic, "Diana Dagon" (yeah, right), 1983, Finbarr International.

This slender volume, with its plain brown cover, is sort of standing in as an ancestor for all the other books. You've probably seen them in bookshops, they're normally bright pink, with sparkly bits, called something like "Spells for Teen Witches" and written by somebody calling themselves "Tinkerbell Ravenmoon", or similar. This will be the priestess of an order of witchcraft with a heritage that goes back, in some cases, nearly several weeks before the book was written. They all follow the same general pattern, the first (rather short) chapter tells of the ethical considerations of the witch, sometimes mentioning the "threefold law" of karmic return. It expressly states how a witch must never use their powers to gain love, money or power. The rest of the book is then dedicated to telling the reader how to do precisely that. Often with diagrams. This particular example is perhaps less flashy, but otherwise no exception (I particularly liked the "Panties" spell). My only comment here is that these books can indeed be used by people to gain material wealth. But only by using them as a template to write one yourself (no doubt CMOT Dibbler has already done so).

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, Denise Zimmerman and Katherine A. Gleason, 2000, Alpha Books. ISBN 0028639456.

Hello boys and girls, today we're going to be witches, so you'll need some yogurt pots, a toilet roll and some sticky-backed plastic...

All right, all right, I'm sorry, but this really is "Blue Peter" witchcraft. It's "nice" witchcraft, about as controversial and offensive as a mushroom vol-au-vent. I don't know about you, but if witchcraft really did survive from ancient times there's going to be something of blood spilt on the snow about it, while the only reason you wouldn't show this book to your Aunt Fanny is because she might decide to join in. Nevertheless, despite being rather scanty on the historical background (it doesn't even mention Margaret Murray), it does give a good overview on the beliefs and practices of modern wicca and witchcraft, if with a very American flavour. It's all in here, what to wear, what to use, what to say and when to say it, all with little boxes that appear from time to time labelled "Webweaving" (for interesting wicca facts) or "So Mote It Be" (for helpful tips), etc. I do give it credit at least for not including a chapter on where you can buy all the stuff you need, but still, gimme some of that ol' time religion. Or a sickbag.

The Triumph of the Moon, Ronald Hutton, 1999, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198207441.

This book is about as far removed from the previous two as it is possible to get while still retaining the same subject material. Hutton is the Professor of History at Bristol University and this book is the fourth in a series of books looking at the whole range of ancient religion and folklore in Britain. This one is no less than a "History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft" as he sees it, and is a massive and frankly awe inspiring scholarly work. No diagrams or little boxes here. Nor is this an argument from a biased viewpoint; Hutton is not a wiccan, but he made a great many friends and contacts among the pagan community of the British Isles during his studies. His conclusion, ultimately, is that modern witchcraft is not an ancient survivor, rather it has been constructed from what has survived. But there is a sympathy and respect for the modern beliefs that shines through here, in no way diminishing wicca or witchcraft, rather it places the whole subject in a wider social context that itself stretches back into our ancient past. There isn't much I can say here that would do justice to this book, it is not an easy read, but one that is well worth the effort.

9. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

We fight for liars
Tonker, Monstrous Regiment

No eating people. It causes no end of trouble.
Rock, Moving Pictures

You know what happens to boys who are bad?
The Staff, Sourcery

Blimey, you don't half look like your picture
Casanunda - The world's 2nd greatest lover, Lords & Ladies

The sea, that's the place. You just dissolve away.
Teppicymon, Pyramids.

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