Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 95: March 2005

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Who's Who - William de Worde
6. Competition
7. Review: Diggers - ISIS Audio books
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 95. I would like to congratulate my friends and fellow Discworld fans Bill and Sue for the birth of their little girl Hayley on Valentine's day which must be one of the stranger Valentine's gifts they've ever received.

Also on the baby front I would like to congratulate Chris and Freya on the birth of their second child Jessica on the 23rd February.

Looks like I might be busy purchasing presents very soon.

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

2. News

Terry has written some additional dialogue for the Troll Bridge movie being made in Australia. The opening scenes of the movie demonstrate Cohen during his prime. The original dialogue was written by the filmmakers. When Terry expressed an interest in writing some new dialogue for the scenes they bowed to his superior writing skills. The new dialogue has now been incorporated into the script.

More information about the movie can be found at:

Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson recently got in contact to say: We have a forum, yes a ruddy forum for the Stamps. There has been such an explosion of interest world wide over the stamps, and they have become so widely collected that it is the only fair way of telling people about the new releases etc.

To view the forums visit

A sneak preview of the cover for Thud (the next Discworld novel due out in October) can be found at

The third Science of Discworld novel this time subtitled Darwin's Watch will be release in May. This time history has stalled in Victorian times and the Wizards need to go back in time and get Charles Darwin to write the right book.

Colin Smythe's web site has been updated and now includes a great deal of information about Terry and his books. It is well worth a visit for any fans.

News from Colin Smythe: HarperCollins tell me that the American Library Association has named A HAT FULL OF SKY as both an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

French language rights: L'Atalante are signing up THIEF OF TIME and NIGHT WATCH

A group of German fans have been very busy recently working on a fan film version of Lords and Ladies. The project now has an English language website located at

Auditions for the Kennet Amateur Theatrical Society ( production of The Truth are taking place on Mondays and Thursdays between 4 April and 14 April in Thatcham, Berkshire. KATS would love to welcome new members so if you are interested in taking part, contact John Hicks on For those interested in seeing the show which will be performed between 11 and 13 August at Kennet School, Thatcham, full details are available on their website including on-line ticket ordering.

18-21 August 2005, Ankh-Morpork - The German Terry Pratchett Fan Club is holding its second cooperative convention with Tolkiens Erben e.V. at the Freusburg near Siegen in Germay. Like last year there will be a combined programme of Discworld and Tolkien activities (including the presentation of Discworld-games, baking dwarf-bread, performing the stick-and-bucket-dance an many more), gallons of mead and mediaeval music. You can order tickets at

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.

On Wednesday 2nd March from 7.30pm there will be a reading for a new production of Maskerade which will take place during April in Downham Market. If you would like to audition for a part or to help out call Peter on 01366 383535 during the day or 01366 388188 in the evening.

[NEW] Sheffield University Drama Society presents Carpe Jugulum at Sheffield University Drama Studio from Weds 9th - Sat 12th March 2005 7.30 pm and a special matinee Sat 12th March 2.30 pm (dress up if you like!)

Tickets are available from the SUDS website, or telephone 0114 230 4717. 6 GBP for adults, 4 GBP for concessions including students.

Massey & Albany Drama, Singing, Operatic and Dance Society (MADSODS) will be presenting "Mort" at the Underground Theatre, Albany, New Zealand on the 12th (8pm), 13th (2pm), 19th (8pm) and 20th (5pm) of March 2005. Tickets are 10 NZD (or 5 NDZ for students). More information at

Moot House Players will be performing their first Discworld production, Wyrd Sisters, on the 17th, 18th, & 19th March at 8pm.

The venue is Moot House Hall, The Stow, Harlow, Essex

Tickets cost 6 GBP or 4.50 GBP (OAPs, Unwaged and those in full-time education) and can be obtained from the booking office on 01279 639170, 01279 425959 or 01279 726047.

For further information e-mail:

[UPDATE] The Westoning Players will be performing Mort in Westoning on 31st March, 1st and 2nd April 2005. Evening performances start at 7.45 and a Saturday matinee performance starts at 2.30. The venue is in the Village Hall at Westoning (MK45 5JL), located 2 miles east of Junction 12, off the M1,

Tickets are 6.00 GBP for adults, 5.00 GBP for concession (10-18 and 60+). For groups of 10 or more there is a 10% discount.

The box office on 01525-752858 or email to book tickets.

For more details visit our website at

Unseen Theatre Company will be performing Interesting Times from March 17th to April 2nd (Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm)at the Backhouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide. Tickets cost 15 AUD for Adults, 12 AUD for Concessions, 10 AUD for groups of 10 or more or 30 AUD for the Thai Hutt Dinner Deal (meal and ticket).

For bookings contact BASS 131246 or Betty 82962004. More information at

WyrdFest, the first German Convention which takes place in June 2005, now has its own website located at

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

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

The First Australian Discworld Convention will take place in Melbourne Australia from 20th-22nd January 2006. More details can be located at

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.

Michael Rosse writes: I have for stage performance, WITCHES ABROAD and THE SEA AND LITTLE FISHES. Both scripts are subject to Mr Pratchett's performance approval of course. If any one is interested in staging either script, please contact me.

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 to weed out the weaklings.

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: rodney simba
I don't know if many Discworld fans ever check out wikipedia, it's a free online encyclopaedia. I was doing a quick search and discovered to my surprise and joy PTerry and the Nac Mac Feegles are in it.

* From: "Tracey Keller"
After reading Nathan's email in Issue 94 about not getting the eldritch/oblong gag in the Discworld; I'm glad I'm not the only one who sometimes misses a joke. It was only recently whilst mucking out stables (a job that is ideal for pondering) that I realised that going totally "librarian poo" is rather similar to going ape shit. It may have taken me a while to get there... but I sure did laugh when I did!

* From: "Robert Craine"
Nathan Rose asked: "the eldritch / oblong gag that appears a few times. Anyone have any idea where it's coming from?"

It dates back to The Light Fantastic, shortly after Rincewind entered the magic shop, and it vanished. Cohen and Lackjaw (the guy who made his diamond teeth) find the luggage, with its legs hidden, and Cohen says something like: "Watch out for that thing, its eldritch" Lackjaw replies "What's that mean...?" and kicks the luggage. The luggage is confused by Rincewind's disappearance, and does nothing. "...oblong?" continues Lackjaw.

Somehow, this mistake seems to have spread over much of the disc.

For those of a foreign disposition, eldritch actually means 'Strange or unearthly; eerie. Vaguely magical'

* From: "Holly Baggins"
Not sure if this has been mentioned before but I stumbled upon an article via bbspot[dot]com nomeclatured 'Fuzzy Math'. As I have a fascination with numbers which most consider slightly odd, if not outright perverse I followed the link to apa[dot]org.

To cut a short story even shorter I will paste the first paragraph as it explains everything really, and saves me conjuring something up.

"Ask a member of the Piraha tribe to count a cluster of pebbles, and even the brightest member of this isolated Amazonian tribe will probably respond with a blank stare. This is because the Piraha do not have words for precise quantities or the action of counting -- instead they quantify objects approximately, using words analogous to our "few" and "many." Even their word for one, "hoi," might be more accurately translated as "about one," says Peter Gordon, PhD, a psychology professor at Columbia University Teachers College, who studies the tribe."

I almost fell off my seat when I read this as I could almost see Sgt. Detritus sitting down with the Piraha elders and teaching them about a mystical new concept of 'Lots'! ('One, two, three,... many. Many-one, many-two, etc)

The sheer volume of historical / obscure trivia that PTerry succesfully manages to incorporate into his books has always amazed me. His knowledge of the arcane and weirldy funny must surely rival the combined, distilled wisdom contained within (or withon, as the case may be) the hallowed shelves of the UU istelf! What I find even more amazing and incredibly amusing is that he can skillfully weave these little factoids into his stories and pass it of as one of the Discworld's own peculiar quirks (an aside to this, the occasional complaint from those new to PTerry that he stole such and such an idea from so and so's book or that he can't think of his own material is another source of merriment for me! After all the Disc is a world, yet also a mirror of worlds... It's just that the glass is slightly warped in places and quite possibly cracked too).

If any other PTerry fans out there share my number fetish, or possibly are of the aforementioned 'new to PTerry' ilk, or even if your just a harmless fan looking for a trivial way to waste those long 5 minutes before lunch-break and would like to read the full article then here's the link.

Mathematical, lingual and related to the Discworld into the bargain, I'm in some sort of geek heaven o:-) Also of note (to me anyway) is the fact that the tribe were able to correctly identify values up to and including 3 with 100% accuracy, but beyond that the accuracy rate dropped sharply. This equates to Trollish counting, not incidentally I suspect, but it also equates to many instances of the number 3, or close to it, in nature. eg. pi = 3.14159........, in fluid dynamics, when 3 separate waves are produced in a volume of water it will never settle into a regular rhythm, in other words, beyond the value of 3, chaos ensues. This is drifting rapidly off-topic now so I'll end here.

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

* From: "Jacqueline Herrmann"
Thanks for a great newsletter guys. Been reading it from the start [So have we, but we have to - Ed]. I know there are quite a few South African Terry Pratchett fans out there and I'm sure they'd be interested in my new project. I am in discussions at the moment regarding acquiring the rights to translate the Discworld series into Afrikaans. I am also looking for funding at the moment so any ideas would be great. If anyone has any comments, suggestions or whatever to make, please let me know what you think. You can email me personally as well if you want.

* From: "Beverley"
I have come into possession of a copy of 'The Unfriendly Future' containing Terry's 'The Hades Business', 1st edition, dated 1965, published by Four Square. It is complete, in uncreased and clean condition, but the glue binding has obviously worn over the years and about a dozen pages have come loose. Everything is there though and in order.

Can you possibly let me know how much it is worth, or at least how much I can expect someone to pay for it. I am planning to put it up on eBay, failing that, offering it through the newsletter.

* From: "Gerry"
I was told that there is a book of short Discworld stories, called Once More With Foot Notes. Apart from seeing it mentioned on the Web. I cannot find out any more information about this book. Can you help?

DWM replies: You can purchase it on line at (although it appears to be out of stock until the end of March)

* From: Paul Wilkins
In reply to Pamela [who was looking for a Discworld chat site - Ed]

The newsgroup called is the place you are looking for. Dedicated to discussing all things Pratchett, and as can be expected in a friendly ub-like atmosphere, things not related to him at all.

Head along to for more information about not just but all kinds of fan related things out there.

DWM replies: We don't know if ub-like is a typo or not.

* From: "Anne Morrison"
I've been ruminating on this question for some time and can't seem to figure out the answer. In Night Watch, When Vimes is sitting in the house of ill repute with Madame (from Genua) She asks Vimes if he was thinking "old seamstress" and he replies that no, he was thinking "bespoke tailoring". Is this a joke that I don't get, or is our wonderful PTerry just being odd?

* From: "Carole Wallencheck"

I work at the Cleveland Heights - University Heights Public Library in Ohio (USA) and am one of the RATs (Readers' Advisory Team). The RATs help people "find a good book to read" and meet once a month to discuss books, books, and more books. One of my specialities is fantasy and my co-workers are throughly tired of hearing me mention Pterry's name in our monthly meetings. When our Readers' Advisory Team decided to put up a website I was charged with the task of writing 5 blog entries about "you know who" (and no, I don't mean Voldemort). I happily complied, the Head Rat said, "wow, great job!" and you all can read the resulting paean to all things Discworld at Click on "R.A.T.S. Blog" (6th item down on the left) and find the PTerry entries that started on 2/3/05. You can add your comments, sign on to the message board to be part of the forum, and find all manner of nifty book stuff. You can also click on "What R.A.T.S. are Reading" to find my lists of favorites and books I read during 2004 (I'm listed as The Lady of the Lake and Magical Rat). I'd love to see your comments show up on the blog and/or message board so I can show the other RATs that Pterry rocks!

* From: "Christin Keck"
In "Maskerade,", Nanny Ogg utters a very odd expletive that has me completely astounded. She says (of Granny's makeover) "I'll be MOGADORED." She says it twice.

I found this to be astounding because I live on Mogadore Road in Ohio, U.S.A. I always wondered where the name came from, since it doesn't seem to be a family name, or a type of tree, or a past president or anything else familiar. Is "mogadored" a specifically regional term? If so, can someone enlighten me as to its origin?

* From:
My son has moved in with his girlfriend and discovered that she is a Terry Pratchett fan as am I. Now he is hunting through all the special offers in book shops to build up her collection. This is going to cover her birthday and Christmas presents for a while. This is how my husband covers my presents. Got the fellas well trained don't you think?

4. DiscTrivia

This month we have included the second five questions from a list sent in by Ninj Ninja

Who is Angua's mother?

Which member of the Assassin's Guild accompanied Sam Vimes to Uberwald in the Fifth Elephant?

Susan Sto Helit is whose granddaughter?

Who can often be heard saying "Millenium hand and shrimp!"

Who is credited with inventing Hex?

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

5. Who's Who - William de Worde

William de Worde became well known in The Truth and has since made an appearance in Monstrous Regiment. He is also mentioned in the original Discworld Companion which came out some six years before The Truth.

William was the second son of Lord de Worde and as such was considered a second rate citizen by his family. Whereas his elder brother Rupert was sent to the assassins guild for an education, William was sent to Hugglestones School where enthusiasm was treasured more than achievement. Rupert was killed in a short skirmish with Klatch and thus continued the de Worde tradition of fighting (and often dying) for their beliefs. William shunned his upbringing and wealth and imposed a sort of poverty upon himself.

William made his living by noting down newsworthy events in Ankh Morpork and sending his 'newsletter' to notable dignitaries outside of the city for a few dollars a month. This enabled him to live reasonably comfortably and have plenty of spare time each month, rather like the staff of DWM.

William's creation of the Discworld's first newspaper The Ankh Morpork Times came about almost by accident when William was struck (literally) by the Dwarfs' new movable type printing press. Lord Vetinari, fearing this to be the start of another almost world ending event (which happen from time to time in Ankh Morpork), puts William in charge of the Dwarfs and their press and explains that if any tentacle monsters attack the city William will be in trouble. It appears that the press is set firmly in the cult (not the occult) and hasn't yet caused any breaks in the fabric of reality.

The Times has become a useful tool for Terry in the later novels, often as an excuse to grill a character in front of the Patrician - William and later Moist von Lipwig have both endured this fate.

William tries very hard to be better than the way he was brought up, and fights against some of the prejudices instilled in him by his family and upbringing. He still, however, has sharp edges to his character. This is highlighted in Monstrous Regiment when you see William from other characters' point of view, but I guess that this argument can be used against many characters - Vimes is the obvious comparison here.

William is a character that you really want to like, but need to keep an eye on.

6. Competitions

Last month we offered the opportunity to win a specially ink-stamped edition of the Discworld Almanak for the year 2005 as supplied by Bonsai Trading.

All you had to do was tell us how many copies of The Almanak had been ink-stamped by Bonsai Trading. The answer was of course 100. Almost everyone got the answer correct although some fogot to include their answer in their emails!

The randomly selected winner of an ink-stamped Almanak is Victoria Wilson of Tunbridge Wells.

If you didn't win and still want a copy, remember that the ink-stamped copies are only available from Bonsai Trading (

Bernard Pearson has a competition for us with three prizes. The first three names out of the hat will each receive a 'thrupny dreadful'. To try to win one of these rare stamps simply send the answer to the following question to by the 20th March.

Question: Where will a stout party [Mr Pearson - Ed] be on Saturday 26th Feb? and who will be with him?

A brief look at the new forum located at will get the answer.

7. Review: Diggers - ISIS Audio books

It has been a while since ISIS released the first of the Bromeliad trilogy Truckers, so long in fact that I had forgotten that I had a copy. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise when a new ISIS parcel landed on my doorstep. I paused halfway through re-listening to the Truth to give it a play.

Stephen Briggs does his usual excellent job and really breathes life into the individual characters. Unfortunately due to time limitations I didn't have time to compare the voices between Truckers and Diggers, but from what little I can remember certain character such as Dorcas and Grimma sounded the same.

The recording is up to ISIS's usual high production values, although my first tape sounded a little strange. I suspect this was due to the tape being wound a bit tight as the voices sounded a bit deeper than I would expect.

Having not so long ago read the US version of the Bromeliad trilogy it was good to see the recording was based on the UK version of Diggers with Jekob making a re-appearance. Whether this will remain the same with the Harper Collins release remains to be seen.

I had also forgotten just how short (pun intended) the Nomes books are. Most of the full Discworld books come on 8 - 10 cassettes. Diggers, however, comes on just four cassettes for 15.99 GBP + P&P or four CDs for 20.99 GBP + P&P and lasts just over 3.5 hours.

I fully recommend purchasing a copy of this ISIS unabridged recording of Diggers and personally cannot wait until ISIS gets Stephen Briggs back in to record Wings to finish off this excellent trilogy.

For more information visit

8. The End

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Discworld paperback: Monstrous Regiment 055214941/87

Discworld hardback: Going Postal 0385603428/87

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

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* Disc Trivia Results *

Who is Angua's mother?
The Baroness Serafine von Uberwald

Which member of the Assassin's Guild accompanied Sam Vimes to Uberwald in the Fifth Elephant?
Inigo Skimmer

Susan Sto Helit is whose granddaughter?

Who can often be heard saying "Millenium hand and shrimp!"
Foul ole Ron
Who is credited with inventing Hex?
A5. Ponder Stibbons

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