Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 97: May 2005

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. May Signing Tour Dates
6. Competition
7. Article: Terry in Holland
8. Review: The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 97. We are 7a years old this month. I can't believe we've been going for so long. It's been a bumpy ride but a lot of fun.

Having seen the example set by the new German Discworld Fan Club I am considering adding a UK car share section to the Discworld Monthly website (for helping fans to get to Discworld Events). I am looking for feedback on this, so if you feel this would be a good idea please email me at

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

2. News

From Colin Smythe

Photographs taken of the Broadhouse Productions production of ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND at the Edinburgh Fringe last August can be found at

The Australian Discworld Convention has been moved from January 2006 to 9th - 11th of February 2007. There are a number of reasons for this change of date but the primary one is fitting in better with Terry's plans to visit Australia.

More information can be found at

The new German Discworld fan club has introduced a new car share scheme for getting to various Discworld Events. If you are based in Germany and want to find a way of getting to Clarecraft, Wadfest or Wyrdfest visit and select Car Share from main menu.

L-Space the world's most famous Discworld Website has had a major update with a special section dedicated to the original 1971 edition of "The Carpet People",

The new section includes scans of all the illustrations Terry did for that book in full-colour, taken from copies of the book that had their illustrations water-coloured by Terry himself.

Also available are some full-page scans with doodles and dedications, and photographs of the book launch party at Heal's Department Store in London.

This promises to be a collection of unique material that Discworld fans will find it well worth a 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 Entries will remain until they go out of date.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.

[New] Wellington Repertory are doing a production of Lords & Ladies at Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee St, from Wed 27th April to Sat 7 May, 8pm (Sunday matinee 4pm 1 May).

Tickets are 18 NZD, or 10 NZD for block bookings of 10 or more.

Website: although the details there are wrong.

[New] Terry will be doing a UK signing tour in May to coincide with the release of A Hat Full of Sky in Paperback. See section 5 for more details.

[New] Studio Theatre Group will be performing Maskerade in the Aberdeen Arts Centre on Wednesday 18th May, Thursday 19th May and Friday 20th May. Details can be found at

[New] Ilkley Players are presenting Wyrd Sisters in their Wharfeside Theatre, Weston Road, Ilkley LS29 8DW from Monday 31 May to Saturday 12 June 2005. Performances are every evening except Sunday, commencing at 7.30pm. The Box Office (01943 609539) is open on weekdays from 10.00am to 12.00 noon. For further details see

They are also presenting the same production of Wyrd Sisters at the open air Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6JU from Monday 25 to Friday 29 July 2005. Performances are every evening at 8.00pm with matinees on Wednesday and Friday which start at 2.00pm. The Minack Box Office (01736 810181/471) opens on Monday 2 May. For further details see

[New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed in English in a small theatre in Wageningen, The Netherlands, on 3rd and 10th June at 20:30. The play will be staged by 'BAM' who staged 'Mort' in 2002. The venue is Theatre 't Hemeltje; Burgtstraat 1, Wageningen and tickets can be ordered by phone on 0317-482600. If you have any questions you can email .

[New] Maskerade... The Opera!- Yes, it's true. After being interpreted in many different mediums, The Discworld is now coming to you in a new opera based on the novel "Maskerade". This project has been given the approval of Mr. Terry Pratchett himself, and it is shaping up to be a fantastic theatrical event.

The production dates are June 22 - 25th, 2005 (4 performances) On the Shoctor stage at the Citadel Theatre Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

You can find out more about this production at (There's not a whole lot there now, but keep an eye on the website as it is updated.)

[Updated] WyrdFest, the first German Convention that takes place on the 1st - 3rd July 2005 at Reichartshausen (Germany), 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

Kennet Amateur Theatrical Society will be performing The Truth by Terry Pratchett as adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs from 11 to 13 August 2005 at Kennet School in Thatcham (off J13 of the M4). Tickets are priced at 7GBP for adults and 5GBP for children/OAPs and can be ordered via their website Full details of the show including information on how to bid for some very special Discworld-related items in the sealed-bid auction can also be found on the website.

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

To stop some rumours: This is not a Tolkien convention. Just one of the organisation teams is a Tolkien Fan Club. It's a merry meeting of fantasy fans in a castle with a fantasy programme and famous medieval bands.

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.

Adam aka jagtazman writes: After over 12 months of deliberation I have finally decided to sell up. This is a hard decision for me but one I must do.

As many of you will be aware I have managed to accumulate quite a collection including several rarities, oddities and never released pieces.

Obviously I would like my pieces to go to a good home. I'll be listing the odd item on ebay, but I am mainly accepting offers from now until end May / mid June and then everything not sold will be listed on ebay. I am in no real rush to sell so will be taking my time.

Any questions please feel free to email me. Full details of my collection can be found on my web site

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 sell the waste to Harry King.

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: "J Dickson"
Here's an interesting little story I stumbled across while avoiding doing any work - apparently the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen used to leave a note beside his bed every night saying "I only appear to be sleeping" just in case someone thought he was dead and buried him alive! Shades of Granny Weatherwax?

* From: "Cynthia Games"
The maths bit in "Going Postal" is actually a joke about the old rule of thumb about bank lending ratios: the fact is, banks tend to lend out more money than they actually have in real, tangible assets, and a lot of it is "paper" (theoretical) money. When banking became a real business centuries ago, bankers found that they only needed about an eighth (12 and a half per cent) of what they loaned out to be actually kept as gold/coin stored on their premises, because all of the people who use their services don't usually walk into a bank and demand immediate payment in real gold of all their account on any single day. So if the banks lent out 7/8 of what they had (and obviously made a profit out of it) they could operate efficiently. To those of us lesser mortals it sounds a bit like pirates stealing other people's gold to make a profit, but usually the maths works and it means us lesser mortals don't have to pay someone to store our money (if we're lucky we get interest paid to us for storing it with the bank!) Of course, when there is a bank crisis, people may panic and want to remove all their money in one go. When this happens its causes a "run on the bank" and not everyone (in fact, only the first 12.5 percent) will get their money. In which case, the bank itself goes out of business. PTerry's joke here is that Reacher Gilt is a banking pirate: he doesn't just use part of the money belonging to the clacks people: he deprives them of it while appearing to loan them more money from their own investment, then he steals it. It's a banking joke (who said accountants don't have a sense of humour? well, me actually....)

* From: "Karen Screen"
I have just finished playing Discworld Noir on PC and what can I say. Brilliant, Fantastic, Etc etc, the characters have been brought to life by this game. Corporal Nobbs was so funny, every time I read a book now, I can start to imagine what the rest of the voices sound like.

My bookshelf is stacked, I now have all books to date, so I will be starting from 1 and reading right through. Even if I have to stay awake all the time to do so.

I've also designed some 3-D cards (with Discworld Characters) to send to people, anyone interested then email me...

* From: "Ellyn Baines"
I'm an astronomy graduate student, and have always been amused when Terry Pratchett makes fun of physics (speed of light being slow, a round planet not being logical - how do they not fall off? - etc.). It may seem he's a physics visionary, though, in one case.

There's an article in May's Sky and Telescope titled "Galaxy Maps Reveal Long-Sought Waves: Cosmologists have finally seen sound waves from the infant universe echoed in our own backyard". The article talks about how there's a certain spacing between galaxies that is the "frozen echo of sound waves that propagated through the primordial soup" of the Universe. This made me instantly think of the Listening Monks from Mort and wonder if this is indeed the sound they're waiting for.

Maybe they'll hear a "one, two, one two three four" as TP predicted in Soul Music next.

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

* From: "Andreas Loder"
In the German edition of Robert Rankin's "The Brentford Chainstore Massacre" (Das Kettenladenmassaker) on page 314 right at the beginning of chapter 27 appears an 80 year old lady. She's the head post-office clerk and tells of her performance as a synchronized paraglider ("like synchronized swimming but up in the sky") that she is planning for the big millennium party. The name of that lady is Mrs. Terrypratchett. There's also a footnote at the first mentioning of the name (* Who?). I don't know if it's in the original edition, too, or if the translator put it in for a joke.

* From: "Keith Millington"
I was tempted by your review of 'Once more with footnotes' and followed the links to the NESFA site, ordered the book and paid with PayPal. They say it takes a few weeks for them to deliver, but I ordered on 31 March and received the book on 6th April. Not bad for a volunteer group to send it half way round the world in less than a week.

* From: "Elizabeth"
I noticed that the publisher of the Stamp Monthly is Stanley Howler.

Having spent way too much of my life around stamp collectors (I thought when we were courting he said he was a philanderer. I could deal with that -- but it turned out he said philatelist). I wonder if this is a reference to Stanley Gibbons, One The Strand, London the world's premiere stamp dealer and publisher?

* From: "Simon Round"
Unfortunately David's explanation [of seamstress] is wrong. If he had been describing a dressmaker then he would have been correct. A seamstress is as highly skilled as a tailor and works on a more diverse range of clothing. My wife is a seamstress (in the non-euphemistic sense) and has made high quality bespoke wedding dresses to order and makes many other high quality bespoke garments to order. How does this differ from a Tailor in David's explanation? Seamstresses are highly regarded for their skill in both our world, and I suspect, on the Discworld.

Most Seamstresses (non-euphemistic) I feel would be unhappy as being described as "someone who does practical sewing, simple repairing of clothes and so on".

* From: "Leigh Johnson" <email address witheld>
I am a long time Discworld fan (started reading the books in 1986) and was also a long time member of Madal's Discworld Celebdaq Leagues. I know a number of Discworld leagues have started up but does anyone know who owns/runs the Coloured leagues? I appear to be in Discworld Indigo (Leighbert69) and I just wondered if I could find some more info on them.

* From: "Dave"
Miles Kington's wife is right to forbid him from reading the Da Vinci Code.

I shied when I read in it that (for the American readership) the Jardines du Tuilleries were "the equivalent of New York's Central Park". Snobbishly I do not want to read books written for a geographically challenged readership.

I stopped when I read that the Eiffel Tower was a Parisian phallic symbol. Every Terry Pratchett fan knows it is an ashtray designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson the designer who never understood scale. (My Granny had one on her mantelpiece).

4. DiscTrivia

This month we have included the final set of five questions from a list sent in by Ninj Ninja .

What is Havelock Vetinari's dog called?
Stoneface Vimes executed which King of Ankh Morpork?
Havelock Vetinari succeeded which Patrician?
Who were thrown out of Fairyland for being Drunk and Disorderly?
Who is the dark lord, enemy of the heros in 'The Last Hero'?

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

5. May Signing Tour

Terry will be doing a UK signing tour to coincide with the release of A Hat Full of Sky in paperback.

* Thursday 5th May *


Bath - Waterstone's, Waterstone's, 4 Milsom St, Bath, Avon BA1 1DA Tel: 01225 448515


Cardiff - WHSmith, WHSmith High Street, 83-85 Queen St, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF10 2NX, Tel: 029 2039 0088

* Friday 6th May *


Waterstone's Broad Street, Waterstone's, The United Reformed Building 89a, Broad St, Reading, Berkshire RG1 2AP.
Tel: 0118 958 1270

Devizes - early evening talk and signing hosted by Well Wishers.


Venue: The Corn Exchange, Devizes, Tel: 01380 722640

* Wednesday 11th May *


Brighton - Borders, Borders Books Music, Churchill Square, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 2TB, Tel: 01273 731122


Guildford - Ottakar's, Ottakar's Bookshop, 71 High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3DY, Tel: 01483 536366

* Thursday 12th May *


Colchester - Red Lion bookshop, Red Lion Bookshop, 125 High Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1SZ, Tel: 01206 578584

* Friday 13th May *


Norwich - Ottakar's, Ottakar's Bookshop, 11-17 Castle Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1PB, Tel: 01603 767292


Cambridge - Blackwell's, Blackwell's, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1TY, Tel: 01223 568521

* Saturday 14th May *


Ottakar's Stevenage, 1 The Forum, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1ES, Tel: 01438 355266

6. Competitions

Last month Bonsai Trading announced a competition to coincide with the new forum on their website. All you had to do to enter was to register on the forum. You were not even required to post any messages.

On April 18th the names of all registered users were put in a hat and the winner was randomly drawn.

The winner of the competition can now be named as 'martyyyn' (forum username) from Guernsey.

The winning prize was THREE envelopes of stamps (LBEs as collectors call them) and a pack of 5 sheets of stamp gift wrap.

For more information about Bonsai Trading and their massive range of Discworld merchandise visit

7. Article: Terry in Holland

Article by Egeltjes@TiscaliMail.NL

Last weekend (23th and 24th of April) Terry Pratchett was at the Elf Fantasy Fair, in the domain of the castle De Haar (near Utrecht - the Netherlands), an event where most of the audience came dressed like a fantasy figure. I was dressed like a night elf, totally painted and dressed black, wearing a large black cloak and two big latex swords.

Terry delivered us a lecture of half an hour, which was full of humor. I remember two anecdotes he told.

A) When he was his present at a Disc-con, there appeared 5 Rincewinds. Terry thought there could be only one Rincewind, so they held a race. And the fastest must be the real Rincewind.

B) When a member of the audience asked him where Terry preferred to be, if he is somewhere on the Discworld. Terry's answered he would like to be in the highest tree.

After the lecture Terry went to the stand of his Dutch publisher for signing. A long queue of people were waiting. As I was surprised that Terry was there, the only thing I had to sign, was a flyer of our Life Action Role Playing group. I asked Terry if he could write on it: "I have heard of it." And yes, he would (and he did) it, followed by his signature.

The flyer is now present on the front-page of the web-site of our (Dutch) LARP-group

Discworld Monthly is hosting three photos from the event at

8. Review: The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

May 2005 will see the release of the third instalment of the Science of Discworld series. The title of this series may be a little misleading as the books don't attempt to explain the science of Discworld, instead they use the a Discworld story to counterpoint the science of our own round world.

In Darwin's Watch something has gone wrong with Victorian history. Charles Darwin has written the wrong book. Instead of the Origin of the Species he has written Theology of the Species and as a consequence the human race will not manage to get off Earth before the next ice age wipes them out. The Wizards of Unseen University, feeling responsible (they created the round world in Science of Discworld I), decide to travel back in time and make sure the certain events happen to ensure that Darwin writes the correct book.

The non-Discworld sections of Darwin's Watch deal with: Theology against Science, theories and practicalities of time travel, evolution, free will and the revolution of science.

I am not a scientist and therefore found some of the science quite hard to comprehend. I spent much of my time re-reading sections in order to get to grips with the ideas covered. I also found that whilst reading the book I could keep the understanding of the science in my head just long enough to get through each section after which the ideas faded almost immediately. This leads me to the conclusion that a novel is not necessarily the best way to explain scientific theories. There are too many concepts being explained to be understandable as a story, which is exactly what the book is trying to make you do with the intertwined Discworld chapters. I suspect this is why science books are not normally written as novels but as reference books. Luckily, Darwin's Watch comes with a comprehensive 10-page index, so it can at least be used as a reference book.

The Discworld part of the book is heavily constrained and influenced by the scientific theories it is trying to introduce. It is still fun to read about the Wizards, although they do seem a bit more organised than usual. The other problem is that the huge sections of science break up the story's flow too much. It would be nice to be able to read the Discworld story in one contiguous section.

Due to my limited understanding of the science involved, and massive bias of science over Discworld story, I spent almost 3 weeks reading it whereas I would normally get through a Discworld novel in a handful of days.

I hope this review doesn't sound overly negative because I did enjoy reading Darwin's Watch. I also believe that I have managed to retain some of the science parts or at least enough to be able to find them again in the index. After a couple of pints I may even be at a level where I will be willing to argue the finer points of evolution (although I would probably get it all wrong). If you have more than a passing interest in science this book is a concise collection of a lot of scientific concepts. If not get it to complete your Discworld collection and to make yourself appear more intelligent to your friends.

Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch is out on 5th May with a RRP of 17.99GBP. Currently Amazon is listing it on pre-order for 12.59 GBP plus postage at

9. The End

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* Latest Book Information *

Discworld paperback: Monstrous Regiment 055214941/87

Discworld hardback: Going Postal 0385603428/87

Discworld Young Adult paperback: The Wee Free Men 0552549053/87

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

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What is Havelock Vetinari's dog called?

Stoneface Vimes executed which King of Ankh Morpork?
King Lorenzo the Kind

Havelock Vetinari succeeded which Patrician?
Mad Lord Snapcase

Who were thrown out of Fairyland for being Drunk and Disorderly?
The Nac Mac Feegle

Who is the dark lord, enemy of the heros in 'The Last Hero'?
Harry Dread

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