Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 98: June 2005

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Guards! Guards! Live
6. Bursar Vixen Beer Competition
7. Review: Wincanton April Shower 2005
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 98. Over the last couple of months I have made a few changes to the website ( Apart from a general spring clean, a bit of whitewash and a move onto a bigger server I have added a new RSS news feed. Whenever I add new news items to the website the RSS feed gets updated. If you use Mozilla Firefox you can visit our website and add our news feed as a Live Bookmark or if you use a different RSS feed aggregator you can subscribe to

News items that appear on the website are usually time sensitive and likely to expire before the next issue or information I feel is important enough to be readily available (such as tour dates).

The move to the new bigger server may have caused the website to go off-line for a day or two around the 24th May. The move became necessary because it gave us a lot more web space and it also gives us advanced spam scanning on our emails.

Last month I asked if you thought a car share section on the website would be a good idea. Based on the amount of mail I received on this subject it appears to be a welcome idea. While looking for a pre-written solution to the problem I came across a web site called LiftShare ( that looks like it might provide all the facilities we would need (and it's free to use).

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

2. News

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 Entries will remain until they go out of date.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.

[UK] 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

[NL] 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

[CA] 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.)

[UK] Maskerade will be performed at The People's Theatre, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne from Tues 12 - Sat 16 July 2005. Tickets are available on 0191 2655020. More information can be found at

[UK] 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

[UK] 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.

[DE] 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.

[UK] 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

[AU] 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

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.

Keith Doyle writes: Are you planning on staging a performance of Mort? Shepperton Players amateur dramatic society have just finished a successful production, and would like to dispose of a scythe, sword and six hourglasses. The scythe and sword have a total of 100 flashing bright blue LEDs on them. 85 GBP the set, buyer collects.

Jagtazman writes: Further to my ad last month, My Discworld / Clarecraft sale continues. Details can be found at I have now updated my website with photos. If I have not repsonded to any emails, please can you re-contact me as my system crashed. Many thanks for all the emails and nice comments received. writes: HELP! I have managed to find a good quality second hand copy of DWII Missing Presumed... for PC, and successfully installed it on my XP machine BUT IT WON'T WORK! I have tried the Program Compatability Wizzard (sorry, that's one Z, right?) but to no avail. The manufacturers got out of the PC game market a while back so they are no help. Can anyone tell me how to run DWII on XP?

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 give your souls to the dark side of the force.

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: "Sander Straeten, Van"
Reading last Issue of DWM I stumbled upon the Pratchett in Holland Article and I think I can add some info to that! On the evening of Sunday the 24th April (the second day Mister Pratchett had been present at the Elf Fantasy Fair) he also gave a lecture at the Rotterdam Central Library to a select audience of about 60 people, yours truly included. This lecture was about how the great man came to be an author with lots more of those amusing anecdotes. His starting statement was that we Dutch have good gin(!) and that he had been to the Elf Fantasy Fair. He also lifted a tip of the veil about his new book Thud to our great amusement because it promisses to be very witty indeed! I won't give anything away! Following that he answered some questions from the public. Afterwards there was a signing session and I had a chance to meet Mister Pratchett up close and personal as he signed my "Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents".

For me his visit was more or less the closing of a circle: the first Pratchett novel (Men at Arms) I read in a library at a time that I had no money to buy my own books as a kid. Now I was sitting in a Library listening to my favourite author while the latter was telling us he worked at his local library for free in order to be able to read all the books they had standing on the shelves. Let's just say he made my day end happily ever after! And the next day as well. I think he will know what I mean.

Just thought you would like to know that!

Groetjes Sander van Straeten, The Netherlands

* From: "FP Anduin"
HC Andersen did have a note saying he wasn't dead. In his lifetime there were a number of very publicised cases including one very (in)famous grave robbery of a rich young widow known to be buried with a lot of jewellery. When it was discovered, it was obvious from the scene that she had not been dead when buried but had been woken by the thieves who had then killed her. HCA might not have been the only one with a note by the bed - just the one we've heard about. There was a genuine scare at the time.

DWM replies: FP gets this month's Letter of The Month.

* From: "Jacqui Lawrence"
I have just finished reading a book called Jimmy the Hand by Raymond E. Feist and Steve Stirling (yes I read other authors, shock horror! ;-) and was amused when I came across a character by the name of Noxious Neville. Now Neville is a begger living in a large city and the problem with Neville is that he smells, a lot. He is also widely regarded as being crazy and often mumbles unintelligably. This doesn't sound at all familiar does it? So imagine my surprise when, in a fight at the end of the book, the eponymous character thinks that the person he is fighting has breath like Foul Ol' Ron's!! Surely the author meant breath like Noxious Neville's? And equally surely this is blatant plagiarism, or has someone just cocked up? Hmmmm, I'll leave you all to go have a look and decide for yourselves.

* From: "Peter Free"
In all of the wonderful esoteric discussion of the origin of this phrase I don't think anyone has mentioned Capn' Flint, the parrot belonging to the world's most famous fictional pirate - Long John Silver, in the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson who used to utter that one sentence over and over. I include this quote from the text:

- Here's Cap'n Flint - I call my parrot Cap'n Flint, after the famous buccaneer - here's Cap'n Flint predicting success to our v'yage. Wasn't you cap'n?'

And the parrot would say, with great rapidity, `Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!' till you wondered than it was not out of breath, or till John threw his handkerchief over the cage. -

There is also the Art of Oblique Punning i.e 'Long' John = Reacher, Silver = Gilt ?? Or perhaps I'm just seeing patterns in the clouds.

* From: "Matt Turner"
Relating to Andreas Loder's letter last issue about a brief cameo by a Mrs Terrypratchett in a German edition of Robert Rankin's "The Brentford Chainstore Massacre", I have to point out that in the English edition she is called Mrs Elronhubbard. (ie - L. Ron Hubbard - Scientology guy and Sci Fi author.) However, Rankin has put at least one Pratchett gag elsewhere in his books, I just can't remember where.

Also, to echo the letter praising the NESFA press - my book arrived in less than a week as well - extremely impressive.

* From: "Juliana Venning"
Thought you might like to share this one - recently was hosting heads of Chemistry and Physics and Medical areas at my home as am a local secretary for the Science group (RSNZ Branch) and the meeting was unable to begin on time as one visiting Chemistry Prof saw my TP collection (in the bookshelf alongside where he was sitting)! He immediately began to extoll TP's virtues to some of the rather bemused coterie present. He ended up begging for a loan and consequently walking off with the two latest volumes which he returned subsequently in bubble wrap in person (protected as the treasures they are), two weeks later! He couldn't wait to read them from the local library!!!

* From: "Taina Evans"
"Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch is out on 5th May with a RRP of 17.99GBP."

How come I bought a copy yesterday (26 April) then?

Is it just the Swiss bookseller not paying attention to release dates? Or is it maybe because I made such a fuss over not getting Going Postal until 10 days after it came out that he put the copies out as soon as he got them?

Whichever it is - this time, I won't be complaining.

* From: "Jeff Vincent"
I don't know how long the links will remain for but there are currently two Pratchett talks available in audio streaming at the Hay Festival website:

Terry will be talking at this years festival on 29 May 05 - I won't be there though :-(

* From: "Paul Bines"
I apologise in advance if this has already meen mentioned! Recently, BBC7 ran the radio series "Beachcomber, By The Way" starring Richard Ingrams and the late John Wells, and based on the humour of J.B.Morton (aka "Beachcomber of the Daily Express" Listening to this, I heard a couple of references to a 'red bearded dwarf' named Rincewind - naturally, my ears pricked up (especially as the aforementioned 'red bearded dwarves' were the bane of the live of another character names "Justice Cocklecarrot" ... Was, perhaps, Terry a fan of Beachcomber? Although the radio series appeared after the first of the Discworld books, the original newspaper colums date back a lot earlier (to at least as far as WW2 and probably before!) Just thought I'd share!

4. DiscTrivia

This month we have hastily put together five questions about animals of the Discworld.


Trixiebell is an alias for which well know character?


What speices of Animal is the Discworld's greatest mathematician?


What was Twoflower's dragon Ninereeds named after?


What colour are Binky's eyes?
a) Blue
b) Red
c) Black
d) Green


What animals appear on the Ankh Morpork coat of arms?

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

5. Review: Guards! Guards! Live

Reviewed by Patricia McKenna

I wonder how many families can boast of a "four generation" following. Mine can and this came about in the following way.

On the 22nd March this year, a cousin of my husband invited us to a performance of Guards! Guards! at the Chorley Youth Theatre. Her son Adam was to play the part of Carrott. As the date suggested, 24th March was already committed to having my two great granddaughters' for an overnight stay I was hesitant. "The children will love it" she said. I was not so sure but agreed that we would go. Until that time my understanding of Terry Pratchett and his books was confined to the knowledge that my daughter and her son were real fans of his, always waiting for the next book to come out and talking to each other in a language that I didn't understand. Their bookshelves stacked with all the books he has ever written, held not the slightest interest for me, although I should stress that I am an avid reader with a wide ranging taste from Biography to Science Fiction. My first surprise as we drove to the theatre, came from nine year old Nicole who explained that her grandmother had bought her five Terry Pratchett books for Christmas and that she had already read three! By the time we entered the auditorium my introduction was well advanced. Although the seats were uncomfortable at first, as the performance got under way I become so interested that I forgot all about them as I became involved in the performance - it was great. I particularly enjoyed the humour and the lines were put over so well that it was obvious that the young actors were enjoying themselves as much as the audience. We all loved the magician and Death was awe inspiring - at least 7ft tall, due, I was told later, to the 6ft3ins boy who took the part, standing on roller skates with 6inch blocks underneath. We left reluctantly. We would have enjoyed more and the little girls asked "If there is another, will you take us?" I assured them that I most certainly would. That is how Terry Pratchett acquired a new fan. Now we range in age from 75 to 8, four generations, all eager for more. Of course I, the oldest am, the lucky one: I have so much to catch up on.

6. Bursar Vixen Beer Competition Written by Paul Kruzycki

BursarVixen have been in confidential negotiations with representatives of the Jimkin Bearhugger Distillery at a top secret location between the worlds.

The negotiations started badly with both sides stern-faced and reserved. The reason for the discussions? Beer! But soon, thanks to product samples provided by the Bearhugger negotiators, both sides began to relax.

Inside the distillery of Jimkin Bearhugger the master distiller had been brewing, for many years, a very special beer using whiskey barrels to mature the fine ale and imbue the amber-coloured beer with the aromas and flavour of the famous Bearhugger whiskeys.

Not only does the beer taste fantastic, but at 5.4% ABV it packs quite a punch.

The negotiators for BursarVixen Enterprises don't remember all of the discussions, or how they managed to get from the venue back to Roundworld - but if anyone has the missing clothing, please return it the next time you see us.

Things must have gone well, because along with the remaining samples, we have a supply contract for Jimkin Bearhugger Distillery Beer.

But there was a problem - in the haze of the alcohol-fuelled meeting no one could remember what the beer was called.

So, with casks of this fine brew arriving from Discworld for bottling, we need to find a suitable name for the new beer, in keeping with its heritage. Therefore you, Discworld Monthly readers, have a unique opportunity to make history.

We want the readers of this fine newsletter to make suggestions for the name of our next Discworld Beer, brewed by Jimkin Bearhugger. You can suggest as many names as you like between now and the closing date of June 25th. We will review the suggestions with Terry and the best will be chosen to be the name of the beer.

Send your entries, name and address to and make sure the subject reads "DWM Bearhugger Competition" ONLY.

We will announce the winner in the first issue of Discworld Monthly after the name is confirmed.

The winner of the competition will receive a year's supply of Discworld beer - 6 bottles a month for a year - and their name will appear on the beer's label. They will also receive a specially framed copy of the first label printed, signed by Terry Pratchett, and a box of Discworld goodies.

Jimkin Bearhugger Beer (with its new name) will be available for sale by mail order via our website ( in late July and we will have stocks available for the Clarecraft Discworld Event.

We would also like you to visit our website to view another new product added to the catalogue recently - the "BE MAD IT HELPS" mug was approved by Terry following careful consultation and design by David Wyatt. Inspired by _Going Postal_, the mug is available in Red and Green versions.

There appears to have been an unfortunate incident at the factory during the production of these mugs, with some interesting and rare results. To find out more, you will need to subscribe to the BursarVixen Enterprises newsletter via our website.

We look forward to your name suggestions over the next few days!

Paul Kruzycki
BursarVixen Enterprises

7. Review: Wincanton April Shower 2005

An account by Jason Anthony.

I arrived in Wincanton at around half three in the afternoon on Friday, and was met by a growing crowd of fans in The Cunning Artificer's shop and surrounding hostelries.

After purchasing my first day covers and a few other bits and pieces and spending an enjoyable hour in Bernard's company I adjourned across the road to the Dolphin pub for a pint or two before heading down to the Bear for a pork supper that Bernard had arranged for the early birds. The seating had been randomly allocated by the staff at the Bear. This meant we were seated with people we wouldn't necessarily sit down and have conversations with normally. This proved to be a very enjoyable meal, at least for me; I can't comment on what the other diners thought.

After the meal a Ghost Walk had been organized around Wincanton. Around 20 of us left the Bear and headed up the steep long hill that is Wincanton High Street. Our first stop was outside Bernard's store where our hooded guide read out a small history of a Wincanton ghost. Fortunately the next stop was Uncle Tom's which gave us a chance to procure a pint and some kind of spirit. After which the walk moved unsteadily up the hill. I decided to stop about three quarters of the way up the hill and drink my pint whilst the others walked to the pinnacle of the hill and another ghost story. Once rejoined by the rest of the party we headed back down the hill towards the town centre. I quietly slipped into the welcoming entrance of the Dolphin and let the Ghost Tour continue. Eventually, early in the morning a taxi was booked and we wemt back to the B&B.

Saturday (the main day of the event) started painfully - for some reason I had a horrible headache - must have been something I ate. Feeling a little delicate I decided to pop into Bernard's shop to find out what was planned for the day. The back room of the Dolphin was home to Trevor Truran who was teaching people to play Thud, and also the home of some of the Flatalists who had their Discworld stamps on display. The skittles alley became the temporary home of some of Dave Hayden's pets that included snakes, spiders, millipedes, scorpions, toads and giant hissing cockroaches.

Dave was on hand to let people handle some of the creatures and to provide an educational insight into these amazing animals.

The Sweetman Hall at the Bear was home to Lupine the Wizard who was performing three Magic lectures. These proved to be excellent fun and managed to stop me thinking of my headache.

Lord Hung had also set up in the hall and was producing some amazing origami creatures. He also had some very special Discworld stamps badges for sale.

Later in the day, a couple of stalls were set up and Rob Wilkins and Sandra Kidby sold their excellent Flatalist T-shirts and Ankh-Morpork Post Office Bags. Rob gave me a really special one-off Discworld Monthly T-shirt that he and Sandra had made for me. I quickly changed into the new shirt and wore it proudly for the rest of the day. Terry arrived and the Sweetman Hall suddenly became a book signing venue. Terry was quickly pressed into action signing anything anyone put in front of him.

Whist the signing took place I popped into the local cafe for something to eat. The cafe had taken the whole Discworld theme to heart and had Hublander Curry and Slum Gullet for main courses and strawberry wobblers, for the brave-hearted, for dessert. The Curry and a mug of tea did wonders for my headache and meant I was ready to enjoy the rest of the day more fully.

After the signing session ended there was a Maskerade with some excellent costumes. Dotsie and Sadie were particularly impressive, and an extremely young witch, apparently named Munchkin, melted a few hearts.

Feeling much better for my meal I decided I could start drinking again and spent a couple of hours in the Bear, meeting people of the Discworld stamps forum.

The sausage supper took place at 7:30 and a few people missed the start of it because they were watching Dr Who on the pub television. The meal was really nice and again the company was superb.

After the meal we all converged on the Sweetman Hall that had now become the auction room. The charity that would benefit from the auction was the local health centre that wanted a new special adjustable bed. The auction started off reasonably well, and then Terry purchased a Neil Gaiman novel for 1000 GBP and then put it back into the auction when he realised he already had a copy (after agreeing to still pay the 1000 GBP). After Going Postal the Discworld stamps have gone from strength to strength. Bernard had a very rare blue triangle sport stamp in the auction and to make it even rarer set fire to one of its brothers, much to the shock of all the Flatalists. Eventually the un-burnt stamp was sold for 550GBP. At the end of the auction Terry got up to speak to the crowd. During his speech he took off his hat and immediately people starting bidding on it. Terry asked if anyone would give him 500 GBP for his hat; finally it was sold for 600 GBP. The final charity auction total was 3500 GBP.

Sunday is traditionally a much quieter day with very few activities planned. Steven Dean was still selling some of his incredible Discworld special editions and a meeting of Flatalists took place where new stamps were discussed and future progressions were planned.

Eventually it was time for Bernard to shut up shop and get a few hours sleep. I spent a while making my goodbyes before eventually heading back to the car and the ride home.

I had an excellent weekend and particularly enjoyed making new friends and being able to put faces to names. The Silver Horde web site at has a huge collection of photos taken by several different people at the event.

8. 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: Monstrous Regiment 0552149411/87

Discworld hardback: Going Postal 0385603428/87

Next Discworld hardback (October 2005): Thud! 0385608675/87

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 *

Trixiebell is an alias for which well know character?


What speices of Animal is the Discworld's greatest mathematician?


What was Twoflower's dragon Ninereeds named after?

Ninereeds, his Boss.

What colour are Binky's eyes?


What animals appear on the Ankh Morpork coat of arms?
Two hippopotami and a morepork owl.

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