Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 99: July 2005

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Press Release: Blue Sphere Games
6. Bonsai Trading Competition
7. From The Pen Of The Cunning Artificer
8. Review: The Science of Discworld III - A second opinion.
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 99. It looks like there will soon be some new Discworld games; this time however they will be targeting a new platform. See section 5 for a press release about plans for some new mobile phone games. We look forward to your opinions on this!

Keeping with the theme of Discworld games we have come up with a very special deal with Aurient Traders to provide Thud! sets at an incredible 14.99 GBP + 5.00 GBP P&P (that's less than HALF the normal RRP of 29.99 GBP). In order to take up this deal simply search for "Thud - Discworld Monthly" on eBay. This offer can only last for a limited time so so be sure to take advantage as soon as possible.

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

2. News

The makers of the Troll Bridge Movie, Snowgum Films, have made 10 new work in progress images of Mica (the troll) available in their members section. You need to be a supporter of the film to be able to view the files. To find out how to become a supporter and / or view the images, visit the website at

It appears that the German Discworld Camping Event Wyrdfest has been cancelled this year due to lack of ticket sales. The organisers are planning to arrange a new event for next year. We will keep you updated with any new information.

T-shirts for NULLUS ANXIETAS - The Australian Discworld Convention are on sale now! The T-shirts come in sizes XS-XXL in both black and white backgrounds. They feature the Nullus Anxietas logo (see website Order your t-shirt today and support The Australian Discworld Convention and look stylish at the same time! To order simply email with your name, address, shirt size & colour. Cost 25 AUD (+P&H). Payment options include direct deposit; paymate; paypal; or money order. More details may be given on order. For any other enquiries please email

The Guild of Fans and Disciples apologizes because they have't produced their latest newsletter for members. Elizabeth is getting ready to (finally) move house on July 1st. Normal publishing will return as soon as possible.
If you want to join the Guild or just get in contact you can write to the new Guild Headquarters at Sandy Lane Cottage, Runninton, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 0QN

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] Rotherham Repertory Theatre are presenting Wyrd Sisters on the 5th to 9th July 2005 7.15pm at Rotherham Arts Centre.
All Tickets 5GBP, telephone 01709 823621 or at box office 30 mins before performance if not already sold.

[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] Wyrd Sisters will be performed at The Minnack Theatre in Cornwall Monday 25 July to Friday 29 July 2005. This will be an outside production despite any weather interference. Tickets can be purchased from

[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, UPDATED] Kennet Amateur Theatrical Society will be performing The Truth from 11 to 13 August 2005 at Kennet School, Stoney Lane, Thatcham (off J13 of the M4). Tickets are priced at 7 GBP for adults and 5 GBP for children/OAPs and can be ordered via their website

The sealed-bid auction running from July to the closing night of the show contains some items of interest to Discworld collectors, not least of which is a very rare First Day Cover designed and produced for the show by Bernard Pearson, the Cunning Artificer. Only three envelopes were printed, each subtly different and they contain a signed note from Bernard about their creation and are stamped with an Anhk-Morpork penny black. One of these is being offered in this auction, the second will be sold via eBay later in the year and the third has been put in a private collection. In addition, Clarecrft have donated a retired DW41 Rincewind and Luggage bookend and BursarVixen Enterprises a case of Discworld beer and cider. Check out the KATS website for details on how to bid and for the complete list of lots available.

[UK] Men At Arms will be performed at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, Cornwall, from Monday 15th - Thursday 18th August 2005 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost 8 GBP / 7 GBP concessions (under 16s / students / English Heritage members) and can be purchased direct from the Castle, please call 01326 316594.
Sorry, but there is no wheelchair access.

[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 Germany. 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.

Rozi writes: Hello, I'm a poor student who recently (with the help of a non-Discworld fan my beloved sister) came across two FIRST EDITION HARDBACK COPIES of Soul Music and Equal Rites knocking around in our bookshelf. Both in mint condition (haven't even been read!). I'm asking for 50 GBP for Soul Music and 100 GBP for Equal Rites (prices are negotiable of course). Please help, I have bills to pay and expensive vices to fund (drink, long distance relationship... the usual). Thank you all very much! Just email me and we'll talk business (hem hem). Much appreciated!

DavyK writes: If anyone in Belfast would like to meet to talk about or drink to Terry Pratchett drop me a line and who knows; we could try doing both at the same time. If anyone knows of this happening already then please let me know. Thank you.

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 convert your musings into a no. 1 hit ring tone.
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: "Rob Ward"
Hello to all Discworlders.
I just thought it might be pertinent to mention in response to Jacqui Lawrence (well spotted by the way!) that it might not be the case that any kind of rip-off was being perpetrated; In fact, simply by referencing Pterry, Mr. Feist and Mr. Stirling may have been paying him a compliment. Just think how difficult it is to have a fully cliche-ridden conversation today without quoting Mr. Dickens or a certain William Shakespeare? One day perhaps, a certain T. Pratchett may be included in the same list. Bear in mind that both Dickens and Shakespeare were very fond of quoting contemporary references, and that the Discworld is very much a reflection of today's world, with all of its ridiculous silliness included.
Just remember that every author must draw upon those books and characters previously explored in order to carry on the narrative tradition: L-space is alive and well!

* From: "E & R Shanahan"
We were astounded to be shown a vinyl LP record called Polish House Party Vol. 4 Recorded Live Gene Wisniewski on which the first track on side two is the Sto Lat Polka (Happy Birthday Polka) .
So do any of our Pratchett cognoscenti know about any Polish links that could explain Sto Lat? We have no idea of the date of the record but it has this part of the tech info: "The master record was cut on a specially designed 3-motor Scully precision lathe, equipped with electronic Variable Pitch and Variable Depth contol mechanisms and the Westrex 3D Stereo disc cutting system using Westrex 1574 D Amplifiers. Mixing was done through the Dolby Noise Reduction System from an 8-track recorder..." which would no doubt date it for the tech whizzes.
Eunice and Ron in Queensland

*From: "Charlie" email address removed upon request - February 2020
I apologise if these 'origins' have ever been discussed before, but I found them interesting...
1- Blind Io: Most people with any knowledge of Norse myths will recognise Io's flying eyes as being reminiscent of chief god Odin's ravens, which 'saw' for him after he sacrificed his eyes for ultimate wisdom. However, the name and the eyes come from a separate Roman (and probably also Greek) myth about Jupiter, the Roman head god. As mentioned in Discworld, Gods get up to some pretty naughty things, and Jupiter had regular affairs with mortal women. One of these was Io. However, his wife Juno got a bit suspicious so he turned Io into a cow to avoid discovery. However still suspicious Juno took the cow for herself and got a many-eyed monster to guard it. Jupiter wanted Io back so he killed the monster and rescued Io. Needless to say Juno wasn't pleased.
2- Klatch: The German equivalent of English afternoon tea is 'Kaffee Klatsch', consisting of coffee and cakes. Coffee on Discworld comes from... Klatch (same pronunciation, different language)
3- Llamedos: Call me terminally dense if you will, I only recently realised that the country is 'Sod 'em all' backwards. This is similar to Welsh writer Dylan Thomas' 'Llareggub'. It may or may not be relevant that Spanish for a (telephone) call is 'llamadas'. Probably not I'd say.
I'd also like to take this opportunity that I, a teenage Pratchett fan, am not called Kevin, although I do have acne.

* From: "Lizabeth H"
There has been one thing that's bothered me ever since the first time I read Night Watch, and every successive reading. What is the tune to the "Little Angels" marching song? I'm assuming it's close to / ripped straight from a song British folk would know, but being a hapless American, I'm lost. Can anyone help?
Also, I was re-reading Mort on a three hour bus ride and found what I think is the only instance where anyone has ever called the Librarian a monkey and gotten away unscathed. Alberto Malich manages to get back into life, explodes the statue of himself at the university, and is introduced to the Librarian. He than makes some disparaging comments about "animals in my university", in which he uses the word monkey, and the librarian does not, I repeat does not beat him up.
Did I just hallucinate that, or has the Librarian shown mercy other times as well?

* From: "Eddie Watson"
I am going to be Edinburgh in August for the Edinburgh Tattoo (Playing War and not Mouse Pipes). Is anyone going to be putting on a PTerry play at the Festival? ...Please

* From: "Geoff"
In "Monstrous Regiment", Carborundum uses the expletive (under age people should now look away) groophar. Surely PTerry should have had this printed as g******r.

* From: "John Brassil" john.j.brassil@Vanderbilt.Edu
In an "oh yeahhh" coincidence, I will be in the UK visiting my mother's family in Norwich during this time [The Clarecraft Discworld Event] and it looks very driveable, so I was
a) interested in meeting any of you that might be there
b) if in fact it's something worth doing and
c) my two teenage daughters (who like Terry, but are not as deeply into the Discworld as I am) will put up with it
JA replies: I drove down from Norwich to Clarecraft when I was on holiday a couple of years ago and it took less than two hours. So it is very driveable.

* From: "Cendrine Nugues"
I've just read Darwin's Watch and I agree with the review, it's very hard science, but very well explained.
I just more and more love the wizards, especially Mustrum Ridcully, Ponder Stibbons and the Egregious Professor of Unusual and Cruel Geography. The story in itself makes the book worth buying. As for the science... Well, I'm a scientist and it updated my knowlegde about these parts of science I am not using everyday.
I think that for the non scientists, it may be too hard, even if you've read the other two before.
I really loved the book, except the last 2 even chapters (the scientific ones). These are not science ie the first one is a philosophical theory about man (and I disagree with the authors) and the second one is too congratulatory about the Victorian age in England. I really think that all over Europe and in USA there were people composing new processes, new theories, and not living in England. The authors should leave the history and its implications to the historians.
Another thing: They compare Darwin's evolution theory to the development of the steam engine, but these are two different things. The steam engine is an engineering process, that is application of science to everyday work, whereas Darwin produced a theory, which will be later applied in science.
I would like to know if other people reacted to that book.
DWM Replies: Cendrine get this month's Letter of the Month.

* From:
Re: Matt Turner's post (issue 98) about mentions of TP in Robert Rankin books.
There's one in Nostradamus Ate My Hamster - when Russell is imagining the reviews of Nostradamus Ate My Hamster one of the ones he imagines is " 'Ernest Fudgepacker is one of the rare guys who can always make me cry' Terry Pratchett"

* From: "Z Leah Fischer"
The fun thing about the Discworld books, is that you can always find out new facts about how it mirrors the "real" world. I'd like to share a recent discovery that so far I don't recall having read here before, and that is that the Unseen University actually existed, for a short while. In Neil Stephenson's "Quicksilver", a footnote explains that a forerunner for the 17th century Royal Society was called the "Invisible Collage". The book itself is highly recommended (a historical novel, the first book of the Baroque cycle), and the eccentric scientists and their zany experimentations are certainly reminiscent of Pratchett's wizards. Yet again, the historical background of the Discworld has been revealed.

4. DiscTrivia

This month we have once again racked our brains trying to work out some trivia questions from Going Postal (so if you still haven't read it yet, look away now!). We have even tried to ensure they are correct, but make no promises.
Where were the missing letters from the Post Office sign found?
What is the collective name of the three Clacks Saboteurs?
Adora Belle Dearheart was more affectionally known to her friends as:
a) murderer
b) spike
c) killer
d) puppy
How old (to the nearest millennium) was Moist von Lipwig's eldest employee?
What was Stanley Howler obsessed with before he discovered stamps?

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

5. Press Release: Blue Sphere Games

Birmingham, UK and London, UK - Blue Sphere Games Ltd., a leading developer of mobile games and content, together with Mr. Terry Pratchett, the world famous author of fantasy fiction, announce a worldwide Licence Agreement for the creation of Discworld branded mobile phone games.

The Agreement grants a three-year, worldwide license to Blue Sphere Games for the creation and distribution of mobile games incorporating Rincewind, Twoflower, the Luggage and other characters from the Discworld series of novels.

Blue Sphere Games has the rights for the distribution of mobile games and other forms of content, featuring some of the Discworld's most famous inhabitants, globally on mobile devices. Blue Sphere Games will develop a portfolio of games, the first of which will be available in October 2005.

Colin Smythe, who represents Mr. Pratchett, commented: "This is uncharted territory for us, and we are much looking forward to seeing how this first game, involving Rincewind and the Discworld, is enjoyed by mobile phone users."

David Bozward, Chairman of Blue Sphere Games Ltd says: "The Discworld Novels are some of the most widely read fantasy books in existence. Through development skills and widespread distribution channels, we can bring this fantasy world successfully to the mobile gaming user globally.

More details about Blue Sphere Games Ltd can be found on their website -

6. Bonsai Trading Competition

Bonsai Trading is pleased to announce the long-awaited sequel to its Assassins Guild Tankard - Crystal Champage Flutes.

As holders of the Official Licence to produce Discworld Engraved Glassware, we can't just do any old Champagne Flutes, oh no, that would never do.

These flutes feature a special engraved design, exclusive to Bonsai Trading, that commemorates the Royal Wedding of Verence and Magrat.

Sold in pairs inside a blue, satin-lined box (which features on its lid a silver embossed version of the glass engraving), they are already bound to be on every Discworld Fa'ns wedding list, but it doesn't stop there! Attached to a white ribbon wound around the stem of the glasses is a silver recreation of the Lancre COA (as featured in the engraving design). This miniature COA just happens to double-up as a Lapel Pin/Badge - and is only available to buy with these flutes.

As if that wasn't enough - we are limiting the production of the flutes to just 50 pairs!

For a somewhat stunning price of just 38.99 GBP you get all the above - that's 2 limited edition engraved flutes in a satin lined box, with an exclusive silver lapel pin! Each box also contains a small certificate about the item's limited status.

The flutes aren't officially launched until 4th July, but are available to pre-order now at the Bonsai Trading website (, where you can read and see more about them.

Discworld Monthly readers however have a chance to get hold of a pair of flutes absolutely free by filling in the correct missing word from this statement:

Fortune Favours ________ Hearts

Hint: You may want to visit (, and look at the flutes in the glassware section, and maybe have a root around in the Bonsai Trading forum....

*The flutes boxes are covered with a wrap around label. The flutes for this competition though will have a 1-off label that includes 'Discworld Monthly Competition Winner July 2005' on it!*

Send your answer to by 22nd July. All the correct entries will be placed in a hat, and one lucky winner will receive this rather exclusive prize. The winner will be announced next issue.

7. From The Pen Of The Cunning Artificer

And it has come to pass ...

The Ankh-Morpork Post Office is finished and passed for public consumption by the man who dreamed it up, one Terry Pratchett Esq., Gentleman of many letters, words, and cunning sentences. Its creation was, like all of the buildings really, a journey of discovery. To follow the plot in a sculptured form, and create something as enduring as the words that inspired the piece is a passionate undertaking, and one you know Isobel and I take very seriously, which is why ....

There is a season for everything, and a time. A clever craftsman knows when he is at his best, a good craftsman knows when he can get no better, and a wise craftsman knows when to stop. And I can think of no better building than the Ankh-Morpork Post Office to finish our collection with; after all this building has been the start to something really quite extraordinary. I must confess to the stamps taking more and more of my time, but the fact is the sort of sculpting that a building requires is now something my hands are not going to cope with for much longer, far better to stop at the top than wait for arthritis to really make a difference. So I will be making things that have a looser, freer style and feel, still telling the stories in wax for Vince to make in resins, plaster, and metal. Still seeing in the books the images I want to share, reading the words that captivate my imagination and fire the urge to create a little bit of Discworld you can hold in your hand.

The Ankh-Morpork Post Office will be on sale as from the 1st July and will cost 245 GBP. It will be an edition of 350 of which 200 will be allocated to UU and portfolio holders, and 5 to be exchanged for Green Cabbage Stamps. The remainder will be sold on a first come first served basis.

and of course a plug ...

When Isobel and I read the following after a phone call from Mark Valentine of the British Cinderella Society we knew we just had to take part.

'A must for all aficionados of the Shipping Forecast, Atlantic islands, and the faintly odd...


The lonely Atlantic island of Rockall will get its own Post Office for a few days in June when a charity expedition plans to land on this remote and stormy outpost - and issue special Rockall stamps.

The stamps will be issued for use on the island by the Rockall Ho! 2005 expedition, which is voyaging there in June 2005 from Orkney and plans to stay for several days.

The expedition will be used to raise funds for a charity, Mental Health Media'.

There is a satirical website, the Rockall Times, run by a guy called Lester Haynes, and he and some like minded fools were planning to scale the island in aide of the charity.

I had spoken with a Royal Naval helicopter pilot who had actually put a wheel down on the place, and he said they were all quite mad. This seemed an even better reason to get involved.

Terry came on board and thus we could produce a 'genuine' Discworld Stamp. He suggested Leshp, which in view of the ongoing political shenanigans over Rockall between England, Iceland, and Ireland, seemed very appropriate.

Getting the cover 'right' was a job in itself; it was only when I was able to get a copy of a copy of an old naval chart that it started to come together. I must confess to being very pleased with the finished result thanks in main to Colin Edwards and his demon printers in Ipswich.

As I write this in early June I am aware that Lester and his team are somewhere on the North Atlantic with a bloody great box of envelopes. To order your Rockall First Day Cover, go to the web site.

8. Review: The Science of Discworld III - A second opinion.

Reviewed by Dave Hayden

OK, technically my job title does include the word 'scientist' but I never count myself as a true scientist - I very rarely do anything you'd call 'science'. It does mean, however, that I have an understanding of the basics of science. I was taught - a while ago now, I admit - all the basics you need to do the more interesting experiments (I always like the ones that go 'bang').

All of that means I LOVE THIS BOOK! It follows on from the other Science of the Discworld books and teaches you even more of how our world works.

As I said it was a few years ago that I went through basic science so reading these often forces me to think - which is always good. My next reading challenge is to read all three books consecutively - I think that will help with the odd bits of the science where I had to read it twice to make sure I understood it correctly. The three books (from what I remember of the first two) build up your knowledge of our universe bit by bit, explaining the science as they go. They help you think about how we work and think, how we, and everything else, has evolved, as well as the meaning of the word Theory.

Darwin's Watch takes us through the (surprisingly unlikely) series of events that led to Charles Darwin's voyage and eventual publication of his book. The title itself becomes of interest as you read because another, hypothetical, watch is often used to make you think about the argument that was happening around Darwin's time over 'creationism', evolution and 'intelligent design'.

As always the Wizards get involved (along with others...) and the Discworld side of the story unfolds. This happens in alternate chapters with the science bits in between. This book (or this series of books) has finally enabled me to like Rincewind as a character. In most stories featuring the Discworld's worst Wizzard he seems (to me) to be a useful plot device, which enables the story to move around and get on with itself, but he has had little deliberate influence on anything. In Darwin's Watch I feel he has grown up (evolved) and has some character, doing stuff other than just running. Hooray for Rincewind! Many of the other favourites are there too. Hex is kept busy and seems to be doing his own evolving - I wonder if he uses English style lettering or whether he works in a world of Discworldian ciphers (cipher-space)?

The Science parts take you through lots of 'Physics' as well as evolution and the wizards end up fighting to save our future/ present/ past. It covers the creationist / evolutionist argument without compromise and helps explain infinity (how big is yours?) The book explains the science basics well so that (I think) anyone can understand the harder science if they want to. It is more 'work' than the normal Discworld romp, with fewer laughs, but the writer is in three minds about it himself! If you've got an enquiring mind this (and the other Science books) makes a really good read and will teach most people (including me) lots about our world.

I know people will disagree with me on all sorts of things, that is the joy of freedom of thought. I've chatted with a few Discworld friends who are less science based, and more than one has said that they skip the science chapters (I think that's weird). The science is the best bit! And I have a good friend who totally disagrees with me about Rincewind. That's one of my favourite side-effects from a good book - you end up talking and thinking about all kinds of unrelated stuff that got linked somehow in someone's head!

The 'Science' books have prompted me to read other stuff by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart too - if you like the science bits of this book, go to the front and put everything under "Also by" on your Birthday list! I don't think I have to tell anyone who reads this newsletter about the books by the other fellow - if you haven't read them all then give 'em a go.

9. The End

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* 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 *

Where were the missing letters from the Post Office sign found?
Hugos (without the apostrophe) - the hairdressers.
What is the collective name of the three Clacks Saboteurs?
The Smoking Gnu
Adora Belle Dearheart was more affectionally known to her friends as:
c) killer
How old (to the nearest millennium) was Moist von Lipwig's eldest employee?
What was Stanley Howler obsessed with before he discovered stamps?

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