Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 100: August 2005

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. SteelPan "Discworld" Charity CD
6. Bonsai Trading Competition
7. Preview: Lords and Ladies - Live Action Fan Movie
8. Who's Who: Gaspode the Wonder Dog
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 100. Yep, that's right, we've made it to our 100th issue. Currently I am looking forward to the Clarecraft weekend at the end of July. A review should make it into next month's issue.

Last month we announced we had come up with a very special deal on Thud! gamers' sets. Apparently there are now less than 20 sets left so make sure that you snap up your copy today. Each set cost 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.

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

2. News

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) have commissioned award-wining independent Childsplay Television to produce a three-part version of Johnny and the Bomb. Starring George MacKay as Johnny, Zoe Wanamaker as Mrs Tachyon, Frank Finlay as Johnny's Grandad and Keith Barron as the mysterious Sir Walter. Shooting begins late August 205 for transmission early in 2006.
Look out soon for

New from Colin Smythe (Terry's agent):

I've just got The Bookseller's Pocket Yearbook for 2005 which provides book statistics for 2003. Of the Top Fiction Authors in hardback, Terry came second with 3.4% of the sales and 3.8% of the value, after J.K.Rowling (who got 6.0% and 5.6% respectively)

In the paperbacks, Terry came fifth (after James Patterson, Alexander McCall Smith, John Grisham and J.R.R.Tolkien - in that order) with 1.2% of the sales and 1.3% of the value - James Patterson got 1.9% of sales and 1.7% of the value).

Terry was therefore ahead of Stephen King in both hardcover (by quite a lot) and paperback sales (just).

In the US, HarperCollins will be publishing Terry's companion book to THUD!, called WHERE'S MY COW. As none of the diaries and related Discworld publications have ever been published as yet in the US, I am naturally interested to see how popular it will be.

A short story by Terry appeared in the 13 May issue of The Times Higher Education Supplement (pages 16-17). It was headed "A COLLEGIATE CASTING-OUT OF DEVILISH DEVICES. Wizards at Terry Pratchett's Unseen University can fight black magic, but can they withstand the grey array of targets, inspections and research assessments?"

For those who have not seen the July issue of LOCUS, "A Hat Full of Sky" is winner of the Young Adult Novel category of the 2005 awards.

Goldmann (German), Talpress (Czech) and Proszynski (Polish) are going to publish 'The Art of Discworld'.

Conrad (Brazil) are to publish 'Moving Pictures' and the un-illustrated version of 'Eric'.

Pocket have bought French mass-market paperback rights to 'Feet of Clay' and 'Hogfather'.

De Boekerij (Dutch) are to publish two double volumes - 'Equal Rites' with 'Mort', and 'Sourcery' with 'Wyrd Sisters'.

Wahlstroms are to publish a Swedish edition of 'Jingo'.

'The Colour of Magic' and 'The Light Fantastic' are going to be published on mainland China by Science Fiction World Magazines.

I've just received copies of the Russian language edition of 'Johnny and the Bomb', published by Eksmo/Domuho. They've already published 'Only You Can Save Mankind' but I don't yet have a date for 'Johnny and the Dead'.

Imperial College Union Dramatic Society will be performing Maskerade at this year's Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Catskind has been in contact to let us know that there are 2 cars going from Germany (from Russelsheim and Dusseldorf) to Wadfest in September. There are places left in both cars.
If you live near either of these locations and would like a lift, contact and I'll pass on your details.

A new German Discworld event is being planned for September 2006 located in a real castle. Currently the organisers are arranging prices for guests to stay in the castle during the event. More details (in German) can be found at

Calling all Discworld Convention 1996 attendees...
Back in the dim and distant past, when the first Convention was held in Manchester, this picture was taken:

It features Terry with Stephen Briggs (2nd from right), Graham Higgins (far left), Stephen Player (2nd from left) and Colin Smythe (far right) on the evening of the Gala Dinner. (Terry isn't always quite that formal in his attire!)

Karen & Paul Kruzycki have been asked, as the culprits for the first Discworld Convention, to trace who took this photograph, because a publisher is interested in using it. Thus, like a much cuddlier Crimewatch, we are seeking information leading to the identity of the photographer. From the look of things, the picture was taken outside the venue.

So, can you help? If so, there may well be some Discworld beer in it for you... :o)

Please send us an e-mail with any information you have - however small to

Many thanks in advance.

Terry will be speaking at the Witchfest International, the largest witchcraft festival in Europe. The event is held in Croydon, Surrey on November 5th 2005 by a witchcraft organisation called the Children of Artemis.

The event is being held from 10.00am until 12 midnight at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, about 5mins walk from East Croydon station.

It covers a massive area with loads of traders stalls for all your consumer needs. Non-stop talks and workshops, beautiful sensual bellydancer Galatea. Morris dancers and the Knights of Artemis. Most Haunted's David Wells, Professor Ronald Hutton, and witch authors such as Kate West, Cassandra Eason, Kala Trobe and much more.

Bands in the evening include: Mediaeval Baebes, Incubus Sukkubus, NFD and Kitty Hudson, Daughters of Elvin, Martyn Wheeler harpist. Also there's a goth, rock and alternative club The Witching Hour.

Special offer price advance tickets before Thursday 1 September 2005 - 13 GBP for Children of Artemis members, and 18 GBP for non-members.

See for details and tickets

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] 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 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, Clarecraft 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

[UK, NEW] Lords and Ladies will be performed by the Exit Theatre Company from the 15th-17th September at 8pm with a Matinee Sat. 17th Sept. at 2pm at the Croydon Clocktower, Braithwaite Hall, Katharine Street, Central Croydon CR9 1ET

Tickets: 8 GBP / 5.50 GBP concs. available from the Clocktower Box office on: 020 8253 1030

More information is available at

[AU, UPDATED] Nullus Anxietas, the Australian Discworld Convention for 2007, is starting to pick up steam. If you're interested in purchasing a membership or a T-shirt, or offering to help us, or even just looking for an update on the proceedings, check out the website 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.

Bas Batenburg writes: Do you know anything about the philips cd-i (compact disc interactive) version of Discworld? This is a title which has been produced by Teeny Weeny Games in the nineties, but it has never been released. I'm eagerly looking for some more information about this.

Maggie Wilde writes: If anyone needs a tent for CCDE or Wadfest I am selling a Gelert Cadiz 5. Used only 4 times, weekends only. (Not Glastonbury I hasten to add!) It sleeps up to 5 and is head height. 50 GBP (almost half rrp) but for another tenner I will throw in a double airbed and two new sleeping bags. Tameside, Gr M/C. Tel: 01457 837784 eves, 01457 832726 days or email me.

Duncan Wilkinson writes: I can't find Stokes Stuff on the web anymore which used to sell Discworld jewellery (amongst other stuff). Does anyone know whether you can still buy these things from anywhere ? or does anyone have any they would be prepared to sell ? Reasonable prices paid.
Specifically looking for the deaths head pendant or cufflinks but interested in most of the Discworld items.

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 your details to the Harry Potter fan club!

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: "Tommie Lee"
For my 35th birthday, my very cool parents ordered me a copy of Once More* with footnotes. It's phenomenal. For those who haven't yet discovered the collection... get to that website and get one.

* From: "Nicole Matatko"
At the end of "Monstrous Regiment", Vimes wants to say "I am a Borogravian" in the local language but mispronounces it and instead says "I'm a cherry pancake". Is it just me or are other German-speaking Pratchett-fans also reminded of John F. Kennedy's famous speech in Berlin in which he says: "Ich bin ein Berliner."? This can either be an inhabitant of Berlin or a kind of doughnut (without the hole and filled with jam).

* From: "Geoff Stuttard"
I saw this story about B S Johnson and thought not Bloody Stupid Johnson surely!
Source: Associated Press WorldStream

A biography of iconoclastic British writer B.S. Johnson won Britain's richest prize for non-fiction on Tuesday.

The work by British writer Jonathan Coe was named winner of the 30,000 pound Samuel Johnson Prize.

London-born B.S. Johnson committed suicide in 1973 after becoming increasingly paranoid and beset by money worries.

Johnson had believed it was his mission to reinvigorate the novel, and his literary innovations included cutting holes through his books pages, producing unbound chapters which could be read in any order and using pages shaded from grey to black to communicate the experience of a character's heart attack.

Coe, who previously has written biographies of Humphrey Bogart and James Stewart and is also an award-winning novelist, adopts some of Johnson's experimental style in his biography.

* From: "Dave Nicholson"
Discworld: We have Klatchian Curries. We have the Nac Mac Feegles (pictsies och aye) with their resident Gonagle (I take it all the fans will have read William MacGonagle.) We have the Fangs Tangs Hongs and MacSweeneys (?) in the Agatean Empire. We have Igors, vampires, werewolves, dead rites activists and dwarves. We have imps and fairies. We have elves (nasty). We have talking dogs, cats, rats, kangaroos and ravens. Here be dragons! But why are there no leprechauns on Discworld? Is deliberate antipaddyitis? Though I suppose little green men sitting on shamrock and granting "tree" wishes is rather stretching the imagination.
Nobody would believe it. No. Forget it. Stupid idea.

* From: "Pete Hartman"
I'd just as soon play games on my phone as I would shoot rabbits with a tuba.
DWM replies: What kind of ammunition do you use with a tuba?

* From: "Billy from Bulgaria"
I firstly visited the web site and I read some of your things. It's interesting to see what you are thinking, knowing that there is someone whose thoughts are just like mine. I would like to turn your attention on Lord Vetinari's personage. I think it's not finished, but there is something familiar to me - don't you think he is the literature equal to some of the today's politicians? What do you think about?

* From: "Alex LS"
In Polish, "Sto" = 100 and 'lat' = years. The song "Sto lat" is traditionally sung at birthdays and other celebrations, in the same way "Happy Birthday" is sung in many English-speaking countries, and essentially wishes that the target will live for 100 years.

* From: "Greetz Sander van Straeten"
While browsing the net I stumbled across Brickish: a UK based LEGO-fan society. On this page
I found the picture [of a horse similar to the one described in The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky - Ed]. How about that ey?

* From: "Jedi Princess"
I always thought that Uberwald was the Discworld's equivalent of Germany.... not Klatch. Is it?

* From: "y k"
I recently purchased the Monty Python series' DVD set and been watching the episodes for the first time. When I reached episode 10 I found something that immediately reminded me of something I already know; there was a job interview for a librarian job and the interviewee that entered the room was an ape-like creature, my guess was that it's an orangutan (wouldn't u guess the same way?). Disappointment arrived when they announced him a gorilla.
But I guess it's still close enough right?

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

4. DiscTrivia

This month Edgewood Smith has come up with some trivia questions about animals.

What bird is associated with Patina, Goddess of Wisdom, in Ephebe? (Small Gods)
a) A morpork
b) An emu
c) A penguin
d) A pigeon
Name two of the non-dog animals that were brought to the Ankh-Morpork Times to claim the Lost Dog reward? (The Truth)
According to Gaspode, what, or who, would be "...three sets of fur gloves an' Crispy Fried No. 27 at the nearest Klatchian all-night carry-out" if they set "foot" in some streets in Ankh-Morpork? (Moving Pictures)
Who was the second of the Changelings to enter the rat coursing pit (briefly)? (TAMAHER)
What kind of scubbo did the Monstrous Regiment encounter first? (Monstrous Regiment)

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

5. SteelPan "Discworld" Charity CD

Written by Techno Fairy...

This CD is the fruit of the most joyful production process with which I have had the pleasure to be involved. This is because it has enabled me to bring together two of my greatest passions: music, and more specifically, steelpan music, and Terry Pratchett's Discworld.

I have it on good authority that Mr Pratchett is somewhat of a fan of They Might Be Giants, and have heard that my sixth formers' performance of "Birdhouse In Your Soul" as a steelpan trio is a frequent aural accompaniment to the Pratchett morning routine. At the 2004 Discworld Convention the great man singled out "Electric Dreams" as being surprisingly effective on pan. Mr Briggs, however, is more conservative in his pan repertoire preferences - having asked me whether it would be possible for me to perform "Island In The Sun". As I am not particularly fond of this style of music, I have sandwiched it, along with "Jamaica Farewell", between two other traditional dances - "Petrol", a Trinidadian Paseo, and "Fred Pigeon's Polka" a traditional English melody, in the manner of sweetening a bitter pill. Finally, I have added one piece for myself, a Soca piece from the 2001 Trinidad carnival - "Fire and Steel".

The primary motivation for the production of this CD however, was, a more personal one. I was deeply moved to learn of the untimely deaths of two members of the Studio Theatre Club - Stephen Briggs's amateur dramatic company who produce the premieres of Stephen's dramatisations of the Discworld books. Both Keith Franklin - who played Colon - and Trev Collins - who I will never forget in his masterful performance as Vimes in "Fifth Elephant" - sadly succumbed to cancer. Cancer has struck several times at the heart of my own family, too, so I resolved to try and raise a little money for Cancer Bacup, a charity which provides support and information for those living with cancer - and their families and carers. Ian Dury, a fellow musician whom I admire greatly, supported this charity during his lifetime. Therefore, one pound from the sale of each CD will be donated to Bacup. Receipts will be published on

This is all fully approved and endorsed by Mr P. and Mr B.

The CD's official launch will be at the CCDE, but I aim to sell as many copies as possible throughout the world. You can view the artwork, and purchase the CD via Paypal, by visiting

6. Bonsai Trading Competition Results

Last month Bonsai Trading gave you a chance to win a very special one-off box set of a pair of Crystal Champagne Flutes.

All you needed to do to enter the competition was email me the missing word from the following statement:

Fortune Favours ________ Hearts

The answer we were looking for was Foolish [how cynical - Ed].

The randomly selected winner of the Flutes is Justin Thompson of Solihull, England.

If you were not this month's luck winner, you might want to get to Bonsai Trading's website quickly as I understand the Flutes are selling really fast. More details at

7. Preview: Lords and Ladies - Live Action Fan Movie

Written by Jason Anthony.

A group of highly dedicated German Discworld fans have been busy making the first ever feature length live action Discworld movie - "Lords and Ladies".

I recently received a very early copy of the movie (currently only playable on PC) which still includes a temporary soundtrack and by the directors own admission still needs some editing.

As the film was made in Germany it features a German soundtrack but luckily for me it also includes English subtitles.

At the moment the running time of the film is just over 3 hours long which puts it on par with the cinema releases of the Lords of the Rings film adaptations - although possibly with slightly lower production values.

Due to the lateness of receiving the film and limited time I have only been able to view the first 40 minutes or so of the film, so I will refrain from being too critical until I have had a chance to watch the whole thing. Expect a more in-depth review next month.

Anyone who has been to any of the recent Discworld events will recognise a couple of cameo appearances in the movie. Kevin Clarke appears as Cohen (in a scene that was filmed at Wadfest last year) and Dave Hodges plays his Discworld alter ego Hodgesarrgh (again filmed at Wadfest).

The finished DVD will apparently include a fifteen-minute introduction to the Discworld and more specifically to the witches to help non-Discworld fans get up to speed with the story.

The only criticism I will make of the film now is that the actresses playing Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are far too young. They barely look out of their teens - but I guess this is one of the limitations of having such a tight budget. I also love the fact that the librarian is so obviously a man in a mask (one that doesn't fit too well) as this really adds to the atmosphere of the film that hopefully doesn't take itself too seriously. Having looked through some of the chapter names I can't wait to watch the rest of the film.

8. Who's Who: Gaspode the Wonder Dog

Written by William Barnett.

Gaspode first puts in an appearance in Moving Pictures. He is a streetwise realist, well aware that a small, scruffy, smelly mongrel shouldn't expect much in the way of sympathy from the world. Along with a number of other animals, he develops the powers of speech, 'abstract conceptualizing' and 'intellectual development' as a result of the magic of Holy Wood.

In Moving Pictures he's tormented by dreams of saving the day or rescuing children from danger. This is the effect of Holy Wood but unfortunately Gaspode is not the ideal choice for superstardom in the 'clicks'. To Gaspode's relief, though, he loses his unusual powers when Holy Wood is finally contained - and, as far as the reader is aware, returns to his doggy existence on the streets of Ankh-Morpork.

Like a number of Discworld characters, Gaspode proved too good to leave in the pages of one book. He crops up again in Men At Arms when it emerges that, due to sleeping near the High Energy Magic Building at Unseen University, his powers of speech and intellect have returned. He assists the Watch with their investigation and, in the process, falls for Angua, but for some reason his feelings are not reciprocated.

Gaspode's finest moment to date, though, has been his role in uncovering the plot to depose the Patrician in The Truth. He acts as interpreter for Wuffles, Vetinari's dog, in order to pass information to the papers. To protect Wuffles and himself, Gaspode uses the alias Deep Bone - one of those gags that reminds me why I became a fan of Terry's books. Gaspode has become fairly firmly ensconced with the Beggars in The Truth, generally acting as the brains of the outfit. In addition, he shares a similar standard of cleanliness, and the beggars' distinctive grasp of reality means that they're not particularly troubled by Gaspode's ability to talk.

As a reward for his efforts in Men At Arms, Gaspode was given a home with a family in 'one of the nicer areas of Ankh, with a spacious garden with a children's treehouse in it and, quite probably, a warm spot by the fire.' He legs it, though, and returns to his vagabond existence with relief. Despite his complaints, Gaspode is most at home on the streets of Ankh-Morpork, depending on his own wits to feed himself and, from time to time, get away with black pudding from the kitchens of the Assassins' Guild on a Wednesday night.

Despite his human attributes, Gaspode has retained his phenomenal sense of smell. He's used this to good effect to save the day on several occasions, ironically filling the role of the heroic dog that he claims to despise. In fact, this is characteristic of Gaspode: despite his cynicism he's fundamentally a good dog - even if he doesn't like to admit it.

9. 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 *

What bird is associated with Patina, Goddess of Wisdom, in Ephebe? (Small Gods)

C, penguin.

Name two of the non-dog animals that were brought to the Ankh-Morpork Times to claim the Lost Dog reward? (The Truth)

Badger, ferret, cow, (cat and bird where implied but not mentioned directly)

According to Gaspode, what, or who, would be "...three sets of fur gloves an' Crispy Fried No. 27 at the nearest Klatchian all-night carry-out" if they set "foot" in some streets in Ankh-Morpork? (Moving Pictures)

Laddie the wonder dog

Who was the second of the Changelings to enter the rat coursing pit (briefly)? (TAMAHER)


What kind of scubbo did the Monstrous Regiment encounter first? (Monstrous Regiment)

Horse Scubbo

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