Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 103: November 2005

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Preview: Koom Valley Thud
6. Competitions
7. Discworld Beers
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 103. It appears that Transworld were a bit uncertain about the reason for Terry's recent signing tour cancellation. Had it been a virus, I suspect Terry would have struggled on, but he had an apparent angina attack on Wednesday morning, and was two days in hospital in Dublin for observation and an angiogram before being allowed out to return home on Friday.

Rob Wilkins (Terry's PA) was dispatched on Friday to bring Terry home, and just managed to get him back in time to celebrate Terry's wife Lyn's birthday.

Last month we included a letter about a Giant Tortoise Sanctuary which apparently caused quite a lot of interest. Please note that tortoises hibernate for winter so if you were planning a visit to the sanctuary it would be advisable to check first on the web site to make sure the place is open. Details at

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Board Game Geek)

2. News

Terry was recently interviewed on RTE Radio 1 in Ireland. A recording of the interview was available (at the time of writing) on their website at

Terry was interviewed in the US for Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction - an access television program produced in Arlington, Virginia. The interview can be found at

News from Colin Smythe: This week's issue of The Bookseller reports that sales of THUD! in the UK for the week ending 1st October amounted to 36,424 copies, the biggest weekly hardcover sale of the year behind Harry Potter on the original fiction list. This is some 13,000 copies more than his last list topper Going Postal, and is more than the sales of all the next 13 titles in the top 20 put together.

News from BursarVixen: Regular readers of Discworld Monthly will recall that we recently ran a competition via DWM to find the name for one of our new beers. We were overwhelmed with many entries to the competition and when the closing date had passed, sat down to find a winner.

We have only just recovered!!

Unfortunately, some readers decided that the machine gun approach was the best course of action when entering the competition and so we had many entries listing every Discworld character and adding the word "Ale" or "Beer" to the end, which isn't *really* what we were looking for. We also had some very creative names, that would look great on beer bottles, but none really gave the right feel or would sit happily on Discworld. Terry is very keen for the beer we produce to have an authentic feel, and the names have to be carefully chosen.

Then there were the entries from people who might have misunderstood the idea of the competition... I won't name and shame, but thank you all for the entertaining hours spent trying to discover the hidden meaning in your entries.

Because we were not able to choose the name of the beer from any of the entries we have decided to award a special prize to the person who sent in the strangest one.

The winner of this prize is Ellen Potter who sent us a long and detailed entry consisting of a beer name beginning with each letter of the alphabet, but which contains no words associated with Discworld whatsoever. We hope Ellen enjoys her prize, but we would ask her to seek professional help at the earliest possible opportunity.

We eventually decided on the name 'Jimkin Bearhugger's Invalid's Restorative' for the beer, in the fine tradition of Victorian tonics purporting to cure all sorts of ills. In true Discworld fashion, Bearhugger's Invalid's Restorative makes some amazing claims.

Bearhugger's, and all the other Discworld Beers and Ciders, are available online from our Website located at

Bursar Vixen Discworld Beer Festival 2005

In conjunction with the Hogswatch event in Wincanton, organized by the Cunning Artificer, we are delighted to announce the first Discworld Beer Festival. BursarVixen Enterprises and the Heart of Wessex branch of CAMRA are holding the festival in the Wincanton Sports Pavilion and, as well as the Discworld Beers, there will be a selection of Real Ales from selected local breweries.

We are also hoping to launch two new Discworld Beers - A Stout (dark beer) and a Porter. One hails from Borogravia and the other from Zlobenia; we have yet to find out the names as they are classified as military secrets and, as such, are Top Secret. We have agents working inside both governments and as soon as we know, you will!

The beers are spectacular - we have tasted samples smuggled from both countries and their flavour is almost enough to make you want to join up.

Festival Details:

Tickets: 5.00 GBP each, available from The ticket cost gets you admission to both days of the Festival and a free souvenir glass featuring the Festival's logo.

Venue: The Maddocks Pavilion, Wincanton Sports Ground, Moor Lane, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 9EJ.

Time: 11.00am - 11.00pm Saturday 3rd, 11.00am - 10.30pm Sunday 4th December.

Paul Kruzycki
BursarVixen Enterprises

Barbara Bonnette has written a summary of Terry's recent visit to the Cheltenham Festival at

Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.

[AU, NEW] Burnside Players Inc willl present Lords and Ladies on November 3-5 and 9-12 at 8pm, November 6 at 6pm and November 12 at 2pm. Venue - Goodwood Institute (formerly the Mayfair Theatre) 166a Goodwood Road, Goodwood, SA.
Tickets - Adults 16 AUD, Concession 12 AUD - special group rates available.
Bookings - BASS (131246) or Burnside Players on 0500 520 105 or visit our website at

[UK] Maskerade will be performed by St.Julians School, Newport, Gwent on 8th, 9th and 10th November 2005. Tickets 5 GBP or 3 GBP concession. Tickets from 01633 224490

[UK] Alton Operatic & Dramatic Society (AODS) are performing Guards, Guards on 10th - 12th November at the Alton Assembly Rooms, High Street, Alton, Hampshire. Tickets cost 7.00 GBP & 6.00 GBP (with concessions). The Box Office is Newbury Building Society, High Street, Alton. Tel: 01420 84275. The Box Office is open from 10th October. or phone Tony Samuel on 01420 88038. See the AODS web page, for further details.

[NZ, NEW] Wyrd Sisters will be produced by Mana Little Theatre, Plimmerton, New Zealand on 23 November through to 3 December. Tickets 15 NZD. Concessions 10 NDZ. Block bookings price on application. The theatre is small so hurry hurry hurry. Book your seat by phoning 04 233-1842

[UK] RoCo Dramatic Society will be performing Wyrd Sisters on the 24th, 25th and 26th November at The Church Hall, St Andrews Church, Shaftesbury Ave, Roundhay, Leeds, times to be announced.

More information on the RoCo Dramatic Society can be found at

[UK, NEW] Chelmsford Theatre Workshop will be performing Maskerade this Christmas, from 20th to 24th and 27th to 31st December, all at 7.45 pm (except for the 24th, which is a 2.00 pm matinee only). The venue is The Old Court Theatre, 233 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex (opposite the prison), and tickets for 6 GBP (5 GBP concessions, from Tuesday to Thursday) are now available from the Civic Theatre Box Office on 01245 606505. Further details can be found at

[UK] Behind The Mask - Discworld Convention 2006. A glorious four-day weekend where fans of Terry Pratchett can get together, relax, enjoy each other's company, meet Terry and the other guests, attend some (or many) of the scores of programme events, and generally Have A Good Time...

Location: Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK

Guest of Honour: Terry Pratchett

Other Guests: Stephen Briggs, Bernard Pearson, Trevor Truran, Colin Smythe, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen, Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, David Langford, Lionel Fanthorpe

Membership: Full attending 50GBP
Concessions: 35GBP
Supporting: 20GBP
Child: Free

Contact: Discworld Convention 2006, P.O. Box 102, Royston, Herts, SG8 7ZJ, UK

Accommodation: Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK



[AU, Updated] Nullus Anxietas: The Australian Discworld Convention, Melbourne 2007 - Two months left until membership prices rise! Also, anyone who signs up before the deadline (the end of the year) will go into the running for the first print of our next painting. More details are available on our site -

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.

Phillip Witchard writes: Available for sale or swap. Terry Pratchett's Discworld computer game, worth $125, will sell for 45 AUD via palpay plus postage [sorry can't list postage costs as it depends on country it is going to - email with Discworld in sub heading and country in body of email for price] or will swap for another item of interest, each person paying their own postage so no money exchanges hands. Warning: I have all the Terry Pratchett books. However I have a real love of Binky if anyone has posters etc. Will consider anything though so email what you have. Game is still new in box, with manuals etc as bought, played once for 2 days straight and owner has now moved onto x-box. Nothing wrong with game or disc.

Dave Rix writes: A few years ago Stephen Briggs produced some Discworld ties, with a picture of Great A'Tuin on and the words "The Turtle Moves" (I think) along the edge. Does anyone have one of these ties that they would be willing to sell or know where I can get hold of one?

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 or alternatively use them as firelighters.

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: "T Lee"
Oh WOW...Depp and Williams. I can see how that would work.

I'm not in favour of any of PTerry's novels being made into films... at least not the Discworld stuff. Partially, because no movie could be as good as the one that played in my head while I was reading the original. And partially, because there are far too many arguments against starting at the beginning of the series, or at any other stop along the path of the 30+ novels.

It would be nearly impossible to make one film that even the majority of the fans would enjoy. It would be equally difficult to give all the newcomers the urge to read the rest of the books. We're talking about four distinct groups of main characters. Somebody's gonna get short-shrifted, even if you manage a sequel.

Doing a one-off book, like Small Gods or Pyramids might work... but the fans would bitch and moan because those books, though fantastic, don't really represent the Disc as well as the others do.

Frankly, I'd rather not read the grumblings of other L-Spacers out there by seeing a movie made on A'Tuin's back. When I want to see the movie... I'll just pick the book back up.

But I would go see Good Omens in a heartbeat. Strata, Dark Side... even The Carpet People. And perhaps... once I've finally read them... I'd do the same for the Bromeliad or the Johnnys.

And I can't think of anyone better than Gilliam. Tim Burton would totally screw them up...

Someone wealthy needs to step in and make sure this movie happens.

RM replies: I was with you right up the 'But ...' bit.

* From: "Spiegel"
By a strange coincidence, at the same time Thud was released in XXXX, I happened to be reading a history of the Zulu Wars by Saul David, in which there is a reproduction of a small part of Adolphe Yvon's painting of the "Battle of Ulundi". The work is almost 8 meters long and was intended to be viewed on a curved surface, giving the viewer an all round panorama! Could this have been the inspiration for Rascal's "Battle of Koom Valley"?

* From: "B W"
I'm sure every Discworld reader has had one of those situations where something from the books burrows into your head only to be revealed as a great joke months or years later. I caught one of those in-jokes from Jingo recently, and thought I'd share it.

The ship is called the 'Milka'. Fair enough. I hadn't even realised there was a joke going on. But now consider the ships that Chris Columbus sailed to the New World in. 'Nina', 'Pinta' and 'Santa Maria'. Take the name 'Pinta'. Put it next to the 'Milka'.

* From: "Rosie"
Living in the US on the West Coast I didn't think I would be able to meet PTerry. So I was very glad to see in last month's issue that he was doing a US signing tour to promote Thud! The closest location to me was Vancouver WA. On a day that I was going to be going home (to Oregon) from Anacortes WA (Northern WA). So I left my family get together early and took off down the interstate to hear PTerry speak and get my copy of Thud! signed. I was not disappointed, his dry sense of humour and wit shown, the crowd of 50 or so people laughed and smiled at his anecdotes. I was very glad to hear that the next book is the third Tiffany Aching, he is working on it while on the signing tour. He also said that the book following would be the first Discworld soccer (football, he was speaking to an American crowd) book and the last. Apparently the staff from UU get involved in the game, and guess who the goalie is?

OOOK! I really enjoyed meeting the other Discworlders, we are scarce or at least rare on this side of the pond. I'm not far into Thud! and of course am enjoying it. I was able to look through a copy of Where's My Cow?, PTerry said the illustrator was wonderful and had drawn Vimes as he had always pictured him. I met at least one other reader of Discworld Monthly at the event and hope to hear from more of you on the West coast.

* From: "Rachel Hayward"
Many thanks for the recent edition of DWM which I have just received. However I would like to reply to one of your reader's letters [the one that compares A Hat Full Of Sky with Harry Potter. - Ed]

Could I suggest, that, unless this letter has been heavily edited, this second comment is rather un-illuminating. I am intrigued to know in what ways the author considers "A Hat Full Of Sky" to be similar to Harry Potter? Personally I found the book to be one of Terry's darkest and most enigmatic books, with very little in the way of lightness, and typical teenage behaviour (the over-emphasis on snogging in the recent tomes, for example) which for me characterise the Potter series. Tiffany is constantly being told, and discovers for herself through her own mistakes, that magical ability should not be used lightly and nowhere in the DW canon do you find the practitioners of magic using their art in the manner of a parlour trick, whereas in Rowling's books, magic is simply a shortcut in housework, cooking, transport or any other need which the witches and wizards might have. In Pratchett, the nature of evil is more realistic and complex than Rowling, who has simply created a character (Voldemort) who embodies irredeemable evil. For example, the Hiver is not evil, it simply does not know how to be itself, so assumes other creature's attributes. Tiffany does not defeat it in a battle, she releases it to what it always wanted - oblivion.

"A Hat Full Of Sky" is one of my favourite Pratchett books, but I would not have said it was particularly "fun". It is full of young life, death, examinations of the nature of friendship, loyalty, duty, important lessons hard learnt, and the traumas of growing up, together with a love of language. It reminds me more of "A Wizard Of Earthsea" by the very serious Ursula Le Guin.

This kind of comment may be appropriate to begin a thread on a forum or newsgroup, but is annoyingly unrewarding when published in a monthly newsletter. Unless, of course, the object was to provoke longer and more developed responses like mine, here!

All the very best...

DWM replies: We can assure you that this letter was not heavily edited. We sometimes like to include letters that challenge.

* From: "Samuel Croft"
In America Pratchett fans are very elusive. I have never met any other fans with the exception of my immediate family. With that in mind I went to the book store to buy Thud. They didn't have any on the shelves so I got in line to order a copy when lo and behold the guy in front of me asks for Terry Pratchett's book. However he doesn't know the name of it. I pipe up and tell him and the clerk the name of the book, the date it was supposed to be out and all about the companion book Where's my Cow and its release date. This guy still wouldn't talk to me. Nothing. I was dying to talk to him. My family says it's because I acted like a big geek in the store and was practically stalking him. I don't think I was. Although he did write down his address on a piece of paper and slid it across the counter to the clerk so I wouldn't know where he lives. Are the American fans having secret meetings and I'm not invited? The biggest Discworld geek on the east coast - K.W. Croft

DWM replies: You don't know about the secret meetings? Samuel gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: "Matthia Lariviere"
I live in the Discworldly Devoid Province, otherwise known as BC, in Canada. We have, literally, nothing Discworldy but paperbacks and the odd hardcover out here, and for the ardent Pratchett fan that just isn't good enough. So to remedy this problem, I sent away a (for me at least) ridiculously large amount of money to purchase the first three volumes in the Unseen Library collection (all in AS NEW condition, never been opened....*sigh). Oh, I was mocked by my boyfriend, laughed at by my friends, but any sum was worth that reward.

Now, 9 months later, I am without my precious books, without my precious money, and left with a completely dejected view of (I'm sorry but really this has so far been my only experience) UK booksellers. I ordered the books from a respected website that I know very well, work with actually, and my books were 'lost in the mail.'

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you order books (or anything really special to you) don't be as stupid as me and make you have insurance, and tracking numbers, and shell out for Airmail. Trust me, this has been the single most disappointing experience of my life.

* From: "Cynthia M Games"
I just wanted to share a bright little moment with you. Today I picked up my long-awaited copy of "Where's my Cow?" from a local bookshop that, among other things, has a great reputation for providing excellent service re: children's books. They have a reading corner and a dance studio upstairs etc.. So I walk in and announce that I've come to collect my book and the lady who serves me gets it out, looks at it with great interest and keeps holding it while she announces "what a lovely book!". I can just tell she's reading the "librarian's award" bit and is going to ask me how old my child is.... eventually, I have to take pity on her and explain that "it's not a book for children, it's a book about adults who read to children". One disappointed children's booklady... the illustrations and setup really are beautiful, but beautifully deceptive - so how many mums or granddads will suddenly realise their new present to little Samantha actually contains rude words (almost)? Moral: always check what you give the kiddies. On the other hand, I will probably read it to my great-nephews when they visit, on the grounds that if they are going to learn anything (including how to swear), it may as well be from me - and face a Sybil-like growl from their great-uncle! tehee! cynthia games

* From: "ozan s. yigit" Ozan.Yigit@Sun.COM
Any leads appreciated: Darwin's Watch has not been released in the US, and there is no indication when it will be, if it ever will be. [I am tempted to think this is an evangelical move to block anything that has to do with evolution and Darwin :)] it has been released in Canada, so I am curious if anything is known about the US situation for this book... thanks, regards.

* From: "Cendrine Nugues"
The last translated TP's book has been published in France with the title Procrastination (same meaning as in English). Its original title is Thief of time.

Is there really an expression which says that "Procrastination is the thief of time"?

I would like to add that French translation are very good ones, thanks to the publisher.

* From: Dan Stead
Due to some unknown force, I feel bound to tell you all what unparalleled joy I have felt today in finally meeting that legend we call Terry Pratchett.

I was present at the book signing today at Peak Bookshop in Chesterfield, which was a superbly Discworldly affair. The staff had clearly put some thought behind the signing stand's decoration and there were some Sausages Inna Bun (TM) on offer, but - wary of the CMOT affiliation, I asked for a rat on a stick instead. Cruely denied by Messers Health and Safety, I passed into the inner-sanctum of the shop.

And there - hat layed aside, tea in hand - sat Mr Pratchett. Apparently unperturbed by this - his second signing of the day - and the hundreds of eager fans behind the small group of us at the front of the queue, he set about scribbling away everyone's preferred dedications. As excited as I was 6 years ago upon receiving a postal reply from Terry himself, I handed over my books to be signed.

Managing to vocalise my thanks for his reply to my letter, Terry chatted to me briefly about his eagerness to reply to fans. As so many people have done before, I too admire his dedication to all who read his books. Not only did he grant me the chance to take a quick photo (non-flash so not to make him see more white space than necessary!), but he talked with me more than you could reasonably expect a world-famous author to - even striking up the conversation before my nerves had chance to die down!

Immediately distracted by Terry's interest in my currently adventurous head of hair, my nerves fell away to reveal a slight guilt for not immediately loosing most of it, in demonstration of Terry worship. However, this was apparently unnecessary and our friendly meeting was soon over. I left the shop with the biggest librarian grin on my face and a joyful tear in my eye.

Back in my house in Leeds it seems strange that such strong emotions took hold of me earlier, but as I return to my newly acquired copy of "Thud!" I return to the world that I love to holiday in, whenever my own struggles to make sense. And I am reminded of that teenage wonder I felt those 6 years ago which drove me to write to Terry, thanking him for his most famous creation and pleading for more.

Through more books and through today's meeting, I am pleased to say Mr Pratchett has once again delivered. I have just read Vimes' exhilarating cross-town dash for his all-important 6pm appointment, and I simply can't wait to get back to it.

So thank you DWM for alerting me to the signing in the first place, and thank you Terry Pratchett for making this Discworld fan feel like all his Hogswatches had come at once. I nod my embarrassingly full head of hair in recognition of your genius.

* From: "lisa dunne"
Just a quick letter to say thanks for my first instalment of Discworld Monthly. I have been reading Terry Pratchett's books for about 5 years now and his writing never ceases to amaze me. It's great too see so many loyal fans out there who want to pass on his magic to the next generation. On that subject, it was actually my boyfriend who introduced me to the Discworld. Not that he was a fan - he stole a hardback copy of the excellent "Soul Music" from our local library because he liked the picture on the cover! So if it wasn't for my boyfriend's moment of kleptomania I wouldn't be writing this today or know anything of a flat world on top of four elephants, on top of the great star turtle. Well, alls well that ends well but sometimes it's best to leave introductions to Fate. He knows what he's doing!

* From: "John Blackburn"
Well, he's done it again hasn't he? Just when you thought that Pterry couldn't write a better Discworld novel than the last one, out pops THUD! What a rollercoaster ride, sprinkled with cunning references to previous books, yet completely self-contained and fresh--well as fresh as anything in Ankh-Morpork can be! How does he do it?

Mind you, our own Flatworld does provide a lot of background material. I loved the upgraded Dis-Organiser, but shouldn't it be a GooseBerry? Also the Pink PussyCat Club episodes were hilarious.

I know PTerry doesn't like story suggestions, but I have to get this one off my chest! The Watch seems to get a new species in every book, and we haven't seen Granny Weatherwax and Co for some time, so how about ... [snip - Ed]

4. DiscTrivia

This month Edgewood Smith has come up with some trivia questions about the first five novels.

Who stands in for Death, because Death is dealing with "a big plague in Pseudopolis"?

A) Scrofula
B) Aarskog
C) Hantavirus
How do we first meet Ysabell?
Who does Esk inherit her staff from?
What action results in the phrase: Octogram 8,887: Illegality the Unatoning Goose. ... "Without verticality, wisely the cochineal emperor goes forth at teatime; at evening the mollusc is silent among the almond blossom."?
What line of work does Conina wish to be in?

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

5. Preview: Koom Valley Thud

On Saturday 15th October I visited White Knight Games to see Trevor Truran demonstrating the new Thud game. The new Thud game tries to address some of the supposed problems with the original i.e. that it is overly long and has no definite endings.

In the new game (which you can play using your existing Thud set, or with the new set from Mongoose Games) the Dwarfs want to kidnap the Thud stone because they believe it has a 'device' inside. Obviously the Trolls don't want them to take it in case it is just one of their relatives sleeping!

The initial starting point is with the Trolls defending one end of the board and the Dwarfs positioned around the opposite side. The Dwarfs' objective is to get the Thud stone to the far side of the board and the Trolls' job to recapture the stone.

Dwarfs' moves are the same as in the original Thud rules in that they can move any distance in any direction provided there are no obstructions. Trolls on the other hand can move up to three places in any direction.

Capturing has changed dramatically from the original version and takes some getting used to. Trolls in particular are easy prey if you are not extremely careful.

One of the difficulties with the original game was having to score it. Having to calculate points for the number of remaining Dwarfs and Trolls at the end of each round was problematic for some. With the new game, once the Dwarfs move the Thud stone to the far side of the board or the Trolls recapture the Thud stone the game ends.

Play is estimated to last approximately 20 minutes, which should speed things up a bit and address the long game play issue.

The new version of the game comes from Mongoose games and they have based its design on the UK cover of Thud! The colour of the board is now a very nice blue and the sets include an additional Thud stone - one that contains a device. Mongoose plan to create more Discworld based games in the future.

6. Discworld DVD Competition Result

Last month we asked which paperback novel is included in the new DVD box set. We received a record number of entries this month - nearly 400 readers got the correct answer.

Then answer was Going Postal [Yep, same answer as last month, but different question. - Ed]

The two randomly selected winners of the DVD Box sets from New Media Maze are Hazel Haskayne of Market Drayton and Chris Dewar of Ayr. As soon as the box sets arrive I will post them off to you.

See for details of the box set.

New Bonsai Trading Competition

To celebrate the recent release of 'Thud' and its companion tome 'Where's My Cow', Bonsai Trading are giving away a copy of 'Thud - The Discworld Board Game' to the winner of this month's competition. (You've read the book about the game, now play the game, which contains a small book telling you how to play the game - confused yet?)

The Thud Board game itself has been reissued to coincide with the book release (which should have been added to the Bonsai Trading Store by the time you are reading this), with the new edition containing extra rules, and packed in a newly designed box that reflects the UK Kidby book cover. (The winner of this competition will receive the Original Version, which as it's now been replaced is worth keeping shrink-wrapped for future Ebaying!)

To win simply answer this question:

At what time must Commander Vimes return home every day to read "Where's My Cow" to Young Sam?

Send your answer to the question to by 21st November 2005. The randomly selected winner will be announced next month.

For more information about Bonsai Trading and their wide range of Discworld products visit

7. Discworld Beers

When I saw BursarVixen at the Clarecraft event in August they gave me a pack of Discworld beers to sample. Once I got home from the weekend I put the beers away in a safe place and promptly forgot all about them. Recently whilst tidying my study area I found the beers and decided to sample them. One fateful Tuesday evening I met up with the guys and we settled down for a tasting session. One thing I have noticed about beer sampling that is better than wine sampling is that you get to drink the beer rather than spitting it out. This theory works well to start with but means the sampling soon gets a bit silly. Limited notes were taken during the session as best we could, but got less coherent as the evening rolled on. It should be noted that we are not ale drinkers, but willing to try things.

Founder's Ale - The Umber Nectar (4.3% abv - alcohol by volume)

This beer was quite fizzy and had a "real ale" taste. Due to Bill's inexperience pouring we ended up with a lot of head. We reckoned a couple of bottles would get you feeling merry. The label features a silhouette of a starlit city.

Black Hogswatch (5.3% abv)

This beer is much darker and has less of a smell than the founder's Ale. It had a sort of earthy taste that was a lot more subtle than the look would suggest. By this time we had forgotten to determine how many bottles you would need to get merry. The label features Death sitting in front of a roaring fire, in his slippers, holding a tankard in salute.

Invalid's Restorative (6.3% abv)

This beer had quite a strong smell which we decided was a bit like whiskey. It was also lighter in colour. Unfortunately it also had quite a strong after-taste which meant we wouldn't want to drink a whole bottle. The label looks like an old fashioned medicine label and includes a drawing of a contortionist.

Nanny Ogg's Scumble (8.2% abv)

With two of us being cider drinkers we were looking forward to this. The first thing we noticed was the strong cider smell (a good sign). The liquid was crystal clear (not necessarily a good sign). The cider was strong and sweet and we reckon 8 bottles would be a good quantity to drink. Although that amount would probably kill you - it wouldn't be a bad way to go. The label features a David Wyatt full colour picture of Nanny Ogg holding a couple of scumble jugs. It also features the warning: "If at all possible, avoid bringing scumble into contact with water."

All these beers and the cider have been or are available from BursarVixen at

8. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

Who stands in for Death, because Death is dealing with "a big plague in Pseudopolis"?
A: Scrofula.

How do we first meet Ysabell?
Talking to Rincewind in Death's house.

Who does Esk inherit her staff from?
The Wizard Drum Billet.

What action results in the phrase: Octogram 8,887: Illegality, the Unatoning Goose. ... "Without verticality, wisely the cochineal emperor goes forth at teatime; at evening the mollusc is silent among the almond blossom."?
Princess Keli throws the Ching Aling yarrow sticks as Cutwell tries to figure out what is wrong with her.

What line of work does Conina wish to be in?

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