Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 105: January 2006

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Report: Wincanton Hogswatch Event
6. Competitions
7. Hodge's Bits
8. Review: Thud! - Isis Audio
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 105 and very nearly 2006. It looks like 2006 could be a very busy year for Discworld events.

There will be the Wincanton Spring Event (at the end of April), the Clarecraft Farewell Event (date to be announced), The Discworld Convention (in August), Wadfest (in September) and the Wincanton Hogswatch Event (in December).

Don't forget to look out for the new series of Johnny and the Bomb on BBC television starting 15th January. More information can be found at

I managed to catch a teaser trailer (shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day) for Johnny and the Bomb and it looks great.

Also don't forget to listen out for rumours of a live action adaptation of Hogfather at the end of the year. More details as the rumours hopefully become fact.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (IT Wizz Kid)

2. News

There is quite a long interview with Terry located at

Neil Gaimen and Terry have got together again to write news years resolutions for Aziraphale and Crowley. You can find these resolutions at:

[The above needs to be on one line. You may find it easier to use the following address:]

Discworld Conventions have attracted visitors from very far afield over the years - ten years by 2006. Just for fun we thought we would try, with your help, to map this using the Frappr site to create our own DWCon map:

You can put yourself on the map with a comment (called a 'shoutout' for some reason!) add a picture if you wish. Perhaps mention the other Cons you attended, your badge name, a special memory or if 2006 will be your first Convention.

You could also mention any other Pratchett/Discworld fan groups you belong to such as this one. If you don't find your home town I suggest using the closest and sending the webform back to Frappr with the name to add to their mapping system.

The aim is to get as many attendees from the past on the map as well as those of you hoping to come in 2006.

Anyone know if there is a way of linking these maps where they overlap? Afp in particular could end up with a substantial degree of overlap with a DWCon map :)

A new roleplay shop will be opening in Reading in January. Eclectic Games (as it will be known) will be run by fellow Discworld fan and Thud expert Becky Ottery. It is hoped that Trevor Truran (Thud's designer) will be there to help teach you the new Koom Valley Thud rules.

The new shop will be located directly opposite Reading Station's main entrance.

A new website should come live early in the new year.

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] Lords and Ladies is being performed by Stephen Briggs' threatre club at Unicorn Theatre, Thames Street, Abingdon from the 7th to 11th February 2006 from 7.30 (plus 2.30 on the Sat). TICKETS SELLING FAST! Box Office - visit

[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] 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.

Rosa Morley Souter writes: Greetings! I'm an artist who needs some credentials for my portfolio - a good and unavoidable reason to do some Discworld art, like say a poster for a Discworld play! My speciality is mainly the Watch and the Lancre witches, but I'm not fussed. I will also colour either in Photoshop or with markers.

Here's my offer, I would like to illustrate a poster for a Discworld play FOR FREE and all I ask if you can put my name and email address on said illustration for more people to go 'HEY! I want her to illustrate for me to!' Hey, you never know. So if you want me to illustrate a Discworld play poster then email me with the play you're doing, the time, the location etc. (I'm a dab hand with Photoshop and Illustrator) and I'll pull it together.

My art site is here for your perusal:

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 eat all your mince pies.

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: "Paul Bezler"
After seeing this [an advert for Roco Dramatic Society's production of Wyrd Sisters - Ed] advertised in Discworld Monthly, my wife and I decided to go and see this production. We were there on the Friday night, 25th Nov. With 23 scenes, this play could have gone wrong but thanks to the excellent performances by the cast, it came over very well. Strong performances from the three witches (Andrea Varnavides as Granny Weatherwax, Pauline Pitman as Nanny Ogg and Emma Falcao MacFayden as Magrat Garlick) held the whole play together. The right balance between the disparate characters of the witches was achieved throughout. Lee Wallace was good in his cameo roles of the Sergeant and ghost of King Verence and particular mention must go to Chris Hoyle who played the part of The Fool with much gusto and got the most from the audience of some 100 souls. This is a difficult play to put on as the many scene changes can leave the audience wondering what is going on. However Stephen Briggs' adaptation manages to convey the gist of those goings on not portrayed on stage. Anyone who has read the book itself would have no trouble following the plot. My wife, who has spent many a long night on duty with St John Ambulance at AmDram productions, rated this one as the best she had seen. 8/10.

* From: "Mike Yaxley"
I found this in the "scale" column of "quiet and Electric Flight", an Aeromodelling magazine, in the November issue. Celebrating his 100th contribution and talking of the early years Chris Williams writes:

"Photographs were taken by means of an iconograph, inside which a very small imp painted a representation of what he saw when the shutter opened by means of very quick-drying water colours."

PTerry gets everywhere.

* From: "Lisa R. Kenyon"
Not only do US readers of Pratchett suffer because the publisher changes the cover, but here's another reason to buy the UK edition. I've been addicted to the Discworld books since I first read The Light Fantastic, and was importing the UK editions because of the great cover art. Lately, financial constraints lead me to buy the US editions, but I've been cheated. The edition of Thud! which I purchased is riddled with errors. Not just the continuity error in the Koom Valley cave scene at the end (which I think might be present in the original), but spelling and typographical errors so absurd that I wonder if they even have a spell-check program at Harper Collins. Could someone who reads the UK editions let me know if they have similar problems?

JA replies: I was lucky enough to read both the UK and US proofs of Thud! and found differing errors in each version. I haven't yet re-read the novels proper to see if they made it to production.

* From: "Jane, Josh, Petra, Daniel"
I have just read "Where's My Cow" and I loved it. (No surprises there!) The artwork is wonderful and Melvyn Grant has captured TP's story beautifully. I am amused by one particular aspect of this book though. It is shelved in the Children's Picture book section of libraries and bookshops. I can see harassed parents and grandparents grabbing this book in a last-minute Christmas shopping rush, presenting it to their own Young Sam - and then having to explain what words like bugrit and ptui mean, and who Dibbler is!

DWM replies: What a wonderful Christmas learning experience that would be for the children and grandparents alike. Jane, Josh, Petra and Daniel have been awarded this month's Letter of the Month (as long as they promise to share it nicely).

* From: "Richard Manning"
I have not long finished reading "Angels and Deamons" by Dan Brown. In it I read a very interesting thing. One of the characters, Langdon said, and I quote from the book, "the self sacrifice of a young man to absolve sins of his people appears in the earliest tradition of the Quetzalcoatl." Does this sound like the Quezovercoatl, the feathered boa god of human sacrifice, from Eric?

Both can be an angel or deamon. Quezovercoatl was the god of the Tezuman from Klatch. He was 6" high before he was squashed. The Tezumen now worship a box that has hundreds of legs.

* From: "Ty Browning"
Thought that you might be interested in this newspaper article that appeared on 'The Age' newspaper website back in 2002 (sorry if you've already read it:

Apparently PTerry's notion that the speed and movement of light on the Discworld is a fluctuating process due to the presence of magic in the atmosphere has its own real world counterpart. A few Australian scientists had hypothesized that Einstein's theory of relativity was not as sound as previously thought and that light 'isn't quite as fast as it used to be'. Apparently light slows down over time - apparently due to some high-end physics and probably has something to do with 'quantum', so I'd rather have Ian Stewart explain it to me.

The general gist of it - and here's where the Discworld parallels become noticeable - is that light, in it's travels through space, passes through gas clouds etc. and picks up 'heavy' particles that interfere with the electron structure of the light atom or some such thing (still with me?). When the light reaches Earth these electron structures are smaller than they should be, leading these scientists to speculate that the speed of light has fallen.

Obviously on the Discworld the presence of magic saturates the light, fiddling with its 'weight' and plays all sorts of tricks on it. Kinda nice to think that ole PTerry can put one over on Einstein.

* From: "Kerry Butcher"
I have recently been able to convert a cousin and her two children to the wonders of the Discworld. I mentioned this to my mother over coffee one morning and jokingly said that I only needed to convert 7 more people and I would get a free toaster, my mothers response to this was that I already had a toaster, but she supposed I could always give it away as a present. I then had to explain to her that there was in fact no toasters or any other rewards for converting people to TP, (though I wish there was). I could not help but to imagine warehouses full of toasters ready to be sent out to all the faithful TP fans valiantly trying to convert the masses through letterboxes everywhere a la Constable Visit?

4. DiscTrivia

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

Who wanted the Hogfather arrested, and what did he mistake Nobby Nobbs for?

Who lives on Shamlegger Street, next to the picture framers, and who wants to know this?

Whose father said "Son, never drink any drink with a paper umbrella in it, never drink any drink with a humorous name, and never drink any drink that changes color when the last ingredient goes in. And never, ever, do this ---"

Just how DO you pronounce Teatime?

Who WAS NOT one of the gang that Teatime recruited?
- Peachy
- Medium Dave
- Jack Hat
- Chickenwire
- Sideney
- Mr Brown
- Banjo

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

5. Report: Wincanton Hogswatch Event

Report by Jason Anthony.

The Wincanton Hogswatch Event took place over the weekend of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th December. Saturday started off a little slowly. After a mug of tea and an excellent cooked breakfast we felt ready to head into town. I am glad I left my car in Wincanton because I was still feeling a bit drunk from the night before. We started in the Cunning Artificer's shop where I got my contribution to the auction stamped by Isobel and then gave it to Pat (the auction organiser) to look after until the auction. Once I was relieved of this burden I purchased a Hogswatch First Day Cover and then headed around the various pubs and halls set aside for the weekend to see all the stalls. Trevor Truran was discovered busily teaching people the new Koom Valley Thud rules in one of the back rooms of the Dolphin and Clarecraft and Dave Hodges were busy selling items in the skittles alley. Clarecraft were selling off the last of their models and Dave Hodges was selling his new line in camping pegs. As with anything designed by Dave Hodges a set of these pegs could probably prevent a jet plane from taking off - these should work well at the various Discworld camping events. See section 8 for more details.

I then took a quick stroll down the hill to the Sweetman Room at the Bear (local pub) where various stalls were setup. The 2006 Convention organisers were on hand to answer queries and to sign people up and Rob Wilkins and Sandra Kidby were busy selling their t-shirts and postal bags and the Igor Beathtieth had their own stall - if you have not seen an Igor Beathtie, think of a Teddy Bear equivalent of Scraps. All profits made from selling the Beathtieth were donated to the weekend's charity.

The Sweetman Room tends to be the main hub for events and was the location of the signing and later the Maskerade and charity auction. Some of the Maskerade costumes were incredible and it was fun to see Terry enjoying himself. The charity auction followed the sausage supper that took place at various pubs around the town - the proceeds of the charity auction went towards the local health centre and church hall. More than 2,000 GBP was raised for the two charities. The most notable lot of the auction was the cover of a script for an adaptation of Hogfather to be made for television. If rumours are to be believed, Hogfather will be released in time for Hogswatch 2006 and will star Sir David Jason as Albert. Filming will take place in Prague and later England for all the studio work. The special effects team responsible for some recent films about a boy wizard will be doing the animation of Paul Kidby's Death [Death the character, not the death of Paul Kidby as that would be sick - Ed]

Running in parallel with the main events was a Discworld Beer festival organised by Bursar Vixen at the sports centre where a large range of Discworld Beers and Real Ales were available. I suspect some people spent most of the weekend here. To help ferry people between the town centre and the sports centre, Bursar Vixen had arranged an excellent and frequent system of mini-buses.

Normally the Sunday of the Wincanton events tends to be quite quiet but the next Discworld book will see football introduced to Discworld. To this end Terry asked if a football match could be arranged for the Sunday morning. Two teams were created: Flatalists and Cabbage Growers. Chris Griggs (Mad Hamish) was given the task of organising the game. Unfortunately Chris's knowledge of football was only slightly more than mine and the last game of football he watched was on a table with players joined by metal poles. Chris couldn't find long enough poles so he tied the team members together with string.

After a brief practice during which it was discovered that the players were placed too far apart Terry arrived and gave a brief speech about the game. Terry was then given several scarves that had been knitted in advanced by various members of the Flatalists Society.

The game started up with good intentions but soon fell into complete chaos with the referee awarding goals as he deemed fit, several pitch invasions by the cheerleaders and one of the teams gaining extra players as the game went on. After the game I managed to talk to Terry about what he had just witnessed and he said "It was everything I wished for, more than I expected" he later went on to state that it was like watching infant school football, where the most important thing is the number of times you kick the ball rather than having any footballing skills.

After the match an impromptu auction was held to sell off all the scarves that Terry was wearing with the proceeds going to the sports centre. At this point I had to leave, so I said my goodbyes and we headed back home. I had a wonderful time meeting up with friends both old and new and left feeling slightly tired but having had a thoroughly excellent weekend.

6. Competitions

Last month we offered you a chance to win a 2004, 2005 and 2006 Discworld Calendar. All you had to do was answer one simple question.

What is the name of the artist who currently illustrates the book covers for the UK Hardback Discworld Novels (including Thud and Going Postal)?

The answer was of course Paul Kidby (who took over when Josh Kirby sadly passed away).

The randomly selected winner of the three calendars is J.P. Godfrey of Palmers Green, London.

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

7. Hodge's Bits

As mentioned in my Wincanton Report, Dave Hodges has come up with a range of Tent Pegs to cover all your camping emergencies. The pegs can be pre-ordered and then collected at any Discworld event that Dave Hodges goes to [which is most - Ed]. 20% of the total price will be donated to the event charity. It would also be cost prohibitive to send the pegs because they are built with Hodge's normal enthusiasm - a set of 10 would probably weigh more than your tent!

For a picture of the pegs please take a look at the following diagram:

Ranges available:

Small pegs with either V or U shaped tops made from 8mm high tensile steel approx 195mm and 220mm long, 5 GBP for 10 or 60p each. (Item 1 in the diagram)

Medium pegs with V shaped tops made from 10mm high tensile steel approx 255 long, 6.50 GBP for 10 or 75p each. (Item 2 in the diagram)

Large pegs suitable for marquees and other big stuff, made from 16mm high tensile steel with a U shaped top and a point on them approx 445mm long, 2 GBP each. (Item 3 in the diagram)

Any other sizes made to order, ask for details.

Also available is a Hodges peg puller for removing tent pegs, handle is 130mm wide 2.50 GBP. (Item 4 in the diagram)

The finish on all of these is zinc plated and yellow passivated. If anyone can think of other items that can be made let Dave know at

8. Review: Thud! - Isis Audio

Review by Jason Anthony

ISIS have recently sent me a copy of their latest Discworld recording of Thud! and also a copy of the third book in the Bromeliad series Wings. Thud is one of my favourite Discworld Novels so I was really looking forward to the audio book version. Once again Stephen Briggs sits in the reading seat and applies his normal aplomb to the role. It's been a few months since I read Thud! so it was great hearing it again.

Many of the characters in this novel are already well known and Stephen has previously provided voices for them so if you have heard previous ISIS recordings you know immediately who is talking. Having so many Dwarfs in the book causes a bit of a challenge because there are only so many accents Stephen is capable of, but in his normal style he manages to pull it off. Stephen's Brick is also a joy to be heard.

Something that I really enjoy from listening to the audio books is the bits I miss when reading. Sometimes Stephen will pick up on a joke that I either missed or fumbled due to poor comic timing.

Once I start listening to these tapes I find I make excuses to go for extra drives. I also try to avoid driving my wife's car because it doesn't have a tape player. Now that I've finished Thud! I am looking forward to finding excuses to do some more driving to listen to Wings.

Thud! is available on two formats. Eight audio cassettes for 18.99 GBP and Ten CDs for 26.99 GBP.

ISIS audio books are great fun to listen to as they add new depth to the books. If you get chance to take a listen to them, please give it a go as they are great. For more information about all ISIS products visit

9. The End

* Contact Information *

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* Latest Book Information *

Discworld paperback: Going Postal 0552149438/87

Discworld hardback: Thud! 0385608675/87

Discworld hardback Companion: Where's My Cow? 038560937X/87

Discworld Young Adult paperback: A Hat Full of Sky 0552551449/87

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* Disc Trivia Results *

Who wanted the Hogfather arrested, and what did he mistake Nobby Nobbs for?
Mr. Vernon Crumley, A pixie

Who lives on Shamlegger Street, next to the picture framers, and who wants to know this?
Violet the tooth faerie/girl, Susan wants to know.

Whose father said "Son, never drink any drink with a paper umbrella in it, never drink any drink with a humorous name, and never drink any drink that changes color when the last ingredient goes in. And never, ever, do this ---"

Just how DO you pronounce Teatime?

Who WAS NOT one of the gang that Teatime recruited?
Jack Hat

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