Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 112: August 2006

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: PJSM t-shirts
6. Competitions
7. Terry's UK Wintersmith Tour Dates
8. Other Author Recommendation: Jasper Fforde
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 112. This month I am looking forward to the 2006 Discworld Convention which takes place over the weekend of the 18th to 21st. I have been lucky enough to go to all the conventions since 1998 and look forward to spending quality time in the bar, and at some of the many organised events.

Neil Gaiman fans might like to know that at the recent Comic-Con International in San-Diego, early footage was shown of an upcoming film adaptation of "Stardust". Filming was still continuing whilst the presentation was made, so keep an eye out for future developments.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Lost In Foreign Parts)

2. News

If you live in Germany and are planning to visit Wadfest 2006 you might want to consider car-sharing. For more information visit:

News from Colin Smythe:

A & C Black Publishers Ltd have acquired Methuen's playlist, so stocks of the seven plays adapted by Stephen Briggs that have been published by them ('Jingo', 'Interesting Times', 'The Fifth Elephant', 'The Truth', 'Monstrous Regiment', 'Night Watch' and 'Going Postal') will soon be available for sale on-line from and permission requests should now be addressed to the Permissions Dept, A.∧ C. Black Ltd., 38 Soho Square, London W1D 3HB. Orders for copies should be sent to A.∧ C.Black at the above address or obtained through local booksellers.

There's an article on Internet piracy and Terry Pratchett in The Times, titled 'Welcome to the Disc Underworld'. It can be read at,,170-2273188,00.html

I've just received copies of the Greek edition of 'Pyramids' (published by Psychogios), a Spanish mass-market unillustrated edition of 'Eric' (deBolsillo), Latvian editions of 'The Amazing Maurice' and 'The Wee Free Men' (Zvaigzne) and a Dutch edition of 'A Hat Full of Sky' (Uitgeverij M)

It is looking more and more likely that a Good Omens movie will go ahead this winter. In recent interviews Terry Gilliam has said that he is working with Stephen Evans and the project will be going ahead.

The timing prevents Gilliam's preferred stars: Robin Williams, Johnny Depp and Jonathan Pryce from being available due to other work commitments.

Issue 171 of PC Zone (a gaming magazine in the UK) available July 20th features a brief interview with Terry about his take on computer games.

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] Behind The Mask - Discworld Convention 2006 (18th to 21st August 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


[UK, NEW] The Truth will be performed by Stuffed Onion Theatre Company from 24th - 26th August at 19:30 and 26th August at 14:00. Tickets cost 5 GBP. The performance is at: Harrison Hall, Harrison Drive, Wallasey, Wirral. (opposite Grove Road Station)

Tickets can be obtained from Phil Cartwright 0151 638 0862 or

[UK] Wadfest 2006 will take place over the weekend of the 1st-3rd September. This year's theme is XXXX and the event will take place at Trentfield Farm which proved to be very suitable last year. More details at

[AU, UPDATED] Nullus Anxietas: The Australian Discworld Convention Melbourne, February 9-11 2007

Our programme is starting to take shape - you can find the latest details on our website - If you've got suggestions for sessions, we'd love to hear them - just jump on the forums and let us know, or send an email to .

[DE] The first German Discworld Convention "Scheibenwelt-Fest 2007" will take place at a real castle near Siegen in Germany from February the 23rd till the 25th.

The organisers claim they will try to entertain you with a broad range of different workshops, shows, guests of honour and other events at this Uberwald-themed festival.

Tickets cost only 47.50 GBP for both days including accommodation in the castle, breakfast and dinner.

You can find the registration and further information at:

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 post them to a parallel universe.

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: "Ernie"
Being a great fan of Terry Pratchett, I was thrilled to hear he would be coming to Boston during his recent promotional tour in the US, and being that I'm an avid collector of Terry's UK First Editions, I quickly made plans to attend the signing, hoping to have as many of my (his) precious books signed as I could carry. Unfortunately, I had a family emergency that day, and asked my wonderful fiance, Kim, to go in my stead. Not knowing much of Terry (other than that I was a huge fan) she agreed to go, and in fact, recruited two of her friends to accompany her into Boston.

I must admit, I was more than slightly apprehensive about allowing several of my unblemished hardbacks to be lugged into the city by Kim and her friends, so I made quite a show of explaining to her just how they should be handled, carried, and treated. Though she looked at me as though I should be committed to an insane asylum, she did understand how strongly I felt on the subject, and listened intently.

Needless to say, I spent the entire day worrying, in equal measures, about my family matter and about Kim and my Discworld books. So, when I saw her that night (after thanking her incessantly) I made her tell me every last detail of her day. How was Terry? What did he talk about? Was he put off by being asked to sign so many books? Tell me all!

In her ever-so-cheery manner, Kim explained to me how she and her friends (young, beautiful, and seemingly out of place) carried the books just as carefully as I had instructed (bless their hearts!) into the bookstore where the signing was to be held. Not knowing that Terry would be giving a short lecture beforehand (tell me all!) they were directed to a seating area, and quietly sat down. After a short while, Mr. Pratchett came out to address the crowd, and it was only after the audience began to applaud that they knew the man before them was none other than the man, himself! He took questions from the crowd, discussed Thud! and Where's My Cow? (the two books which were being released at the time), and went into a short, comical dissertation regarding the phenomenon of his autographed books being sold on eBay.

Finally the time came for the signing of books, and a spokesperson for the bookstore began directing the audience toward the front in an orderly fashion. Well, just before the entire crowd began a mad dash for Terry, one of my fiance's outgoing, young friends shot out to the front of the line and beckoned to the other girls to come forward with her. And so, Kim was first to speak directly to Terry and to have her (my) books signed. So, as you can imagine, when she got to this point in her story I was absolutely beside myself and hung on her every word. I asked her to try to recall their exact conversation.

And so, she explained to me how Terry was more than a bit surprised when she and her two friends behind her produced nearly a dozen unblemished copies of his earlier hardbacks! Judging by the girls' appearances, Terry immediately asserted that these must not be for them. And so, my witty fiance responded by stating in the most casual way that she was planning simply to sell them on eBay! Well they all had a good laugh, and while Terry graciously signed the books, Kim explained to him the entire story of his great fan, her fiance, who could not be there, the animated handling instructions, and that he could be most assured that these books would sooner be found on Mars than on eBay.

Truer words could never be spoken.

And a happier man could never be found than a Pratchett fan who's found a girl like Kim!

* From: "Paul Boehlert"
I've been very fortunate to be named the theatre department chair at a new performing arts centre in Atlanta, Georgia (USA, not Central Asia). As one of our first productions, I'm considering Wyrd Sisters. Can anyone help with a source for a script, information on securing production rights, and some of the myriad other details that go into producing a play? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, and would mean that another Discworld play would be staged in the US -- a worthy event, I'm sure you'll agree. Please accept my thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

* From: "The FSM Ate My Pirate"
In response to your intriguing review of Wintersmith, it should be pointed out that "Cack yer Kecks" is not a Feegle phrase, but simply a standard Scottish phrase, one I have been hearing for at least 30 years.

DWM replies: I agree, I just love seeing the phrase "Cack yer Kecks" in print. Unfortunately "Cack yer Kecks" didn't make it into the UK proof, only the US one. I guess that "Cack yer Kecks" is better known in the UK.

* From: "Louise Shanahan"
I was wondering if anyone has ever noticed when you read these fine books [Discworld, of course - Ed], on the train or bus you will laugh or giggle to yourself. You do get very strange looks from your fellow passengers who cannot see what is so funny or are trying to read the cover of your book to see who the author is.

I have spent many years reading these books from the time I came across them, bored in my secondary school library and ever since. The world that I have found is both interesting and at times very strange.

* From: "Katherine Bearcock"
As other readers have written in with their experiences of having made recipes from Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, I thought I'd add another couple.

I have tried the "Clammers Beefymite Spread". It was quite tasty, if a little hard work without the recommended blender. However, it almost lived up to the "Get thee spoon out of thee jar, 3 tries for a penny!!" picture that is below the recipe, as it was impossible to spread unless taken out of the fridge well in advance of use. Less a problem and more a true Discworld touch, I thought!

Lady Sybil Vimes's Kedgeree is delicious, practical, and quite easy.

DWM replies: Katherine get this month's Letter Of The Month.

* From: "FP Anduin"
What has happened to Vimes' cigar case? He did get it back from the past and the last we hear of it is him asking Ridcully to keep while they're flying for Dr. Lawn on account of him having no pockets at the time. He only brings a battered cardboard box to Koom Valley.

Who frequents the Kosher butchers in Ankh-Morpork apart from Dragon King of Arms who is the other kind of customer?

Whatever happened to that competition about making a stamp for the ladies of negotiable affections?

* From: "Coloneljohn"
I have noted with interest that sometimes your correspondents have found evidence of the Discworld in this our roundworld.

I have found something that I would like to bring to your attention.

In the book "Reaper Man" when DEATH is pleading with Azreal he states "There is no justice. There is just us"

On E Bay and in an American Police equipment catalogue I found a sticker called "Thin blue line". This is a three colour, Black/Blue/Black with white writing on the black stating, "Sometimes there's no justice. Sometimes there's just us."

* From: "Charlie" email address removed upon request - February 2020
Regarding Carl Untermond - My own guess would be that Pratchett just made the quotation and the author up, just like the Mr Bunnsy quotes in The Amazing Maurice. Given that Unter means under in German, and monde is earth in French, I'd say that Terry made up the name to suit the 'quote'. As for finding out-of-place objects in history, I am reminded of "The Witches of Chiswick" by Robert Rankin in which the hero discovers a digital watch in a 19th Century painting.

And regarding anti-crimes - The contribution in last month's newsletter reminded me of an article I saw in my local paper several months ago which bore similarities to the passage from Reaper Man, specifically "breaking and decorating". I had meant to send it in but I had forgotten about it till now. Apparently, some anti-criminals broke in to a man's house and floored the kitchen with lino. Unfortunately, they made such a bad job that the man had to spend several hundred pounds to remove it.

* From: "Chris Kibbey"
I was at a loose end last weekend and having just finished 'Going Postal' for the second time, thought I'd give in to the wife's demands to 'clear out the attic before the ceiling comes down on our heads'.

Trawling through the debris, I came across a box with my collection of 1980's 7" singles (black flat music discs played with a 'needle' and 'turntable' for those under 30). The attic clearing was instantly replaced by a three hour session of air guitar and reminiscences of shoulder padded girls with 'big hair'.

In the depths of this 80's musical orgy, I came across Laurie Anderson's 'O Superman' (recognised by lots of 'ah ah ah ah's' in it).

I was actually stopped short when the following lyrics floated out of my old record player, 'And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, ah, ah ah ah'.

Blimey, I thought, that Pratchett fella gets everywhere.

After finally getting down to the job of attic clearing, I decided to do a bit a 'Googling' to find out what the Anderson - Pratchett connection was.

Apparently, it was an adapted quote from the Greek historian ∧ traveller, Herodotus (484 BC - 430 BC) which is inscribed on the New York City Post Office. Laurie Anderson is from New York and must have seen it every time she popped in to pick up the occasional parcel, etc.

Part of the fun of reading PTerry's books is that you never know when one of his references is going to jump out at you and teach you a bit of history. I'm reading Thud! for the first time this week. I'm just wondering if I'll have anything similar happen when ironing or washing up.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I have decided to ask questions about Wyrd Sisters.

How did the recently deceased King Verence offend Death?

What name did the Witches give to King Verence's son?
a) Tom
b) John
c) TomJon
d) John Boy

What word did the witches use to make them appear like old peasants?

How far into the future does Granny suggest they move Lancre?

What made the Duke think he was dead?

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

5. Review: PJSM t-shirts

Like many people I rushed to look at the information about the Hogfather TV show (issue 109) at PJSM prints website. While I was there I noticed a massive pink banner for the Pink Pussycat Club. At the time I hadn't read Thud and I was more then intrigued to find out why a site for Discworld paraphernalia included references to a strip club.

The pink link led me to "the Pink PussyCat Club" t-shirts. In a choice of 3 colours, bright pink, baby pink or black, all with silver writing. The two shades of pink have staff on the back and are only available in ladies skinny fit whereas the black says "bouncer" and comes in skinny fit or gents sizes. Not only do the t-shirts have the club name and logo, it also includes the location "Ankh Morpork". For me this is perfect because, like my coveted Halo 2 t-shirt, to ordinary people it's just a nice t-shirt with pretty pictures, but to fans like myself I am displaying my allegiance to all things Discworldy. Fantastic!

Needless to say, before long a t-shirt was winging its way to me (courtesy of my boyfriend's credit card) and at the reasonable price of 15.00 GBP plus 2 GBP (I think) postage and packaging, I was pretty pleased.

On order, the site explains that all items are made to order and so it can take up to 14 working days to arrive - so when mine arrived in less then 2 weeks, I was very happy. I chose the hot pink t-shirt and was thoroughly pleased with the colour.

Now for the downside, the ladies skinny fit sizes come in small (8/10), medium (12/14), large (14/16) and extra large (16/18). As most girls know, clothing sizes vary from shop to shop and generally I need a size 10 or a size 12. I decided slightly too big would be better then too small across the bust and went for the medium, but would advise women in a similar situation to go for the smaller size as I have found the medium to be slightly too big for me. Not that I'm complaining, its still a lovely t-shirt, just a little bit loose.

Overall I would definitely recommend other people to take a look around the website for t-shirts, bags and many other things (they even have a replica of Tiffany's necklace from Hat Full of Sky for sale).

6. Competitions

Results of the Bonsai Trading Stamp "Tot" Glasses Competition.

Last month Bonsai Trading offered a pair of Stamp "Tot" Glasses as a prize. In order to win the Glasses you needed to let me know what stamps were represented on each glass and the stamps' values.

The answer we were looking for was the 2p Ankh and 5p Morporkian.

Thankfully we only had one incorrect entry and the randomly selected winner of the competition was Robin Cowley of Shropshire. Robin's prize will soon be on its way.

For more information about the Glasses and Bonsai Trading's complete range of products visit:

* New Competition *

Design a Badge for the Wadfest Charity.

This is your chance to show your artistic skill (or lack thereof) to design a badge that will be sold at Wadfest - all proceeds of which will go to the Wadfest Charity.

The badges will be judged on artist interpretation (not on artistic skill) so even if it is not accurate on perspective etc. don't worry, if it catches the eye and gets the message across, that's the main thing.

There will be 100 of the winning design produced for sale at Wadfest, (so this is your chance to help raise an extra 100.00 GBP for charity). As well as the knowledge of helping the charity, the winning design will also be framed for the winner to hang on their wall, signed by Waddy, and possibly a few other famous people, who knows?


So get your thinking caps on.

The finished design will need to fit into a 55mm (2.5") round badge.

All entries will be posted on the Wadfest website - unless they are deemed unsuitable. The Judges' decision is final.

More details at:

We will let you know the winner next month.

7. Terry's UK Wintersmith Tour Dates

The following dates have so far been confirmed by Rob Wilkins - we will let you know if any more dates are confirmed. At the moment we have no details of Terry's US dates.

8. Other Author Recommendation: Jasper Fforde

Recommendation by Jason Anthony.

We haven't been inundated with author recommendations recently so I decided to talk briefly about an author that Discworld fans may well enjoy.

Jasper Fforde has two sets of novels released so far. The first is the Thursday Next series which is set in an alternative Swindon! In the alternative reality people still travel by airship and Dodos have been brought back to life Jurasic Park style. In the first book of the series "The Eyre Affair" an evil mastermind kidnaps Jane Eyre from the the original manuscript of Jane Eyre. This means that all copies of Jane Eyre lose their main character from pages 200 onwards. Thursday's mission is to get into Jane Eyre to rescue its namesake. The rest of the series builds on the ideas of inter-book travel, the character exchange program and Jurisfiction (an organisation that polices the world of literature).

The other series tells the tale of Jack Spratt who is the police officer that runs the Nursery Crime Division in Reading because many Nursery characters have set up home in Reading. In "The Big Over Easy", Humpty Dumpty is found smashed at the bottom of a wall and Jack needs to find out if he fell or was pushed. The Jack Spratt books, whilst being very funny, work well as murder mysteries giving away just enough clues as to the identity of the murderer without giving too much away.

In a recent talk by Jasper in Bracknell I discovered him to be a very friendly and entertaining speaker. One of the first things he mentioned was how impressed he was with the Discworld series. He likes the way that Terry can write any kind of book in the Discworld universe because of how well defined the conventions and universal rules of Discworld are.

9. The End

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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

Pre-Order: Wintersmith NOW 0385609841/87

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* Disc Trivia Results *

How did the recently deceased King Verence offend Death?
He told Death "I hate cats"

What name did the Witches give to King Verence's son?
c) TomJon

What word did the witches use to make them appear like old peasants?

How far into the future does Granny suggest they move Lancre?
15 years.

What made the duke think he was dead?
He was stabbed with a fake dagger.

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