Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 114: October 2006

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Wadfest 2006
6. Competitions
7. Article: Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson's 60th Birthday
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 114. This month started well with another excellent Wadfest (even if the weather was bad). Then later in the month we had Bernard's birthday bash down in Wincanton, now I just need to wait a few weeks until we can head down to Wincanton again in December.

As I am sure you are all aware, the third Tiffany book is now out. I have heard reports of various supermarkets having the book out for sale a couple of weeks before the official release date.

Hopefully by now you should have your copy and are enjoying it as much as I did.

If you haven't got your copy yet you can purchase it from Amazon UK via the following link.


To celebrate the release of Wintersmith HarperCollins in the US have created a Feegles game called Feelge Free-Fall. In this simple game you have to drop your Feegle down onto the heads of unsuspecting animals. It's a fun little waste of time.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (DM Extraordinaire)

2. News

The HarperCollins Terry Pratchett author tracker (a low traffic mailing list that informs readers of Terry's US book releases) has recently included an interview with Terry about Wintersmith. The HarperCollins message board are hoping to be able to include the interview in the Wintersmith section of the message board soon.

Message board:

Author Tracker:

Barie Wakeford the official Discworld Jeweller is selling pendants and earrings made from teeth from the Hogfather movie. 1 GBP for each set sold will be donated to the Discworld Convention charities.

Visit and search for Teeth to find the available sets. Please mention Discworld Monthly on any orders you place.

Look out in a future issue for a chance to win a set of teeth (a pendant and earrings).

Snowgum Films, the makers of Troll Bridge, have released a video update to let fans know about their progress with the movie.

You should find the video on the main Troll Bridge site at, alternatively you can link directly to the video at

RHI Entertainment have created an official site for the upcoming Hogfather TV Movie, details and lots of photos can be found at:

News from Colin Smythe:

The Terry Pratchett signing session at the Guildhall in Winchester, during the Wessex Festival, is now confirmed for Saturday 25th November from 10.00am to 2.00pm. Added to this information, please note that this will be ticketed. Details of how to obtain the free tickets will be posted on on 1st October.

The announcement regarding the DVD of Johnny and the Bomb can be found at

The September 2006 issue of BBC Focus magazine no. 167 has an interview "A Quick Chat with... Terry Pratchett" about Science of Discworld and Wintersmith and has a full page photo of Terry, as well as a small picture of Terry, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen in their wizardly robes.

News from witchfromlance:

The Big Issue in the North, and no doubt all the regional Big Issue magazines, have a two page interview with Terry to tie in with the DVD release of "Johnny and the Bomb". It's a good interview.

It is the September 11-17 2006 No 636. Perhaps if people miss it then The Big Issue will be able to provide copies. I haven't asked them though.

News from Anna M.C

Terry's daughter Rhianna Pratchett has been named one of the game industry's 100 most influential women by _Next Generation_.

Terry will be guest of honour at the MidSouthCon from March 23-25. The Convention takes place in Memphis, TN.

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] The Brisbane Arts Theatre, Brisbane, Australia will be producing Night Watch from October 21 to November 4 with a special Halloween Performance on Saturday October 28.

More details at:

[UK, NEW] Moot House Players based in Harlow, Essex, is staging a production of Mort from Thursday 9th November to Saturday 11th November at 8pm.

The venue is Moot Hall, The Stow, Harlow. Tickets cost 6.00 GBP (Concessions 4.50 GBP).

More details at:

[UK, NEW] The Thalian Threatre Group - Basilson, Essex will be staging Mort from Wed 29th November to - Sat 2nd December. Contact for more details.

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

Guest of Honour: Terry Pratchett Virtual Guests of Honour: Stephen Briggs, Bernard Pearson, Colin Smythe

As we edge closer and closer to the convention, we'd like to remind people that our prices will be going up at the start of November - so if you want to take advantage of the cheaper rates, now is the time to do so. Also, everyone who signs up before November goes into the running to have a coffee and chat with Terry and a handful of other lucky winners. More details, as always, are out our website:

[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:

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.

Stevie writes: I am a HUGE Discworld reader & fan. I moved to Sweden from England nearly 2 years ago, and now my Swedish girlfriend wants to obtain all the Discworld books in Swedish. Unfortunately, we cannot find The Colour Of Magic in Swedish as I think they have stopped printing it. Have you any ideas or contacts which may aid us in obtaining the Discworld books in Swedish which are now so badly sought after? If you could help in any way, we would be eternally grateful.

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 use them to eat our chips from.

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: "Martin G Bridges"
In reply to Steve about the absence of Terry Pratchett from the Doubleday website.

Doubleday (UK) is an imprint of Transworld Publishers (part of the Random House Group UK) and you can find plenty of reference to Mr. Pratchett on the Transworld Publishers website

It is possible Steve has been looking at the Doubleday US website who would not have any reference to TP as I don't think they publish him in the US. Despite the similarity in name and the fact that Doubleday US and Doubleday UK do ultimately (if you go up the tree far enough) belong to the same company there is very little correlation between the books that they publish. Hope this helps Steve. Anneliese (in London)

* From: "Sarah Brett"
I recently went to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and while I was examining a case full of interesting-looking beetles I noticed a quote stuck above the display. It said that when the British polymath JBS Haldane (1892-1964) was asked what could be inferred about the mind of the creator from a study of the works of creation he replied "an inordinate fondness for beetles". Naturally I couldn't help wondering whether that very quote inspired the Creator in The Last Continent and whether TP was perhaps in Oxford when he saw it?

* From: "Shingler, Bob"
Recently I received a wonderful bit of luck. My wife and I both do volunteer work for the Cats Protection, she fostering cats and I managing the funds for the charity shops here in Telford.

My daughter was asked to go and help out at one of the shops for the day and luckily for me she did. You see, someone came in with a carrier bag of Mr Pratchett's finest. Although a fan of the Discworld series, I've never actually bought many of the books for one reason or another, but thanks to libraries have managed to read a fair few of them. Anyway, suddenly by the end of that day my collection had risen from 10 to 27 books - now all I had to do was read them again, from the beginning. Anyway enough of the gloating, on with the real reason for writing.

It was whilst reading Wyrd Sisters that I was struck with a sense of, not deja vu, but more of how life imitates art. Greebo was described as once "chasing a wolf up a tree"; it bought to mind a story that was shown in a few papers and here a few months ago. Not only does Terry show human nature so well in his books and writes so wonderfully, but he knows his cats, as the descriptions of Greebo and his antics were spot on to various cats we have known.

Thanks to you for the newsletter, and to Mr P for enriching life so well.

* From: "Otter Perry"
The reference [about Alice Bands - Ed] is to Tenniel's illustrations for "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll. Alice has long hair which is held back from her face by a "band". A ribbon? Now-adays one of those plastic doodads with teeny teeth?

In any case, I think every illustrator since has put a band on Alice. The Disney film uses a ribbon tied in a bow on the top of her head.

Interestingly, her hair stays back without assistance in _Alice in Wonderland_, as I discovered when I looked at the two books before responding.

In case you're not familiar with either, _Alice in Wonderland_ came first, and _Through the Looking Glass_ second. There are bits from both in the Disney film. And the original illustrations were by John Tenniel.

Well, the very first illustrations to the precursor, _Alice's Adventures Under Ground_, were by Carroll himself, and Alice's hair hangs down nearer her face. She does _not_ wear an Alice band.

* From: "Rob Ward"
I thought I'd mail in to say how much I enjoyed the Stuffed Onion Theatre Company's recent production of The Truth. Reading through issue 112 of this fine newsletter I happened to spot that it would be performed in Wallasey, and living in Chester, just a short hop away on the train, rounded up some troops and off we went.

To be honest, I was quite surprised to see that a play was going to be performed in Wallasey; normally the only type of culture you get there is of the kind you find growing in a petri dish!

I attended the friday night (25th August) performance with a friend from Wallasey and his french girlfriend, who despite the language issue and never having read the book, thoroughly enjoyed the show. The entire cast performed with great enthusiasm and really captured the spirit of the story, with Matthew Anson as a heavily dreadlocked Otto Chriek in particular never failing to raise a few laughs Neither my friends or I had been to an amateur performance before, but if the quality of this play is an indicator of the general standard, we will make a point of it in future.

The only gripe that I can think of is that there were a few empty seats: Come on Wallasey, where were you? Those locals who missed the show DO have the opportunity to correct their mistake though, as the Stuffed Onioners will be performing Wyrd Sisters at Westbourne Hall in West Kirby at the beginning of February.

I would heartily recommend anybody in Cheshire, Merseyside or in fact anywhere else to go along, although they will need a crowbar if they want to take my front-row seat!

* From: "John M Rogers"
I've just come back from a holiday in the Vivarais region of France, where a village halfway up a mountain gorge is called Mordane, from Mort d'Ane - "Death of Asses". Now that's one that Terry never thought of!

DWM replies: For his real world answer to Bad Ass, John gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: "Eleanor"
I've always thought that one of the joys of reading Terry Pratchett was the incredible depth of the literary, cultural, and historic references. For example, in Soul Music, Buddy's last name translates as "Holly", and parallels can certainly be drawn; also, the witches books, in their re-examination of familiar stories, and myths that have changed over time, certainly draw much of their power from their familiarity. However, it's often the little things that just make stuff fun, e.g. trying to match Klatchian regions with round world countries, or Nobby Nobbs quoting Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare.

As someone who came to Discworld early (around my 14th birthday), and has been on the obsessed side these past 2 1/2 years, I occasionally have the opposite pleasure -- not finding an amusing reference within a Discworld book, but learning something interesting about the world that relates to Discworld.

For example, I'm currently reading a "Travel Narrative" set in Australia, and learned that XXXX, pronounced Fourecks, is a popular Australian beer --- something that I, as an American teenager, had never known.

And here's one probably less familiar to DWM readers: About a month ago, a friend and I were discussing Latin proverbs that are really about sex (there's lots), and he informed me that a Roman, on being asked why he kept no guard on his wife, answered, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

4. DiscTrivia

This month I have decided to ask questions about Guards! Guards!

Which member of the Watch do we first meet rather the worse for drink in a gutter in Ankh-Morpork?

What makes Carrot's sword practically unique?

What was the name of the secret sect that Brother Fingers belonged to?
a) Illuminated and Ancient Brethren of Ee.
b) Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night.
c) Illuminated Brethren of the Igniferous Match.
d) Bewildered Brethren of the Lustrous Darkness.

Who said: "When you really need them the most, million-to-one chances always crop up. Well-known fact."
Goodboy Bindle Featherstone of Quirm is know affectionately as Errol, but why?

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

5. Review: Wadfest 2006

Review by Jason Anthony.

Wadfest 2006 took place over the very windy weekend on the 1st - 3rd September at Trentfield Farm, Church Laneham, Nottinghamshire.

After navigating the Nottinghamshire countryside we finally arrived at the site on Friday evening. The site was around three quarters full and many people wouldn't be turning up until Saturday.

We quickly assembled the tent and then made our way down to find out what was going on. It quickly became clear that mainly what was going on was a lot of drinking - so, not wanting to look out of place we joined in.

Saturday is traditionally the main events day. This year was no exception.

The theme was XXXX, so it was decided that a dry boat race should take place. Rules of dry boat racing were made available before the event but unfortunately only two people decided to make a boat. Somehow I was volunteered to take part in the race - after I had sworn that I wouldn't take place after my slight injuries obtained in last year's Luggage Wars.

Despite my trepidation, I found myself in the back of a dry boat ready to run. We had a relatively short run to the end of the field and back. Amazingly we won the race but then Rob Lupine realised he should have mentioned that the race was best out of three. Se we lined up again on the start line ready for the second round. This time our opposition lost one of their team when they fell out the back of the boat.

We thought we had the race in the bag but unfortunately we lost our mascot from the front of our boat and had to go back for it. In the meantime the opposition had managed to reform and were closing in on us. We finally managed to retrieve our mascot and dive over the line for an almost photo finish. As we managed to win this round as well, Rob decided it was best three out of five.

We ran for a third and final time (mainly because the opposition boat, made in the likeness of a camel, started to come apart) and managed to win that race as well. This now means that Jem and I will be coming back next year as reigning champions.

Whilst I was receiving CPR (not quite but nearly), the next event was Live Pingu, a game based on the Internet game where you hit a penguin with a bat. In Live Pingu the penguins are made of drink bottles and stockings. This game is restricted to the younger campers - possibly due to them being a lot more responsible than most of the adults. Once again last years winner Sam won by hitting a Pingu 15 paces. I did manage to have a go and the best I could manage was 14 paces so well done Sam.

Later in the day was the charity auction. Peter Chapman had once again done a great job organising a great range of items ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Peter had also arranged for two ladies from the seamstress's guild to display the auction items - which provided entertainment for the male members of the audience.

And in true gender correctness, Pete provided the ladies with a sex symbol to watch in the form of Pat Harkin who was once again persuaded to act as auctioneer. It has become a tradition at Wadfest auctions for at least one item to be very heavy. This year the final item was a 15cm high Thud Stone made of iron stone. Whilst the item wasn't as heavy as a bronze Feegle, the crowd decided to make Pat hold it up for a very long time by increasing bids in pennies. Finally in true Ankh Morpork style a very young lady in the crowd offered to hold up the stone for 10 GBP. Pat gratefully agreed and eagerly paid the young lady.

Once the auction was over, the amount taken was summed to over 2,200 GBP. During the day Peter and his gang of happy helpers had been selling raffle tickets. So once all the raffle sales, auction totals, voluntary contributions to the charity etc the total raised was an amazing 3472.42 GBP.

Whilst we were busy collecting auction money from successful bidders and giving out their prizes, Rob Lupine the Wadfest Magician took part in the Hodges challenge. In this challenge Dave Hodges designed a trap that he thought it would be impossible for Rob to escape from. The trap consisted of chaining Rob to a large metal frame and then wrapping his arms in barbed wire. On top of the large metal frame was a large rolling stone (Indiana Jones style) which was set to fall after 2 minutes. Rob was covered in a black cloth and the timer was started. After a very tense 1 minute and 55 seconds Rob managed to release himself from the trap. Unfortunately for Rob, Dave got a bit premature and released the stone early.

Luckily it appears the stone was actually made of polystyrene with a picture of Mick Jagger on the side (hence the rolling stone). Along the rolling track were pictures of Kate Moss because a rolling stone gathers no moss. Believe me I'm not making this up!

Once darkness fell, more drinking took place - until dawn for some people. The weather on Sunday was glorious, apart from the wind. Once the tent was dry we packed it up as soon as we could and then got into groups to help others pack down their tents in the very strong winds. People were concerned they would end up in the river Trent, hanging onto their canvas.

Once we were all packed up we did the usual try to find things to do rather than leave. Finally we decided that we must face the journey home. So after another hour of saying our farewells we headed of for the five hour journey home.

We all had a wonderful time, even if the weather was the worst we've had at a Wadfest. It even beat the amazing weather of Koom Valley back in 2004. I look forward to visiting next year where the theme will be The Beggars Guild of Ankh Morpork.

There are lots of pictures of the event listed at:

6. Competitions

This month we have a great competition for you. When I was at the Convention Rob Wilkins and Sandra Kidby gave me one of their new Ankh Morpork Post Office bags, a Post Office ripper wallet and a Post Office mug to give away. I almost decided to keep the items to myself but my conscience got the better of me so I am going to give one each of the items to the first three randomly selected winners.

In order to be in with a chance of winning one of these fabulous gifts all you need to do is work out the answer to the following question and email your answer to by 20th October 2006. Please include your postal address with your answer.

How much is the combined total cost of the new post office bag, wallet and mug? (see for the answer).

The first randomly selected name pulled from the hat will win the bag, the second the wallet and the third the mug.

For more information about these and all the over wonderful products available on the PJSM prints website visit

7. Article: Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson's 60th Birthday

Written by Jason Anthony.

On Saturday 16th September 2006 many Discworld fans and friends of Bernard and Isobel Pearson travelled down to Wincanton to help Bernard celebrate becoming 60 years young. It actually turned out to be a triple celebration as it was very recently Isobel's birthday (it would be ungentlemanly to give out her age) and also it was their 25th wedding anniversary only a few days before.

After major traffic problems I arrived with my family in Wincanton just after 2:30 and was quickly ushered down to the Sweetman Room of the Bear where many tables had been set up. There were bowls of jelly on all the tables and many, many wonderful cakes that the fans had made and brought with them (Bernard had asked for no presents but requested cakes instead!).

We quickly got some drinks and sat down before Bernard and Isobel arrived. As soon as they entered the room they were welcomed with a huge round of applause and gently moved towards two large presents on a small table. Three cheers were called and then the presents and the table split open and out popped Dave Trace dressed as Miss Vava ... bloody .. Voom (to paraphrase Bernard) who proceeded to do a very bad impression of Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday Mr President. Bernard staggered with the shock of it all and I had a sudden flash of horror that he might have had a heart attack! But Bernard soon recovered and we all joined in singing Happy Birthday. Bernard was visibly moved by having so many friends with him.

Bernard and Isobel were then dragged to a table in the middle of the room and we started to tuck into the buffet of sandwiches, cake and jelly that Isobel had arranged.

Bernard and Isobel where then presented with a huge framed portrait shot of themselves which looked great. Bernard was quick to check if anyone else was celebrating a birthday and when he found out there wasn't anyone decided that as we were having a tea party we should all have an un-birthday present, so Hilary was despatched to give out special un-birthday LBEs [Little Brown Envelopes containing stamps - Ed] to all that attended.

For those stamp collectors that were not able to attend but collect the journal I believe one of these LBEs will be included in the next edition - but please don't hold me to that!

Once the formalities were over the party kicked into action.

Later whilst Bernard went outside to smoke his pipe he was given a most unusual present in the form of a codpiece with a built in pipe. Once some chemical was loaded into the pipe and the device turned on a small amount of smoke was produced from the said codpiece. Bernard was quite proud of this present and spent quite a lot of time parading it around the car park!

It was shortly after this that we had to leave (we had previous arrangements) so we said our farewells and left.

Apparently the party went on well into the night and quite possibly into the early hours of the next morning.

A lot of fun was had by all and I think I can safely say that Bernard's party was well and truly celebrated.

9. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

Which member of the Watch do we first meet rather the worse for drink in a gutter in Ankh-Morpork?
Captain Vimes.

What makes Carrot's sword practically unique?
It isn't magical. It hasn't got a name. When you wield it you don't get a feeling of power, you just get blisters.

What was the name of the secret sect that Brother Fingers belonged to?
b) Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night.

Who said: "When you really need them the most, million-to-one chances always crop up. Well-known fact."
Sergeant Fred Colon.

Goodboy Bindle Featherstone of Quirm is know affectionately as Errol, but why?
He looks like Nobby's brother Errol.

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