Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 117: January 2007

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Wincanton - Hogswatch Big Bash
6. Competitions
7. Review: Hogfather - SkyONE Adaptation.
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 117 and the first issue of 2007. In only a few month's we will be 10 years old. I would like to thank you all for sticking with us for all these years - you've been great company.

Have a wonderful 2007.

Wow! What a way to end the year at least those of us lucky enough to live in the UK and have Sky TV.

The Mob have done a fantastic job of filming the first ever live action adaptation of a Discworld novel. Hogfather has now been shown on Sky television. Read all about it in section 7.

According to a post on The Collectors' Gifts forum Hogfather will be repeated on Sky2 on 27th and 28th at 1:00pm.

Also being repeated on 26th at 15:00 is Making of Hogfather - The Whole Hog.

It appears that last month's fixes to our mailing server have proved effective. Issue 116 was the first issue, for a few months, that was successfully delivered to all addresses in the mailing list. I would therefore like to thank Marie at Sonnet UK for all her hard work in sorting out the problems.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Old Man Trouble)

2. News

The south west branch of the Fools Guild will be holding their April Fools Day dinner on 10th March at 7:30pm in the Bear, Wincanton.

You should book direct with Jo on 0196332581.

There will be activities (games) during the day.

More information can be obtained from Sarah Finnerty on 01963 32914 or Divina on 01752 342818.

There are plans to have a joke competition and enter all the jokes in to the British Heritage Joke Foundation. There will also be an auction to raise money for Comic Relief.

I have agreed to host a PDF of Trevor Truran's Da Quirm lecture that he performed at the Discworld Convention on our website. Apparently there has been a great deal of interest about being able to read the lecture and Trevor thought he would make it available for free download.

To view the 19 page PDF lecture visit:

Barrie 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.

The Wincantonbury Tales is a small magazine written by Discworld fans. The previous issue raised 275 GBP for the Wincanton event charity.

The magazine includes a vast mixture of articles that relate to Discworld.

The current issue costs 2.50 GBP plus 1 GBP postage and can be obtained from Subject Wincantonbury Tales. Stocks of this issue are very limited but pre-orders can be taken now for the spring edition.

News from Colin Smythe:

I see from that the viewing figure for the first half of HOGFATHER shown on Sunday night was 2.6 million. This I believe is very much more than the people at SkyOne ever expected

Hogfather has beaten Torchwood "as the number one rated multichannel commission in UK TV history."

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.

[NE, UPDATED] Wyrd Sisters will be performed in Rotterdam by ToKiJo1 on December 20, 23, 27 and 29. This is believed to be the first-ever Dutch adaptation of Wyrd Sisters.

The troupe are planning to tour The Netherlands and Belgium as well and are in negotiations for that. The first location outside of Rotterdam will be Delft, at the Delft synagogue, January 7, 2007, 2 pm and 7:30 pm. Free parking space all Sunday long at Koornmarkt 8, just 2 buildings away from the synagogue! Tickets 10 EUR each and 6 EUR for children 8-12 yrs old and 65+ . Outside of Sprookjesstad we're not subsidized, so if you come to Delft you would support us greatly!

Reservations: Sara 06-480 45 441 or Niek 06-4289 1190.

Telephone: 00-31-(0)636107476 Email:

[UK, NEW] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged. January's meeting is on Monday 15th January at the Olde Shades, Whitehall from 7.00pm onwards. For more information go to or e-mail

[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, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen

SPECIAL HOGSWATCH OFFER: As an extra incentive to sign up for memberships (perhaps as a Hogswatch gift for your Discworld-adoring friends, or yourself), there's 20 AUD off full and concession memberships from 12:00am December 24th 2006 to 11:59pm December 31st 2006 AEDT.

With two new virtual guests - the wonderful co-authors of the Science of Discworld books - our programme is being finessed to something approaching a finished product. The latest version can be found at

Day rates have also been announced, for those of you who can't make it to the whole convention. If signing up before Feb 2nd, Friday is 45 AUD, and Saturday and Sunday are 90 AUD each. If you're interested in these, get in touch with our Membership Co-ordinator Suzie ( ).

Don't forget - you can also sign up on our mailing list for updates at

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 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:

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

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.

Birgit Ablinger writes: I would love to stage one of Pratchett's play with my school's drama group. Problem: is there a German translation of the plays available? If so, where?

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 as fire lighters.

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: "Stuart Dollin"
I wonder if anyone has wondered where Terry's idea for the Clacks system came from. I think I've found the answer.

Anyone watching the Holyhead to Liverpool programme in the BBC's recent Coast series will have been amazed to see that an Optical Telegraph system was actually built to send messages between Holyhead and Liverpool. It used signalling arms to send messages and apparently could send a message over 100 miles in less than 27 seconds. From the images and description of how it worked it just has to be Terry's model.... or an incredible coincidence.

If you go to you can find out a lot more and there's even a picture.

DWM replies: Stuart gets this month's Letter Of The Month.

* From: "Covell, Ian"
Last month Yvonne Duffy asked a about a copy of Men at Arms she had been given.

Somewhat ambiguous -- presumably we are talking an undated print after the first printing? [So it shows, say "3 5 7 6 4" on the copyright page?]

It's likely that all printings of such hardcovers would have the same ISBN, and if the price is the same from the start, the only possibility for knowing "a rough date" for the printing is whether the list of Terry's books includes something published after MEN AT ARMS.. or some time-specific extra comment ["Terry has recently won the award for being the best writer on the planet"] which might pin it down to a year or month.

The publishers themselves might also give an answer.. and Colin Smythe's brilliant site might give more pointers... (eg, 1993 ISBN was 0-575-05503-0, and the 1998 reissue was 0-575-06577-X {but check out the comment about re jacketing)

* From: "Jon Price"
Ref the Bosnian cabbage monument. I served in Bosnia in 1997-98 and remember those cabbages very well. There is a valley near Banja Luka that is entirely given over to the growing and cultivation of far as the eye can see it's cabbage, cabbage, cabbage.

Along the roadside that cuts through, are the inevitable cabbage-sellers, each selling sacks of cabbages. There is no apparent difference between each vendor (spaced a hundred yards or so between each one over a distance of say 10 miles) other than the colour of the sack holding the cabbages!

Good luck to them!

Oh - in the other season, they grow watermelons and pumpkins...and sell them too.

* From: "Mike Harrington"
Sto Plains in Bosnia? Great news but for me they evoke another image a bit nearer home. I used to drive over them,. through endless fields of cabbages and sprouts, when I worked in Liverpool. They lie roughly between Formby and Maghull in totally flat country. You can find the village that I think of as Scrote on OS Landranger Sheet 108 (Liverpool) at Grid Ref 347020.

Gabriella's translation of Cave et aude is right: 'Be careful and dare.' 'Watch and listen' would be Cave et audi.

* From: "Matthia Lariviere"
I've noticed a time or two people wondering about book valuing, so I thought I'd put my two cents in. I work at a used book store that has a fairly extensive antiquarian and speciality stock (, if anyone's interested) so I've got a bit of experience at pricing books.

The best and easiest way to price a book is to visit as many speciality and antiquarian on-line listings and compare your title with the ones listed. Be very aware of condition, edition, publication dates, dust jackets, inscriptions/signatures and the like, which will all affect value. Some good sites are or, but those are just a few. The more listings you can find the more reliable the price is. After all that, it really is up to you to settle at an educated guess--usually based on an overall average. I would suggest, though, that if you think you've stumbled across something special that you get it properly valued by a reliable antiquarian or speciality bookseller, if it's really important to you.

This is really only worth the time if you think you have a reasonably valuable book. If you try looking for your "color of magic" pb, even if it's a first printing, you probably wont find it listed for more than a few bucks. Any ways, I hope this has helped any frustrated bibliophiles out there who think they may have gold sitting on their bookshelf!

* From: "Stephen Parsons"
I was at the second screening [of the Hogfather premiere] and Terry and the director gave a 15 min Q&A before our screening in which they told us that they "were not making a Rincewind book into a program and so couldn't talk about how well its going" which looks very promising. I also got my invite signed by Terry, Sir David Jason, Tony Robinson, Neil Planner, Michelle Dockery and Stephen
Marcus which is a real keeper.

A brilliant adaptation over all and didn't disappoint in any way

* From: "Tessa Ghost"
Ever since discovering the Discworld books, I have maintained links for acquiring the Josh Kirby covers. If anyone in the US is still looking for them, and happens to live in a city with a major Sci-Fi convention, check to see if Zane Melder of Edge Books will be in the dealer's room. He has almost single-handedly enabled me to acquire the artwork covers, even to the point of sending them to me via other people who are attending conventions in those cities!

I also like the Paul Kidby covers. I found it very interesting that I could pretty much name all the characters on the cover of the first Science book, and only Darwin gave me a problem on the third one, since I've never paid much attention to him. I think PK did an excellent job of fleshing out the actual descriptions of the characters, where with some of the JK covers you just have to guess who is which! In fact, I took the PK art book to a book club meeting last night to show someone, and the rest of us were blabbing about various topics all evening, while she sat there in her own corner and very carefully studied the book page by page. I'll have to take "The Last Hero" to another meeting and see if the same thing happens . . . .

* From: "Robert Hurley"
Sorry, I'm gonna get a lot of stick over this, but having just watched Hogfather, I've come away very, VERY disappointed..

Some of the casting was excellent, the visuals were fantastic, and the plot was adhered to, along with much of the dialogue.

But the wizards were rubbish...come on, Ridcully mumbled most of his lines. Not what I expected from someone who regularly shouts " BUUURRSSAAARRR"!!! Ponder was ok, but did I miss something? Like a 300 pound ape? Maybe I did, because I was rapidly losing interest, and started to decorate my Christmas tree, much to the astonishment of my wife, who didn't expect me to surface from the Discworld until tomorrow.

Here's the worst bit, and it's nothing to do with the story. Most of the actors seemed to be reading from a script... especially Susan. She might as well have had an Autocue in front of her, she just read her lines,nothing else. Teatime was pretty good, though the American accent was disconcerting...thinking of the U.S. audience, eh, Mob films?

All in all, I am gutted, especially as I flew home from Spain(where I work) EARLY, just to catch this so called Pratchett treat. I would rather there are no more TV adaptations, thank you very much.

DWM replies: We are sorry that you came away disappointed by The Mob's adaptation of Hogfather. The problem with any adaptation is that it might not fit the image you have in your head. Personally I thought Michelle was fabulous as Susan and loved every minute of it.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I will be asking questions about Reaper Man.

Death stays on a farm, who owns it?
What name does Death take on in Reaper Man?
- Bill Gates
- Bill Barnett
- Bill Door
- Bill Sky
Name three of the ingredients in Wow, Wow sauce!
Why did Miss Flitworth's father think taxes were worse than death?
What is the last song that Bill Door and Miss Flitworth dance to?

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

5. Review: Wincanton - Hogswatch Big Bash

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

This year's Big Bash took place over the weekend of 8-9 December 2006. Unlike previous events the local had been pressed into service. This provided a large room for dealers but also make the whole thing feel a bit like a car boot sale.

The Discworld Beer festival took place off the main hall and many a happy Discworld fan could be seen staggering out from time to time.

Whilst the event official didn't start until Saturday the normal motley crew of dedicated fans had decided to start the weekend early. For a lot of us it started with a really nice curry before we either headed off to the ghost walk or the local hostelries for some liquid refreshment. I did purchase a ticket for the ghost walk but gave my ticket away to someone that wanted to go but didn't manage to get a ticket in time - so I was forced to go to the Dolphin pub instead.

After a few hours of quaffing our taxi arrived to take us back to our accommodation where we put the world to rights around the kitchen table whilst examining some of the myriad digital photos we had taken.

Saturday started slowly (for some reason none of us were feeling all that bright). We headed into town, visited the show and examined what the memorial hall had on offer.

During the day on Saturday Dave Hodges showed me the prototype of his BSJ egg cup. This sturdy bit of engineering turns out to be a Bar-B-Que. Made from half of a gas cylinder and with legs to keep the base 18" off the ground (a regulation at Wadfest and other campsites) this Bar-B-Que will last a lifetime. Once you finish cooking the grill can be removed and the base can be filled with wood to make a safe camp fire. Dave went on to show me the blisters on the palms of his hands but at that point I ran away.

Whilst we were watching the Maskerade. Rod and Ian from The Mob turned up to get ready for their showing of the Making of Hogfather. I got involved in helping to turn the memorial hall into a cinema for the evening. It's quite fun trying to get over 300 chairs arrange in a hall when other people are hanging around because it's cold outside.

After arranging the chairs we headed to our designated pub for the traditional sausage supper where I was able to have some great conversations with very pleasant company.

Following supper, rather than having the auction we all headed back to the memorial hall to watch the Making of Hogfather. We didn't get to see the making of but we did get to see a sneak preview of bits of the Hogfather adaptation.

After the presentation and a quick question and answer session a special auction took place. The items in the auction were all props from the Hogfather adaptation that Terry and Rob managed to salvage from the skip! Amazingly over 4000 GBP was raised - so much for scrap.

Sunday morning started very cold. We made our way down to the sports ground for the football (soccer) match that would take place between the Flatalists and the Consulate. I volunteered my (lack of) skills as the goal keeper for the Flatalists which gave the advantage of being the only player on the team that wasn't tied to an opposition player.

The game was played with real Ankh-Morpork style and flair. Goals changed shape as bits were removed to make them smaller. At one point my goal was picked up and moved to the other end of the pitch. And at some point I picked up the ball and recreated that famous moment when rugby football was first invented. There were even a couple of pitch invasions by the cheerleaders! The game ended with a score of 10 all.

After we recovered sufficiently from the football we headed back to the memorial hall. At the hall a number of awards were given out and then a special present was given to Bernard and Isobel - Bernard got a new smoking pipe made in his image and Isobel got a beautiful glass bowl. These presents we paid for by donations from members of the Discworld stamp forum.

After all the awards and presents were given out the normally Saturday night auction was started. The auction raised nearly 2000 GBP bringing the weekend total to 5970 GBP.

I had a wonderful time and can't wait for the April event. Photograph's of the event can be found on the Silver Horde website

Details of future events can be found at:

6. Competitions

This month we have a signed copy of the Illustrated Hogfather Screenplay up for grabs. The book has been signed by Vadim Jean (Director), Michelle Dockery (Susan), Steven Marcus (Banjo) and Terry Pratchett (Toy Maker) - the signatures were collected personally by me at the London premiere.

This time instead of a competition we are going to hold a raffle for charity.

Each entry to the raffle costs just 2 GBP and you can enter as many times as you like. To take part in the raffle please send your payment via paypal to before 20th January 2007. Please mention that it is for the raffle when you post the money.

On January 22nd I will randomly select an entry. At that point all money in the Discworld Monthly paypal account (currently about 1.50 GBP, but hopefully a lot higher after the raffle) will be donated to Cancer Research UK.

I will annouce the winner of the signed screenplay and the amount raised next month.

Last month we had three prizes to give away courtesy of Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson. Bernard had just opened the Octiron Forge ( to provide a range of objets d'art ranging from a Room 3b plaque to a Goddess Anoia kitchen utensil all made in "lead free" pewter.

The prizes on offer were reproductions of the ring Tiffany has made in Wintersmith. The first prize made from silver and the three runners up prizes made from pewter.

In order to win one of these great prizes all you had to do was answer to the following question.

The Tiffany rings are available in four sizes. What sizes are they?

The answer we were looking for was H, J, M and P. Not Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large as some tried to tell me!

This was one of the most popular competitions we have ever run. Over 560 people gave the correct answers and only a handful of incorrect ones.

The randomly selected 1st prize winner is Anita Hooper of Sussex, England and two second prize winners are Jo Haigh of Cornwall, England and Tina Lee of California, USA.

7. Review: Hogfather - SkyONE Adaptation

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

It seems like an age since we first started hearing about a live action adaptation of a Discworld novel. In fact the initial meeting between Terry and the Mob took place in Wincanton two years ago.

Last year a deal was struck and work began on adapting Hogfather, the culmination of which was shown on SkyONE on Sunday 17th December and Monday 18th December 2006.

As you know I was lucky enough to see the first part of Hogfather on the big screen at its premiere in London back in November. Since then I have been desperately waiting to see the second part.

Having ordered Sky just so I could see Hogfather I invited a few friends round to watch it with me [namely the rest of the DWM editorial panel; he hasn't got any other friends - WB]. So at 8pm on Sunday we dimmed the lights in anticipation. I noticed that the version shown on TV wasn't quite the same as the one I'd seen at the premiere. This was most notable in the much shorter scene set in the pub when the "businessmen" meet Teatime for the first time. This didn't matter and probably made more sense for non-fans.

Before we knew it the first advert break started and then I realised that 20 minutes had already passed - once again I was hooked.

The general consensus in the room was that the adaptation was very well done, but Bill felt that the pacing was far too slow (an opinion that I have heard expressed several times on various forums). I suspect a lot of that may well be due to the long advert breaks (30 minutes of adverts for a 90 minute programme).

My parents (who are not fans) watched it and felt that it required quite a lot of attention to understand what was going on. Even so they enjoyed it enough to watch the second part on the Monday.

So on to part 2. Once again my friends came back to watch the second half (even Bill).

The second part has a much higher pace and a lot more comedy. I thought the "Hello inner child. I'm the inner baby sitter" line (which is straight from the book) worked so well. I felt obliged to shout out my excitement at that point. The final section of the part two was brilliant; the whole interaction between Death and Susan was done magnificently. There are some really touching moments in the adaptation. When Death gives Susan a Hogswatch Card their interplay is amazing.

The scenes in Unseen University were also very funny. I love the bit where Ponder decides that although he doesn't believe in the Hogfather he feels obligated to hang up his sock on the off chance he is real.

I have read lots of comments about the adaptation and the one thing that upsets a lot of people is Marc Warren's voice. Far too many people believe that he sounds too much like Johnny Depp's version of Wonker.

Personally I didn't have a problem with it. As far as I am concerned you are meant to get slightly uncomfortable in the company of Teatime and that voice certainly did it for me.

Whilst I have read some quite negative reviews of the adaptation I have to say that I thought it was brilliant. It was well acted, it looked great and the care and attention to detail was obvious to see. [I fell asleep during part 2 - WB]

Around 2.6 million viewers tuned in on Sunday to watch part one and 1.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the second part (quite an achievement considering it was up against both East Enders and Coronation Street). Only once in SkyOne's history has a program received more viewers than Sunday's Hogfather and that was an episode of Friends back in 2000.

Let's hope that this encourages SkyOne to commission more Pratchett Novels as there's a Wizzard I would quite like to see come to life on my TV screen.

Hogfather will be made available on Region 2 DVD in March. I understand that a sample of the program was shown to a US television company a couple of days before it aired in the UK. So hopefully the rest of the world won't have too long to wait to see it.

As soon as we have any information about world wide releases we will let you know.

8. The End

Discworld Monthly would like to thank Sonnet UK for hosting our mailing list for us free of charge. For more information about Sonnet UK visit their website at

* Contact Information *

We prefer information to be sent via email, but can accept information via fax or post at the following addresses:

Post: J Anthony-Rowlands (DWM), 20 Cambrian Place, Pontarddulais, Swansea, SA4 8RG

* Latest Book Information *

Discworld hardback: Wintersmith 0385609841/87

Discworld paperback: Thud 0552152676/87

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

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

* Subscription Information *

To subscribe to 'Discworld Monthly' simply enter your email address in the form on the 'Discworld Monthly' web page. Our web site contains all back issues and links to other Pratchett sites.

Current circulation approximately 20000

To un-subscribe please follow the instructions at the end of this email.

If you have any problems un-subscribing visit our removal help page.

* Disc Trivia Results *

Death stays on a farm, who owns it?
Miss Flitworth

What name does Death take on in Reaper Man?
Bill Door.

Name three of the ingredients in Wow, Wow sauce!
Any of: mature scumble, pickled cucumbers, capers, mustard, mangoes, figs, grated wahooni, anchovy essence, asafetida, sulphur and saltpetre.

Why did Miss Flitworth's father think taxes were worse than death?
Because at least death didn't happen to you every year.

What is the last song that Bill Door and Miss Flitworth dance to?
The Last Waltz.

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

If you are looking for Terry books or videos over the net, simply visit our web page at and follow the 'Purchasing' link on the left panel of the page.

* Supporting DWM *

Discworld Monthly was created as a totally free newsletter and will continue to remain so for as long as it continues. However, the costs of maintaining the web site, postage, travel etc adds up. If you feel you would like to make a small contribution towards these costs please consider doing so via either or

My account for each of these is


* Small Print *

We make no effort whatsoever to ensure the information in this newsletter is accurate or even legal. Remember to always exercise caution when passing your credit card details over the Net (or over the phone for that matter). All trademarks are recognized as the property of their respective owners, whoever they may be.

* Thanks *

Thanks for reading this issue of 'Discworld Monthly'. We hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments or suggestions for the future of this newsletter please email:
Facebook Twitter X Instagram Kofi Tumblr YouTube