Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 126: October 2007

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Wadfest
6. Competitions
7. Article: My experience of being a "Supporting Artist".
8. Article: Guards! Guards! Production Diary - Part 2
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 126. If you remember back to issue 107 we mentioned that the Make-A-Wish Foundation had arranged for 14-year-old Euan Macrae to spend a day with his literary hero Terry Pratchett.

Terry, Euan and Rob Wilkins (Terry's PA) spent an interesting day in London as part of the press day for Hogfather. They later went on to visit the studio where Hogfather was in pre-production. Terry was so impressed with Euan that he arranged for Euan to be his guest at the 2006 Discworld Convention where Euan made a big impact with the other fans, mostly by becoming the best assassin in the Assassin's guild. I was personally assassinated by him whilst having a quiet drink in the bar.

Sadly on Sunday 2nd September 2007 Euan, now 16, passed away unexpectedly. We would like to pass on our condolences to Euan's family and friends. Even though Euan was aware of just how ill he was he still made sure that he packed in as much as he could into every day. Euan will be sadly missed by all who knew him, however briefly.

Terry has written a small entry about Euan on Sandra Kidby's website:

There was also a very fitting tribute to Euan in his local newspaper

I was one of the small group of fans that was chosen to attend Pinewood Studios for some additional extras work at the end of September. I have written about my experience as an extra when we shot on location in August in section 7.

Last month I forgot to mention to two of my very good friends Rob Lupine and AJ Tucker announced their engagement. Rob asked AJ to marry him on her birthday and gave her an engagement ring he commissioned from Barrie "the special Discworld jeweller" Wakeford.

I think AJ must have been the only person at the Discworld Jamboree not to know what Rob was planning. So I hope you will join me in wishing the happy couple all the best for their future as I am sure it will be magic.

The Turtle Moves! The first North American Discworld Convention is set to take place on the Labor Day Weekend, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Terry will be Guest of Honor and more information will soon be available from

Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Board Games Consultant)

2. News

SkyOne have created a production website for the upcoming adaptation of The Colour of Magic. The site currently includes news, background information, pictures and a blog from Vadim Jean the production's director.


In related The Colour of Magic news the BBC website has information about the tall ship that Twoflower will arrive in:

Richard Massey, who does a sterling job sorting out your letters
each month, has just launched his own online board game store. Wizardopoly is packed full of board games for all ages and skills, from luck-based games up to full blown strategy games and games for two or more players.

So please head over to and see what Richard has on offer.

By the time you read this, Making Money should finally have been released.

The UK edition is available from

The US edition is available from

Please note that the above links take you to Amazon via my affiliation links and that a small percentage of any books purchased by following the link will go towards supporting Discworld Monthly.

Look at the competition section for a chance to win a US first edition.

Moist von Lipwig now has his own page on MySpace. For more information visit Moist at

HarperCollins have also created a new website for Making Money located at

Discworld Dates...

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

[UK, Updated] 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.

October's meeting will include a visit to a Chinese buffet. The meeting location will be the Strutton Arms, Westminster (nearest stations are St James Park and Victoria) on Monday 15th October from 7.00pm onwards. For more information go to or e-mail

[UK, New] St. John's Players will be performing Wyrd Sisters at St. John's Hall, Canal St., Long Eaton, Nottingham, at 7.30 on October 11th, 12th and 13th, 2007. Tickets will soon be on sale at 5.00 GBP, Concessions 4.00 GBP.

[UK, New] Minotaur Theatre Company will be performing Wyrd Sisters from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th October 2007 at 7.30pm at the University of East Anglia Drama Studio, Norwich.

Tickets cost 5 GBP (3.50 GBP concessions) and are available from the box office 01603 592272.

[UK, New] Two Rivers Theatre Company in Ipswich will be performing Guards! Guards! at The Sir John Mills Theatre, Gatacre Road, Ipswich, IP1 2LQ from Tuesday 23rd October 2007 to Saturday 27th October 2007 at 19:45 doors open 19:00.

Tickets cost 8.50 GBP (with concessions 7.50 GBP) and can be ordered from the theatre box office 10 am - 2 pm Monday - Friday 01473 211498 or online at

[UK] Following on from their successful production of "Mort", Thalian Theatre Company are proud to announce their next production of "Guards! Guards!" to be performed at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon, Essex, from 21st to 24th November. Tickets are 7.50 GBP (6.50 GBP for concessions), all enquiries to

[UK] Maskerade will be performed at the Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe, Suffolk from Thursday 29th November to Saturday 1st December 2007.

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.

Sheila writes: I am travelling to London and will be there October 22-24. As an avid fan of Terry Pratchett, I was wondering if you could suggest a shop in London (with directions please) that specializes in his books and merchandise.

Adam Went writes: I am selling a Discworld Noir game on ebay soon but would like to offer the chance to you all before I decide to put it on ebay as I know this group has a loyal following. The game runs on Windows XP/ME/2000 and 98 but on the latter, tends to run slowly even though the game was released in 1999.

All serious offers will be taken and the highest bidder will be notified by me a week after this newsletter has been sent out. Postage would be 1.50 GBP for the UK, 2.00 GBP for Europe and 3.00 GBP for rest of the world. This will be added onto your winning bids.

Please put Discworld Noir into the subject line so as I know who people are.

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 make origami creations.

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 as by Bonsai Trading. Sadly Bonsai Trading is no longer trading but John Pagan has supplied me a parcel of prints to give away. As soon as I source some suitable packing tubes I will resume sending out the prints.

* From: "Vooijs, Eva"
I couldn't stop sniggering when I read this article. And wondering if Nobby has any relatives in Russia...

Source Reuters, date 31-08-2007

Man steals bridge

Moscow - Russian police have detained a 45-year-old municipal worker for stealing a bridge. The five-metre span metal bridge disappeared from a river crossing in the Ryazan region, east of Moscow. Police said they tracked it down to the man, who had used his work truck to remove it and then chopped it up and sold it for scrap. In a statement, Ryazan region police called it "the bulkiest theft of the year".

* From: "Bri Derbyshire"
One can broach a subject, of course, and whales broach when they visit the surface. An engineering broach is a variation on a square or rat-tail file, of such a section and taper as to turn a small round hole into (eg) a large hexagonal hole, just by driving said broach through it once. We have a broached spire on one local church: not any old tower, but a specific spire base shape which starts square and rapidly goes octagonal.

Most multi-purpose English words are not confusing when taken in context, unlike the foreign ones which look the same but mean different things according to their pronunciation or accompanying gestures. Now there's a real minefield!

DWM replies: We think this is enough on the subject of brooches or broaches. We therefore consider this topic closed.

* From: "Peter van Lint"
It might interest you that my wife, Ietje Pauw, in her dissertation to obtain a Ph.D, which she will defend on September 28, with much approval quotes Terry on narration. I copy the paragraph:

"Pratchett (1999: 10) spreekt zelfs van een 'narrative imperative', the power of story, waaraan iedereen heeft te voldoen: "Narrativium is powerful stuff. We have always had a drive to paint stories on to the universe. When humans first looked at the stars, which are great flaming suns an unimaginable distance away, they saw in amongst them giant bulls, dragons, and local heroes". "Humans think in stories. Classically at least science itself has been the discovery of 'stories' (1999: 11)". "Science takes on the aura of magic because the design of a civilization proceeds by a type of narrative imperative it makes a coherent story" (1999: 36). En "Storytelling is the opposite of reductionism; 26 letters and some rules of grammar are no story at all" (1999: 93). "Concepts like gods, truth and soul appear to exist only in so far as humans consider them to do so (...). But they work some magic for us. They add narrativium to our culture. They bring pain, hope, despair, and comfort. They wind up our elastic. Good or bad, they've made us into people" (1999: 166). "Humans add narrativium to their world. They insist in interpreting the universe as if it's telling a story. This leads them to focus on facts that fit the story, while ignoring those that don't" (1999: 233)."

She uses these quotations (amongst many other ones of other authors of course) to emphasize her conviction that the teaching of students to write reflection reports should be based on narration as much as on argumentation. As far as I know this is the first time that writings of Terry Pratchett are being used on a Ph.D-level in the Netherlands.

* From: "Malcolm Hunter"
Leicester Friends of the Earth have been campaigning against Government policies to promote bio-fuels. Some bio-fuels, such as those produced from waste, have a role to play in combating climate change, but current policies are driving a boom in the production of bio-fuels from totally unsustainable sources. This boom is leading to a massive acceleration in the rate at which tropical forests are being destroyed, to the extent that a recent UN report predicted that orang-utans could be extinct in the wild in as little as 5 years. Because of the CO2 released when forests are cut down it is also leading to a big increase in CO2 emissions; while competition for land, with food crops, is driving up world food prices and threatening millions with starvation; and small farmers are being driven from their land to convert it to bio-fuel production.

We have been being helped in our campaigning by Abigail, the orang-utan. Abigail is a great admirer of the work that TP and Disc World fans have done to help orang-utans and wondered if Disc World Monthly readers would like to help our campaign, by signing our petition at:

Abigail is also a great admirer of The Librarian and would love to meet up with him, to canvass his support and perhaps also for long term friendship and cosy nights in.

* From: "David Warnock"
My girlfriend is badly dyslexic to the point that many consider her to be illiterate. However, I've got her interested in Discworld by reading books to her at night time. I started off with Mort, and went through some of the Death books, before starting her on Guards Guards. We've now read all of the Death books and all of the Vimes books (bar Thud).

It's important to me to encourage her to try and read, because left to her own devices she won't read anything. In order to keep her interested, I've acquired the animated series and we watched the Hogfather on the TV. I was also planning to sign us up to be extras in Hogfather, before they decided that was a bad idea.

I've been looking for drama groups performing Discworld novels, but every one that I find is either in the south of England or in Australia! As I live in Glasgow, Scotland, this makes travelling too expensive. If anyone knows of any Discworld productions that are not too far away from Glasgow, or even just in Scotland, please let me know!

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

4. DiscTrivia

This month I will be asking questions about Jingo.

What name did Fred and Nobby watch being painted on the prow of a ship?
How many hours are in Ahmed's name?
a) 24
b) 36
c) 71
d) 72
Where did Nobby think would be pretty warm?
What three words are missing from the following book title: _____ _____ _____: A Soldier's Life by Gen A. Tacticus.
What is a D'Reg?

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

5. Review: Wadfest 2007

Review by Jason Anthony.

On the weekend of 30th August - 2nd September hundreds of Discworld fans gathered in a field in Nottinghamshire for the 6th Wadfest event. Wadfest is a low cost camping event for Discworld fans and is designed as a family and children friendly event.

For the third time the event took place at Trentford farm. This time however the very recent weather had been kind and the site was very firm. I understand that the farmer had done a lot of preparation work to ensure the entrance to the site was not boggy. A lot of thought had obviously gone into this attention to detail throughout the event and made it the smoothest running Wadfest yet.

The opening ceremony was a simple affair with Waddy welcoming us to the event and then asking for a minute's silence to remember Karen who we sadly lost last year to cancer. Karen was responsible for the growing success of Wadfest and is still sadly missed.

There were not many planned activities on Friday, to ensure that late arrivals didn't miss out, but the traders tent and on-site caterers were available.

Friday night was the unofficial cocktail party hosted by Jem and Jo. Jem had mentioned on the stamps message board that he wanted the men to dress in, well, dresses for the party. I didn't intend to dress up but as soon as I arrived on Friday I was whisked off and providing with skirt and top! Now I have to say that it was my first time in lady's clothing and, contrary to what other people said, I didn't find it all that comfortable. Some gentlemen had gone to a lot more effort and there ended up being quite a few "laydees" at the event. After quite a lot of drinking it was decided to award a bottle of champagne to the best looking "laydee". It was decided that Miss Wadfest 2007 was Qvize from the stamp forum and that Qvize will need to wear the dress at the December Wincanton event so that he/she can get awarded the Miss Wadfest sash.

On Saturday the children were given the chance to paint the hardboard luggages that were to be used for the children's Luggage races. There was also live Pingu (based on the Internet game) where players had to see how far they could hit a plastic penguin.

After Live Pingu we set about building the boats for the dry boat races. There were four boats and the contestants were required to run the boats to the end of the field and back. There were three heats and by the end we were exhausted. Unfortunately, Jem and I were beaten on the final heat and new reigning champions where crowned. Jem and I took the opportunity to announce our dry boat race retirement.

While I rested after the dry boat racing a game of dodgeball had been set up but I decided to have a drink instead.

Later Rob Lupine impressed us with another of his magic shows. As mentioned in my Jamboree review Rob is a very talented magician and had us enthralled for the duration of the show. Having seen one of Rob's recent shows I took the opportunity to watch other people reactions to his show. It was great fun watching people's disbelief.

After the magic show, Rob and Waddy spent some time talking about how Wadfest started and various other topics that came to mind. I missed this because before they started they made it clear that it wouldn't be suitable for children and since I had my daughter with me, we decided to join people around a campfire.

On Sunday Simon and Cat who recently got married received an interesting double blessing - first a Discworld one provided by Tim and then a real-world one provided by Lucy. After the blessings we set up for the charity auction. The auction went very smoothly and over 2000 GBP was raised for Cancer Research. I have since found out that nearly 3000 GBP was raised in total when the raffle value was added to the auction.

All too soon the weekend was over and we had to go our separate ways. After an extended series of goodbyes (nobody really wanted to leave) we finally headed off for the five hour drive home. We were tired but had an excellent time.

More information about Wadfest can be found at

6. Competitions

I have a US first edition of both Making Money and The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld to give away this month curtosy of HarperCollins. The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld is a book of quotes from the Discworld series and Making Money includes a smattering of pictures that don't appear in the proof copies.

In order to win one of these wonderful books all you need to do is answer the following simple question:

What chapter does HarperCollins include as an excerpt on their Moist Von Lipwig website? (
Moist Von Lipwig website? (

Please send your answer to by 20th October 2007.

The randomly selected winners will be announced next month.

Last month I had my spare copy of the US proof of Making Money to give away (unsigned this time).

I decided that we should do another raffle and give the profits to Cancer Research UK Ltd.

Tickets were sold at 2 GBP each and while not many people entered the raffle, most who did purchased multiple tickets so I would like to thank them all for taking part.

In total after Paypal deduction was 39.16 GBP which I've rounded up to 45 GBP. As soon as the money is transferred from Paypal into my account I will make the donation to Cancer Research UK.

The randomly selected winner of the unsigned US Proof of Making Money is Sonia Smith

7. Article: My experience of being a "Supporting Artist".

By Jason Anthony.

On Wednesday 1st August and Tuesday 2nd August The Mob film company were filming on location near Guildford for their upcoming adaptation of The Colour of Magic / The Light Fantastic. Just over fifty lucky Discworld fans were invited along to work as extras for the two days. I was selected as one of the extras and with more than a little trepidation headed to the location. Once on location we quickly changed into the costumes that we'd brought with us - however, after seeing such a diversity of costumes it was decided that we would be re-dressed in more traditional outfits. After being re-fitted in costume, we were checked to see if any makeup was required: for men that could mean having beards / moustaches / side burns or wigs added and for the ladies it was to sort out hair etc. Being in possession of my own beard, I was redirected to the lunch area. Having eaten lunch in a converted double-decker bus we were lined up for a final wardrobe / makeup inspection and then led on set.

The location was a castle with large turrets, chosen to be the Unseen University - we were to be the angry mob trying to storm the University. Even up to the point where we started rehearsing I hadn't really thought about how to act. I've never had to act before so it came as a sudden shock that we had to act angry. Setting aside feelings of self-consciousness we threw ourselves into the situation and soon began to enjoy ourselves.

Much of the first day was spent waiting around while small groups were selected for various scenes. After breaking for lunch at 6:30pm (one of those weird movie things) we were once again checked by wardrobe and makeup before returning to set where we had one of those strange Hollywood moments. It was getting towards dusk as we headed on to set but as we walked into the courtyard it was like walking into daylight again. While we were eating the crew had set up a giant lamp that made it appear just like daytime. We carried on filming various scenes until just gone midnight. After that we went back to wardrobe to change back into our civilian clothes and to makeup to have any false beards etc removed. Our costumes were hung up together so that they would be easy to change into the next day. Once changed, we met briefly in the bar where we were given our complementary T-shirts and badges.

The call time for Thursday was a little bit later because we already had our costumes sorted out. So after signing in we headed off to wardrobe to dress as we had the day before. This time I did have to go to wardrobe to have my hair tied back in the same way as the previous day. The crew had taken front and back photos of all the extras to ensure continuity. Once we had eaten and the set was ready for us we were taken down to the set in groups and this time each group was given different tasks to perform. So rather than being a mob we were now being used to populate a scene that Sir David Jason, Sean Astin and the Librarian were performing. It took most of the day to film the scene from various angles etc.

As the light started to fade we moved onto filming other scenes in the Unseen University where some of us had the opportunity to spend some time just off set with Sean Astin, which was very entertaining. Finally, just before midnight, we were all reunited in the courtyard where Vadim Jean announced that it was a wrap for us. Tired but excited we headed once again back to wardrobe and makeup. Everyone that I spoke to felt that it was a great experience but very tiring, but most said that if the opportunity arose they would do it all again. This opportunity came sooner than expected when the Mob decided they needed some of us back to film some new scenes at the end of September. If I have anything new to add, I will let you know next month.

The Mob appear to be happy with the footage they got and I can't wait to see how much of it actually gets used. I know that when The Colour of Magic comes out I will probably spend far too much time looking out for people I know in the crowd scenes. I would like to thank The Mob for giving us the opportunity to try something new and for taking a risk with a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs.

8. Article: Guards! Guards! Production Diary - Part 3

By Jax (

Rehearsals have officially started! Hmm, that sentence make me sounds like I'm really happy about that, and I suppose to a certain extent I am because it means that we are on the way to creating the finished product, and I really want to see the finished product. Not that I want it to be over and done with but I really want to see this production of "Guards! Guards!". I love seeing Pratchett novels come to life and I want to see if we can produce something that reflects what I see in my imagination when I read the book.

The first few rehearsals were dedicated to blocking the play (or sorting out entrances and exits etc.) and reading through it in character so that everyone knows what is actually happening. Important information to all prospective play directors out there: never assume that your cast will have read the play by the time that rehearsals start!

However, now that all the cast members know what the play is about, they have really started to get into it. The actors playing the night watch are pretty knowledgeable about their characters (it helps that they have played them before in a production of "Men at Arms") and therefore don't really need me to tell them how to play them. In fact all of my cast are experienced players and several of them have directed plays before, including previous Pratchett plays and so are often making suggestions about how to do things (leaving me to decide if it works or not) and several times I have started to tell someone how I want them to do something and they have either finished off my sentence or done it before I had said many words! It's all making me wonder if I'm simply there to badger them into doing some actual rehearsing...

9. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What name did Fred and Nobby watch being painted on the prow of a ship?
Prid of Ankh-Morpork.
How many hours are in Ahmed's name?
c) 71
Where did Nobby think would be pretty warm?
What three words are missing from the following book title: _____ _____ _____: A Soldier's Life by Gen A. Tacticus.
What is a D'Reg?
A warlike desert tribe, very fierce and honourable, though.

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