Discworld Monthly - Issue 133: May 2008
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 133 and DWM's eleventh birthday, so thanks for reading all this time. We would like to wish Terry Pratchett a very happy 60th Birthday for the 28th April.
At the end of May I will be heading off to Wincanton in Somerset with a couple of hundred other Discworld fans to enjoy the many activities. This year's event falls upon the bank holiday weekend which means finding accommodation is even more difficult than usual.
Despite this I am really looking forward to meeting up with friends, having a cider or two and simply enjoying the company.
For more information about the event visit www.discworldemporium.com/pages/discworld-news.php
Please note that there has been no announcement of when The Colour of Magic will be on a) DVD or b) on television in other countries. As soon as I find out this type of information I will ensure that it makes it into the newsletter.
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 email@example.com and we will consider it for publication.
Jason Anthony (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Martyr to his Lumbago)
From Sandra Kidby's website (
An April Update From Terry (15th April 2008):
My office is now effectively at a standstill. In fact, my office is probably moving slightly backwards. It has not helped that a five story rack of filed mail collapsed under the weight recently, thus shuffling several thousand documents into new and interesting combinations. Right now it is a good day if we can answer just those emails that turn up on that day. Most days are nothing like good days. Can we please say this:
I very much appreciate all the letters, emails and cards that have come in, many of them recounting personal experiences and quite a few passing on "survival kits". There does seem to be some people out there who have managed at least to slow AD, although I have to say that it does appear by taking various supplements, not by milligram, but by grams :o)
Nation has now been line-edited, and in theory I was going to have a month or so off, although a large part of that will now be spent reassembling what passes as our post room. In reality there are now more calls on my time than there have ever been, to the point where we are simply having to ignore approaches. I think we must have had more than a dozen approaches from documentary companies alone, and I think we shall now just stop sending out the "You are too late, guys" emails (You may see us around and about being followed by Craig and Charlie, who are making a documentary about me for the BBC which will be broadcast next year.) I never intended that I would be some kind of AD spokesman, but the world seems to be deciding otherwise.
On a brighter note, I am now firmly ensconced with a specialist, testing last week showed that nothing much had moved since the end of November, except that in situations where I must parallel process I find that serial processing is about as much as I can achieve :o)
There are a number of things planned for the rest of the year, and they include cracking on with Unseen Academicals and also, with any luck, playing a rather larger role in the making of Going Postal.
- Terry Pratchett
JA adds: On a personal note, can I politely request that people not send me mail to pass on to Terry, my email has to go through the same filters as everyone else's.
Also from Sandra Kidby's website: BBC Documentary
IWC Media, Scotland's largest Independent Television Production company, and the BBC, are working exclusively with Terry Pratchett to produce a documentary series based on Terry's recent diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's.
In this, the 25th year since the first publication of Terry's hugely successful Discworld series, the documentary team will follow Terry as he finds out about his condition, looks towards new horizons and follows numerous lines of enquiries that may offer some hope, conventional or otherwise.
The Producer of the documentary is Craig Hunter and the director is Charlie Russell.
News From Colin Smythe:
Information of what is appearing on BBC to mark Terry's 60th birthday can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/drama/pratchett.shtml
Varrak (Estonia) have signed up Thief of Time, Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment, and Going Postal
Random House Mondadori have signed up a five book contract for the Spanish language rights of The Truth, Thief of Time, Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment and Going Postal
Kidmat Eden are taking a licence for Hebrew editions of WEE FREE MEN, A HAT FULL OF SKY and WINTERSMITH
Win Dinner with Terry.
On the first of May 2008 the fifteen highest bidders in a closed-bid auction will be enjoying an exclusive dinner at a private venue in London with Terry Pratchett and Dr Raj Persaud.
The money raised from the auction will go to Alzheimers Reserch UK.
We would have loved to have notified our readers earlier but timing and fate conspired against it - sorry!
Small Gods will be broadcast on BBC radio 7 on Sat 26 Apr, 18:30 - 19:00. This is the fist episode of 4 parts and will be repeated on Sunday at 12:30.
The Amazing Maurice will also be broadcast on BBC radio 7 on Sun 27 Apr, 10:00 - 11:30.
DWM would like to thank Dave Gay for the information.
Bookseller has an interview with Terry about his embuggerance at: discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=BookSeller200804
Locus - The Magazine of The Science Fiction and Fantasy Field issue 567 - April 2008 features an in-depth interview with Terry and a 25 years of Discworld section with three articles, one each written by Stephen Briggs, Anna M. Caggiano and somebody called Jason Anthony (whoever he may be).
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] Maskerade will be performed at the Javeenbah Community Theatre on Australia's Gold Coast.
The show starts on the 2nd of May. All the details can be found at
[UK] The Chameleons Amateur Dramatic Society will be performing Wyrd Sisters from May 8th - 10th 2008 at the Glaxo SmithKlein Leisure Centre, Oldfield Lane, North Greenford, Middlesex UB6 0HE (Easily accessible from London and the M40)
Tickets cost 9 GBP Adults, 7.50 GBP concessions. With a 10% discount available on groups of 10 or more.
Box Office 020 8123 6443 or email@example.com
[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.
May's meeting will be on Monday 12th May at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.
Keep an eye on
www.brokendrummers.co.uk or e-mail
[UK] The Wincanton Spring Bash will be held on the 24 and 25 May. Visit www.discworldemporium.com/ for more details.
[UK, New] KATS World Premier of Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures adapted for the stage by John Hicks and Kevin Miller will be performed from 31st July to 2 August 2008 at Kennet School, Thatcham. Tickets cost 8 GBP, see www.kats.org.uk for more details.
[UK] Mort (The Musical) will be performed by the Youth Music Theatre UK from Wednesday 20th - Saturday 23rd August from 8pm. (There is also a Thursday and Saturday matinee at 2pm).
The performance takes place at Priors Field School, Godalming, Surrey.
[UK] The Discworld Convention 2008 will take place at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham from 22nd to 25th August 2008.
For more information visit: www.dwcon.org/
[UK] Wadfest 2008 will take place on the 29th - 31st August 2008. Tickets cost 15 GBP for adults with children under 16 free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information visit: www.wadfest.co.uk/
[UK] The Wincanton Hogswatch Event will be celebrated on the 29th and 30th November. Visit www.discworldemporium.com/ for more details once they have been confirmed.
[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.
For more information visit
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.
Arie de Groot firstname.lastname@example.org writes: At the last two CLARECRAFT symposiums I was the Monk of time, the maker of the Discworld Monopoly board and the Rat King shield.
Please, I hope you can help me, I would like some advice of how to sell my entire Discworld collection. Over 100 models, books paperback and bonded signed and unsigned, old calendars, VHS tapes and DVDs, posters, coins and banknotes, comic strips, souvenirs. etc. models of CLARECRAFT with box, tent card and sticker, models only with sticker or tent card. CLARECRAFT shields, P.Y.O. models, paper models of the UU and four large models of MAC Feegels.
The reason is to finance my emigration to the Philippines. Already I'm selling other collectables on eBay, but I would like to give Discworld collectors a first change to obtain an old piece to complete there collection. And with eBay and Paypal there is a loss of the fees to pay. Many thanks for your help and I hope all is well at the Discworld Monthly. Yours Sincerely. Arie de Groot
Julia Nenova Jnenova@havering-college.ac.uk writes: I am looking for as many jigsaw puzzles which are related in some way or another to PTerry's works - I already have Carpe Jugulum (cardboard/1,000 pieces) and 'The Librarian' (wooden) plus Stanley Howlers's Stamp collection (Wooden). I know that there are other puzzles out there so if any one has them I would be willing to pay a fair price for them. Thanking you in anticipation, Julia
Heather Warren email@example.com writes: After often reading about the London Discworld Group, The Broken Drummers, and thinking to myself "I wish someone would set up a group like that in York" I've decided to get off my backside and set one up myself! Anyone interested - and I know you're out there because I saw you all queueing outside Borders! - could you please email me and we'll try and get something set up.
DWM adds: Good luck Heather.
If you have any letters or comments, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 in the vague hope that someone might notice.
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 kindly supplied me with a reasonable supply of prints to give away.
* From: "jonathan kington" email@example.com
Oh, how I agree and sympathise with Jenny ("jeniwren") in the April edition of DWM. I'm a 50 year old male and I have to put up with snide comments from older siblings. But what the heck, Terry's books, even the ones for "children of all ages" are worth reading over and over. Even though I know most of them off by heart now!!!
* From: "Barbara Foss" firstname.lastname@example.org
I loved Scott Haley's suggestion that 08/08/08 should be used for fund-raising. I had another idea - as my birthday is the day before Terry Pratchett's I thought it would be appropriate to ask for money to be sent to the Alzheimer's fund instead of getting presents. My husband generously offered 200 GBP so I asked if he would up it to 240 GBP. Why 240 GBP? 3 x EIGHT-y, of course! Actually, I think my husband is just relieved he doesn't have to go shopping...
I know not everyone's friends and relations would be keen to do this, but if all Discworld readers gave up just one present, the amount could probably be the Eighth wonder of the world.
DWM replies: Barbara will get one present this month. A Kiss The Cook poster for writing this month's Letter of The Month.
* From: "Andy Tobias" email@example.com
Twice tried, twice hanged, twice buried.
I was moved to write after hearing, Lindsey Davis (I think this was the same Lindsey Davis who writes the Falco novels, of which, like TP's, I have a large collection) read a short story that she had written. This was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 27/03/08.
The (anti) hero of her story was was one William Booth from Perry Barr near Birmingham who was hanged in 1812 as a forger. He was, poor man, hanged twice, as the first time the rope fell from the scaffold, dropping him to the ground, stunned, but otherwise undamaged. Unlike Moist von Lipwig, or Owlswick Jenkins, however there was to be no reprieving angel. He was successfully executed a couple of hours later.
As a rather macabre twist, his body was later dug up from the churchyard in which it had been buried and moved to a hidden spot as, it appears, curious sightseers were lowering the tone of the neighbourhood.
Prior to his trial for forgery, he had been tried for murder but acquitted. He therefore earned the tag of "Twice tried, twice hanged, twice buried."
Incidentally, as I also learned from the story, William Booth was a contemporary and neighbour of Matthew Boulton who was responsible for the first industrial scale manufacture of legal coins at the Soho Mint, and produced a new set of copper currency for Britain.
Is this yet another example of echoes from the Discworld affecting our reality?
* From: "andrew" firstname.lastname@example.org
Not sure whether anything critical is allowed on here but did anyone else not think that there were some really, really badly lit sequences in the Colour of Magic??? I actually stopped the programme and flipped channels just in case my TV was doing one but nope a lot of 'flooded red' and some very dark and poorly focused camera work????
[David] Jason is a great actor... but sorry, the Rincewind scratched on my inner eye lid is a tall gangling, skinny bundle of cowardly pathos even his whispery beard is afraid to grow in my 'humble opinion' it has to be said
And this really is a big kick in the 'Luggage' but I thought that the 'extras of Ankh Morpork' really looked like some one had asked a bunch of Pratchett fans to come along bring their own costumes and be in the fillum!!!!
Did the Patrician wear dark glasses or was I in a really bad mood by now??? If so what's with the visual and literary gag with Twoflower???? Well at least one good thing has come out of this I have now set about re-reading the Colour of Magic to convince and indeed remind myself of 2 things
A: The Book is positively Iconic and B: Maybe the images of the Discworld ought to stay trapped behind Terry Pratchett's eyelids.
Trust me The World is Flat!!
* From: Paul Friend email@example.com
I've been a Discworld fan and DWM subscriber for years now but never before have I been motivated to put finger to key (in younger, happier times pen to paper) in reply to a fellow fans views. I've always considered us Discworldians a fair and even minded people, but after the innerbrats rant in dwm 132 about the choice of Sean Astin and possible implications I feel impelled to comment. In years gone by before the Blade films were made by Marvel entertainment the "Blade" of the story was a white guy, until Wesley Snipes was the best auditionee the comic book fandom took this on the chin and life goes on, so should it for us Discworldians. If that line of reasoning does not convince everyone, consider this: Twoflower comes from Bes Pelargic - a city that Rincewind could also claim to be a resident of and therefore Twoflower is not necessarily Oriental, all though really the entire Agatean Empire is never described as that, it is just in some parts similar to the Orient of our world. Myself as a none Sky customer must wait with baited breath to see if Mr Astin is however worth my defence...
On a lighter note in reference to Cynthia Games letter about Torchwood, I'm also buying into the theory of a Pratchett sympathiser on Russell T Davies staff, especially after Saturday (April 12th) episode of Doctor Who which included "alien" creatures around Pompeii, not unlike the King of Golems from Feet of Clay. Maybe we should just petition the Beeb to make proper PTerry adaptations and save us all subscribing to Sky!
* From: "Barry Etheridge" firstname.lastname@example.org
I note that in all the discussions of Rincewind's age every contributor has assumed a direct correlation between a year on Discworld and a year upon our own world. As the Discworld calendar is based on a week of eight days which themselves depend on a sun that rotates, this is rather a curious thing to do. To me there seems to be nothing to suggest that Rincewind could not be thirty discyears in age and bearing the marks of sixty years of ageing, or indeed the reverse. To argue about David Jason's casting upon uncertain physics (time is an illusion at best!) is pretty much the equivalent of deciding how many angels might fit upon the head of a seamstress' pin! Behold, we stand at the gate of Legibus and weep!
Any sympathy for Innerbrat's feelings on matters of racism faded quickly as it became obvious that this is an attempt to create an issue where none exists. If we descend to the point that any casting decision in favour of 'white males' is seen as one against racial equality then frankly all is lost.
Twoflower is nothing if not a somewhat stereotyped caricature of the international tourist and who represents the tourist in our experience more than an American? The only near equivalent would possibly be Japanese. Is anyone aware of a suitable actor from that part of the world who also happens to be a Discworld enthusiast and would be available for a relatively low-cost English production? Masi Oka would have been perfect but he was somewhat otherwise occupied!
Sometimes a casting really is just a casting. And, by the way, I can think of many male actors who would be perfect for Granny - why is it not sexist to discount them I wonder? As for Tonker and Lofty, isn't 'just good friends' precisely how they portray themselves? I don't detect any desire to be 'outed'.
* From: "Sirhc Tnahcram" email@example.com
After years of searching I believe I have finally uncovered evidence of a real anti-crime being committed on Roundworld, other than those committed by Mr Lewellyn-Bowen and office managers of course. In fact, this was committed professionally. An acquaintance of mine, who shall remain nameless lest the Watch become involved, was doing some work for a pressure cleaning company. They use high-pressure hoses to blast dirt and mould out of concrete and other surfaces. One night he snuck up to a building and did some free cleaning for them. In fact, he cleaned the words "Wash me!" in six-foot-high letters on the wall. Apparently the police say it can't be graffitti if it's cleaned into the surface. The building owners had to pay for the whole wall to be professionally cleaned. If only he hadn't gone out and gotten drunk to celebrate he might have managed to get a quote in the next day and won the contract.
* From: "Dave Nicholson" firstname.lastname@example.org
With regards to your campaign for a knighthood for Terry. As the fool says "a night hood nuncle?" He already has the order of a non-existent empire.
No I would like to see Pterry get the recognition as the scientist he is. Only a scientist could make the Darwinian point that we live long enough to get Alzheimer's and other illness because we do not die at 28. The age when our offspring could reproduce.
Not just the three Science of Discworld books with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen but also the other references scattered through the books, multiverse, chaos theory etc.
I would campaign for an honorary Professorship for Pterry.
I would like to hear him, Stewart and Cohen discussing Fantasy and Science on In our Time, the fascinating Science and Philosophy discussions hosted by Melvyn Bragg.
I have already suggested it to the programme.
* From: "Will Posey" email@example.com
When I was around 10 or 11 I received my first Discworld novel Equal Rites through a subscription in a sci-fi book club. I loved it! But being in the U.S (and being so young) I didn't know about all the other books until about a year ago. I was in a book store with my daughters and I saw all the Discworld books on the shelf. I haven't stopped reading them ever since. DEATH is my favourite character with Esme a close second. Just thought I would drop a line from South Carolina, USA.
* From: "Jean Guittet" firstname.lastname@example.org
In (paranoid) answer to Jason's answer to Cynthia M Games in Issue 132, about Torchwood plots having more than a few points in common with Discworld plots or Discworld-related information:
"DWM replies: I would probably put this down to coincidence until the latest episode I watched where Owen's girlfriend is diagnosed as the youngest person to ever have early on-set Alzheimers! It actually turned out she had an alien growing in her brain. I wonder if Terry has had this option checked?"
I was lucky enough to be at the Convention in Hinkley in 2006, when the Mob Film team treated us to an interview. And Terry told us that he was very worried about the team in general. They seemed competent, enthusiast, they knew the books, they were fans... It was all going too well. He wondered when their heads would open and tentacles come out. I think "tentacle time" was used here and there in the interview.
Are we being watched? Should CMOT Dibbler start selling tinfoil hats? The answer is out there.
PS: Mr Davies, if you read DWM, could you please confirm or infirm, please? Thank you.
* From: "Michael the Archangel"
I am giving 5.00 AUD a month to the Australian research fund in Hazel Hawke's and Terry's name http://www.alzheimers.org.au/content.cfm?infoPageId=1225
I know it is not much but I am a disabled pensioner on the poverty line. It is for all the countless hours of joy that Terry continues to give me. I am angry that that mean bastard of a disease may take that away from me. I challenge others to match or better my contribution.
This month I'm asking questions about The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
- What is the "stupid looking kid"'s real name?
- Which rodent likes to tap dance?
- a) Tuna
- b) Sardines
- c) Salmon
- d) Cheese
- What book do the rodents take solace in?
- Where did the rodents get their names from?
- What did Maurice sacrifice to save Dangerous Beans?
The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Discworld, HarperCollins in the US and Transworld in the UK are releasing the graphic novel versions of both The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic into one hardback graphic "super" novel. This review is of the US edition.
These graphic novels are not new but many Discworld fans will probably be unaware of them. The Colour of Magic was originally released in four episodes in 1991 and The Light Fantastic, also in four parts, was released a year later. The graphic novels were also later released as single volumes, copies of which can still be found on eBay for reasonable amounts.
The book itself is supplied without a dustjacket. The cover however is printed in full colour. My first impression was that the new book was taller and thinner than the original editions but having compared them side by side it is actually the same aspect!
The print quality of the illustrations appears to be slightly better in the new edition. The starscape at the beginning of The Colour of Magic, for example, shows more stars where the original seems darker with less stars. I would love to see what the original artwork looks like.
The adaptations of the stories are very good and, unlike the recent television adaptation, appear to include all parts of the books. So in The Colour of Magic, for example, we get to see the temple of Bel-Shamharoth, the dryads and Hrun the Barbarian. Strangely they decided not to include the section where Rincewind and Twoflower swap realities and end up in an aeroplane.
In most of the pictures of Twoflower we don't actually get to see his eyes but in one picture we see that he appears to have four eyes like the Josh Kirby interpretation.
The drawing style is quite simple but still manages to capture the feel of Discworld. Fans of graphic novels should enjoy reading this adaptation. I'm not a huge graphic novel fan (although I have read quite a few of them) but I did enjoy spending a couple of hours re-reading the adaptations as it reminded me just how much fun the first two novels are and also just how much was packed into those novels.
This edition is released by HarperCollins 0061685965 priced 24.99 USD. Amazon.com have it listed at 16.47 USD for release in June.
Transworld will be releasing their version in the UK in June ISBN 0385614276 priced 9.90 GBP from Amazon.co.uk
Want to be one of the first people to read Nation? Well this month I have a US proof copy to give away provided by the lovely people at HarperCollins. All you need to do for a chance to win this great prize is send the answer to the following question to email@example.com by 20th May 2008.
- What is the name of the Discworld game found on the HarperCollins TerryPratchettBooks.com website?
The randomly selected winner will be announced next issue.
Last month I offered a SkyOne pack as a raffle prize. This pack was given out to people at the Premiere after show party and therefore is very limited.
The pack includes a black SkyOne bag, a The Colour of Magic press pack, a limited edition region 2 DVD of Hogfather (No. 013657) and the new paperback 25th anniversary edition of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.
We finally sold 80 tickets at 2 GBP each - once PayPal charges were taken off, the total raised was 150.54 GBP. I rounded this to 155 GBP to cover some of the PayPal costs. I have already made the contribution to Alzheimer's Research UK. As soon as I get a receipt that doesn't include my credit card details on it I will put it on the website. www.alzheimers-research.org.uk/
I would like to thank everyone that took part in the raffle and have great please in announcing the winner as Melanie Powell. I will be in contact with you soon to get your postal address.
A request from Andrew Scheuber (Alzheimer's Research Trust - Registered Charity No. 1077089).
If you're a UK citizen, please write a letter to your MP urging him or her to sign EDM no. 1337
The House of Commons motion is called TERRY PRATCHETT AND ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH FUNDING and it reads:
That this House applauds Terry Pratchett, who is donating one million USD to the Alzheimer's Research Trust; notes that there are 700,000 people with dementia in the UK, a number forecast to double within a generation; notes that for every person with Alzheimer's, 11 GBP is spent each year on UK research compared with 289 GBP for each cancer patient; supports the work of the UK's leading scientists, who recently met at the Alzheimer's Research Trust's Network Conference in Bristol, in researching better treatments and possible cures for dementia; welcomes the campaign by Terry Pratchett and the Alzheimer's Research Trust to increase funding and promote further research into the diagnosis, treatment and a possible cure for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Your MP's address is: The House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA.
If you don't know who your MP is, go to www.theyworkforyou.com and type in your postcode.
Writing a real letter tends to be most effective, but if you'd prefer to do things electronically go to www.writetothem.com
Use your own words; it doesn't have to be long. Just a message
asking the MP to sign EDM 1337 would suffice. If you want ideas on
what else you could write, check out
www.alzheimers-research.org.uk/info/statistics/ or see what
Terry Pratchett has to say about dementia research funding
A few days after sending your letter, if you have a spare few minutes, call the Parliamentary switchboard on 020 7219 3000 and ask for your MP's office. Check that your letter has been received, ask if the MP will sign EDM 1337, and explain why you're concerned about the underfunding of dementia research. Please be extremely polite to the researcher or secretary; they are overworked, underpaid and dedicated to helping constituents.
Discworld Monthly is sponsored by Wizardopoply the on-line board
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* Disc Trivia Results *
- What is the "stupid looking kid"'s real name?
- Which rodent likes to tap dance?
- b) Sardines
- What book do the rodents take solace in?
- Mr Bunsy Has an Adventure
- Where did the rodents get their names from?
- Words that they liked the sound of from reading old food containers.
- What did Maurice sacrifice to save Dangerous Beans?
- One of his nine lives.
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