Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 134: June 2008

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Secrets of The Wee Free Men and Discworld
6. Competitions
7. Review: Wincanton May 2008
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 134. On Thursday 15th May Terry was invited to The One Show on BBC 1 where they were doing a segment on early onset Alzheimers. Terry came over very eloquently - it was only a shame that the presenters were not at all interested in anything he had to say!

Terry also appeared on BBC Radio 4's programme On The Ropes, interviewed by John Humphrys on Tuesday 20th May. Again Terry gave another excellent and insightful interview and this time, at least, the interviewer John Humphrys seemed interested in what Terry had to say.

Andrew "Bookworm Baz" Tucker and Helen Nicholls of the Discworld Fan Group "The Broken Drummers" have recently announced their engagement at the Wincanton May 2008 event. I hope you will join us in congratulating them.

After speaking to Waddy at the May event is became apparent that tickets were selling fast - so if you are planning to go the Discworld's only annual camping event don't forget to purchase your tickets soon. There are also a limited number of pin-badges available that can only be purchased at the same time as your ticket.

For more information visit and read next month's issue to read a review of the pin badges.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: We now know that The Colour of Magic will get a UK DVD release in October 2008 via 20th Century Fox.

There are no details yet about what extras it will contain but I would speculate that it might have the Making Of and hopefully the Tourist Guides to Ankh-Morpork that appeared on the website.

Please note that there has been no announcement of when The Colour of Magic will be released 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 and we will consider it for publication.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Ishta)

2. News

News from Sandra Kidby's excellent website:

On June 14th Terry will be signing the new paperback of Making Money at Foyles bookstore on the Southbank. He will be there from midday to 2:30pm and queues will definitely be expected!

Terry opened a new display called 'What the Victorians Did For Us' at the Bath Postal Museum today [14th May - Ed]. It's well worth a visit to see for yourself the birthplace of Discworld Philately.

Also, Rod Brown and Ian Sharples from the Mob Film Company presented Terry with draft #1.0 of the Going Postal screenplay. We wait with bated breath for Terry's comments!

In July 2009 there will, apparently, be the most dramatic total eclipse of the sun to take place this century [we are not sure if that is so far or for the foreseeable future - Ed].

The Superstar Librar liner has been booked to navigate to the best location to see the event taking place and the BBC Sky at Night team will be filming the event. Terry has been invited along to witness the eclipse.

Tickets are now being made available for us mere mortals, a snip at only 1,395 GBP each (not including flights and based on two sharing).

For more information about this event see

If you do get tickets please let us know all about the experience. I'll probably end up watching it on the television back home.

Terry becomes a patron of Alzheimer's Research Trust.

An Alzheimer's Research Trust survey has revealed that 25 million people in the UK are touched by dementia. The poll results are released as Terry Pratchett announces he is to become a Patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Alzheimer's Research Trust, found that 42% of the population - 25 million people - know a close friend, family member or someone else with dementia. 700,000 people in have the disease.

Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in December, recently donated 1 million USD to the Alzheimer's Research Trust to help find a cure.

The best-selling author said:

"I am proud to become a Patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

Alzheimer's is a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies. I understand the desperation of sufferers and their carers and their hopes for, if not a cure, at least some regime that might help us live with Alzheimer's. Frankly, I'd eat the arse out of a dead mole if it offered a fighting chance. It was a shock to find out that funding for Alzheimer's research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures. Right now, one thing we can do is make certain that Alzheimer's does not remain out in the shadows. Once upon a time, cancer was only spoken of as "a long illness". When people felt able to talk about it, the battle could begin. The same thing can happen with Alzheimer's. Before you can kill the demon, you have to say its name."

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said:

"We're so pleased to have Terry's continued support. He is an inspiration to the 700,000 people who have dementia and 25 million friends and family affected by the disease.

With a force like Terry demanding a drastic increase in dementia research funding, the government must recognise soon that it can no longer put off urgently needed reform."

Terry Pratchett's campaign with the Alzheimer's Research Trust now has the backing of over 100 MPs who have signed a motion (EDM no. 1337) in the House of Commons calling for an increase in dementia research funding.

See for more information.

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.

June's meeting will be on Monday 16th June at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

Keep an eye on or e-mail

[UK, New] York Rising Stars are performing Wyrd Sisters on 20th & 21st June 2008, at the York Railway Institute, Queen Street, York. Tickets are 5 GBP each, and can be obtained by emailing or calling 01904 623222. For more information please visit:

York Rising Stars are holding a Grand Summer Draw to raise money for future productions and our charity of the year. This year we have chosen to assist our local Alzheimer's group in their fund-raising efforts (it seemed only natural seeing as we are planning to do 2 Terry Pratchett shows this year!).

Tickets are 1 GBP each, with 20p from every ticket sold going to Alzheimer's York & Selby Branch. The draw will be held on 19th July 2008.

Prizes include 4 First Class Train Tickets for First Transpennine Express, 2 First Class Train Tickets for Grand Central Trains, A Family Pass for DIG in York, and many, many more items.

If you would like to purchase tickets please email

For more information, and a full list of prizes, please visit:

[AU, New] The Unseen Theatre Company will be performing Carpe Jugulum from July 4 to 19 (Wed to Sat) at 8pm at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide. Booking can be made on phone 82270505 or

Tickets cost Adults 18 AUD, Concessions 15 AUD, Fring Benefits 15 AUD, Groups (10+) 12 AUD.

More information:

[UK, New] The Really Necessary Travelling Actors are putting on a production of Men At Arms at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth, 8 - 12 July 2008 at 19.30. They have done several Terry Pratchett plays in the past and all have been very well received.

Tickets can be booked through the New Theatre Royal Booking office 02392-649000 or you can contact them via their website

[UK, New] "Guards! Guards!" will be performed by Zenith Theatre Co. at St Aldhelms Hall, Poole Road, Branksome, Poole on July 18th & 19th 2008, curtain up at 7.45pm Friday & Saturday, 2.30pm Sat Mat.

Tickets will be 6 GBP, 5 GBP concessions and 4 GBP Matinee and children under 14.

Box Office: 01202 723588.

[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 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.

More information can be found at:

[UK] The Discworld Convention 2008 will take place at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham from 22nd to 25th August 2008.

For more information visit:

[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:

[UK] The Wincanton Hogswatch Event will be celebrated on the 29th and 30th November. Visit 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

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.

Karl writes: I am interested to know if there is anyone out there who is interested in buying a 'job lot' of Discworld, and related books?

I currently have all but the first three Discworld books in hardback, all with dust jackets, first edition, first printing. Two of the books are signed copies (Maskerade and The Colour of Magic). the first three Discworld books are '92, '93, and '94 editions respectively. There are also four of the diaries (the first four), some of the maps, several graphic novels, and the books 'Science of..' and 'Companion'

I am interested in selling all of the books. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you.

John Prigent writes: I have a number of reference books in the various Osprey series, mostly published in the last 12 months, that I plan to sell and give the proceeds to the Alzheimers Society. This is not just because of Terry P - one of my wife's uncles is quite badly affected by Alzheimers. If anyone is interested in military history (see the Osprey website at to see the kind of thing they publish), they can drop me an email for a list of what I have. Prices not yet decided, so I'd be open to offers!

Shevaun Fergus writes: Missing from my collection: one Assasin's guild diary.

Does anyone have an assasins's guild diary going? Not written in, but I'm happy if it's a little bit battered.

Shepperton Players are planning a production of "Carpe Jugulum" in October 2008. There will be a large cast with lots of vampyres, villagers and Oggs, and also plenty to do backstage. If you'd like to be involved on or off-stage, please come along to auditions at the Riverside Arts Centre (59 Thames St, Lower Sunbury, Middx TW16 5QF) on Monday 2nd or Wednesday 11th June at 8pm, or call Howard on 079 7337 0303.

All are welcome, regardless of age or experience. The production will be on stage 1st to 4th October, with rehearsals on Mondays & Thursdays for much of the summer.

Rosa Souter writes: I'm a documentary research student, studying my masters (i.e. buying time till I am forced to get myself a proper job) and I am compiling a half hour research dossier for a documentary about Discworld fans. I ought to emphasise at this point I am not actually making a documentary, just researching one as part of my project. I want to make it about the fans because I have been one for nearly ten years (considering I am 23, that's a long chunk of my life!) and have seen the vast expanse and variety it encompasses at Conventions and online. I would want to try and do the same approach as "Ringers: Lord of the Fans", but obviously, on a much smaller budget (i.e. bugger all), an irreverent, slightly self mocking, yet loving look at the fandom.

I want to hear from the fans, young, old, the out and out convention attendee and the stealth commuter-fan, the student and the family. I want to hear stories, the introductions and the hours spent trawling for news and titbits (and fan art, I'm still looking for that illusive bit of dream fan art of Angua). What's the most insane amount of money you've spent at an auction? Your proudest fan moment? The expanse of your collection? Anything and everything! I have to fill up thirty minutes after all!

I am also hoping to vox-pop at Conventions (making enquiries as I type) and the events in Wincanton (I told my fellow students it was twinned with Anhk Morpork and their jaws virtually fell off!) as well as meetings of fans in pubs and clubs.

I am aware of the current focus on Terry Pratchett, especially the documentary being filmed for the BBC, but this is about the fans rather than the author himself. He has always had the up most respect for the fans and has often said we're not all called "Kevin"! I will not badger the poor man for an interview, after all, he's probably had enough of them by now and the last thing he would want is a snotty documentary student poking a notebook in his face! I will just be focusing on the fans.

I would be very grateful for your help and some advice on what you think would make an interesting documentary, I'm still really working out what I want to put in this project and what (or who) I should focus on.

You can either contact me via email ( or or by mobile (07947 775505).

Any of you worried I'm a psycho axe murderer? Very sensible. For reference you can email my tutors on the Masters in Documentary Research for Film and TV; Pratap Rughani ( or Nancy Platt ( both at the London College of Communication ( in Elephant and Castle, London. They'd be happy to let you know I'm completely harmless. You can check with the college as well for extra reassurance.

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 using wyrd and wonderful ciphers.

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: "Mary Eagan"
I have recently been to see a production of Mort at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield, and would like to say if anyone gets a chance to see this Tabs Productions presentation then do. It was brilliant.

I haven't laughed so much in ages. With just about 7 actors plus a few young local children it was great. Last year they did Wyrd Sisters which was equally as good. I can highly recommend this entertainment which as well as a brilliant script is usually accompanied by Meat Loaf tracks or some similar music.

* From: "Lola Gudgeon"
I'm sorry, but I must take umbrage with Mr Friend over his suggestion that we Roundworld comic book collecting PTerry fans took it on the chin when Wesley Snipes won the role of Blade in the movies. We didn't complain about it because, basically, Blade was black. I guess he is confusing Blade with Deacon Frost, the vampire who attacked Blade's mother while she was in labour, or Hannibal King the vampire hunter who was himself contaminated by vampirism.

What we did complain about was the way the original storyline had been twisted, but we were the minority of people, I suspect, who saw the movie and knew that. Consider "The Lord of the Rings", Tom Bombadil was cut out yet again, I heard characters speak lines meant for others and an Orc leader who did not exist popped out of nowhere.

Terry seems to have accepted this "needs must" approach so many writers (or their estates) do when their work enters the visual media and that's the way it is. There are many people who, I am sure, have been introduced to the books via these two completed Discworld productions - people who might not have considered the cartoons - and that is A Good Thing.

No doubt there will still be arguments at the next Convention in Brum come August!

DWM replies: Lola gets this month's Letter of The Month.

* From: "Karen Emery"
I have made a pledge that each time I re-read a TP book I'm going to donate 5 GBP to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. Also when the new books come out I will as normal look for the supplier selling the book cheapest (yes I'm greedy - but why should the shop have my hard earned money as profit), but this time the money I save I will give to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. I urge other readers to do this. I for one have had more than my moneys worth out of all my TP books.

* From: "Chris Boulton"
I've a small question for all of the Discworld fans out there.

As an avid videogamer, I was trawling trough my copy of a certain magazine this week when I came across a game called Mirrors Edge. To me, the game looked largely nauseating, running around in a first person view, but far more realistically, with your head constantly bobbing and looking around and full view of your legs and arms flailing about. Very realistic, but motion sickness in the works.

The only bit that caught my attention was the mention of the writer, a certain Rhianna Prattchet. Is this truly Our-Favourite-Authors-Daughter? Taking up the writing mantle? If so, has she written any other games, books or other things? Really would be excellent to see her taking uo her very talented fathers mantle.

DWM replies: Rhianna is as I understand it well respected in the games industry. I believe she was voted in the top 100 most influential women in gaming a couple of years ago. Rhianna even has her own Wikipedia page entry at:

* From: "Charlie" email address removed upon request - February 2020 *
To put it bluntly, I thought that the recent TV adaptation of Hogfather was absolutely dire. I thought the acting was bad, the production values were worse, and I thought the script was far too faithful to the book - it felt like the actors were just reading sentences out of the book rather than performing an "adaptation". I gave up after the first part - I've still got the second half recorded on DVD sitting in my living room more than a year on, but can't find the strength to sit through it.

(Almost) all of the reviews I have seen of The Colour of Magic have been incredibly positive, but then so were the reviews of Hogfather. Is there anyone out there who, like me, hated Hogfather and can tell me honestly whether The Colour of Magic is any better, so I can decide whether to watch it without risking having any more of my fantasies shattered.

I know this letter sounded negative, but don't put me down as one of those people completely opposed to any kind of adaptation of an author's work. I love the Discworld books, but I also loved all the BBC Radio adaptations, and the cartoons of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music. There's nothing I'd like more than to discover that The Colour of Magic really is worth watching.

DWM replies: The first part of Hogfather did seem to be a bit slow - but then it had to introduce a lot of characters. The second half is faster paced and more exciting. If you hated the first half of Hogfather that much why would you even consider watching The Colour of Magic?

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking questions about Nightwatch.

What name did Vimes take when he went back in time?
Who was brought in to replace Captain Tilden?
a) Ronald Rust
b) Cecil Clapman
c) Dai Dickins
d) Donald Duck
Where were the Unmentionables based?
Who was Patrician at the time of the People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road?
What personal item was given to Vimes to keep him going?

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

5. Review: Secrets of The Wee Free Men and Discworld

Published by St Martin's Griffen - New York.
Written by Carrie Pykkonen and Linda Washington

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

This volume, subtitled: The Myths and Legends of Terry Pratchett's Multiverse clearly admits on the back cover that it has not been authorised by Terry Pratchett, HarperCollins, or anyone involved in the forthcoming The Wee Free Men movie.

One has to wonder what need there is for yet another Discworld reference book? It was only a few months ago we reviewed An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett by Andrew M Butler.

SOTWFMAD has surprisingly little to do with The Wee Free Men so I think that the title is ploy to appeal to readers who are purchasing it on the basis of discovering information about the future movie.

The book is split into three parts: Part one - the literary roots of Discworld, part two - Who's Who in Discworld and part three - the way things work in Discworld.

The book starts of by offering an architectural tour of the Discworld, claiming to discuss the words - the building blocks of Discworld. This chapter does provide a small amount of insight among the standard oft repeated analyses covering such topics as history, mythology, gods and folklore.

The second chapter then changes style completely. I think the mistake is that in writing about a comic author the writers here have tried (and in my opinion failed) to make the book funny. I found this chapter a real chore to read and felt that it was too condescending and patronising.

The second section of the book, which deals with characters from the Discworld, seems more comprehensive - although the authors' propensity for bad puns continues so that rather than using character names as headings (which would be useful) we get, for example, "Hardworking and Helpful", a section about Tiffany Aching and "Nothing But a Pest", a section about Pestilence.

Interestingly the other book that the two authors previously wrote together was called: Inside "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe": Myths, Mysteries, and Magic from the Chronicles of Narnia. I haven't read this book but it sounds like they may well have used the same formula to write it as they did with SOTWFMAD.

You may have gathered by now that I didn't like this book. I just wish that somebody might, one day, write a decent insightful alternative Discworld encyclopaedia. So far nothing I have seen has beaten Stephen Briggs' Discworld Companion.

However, despite whatever I write here, I am sure this book will sell well - especially if the Sam Raimi adaptation of The Wee Free Men ever happens.

6. Competitions

This month I twisted Barrie "The Special Discworld Jeweller" Wakeford's arm at the Wincanton event to see if he would be willing to provide us a competition prize. Barrie agreed and will provide an unspecified prize for this month's competition.

So, in order to win this prize, all you need to do is send the answer to the following question to by 20th June 2008.

How much does THE TURTLE MOVES (DW21) cost in GBP from Barrie's website?

The randomly selected winner will be announced next week. See for more information.

Last month we had a US proof copy of Nation to give away. All you had to do to enter the competition was answer one simple question. We had over 230 correct entires in the competition and around 5 incorrect ones.

The question you needed to answer was:

What is the name of the Discworld game found on the HarperCollins website?

The answer we were looking for was Feegle Free Fall.

The randomly selected winner was Ruth Tesdale of Derbyshire.

7. Review: Wincanton May 2008

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

The event took part over the second May bank holiday weekend in the small Somerset town of Wincanton. While the event actually takes place on Saturday and Sunday many of fans headed down on the Friday. A few drinks were drunk and many of us met up in the local Indian Restaurant for a very enjoyable meal followed by a few pints in the local hostelries.

Saturday kicked off for me (after a late start) with the Artificer's mile. A pub crawl that was raising money for Sport Relief. After the very long walk to the first pub (in the next town) we downed our first pint and headed back to Wincanton. We got stuck at the next pub because it had a great jukebox before moving onto one more pub and some food and another pint! By this time I needed to get to a meeting to help arrange items for the charity auction and so had to, unfortunately, abandon the rest of the walk.

While we were sorting out the charity items the Maskerade took place where some wonderful costumes could be seen. After the Maskerade Terry was presented with a Birthday present from the members of the Discworld Stamps forum - a "tree" gift certificate so that Terry could purchase some trees to reforest some of his land. After Terry's recent comments about eating the Arse out of a dead mole, Dragonlady a member of the Discworld Stamp forum created a dead mole novelty cake for Terry which he seemed to really enjoy eating.

The traditional pork supper took place in the various pubs and again I got to spend time enjoying the company of friends. After the meal came the charity auction, were there was a good mix of items and over 1500 GBP was raised for Alzheimer's Research UK and 130 GBP for a local charity called RICE which deals with various forms of dementia.

The main event on Sunday was the Wincanton "Ankh-Morpork" races, where a hurdles course had been arranged in the event room of the Bear Inn. In the races people were given hobby-horses to run round the track and the spectators were asked to bet on the various horses and the time they would take to complete the race. Half of the money collected was donated to RICE and the rest to the winner. After the jump racing the course was rearranged for flat racing. There were four races each with four horses (or more correctly horse shaped space hoppers). The first race was run by children, the second by ladies and the third by men. I was selected to be one of the jockeys in the men's race and have to say that two days later my legs still haven't recovered fully. The final race was a mixed riders race. I understand that around 90 GBP was raised in total.

Finally the event was over and we all had to leave. After a couple of hours of putting off the inevitable I left Wincanton.

I had a wonderful time and can't wait to do it all again in November. To see some of the pictures I took of the event visit

8. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What name did Vimes take when he went back in time?
John Keel
Who was brought in to replace Captain Tilden?
a) Ronald Rust
Where were the Unmentionables based?
Cable Street
Who was Patrician at the time of the People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road?
Lord Winder
What personal item was given to Vimes to keep him going?
His silver cigar case, a wedding gift from Sybil.

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