Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 136: August 2008

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Nation
6. Competitions
7. 2009 North American Discworld Convention Updates
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 136. This month Transworld - Terry's UK publishers launched their new website on Friday 25th July 2008.

The site includes a forum for you to chat with other Discworld fans and Transworld have invited me to be a moderator on the forum. Being a sucker for punishment I agreed. I will also continue to be a moderator on the excellent Harper Collins forum as well along with the wonderful Anna.

So, please come along and join in.

I have decided to send this issue out a bit earlier than planned as I am unsure whether I will be able to get internet access over the next week or so. I will update the website next week.

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 (Lost in Translation)
Richard Massey (Deputy Editor)

2. News

A new Discworld fan forum has been created called Discworld Now. Visit to sign up.

Waterstone's Quarterly (now on sale) includes the article by Neil Gaiman on Terry and 25 years of Discworld (which we mentioned last month as viewable on their website).

SFX the UK's top Sci-Fi magazine have just issued a sci-fi and fantasy book special called SFX Collection.

The excellent magazine includes a readers top 100 authors - we'll let you find out where Terry's placed - and also includes a good interview with Terry about Nation.

Update from PJSMPrints (

The much anticipated Ankh-Morpork City Crest pin badge will be available soon exclusively from PJSMPrints.

All the familiar features have been painstakingly rendered from Olive the Morpork to the the Royal Hippos of Ankh, ancient and honoured ancestors of Roderick and Keith. Also included is the shield of the Unseen University, that dubiously contributing heart of the magic that is Ankh-Morpork. The shield of the City itself boasts a rather too clean representation of the River Ankh, the cabbage fields that feed the City and the money bags that represent the bustling commerce that makes Ankh-Morpork the commercial heartland of the Disc.

Only 250 of these 41mm, individually serial numbered collectable badges have been cast to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Discworld and therefore make a unique and rare addition to the collection of any Discworld Fan. This badge is presented in a velveteen box to preserve and display and has an insert card hand-signed by Terry Pratchett.

When Terry appeared on the ONE show on BBC television a couple of months ago he wore a t-shirt with the slogan "Frankly, I'd prefer that Alzheimer's was the victim...".

This t-shirt caused a lot of interest and authorised copies are available now from Sandra's website. The t-shirts are already selling very well and the proceeds of the sales go to RICE (an Alzheimer's charity in Bath) -

The guardian on-line has been updating some of its author interview pages recently. In the interviews they ask authors to recommend their favourite Sci-Fi / fantasy authors and it is interested just how many include Terry in their lists. Some authors recommending Terry include Neil Gaiman, Neal Asher and Rob Grant

Incredibly the press have suddenly taken up the story about authors rejecting demands from publishers for age banding of novels - now that Harry Potter author JK Rowling has joined the campaign against the banding.

For example:

EuroVideo will be releasing the German DVD of The Colour of Magic later this year. Details are very sketchy at the moment, but we will provide more information as it arrives.

Terry's daughter has been in the news recently with Electronic Arts' announcement that Rhianna Pratchett will be writing the story for Mirror's Edge (a story-heavy first person shooter game).

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] 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.

Terry is scheduled to visit KATS for the opening night. There will also be a sealed-bid auction again with details appearing on the KATS website.

[Although not as important as Terry's visit I will be at the closing night - Ed]

[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.

August's meeting will be on Monday 11th August at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

Keep an eye on or e-mail

[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 resurrected Point 303 Theatre Company will be performing Night Watch from 4-6 September 2008 at 7.45pm with a Saturday Matinee starting at 2.30pm.

The shows are part of a one-off fund-raiser in memory of a former member of the group who died in September 2007, aged 25, from cancer. 55% of the ticket sales will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The performances take place at The Studio, Questors Theatre, Matlock Lane, Ealing, W5 5BQ

Tickets cost 10 GBP or 8.50 GBP for concessions.

Visit or call 020-8567-0011

[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

[AU, NEW] Nullus Anxietas 2: The Second Australian Discworld Convention February 27 to March 1 2009 Storey Hall, RMIT, 342 Swanston St, Melbourne

There's a venue, the dates are set in stone, and attendance memberships are now up for grabs! At the end of February next year, the second Australian Discworld Convention will be happening again in Melbourne. While Terry understandably can't make it over this time around, there's still plenty of exciting events lined up - including Snowgum Films' Troll Bridge, a sequel of sorts to Run Rincewind Run, the hilarious Martin Pearson, a new, improved Gala Dinner, and the return of favourites like Significant Quest, Werewolf, Medieval Weapon Demonstrations and more.

Ticket prices are currently 120 AUD / 100 AUD concession - but they are set to rise at the end of September, so confirming your spot sooner than later is recommended.

If you want to stay on top of the latest news, sign up on the mailing list:

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.

Christopher Marry Hultman writes: I have three unseen library editions that I need someone to take off my hands. They are Moving pictures, Reaper Man and Witches Abroad. The reason I need to unload them is that I actually have copies of them already. Email me so that we may discuss a price if interested.

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 while on holiday in Devon.

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: "Sue Moore"
IMHO the only time you're too old to read Discworld books is when you're dead... no not even then - there's such an obvious character for you to identify with post- mortem, and Heaven must surely include Pratchett books and plenty of time for reading.

* From: "Charles Simmons"
Every living author I have adored has managed to die before I got around to writing to them, expressing my fandom. It has all been a matter of not knowing how to sincerely express myself, a hesitation as it were. This business of Terry's affliction has, however, forced my cowardly hand. I'm including as an attachment a copy of a recent post to my blog where I've become accustomed to opening up. [Rather than including the full blog entry - you can find it at: - Ed]

As for my opinions:

- The "Hogfather" TV series is magnificent, period. - The "Colour Of Magic" is true to the intent of the original. - I see no difficulty with allowing "old people" to enjoy Terry's books. I'm only 63, but I shall be old someday myself.

* From: "Rachel Jarrett"
My name's Rachel Jarrett (I'm not sure if this is allowed, I hope so!) and I am very cheekily asking for your help.

My friend Gwen is doing an amazing thing in November. She is doing a 300 mile bike ride across Vietnam for the Alzheimers Trust.

She has raised the 2,500 GBP minimum needed, with a lot of hard work, but I know she wants to raise more as this is to cover insurance and flights so not all of it is profit for the charity. I want to try to help her and surprise her with as many sponsors as I can.

As Terry fans and devotees we have all been reminded of this terrible disease and the frankly disgusting underfunding that researchers and doctors face whilst treating the illness, as well as the amount and range of support that can be offered by charities that do a brilliant job.

I know that I could not do what Gwen is doing as I am too attached to my sofa and the last time I got on a bike a van nearly squashed me!

So I want to do what I CAN to help. If you are interested in sponsoring Gwen please E-mail me on and I will provide you with any info about the trip I can, without rousing her suspicions! Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I will e-mail to let you know how much she has raised.

* From: "Heidi Hall"
I am writing in connection with the letters being published relating to the adaptations of Hogfather and Colour of Magic. These appear to have been slated by numerous people and I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed them and viewed them for what they are - adaptations. As one letter from Heather Mohieddeen stated, "everyone sees the Discworld differently", this is indeed true and as such the adaptations cannot be taken as a true account of the books as you build up the characters in your own head, not that of a directors.

I myself thought the librarian was a great character as those who will not have read the book (such as my husband - gosh yes I know - UNBELIEVABLE!) will have been able to see how the character develops without having to have had prior knowledge.

I think it is easy for us Discworld fans to forget that there are still people - young and old - who have yet to catch on to Discworld and therefore these adaptations reach a wide audience who would not necessarily read the series (such as my husband). We have both enjoyed the videos of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music and am glad that more adaptations have been made and hope they continue to do so as it would be a shame for those people not into the books, to miss out on such a fabulous series.

No doubt a lot of DWM readers will disagree with me but I just thought I would send a letter from another perspective.

In relation to Merril McEvoy-Halston's letter regarding age limit - I read this letter with horror as I would not think that you could ever be too old to read - my husbands Nanna still reads and she is 92!

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

* From: "Brian Robert"
I have bought the leather-bound Discworld books and inside each cover, is a map of the Discworld.

On the map are numbered circles, (or circled numbers). I've counted 29.

Could you please tell me what is the relevance of said numbers?

DWM replies: I've not got the leather-bound Discworld books so can't comment but I am sure there are other readers that can help.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking questions about Monstrous Regiment.

What were Jackrum's unit affectionately known as?
What god is worshipped in Borogravia?
What was given to Polly in the toilets?
What is the name of the troll in the unit?
a) Detritus
b) Ruby
c) Carborundum
d) Rocky
How did the unit get into the fort?

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

5. Review: Nation

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

Nation is Terry's first non-Discworld novel since Johnny and the Bomb back in 1997. It is also not part of any series which makes it an interesting change.

The novel tells the tale of Mau, a boy waiting to become a man. In his "nation's" traditions, boys are sent to Boy Island for 30 days - when they return they will be given men's tattoos and have to have something done with a knife during which they are not allowed to scream.

On Mau's way home he is hit by a tsunami and when he wakes he finds that his home island has been devastated by the wave. Mau is all alone in the world apart from what appears to be a ghost that leaves footprints without any toes!

Together Mau and Ermintrude (the apparent ghost's name) slowly build a new Nation as more and more survivors from surrounding islands make their way to Mau's island.

Over the years we have become used to the tools that Terry uses to write the Discworld and we are all well aware of the internal laws of that universe. Terry has said that he had to invent a new tool box to write Nation and I think that we as fans need our own new tools to understand the differences. I found I needed a second read of the novel to really enjoy it - reading it again made more things obvious and made the novel flow better.

I think that once you get used to the new style this is a beautifully written book - unlike many of Terry's non-Discworld books it appears to be written for a more mature audience. Terry has created a warm story that carries you along with the journey that Mau takes from boy to man. It is certainly not the same as a Discworld novel but is very entertaining and thought provoking in its own right. Well worth a read for any Pratchett fan.

Nation will be released in September 2008.

You can pre-order Nation now from: for the UK version or for the US version.

6. Competitions

Fellow reader Steve has a Welsh-language paperback version of "Johnny and the Dead" that he is willing to give away. It is apparently in pristine condition i.e. never read and as new as when it first came off William de Worde's printing press!

So if you would like to own this book, simply send in a very short funny story - even a few lines which include Wales and Discworld to by 20th August 2008.

The randomly selected winner and possibly their answer will be announced next month.

Last month Sandra Kidby very kindly offered a paperback of Making Money, signed by Terry, as our prize.

All you had to do to enter the competition was answer the following simple question:

If you purchased a signed copy of the Making Money from Sandra's site how much in GBP would it cost you (not including carriage)?

The answer we were looking for was 9.99 GBP (for the paperback edition).

The randomly selected winner was Jenny Mallinson of Hull.

For more information about Sandra's exhaustive range of Discworld products visit

7. 2009 North American Discworld Convention Updates

Written by Lee Whiteside, Convention Chair

Convention Promotions

The summer convention season is in full swing. We did some promotion at LepreCon 34 in Casa Grande, Arizona in mid-May and at Westercon 61 in Las Vegas over July 4th weekend. We've been continuing to send out flyers to most SF/F convention in the US and Canada. If you can help us make sure our flyers are placed prominently at upcoming conventions, please let us know at

Upcoming conventions where we will have an official presence include:

San Diego ComicCon - July 24-27 in San Diego, CA. We'll be promoting the convention at the Arizona SF Conventions booth in the Mezzanine (MZ04). If you are attending and have some free time to sit at the table, please let us know. Please see for full details on the convention.

Denvention 3 (WorldCon) - August 6-10 in Denver, CO. We are planning to host a Discworld convention party on Thursday night at the Sheraton, room TBA. We will also be sharing a fan table with WesterCon 62 in the fan table area. If you are attending Denvention 3 and can help out at the table or the party, please let us know at Please see for more details on the World Science Fiction Convention.

2008 Discworld Convention - August 22-25 - Birmingham, UK. Three of the con committee (me, Anna and Emily) will be traveling to the UK convention for a firsthand look at how it's done by the folks who started all this wonderful madness. On Monday, we'll be taking part in a panel called "News from Forn Parts". While we're there, we're planning to chat with Terry and his assistant to firm up some of the plans for the NADWCon. We'll also be talking with some of our other attending guests (plus some potential guests), as well as some of the fans who are planning to attend our convention next year. Please see for more details on the convention.

New Committee Members

Recent additions to the committee include:

Rowan Wakefield - Volunteer Coordinator Liz Mortenson - Dealers Room Ed Green - Operations

Bios and information are posted on the Committee page already for Rowan with the information forthcoming for Ed and Liz.

Dealers Room

As noted, we now have someone to coordinate the Dealers Room. Once we get through the next couple of months of bi-weekly conventions, we will firm up our Dealers Room information, start taking applications, and follow up with those who have contacted us about getting a table in the room.

Art Show/Exhibit Room

The nature of our art show and exhibit room is still under discussion. We should have a better idea of what we plan to do with it after we come back from the UK Convention.

Special items and merchandise plans

T-shirts - We are planning on a pre-convention t-shirt, which we may have available in limited quantities at WorldCon and the UK convention, as well as some special t-shirts to be sold only at the convention.

Limited Edition Essay Collection - We are planning a special limited edition book for the convention that will be a collection of essays about Terry and the Discworld by various authors. We're still working out details and specifics, but we have already talked with several well-known authors who are very interested in contributing to it.

Other things we are looking into include special jewellery, some etched glassware and a limited-edition sculpture.

Membership Reminder:

Remember, your North American Discworld Convention memberships are non-refundable but are transferable. This is the policy for all Leprecon, Inc. events. We do have a section on our website message board where you can post memberships for sale. There are currently a couple of memberships being offered by someone who has decided he will not be able to attend the convention.

Additional Guests:

We have been in contact with some additional authors and other potential guests, some of whom we will see at the UK convention and at WorldCon. Following those conventions, we're hoping to have enough details settled to officially announce more guests for the convention. Stay tuned!

Surveys and giveaways:

We're working on some surveys to get a better idea of what our members (and potential members) would like to see and do at the convention. We're looking into several online survey options and hope to have the first one ready for you within the next month. We really appreciate your feedback!

HarperCollins has also provided us with some great books (thanks, Jennifer!) for promotion and giveaways, including advance copies of Nation! We plan to give away some of the books at our WorldCon party, but if you can't make it, don't despair -- we're also offering our members a chance to win.

For your chance to win an advance reading copy of the US edition of Terry Pratchett's Nation, visit our LiveJournal page at for the address to send your entry to.

One entry per person only. The contest will run until noon, August 3rd, at which point a random drawing will be held to determine the winner.

8. The End

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Discworld hardback: Making Money

Discworld paperback: Making Money

Discworld hardback Companion: Where's My Cow?

Discworld Young Adult paperback: Wintersmith

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What were Jackrum's unit affectionately known as?
The "Ins-and-Outs"
What god is worshipped in Borogravia?
What was given to Polly in the toilets?
A pair of socks (not for wearing on her feet)
What is the name of the troll in the unit?
c) Carborundum
How did the unit get into the fort?
Dressed as washer women.

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