Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 141: January 2009

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: The Hogswatch Event 2008 - a Fan's-Eye View
6. Competition
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 141, possibly the last issue of 2008 or the first issue of 2009, depending on when I get to send it out.

On December 30th it was announced that Terry Pratchett has been awarded a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list. We would like to pass on our huge congratulations to Sir Terry Pratchett (and his squire Rob Wilkins).

I am sure more detailed information will soon appear at:

The third live action Discworld adaptation by The Mob, Going Postal, should go into production in 2009. Going Postal is one of my favourite Discworld novels so it will be interesting to see how well it translates to the screen. It will also be interesting to see if The Mob can break the habit of the last two adaptations and avoid having problems with flooding while filming indoors!

Last month in my review of The Illustrated Wee Free Men I failed to notice that there's more than one fold-out page. My excuse is that even when pointed out to me I still didn't see them - the illustrations were folded so well I didn't see the join - especially on the two full-page pull-outs as the seams were in the fold of the book.

I also mentioned that the Kelda was blue but I was wrong - apparently Keldas are "the colour of chestnuts". I guess I am not the only one to get this wrong as it appears that Fion is also not blue as shown in many illustrations and models.

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 (Editor-at-Large)

2. News

Late Breaking News from Colin Smythe:

I'm delighted to be able to say that Terry will be receiving a knighthood in the New Year's honours list. Terry commented to the press: "There are times when phrases such as 'totally astonished' just don't do the job. I am of course delighted and honoured and, needless to say, flabbergasted."

For those interested in the British honours system, he will be a Knight Bachelor, as opposed to receiving a knighthood in the Order of the British Empire, of which he's already an Officer (OBE).

Terry has recently written a new update on Sandra Kidby's website ( one year on from the Embuggerance:


It's exactly one year since the Embuggerance was announced and yesterday I wrote about 1,000 words for Unseen Academicals. The reason that the book still has a long way to go (although it's all downhill from here) is that it's a bloody amazing day if I can get time to do more than a few hundred words; the year has been very busy, right up to knocking on the door of 10 Downing Street a couple of weeks ago, although the Prime Minister was kind enough to pour my tea for me.

There is mail and email here that I regret will never be answered. We hope that the next four months will give me a reasonably clear run at finishing the book. After all, all this fuss has happened because I stood up as Terry Pratchett the Writer. Regrettably, no one would have noticed very much if I had stood up as Terry Pratchett the Gardener. So it seems to me that I must put some time by to be the former, although I suspect I am living in hopes. I would like to think things will quieten down a bit in the New Year.

As some of you will already know, we had great fun recording 'With Great Pleasure' for BBC Radio 4 and I can now reveal that the BBC have given it a better slot of midday on Christmas Day, repeated on Boxing Day evening. This will give it a much needed thirteen minutes extra, which means most of the stuff we recorded in Bath on November 14th will get on air.

We don't yet know the transmission dates for the BBC2 documentary, but the neighbourhood of January 15th has been mentioned. We'll let you know as soon as we hear something definite. The last piece of work I had to do for it was completed today with the mopping up of a few final voiceovers. Incidentally, the Pratchgan, so lovingly created by so many fans this year, has found a remarkable apposite use as a reasonably efficient portable sound studio. It is so big that we can use it to partition part of my library and has been pressed into service twice so far. The current plan is to give it a permanent home on the second floor, but given its weight a certain amount of metalwork is required.

I officially opened the RICE Centre in Bath on December 5th, where I and many others go for our treatment; those of you who were at Bernard's recent bash know all about this and apart from the money raised at said bash they had a very big cheque from me as I thought this a better use of my money than Christmas cards!

Finally, I'm off to Dublin in the morning, where against all probability, Trinity College are giving me an honorary Litt.D.

Happy Hogswatch All and may Gods Bless Us, Every One. (Atheists may ask for the vegetarian alternative.)

Terry Pratchett

Terry was recently interviewed by the Independent newspaper in the UK.

The First Irish Discworld Convention will be held on the 6-9th November 2009. It will be held in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, Co. Clare.

All are welcome from the very young to the very old and everyone in-between.

But that's not all kids, we will also be needing your help. We need as many volunteers as possible. And we need you in all shapes and sizes from Techies to Games/Backstage helpers (Runners) to possible Committee members.

Don't hesitate to contact us! Mary-Ellen and Nicola Murphy

In December Terry received an honorary degree from Trinity College Dublin along with Sir David Attenborough.


A new Discworld forum for a Discworld based Role Play Game has recently been started and is looking for members to join in the fun.


The Times On-line featured a section about what was being broadcast on radio on Christmas Day and Terry's special Christmas edition of My Greatest Pleasure was given top billing. The article included a nice photo of Terry with one of his cats.

Simon Appleby wrote to tell us about his review of Nation. You can read the review 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.

January's meeting will be on Monday 12th January at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

Keep an eye on or e-mail

[UK] Stephen Brigg's theatre group "Studio Theatre Club" will be performing Wyrd Sisters: The Director's Cut from 20th to 24th January 2009 at 7:30 (with a 2:30 matinee on 24/1).

This is a new dramatisation by Stephen Briggs to mark Discworld's 25th Anniversary and Terry's 60th. The STC goes back to where it started on Discworld eighteen years ago -- but with a bigger cast, new scenes and characters and better costumes & effects!!!

Tickets (8GBP) are available from and full booking details are on their website -

[UK, New] The Wavertree Garden Suburb Institute in Liverpool, UK will be performing Wyrd Sisters (adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs).

Saturday 24th - Tuesday 27th January 2009, Doors 7:15pm - Showtime 7:45pm. Tickets are priced at 5 GBP and are available by calling 0151 220 5909 (or 0151 427 5842)

The Venue: The Little Theatre, Wavertree Garden Suburb Institute, 149 Thingwall Road, Liverpool, L15 7XJ

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

Programme line-up includes: - Screenings from Snowgums Films - The musical stylings of Martin Pearson in a new Discworld performance - Terry's Shorts, a line-up of one person performances of Terry's short stories - and much, much more!

To see our appetizer programme go here:

Gala Dinner tickets are also now available.

If you want to know more or to get your ticket please head on over to:

Or if you want to stay on top of the latest news and programme line-ups, sign up on the mailing list:

[UK] Sefton Theatre Company are performing Wyrd Sisters next year at the Southport Art Centre Studio from Wednesday 11th to Saturday 14th of March, all evening performances start at 7:45pm.

Tickets 5.50 GBP and 7.00 GBP.

Box Office Contact number 01704 540011

[DE] The German Discworld Convention 2009 will take place at Castle Bilstein from August the 14th to the 16th. The festival will be Unseen University themed. Registration and more information can be found in form of a bilingual wiki at:

[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.

Tony Rosendahl Frank writes: I want to sell my collection of the first 18 Discworld books in the Unseen Library collection (cloth/leather-bound deluxe editions), and thought I'd let the readers of Discworld Monthly get a chance to bid on them before I put them up on eBay.

I'd prefer to sell the books as one lot. Some of the books are extremely rare now, and fetch steep prices on eBay, especially the first 5 books. You can send your bid to me.

All the books are as new.

Due to shipping costs, I'll only ship to Europe. The books weigh a ton, so shipping won't come cheap unfortunately. Please note that buyer will pay for shipment and insurance in addition to the books.

Tianna Starfall writes: MicroArt Studios have just started to release a range of unpainted metal Discworld miniatures in 30mm scale. So far they have Death, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Rincewind and Samuel Vimes available on their website. I believe that Susan Sto Helit, "Nobby" Nobbs and The Luggage will also become available soon - images of the "greens" have been posted at coolminiornot.

I started painting fantasy miniatures back in the 1980s and have offered a painting service since 2005. I would be delighted to paint these figures for Terry Pratchett fans like myself. I can paint them as they are illustrated by MicroArt Studios or do any other custom colour scheme required. Price would be slightly dependent on the colour scheme and detail requested, but I am thinking of a starting price in the region of 6 GBP each, the miniatures and P and P would be at cost, I accept Paypal with a small surcharge. You can contact me by email at or via my website, where you can also view galleries of my work. I hope to get myself some of these great miniatures soon, and will add them to my gallery in due course.

Martin Parsons writes: If anyone is collecting the Micro art Studio Discworld miniatures, I can paint them for you to a collector's standard at a reasonable price. If you are interested and would like to see some pictures of my work, please email me.

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 changing the baby's nappy.

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 number of prints to give away.

* From: "Vanessa Cannon"
I just wanted to write in about my unique proposal. On Christmas Day evening my partner and I were swapping gifts. On my present's tag were the words 'Will you Marry Me?' I said yes (excitedly!!) and continued on with my present, inside was an immaculate copy of 'Once more with Footnotes'. I was so stunned and pleased. The reason for this was months ago I had said to Stuart that if we ever got engaged I would be far happier with a copy of this rare book than a flashy ring and he listened!!!!

He knows how much I admire Terry and that I have met Terry five times and indeed Stu came along and met him once and has fallen in love with the Discworld series!!!

This proves he's the man for me!!!! I hope one day to get this book signed by Terry as it has very happy memories for me and is a fabulous book.

DWM replies: Congratulations - but isn't the book a bit heavy to carry round on your finger? Also does Stuart know what he is letting himself in for - your letter has a lot of exclamation marks and I think we know what that means...

* From: "Dale Blowers"
Had this come through on the bottom of an e-mail. It made me smile.

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today, than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

* From: "Tilo Moede"
I know of two 360 degree panoramas that I haven't seen mentioned here:

1. One in Bad Frankenhausen, Thuringia, Germany entitled "Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany" painted by Werner Tubke in the 1980s in what was back then the GDR. It is a big painting dedicated to the peasant wars of the early 1500s. shows some information on it.

2. One in Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine dedicated to the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, 1855. It is a combination of a painted background and a foreground created from life-sized props and puppets. It is really quite impressive. has some pictures of it.

* From: "07773105511"
I am so thrilled I would just like to share this with everyone. I have been trying for a while (about a year and a half!) to get hold of the audio book of Fifth Elephant, but for some reason the release date was just repeatedly put back. BUT NOW!!......I have just had a confirmation from WATERSTONES that my order has been dispatched! So if anyone has had the same problem as me, Waterstones are the guys to sort you out :)

DWM replies: I guess you are talking about the abridged version of the audio book as the unabridged ISIS book has been available for several years.

* From: "Daniel James Wild"
Just thought you folks would like to know of another Pratchett fan doing his bit to raise money for the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

Ever since the tender age of 16 I had my hair in a long ponytail that came down to past halfway down my back, however in order to raise a little bit of cash for PTerry I decided the time had finally come, I was going to be shorn, my various friends, co-workers, and other odd acquaintances all chipped in and donated a few quid here and there for me to do so, and in the end the big day came. Now once more a short-haired individual I managed to raise a grand total of 270 quid which I donated (with gift aid of course), it's not a massive amount but here's hoping it makes a difference, anyway just thought you'd like to know.

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

* From: "Charlie" email address removed upon request - February 2020 *
Just writing to challenge Geoffey Johns' assertion in the last newsletter that cheap, vulgar humour on the BBC is somehow new, nasty and not at all relevant to someone "old-fashioned" like him.

As Charlie Brooker points out in his excellent "Screenwipe" for BBC4 (, the BBC has been consistently pushing boundaries for years. Just check out Monty Python's spectacularly gross sketch about eating somebody and then throwing up in their grave - and Python are widely regarded as a national treasure. Granted, this sort of humour isn't always to everyone's taste, including mine, and Pratchett's humour is often funnier, cleverer and nicer, but I agree with Brooker that allowing comedians and writers up to and occasionally over the taste barrier is a small price to pay for freedom of speech - and that the Daily Mail-spurred overreaction to the Brand/Ross case could be disastrous.

* From: "Jacqueline Simpson"
I've been following readers' reactions to 'Nation' here and on Amazon etc. Some admired it, some were disappointed, but what surprises me most is that so far nobody has picked up on what Terry himself said about its origin and intent, in a fascinating interview in the 'Mail on Sunday' on June 22 about his own philosophical and ethical standpoint. It shows that this is far more than a simple adventure story in the desert island tradition.

Briefly: When Terry was a child, his mother told him about two families she had known in London during the Blitz who lived in a adjacent houses. The son of one family was about to marry the daughter of the other, and the houses of both were full of relatives who had gathered for the wedding next day. In the night, a bomb wiped them all out at once. The only person left was 'the sailor brother of the groom, who arrived in time to scrabble through the wreckage with his bare hands'. To young Terry, this seemed exactly like a miracle --in reverse. 'Did the sailor thank his god that the bomb had missed him? Or did he curse because it had not missed his family? If the sailor had given thanks, wouldn't he be betraying his family?' These thoughts of his nine-year-old self, Terry said, 'rose up again' about five years ago, and set him writing 'Nation'. They are at the heart of the theological confrontation between Mau and the old priest, after which each eventually comes to respect the other.

It was a bold experiment to explore the working-out of such a bitter dilemma through the format of a 'children's adventure story' rather than viewing it through, say, the sombre mind of Vimes (as seen in 'Thud'), or the passionate anger of Cohen (in 'The Last Hero'). The initial scenes of the eruption, the tsunami, and Mau's near-madness as he deals with the corpses, are extremely powerful; so, in a quieter way, is the closing scene, and the passing-on of Mau's message that those who wish to perform sacrifices should sacrifice their own time and energy on the altar of the common good. Maybe some passages are 'simply' adventure, but the core of the book is deep.

4. DiscTrivia - Spoiler Alert

This month I'm asking questions about Making Money. As Making Money is the most current Discworld Novel please don't read the questions if you haven't read the novel as they contain spoilers.

Mavolio Bent had a hidden alter-ego. What is its name?
Cosmo Lavish acquired a number of items of Lord Vetinari's apparel. Which was the only one that was genuine?
a) Boots
b) Sword stick
c) Skullcap
d) Ring
How much does it cost the mint to make a ha'penny?
Cribbins returns into Moist's life like a bad penny - but what is Cribbins' first name?
What is the Necromancy Department at the Unseen University now called?

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

5. Review: The Hogswatch Event 2008 - a Fan's-Eye View

Reviewed by Kirstie May

Many of us gathered on the hallowed soils of Wincanton, to wish one another a Happy Hogswatch over a very cold and wintry weekend at the end of November. There was a mix of both familiar and unfamiliar faces, so it was lovely to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Friday was mainly concerned with finding out who was around and who wasn't, and catching up with the news in the shop and public houses of the village. There was also the usual eating and drinking that happens at these events. Much merrymaking was done, and I think that fun was had by all.

On Saturday we headed back into the heart of the village. There was a dealer's room set up in the back room of the Bear, where lots of sellers had many pretty things to tempt you away from your hard-earned cash. I made good use of them, in the name of Christmas shopping, of course!

The now traditional sporting event was held on Saturday afternoon rather than Sunday morning, which coupled with the cold saw only a small turnout. 'Real football' - kicking an over-sized inflatable football over a net - was enjoyed by a few people, right up until the ball was burst by an over-excited organiser.

Following the sport, and back in the warm of the Bear, was the Maskerade. This is an excuse for those mad enough to dress up to show off their hard work. Considering just how cold it was I was very impressed as to how many brave souls took part! Jacqueline Simpson, co-author of The Folklore of the Discworld, joined in with the fun dressed up as Miss Treason, complete with ravens.

Following the Maskerade, it was time for a visit from the Hogfather, to hand out the gifts for those good boys and girls that had taken part in the 'Secret Hogfather' gift swap organised on the Cunning Artificer's forum. Once done, we all made our preparations for the sausage supper, which was delicious as usual. Afterwards, those of us not eating at the Bear made our way back for a skit put together by Dave and Alison Trace, and a story telling by candle light by Jacqueline Simpson. Following this we found our way back to the hostelry of our choice where we were held in fits of laughter by tales of derring-do by one of our members until bedtime.

In another change to tradition, the charity auction was held on Sunday morning. However, before this there was a seasonal sock puppet show, 'Sock Factor'. Following the fun, the Auction filled the rest of the morning raising more than 1900 GBP for RICE. This money, coupled with the sale of 'Pat Harkin Appreciation Society' badges and a top-up from Bernard Pearson, was gladly accepted by Terry on their behalf. I was delighted to see how well he looked over the course of the weekend, and listening to him speak about his experiences at RICE was wonderful to hear.

My only regret about the weekend was the fact that for the first time in my experience, Terry was asked to do impromptu book signings wherever he went. I found this a little saddening, as I am sure that one of the reasons that we have seen so much of him in the past is because he is allowed to wander about unmolested, and can chat to fans or not as he wishes.

That said, I think everyone had a lovely weekend, and after our goodbyes were said we made our way home. The next weekend dates are for early April, and I look forward to meeting up with everyone again then!

6. Competitions

Sorry - there is no competition this month. Normal service will hopefully resume next month.

Last month I had a beautifully illustrated US first edition copy of The Illustrated Wee Free Men to give away.

In order to win this book all you needed to do is answer the following simple question:

The Wee Free Men is the first book in the Tiffany Aching series - which book was second in the series?

The answer was of course A Hat Full of Sky and we received a record number of correct entries. The randomly selected winner is Jenny Mallinson of Hull. I'll write to confirm your postal address soon.

7. The End

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

* Contact Information *

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

* Latest Book Information *

Nation (non Discworld Hardback)

Folklore of the Discworld (add-on book)

Making Money (Paperback)

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* Disc Trivia Results *

Mavolio Bent had a hidden alter-ego. What is its name?
Charlie Benito
Cosmo Lavish acquired a number of items of Lord Vetinari's apparel. Which was the only one that was genuine?
C) Skullcap
How much does it cost the mint to make a ha'penny?
Nearly a penny.
Cribbins returns into Moist's life like a bad penny - but what is Cribbins' first name?
No one knows his first name.
What is the Necromancy Department at the Unseen University now called?
The Department of Post-Mortem Communications.

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