Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 142: February 2009

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Article: Speech from Terry's Honorary Degree
6. Competition
7. Review: The Colour of Magic: Illustrated Screenplay
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 142. Terry Pratchett - Living With Alzheimer's, the television documentary that follows a year in the life of Terry Pratchett, will be shown on BBC2 on Wednesday 4th and Wednesday 11th February 2009 at 21:00.

I was recently sent a photo of the new Indiana Jones Lego set - which features a Lego version of Indiana's father. When you put Indiana's hat on the figure - it looks remarkably like Terry.

The image can be found on the Eurobricks forum at

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-Small)

2. News

Terry Pratchett's Nation to be new family epic at the National Theatre.

Following the highly successful productions of His Dark Materials, Coram Boy and most recently War Horse, Nation will be adapted by Mark Ravenhill. Directed by Melly Still, the production will open in the Olivier Theatre in November and is sponsored by Accenture, supporters of Innovation at the National Theatre.

Terry Pratchett's Nation is a brilliantly wise and witty story about two children from cultures a world apart coming of age on a desert island, which challenges the way we think about identity, nationhood and the history of the Empire.

"One year on: Terry Pratchett - the year I could never forget" is the title of a new interview Terry gave to the Times newspaper. The article was published on 25th January 2009.

The article can be found at:

News from Colin Smythe (

I'm delighted to say that NATION gained one of the four prestigious Michael L. Printz Honor Awards 'for excellence in young adult literature' for 2009 (these being runners-up to the Award winner, Jellicoe Road by the Australian author Melina Marchetta). They are awarded by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. See

Stephen Briggs' reading of NATION for HarperChildren's Audio/HarperCollins also won an Odyssey Honor Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. See

The Guardian newspaper recently ran a series called 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read.

Terry is mentioned in the Imagined Worlds section but as far as I can tell none of his books make it into either the comedy or sci-fi / fantasy genres.

Daniel Knight (of Snowgum Films has been busy making a sort of sequel to Run Rincewind Run which he made for the first Australian Discworld Convention. Visit the Australian Discworld Convention website to see the new Rincewind short, simply named Nullus Anxietas.

Tim "Ptim" Williams needs you!

Are you interested in being part of Purple's next fantastic show? Want to get involved on or offstage? Well come along to the open auditions for Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment (as adapted by Stephen Briggs) directed by Mel Walker and Tim "Ptim" Williams, where we'd love to see you whether you are looking to get on stage for the first time, get back into the theatre, help out backstage, or just want to be involved in something fun! The auditions are being held in the Scout Hut, in Gatting Way, Uxbridge on Sunday 22nd February and start at about 10:30 am and should be finished by 4pm with a break for lunch. We generally have a pretty relaxed day where we can get to know newcomers and make sure everyone has a great time.

The show will be taking place in June 2009 (we think it's 17th to 20th June, but need to check) - rehearsals take place every Sunday.

For more details go to

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.

February's meeting will be on Monday 9th February at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

Keep an eye on or e-mail

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

Run Rincewind Run! The SEQUEL (now online)!

Nullus Anxietas has just had another Rincewind short film made to help commemorate our second Australian Discworld Convention! Once again featuring Troy Larkin as Rincewind (see Run Rincewind Run! ( for his previous efforts), you can also now see the new short-short online right here:

It's only a short, heavy in the XXXX humour - but we hope you enjoy it anyway.

If you're in Australia late Feb (and even if you're not.. you should be!) be sure to register your attendance for the con. Ticket prices are scheduled to rise on January 31st but as a special treat to all DW Monthly readers we'll extend the date one week from the release of DW Monthly so all you need to do is mention this ad when you sign-up to receive the special.

The programme line-up includes: - Screenings from Snowgum 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 - The Great Debate 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, New] OFS Theatre Group will be performing The Truth from 3-7 March 2009 in Oxford.

More details at:

[UK] Sefton Theatre Company are performing Wyrd Sisters 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

[UK, New] Leicester University Theatre Society (LUT) will be performing Wyrd Sisters from Wednesday 11th March to Saturday 14th March 2009.

[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed at Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire from 24th - 28th March. Performances start at 7:45pm. Tickets costs 9 GBP to 11 GBP and are available from Sharnbrook Post Office or Bedford Central Box Office (01234 269519).

[UK, New] Norwich Theatre Royal Youth Theatre Company are performing MASKERADE in March at Studio Theatre at The Garage on 26, 27 & 28 March 2009.

Shows start at 7.30pm and tickets are priced 7 GBP available from Theatre Royal Box Office, telephone 01603 630000 or online at

[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.

"S L B" writes: I and a couple of other fans have started a Discworld playlist (! The Discworld Playlist is where you'll find music that relates to (hopefully, eventually) most aspects of the Discworld universe created by the seriously awesome and ridiculously brilliant Terry Pratchett.

Basically, songs that match the characters and books, or just fit into the Discworld, are being archived. Suggestions from other fans are welcomed (and encouraged), as we want to expand the project to account for all the features of Discworld and incorporate all sorts of music.

So far we have songs for Men At Arms (I'll Make A Man Out Of You, from Mulan), Rincewind (Staying Alive, by the Bee Gees), Carrot (Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, by of course the classic Monty Python people), and others.

Readers of Discworld Monthly, like me, will like to explore and expand the project, like I have.

"TC Prins" writes: I wanted to bring my site to your attention:

It is a fansite about the Discworld, off course, in Dutch run by me. I try to make a complete overview of his books and other stuff about the Discworld i.e. games, video's etc.

As a collector I own all the novels in Dutch and English paperback because I can't wait for the translations.

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 in whatever spare time I can discover.

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: "TDJoyce"
After hearing about the latest award for Pterry, I have made some research into PTerry's writing, I thought I'd congratulate him via DWM with his own words.

(1) In Wyrd Sisters, p 130 we learn that a (k)nighthood will only keep the ears warm at night.

(2) In Jingo, p 195, we find out that being a knight isn't just riding on a damn great big horse with curtains round it and so on, one has to raise a troop of armed soldiers! Anybody for Sir Terry's own? :-P

(3) In Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, p 171, we find out that when a knight is made by being dubbed by the sovereign, it is the last time they can be honourably struck with a sword, without returning the blow. if she is right, if you can hit a knight & run away before they can get you, then the sovereign must take away the knighthood. But I am sure none of us will want to do that!

That is all for now, from the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand)

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

* From: "Michael Byrne"
Please may I add my congratulations, via the newsletter, to the award of Knight Bachelor to Sir Terence.

I am not a "joiner" and have never attended the conventions or other jamborees, but am simply an enthralled reader of his work, the award recognises, I feel sure, not only his services to literature and through his imagination as simply the best comic writer in Britain. But also, I feel certain, that he has been recognised for his work for charity including the work for orang-utangs (gods bless the Librarian!). And, latterly, his work to raise both funds for research into Alzheimer's, and perhaps just as importantly the awareness of the UK government.

All the best, Sir Terry, and the award is long overdue. Duke of Ankh Morpork next?

DWM replies: The above letters are just a small sample of the many letters of congratulations we have received upon Terry's behalf about the wonderful news of his long awaited and well deserved Knighthood.

* From: "Charlene Taylor"
In talking about the Illustrated Wee Free Men, you said:

"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."

While you're wrong about the present Kelda, I'm not so sure you're wrong about Keldas in general. While we don't get a mention of Fion's color in the first introduction of this character, the rest of her description certainly sounds as if she's as blue as the rest of the Feegles.

"The squabbling, bustling crowds parted to let her [Fion] through. She came up to Tiffany's ankle. She was prettier than the male Feegles, although the world was full of things prettier than, say, Daft Wullie. But, like them, she had red hair and an expression of determination."

I suspect that the question is really irrelevant (or that Terry didn't think about the details of how the Keldas gain the appearance of squashy balls of dough the color of chesnuts, although giving birth to hundreds of sons and one daughter would account for quite a lot). But, I think that we should assume from this description that Fion is blue at the present time. And I think that Jenny, in the subsequent books, is still blue--or else Terry would have mentioned it.

So give yourself a half-star for a partially right answer.

* From: "FP Anduin"
I just got 'Early English Means and Manners' - and lo and behold: it seems Mr. William's family has a London branch. At least one Wynkyn de Worde wrote The Boke of Keruynge in Flete Strete, London, 'under the sign of the Sonne' in 1413.

I don't know about you, but I have a ball finding this stuff.

* From: "Richard Harrison"
I'd like to start a small campaign, and wonder if there'd be any support from DWM readers!

I've recently got an ipod, and what better to put on it than Discworld audiobooks? However, the choice at the moment is a bit disappointing for two reasons.

1) I much prefer Tony Robinson's reading of the novels - I find his emphasis and voices much more in tune with Pratchett's writing. Unfortunately, he only does the abridged versions, which tend to miss out the best parts of Terry's work - the subtexts, asides and sub-plots which make Discworld novels so engaging.

2) I have yet to find a download source for the novels that is of high quality. In these days of high technology, it's disappointing that the best way to get digital quality media is to buy the CD and then transfer it to my PC. Personally, I've found the versions (which iTunes uses), to be extremely poor quality - very disappointing considering the cost.

So, here's my plan - lets get Tony Robinson back into the studio to do full-length novels, and have him record them onto something with a slightly higher quality than the mix-tapes I used to make on my old ghetto-blaster in the 1980's.

If anyone has any hints/solutions, feel free to let me know! Until the situation improves, I won't be buying any more audiobooks.

JA replies: Good luck with your campaign - personally I am more than happy with Stephen Briggs' reading.

* From: "Peter Hart"
My wife and I had the great pleasure of meeting Terry at the recording for radio 4 of With Great Pleasure. My step-daughter was involved in the production and was able to arrange for us to meet Terry afterwards. It was great to meet him and the rest of the cast who kindly signed a script for us. A fantastic evening watching the wonders of the technical side of broadcasting.

* From: "Phil Barker"
A few months after Masquerade was published, there was a TV documentary about the Royal Opera that showed Terry had grossly understated. Now Making Money has been followed by the credit crunch... I nervously anticipate what he will do to us next.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking random questions about Discworld.

In Wyrd Sisters how far into the future is Lancre moved?
What sort of meal does Death take Mort to eat after leaving the market?
What was Rincewind's room number at Unseen University?
What is Albert's real name?
a) Alberto Fonzo
b) Alberto Benito
c) Alberto Malich
d) Fred Flintstone
Who trained Magrat?

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

5. Article: Speech from Terry's Honorary Degree

The speech below was written by Professor Anna Chahoud, Public Orator, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin University and is reproduced with permission.


'I see no reason for resigning my right to that inventive freedom that others enjoy. My subject-matter is what I have neither seen, experienced, nor been told, what neither exists nor could conceivably do so. I seek my readers' incredulity.'

(Lucian, True History, Praeface)

Do not wonder, my friends, if a lighter tone is about to strike your ears; a man of surprising genius, a man of fine, pleasant and ready wit deserves no less. The visionary humour of our honorand is out of this world. TERENCE DAVID JOHN PRATCHETT, OBE, is the bright companion and fearless guide of unforgettable journeys through the boundless realm of imagination. The mission is everything but insubstantial, for -- as he sharply and seriously puts it -- -- 'fantasy is about seeing the world from new directions.' And, upon my faith, he speaks the truth. Thirty-seven years ago The Irish Times greeted his first novel as 'a new dimension in imagination': it was the so incredible, and yet so familiar, world of The Carpet People. A journalist during the day, on winter evenings he unveiled The Dark Side of the Sun; working as a publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board, he amused us with Strata (responsibility for three nuclear power stations does sharpen one's sense of humour). It is now twenty-five years since the charming narrator of The Colour of Magic has introduced us to the fantasmagoric Discworld, the kingdom of endless fun and pun; where else would we ever want to be? Not if I had a hundred tongues could I hope to list the wonders he has worked. When he protested, as a schoolboy, that 'woodwork would be more fun than Latin', did he foresee his sophisticated games with the Old Language? 'I want to get the words out of my head and into someone else's,' he once said of his career, 'the greatest number of other heads': did he anticipate a figure of 60 millions? The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents won him the prestigious Carnegie Medal for Children's Literature in 2001, and he amazed his audience at the ceremony by eating a magically produced chocolate replica of the gold award. We are in the presence of a wizard, whose imagination is just as exceptionally powerful as his inspiring determination. May the expression of your admiration be just as powerful, my friends: it can be done, no doubt, if you give your loudest applause.

6. Competitions

This month Sandra Kidby has given us one of only 50 of the new Vetinari pendants found at

The Vetinari Family Coat of Arms pin is coming soon; however, Sergeant Braille created a very special necklace from the same design which he presented to Lyn Pratchett at the Nation launch party.

For your chance to win this fabulous prize simply send the answer to the following simple question to by 21st February 2009.

Profits from the sales of the pins are shared between three charities, which ones are they?

The randomly selected winner will be announced next month.

7. Review: The Colour of Magic: Illustrated ScreenPlay

By Vadim Jean

Mucked about by Terry Pratchett

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

The Illustrated Screenplay of The Colour of Magic is a beautiful book. If you liked the Illustrated Hogfather you should have some idea of what to expect. If anything this book is even better. And if you enjoyed The Mob's adaptation of The Colour of Magic back in Easter 2008 you should love this book. It is packed full of photos taken on set and on location by professional still photographer Bill Kaye. Often these photos will be taken from slightly different angles than the video and show just how some of the movie magic is done (with sections of blue screen and supporting ropes waiting to be painted out in post production).

Also among the photos are many rough storyboard drawings which map out particular scenes and detailed technical drawings created by Ricky Eyres, the production designer, of locations and props such as The Broken Drum and The Potent Voyager.

The book itself is the script that the filming was based upon. Obviously, improvisation on set makes the text slightly out of date but it's fun to see how the final production developed out of the script. I love how a few descriptions and a relatively small amount of text (compared to a novel) gets made into a three hour adaptation. I guess the skill of any adaptation comes in the ability to distil the core elements of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and looking at the photos, illustrations and technical drawings and just wished there were more. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the film adaptation of The Colour of Magic.

The Colour of Magic: The Illustrated Screenplay is published by Orion Books (, and can be purchased from:

8. 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

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* Disc Trivia Results *

In Wyrd Sisters how far into the future is Lancre moved?
15 years
What sort of meal does Death take Mort to eat after leaving the market?
What was Rincewind's room number at Unseen University?
What is Albert's real name?
c) Alberto Malich
Who trained Magrat?
Goodie Whemper (may she rest in peace)

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