Discworld Monthly - Issue 145: May 2009
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 145. Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us. Yes, Discworld Monthly is now officially twelve years old.
Who would have thought it, eh?
While we are talking birthdays we would love to wish Terry Pratchett a very happy 61st birthday on 28th April and also our very own Bill Barnett who turned 37 on 29th April.
I recently found out that the BBC made an offer to adapt all the Guards books into television programmes. Unfortunately due to the unique way the BBC is funded it turned out to be a less than ideal proposition and Terry felt he had no choice but to decline the BBC's offer.
It appears that The Colour (or Color) of Magic will get its US DVD release on 14th July.
Details of the release including the cover art can be seen at: discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=TCOM145
Terry gets a mention in main stream US television series. In a recent episode of Criminal Minds one character quotes Terry saying:
"They say light is the fastest thing in the universe, but are wrong, darkness is always there first"
Want to live in the Discworld? The possibility came a little closer in April when two streets in a new housing development outside Wincanton picked up names straight out of Ankh Morpork. The two names were announced at an informal press conference in Wincanton at the April Shower event. The two new streets will be Treacle Mine Road and Peach Pie Street (not Peace Pie Street as announced in one national newspaper).
Fellow subscriber Bob Shingler recently noticed a house named LLAMADOS (note spelling) in Telford. Know of other Discworldly streets? - Then let us know.
We would like to thank the 866 people that have joined the Discworld Monthly group on Facebook since we announced it last issue.
If you happened to miss it you can find it at: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52773169006
It will basically just be an announcement group mentioning when issues are released and is also useful for hosting Discworld Monthly related photos.
Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to email@example.com and we will consider it for publication.
Jason Anthony (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Switchboard Operator)
Breaking news from Terry via the lovely people at PJSMPrints.
Probably the strangest, but certainly one of the most rewarding activities over the past month would be the smelting of iron ore to make my own sword, with the help of Jake Keen, formally of the Iron Age Centre in Cranborne. This involved collecting the iron ore (yes, there more of it about that you would think) from a nearby field, building a kiln using clay dug out during Rob's building work, cleaning, roasting and selecting the best of the ore and two days of actual smelting which resulted in two blooms (large balls of mostly iron mixed with some slag, created in the heart of the furnace).
The next step is to hammer the slag out of the blooms to get wrought iron and then we're off to see the blacksmith. The whole thing was a strangely fascinating process and the smelting itself, controlling of the kiln and occasional venting of the surplus slag seemed a mix between industrial magic and genecology. The ultimate aim is a completed sword, which every Knight should never be without.
We've also just returned from Air Edel studios where Leighton James House is recording the Only You Can Save Mankind album. This is a very exciting project and we hope to have more news and hear some previews very shortly.
I am very pleased to tell you that Nation has just won the LA Times book award for Young Adult Novel. I accepted my award by video during which Patch, our office cat, made a star appearance. You can read a blog about it HERE and we'll also upload the video to YouTube when get a (haha) free moment.
Amazingly, Unseen Academicals is very nearly completion, only requiring one of those most magical of creatures - a five day working week with no other interruptions. But it's well over 100,000 words and we hope to get it in no later a week after deadline, which by publishing standards is pretty nifty.
Work on I Shall Wear Midnight will, in theory, begin immediately, but will probably be held up by the necessity to tidy up the office so we can at least find the kitchen. And the floor.
People continue to ask them after my health and I thank them, but the facts is that when I tell people what the symptoms might be they all interrupt by telling me; that happens to me, I've lost count of how many times I've gone upstairs and forgotten what I am there for, I continuously lose my keys. In short, I'm not sure how many of the things I notice are to do with the disease (which I certainly have because I have seen the scans) or simply because, to the best of my knowledge, I have never experienced being 61 before.
All the best.
News from Colin Smythe.
I have found the following links that include information about Dreamworks adaptation of Truckers:
Hatchet Job email@example.com recently interviewed Paul Kidby, the Discworld cover artist, for a videogames podcast.
You can download it at: is.gd/sBon
Keith Stewart has created some wonderful "papier mache" models of Discworld guild shields.
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] Crowthorne Amateur Theatrical Society (CATS) will be presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters at the Parish Hall, Crowthorne, Berks from 29th April to 2nd May. A portion of proceeds is to go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.
[UK, New] Lords and Ladies will be performed on Tuesday, May 5 to Saturday, July 25 at The Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield; Buxton Opera House; Theatre Royal, Winchester by Tabs Productions.
Performances start at 7:30pm.
For more details: www.tabsproductions.co.uk/
[UK, Updated] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged.
May's meeting will be on Monday 11th May at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.
[UK, New] Carpe Jugulum will be performed at Ormskirk Civic Hall in
Lancashire, by the Derby Players on Wednesday 13th - Saturday 16th
May 2009, starting at 7.30 pm. Further details from
www.derbyplayers.org.uk, online ticket sales at
[UK] York Rising Stars will be performing "MASKERADE" from 27th - 30th May 2009 at York Railway Institute, Queen Street, York. Next door to York Railway Station. Doors open 7pm, Show starts 7:30pm
All tickets only 5 GBP. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more.
Call: 01904 623222 or 07504 984445
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment by cash, cheque or Paypal
(1.50 GBP booking fee applicable to Paypal payments - fee per invoice, not per ticket!)
[UK, New] The Purple Theatre Company will be performing "Monstrous Regiment" from Wednesday 17th June - Saturday 20th June 2009 at 7:30pm at The Compass Theatre, Ickenham.
Tickets cost 11 GBP with opening night at tickets 9 GBP. Concessions available Thursday only at 9 GBP.
Box Office - 01895 673200 (open Mon - Fri 10:30 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00)
[UK] The Discworld stamps' 5th birthday party, Wincanton will take place over the weekend of the 11 - 12 July 2009.
[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:
[UK] Wadfest - "Wadstock" - Music With Rocks In takes place on 21st, 22nd and 23rd August 2009 at Trentfield Farm, Church Laneham, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 0NJ.
Tickets cost 20.00 GBP per adult for the weekend inc events.
More information at: www.wadfest.co.uk
[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.
For more information visit
[IRL, New] The Irish Discworld Convention will be held on the 6th to the 9th November in the Falls Hotel Ennistymon, Co. Clare, Ireland. Visit www.idwcon.org for more information.
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Adam Williams email@example.com writes: I have a Clarecraft statue of Rincewind and Twoflower on Ninereeds (DW141) that needs a new home. It's been on display but is in perfect condition and has a certificate of authenticity signed by someone from Clarecraft in October 2002. It's numbered 105(B) of 500. I don't have the original box so it might be best to collect from central London, however I am willing to post and will pack it up with as much care as possible. Please email me with offers.
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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: "Liz Kearney" email@example.com
I read (and re-read and re-read again) many of the Discworld novels, but especially "Night Watch." Here's what's bugging me: when Sam Vimes goes back in time, he doesn't visit his mother. Why? I think anyone who's lost a parent would not have hesitated for a "second chance."
DWM replies: I am not sure how long Vimes spend back in the past and he is very busy when he is there. Maybe it has been too long and would be too painful for him to see her? He does get invited by young Sam to meet her but turns down the offer.
* From: "Vikram Ramachandran" firstname.lastname@example.org
I was recently on a Weatherwax binge, and went from Equal Rites to Wintersmith in a couple of weeks. This topical re-reading has brought me to a terrifying thought: Is Terry phasing out Granny to be replaced by Tiffany? It seems to be quite a realistic possibility. Tiffany shares many of Granny's skills and characteristics, such as Borrowing, stealth and headology. The lack of a Granny-centred novel since '98's Carpe Jugulum has me fearful for the future of one of my favourite characters. Please reassure me!
DWM replies: It probably doesn't do to try to second guess Terry's motives on these things. Maybe the right Granny Weatherwax story hasn't turned up in his head yet. Or maybe there really is nowhere else for the character to go.
* From: "Line Sheridan" email@example.com
Recently I went out on the town, I was a bitter young woman at the onset - not only have I not been able to find any Pratchett-books I haven't read for ages, but I had also recently become single.
I was meeting up with a friend who had brought some of his friends, one of these friends is from the Faroe Islands, we are all Danish. I kind of assumed that this guy from the Faroe Islands was fluent in Danish - he wasn't. Not being fluent he did not understand my sarcasm, and soon we were all but arguing. My friend looked up at us and uttered the magic words: You know, Baudur, she is a mad Pratchett-fan. And all of a sudden all was forgiven. We spent the next hour talking about our extensive Pratchett-collections, though in English so as to not misunderstand each other.
* From: "Carolyn Brooke" Carolyn.Brooke@Barclayswealth.com
When I read the review of the Micro Art Studio Discworld Miniatures I nearly fell off my chair laughing, (which, considering I was reading the article at work, would not have been such a great idea...)! I want photos. Now! I would love to see your final efforts with the glue, including bits of you glued to the bits of model. Um - I mean, I would love to see what the fully assembled models look like, yes, that is what I meant. As the three innocent, little old ladies would say, "Lawks, what fun!!"
DWM replies: Never one to disappoint a lady, you can see photos of my assembled figures (although no long stuck to me) at: discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=MICRO145
* From: "Catherine Lamin" firstname.lastname@example.org
So, I've been a long time reader of DWM for many years and occasionally have contributed the odd letter here and there, but for the past few years I have been content on receiving my email, reading it, nodding and putting it to one side. I always glance at the 'dates' section in case something catches my eye but usually I read it, file it it the 'forget' pile and never look back.
This time was different, for once a theatre groups was advertising not the performance of a Pratchett play, but the auditions for a Pratchett play..... and even better news, it was actually just 15 minutes drive from where I live!
I dutifully wrote the date on a post-it, concluded that it would be at the end of my half term (I'm a teacher)... then promptly forgot about it, but not before mentioning to one of my house mates that I might attempt to get back into amateur dramatics.
The audition date drew near and although I knew it was approaching, and had re-read the book, just in passing, I didn't really pay too much attention to it, nor did I even acknowledge that my car breaking down and being beyond repair would affect my auditioning in any way ...
The night before the audition I realised I would have no way of getting to Uxbridge and casually dismissed the day, concluding that 'there will be other auditions'. Fortunately for me, my house mate and friends decided differently. After fervently searching TFL for routes to Uxbridge, they concluded that it would be far too complicated and my friend forced his car on me, insisting that I drive him home and take his (ridiculously expensive) car to the audition.
I turned up uber early, walking into the scout hut, quaking all the way to meet a large collection of 'purple people'; all of whom already knew each other and were switching stories and catching up ... I felt a little bit daunted but carried on regardless. At some point during the morning discussion swung round to the previous performance of Wyrd Sisters and I was awed to realise that I was in the presence of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg AND Magrat.
In the afternoon we read through a few scenes, I chose to read mainly Polly or Maladict concluding that, while I was unlikely to get either part, they say the most and give me the chance to show off my abilities ... bearing in mind I haven't been on stage for over 10 years. I found myself particularly enjoying reading Polly in the recruitment scene with a lovely bunch of people, and who couldn't enjoy 'knee-ing' prince Heinrich in the royal prerogative.
Exhausted but happy I made my excuses and dashed off in a homeward direction (well actually I headed east for a rock climbing session with my friends to return the car) ... I hoped I'd done well enough to secure myself a smallish part, but if I didn't get anything I'd try not to be too disappointed...
On Monday the facebook invites started appearing ... lots of the lovely people I'd met at the audition and then on Tuesday the cast list appeared ... I quickly scanned down the list and was disappointed not to see my name, I looked back intrigued to see who had got the lead role and there it was, written clearly but somehow I'd missed it ... Polly was to be played by Cat ... Polly was to be played by me ... I was to play Polly! I couldn't believe it, screaming with delight I ran down to tell my house mates the good news!
Three rehearsals down and I'm still slightly shocked, but I'm loving every minute and I just hope that all of my fellow fans enjoy watching the performance as much as we're enjoying rehearsing it. We'll be performing in the Compass Theatre in Ickenham which is just outside West London, from 17th - 20th June and I can't wait - I'm so glad I responded to the advert in DWM, thank you guys!
DWM replies: Your good fortune keeps on coming. Cat has been awarded this month's Letter Of The Month. Just as soon as I can get to the post office I will send Cat's posters and also the prizes for the previous five months winners. Sorry, been busy.
This month I'm asking some questions about Pyramids.
- Who was renowned as the greatest camel mathematician of all time?
- What master did Teppic not want as his examiner?
- Which of the poisons below cannot be administered by ear?
- a) Wasp agaric
- b) Achorion purple
- c) Spime
- d) Mustick
- How did Teppic's mother die?
- What is the ancient salute of the assassins?
The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony.
On Friday 3rd April I headed down to Wincanton in Somerset for the Cunning Artificer's April Shower event. After locating my accommodation I popped into the Cunning Artificer's shop for a quick cup of tea and a chat. Surprisingly the shop was not as busy as many of the Wincanton events I had been to before.
I met up with some friends who had arranged for us to have a very nice curry. After getting thoroughly stuffed with food we headed back to the Dolphin for drinks until around 2am.
There were very few events planned for the weekend as they tend to be more about meeting with friends than going to too many activities.
On Saturday, after a hearty breakfast in the Dolphin, I headed down to the Maker's Market that had been set up in the function room of the Bear Inn. Many of the regular stalls were in the market including the Beathies, Myth Cast and Purkey Products.
A group of us decided to spend a few hours playing board games in the function room of the Dolphin. At 4pm I had to go over to the shop to help organize the evening's charity auction. Once that meeting was completed I headed back to the Dolphin for a before dinner drink. The event evening meal was beef stew with dumplings and mash, with a fair selection of desserts. It was a nice meal and was spent with entertaining company. After the meal we headed down to the Bear to set up for the auction.
The auction went well despite there being so few people and 1,400 GBP was raised for RICE (a local Bath charity that takes care of the elderly). Highlights of the auction included a paperback copy of Soul Music signed by Wurzel of Motorhead, a knitted model of the Death of Rats created by Demdike (from the Stamp Forum) and bottles of Dr Harkin's Brain Bleach created by Jean (again from the Stamp Forum).
After the auction was completed and the money was counted and safely stored away it was time to head back to the Dolphin for a few drinks. I finally got to bed by around 4 in the morning. Unfortunately I woke at 8am and decided to get up for breakfast.
On Sunday the main planned event was Terry visiting to officially announce the names of the streets that had been selected for the new housing estate based on names of streets in Ankh-Morpork. We had a couple of hours to spare so we had another game of Zombies!!!
In the early afternoon Terry arrived in Wincanton and an informal lunch was provided for the street name announcement. Mock-ups of the two street signs were shown to the assorted masses including national press. The two selected streets names are Treacle Mine Road and Peach Pie Street. After photo calls the official business took place in the Wimpey offices. A small crowd of Discworld fans provided street entertainment outside the offices including singing Dwarf songs.
Unfortunately I had to leave at that point so said my goodbyes and headed back down the A303 towards home.
Loz Green took several hundred pictures over the weekend and they
can be found at:
The guys at Wadfest have come up with a special price this month. Two tickets to Wadfest 2009 plus assorted goodies (to be confirmed).
Wadfest is looking for a slogo. What is a slogo? It's a combination of a logo and a slogan. Such as McDonalds golden arches and the words "I'm loving it" or the Nike tick and the words "Just Do It".
So put your thinking caps on and come up with a suitable slogo. For ideas about what Wadfest is all about see www.wadfest.co.uk
When you have an idea send it to Rob@lupinemagic.com
As soon as we find out who Wadfest has chosen we will let you know.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony
At the Cunning Artificer's April Spring Bash I was given one of Wadfest's new belt buckles that they will be selling at the Wadfest camping event this year. Last year we were very impressed by their wonderful pin badges so this year they had a bit of a reputation to maintain.
The new belt buckle is slightly smaller than the Death's belt buckle that I reviewed back in August 2007 (wow doesn't time fly). It is oval shaped measuring just over 73mm wide and 55mm high and features the Wadfest shield and logo on a royal faded blue background. Unlike the Death's belt buckle the Wadfest Buckle features a bauble on the end that helps keep the buckle attached to the belt. I would tell you what size belt it can accommodate but I seem to have put my ruler down somewhere and can't find it!
I've been wearing the belt buckle for around three weeks now and have to say that I like the look of it - unfortunately it doesn't appear to be very scratch proof. Mine already has a large visible scratch across the front. Luckily the scratch is only visible at certain angles I'm pretty sure this won't matter as I doubt that many people will be checking out my belt area!
As a piece of advertising I am not sure how well it works: "hey check out my belt buckle!" may get you in more trouble than "hey look at my pin badge!". You could always use it as a chat up line, "I couldn't help noticing you where checking out my Wadfest Belt Buckle, Can I buy you a drink?". Besides for the most part the buckle will be covered by my belly anyway!
I think that once again Wadfest have come up with another excellent piece of merchandise that looks great and even more importantly holds up my trousers really well.
The Belt Buckles will be available from the event so be sure to get your tickets from www.wadfest.co.uk
I have uploaded a photo of the buckle (not with me wearing it thankfully) at: discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=BELT145
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* Disc Trivia Results *
- Who was renowned as the greatest camel mathematician of all time?
- What master did Teppic not want as his examiner?
- Old Mericet
- Which of the poisons below cannot be administered by ear?
- c) Spime - because it is an antidote not a poison.
- How did Teppic's mother die?
- She went for a moonlight swim in what turned out to be a crocodile.
- What is the ancient salute of the assassins?
- The thumb pressed against the first two fingers of the right hand.
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