Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 149: September 2009

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Stamps 5th Birthday Party - Wincanton July 2009
6. Competition
7. Review: Wadfest 'Wadstock' 2009
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 149. This month I have had the pleasure of reading a proof copy of Terry's new Discworld novel Unseen Academicals. For a book about football there is little actual football. Which is nice for us non-football fans. I'll include a review in next month's issue.

You can now pre-order Unseen Academicals (and support Discworld Monthly) from by following this link:

Terry will be at the first North American Discworld Convention from the 4th - 7th September 2009. See more information 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 (Lake Tripper)


Rob and Terry currently have a signed book proof of Unseen Academicals available on eBay. At the time of writing the auction was at 510 GBP with 2 days to go.

Terry recently had an article published in The Mail on Sunday about assisted suicide:

An interview with Terry entitled What's wrong with being a hack? appeared in the Guardian newspaper recently:

North American Discworld News:


Membership: The membership and banquet registration list is now updated on our website up to August 21. PLEASE CHECK the "Member List" link under "Registration" and ensure that your membership, badge name, etc. are all correct. For any updates or changes, please contact as soon as possible.

Registration: Registration will be located in the Convention Center Foyer, in the North East corner of the hotel. Please bring identification and your receipt (or transfer) with you when you come to pick up your badge at the convention, to avoid any problems. Registration will be open 6PM - 9PM Thursday, 9AM - 9PM Friday and Saturday. Sunday and Monday hours to be determined.

Transfers: If you need to obtain or transfer a membership, please visit our Message Board: and use the "Registration and Membership" forum to find someone with a membership to sell or find someone to purchase your membership. Check our FAQs for information on the transfer process.


Please note: The room block at the Marriott Courtyard is no longer being blocked for the convention as of August 21st. There are currently still rooms available but they are no longer being held exclusively for our group. Also, there may still be rooms released at the Mission Palms, so if you are on their waiting list, you may still be able to get in there.

The Courtyard Marriott will have a shuttle available to transport convention members to the Mission Palms. We are still looking into transportation from the Mission Palms to the Courtyard Mariott. Both hotels have airport shuttles.


Don't forget, if you are interested in arranging a pre or post-con tour group activity, you can visit our "Travel & Tourism" page to find links to group trips and discounts.


Check it out! We are looking for questions you'd like us to ask Terry at his convention GoH interview!

(Please note, we do not guarantee that we will use any or all of these questions in the program.)


Each member will receive a signing ticket with their badge and member bag at registration, entitling them to two autographs from Terry at one of the designated signing times (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Please read your ticket to see which signing time you have been assigned. These tickets are randomly assigned, so there will be a short "swap" period on Friday before the first signing, when those who would like a different signing time will be able to trade tickets with others at their discretion.


- Please show up as close as possible to the beginning of your signing session time; once there is no line left, we will want to allow Terry to go on to his next activity.

- The signing limit for all attendees is *TWO ITEMS* or less. No more than two.

As Monty Python would say (if they were reading these rules to you), "First shalt thou attend thy designated signing, with your TWO items and signing ticket in hand, then shalt thou be allowed to have signed TWO items, but no more. TWO shall be the number Sir Terry shall sign, and the number of the signed items shall be TWO. Four shalt thou NOT have signed, neither shall Sir Terry signeth three. Five or more is *right out*. But one is just fine. Thank you."

- Terry will not be signing ANY items outside of the designated signing times. Please do not ask him to sign anything outside of the designated times.

- Terry will NOT be doing ANY personalized signings at the general signing sessions; please do not request it.

- If you would like a personalized autograph from Terry, you may bid on the five personalized autographs being auctioned off for charity on Sunday at our Charity Auction.

**These policies have been put in place out of consideration for
Terry's health and wellbeing, and they WILL be enforced. Please be considerate of Terry's generosity in attending this convention and signing items for each and every one of us, and do not ask him for more than what we have outlined above. Thank you.**


New on the Merchandise page - Bernard Pearson's First Day Cover and Stamp, and our convention t-shirt and tote bag designs! All of the merchandise that will be available before and during the convention is now listed on the "Merchandise" page of our site. Go check it out!

Please note that the listed merchandise will generally only be available until the end of the convention, including the silver jewelry, which is available ONLY by mail order until midnight Sept. 7. Make sure you get your orders in now! Our pre-order page for Convention t-shirts and totes will be up very shortly.


The list of programs on our website is being added to every day, and will be finalized very shortly. Check out both the "Programs and Events" link and the "Ongoing Areas" link to see all of the neat stuff we'll have going on!

The programming schedule grid will be available online very soon as well. Watch the news page and Twitter feed to be alerted as soon as it is online.

Please note, all programming and times are subject to change.


We have gotten many wonderful donations for our charity auction, and more continue to come in. Thanks to all who have donated, and for everyone interested in what we will have available, check the Charity Auction link on our website for a list and images, and make sure you attend the auction and bid early, bid high!


A partial list of dealers who will be in our marketplace is up now on the website under "Dealers Room & Art Show". More information will be added shortly.


Our Art Show rules and information can now be found under the "Dealers Room & Art Show" link on our site.


Terry Pratchett, the Alzheimer's Research Trust, and composer Leighton James House have collaborated to make "Only You Can Save Mankind" (the Album) become a reality. The album will be available for order in late September from (CD) and iTunes (download).


Please note: The date of Terry's Glendale library event has changed. It will now take place Tues, Sept 8 at 10 am. All other details are same.


That's all the news for now! We look forward to seeing all of you at the convention in just a few days! It's going to be a great adventure!

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.

[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information visit

[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.

September's meeting will be on Monday 7th September at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.


[AU, Updated] The Drummers Downunder, the Sydney sister of the Broken Drummers will have their next meeting on Monday 7th September from 7pm at Maloneys on the corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia. Visitors to Sydney are also very welcome. For more information please contact Sim Lauren

[UK] Twyford and Ruscombe Theatre Group will be performing Wyrd Sisters on October 8th, 9th & 10th from 8pm.

More details at:

[AU, New] Unseen Theatre Company will be performing The Last Continent from 9 Oct 2009 - 24 Oct 2009

Tickets cost: 15 AUD (Preview Night), Free Tickets (for health care card holders), 18 AUD all other nights with 15 AUD concessions. 14 AUD for groups (of 10+), 14 AUD fringe benefits.

More information:

[UK] Chesham Bois Catholic Players (Amateur - Registered Charity 287109) will present Wyrd Sisters on 10th, 16th and 17th October 2009 at Little Theatre by the Park, Church Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire at 8pm. Further details and booking enquiries available from

[IRL] The Irish Discworld Convention will be held on the 6th to the 9th November in the Falls Hotel Ennistymon, Co. Clare, Ireland. Visit for more information.

[UK] Straight From the Heart Productions will be presenting "Carpe Jugulum" at the Glastonbury Assembly Rooms, High Street, Glastonbury BA6 9DU. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9th-12th December, 2009. Doors open at 7:30 for an 8 pm start. Tickets will be available from Gothic Image, Glastonbury, or email ANICECUPOFTEAANDBISCUITS@GMAIL.COM.

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 to upset your children.

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: "Peter Trott"
Thank you for your wonderful newsletter. I enjoy each issue, even though reading them always makes me envious of you lucky English types who have access to so many Discworld functions.

The latest issue included a particularly fine and comprehensive review of a stage production of "The Fifth Elephant" by Roy Spearman. Roy's review almost made me feel I'd been at the play. And then, when he named the actor who played Igor as Peter Trott it turned out that maybe I had been there. I've got to quit sleepwalking.

Yours, Peter Trott, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA

DWM replies: Peter get this month's Letter of The Month.

* From: "Ben Ash"
Saw this on YouTube, thought I would share. I wonder if Terry Watched Monty Python as a kid?

* From: "Trisha Mason"
Last month Terry mentioned the problems of using sound recognition software:

- "We did like the rendition of pioneer as 'pie on ear' ... "

Reminds me of when my daughter was 6 yrs old and we were going to fly to visit my sister. I went to the doctor and got decongestant and ear drops in case she had problems with the cabin pressure. I showed her the medicines and told her that these will help her ears pressurize. She glared up at me as if I had turned into a turnip and replied, 'You want my ears to press my eyes?!' We all need speech recognition on occasion.

* From: "Brian Dominic"
Last month you mentioned a model railway that had the trains named after Discworld characters.

That's my railway! See for more details: Diesels are all named after the witches (GYTHA, MAGRAT, MISS TICK, ESME AND TIFFANY) and I've just acquired a new steam loco, to be named ERROL 'coz he's small, fast and fiery!

WB replies: My Dad also models a 16mm scale garden railway. Unfortunately the cat occasionally vandalises railway property. Just thought I'd mention it.

* From: "Nathan Rose"
I'm sure a hundred and one people will be writing in about this one, but I'm afraid Fritz Coyote got it wrong when he said that 'Where's My Cow' is the first Discworld book where Death did not appear. Actually, it was 'Wee Free Men', which was published two years earlier.

DWM replies: Nope, you are the only one to point this out! But we're waiting for the other 100 emails any day now...

* From: "Alan James"
I have a copy of Chayim Bloch's book The Golem; Legends of the Ghetto of Prague. There was no publishing date that I could see but the date 1923 was in part of the text at the beginning of the book.

What intrigued me was the correctness of the detail Terry put into his books about the Golems, many of which agree with this book which is a collection of Golem stories some of which seem to go back to 1602.

I am continually amazed at the depth of knowledge that Terry has. Long may he prosper.

* From: "Selena Harrell"
At the age of 46, I have learned some things about myself. I learned a lot of it in Alcoholics Anonymous and from self-help books. Too bad I had not discovered Terry Pratchett when I first decided to figure out who I am. He has taught me more about myself than any self-help book ever could. The lessons Terry Pratchett teaches have opened my eyes, and opened my eyes again. To know myself, I had to simply accept myself. There is no mystery; I simply am me and that is nothing to be afraid of. He tells us, over and over again, to stand watch on the edge, to speak for those who have no voice, to never treat people as things or put things ahead of people. What better philosophy is there to live by? If I could have the courage of Sam Vimes, the absolute certainty of Granny Weatherwax, and the joy of Nanny Ogg... Sir Terry has given me laughter, tears, and a heartfelt desire to become a better person. I could never fully express my gratitude to the universe for giving this world someone as magnificent as Sir Terry Pratchett, so I'll simply say Thank You.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking some questions about Reaper Man.

What is the first false name Death gives when he meets Miss Flitworth?
Who is Archchancellor of Unseen University?
a) Galder Weatherwax
b) Mustrum Ridcully
c) Ponder Stibbons
d) Rincewind
What does Mrs Evadne Cake do?
What is special about the way Bill Door cuts the grass?
What is Miss Flitworth's pig called?

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

5. Review: Stamps 5th Birthday Party - Wincanton July 2009

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

July was the 5th anniversary of Discworld stamps. Back when working on Going Postal Terry asked Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson if he would like to create the stamps that Terry was writing about in the novel.

The stamp idea took off in a big way and Terry sometimes jokes that he is the author that wrote the book about the stamps! Five years on and the Philatelic Department of the British Library has a Discworld stamp collection.

So to celebrate five years of Discworld stamps Bernard decided to hold a party - originally planned just for Saturday 11th July. Discworld fans like a gathering, so many decided to make a weekend out of it.

I decided that the first port of call should be Bernard's shop. Upon entering the shop, I was almost instantly offered a cup of tea which was very welcome indeed. I noticed that compared to previous Discworld weekends that there were a lot less people than usual. I suspect that many may have been put off by the Stamp theme. I've never been a great collector of the stamps but do enjoy the company of other fans.

After drinks and food a group of about nine of us set up to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Richard the DM set the game in Wincanton and in real time. It was great fun and the game setting made it all the more entertaining. During and after the game reasonably vast quantities of alcoholic drinks were consumed. So we eventually staggered off to bed.

The next morning, after one of the Dolphin's excellent breakfasts, we were set to tackle the day. A trader's room had been set up in the back room of the Bear Inn. Again there were less traders than one usually finds at Wincanton events.

Part of Saturday's entertainment was a very funny re-enactment of the Walking the Walk scene from Going Postal. It started with Moist von Lipwig dressed as Frank Spencer. Then the voice of the supreme grand master demanded that he be de-franked! The jokes didn't get any better. The supreme grand master turned out to be Pat "Discworld auctioneer" Harkin who upon raising the delivered letter sold it in an impromptu auction. After the sketch victims - sorry, volunteers - were allowed to have their go at walking the walk.

Later in the afternoon the party proper started. Bernard and Isobel had put on a spread of sandwiches and drinks. Many fans also produced cakes for the party and upon purchasing a ticket (the money went to the RICE charity) we were able to consume some of the wonderful cakes. Kirstie May produced an excellent stamp cake complete with mini-chocolate A'tuins.

Sunday was a relaxed affair, after breakfast we headed over to the back room of the Dolphin for a talk about the future of Discworld stamps. Bernard allowed fans to come up with ideas they would like to see on stamps and it will be interesting to see how many of them make it into production.

After spending far too long saying my farewells I headed back onto the A303 to go home.

Another wonderful weekend in Wincanton was over. The next one will be in October where Transworld have agreed to host some football matches to celebrate the release of Unseen Academicals (good book by the way).

Loz Green took some excellent pictures at the event which you can find at:

Note you will probably need a facebook account to view them.

6. Competition

Sorry, once again time has conspired against us and we have been unable to arrange a competition this month.

7. Review: Wadfest 'Wadstock' 2009

Review by Jason Anthony

Wadfest 2009 took place over the weekend of 21st - 23rd August 2009. This year's theme was Wadstock - Music with Rocks In.

This year my family decided to join me at the event. The last time the whole family turned up was at Koom Valley Wadfest when the weather was less than perfect. This time, however, the weather was brilliant.

Having arrived later than usual, we started trying to pitch our tent. A few helpful individuals decided that rather than laugh at our inability to work out where the various coloured poles went they would help us put up the tent. Thank you.

After finally erecting [hee, hee - RM] the tent we had to purchase supplies so we missed the beginning of the cocktail party, where gents are invited to dress up in cocktail dresses and the ladies are encouraged to dress up as men. As we arrived late I fortunately didn't have to get dressed up! Unfortunately Butcher decided to dress as Cher from her 'If I could turn back time video'. Butcher looks pretty much as how he is described in The Last Hero and seeing him in fishnet stockings, a leather jacket and a black mankini is not something you want to remember. Earlier in the day Butcher sold unlucky raffle tickets - the winner of which had to paint tattoos on each of his cheeks. Pictures of said tattoos have already been banned by Photobucket!

Butcher was eventually crowned Miss Wadfest 2009. This year a new prize 'The Wadfest Prince' was awarded to the best dressed female and that was given to Periwinkle. Having tried to drink myself into a stupor to forget the image of Butch-Cher I went to bed.

Activities officially started at 10am. We arrived at the marquee and immediately got involved in constructing the hardboard luggages that would be raced on the Sunday. The younger Wadfest visitors were encouraged to paint the luggages.

Smack the Pingu took place in the sports field where the children had to see who could hit the suspiciously bottle-like penguins the furthest with a cricket bat. With the prize of a big club with nails in for the winner. Luckily the winner only gets to keep it for a year and then has to return it.

This year there were several new traders at the event as well as the usual suspects. The House of Igor were doing a roaring trade selling their beathties (teddy bears made from multiple donors) and some of the items made by Myth Cast were amazing. Dave Hodges was also there with a range of incredibly useful fire trays.

A first for Wadfest was the radio play version of Troll Bridge. A small group of performers told the tale of Cohen and Mica. As the budget wouldn't allow for special effects the audience were asked to provide the sound effects, such as trees exploding, wolves howling and the sound of hooves.

In the evening was 'Turtles in their Eyes' an X-Factor type talent show. I was asked to be one of the judges and decided it would be a nice safe place to sit. Rob Lupine asked if I would be the Simon Cowell character. I didn't have any trousers that zipped up to my armpits but I agreed to give it a go. The level of talent on display was vast and went from the sublime to the not quite so sublime! Unfortunately it was during the show that things went very wrong for me. After my two eldest children performed on stage (very well I might add) Rob, who was hosting the show, said 'Don't worry your Dad won't be able to say anything nasty,' and then asked me what I thought. Sadly I was so in character that I blurted out 'I thought they were rubbish!' This got quite a reaction from the crowd! From that point on I was a hunted and hated man. After managing to get through the rest of the acts while wondering how I would ever be forgiven we left the tent to select the prize winners. After much deliberation and being accosted by someone who wasn't very happy with me we came back to the marquee - where I was booed by the crowd! We awarded our prizes not necessarily on talent but more on entertainment value.

After the talent show, the light parade took place, where people could make models that lit up and paraded them around the campsite. During the parade, the band Sky Larkin set up on stage.

Unfortunately there were not allowed to play using their full amplification (due to problems with other non-Wadfest people on the site complaining) and had to perform a hasty acoustic set instead - after borrowing a couple of acoustic guitars from the visitors! During one song they allowed some of the children to get up on stage with them, one of whom was my daughter who loved being given an electric guitar to have a go on.

We went to bed not long after that.

After lunch on Sunday the charity auction took place where 2336.13 GBP was raised for Cancer Research UK. There were many lots varying from stamp first day covers, pieces of jewellery expertly made by a forum member from Canada, the auction Beathtie (a rock Chick) and a betting slip from the upcoming adaptation of Going Postal signed by the cast.

After the charity auction ended the closing ceremony took place and Waddy announced that next year's theme will be Dame Victoria Waddington's Posh School for girls of either gender. The mind boggles and wonders what Butcher might do next year!

Roll on Wadfest 2010.

Loz's official photographs can now be found at: and

Some other pictures can be found:

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

* Contact Information *

We prefer information to be sent via email, but can accept information via fax or post at the following addresses:

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

* Latest Book Information *

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Nation (non Discworld Hardback)

Folklore of the Discworld (add-on book)

Making Money (Paperback)

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What is the first false name Death gives when he meets Miss Flitworth?
Mr Sky
Who is Archchancellor of Unseen University?
b) Mustrum Ridcully
What does Mrs Evadne Cake do?
She is a medium, verging on small.
What is special about the way Bill Door cuts the grass?
He cuts it one blade at a time.
What is Miss Flitworth's pig called?

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

If you are looking for Terry books or videos over the net, simply visit our web page at and follow the 'Purchasing' link on the left panel of the page.

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