Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 151: November 2009

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Unseen Academicals Book Launch - Wincanton
6. Competition
7. Review: Discworld Sausages
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 151. My apologies to anyone that went to the Cunning Artificer's on Monday 12th October expecting to see a football match (I know of at least one person who did) - it actually took place on Saturday 10th. In my defence I did state it would take place at the weekend. Please remember that while we do try to make sure we put the correct dates into the newsletter we are only human and do make mistakes. I would suggest that if you are planning to travel to an event check the links we provide to confirm dates and times - just to avoid being disappointed.

October has been the month for changes to Discworld message boards. The Cunning Artificer's Message Boards have been upgraded and moved to a new server to improve performance and the Harper Collins message boards have been rearranged to make them more accessible. I understand that they will also soon be upgraded to a new version of the message board software. So if you haven't been tempted to join in before, now's a good time. Below are the links to the Discworld Stamps, Harper Collins and Transworld message boards.

I will be going to the opening night of Nation at the National Theatre on Wednesday 11th November - look out for the review next month.

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 (Essen About)

2. News

News from Terry via



I expect that most of you know that I am determined to die peacefully in my own garden before my Alzheimer's has reached its most unpleasant stage, which might still be quite some time away. That is why I am now a patron of Dignity in Dying and my new friends there have asked me to pass on this link to a petition to properly legalise well regulated assisted dying in the UK. It has been put together by people who know their stuff and have some political awareness; if it had been written by me the paper would have burst into flames because I believe the religious right, having lost the original suicide debate in the 60s/70s and the abortion debate in the 60s are really getting behind this one and are portraying what could be a carefully and sympathetically delivered service to people with serious, debilitating and untreatable diseases as if it's an open door to a nationwide cull of old people. Their arguments are frequently pernicious and highly objectionable and must be combated.

Click HERE [ - Ed] to sign the petition.

Many thanks.

Terry Pratchett


October 1st 2009


I had a lovely letter the other day from very religious lady concerned about my health. She said that I should consider my Alzheimer's a gift from God. Frankly, I would have preferred a sweater...

Coming back from the North American Discworld Convention has hardly been a rest and so my own personal con report and additional thanks has had to be delayed. More on that later.

On the up side, the progress on I Shall Wear Midnight is rapid, thanks to Dragon Dictate and rather more to the guys at TalkingPoint - the front end that makes it much easier to use - who made contact with me through this very page. I'm so impressed by it, that if my typing ability came back overnight, I would continue to use it. I have no hesitation in praising the product as I have already paid for two licenses and a year's maintenance. Anyway, we have to do this stuff otherwise what was the point of Star Trek?

The next few weeks are pretty well stuffed with things to do regarding Unseen Academicals and the celebration football match in Wincanton at which I shall break my life long vow of never watching a game of football.

The next big public thing in our diary is the Irish Discworld convention, which takes in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon Co. Clare from the 6th to 9th November.

More later,

The committee of the Australian Discworld Convention is planning to do it all again in early 2011. They have already started up a message board to start discussing such items as the itinerary. You can help shape the future of the convention by visiting:

On Facebook you can join the group Nullus Anxietas in New South Wales, or alternatively you can follow them on Twitter @NullusAnxietas3

The 28th September edition of the Guardian featured an article about Terry's criticism of the recently announced assisted suicide guidelines.

By the way, if you don't want the big reveal in Unseen Academicals spoiled, I suggest you don't read the Guardian review from Saturday 24th October.

On the same day as the Guardian article, the Telegraph published an interview with Terry about Unseen Academicals which inevitably falls into a discussion about PCA Terry's variation of Alzheimer's .

Terry recently appeared on Matthew Peterson's The Author Hour on VoiceAmerica.

You can listen and read the interview at:

Anthill Inside might have started as a joke but it appears that the study of ants will inspire new computer anti-virus software in the real world.

An article in the Telegraph suggests that less money is spent per annum on Alzheimer's research than it costs to create one mile of motorway!

Terry is quoted as saying: "We are facing a worldwide tsunami of Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases."

Micro Art Studio have released a new batch of miniature Discworld figurines including: Duck Man, Coffin Henry, Foul 'Ole Ron and Arnold Sideways.

Once again what you get is the cast model which you are responsible for painting and assembly.

Terry has been nominated for a BAFTA Scotland award in the factual series category, for his programme on living with Alzheimer's disease.

A new competition wants young filmmakers aged 10 to 17 to make a thee-minute YouTube clip inspired from an extract from Nation. The winner's entry will be re-shot professionally and screened as part of the National Theatre's NT live event on 30th January 2010.

See on how to enter.

Is Michael Rubens the next Terry Pratchett? The Philadelphia Inquirer seems to think so. In an article Michael Rubens is compared to both Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.

Mr Rubens has written a novel called The Sheriff of Yrnameer that is apparently like High Noon with aliens. Strangely that seems nothing like Terry's work!

Terry was interviewed by BBC's Breakfast programme about Unseen Academicals and how he now uses Dragon Dictate to talk to his computer.

Nation is one of the books that has been short-listed for the Guardian Children's Fiction prize.

Simon Appleby has written a review of Unseen Academicals for you can read his 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.

November's meeting will be on Monday 2nd November 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 2nd November 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

[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, New] Studio Theatre Club will be performing the world premiere of Unseen Academicals from 17th to 21st November at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon.

Performances start at 7:30pm + 2:30 on Saturday. Tickets cost 8 GBP each with rosettes on sale at the theatre.

Full info at

It's not all about Football!

[AU] Glenbrook Players in Glenbrook, Lower Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, NSW will be presenting Wyrd Sisters on 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th November at 8 pm with matinees on 21st and 28th.

Performances will be held at the Glenbrook Community Theatre, cnr Great Western Highway and Ross Street Glenbrook.

For more details and bookings see

[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.

[UK] Waterside Theatre Company - based at Holbury, near Southampton in Hampshire will be our performing their fourth Pratchett/Briggs production, this time Maskerade.

The show is on from 20th - 22nd May 2010 at Waterside Theatre Holbury.

Waterside Theatre Company have won awards for all three of their Discworld productions but their most successful was Guards! Guards! which won Best Newcomer for Carrot, Best Set and Props, Best Lighting and Effects and Production of the Year in the Southern Daily Echo Curtain Call Awards!

More information at:

[UK] Wadfest 2010 takes place from 20th - 22nd August 2010 at Trentfield Farm, Notts.

[UK] The 2010 Discworld Convention will take place from 27th - 30th August 2010 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.

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.

Sara-Jane Ridley writes: I would love to be in touch with other TP fans in Plymouth - please email me - I look forward to hearing from you!

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 using whatever method we like.

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: "Adrian Jenkin"
After the XKCD reference last month I thought I'd offer this passing reference from a recent Phil & Dixie strip from the awsome Foglios! The reference is not big but also not easy to miss if you're a fan.

I'm not certain but I don't think this is the first DW ref I've seen from these guys - although I can't remember where the other one was - possibly one of their other comics.

* From: "Howard Atkin"
Great newsletter. Only discovered Discworld in my 30's after being introduced to it by a friend. Have made up for it since and have been hooked for the last 5 years.

I enjoy reading the newsletter and have never been moved to write before, but I just wanted to ask if anyone else remembered the inflatable football Carrot carried in his pack in Jingo which would indicated that this is not a new discovery at the time of UA. Not that it in any way diminished my enjoyment of the new book and I'm sure this could be cleared up with an answer containing the word "Quantum" somewhere in the sentence.

Keep up the good work.

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

* From: "Jacqueline Simpson"
I enjoyed Bill's review, but I think the two main threads in 'Unseen Academicals' are more closely integrated than he says, at the level of theme rather than plot device. 'Football', we are told from line one, 'is not really about football'. As I read it, the whole book is about achieving a good balance between the individual and the community. The older mass football submerges the individual in a wonderfully warm fug of communal effort and loyalty, but it comes at a price: you can only be a true supporter of A if you really, really hate those bastards from B. The wizards, on the other hand, who are utter individuals, have to learn how to be a team. I can't say too much about Nutt for fear of spoilers, but it's clear that at the start he is totally cut off from any community, past or present, and even from proper self-awareness; he is desperately trying to fit unobtrusively and usefully into the unwelcoming world he finds himself in. Mass football gives him, for a brief moment, the illusion of 'belonging', but it can't last. Only when he knows who he is and has ensured that others know it too can he take his place, a true individual, with true abilities to contribute to a community. Glenda, Juliet and Trev also, in various ways, need to get the right balance between self-fulfilment and communal identity. It does all hang together, but it's not till the second reading that one sees how.

Incidentally, I love the way Nutt talks! But then, my best friends have more than once told me I sound like a mid-Victorian novel.

* From: "Stewart Brown"
Got my copy of Unseen Academicals early on the 1st of October, right out of the box as it hadn't made it to the shelf yet and I also picked up a copy of The Wee Free Men, the illustrated version. I am up to about page 60 of Unseen Academicals and it is great lots of laughs and all the favourite characters, so I am taking it slow and savouring it. The sale girls at the bookshop were fans too and when they saw what I was purchasing they were very jealous.

Greetings from Australia.

* From: "Archi Buse"
I enjoy reading your monthly letters that make me feel Discworld connected even in France. I am writing today because I have observed on every picture I can remember that Sir Terry was always dressed in black, with a hat and a grey (and now white) beard. Though the beard have grown a lot recently, I cannot help thinking it is his own "golden suit" so that we know it is him, the famous writer that we love. And as a consequence, how does he dress to go to the pub? Does he let his black suit in the wardrobe? And, more importantly, can he take his beard off?

* From: "threepot900"
Just finished "Forbidden Fruit" by Kerry Greenwood which is the 5th book in the Corinna Chapmen - baker and reluctant investigator- series. The Goddess Anoia gets a name check on page 6, followed by the info that she is (quote) "a creation of the divine Terry Pratchett" He gets a name check on another couple of occasions, and her boyfriend reads to her as she cooks, but the book is not named.

* From: "Sarah Garrison"
My name is Sarah Garrison and I am 15 years old.

I am a really big Discworld fan and I was lucky enough to win tickets to the premiere of The Colour of Magic, and I met the man himself and got his autograph. It was the best day of my life!

I just wanted to know, how do most people pronounce gytha?

Is it ji-tha or gi-tha or gye-tha???

I have heard it pronounced differently on different audio books.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking some questions about Small Gods.

What curse did Om aim at Lu-Tze?
Who was Brutha's master?
a) Nhumrod
b) Nimrod
c) Nautilus
d) Fred
Which of CMOT Dibbler's namesakes appears in Small Gods?
What form did Om take?
What does Didactylos mean?

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

5. Review: Unseen Academicals Book Launch - Wincanton

Review by Jason Anthony

On Saturday 10th October Wincanton became the location for the launch of Terry's latest novel, Unseen Academicals. As the book is about the game of foot-the-ball it was decided to launch the book with a five-a-side tournament.

The day before the launch one of the fans who was going to be referee hurt his back and me being the idiot that I am, volunteered to take his place. So after popping around the local supermarket at 10pm on Friday I was the owner of a whistle and a notepad.

On Saturday morning I sorted out my black wizard's costume (having read the book I decided that a wizard would be an appropriate referee) and headed down to Wincanton.

Waterstones had set up a temporary stand at the sports centre where they had Unseen Academicals and the Illustrated Carpet People available to purchase.

I changed into my wizard referee costume and went out to the playing field where I found the other referee, Stephen Briggs in full Lord Vetinari football outfit. Stephen had a name badge that simply stated "tyrant". Lord Vetinari had his assistant Drumknott with him to keep track of scores.

It was quickly noticed that only one pitch had been set up with goals, so a second pitch was quickly set up with authentic jumpers for goalposts - I refereed on this pitch while Vetinari refereed on the main pitch.

Terry, Bernard and a representative from Transworld said a few words of encouragement and then Lynsey from Transworld allocated the teams to each pitch. Transworld had organised proper football shirts for each of the players. There were four fan teams, one from Transworld (which included Terry's PA Rob as a sub), one real team from Wincanton and a double-sized urchin team.

One of the first games I had to referee had the Seamstresses playing against Transworld. I had to admire the seamstresses' control of the ball - but strangely not their ability to kick it. I guess their normal customers would not appreciate that. I have to say that corsetry has come a long way and it is amazing at what it can hold in when things are wobbling. I understand that there may have been one or two wardrobe malfunctions that the seamstresses quickly covered up!

The level of skill on display varied from the sublime to the ridiculous. After the second game I realised why being a referee might be a bad idea - it meant that I spent the best part of two and a half hours running up and down the pitch. Far more exercise than I am used to.

At one point the Silver Horde barricaded one of the goal posts. The seamstresses and some of the supporters tried the same thing but the local team still managed to score against them. Eventually we got down to two teams, the proper local team and the urchins. I left Stephen Briggs to referee this game and headed back to the changing rooms. After a quick change, a drink and an extortionate chicken-pie floater that cost 7 GBP we headed out for the awards ceremony.

It turns out that the urchins had won the final. Terry gave the tin can trophy to the urchins and a trophy was also awarded to Terry. The main event now over people headed back to the sports centre.

I spent a couple of hours chatting with some friends of the message board and then we all headed back to the town and the local pubs where I spent a very enjoyable, if sober, few hours chatting with friends before heading off for a two -hour journey home.

I think everybody had a lot of fun and many photos were taken - see the links to some of the various galleries below (most of the galleries are on facebook so you may need to sign up if you haven't already):

6. Competition

Last month we had a signed copy of Carpet People: Illustrated Edition to give away thanks to the wonderfully kind people at

In order to win this prize, we asked you to answer the following two questions.

How much are PJSMPrints pre-ordering signed copies of Unseen Academicals for? (in GBP not including delivery)
The new Carpet People: Illustrated edition features sections of Terry's own full colour illustrations. But how many are there?

The answers we were looking for were 18.99 GBP and 2 x 8 (or 16 if you did the maths) colour illustrations.

The randomly selected winner was Graham Beeston of Redcar, North Yorkshire.

For more information visit

7. Review: Discworld Sausages

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

First off I don't really know how to write about Discworld sausages - well at least trying to make it sound interesting.

At the Unseen Academicals book launch a few weeks ago I was given a packet of Discworld sausages from Paul Kruzycki who you might remember as the chairman of the first two Discworld Conventions in the late 90's and producer of Discworld beers.

The new sausages are tied to the Discworld beer side of things as they are made using Invalid's Restorative which we reviewed back in issue 103. The sausages are made of over 85% rare breed saddleback pork which makes them very high quality. These are not the type of sausages you would purchase from C.M.O.T Dibbler.

The sausages are made by the inappropriately named Giggly Pig Co. Ltd who proudly claim on their website "There is no fat or crap in our Sausages" which is reassuring! For more information see

I grilled the sausages for breakfast on the day after the book launch and they tasted wonderful - you could really taste the ale in them. The low fat content of the sausage meant that there was little sizzle, just lots of wonderful taste.

I didn't get any photos of the sausages I'm afraid. They got eaten before I thought of getting the camera out!

The sausages are not cheap but they are in my opinion very good value for money. You can currently purchase a triple back of Discworld sausages for 10 GBP or a five pack and one pack of dry cured bacon for 19.50 GBP from

8. The End

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Unseen Academicals

Nation (non Discworld Hardback)

Folklore of the Discworld (add-on book)

Making Money (Paperback)

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What curse did Om aim at Lu-Tze?
The devils of infinity fill your living bones with sulphur!
Who was Brutha's master?
a) Nhumrod
Which of CMOT Dibbler's namesakes appears in Small Gods?
Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off Dhblah
What form did Om take?
What does Didactylos mean?
It means Two-Fingered.

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