Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 156: April 2010

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: The Museum of Curiosity.
6. Article: The Disc ... A World of Literary Cameos
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 156. It looks like the SKY adaptation of Going Postal has been delayed. It was originally scheduled to be broadcast over the Easter period but it is now looking more likely to be broadcast at the end of May 2010. There has been very little advertising from Sky although an empty holding page has been set up for the show on the Sky website:

Hot of the press - As of the 1st April Sky have put the trailer up at:

Early this month my wife and I, along with quite a few other Discworld fans, visited London to be part of a radio audience for Radio 4's new series of The Museum of Curiosity. It was a lot of fun and I have written about it in section 5. The episode featuring Terry in should be broadcast on the 10th May.

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 (Flight Attendant)

2. News

Terry will be the guest editor of next month's issue of SFX magazine (Issue 196). SFX also promise to include information about the Sky adaptation of Going Postal.

Due to the ill health of Mithith Beathty the owners and creators of the Houthe of Igor have decided to close it down on the 5th December 2010.

The Beathtieth plan to attend Eastercon, the Wincanton Spring Event, DWCon and, hopefully, Hogswatch (if stocks last).

On their website the Beathtieth state: "The last 5 years have been full of fluffy fun and we hope the Beathtieth have put a smile on a lot of faces. Sadly though all good things must come to an end and we hope you will all understand the reasons why that time has come for Houthe of Igor.

If anyone has any commissions or orders they wish to place, the order and at least a deposit need to be with Houthe of Igor by 1st November 2010.

I am sure you will all want to join me in wishing the best for the Beathtieth and thank them for all the wonderful work the have done for charity and the Discworld community over the years.

Authors including Terry Pratchett, Ian McEwan, Philip Pullman and Roddy Doyle have participated in a survey to find a 'writers' pick' of the past decade in books.

Terry's choice was Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.

More information can be found at The Guardian website:

Paul Kruzycki, the man behind the first two Discworld Conventions, Discworld Beer and more recently Discworld Sausages is running in the London Marathon to raise money for the MS Society.

Paul says: I'm a little behind with the fundraising - in fact I nearly didn't make it to the marathon because of illness, but I'm well into the training now and feeling a lot more happy to be taking part.

If you did want to sponsor me that would be much appreciated or if there were a hat (or anything else) you could donate to the cause - I'm planning on running in a number of hats round the course, that too would be much appreciated.

Paul's fundraising page is located at:

Terry Pratchett has written a story for an imaginary character in a real portrait for the National Portrait Gallery.

In Terry's story it appears that a seafarer named Joshua Easement gives Queen Elizabeth a present from the Americas. Having no sense of smell he doesn't realise that he's given her a skunk. and and

"Strive!" - Sir Terry challenges first Pratchett Research Fellow. The Sir Terry Pratchett Fellowship recognises one of the most talented young researchers into Alzheimers in the UK. The glass award is inscribed with a single word chosen by Terry: Strive!

The Discworld Convention 2010 has now sold out of memberships.

If you would still like to attend, the membership team are compiling a waiting list. You can email to be added to the waiting list.

They will then endeavour to put people in touch with any current members who are unable to attend and so have memberships for sale.

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.

The next meeting will be on Easter Monday 5th April 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 5th April 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

[AU, New] Unseen Theatre Company will be performing Unseen Academicals at The Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide. Preview Friday April 9th, Opening Night Sat. April 10th. Season continues Wed to Sat until April 24. (all shows at 8pm)

Ticket: Adults 18 AUD, Conc 15 AUD, Groups (10+) 14 AUD, Fringe Benefits 14 AUD (FREE TIX NIGHT for holders of Health Cards or the equivalent Friday 9th April)

For bookings visit (no booking fee for on-line bookings) or phone 82270505 (2 AUD per ticket booking fee applies)

[UK] Waterside Theatre Company - based at Holbury, near Southampton in Hampshire - will be 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, New] Wyrd Sisters at The Place! Wyrd Sisters is being performed at The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford from Tuesday May 23 to Saturday May 29.

Each performance kicks off at 7.30 and the tickets cost 7.50 GBP (6 GBP conc.) They can be purchased at For more details -

[UK] The Really Necessary Travelling Actors are performing Wyrd Sisters at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth from Tuesday 27 July to Saturday 31 July 2010. Curtain 19:30

Box Office 02392 649000

Tickets: All seats 11 GBP (Concess 9 GBP)

[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.

[AU, Updated] The third Australian Discworld Convention will be held on 8th, 9th and 10th April 2011 at the Penrith Panthers conference centre in Penrith, NSW.

Keep checking in at for information as the website will be updated gradually, and the draft list of events has already been posted. Join the forums and get ready for the upcoming Inter-Guild online Scavenger hunt

Registration is now open at early bird prices, and a draft programme of events has been added to the website.

Volunteers needed. Contact (no mimes - by order of the Patrician). Want to help publicise this Convention in your area? Contact

Daily teaser tweets - follow @nullusanxietas3 on Twitter

[DE] The German Discworld Convention 2011 will take place from 30th September to 3rd October 2011. Assassins will roam the halls of Castle Bilstein but they promise not to harm visitors of the 3rd German Discworld Convention during that time (except when contracted). More details will follow in the upcoming months.

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.

Norman writes: Please could you ask if there is a pub or meeting house for Pratchett fans in the Portland OR, area. I have been a great fan of Sir TP. I am English by birth and now live over the pond. writes: I moved to Adelaide 2 years back and bought my beloved Pratchett books with me.

Problem is I seem to have multiple copies of some books.

I have the following hardbacks which are heading towards pristine, 10 AUD each:

and well read paperbacks but are not that tatty 2 AUD each:

If anyone wants to take them to a new home down under and will give me more than the pittance offered by the second hand shops (those that were even interested) let me know.

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 unconventional ways.

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: "Anne"
My name is Anne and I'm a voluntary worker with children with special needs - some have Autism, some have behavior problems or Downs syndrome but it never ceases to amaze me when I see the wonderful things they can do. One boy I introduced to Diggers, Truckers and Wings. Here was a person who truly appreciated Terry Pratchett's talent. I wish Terry could have seen the pleasure his books gave that boy, not to mention the father who listened to his son reading these wonderful stories and even though the child struggled with some of the words he wasn't used to he spent all term determined to get to the end of those books and I spent many happy hours listening and watching the pleasure on the child's face. Many thanks to Terry for the happiness he gave to that boy.

* From: "Mary Griest"
I didn't see anything about the Burser in Unseen Academicals - just Ponder taking over the role.

I missed him ~~ had one boss that definitely affected me the way Ridcully affected him.

* From: Jean Irvin
I have just completed the model of Unseen University from the book by Bernard Pearson and Alan Batley and I wondered if anyone else has made it. Here is a link to a slideshow of it.

DWM replies: Congratulations on finishing the project. I have a copy of the book but have never attempted to start it for a number of reasons. 1) I don't think I'd ever finish it, 2) My youngest would probably eat it and 3) I have nowhere for it to go.

* From: "Bri Derbyshire"
The Dimbleby Lecture hit me with a vengeance, because of the way my father just died.

Now at 93 you are quite likely to die of SOMETHING. Salford Royal, nee Hope Hospital, is a competent and caring environment to do it in, and we had a good supply of sons/grandkids/younger brothers taking turns to see him off. However, the end was not only inevitable but - according to the customer - much too prolonged. The poor chap, having been refused a loaded gun, actually acted out a corny Dickensian deathbed speech to me and my niece. This was not like him at all: I am convinced he was trying to work a spell to make it happen. Please be warned that - even in the best-equipped and -intentioned circumstances - "Care not Killing" boils down to insufficient anaesthetic for too many days.

I don't want it to happen to me, or to the people who have to witness the event. I was a supporter of the Pratchett Position before - how much more so now? Join DiD. Pester your MP. We shall need proper legislation in place before it's our turn.....

DWM replies: Bri gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: "Sarah Lewis"
My name is Sarah Lewis and I am currently studying Publishing and English at Oxford Brookes University and for one of my modules this semester I am carrying out a research project on the publishing history of Terry Pratchett. I am looking to include some fans' opinions on Terry and his Discworld series and was wondering if you could possibly answer some questions for me. The answers will be used only for my research project and nothing else and it would be a great help if you could.

  1. Why do you think Terry Pratchett's novels are so popular?
  2. Are you a fan of Terry's other books or just The Discworld series?
  3. Do you attend any Discworld conventions/events?
  4. Do you purchase a lot of Discworld/Terry Pratchett merchandise?
  5. Do you feel that Terry has become a celebrity author?
  6. Do you think that Terry has a good relationship with his fans?
  7. Do you follow any other authors/book series?
  8. Would you buy a book purely because it was written by Terry Pratchett even if it was a completely different genre/style?
  9. How often would you say you attend Discworld events/ Terry's public appearances?
  10. When did you first start reading Terry Pratchett's books?/ How were you first introduced to them?

Thank you very much for taking the time to help me,

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking you to name the book from the quote.

She stopped. At least most of Agnes stopped. There was a lot of Agnes.
"Amazin'," said Ridcully. "This thing's a kind of big artificial brain, then?"
"Never trust any ruler who puts his faith in tunnels and bunkers and escape routes. The chances are that his heart isn't in the job."
The Librarian ambled back down the aisles. He had a face that only a truck tyre could love.
Dwarfs respected learning, provided they didn't have to experience it.

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

5. Review: The Museum of Curiosity.

On Monday 8th March my wife and I travelled to London to be part of the audience in a radio programme called The Museum of Curiosity. The show will be the first episode of the third season of the programme, hosted by John Lloyd and Jon Richardson. The show should be broadcast on Radio 4 on Monday 10th May.

The idea of the show is that three guests are invited to add anything they like to The Museum of Curiosity. The Museum is a virtual museum with unlimited space where anything can be stored. Previous examples donated to the museum include a yeti, the Battle of Waterloo and absolutely nothing.

During his career John Lloyd has been involved in Not The Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI.

The reason we were invited is that one of the panel guests was a certain Mr Pratchett. Around 30 Discworld fans were invited to the show and we certainly seemed to be the loudest part of the audience. The other guests were Marcus Chown, a scientist who writes about complex scientific ideas in a "lies to children" way to make them understandable to the lay-person, and Shappi Khorsandi, an Iranian stand-up comedian.

The recording lasted nearly two and a half hours but will be edited down to only 30 minutes. It will be interesting listening to the broadcast to see just how much of the recording they manage to keep.

Much of the talk was about universes, multi-verses, quantum theory and the different types of infinity. Terry managed to keep his side of the conversation up on technical issues while we tried to understand what was being said. John Lloyd, Jon Richardson and Shappi Khorsandi managed to keep things from getting too technical and we discovered that Shappi had one thing in common with Terry - they have both been Brownies. Apparently Terry was made an honorary Brownie a few years ago when he agreed to help out a Brownie group at a book signing.

At one point after Mr Chown had explained a rather complex technical scientific theory (that I can't remember) Terry accused him of trying to take his job away!

So, to the point of the show - what was donated into the museum? Marcus Chown started with a theoretical idea of a state where the universe has collapsed but time has been drawn out into almost infinity where all knowledge and all things would be available and then argued that rather than donating this idea to the museum, the museum would become part of the idea. At least that's what I think he said - it was rather complicated.

Shappi came next and she put Charlie Chaplin into the museum because she is a huge Chaplin fan and argued passionately about what wonderful performances he gave.

Finally it was Terry's turn - so what did he donate? Sorry, you'll have to listen to the show to find out...

6. Article: The Disc ... A World of Literary Cameos

Written by Richard Timothy

I remember when I was first introduced Terry's work. I was sitting in my college dorm room reading along and the next thing I knew I was laughing out loud, so much so that I began a bit of literary rewinding. Once I got done laughing, I'd turn back a page, began rereading the section, and then start laughing all over again.

One of the things I love most about the Discworld series is all the literary cameos you get from book to book. There are books about the reluctant and cowardly hero Rincewind. There are books about Death and his granddaughter. There's Sam Vimes and his band of misfit coppers, The City Watch. There are books about the Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax and the other witches on the Disc. There are so many more characters too. They are personalities that you either partially, mostly, or completely identify with, because they either remind you of yourself, or someone you know... or someone you hope to someday know... or in some cases hope to never know.

Regardless, you find yourself connecting with these people, and because there is usually more than one story about them you get to know them better and better. Cheering them on every step of the way. Even if what they are attempting something that is one chance is a million... but it just might work. There you are, reading along about something happening in Ankh-Morpork and all of a sudden there's a member of the City Watch chatting with the hero of the book. And there you are, giving a mental nod or wave to Nobby Nobbs, because, Hey! You know him.

And how could we forget the eclectic collection of cameo appearances by the one and only Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, and all the Dibbler egos, or cultural counterparts, found on each Discworld continent? There is Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off Dhblah from Small Gods, and Al-Jiblah from Jingo. Also, Disembowel-Meself-Honourably Dibhala of Interesting Times fame. I'm sure there's more, I still have a few more books to get through, and I am looking forward to finding out. It's like running into an old high school friend while you are visiting some random city. Sure it's a bit of a surprise and the conversation is usually short and in passing, but you are genuinely pleased to have seen them.

So, to all you readers that have read one, some, most, or all the Discworld novels, I'd like to think that you, like me, take comfort in the knowledge that someone you know will be dropping by to say hi. It's a thought that always brings a smile to my face every time I crack open a Discworld book. Well done and thank you sir, er, I guess Sir Terry... Pratchett. It's always a pleasure.

8. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

She stopped. At least most of Agnes stopped. There was a lot of Agnes.
"Amazin'," said Ridcully. "This thing's a kind of big artificial brain, then?"
"Never trust any ruler who puts his faith in tunnels and bunkers and escape routes. The chances are that his heart isn't in the job."
Guards! Guards!
The Librarian ambled back down the aisles. He had a face that only a truck tyre could love.
Dwarfs respected learning, provided they didn't have to experience it.
Soul Music

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