Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 159: July 2010

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Article: Going Postal - It's All His Fault...
6. Competition
7. Article: Large News Update From Terry
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 159 - this issue is dedicated to the memory of my paternal grandmother who passed away earlier this month aged 90. She had been suffering from Alzheimers for several years and near the end couldn't recognise any members of her family.

This month Transworld have announced that an unfinished science fiction novel that Terry started writing nearly 25 years ago will be written in collaboration with award-winning British science fiction writer Stephen Baxter.

It looks like some of the cast of Going Postal had fun on set. Moist Von Lipwig, Stanley Howler, Mr Groat and Pump 19 can be seen doing their version of Elvis's classic Return To Sender at:

My tickets for Wadfest arrived this month. It looks like I'm going to be in the Yellow house of Dame Victoria Waddington's school under the tutelage of Professor Steel.

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 (Glastonbury or bust)

2. News

Terry was short-listed for this year's Carnegie medal for Nation. Unfortunately he didn't get it but his old writing partner Neil Gaiman did for his excellent novel The Graveyard Book.

Nation might not have one the Carnegie medal but it has been shortlisted (as one of ten books) for a Brit award for published authors. For details on how to vote for Terry and Nation visit:

The bookdrum has turned its attention to Good Omens. The bookdrum takes a novel and supplements it with photos news, annotations, reviews etc. You can spend an enjoyable couple of hours finding out all about Good Omens at:

The Telegraph has a feature about meeting the cast of Going Postal at:

The DVD and Blu-Ray of Going Postal should be released in the UK on 23rd August according to on-line retailer

You can pre-order your DVD copy by using the following link (a small donation from your purchase will go towards keeping Discworld Monthly going):

or the Blu-Ray at:

Terry has recently finished working on I shall wear midnight - the forth book in the Tiffany Aching series.

Amazon have the book, with its great Paul Kidby cover available for pre-order at:

The Guardian reports that the first part of Going Postal was viewed by over 879,000 people. More than three times Sky 1's normal average for the time slot.

John Mullan of the Guardian Book Club has interviewed Terry about Unseen Academicals.

A short video (that I haven't seen before) of Terry being interviewed by Mark Lawson of the BBC about Terry's first science fiction convention can be found on YouTube at:

In a recent edition of the Andrew Marr show Zoe Wanamaker and David Suchet were promoting their new West End hit, Arthur Miller's play All My Sons.

Marr began by discussing Suchet's success with Poirot, then turned to Zoe showing a photo of her role in the Harry Potter series (tutor of how to fly broomsticks, if you don't know).

Then a reference to what it is like to appear in a film of a cult book led naturally to Suchet's appearance in Going Postal, which would be that same evening.

Suchet then uttered words to the effect that: it is an extraordinary book....I knew his books were cult, but I didn't know quite how much until I went on set, dressed up like a pirate (Johnny Depp, eat your heart out) to be greeted by a round of applause by some of the extras who were Terry Pratchett fans who had travelled all the way from England to appear in the film. This is a real cult, and it's unbelievably going on for years...

The Time On-Line featured a review of Going Postal by the rather obnoxious Rod Liddle - it appears that he believes that reading Pratchett means you are a target for abuse! Anyway to Rod's surprise he actually quite liked it.

[Not sure how long the link will work for as The Times will attempt to start charging to view their content soon. Once this happens we will no longer link to them - Ed]

In an interview for USA Weekend, Merlin star Colin Morgan once again mentioned that he is a fan of Terry's books. If I remember correctly he mention in an interview the he would like to play Mort.

"I've always loved Terry Pratchett books, and I've always had a bit of a fascination with escapism - "

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.

[AU, Updated] The Drummers Downunder, the Sydney sister of the Broken Drummers, will have their next meeting on Monday 5th July 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, 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 Monday 5th July at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.


[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 (Concessions 9 GBP)

[UK] Wadfest 2010 the premiere Discworld camping event 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 The website has been updated with hotel information and lots more registration is now open at early bird prices, but full prices for registration come into effect on 1st July.

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

Now available - Promotional merchandise featuring our stylish logo by graphic animator Rhianna Williams.

[US, New] NADWCon2011 planning is underway. The dates of the new con will be July 7-12, 2011, and the location will be the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club, in Madison, Wisconsin.


Hear ye, hear ye! A special edition of the Ankh-Morpork Times has been put out *just* to share this exciting news:

The North American Discworld Convention 2011 (NADWCon2011) will be coming to beautiful Madison, Wis., on July 8-11, 2011! NADWCon2011 will be held at The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club, located at 1 W. Dayton St., Madison WI, 53703 It will be a celebration of the Discworld and all things Pratchett, and we guarantee you won't want to miss it!

Sir Terry Pratchett, international best-selling author of the Discworld novel series (also known as The Man In The Black Hat) will be appearing as our Guest of Honor as he did in 2009 (circumstances and health permitting) and more guests will be announced shortly.

Early registration is now open online at Cost for the event is currently 75 USD each for adult memberships, 45 USD each for child memberships (ages 4 though 12), and free for children age three and under. Supporting memberships, for non-attendees, is 30 USD each. These rates will be in effect until December 1. We are planning to cap membership at approximately 1,000 attendees to ensure that all attendees will be able to be seated at the major functions in our ballroom.

To guarantee that you have the best experience possible, attendees are encouraged to register and book their hotel rooms early. The Madison Concourse Hotel has a block of rooms available now at a special convention rate! So head on over to our hotel page ( and book a room now!

Attendees are also encouraged to book early because Art Fair On the Square, a very popular annual outdoor art show, will be occurring during the same dates as the convention. Madison will be busy that weekend and hotels will fill up fast!

All profits from NADWCon2011 will go to the Orangutan Foundation (, the Alzheimer's Research Trust (, and to fund future NADWCons. The North American Discworld Convention 2011 is being sponsored by The Guild of Chelonavigators, a non-profit volunteer organization.

More information on all aspects of the convention will be added to the official website as it is confirmed. Please check back and keep an eye on the LiveJournal community where all news will be announced.

"I'm so excited about this convention, I'm practically convulsing," said Convention Chair Joshua Goes.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please visit our lusciously content-rich forums at or email");.

[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).

Registration has now started and there is an early booker gift if you register before the end of this year.

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.

Marion Wilhelm writes: I sell wiccan supplies & I have 2 oils & 1 cauldron splash that have names derived from my favourite Discworld characters. I am donating all moneys (not just profit) from the sales of these things to Sir Terry's Alzheimer's Research Trust.

* Rekkr Wndas (Rinceweed) an oil for courage

* Nain Tywydd Gwyr (Granny Weatherwax) oil for Practical Thinking in
other words, Headology

* The Wizard's Pointy Hat- self evident name, a cauldron splash to
encourage meeting in the middle, dark & light, high & low, that sort of thing.

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 and hide them in the dark corners of our imagination.

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: "D POWELL"
Did anyone else see the edition of SFX that Sir Terry was guest editor on?. I have been an avid reader of SFX for years and it was definitely the wittiest and best put together SFX for a long time. I am also an avid reader of Discworld books having collected all the paperbacks and a few connected books like Nanny Ogg's Cookbook and The Art of Discworld. Does anyone out there know when Unseen Academicals is coming out in paperback as it is the only one I haven't got yet? Thank you for reading this and I shall probably be visiting Bilious the o god of hangovers while watching Going Postal tonight.

DWM replies: You're in luck. Unseen Academicals is already out on paperback and can be purchased from

* From:
Dearie dearie me. Don't you know where Scotland is??? It is wayyyy North of Watford. The place where men in tartan skirts chase wild Highland haggis up the mountains to catch them (these are the haggis with legs longer on one side of their body than the other so they can run up and down hills easily). These are not to be confused with the Lowland ones which are rather tame and make great pets.

* From: "Aidan Karley"
Last month William Barnett wrote: Now where is this Scotland place, exactly?"

Walk into the sunrise then turn left (or into the sunset and turn right) then walk straight on until you feel a kick in the Nac Mac Feegles.

Welcome to Scotland. Lend me ten pounds and I'll buy you a beer.

* From: "Lynda Flanagan"
As we read and re-read Terry Pratchett's stories, the complexity and richness continues to impress us. We have recently introduced the Discworld to a friend who since then has trouble getting anything else done. We have often commented to ourselves that we are sure that being American means some things are inside jokes that we miss. We would love to hear about any such obvious references or jokes from some one or ones with bi-cultural experience. Thanks to the Universe for giving us the gift that is Terry Pratchett.

* From: "Susan Cormier"
I was searching the web for a pair of shoes sadly called "Fifi". What I found was a pair of very plain, medium heel, black patent Christian Louboutin shoes called "Miss Tick". She wouldn't approve of the price but they would be perfect until she was, yet again, thrown in the water. Nanny Ogg would like them too.

- Patent leather round toe pump. - 70mm thick covered heel - Signature red leather sole - Available in Black - Made in Italy

Only 595 Canadian dollars

* From: Eszter
Isn't this interestingly familiar?

"Once upon a time there was a King who lived on the road to Thibet, very many miles in the Himalayas. His Kingdom was eleven thousand feet above the sea and exactly four miles square; but most of the miles stood on end owing to the nature of the country. His revenues were rather less than four hundred pounds yearly, and they were expended in the maintenance of one elephant and a standing army of five men. He was tributary to the Indian Government, who allowed him certain sums for keeping a section of the Himalaya-Thibet road in repair. He further increased his revenues by selling timber to the railway-companies; for he would cut the great deodar trees in his one forest, and they fell thundering into the Sutlej river and were swept down to the plains three hundred miles away and became railway-ties. Now and again this King, whose name does not matter, would mount a ringstraked horse and ride scores of miles to Simla-town to confer with the Lieutenant-Governor on matters of state, or to assure the Viceroy that his sword was at the service of the Queen-Empress. Then the Viceroy would cause a ruffle of drums to be sounded, and the ringstraked horse and the cavalry of the State--two men in tatters-and the herald who bore the silver stick before the King would trot back to their own place, which lay between the tail of a heaven-climbing glacier and a dark birch-forest."

This is a R. Kipling citation (from the short story Namgay Doola (collection: Life's Handicap), but it sounds like a description of Lancre. Pratchett is reading and using classics... Makes me happy! :D

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking some more questions about Going Postal (the novel not the adaptation).

Who is the only character we read about getting visited by Death?
What breed of dogs did Moist Von Lipwig think had been sent after him?
Where do they really come from?
What type of creature is My Gryle?
What is the end location of The Great Race?

The answers as usual can be found at the end of this issue.

5. Article: Going Postal - It's All His Fault...

Article by Bernard Pearson

I should think that by now almost everyone knows that the term 'going postal' is American slang for going off one's trolley, to lose one's marbles or just go mental.

I think we at number 41 have experienced all that over the last week or so.

And it's all his fault.

I remind him of this now and again - quite pointedly in fact - not mincing my words, not wrapping it up, just telling him like it is. Its all his fault.

Whose - well, Sir Terry Pratchett's of course.

I remind him of this when conventions draw thousands of fans from all over the world.

When our own modest gatherings in the spring and at Hogswatch get folk trekking into darkest Somerset to enjoy the gathering and take part in sharing the dream.

You are sitting somewhere reading this because of him. OK Jason Anthony is aiding and abetting Terry and so do others, but at the end of all Discworld universes, activities, things going on and happening - Sir Terry Pratchett is where the buck started.

My dear friends and I have as you know created the odd (oh and I do mean odd) sticky bit of paper. But it was all his fault. We might have sold a couple of million of said sticky bits of paper but we would not have done it without HIM egging us on, giving us ideas above our station, setting challenges, making it possible in the first place.

He did it, Sir Terry. My best mate Terry what had a 'good' idea. And where has it led to?

I tell you folks, not just loads of books, oh no!

Not just all sorts of 'stuff' that has been inspired by Discworld, came into being because of Discworld or in some cases just has Discworld written on it, but films as well.

Of all the mediums that Discworld has moved into I think that the films are the most powerful. Movies, moving pictures are the stuff of dreams. - get them right and all the senses are in overload and I really think that Going Postal was got it very right indeed.

It is not just the subject matter, which I'm sure you will understand is very close to my heart, but the whole ethos of the Going Postal film that rang so many bells with me. I consider it to be the best so far in the Discworld canon from The Mob.

When Terry was writing the book I was very privileged to get a glimpse of what was going down on to paper almost as it was happening. The post office and its working for example, the nuts and bolts of the scaffolding that the plot sometimes hangs on.

So I can speak with some 'insider knowledge' when I say that when I saw some scenes in the film it was not only just as I had imagined it but as Terry had as well. Ruddy awesome and oh so very clever.

The sad thing is it is only Sky that shows it. Well, until that is the DVD comes forth. In some ways I prefer to watch a film from the comfort of mine own large and overstuffed arm chair. It's a bit like me really: large, overstuffed, a bit creaky, but eminently comfortable. A film on the box, granny at me side, surround sound tuned in, several pipes and a jar of good tobacco, a big spotty hanky for the sad bits and the snuff and perhaps a little glass of something portly - heaven. Especially when it's a ruddy good film as Going Postal is.

Now back to the panic that I started this epistle with. If you're still here, well done, it's nearly over... Fox the jolly film people are releasing a video of Going Postal and we have been entrusted to supply a little something to go in some of them. Quite what I am not at liberty to say, but, oh it's rather special.

Our brief from Fox was to create something that would be a 'real' Discworld artefact and have something with it that was unique. Never seen before, never to appear again - original and special.

We have and we're all very proud of what we have created, it really is special. When you think of what we produced for the launch of the novel in 2004 and how much those things are fetching on e-bay, I think that there are going to be some very happy people when they get their special edition Going Postal DVD and Blu-Ray. So not only a fantastic film but a splendid bit of Discworld inside you can fondle and cherish, no wonder we have all been busy little 'b's and that's without the rather fetching little number we are creating for Sky to mark the film's release.

Going Postal has certainly made a difference.

And of course, it's all HIS fault. If it wasn't for Terry, Isobel and I might still be freezing our ******* off in Suffolk elbows deep in clammy clay, Ian and Reb would be doing something that was far less fun and collectors all over the world would not know just how lucky they are going to be, very soon.


6. Competition

As well as writing the entertaining article above Bernard also decided that he should do a competition for us so back over to Bernard:

Er, I suppose we ought to do a competition.

How's this then. Name the pin that Moist gave to Stanley that he said he found.

The first three randomly selected correct entries will get a prize. The prize: well we cannot because of contractual obligations give you what we have created exclusively for Fox. But we can give you some of the original artwork created by Ian and myself, so how about that?

To enter, send your answer along with your postal address to by 20th July 2010 (Your address will only be used if you are a winner and only for sending out your prize - once prizes are sent out all address information will be destroyed). Entries received after 20th July 2010 or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Judges decision is final.

The three winners will be announced next issue.

7. Article: Large News Update From Terry

Used with permission from


I Shall Wear Midnight is totally finished; we spent the better part of three days last week doing the final proof-read and let me tell you that the only way to proof read a manuscript with maximum accuracy is to listen to it read aloud. Well, it is for me at least. When it's a simple matter of reading, the brain has a tendency to helpfully fill in the words that are not actually there. It's also extremely good for picking up repetitions. And it's also extremely good for picking up repetitions...

The good news is that uncorrected bound proofs will be in our possession any day now and, as usual, we will make one available with proceeds going to charity.

Check this space [] shortly for details!

So here we are basking in the sunlit uplands and find ourselves already some 20,000 words into the next adult Discworld book, based largely around Vimes, with the working title Snuff. A word that has, as you probably know, at least two meanings. Remember, you read it here first!

I'm sure that most of you will have heard of the Long Earth, three pieces of writing I did around the time of Wyrd Sisters but put on one side because the Discworld suddenly became so successful. Who knows? In another trouser leg of time I might have written it, sold it successfully and become a science fiction writer instead of a fantasy one. In which case I would have been, I suspect, slightly poorer but would have at least been a BSFA Guest of Honour :)

I will be working on this shortly with Steve Baxter, whose hard science fiction I admire greatly. It needs two people to do this book - in fact it needs a committee, given that the central thesis is 'more worlds to conquer than there are numbers'. Of course, as it turns out, there is just a little snag.

Bought your Last Hero pin yet? Show your final respects for the Silver Horder and get yours from

I am sure you have all seen the press release (copied below) regarding the 'Anywhere but Here, Anywhen But Now' award. However, can I please reiterate that you shouldn't contact us directly about it as I will not get involved in any way until the end of the year. Best of luck even so.

The Carnegie Award; well, it's come and gone and, as I forecast, Nation did not win, but Neil Gaiman was gracious enough to give me a heap of praise in his acceptance speech for The Graveyard Book. Neil Gaiman HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO NEIL FROM EVERYONE AT PJSM PRINTS!

I have to tell you, I've learned a lot about awards and how they work during my career and am still baffled. Why did The Amazing Maurice win the Carnegie instead of Johnny and the Dead? I was astonished when it won and so was my editor; I remember the amazement in her voice when she phoned to tell me. I have now taken the view now that getting on to a short list is usually the trick. This at least proves that you have written a book that is potentially winning material. After that, all bets are off. For good or ill it's then all down to the people judging this time, the current fashions, the people you're up against and, for all I know, the current position of the planet Jupiter.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can announce the auspicious results of a raid on Mob Films lock-up recently, which revealed a veritable treasure trove of props and costumes, largely from Going Postal but with a few from the Colour of Magic and Hogfather. I'm aware that there are a number of cons taking place around the world, and frankly some of the props are heavy; for example we have the deadly coffin from the Colour of Magic for which the purchaser will need to bring their own pall bearers. A lovely piece though. Dave's Pin Exchange

We also have the omniscope and stand that features in Going Postal that breaks down into two smaller pieces. It's big, wonderful and heavy. We have the clacks used by Adorabelle Dearheart; magnificent, but bulky - though you should be able to be take it away in a car if you leave the kids behind.

In the heavy but not big category we have a number, probably a dozen, of heavy metal clacks levers. They're individually engraved as the property of the clacks company and would be just like the real thing if the real thing was real.

There's also a few costumes; Angua's helmet, cloak and leather straps. Two clacks-men outfits, both with caps but one missing trousers... don't ask. Tremble...

However, still in my trembling hand, we have the very shiny patent leather boots as worn by Adorabelle. They have stiletto heels, but we can't tell you how high until we get a bigger ladder. They are slightly worn, after all they've been in a movie, but we expect vigorous bidding on this item - especially from me!

This might be the time to add that all the items are, well, props and we have unfortunately been unable to get the omniscope to work properly. Generally speaking everything looks pretty serviceable to us, and indeed massively designed in some cases, but they are nevertheless items which were destined to have a short life in front of the camera. Adorabelle's boots however are, I'm assured, the very best that Soho could provide. The Sto Plains Link Relay Tower Uberwald Relay Tower

We must warn you that not all of the items will be auctioned at the upcoming UK convention. There are quite a number of other Discworld conventions known to us that will be taking place in the next year or so, and it would be nice if there was at least one decent item that could be auctioned off at every one. Common sense tells us that some of the props are just way too heavy to go transatlantic and also that, since one purpose of this exercise is to raise money for charity, the UK convention is likely to be where the largest amount can be raised. At the very minimum, however, I think we could make certain that every con currently known to be happening will get something. We know where they are!

Stop Press! The Mob, in their boundless generosity, will be providing us with enough small props to allow every registered attendee at the UK convention to have one. Well, yes, they might well be pins!

Finally, we're currently all in shock here because of the sudden death of Ken Roberts, our friend and shepherd who kept his flock of sheep in my fields. Apparently he died instantly on Saturday, with his dog sitting next to him. While that is a way that we would probably all like to go, I suspect that we would have liked to have got at least into our sixties first, unlike Ken. News like this puts the world into perspective...

All the best.

Terry Pratchett

The Terry Pratchett Prize


Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).

We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won't be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don't know that they are; after all, you don't.

But this might just be the start. The wonderful Peter Dickinson once wrote a book that could convince you that flying dragons might have existed on Earth. Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate worlds humanity didn't survive, or never evolved -- but other things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way. The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it's all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger their legs wouldn't carry them. In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.

The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2010 A shortlist of six entries will be announced by 31 March 2011.

See for Competition Terms and Conditions

8. The End

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* DiscTrivia Results *

Who is the only character we read about getting visited by Death?
What breed of dogs did Moist Von Lipwig think had been sent after him?
Where do they really come from?
Harry King's yard.
What type of creature is My Gryle?
A Banshee
What is the end location of The Great Race?

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