Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 172 - August 2011

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Article: Essay on Night Watch
6. Competition
7. Article: MUSTERING THE CITY WATCH - A Belated Call To Arms
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 172. After last month's sad editorial we didn't realise we'd have another one this month. Michael "Wurzel" Burston, ex-guitarist from the band Motorhead, who came down to last year's Hogswatch event and rocked out in front of Terry, sadly passed away from cardiomyopathy (heart disease) on 9th July. Wurzel was a really lovely bloke and will be missed.

* * * * *

This month I was lucky to receive a US proof copy of the new Discworld novel Snuff that sees Sam Vimes taking a holiday with Lady Sybil and his now six-year-old son.

Look out for our full review next month. [i.e. when the Ed has FINALLY finished reading it and WB gets a chance to look at it - WB]

* * * * *

Terry and Rob have asked me to mention that since returning from Australia they have been working hard on the SECOND draft of The Long Earth. Once complete they are going to reward themselves with a BIG fan update on the PJSM Prints website.

Terry and Rob will also be going to list a UK proof of Snuff on eBay over the next couple of days with proceeds going to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue.

Keep an eye on for details of the auction.

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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.

* * * * *

If you have written an article that you think we might want to include in the newsletter please feel free to email me at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use.


Jason Anthony (Killed By Death)
William Barnett (Overkill)
Richard Massey (Ace Of Spades)

2. News

Terry has been awarded Health Champion of the Year by the UK's leading health experts and journalists.

The award, presented at the Medical Journalists' Association (MJA) Summer Awards, acknowledges Terry's tireless campaigning and awareness-raising of dementia-related issues.

* * * * *

To coincide with the paperback release of I Shall Wear Midnight Transworld are making the first Tiffany book The Wee Free Men available to read for free on their website. You can currently read the first 104 pages at:

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After its recent Kickstarter success the makers of Troll Bridge have been on a location reccie to New Zealand and have published a number of photos at

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From the Wadfest committee: What no Wadfest 2012?

Wadfest has now been running every year for 10 years, and the committee feel they could do with a break.

The fact that there is a little games event being run is also causing a few issues with dates for next year's event.

So we have decided to take a year out so we can come back in 2013 bigger, better, and a lot more proficiently.

So after this year you can all take that bit longer to think of your costumes for 2013 "Doomsday".

* * * * *

Guards! Guards! boardgame update from designer David Brashaw:

Since we last corresponded we have had prototypes at the UK Games Expo, Q-Con, BroCon and NADWCon.

I have to say at all of the first three events we were always busy and had queues to play our game. It went down very well. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

Zev from Z-Man Games then took advance copies to the NADWCon where he sold quite a number of copies.

The actual main order of games is currently in transit and will be available in the US and UK by the end of August.

However pre-orders will be available for Discworld fans in the next day or two at and, if you order there, you will also receive one of four illustrated bookmarks free of charge, of one of the characters drawn by Stephen Player for the game.

By the end of August the free [mobile phone - Ed] App with more character info, strategies and tips should be available. I saw the first prototype last night on an I-phone. It was super.

We are doing a Northern Ireland release of the game at alongside stars from Game of Thrones. Can't wait!

We will also be bringing a few copies for playing and selling to the Irish Discworld Convention and also Wincanton in November.

You can get more info on what's been happening and competitions from and

* * * * *

SFX magazine issue 212 (with the Spiderman cover) mentions Terry twice. Once for Granny Weatherwax in the 20 greatest heroes of fantasy literature section (Granny came in at number 15, beating a certain boy wizard by three places!).

And secondly in the news section where it mentions that Terry is working on his autobiography. In the article Terry says: "I was amazed, when I started writing it, what came back to me, suddenly I was back in the corridors of my primary school and I could remember the names of my teachers and everything."

* * * * *

Tracie Anderson (address removed as all 6 copies have been claimed) writes: I am clearing my office at the University of Bristol ready for a move to another building and I came across 6 copies of the University news September 2004 with a front cover featuring Terry Pratchett being awarded an Honorary degree from Bristol (Doctor of Letters) with a short write-up inside from the Orator.

Alas they failed to take notes of Terry's speech in return or made a note of the fact that he turned the tables on his Orator and gave him an Honorary degree from Unseen University.

In any case, as I have 6 copies I offer them to anyone interested enough to contact me, free of charge, first come, first served. (These booklets came around attached to our payslips and I used to remove them before mailing to academics at CERN.)

So if you could pass on the message in the next issue - anyone interested can mail me their postal address via email!

* * * * *

The Mob have given me details of the companies around the world that have bought the rights to broadcast Going Postal.

There is a sale to ABC in Australia for DVD but a couple of TV deals have also been done; not sure which channels it would be on if not already shown.

The show has also been sold to:

So if you haven't seen Going Postal yet it might be coming your way soon.

* * * * *

Pat Bowne has written about the recent North American Discworld Convention in their blog at:

Also from the North American Discworld Convention:

Video: Pam Gower as Granny Weatherwax in The Wyrdest Link:

Video: Terry and Rob talk about a typical day in the office.

Video: Neil Gaiman joins Terry for a talk about Good Omens

* * * * *

Artist Dixie Flatline has created a model of Nanny Ogg and Casanunda mid coitus as it were. The model also includes a step ladder. Certainly one for adults only.

* * * * *

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 Historic Mounds Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA will be performing Mort. This will be their first in a hopefully long line of Terry Pratchett productions.

Performances will be July 22 and 23, 29 and 30, and August 5 and 6, 2011.

For more information, please visit:

* * * * *

[UK and AU, Updated] The Broken Drummers and The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in the UK and Australia.

Unless otherwise stated the Broken Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.

The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia. You can contact the organiser Daniel Hatton on

The Drummers Downunder (Sydney) meet at Maloneys Hotel on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia from 6.30pm. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on

The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm.

The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors.

* * * * *

[UK, New] Mort the musical will be performed by Youth Music Theatre UK from Wednesday 10th to Sat 13th August 2011.

Tickets cost: 17.50 GBP, 15 GBP and concessions 10 GBP.

Performances start at 7:30pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2:30pm.

* * * * *

[UK] Wadfest X - The Future and Beyond takes place from 19th - 21st August 2011. The event takes place at Trentfield Farm in Church Lanehan, Retford. Wadfest is a family-focused camping event where Discworld fans meet up for a weekend of fun and games from Luggage Wars to Live Pingu. The event includes a talent show and a charity auction where you can get some excellent collectors pieces.

More information at

* * * * *

[AU] For fans in Adelaide, The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St. Details, discussions and organisation of extra events (such as play outings) are held on our email mailing list, so please sign up at

* * * * *

[DE, Updated] 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).

Only one month remains before the registration closes and the workshop registration starts! Have a look at the (nearly) completed program book (we have some special guests and surprises that we are not talking about, but we can tell you that Bernard Pearson is working on an exclusive Convention stamp...). Registered visitors are now able to pre-order the Limited Edition 2011 Discworld Convention Plushies for pickup at the Con.

Order your tickets now at:

* * * * *

[IE] Irish Discworld Convention 2011 (IDWCon11)

The second biennial Irish Discworld Convention will take place, once again, in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon. Taking place from the 4th-7th of November 2011. For those of you who missed it the first time, and if you don't mind us saying so, it was a bit of a bit! If you would like to be there this time membership is now open and information on all sorts is available at our website! Special Guest Professor Sir Terry Pratchett has confirmed his attendance! Now it's your turn!

* * * * *

[CA, New] Walterdale Playhouse will be performing Wyrd Sisters in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 30th November to 10th December 2011.

Tickets cost: 12.00 CAD to 16.00 CAD (depending on event date, time, and ticket type)

* * * * *

[UK, New] The Eighnnnnnn International Discworld Convention will take place from the 24th to 27th August 2012 at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.

For more information visit:

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

Jean Benton writes: Emigration to South Dakota forces me to part with some of my much-loved collection of Discworld books - all in pristine condition. There is a selection of 15 Corgi paperbacks (1.99 GBP + p&p), 7 hardbacks (3.99 GBP + p&p) and The Unadulterated Cat to be sold either as a collection or individually.

* * * * *

Margarita writes: Re the TV programme on assisted dying: I live in the Canary Isles so haven't been able to see it - if anyone has recorded it and would be willing to lend the recording to me, I would be hugely grateful. (And pay postage costs, obviously.) With very best wishes.

3. Readers' Letters

It's been very quiet on the letters front the last couple of months. 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 while listening to classic Motorhead albums.

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.

* * * * *

* From: "Phil Barker"

I recently saw "Phantom of the Opera" on TV for the first time, and was immediately inspired to reread "Masquerade". I concluded that Terry has better characterisation and better lines, in particular the incomparable death scene. I did like the erotic lamp-holding statues in the foyer in the film though.

* * * * *

* From: Ed Collins

Can't you people close-caption a video? The wonderful Pratchett videos are useless for the hearing-impaired.

* * * * *

* From: "Susan Cormier"

I found this on a Blog called Pogue's Posts. I thought I would forward it to you out of interest.

"Terry Pratchett's books are available on Kindle only for the US, but not on Latin America and Caribbean. It's a pity, because for overseas customers the Kindle is a godsend, immediate delivery and no shipping costs. I'm sure sales could only go up."

JA replies: I suspect that this has a lot to do with distribution rights. But if anyone knows more please write in and let us know.

* * * * *

* From: "Noel" (address withheld)

I found this picture online and was quite surprised at how well it fits with the theory that Bananas are Fish!!! (at least according to 'The Last Continent'.) The link for the picture is:

I love the art used in all the Discworld Calendars and have been trying for years to find a complete collection of the pictures or indeed any pictures online, but alas still no luck (or very little.) I would love another Discworld art book, especially if it included all the Calendar art published and unpublished to date. (Maybe as a charity edition type thing.) I might point out that this year's calendar was a bit of a disappointment though, due mostly to the size being smaller than normal and although I love Kirby's art, I do love to see other artists get a chance to do their favourite scenes and stories. I think that in future if the publisher wants to do tribute calendars, well they should, but they should also do a second one with the new art, and although I love the TV mini-series, they should steer clear of doing photographic calendars, (2007) leave that for books on the TV series or the script books that have been done.

I see that the new calendar (Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collectors' Edition Calendar art by Paul Kidby) is now up for order on Amazon, as is "Snuff" the new Discworld book. It looks as if we will have to put up with the smaller size calendar again... but at least it looks as if it's new art.

DWM replies: Noel gets this month's Letter of The Month.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'll take three random quotes from the Discworld series and ask you to name which book they came from.

"The city bleeds, Mr. Lipwig, and you are the clot I need."
"That's the thing about witch-craft," she said. "It doesn't exactly keep you young, but you do stay old for longer."

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

5. Article: Essay on Night Watch

Francesca Young recently wrote the following essay on Night Watch as part of her HND course.

'Night Watch' is one of Terry Pratchett's phenomenally successful Discworld series, a satirical fantasy franchise covering upwards of forty books and a whole range of cultural subjects. Pratchett's readership is as varied as his subject matter, and he is the second most poplar writer in Britain. Pratchett's trademark is the lettering of his name on all the book covers, in a crooked, quasi-gothic font, with the first name on top of the second. The name is now associated in the readers' minds with everything the franchise represents.

The word 'Discworld' now conjures up connotations of playful wit, in-jokes, cultural references and an underlying intelligence, mixed with a distinctly British ideology, and love of the underdog. The cerebral nature of the books makes them almost unfilmable, although five adaptations have been made.

When a person buys a Pratchett novel, they are buying an alternative to the usual run of fantasy: This is why the SF/Fantasy club keeps them under a separate heading. What the franchise represents is a separate genre, falling over itself to re-examine the assumptions society makes; in part, this includes laughing at the assumptions of fantasy and its stereotypes.

The satire comes from the close examination of social ideas, which also allows him to make relevant points; for example, is war just another crime? If so, what if it were possible to arrest the armies? And is money a sort of shared dream? After all, a ten pound note is only paper. The humour is a mixture of Horatian and Juvenalian satire. The former gently calls to attention the less logical aspects of human culture; the latter attacks more serious subjects with the spirit of biting scorn that characterised Juvenal's attitude to Roman corruption. Discworld both portrays and examines popular culture in a way that appeals to the masses.

'Night Watch' could be described as a turning point in Pratchett's writing, as it is the first of a number of darker novels he wrote, employing Juvenalian satire. The exceptional nature of the book is signified on the cover, which, in typical Pratchett style, is also a cultural reference and a parody of a Rembrandt painting.

It is done in a dark, semi-photographic style, suggesting a crime novel more than a fantasy. The cover design is a semiological sign of the dark content.

In 'Night Watch' Pratchett examines the real nature of law in a modern context. A policeman is pitched back in time, along with a psychopath. Both find themselves in a lawless city, on the brink of a revolution. The conflict between these characters signifies the struggle between law and crime.

Pratchett uses the criminal as a signifier to express the sign which is his idea of crime in our society; he depicts crime as a mindless and undirected force "blind and mystified", motivated only by personal desire. Conversely, the hero comes to full consciousness and recognises the responsibility of his role: he must become the embodiment of law in the face of lawlessness: He thinks "When we break down, it all breaks down". When the law threatens, it threatens in the name of order, rather than violence, putting it above crime morally and intellectually. Since this is modern Britain, our ideology dictates that crime must be depicted a certain way, and defeated, because we value law and order above violence. Context affects subject matter greatly-in ancient Greece for example, the dominant ideology was different. Pratchett's ideology is British, and modern, which makes this a timely, not a timeless book.

Pratchett presents a picture of society in deep trouble. There is rife corruption, dangerous, stupid laws and officially sanctioned terrorism. There are plots on all levels of society to overthrow the government. All of this leads back to bad rulership. Chaos makes law difficult to establish: When offered a position of power, the hero thinks "In this city? [the Watch] would just be another gang."

This is Pratchett's way of defining what society should not be.

However, to pass, as Barthes would put it, from Semiology to ideology, we can say that we have a writer here who believes that law and order are not so very hard to re-establish, in Europe at least; compared with American fictional policemen, Pratchett's hero has an easy time of it; for example in the American Die Hard franchise, the hero is nearly always beaten to a pulp, and so covered with blood and wounds that you can hardly bear to look at him.

Conversely, the hero of "Night Watch" only needs a long sleep and a shave to recuperate.

All in all, "Night Watch" signifies the current British perception of law and order.

6. Competition.

This month the lovely people at have three prizes for us to give away. The three winners will each get a signed 2012 Discworld Calendar and a PJSM Goodie Bag. PJSM Prints have a huge range of Discworld items and their new products include: the Assassins' Pin (which Terry's PA wears on his jacket!) and five new mouse mat designs. also have the 2012 calendar available up for pre-order now and will have signed copies of Snuff available to pre-order from August 13th. Those who pre-order on the day will be put into a hat and a name will be drawn on the 14th - a signed UK proof will be posted Special Delivery that day and, depending on the winners' countries, they should have it post haste.

In order to be one of the three winners you need to answer the following questions:

What price in GBP will PJSMPrints be selling the 2012 Calendar for (excluding P&P)?
One of the new mouse mats features the following words "Lord Vetinari ________". What is the missing word?

Send your answer along with your postal address to by 21st August 2011. Your address will only be used if you are one of the winners and only for sending out your prize - once prizes are sent out all address information will be destroyed. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.

For more information about PJSMPrints range of Discworld Products visit:

7. Article: MUSTERING THE CITY WATCH - A Belated Call To Arms

By Nanny Oggy

As you will have read in the newsletter last month I have been somewhat tardy in my dealings with DWM and the cast call series due to the death of Mr Oggy (Joel Milburn in case anyone in the DW community knew him). I think it was down to the success of yours truly and it gave him a heart attack (just kidding, but you know these situations, laugh, cry or drown in a vat of Scumble and another of Bearhuggers... or all of the above, and let's face it my Mr Oggy would be the first to be giggling at that!!)

Now then, sadness aside let's get on with the job in hand (*rolls up sleeves*)...

It seems the casting of our Vimesy has caused as much controversy (albeit in the nicest way with loads of emails flooding in!), in hindsight maybe I should have given him his own article not unlike the ones I'm planning for The Patrician and our dear friend Rincewind.

Now the choices with the results were as follows:


While I love the ideas of Alun Armstrong, Paddy Considine and Viggo (swoon, drool) would all be ideal... I think the likes of Clint, Nicolas and Harrison would turn down the role unless they were Discworld fans as they wouldn't get enough money.


I owe it to one of my fans who sent me this ( photo of Daniel which give him orange hair and he IS Capt. Carrot. He is PERFECT!!! John Cena certainly has the marine looks (and body!) I think Tom Cruise just wouldn't cut it (he's more of a true dwarf rather than someone that just thought of himself as and was brought up as one! Albeit a class actor and droolsome too!!). Rupert Grint, I don't think having ginger hair naturally is much of a recommendation, he's always struck me as somewhat insipid but perfect as Ron in the HP films.


Other single actors:

(Nobby) - Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Alan Cummings (Nightcrawler), Steve Buscemi, Luis Guzman, Clint Howard, Mike Myers, Giles New, Rowan Atkinson

(Fred) Robbie Coltrane, Jim Broadbent, Angus Barnett, Richard Griffiths

Andy Serkis (I have him in mind for something else though) and Steve Buscemi I can totally see that and Mike Myers in his Austin Powers guise... Jim Broadbent oh yes!! Though I have ideas for him, as for Richard Griffiths (watch this space!!)


Looks like our Meredith is a runaway winner and a favourite of mine so I can't really argue with that one!!


ALL suggested... 4

Other - Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones, another name and class actor of diminutive frame!!


Ingrid Bolso Berdal actually got 4 votes in a begrudging manner of 'she'll do' Most of you thought she had the right looks (other than one which I echo who described her as 'every kind of ill') but demeanour was NOT the Angua of the books who, as the late Mr Oggy was constantly saying was more demure and almost subservient especially around Carrot. AND certainly wouldn't change in public like that if at all possible. She didn't like people who didn't have to know that she was a werewolf, to know.

Other suggestions that came up were: Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson (I could see this one working especially if we are to get the Thud! sub-plot of Angua and Sally, the two most gorgeous women in the Watch 'fighting' over Carrot!), Honeysuckle Weeks, Katherine Jenkins, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Pfieffer (both a bit 'past their sell by date' so far as Angua is concerned ... though both excellent actresses), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Sophia Myles (Sophia would be my personal favourite of this list).

There was one other who unfortunately I can't remember the name of, it was some rock songstress that is something like a size 0 and has long blonde hair. In one moment me and Mr Oggy looked at each other and uttered a single word - "Angua!"... we'd been discussing my previous article (I'm going to miss that so anyone local to 'Lancre' we'll have to get together and have some cast call evenings over some Scumble!! Hear me Death of Rats??, get Rincewind over too!)

I also came across someone today that would work well as Angua - Clemence Poesy who plays Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter films.



Suggestions of Dianna Agron (Glee, I Am Number Four), Renne O'Connor (Gabrielle in Xena) and Christina Ricci (as she played Wednesday Addams - 2 votes for this actually), and late suggestions of Dawn Steele (most recently seen in Wild at Heart in the UK) and Angelina Jolie.

I was sent the suggestion of Sylvester Stallone (in true Judge Dredd style 'I AM DE LAW!!') and also Ron Perleman (as in Hellboy amongst others) as voice talents for Detitrus. And Sean Connery for Dorfl.

I was most remiss in forgetting Gooseberry TM (without whom one of the most important members of the City Watch couldn't function... how else would he know it was 5.55pm and almost time to read 'Where's My Cow?!') and A.E. Pessimal - they HAVE to film Thud! I am so looking forward to seeing it!! The perfect suggestion came for an actor for him in the form of David Wenham (Faramir in Lord of the Rings films amongst many others), I can't find fault in that one!

I'm so pleased that you are all enjoying these articles, I hope you are glad I'm back. I'm getting quite popular from the sound of it!! I've even been blogged!! Ah, the price of fame! See you next issue, in the meantime feel free to email me your suggestions. Next month it will be 'A Thronging of Thaumaturgists' aka... the casting for the Wizards!

8. The End

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* DiscTrivia Results *

"The city bleeds, Mr. Lipwig, and you are the clot I need."
Making Money
The Fifth Elephant
"That's the thing about witch-craft," she said. "It doesn't exactly keep you young, but you do stay old for longer."
Lords and Ladies

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