Discworld Monthly - Issue 183 - July 2012
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 183. This month has seen the release of two new hardbacks, The Long Earth and The World of Poo, and the paperback of Snuff from Terry.
The publicity machine has been going hammer and tongs for The Long Earth with flash mobs, collaborative readings and an animation of the stepper device.
The Discworld flash mob that included Terry, Stephen Baxter, a number of fans and three large inflatable Earths met up at Trafalgar Square in London on the 21st June to Launch The Long Earth. I would have liked to have gone but was unable to due to work commitments. From the photos and videos of the event it looks like it was a lot of fun.
The collaborative reading project is the first page of The Long Earth recorded by a number of celebrities including Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter, Neil Gaiman, Tony Robinson and Robert LLewellyn, several Transworld employees and a number of fans including Reb, Ian and Bernard from The Cunning Artificer's shop in Wincanton.
The animated stepper plans can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTd7c0rfVEk
The reviews of the book have been on the whole very positive. Links to some of the reviews are listed below.
The Guardian - /url/EARTH183A
Go386 - /url/EARTH183B
SFX - /url/EARTH183C
Gav Reads - /url/EARTH183D
Independent - /url/EARTH183E
Discworld Monthly - Issue #182
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Last month we mentioned that Terry had won The Wodehouse comic fantasy award. As part of the prize he got a Gloucester Old Spot pig named after his book. It has since been confirmed that the pig is called Snuff.
The Guardian has a great picture of Terry with "Snuff" the pig.
Terry was recently one of the guests at the Hay Festival. The Telegraph who also run the festival featured an article on what Terry had to say about his fear of dying badly, his lack of critical success and what it takes to be a good fantasy author.
GoodReads features a nice interview with both Terry and Stephen Baxter about The Long Earth. At one point when asked about quantum Earths, Terry says to Stephen: You're the bloke who knows about quantum. I'm the bloke who knows about faeries.
Want to have dinner with Terry? Dignity in Dying are auctioning the chance to:
Meet the legendary author Sir Terry Pratchett and pick his brains over dinner for two at an exclusive Private Member's Club in London. You'll also receive a signed copy of his latest book. (Please note: dinner will be on Sir Terry, but travel and accommodation is not included. Mutually convenient time and date will be worked out once bidding closes.)
The bidding is taking place at: /url/DINNER183 and will run to 4th July. On Saturday the bidding was over 1000 GBP.
The Daily Telegraph feature an article entitled: Terry Pratchett - the most wizard writer in the cosmos.
The article starts with: Sir Terry Pratchett has a T-shirt that he's rather proud of. "How to be a fantasy writer," says the slogan. "1) Write an excellent story with a complex plot and great characterisation. Include social and political commentary, touch on such subjects as the nature of belief and journalistic freedom. 2) Put in one lousy dragon."
The Evening Standard has a short but positive review of The World of Poo, calling it the ultimate toilet book.
Terry was recently in Zurich where he visited a meeting of supporters of assisted dying. In his speech he claimed that it is difficult to argue with opposition that think shouting 'Jackboots' at you is discussion.
The Independent has a good article named How We Met: Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett that includes both authors' views about how they first met and how they decided to collaborate together on The Long Earth
The Express has an interview with Terry about writing The Long Earth and the problems of writing with PCA
Martin Wallace of Treefrog games got in contact recently to remind me that he will no longer be dealing with direct sales as he and his wife Julia are in the process of emigrating to New Zealand. So from 1st July you will need to look to retailers for Discworld: Ankh-Morpork as the TreeFrog Games warehouses will be closed down.
We'd like to wish Martin and Julia a successful emigration and hope that Martin continues to invent Discworld board games.
Martin also asked me to point out that his new Doctor Who game will be released in late August.
More information at: http://www.treefroggames.com/
With the release of The World of Poo and The Long Earth this month it might be easy to have missed the paperback release of Snuff. Many supermarkets have had Snuff available for vastly reduced prices, even undercutting Amazon.co.uk's 3.86 GBP price tag.
The paperback of Snuff can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk at http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0552166758/87
The US edition of Snuff, like The World of Poo is also listed on Amazon.com's market place but isn't available direct from Amazon. Which is rather strange.
The latest SFX magazine (with the Batman cover) features several references to Terry Pratchett. Including the last page where reviews editor Rob Power confesses that his desire to fully understand Wyrd Sisters caused him to knuckle down and do well in school. Also featured is a five star review of The Long Earth and a long article about Terry and Stephen Baxter's collaboration on The Long Earth.
Terry and Stephen Baxter appeared on Radio 4's Front Row programme with Mark Lawson on Monday 25th June.
Round up of Terry's posts on Twitter this month, https://twitter.com/#!/terryandrob
Wednesday 6th June - Do we keep the pig or champagne? The perennial pig/champagne conundrum, eh? http://pic.twitter.com/KzjeaC7H
Thursday 14th June - Just landed in Zurich & the weather is stunning. Note to self; don't be scared about the big ball of burning gas in the sky.
Thursday 14th June - We love you Zurich. We love you. http://pic.twitter.com/w4r5giAP
Friday 15th June - Don't know about you, but we've just started our day by talking to the Federation of Right-to-die-Societies in Zurich.
Friday 15th June - And for all of you asking ever so politely - yes - we've both got return tickets.
Friday 15th June - You know green jelly? Well it should be lime, right? Imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be mint. Don't mess with my taste buds.
Friday 15th June - And so we don't have to explain further; jelly = Jell-O (incorrectly, of course) and it shouldn't taste like toothpaste.
Friday 15h June - We're well known for not following foot the ball, but we're away from home and so stood for the national anthem and are watching the game...
Friday 15th June - ...a combination of patriotism and lager seems to have done the trick #Engerrrrrland
Wednesday 20th June - Giant inflatable globes. Trafalgar Square. Sorted. http://pic.twitter.com/PPVmYEmv
Thursday 21st June - Today's the day the world starts stepping...
Thursday 28th June - We're in the Long Room Library of Trinity College Dublin, celebrating its 300th birthday by reading from Dodger. Wish you were here? ;)
The 9th Episode of The Pratchett Podcast was released on Sunday 1st July. At the time of writing we haven't had chance to listen to it. But it promises a review of Equal Rites plus Clacks, The Ankh Morpork Times and New Members of the Watch!
Through iTunes & http://recordings.talkshoe.com/rss113968.xml
More information about the Pratchett Podcast can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/126205344153979/
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 meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on email@example.com
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. In August this will be Monday 6th.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors. You can find out more about the Drummers at http://www.brokendrummers.org/
[AU, Updated] The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in Australia.
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. In August this will be Monday 6th.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
[UK, New] Chameleons Web will be performing Wyrd Sisters outside during June and July.
Ticket Prices in Advance - 10 GBP Adults, 8 GBP Concessions, 30 GBP Family
30/6/12 - 6.30pm - Carter's Vineyard, Boxted - 01206 366000
01/7/12 - 6.00pm - Alfred Munnings Museum, Dedham - 01206 366000
07/7/12 - 5.00pm - The Whalebone, Fingringhoe - 01206 729307
14/7/12 - 6.30pm - Love Bistro at the Minories, Colchester - 01206 765131
15/7/12 - 5.00pm - Love Bistro at the Minories, Colchester - 01206 765131
While they say they can guarantee the quality of the performance they cannot guarantee the weather so please bring appropriate clothing for a British Summer!
[AU] The Unseen University Convivium 2012 takes place from July 6 - 8 2012.
You can find out more information and purchase tickets by
- Looking on the website: http://ausdwcon.org
- Liking them on Facebook: http://facebook.com/UnseenUni
- Following them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UnseenUni
- Sending enquiries via email to: UnseenUni2012@gmail.com
[UK] On the first Friday of every month starting with June 1st there will be a meeting of WOTS - Omnian Temperance Society - Wincanton branch - to be held at The Bear Inn from 7pm. New members or visitors from other places always welcome.
[CA, New] Socratic Theatre Collective is very proud to present Mort as part of the Site-Specific program at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival.
The producers hope that this production will be of particular interest to Discworld Monthly readers as stage adaptations of Terry Pratchett's work are rarely produced in Toronto.
They would also like to invite interested media staffers or bloggers to visit one of our rehearsals, as well as offer complimentary tickets to our opening night performance on Saturday, July 7. To make arrangements, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The running time is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Performances take place on Saturday 7th July, Sunday 8th July, Friday 13th July, Saturday 14th July and Sunday 15th July. Performances start at 7:00pm on Friday and Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday.
No admittance will be allowed one the performance has started. Tickets cost 10 CAD at the door, 9 CAD in advanced (2 CAD service charge will be applied).
Advance Box Office: Online: http://www.fringetoronto.com
Telephone: 416 - 966 - 1062 x1
For more information, please contact Liz Bragg at email@example.com
Visit the website at http://www.socratictheatre.com or visit the Facebook page under Socratic Theatre.
[GE, New] Die Dramateure will perform Carpe Jugulum on Friday 17th August at 7:30pm and Saturday 18th August 7:30pm. At Hohe Landesschule, Alter Ruckinger Weg 53, 63456, Hanau, Germany
Tickets: 6 EUR
All proceeds will be donated to the Orangutan Foundation!
[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 https://groups.google.com/group/adelaide-discworld-fans
[UK] 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: http://www.dwcon.org
The convention has allocated all 950 tickets for the event and have even had to close down their waiting list. So it looks like it really is far too late to go now.
[US] Guards! Guards! will be performed at The Historic Mounds Theatre in St. Paul, MN.
This will be the third Discworld show done in the developing series.
Performance dates: September 7,8,9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23
For more information, please go to http://www.moundstheatre.org
[UK] The Cult Classic Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland has recently been given permission to adapt Good Omens for the stage and the show will take place in March 2013. Auditions will be held in Glasgow in early October 2012 (we are still awaiting confirmation of the dates).
Cult Classic Theatre
[UK, New] Tower Players will be performing Wyrd Sisters on 19th and 20th October at The Rose Theatre - Rugeley, Staffordshire.
Tickets cost: Adults 7 GBP - Concessions 6 GBP.
Tickets can be booked via
Box Office 01889 584306
Enquiries : firstname.lastname@example.org
Doors open at 7pm : Performance Starts 7:30pm
[US] North American Discworld Convention 2013
The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013 in Baltimore, MD.
[DE] German Discworld Convention 2013
After successfully surviving the Assassins of Ankh-Morpork in 2011 we are taking the German Discworld Convention 2013 to their home continent Klatch! Make room in your schedule from October 3rd to 6th in 2013 for the fourth German Discworld Convention.
[UK] Terry is due to be the special guest at Eastercon 65 from April 18th - April 21st 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.
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Ian Jarrett email@example.com writes: Me at Oxfam again...
First of all, thanks to everyone who bought the last lot of books I put up for sale here. And now, I have some more...
I have an ex-library VHS tape of the full length animated Truckers, 2.50 GBP plus P and P. I also have a 1st edition I Shall Wear Midnight with the Waterstones limited edition print, 19.99 GBP plus P and P (a bit pricey, but most online are going for upwards of 30 GBP).
And... I have The Josh Kirby Poster Book, 12.99 GBP plus P and P (again, a little pricey, but I have seen them going for around the 15 GBP to 20 GBP mark online).
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* From: "Casey" email@example.com
[In issue 181 we mentioned a research project that used crabs to act like digital logic gates.]
While this is clearly a result of great importance in the field of crab computing, the researchers have unfortunately missed the NOT gate (which generates crabs at the output if and only if there are no crabs at the input). AND and OR, while important, do not form a complete set; there are important logic functions, necessary for the working of a computer, that cannot be replicated with AND and OR alone. It can be proven, however, that AND, OR and NOT together can reproduce any binary logic function.
AND, OR and NOT are not the only combination of gates that can produce any logic function; enough NAND (basically AND with a NOT stuck on the output line) gates can reproduce any binary logic function, which is useful because NAND turns out to be very easily implemented in silicon; similarly with NOR (OR with a NOT on the end). Thus, AND and NOT can reproduce any logic function, as can OR and NOT; but there is no way to chain together AND and OR gates to reproduce the functionality of a NOT gate.
Note that the above is only true for logic that works in terms of True and False. Hex's ability to handle logic values of Perhaps, Maybe and Sometimes hint that Hex employs some more complicated underlying logic.
DWM replies: This letter should have been included in last month's issue but it got lost amongst other emails and was only discovered when I was clearing up.
* From: "David Robertson" firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we watched the latest Pixar offering, "Brave", and really enjoyed same for a few things, Billy Connelly with his real Scots accent and Emma Thompson with a credible try. As touring Aussies, we related to the references to Stornaway and loved seeing the chess set as the Lewis pieces, a replica of which we purchased when we were there. But, I hope I am not mistaken when one of the small characters spoke the word, "Crivens!'. Too good to be true? Have you guys seen this movie in your neck of the woods? Thanks for the newsletter, please keep up the good work.
* From: "Emma Latham-McDuffus" email@example.com
This has been bugging me for a long time so I hope you can help me....
In "Pyramids" Teppics father is described as "King Pteppicymon XXVII" which is the 27th but in the audio book is referred to as "K Pt the seventeenth" and so on with Teppic, he is XXVIII in the book but the eighteenth in the audio.
My question is simple....why wasn't this picked up before release (is there such a job as proof listening?).
Also, am I alone in thinking that while Tony Robinson generally does an excellent job with the audio books (and of course, as a stunt Pratchett), he sometimes really misreads and gets the stress points wrong? I have recently re-listened to Unseen Academicals and I noticed that it was particularly poor in terms of stresses.
This month I've got five questions for you to rack your brains over. Some easy, some quite hard. Well at least I think they are hard.
The answers as usual can be found at the end of this issue.
Reviewed by Bill Barnett
Or, Terry Pratchett Presents Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo, to give it the full title. Yes, this is the book mentioned recently in Snuff that inspires Young Sam's interest in poo and bodily functions - in fact Sam even visits Miss Felicity Beedle during the events of Snuff.
You may remember that Terry has pulled off a similar trick before, with the publication of Where's My Cow? When Young Sam was even younger (in Thud!), Vimes was reading Where's My Cow? to him at bedtime. Subsequently, Discworld fans were able to go out and buy their own copies of the book within the book.
The World of Poo is well presented in hardback and in particular has a lot of really good illustrations that, some of the time, reminded me of childhood books. Felicity Beedle pens a note to parents at the beginning of the book. The story itself is easy to read and simply follows the hero, Geoffrey, as he is sent to stay with his grand-mama in Ankh-Morpork. Geoffrey soon discovers the extraordinary variety of poo to be found in the city and sets about collecting as much as he can.
I'd be really interested to know what children make of the story. Is poo still innately funny to young kids? If so, they'll get a lot of entertainment out of this. As an adult, I found one line that I really liked - it's from Harry King when he's describing a boyhood game, but I won't spoil it.
The most striking thing for me about The World of Poo was how much the Discworld has changed. The illustrations show a Victorian England - and I'm no historian (at all) but I wonder if we're creeping into Edwardian now? It's come a long, long way since the early days of The Colour of Magic, Bel-Shamharoth and the Wyrmberg.
For Discworld completists, the World of Poo will be useful for its Ankh-Morpork setting and a few familiar locations and characters that put in an appearance. For casual Discworld fans, though, I don't think there's an awful lot to get your teeth into here. The funniest part of the book by far is the back cover, listing 'other titles in this series'.
And I have to say, at 12.99GBP I just don't see how the price is justified. Again, completionists and collectors will buy this anyway, and good luck to you, but I feel 12.99 is really steep for a short story, admittedly in very nice binding with good illustrations. If someone gets this for you as a present - great, you can read it once and add it to your collection. I wouldn't want to go out and buy it myself, though.
JA adds: While I agree the price is high, most people won't have to pay full price. Amazon UK, for example, are selling it for 7.46 GBP (price correct on Tuesday 26th June) which these days is little more than the price of a paperback. While I agree with many of Bill's comments I enjoyed finding out more about Vetinari's zoo and also seeing some famous characters from a child's point of view. Strangely the book doesn't appear to be available from Amazon direct but does appears on the Amazon.com market. You can, however, purchase it from the UK store at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0857521217/87
Last month I was given a US uncorrected book proof of the excellent The Long Earth, written by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, to give away. I decided to raffle the book and send all proceeds to Alzheimer's Research UK http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/
We eventually sold 92 tickets and raised a total of 176 GBP after Paypal took their share of the money. So a huge thank you to all concerned. As soon as I get a receipt from Alzheimer's Research I'll post it on the website.
The randomly selected winner is Catherine Bolt of Aberdeen, Scotland.
As a bonus Terry has promised to sign the book for you. I'll be in contact with Rob his PA to work out how we are going to get the signing done. It's very unlikely that he'll pop round to your house in person, as far as we know...
I would like to add a huge thank you to everyone that took part and also to HarperCollins, New York for the kind donation.
Discworld Monthly would like to thank Sonnet UK for hosting our mailing list for us free of charge. For more information about Sonnet UK visit their website at http://www.sonnetuk.net
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* Latest Book Information *
The Long Earth (with Stephen Baxter)
US Hardback: http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/USISBN/0062067753
UK pre-order: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385619278/87
US pre-order: http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/USISBN/0062009494
I Shall Wear Midnight
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