Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 185 - September 2012

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Discworld Convention 2012
6. Dodger Raffle - Results
7. Competition Result and New Competition
8. Review: Dodger
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 185. I am writing this just a couple of days after returning from the fabulous 2012 Discworld Convention. I'm still feeling tired after all the excitement of the weekend.

I was given a set of Discworld beers to try but didn't have time to review in time for this month's issue. Look out for our review of the beers next month. In the meantime visit to see what is available.

You can read my account of the Convention in section 5 of this issue.

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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.

Also 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 (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Opener of the Warp)

2. News

Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart were interviewed at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin in June. One of the topics they talk about is working on The Science of Discworld 4. The whole event was filmed and uploaded to YouTube.

While in YouTube land you might want to view the four part interview Terry gave on 28th June. After a welcome by the Librarian (no, not *that* Librarian) attendees were treated to a reading from Sir Terry's new book Dodger, as well as a lengthy interview of Sir Terry by the Bursar David Lloyd. You can see the full evening, split into four parts, on

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Bookseller news update: Snuff has now officially fallen out of the top 50 novels, but the Long Earth is still in the Top 20 original (i.e. hardback and large paperback) fiction.

In Bookseller magazine issue dated 10/17 August, records from the previous week show The Long Earth as no. 6, having sold just over 2,000 copies the previous week.

The magazine announces Dodger as a new children's book for release on 8th September from Random House. The editor for new children's books advises "this will be a big hit in both the adult and children's markets".

In the same issue it also announces the release of the The Compleat Ankh-Morpork from Doubleday on 8th Nov.

In the latest Bookseller dated 24/31 August, The Long Earth is still in top 20 Original Fiction at no. 10, on the way down from 6 last time. 1,610 copies sold.

* * * * *

In a case of real life HEX a Stanford biologist and a computer scientist have discovered the 'Anternet'. A biologist studying the behaviour of a species of harvester ants realised that when searching for food the ants use algorithms similar to that of the TCP internet protocol. The ants slow egress from the nest depending on how quickly other ants return to the nest with food - much like transferring files and getting acknowledgements in TCP. Ants would also stop using a route if no ants returned within 20 minutes - again much like the timeout function of TCP.


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PJSM Prints are selling a limited number of signed copies of Dodger on a first come first served basis. This will be the only place you can purchase signed copies.

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Rumours of a new Discworld App have been floating around for a while. I now have a little bit more information about the app. It appears that it will tie in with the release of The Compleat Ankh-Morpork, a new detailed map of Ankh-Morpork and accompanying book, created by the guys at The Cunning Artificer's shop in Wincanton. Initially the app will only be available for the iPad as it will be big enough to do justice to the level of detail in the maps. Helen Atkinson-Wood has recently been in the studio recording voices for the app. I expect it will come out around the same time as The Compleat Ankh-Morpork.

* * * * *

Transworld Publishers have released a short video trailer for Terry's next young adult novel Dodger. The trailer dramatises the first couple of pages of the book and gives a rough feel for the book and is quite fun and exciting to watch.

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Round up of Terry's posts on Twitter this month:!/terryandrob

13th Aug: Part One of an Interview in one of my favourite rooms; the Long Room, Old Library Trinity College Dublin 28th June 2012

13th Aug: And here's Part Two with Rob's reading - - please excuse the Laaaarndon accents ;)

13th Aug: And Part Three - - and Part Four - - and yes, Dr David Lloyd really is that nice in person.

13th Aug: Also, here's a signed UK bound proof of Dodger on eBay - - and we're also throwing in a UK first edition hardback too.

13th Aug: And limited number of signed copies of Dodger available to pre-order here;

13th Aug: And after that little flurry, we're off to the pub for our lunch...

22nd Aug: The University of South Australia obviously didn't take our references into account. Good Luck Bursar!

29th Aug: A most excellent @DWCon - thank you to the committee, guests and attendees. Now go away, remove your radios and relax... until next time.

29th Aug: Now the punters have gone home, we're filming here tonight... and we all know what happens in museums out of hours.

29th Aug: We're sorry, okay, but we couldn't resist.

30th Aug: Look! That's the marvellously wonderful Helen Atkinson-Wood recording her lines for the forthcoming Discworld App.

30th Aug: More information on the Discworld App? It's coming soon...

30th Aug: Shaking hands with DEATH at the Rose Theatre Kingston #mortthemusical

* * * * *

By the time this issue gets to you Graeme Sheridan and Rhys Parton should have released their 11th issue of the Pratchett Podcast. You can find out more about their fun and sometimes wonderfully chaotic podcast at:

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Want to win a copy of Backspindle Games' Guards! Guards! Following the Nerd has a 1st edition copy of the game with a certificate signed by Terry up for grabs. Hurry though the competition runs out soon.


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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.

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[UK] An exhibition of Discworld artist Paul Kidby's works will be displayed from 18th August to 29th September at St Barbe Museum, New Street - Lymington, Hampshire.

Tickets to the Discworld and Beyond exhibition and museum, which is open between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday, cost 4 GBP for adults, 3 GBP for senior citizens and students, 2 GBP for children aged five to 15, and 10 GBP for a family of two adults and up to four children; under fives are admitted free of charge.

Paul is giving a talk about his work on September 7th at 7.30pm (booking essential), and will be doing a signing session the next day from 10.30 to 12.30.

For more details visit: or telephone 01590 676969.

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[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on

Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. In September this will be Monday 3rd.

The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors. You can find out more about the Drummers at

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[AU] 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 September this will be Monday 3rd.

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

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[UK, New] The inaugural meeting of the Broken Vectis Drummers will be held at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight on Thursday 6th September from 7.30pm onwards. Meetings will be every first Thursday of the month thereafter. Come along and chat to other people who love Sir Terry's work and long to talk all things Disc-shaped! Any queries, email:

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[UK] On the first Friday of every month 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.

The next meeting is Friday 7th September.


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[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

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[UK] St Joseph's Players will be performing Wyrd Sisters from 11th September 2012. The performances will begin at 7:30pm and run from Tuesday 11th September until Saturday 15th September 2012. Tickets will be priced at 7 GBP for adults and 4 GBP for children under 16. Please email to order tickets for the show.

The theatre can be found near to the Police Station in Leigh Town Centre

St. Joseph's Players, Chapel Street, LEIGH, WN7 2PR, Lancs.

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[UK] The Country Players are presenting Carpe Jugulum at The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford in September from Wednesday 12th September to Saturday 15th September at 7.30.

Tickets: 8.50 GBP (7.50 GBP concessions) Wednesday: 7.50 GBP (6.50 GBP concessions) or Bedford Box Office: 01234 269519

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[AU] Reaper Man will be performed by Unseen Theatre Company with a preview on Friday September 14th and then performances on Saturday September 15th, Wednesday 19th, Thursday 20th, Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd, Wednesday 26th, Thursday 27th, Friday 28th and Saturday 29th.

Performances will take place at: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide

Tickets cost: Adults 20 AUD / Concession 17 AUD / Fringe Benefits 16 AUD / Groups (of 10+) 15 AUD (Preview - all tickets 15 AUD).

You can book tickets from or or cash at the door on the night (subject to availability).

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[UK] Terry will be going to Ely, Cambridgeshire to celebrate the publication of Dodger, his new novel, on Monday 17th September at 7.30pm. Doors open at 6.45pm. This is an opportunity to hear Sir Terry talking about Dodger, a tale of skulduggery and dark deeds set in London.

There will be a very strictly limited opportunity for 100 ticket holders (chosen at the event) to meet Sir Terry on the night; for everyone else, copies of Dodger marked with a stamp designed uniquely for this event will be available, allowing everyone the chance to have a copy linked to this landmark evening.

Venue: Ely Cathedral, CB7 4DL

Tickets are 10 GBP for adults and 5 GBP for children, with the price of each ticket redeemable against a copy of Dodger on the evening (one ticket redeemable per book).

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[UK, New] The People's theatre in Newcastle are putting on Carpe Jugulum from the 18th September to the 22nd September at 7:30pm. Tickets cost 11 GBP (9 GBP concessions).

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[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

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[UK, Updated] 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 on September 25th and 26th, 7-9 PM.

If anyone is interested in auditioning, they can join the Facebook page at:

Or go to the website at to follow the progress of the show.

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[UK, New] Scunthorpe Little theatre Club will be performing Guards, Guards at The Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe from Wednesday 17th October to Saturday 20th October at 7:30pm.

Tickets: 9.00 GBP

Box Office: 0844 854 2776

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[UK] 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 :

Doors open at 7pm : Performance Starts 7:30pm

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[NL, Updated] The second Dutch Discworld Convention CabbageCon will take place from 24 till 26 May 2013 in Zandvoort aan Zee. The new website is available at:

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[US] North American Discworld Convention 2013

The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013 in Baltimore, MD.


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[UK, New] Wadfest 2013 will take place from the 9th - 11th August 2013. Wadfest has a new home and will be at Wood Green, Animal Shelter, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH

The new site features a licensed bar, an event area with its own PA system, a cafeteria and a couple of shops.

The event organisers have managed to negotiate a much better deal with the new site and have therefore managed to pass on a huge discount on the price of tickets which are now 20 GBP each (5 GBP per ticket less than Wadfest 2011).

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[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.

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[IE, New] The Third Irish Discworld Convention 2013 takes place from Friday 1st November to Monday 4th November 2013 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick, Ireland. Other details are sketchy at the moment.

The website should go live on 1st September at

You can also see the Facebook page at:

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[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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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.

* * * * *

Liz Stevens writes: I have a VHS video of Truckers (110 mins) and a Special Edition double box set VHS of Wyrd Sisters - Channel 4 animation (144 mins) for sale. I will accept offers (all profit to Killin Mountain Rescue, Scotland) plus postage and packaging (approx 2.20 GBP according to Royal Mail - 2nd class packet UK delivery)

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 while reliving events from the Discworld Convention.

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: "Kim McKinzey"

With regards to David Robertson's letter about "Crivens".

My late wife wrote dictionaries for decades. I therefore researched "crivens". The web says it derives from "crivvens", " Chriften", then "crifty' (1828). Thought to be a shortening of "Christ fend us." Scots, of course.

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* From: "Elmarie Visser"

As rabid Terry Pratchett fans, my sister and I love DWM and all things DW. We live in Namibia...OK, I'll wait while you open Google it? Right. Well, I rather doubt that the Great Man will ever visit our corner of Roundworld, so is there any chance that he would consider attending the South African Convention? I'll sell one of my nephews to pay for the plane ticket, but don't tell my sister, or she might want to share in the proceeds.

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* From: "Phil Barker"

As a long time reader of Fortean times, it has often struck me that parallel worlds occasionally juddering together provide an elegant explanation for a lot of doppelganger and similar incidents. I particularly recall a letter from readers who passed a group of people standing by a distinctive broken down car and a mile further on passed them again. Obviously the fan belt in Earth 2 lasted just that little bit longer...

* * * * *

* From: "Sarah Smith"

I am lucky enough to hold down a job as a lecturer in Legal Philosophy. I am constantly amazed by how much I enjoy my job. I sometimes spend time at work rereading PTerry - it counts as research and I get paid for it! Ridiculous!

Anyway today I read an article by Rick Garlikov (no relation) titled 'The Socratic Method: Teaching by Asking Instead of Telling'. In the article Garlikov (no relation) experiments with teaching his third graders binary arithmetic by only asking questions. One of the question he asked the third graders was 'How many numbers can you make out of the numerals 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9?' To which the third graders responded 'Mega-zillions, Infinite, Lots'!

PTerry fans walk among us!

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* From: "Hrothricke Dragon"

To add to your book size complaints to the publishers. I started my collection in paperback and refuse to buy the hardcovers, as they don't match, so wait the year for the paperback release. So now will I have to wait longer for the standard size paperback to finally be released. So frustrating.

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* From: "Holly Blair"

In issue 183, Sir Terry said that "only the sane with good table manners could bid" on the "Dignity with Dying" dinner with him. I was wondering if he could clarify his statement by giving us his definition of sane. It would be helpful for those of us who would like to bid on similar events in the future. Having had the opportunity to observe Sir Terry with the fans at NADWCON, I find myself unable to figure out what exactly his standard of sanity would be.

* * * * *

* From: "Aidan Karley"

In Reply to the news last month that Terry's daughter Rhianna has worked on rebooting Tomb Raider.

I'm sorry, but *any* person of the female gender doing anything associated with a computer game and a character called "Lara", has, ehmmm, got the odds STACKED UP against her. I'm sure that the depth and the credibility will be bouncing around like two puppies in a sack. What next? Conina bringing out a new clothing collection, including chain-mail hijabs (for fighting in the deserts of Klatch) ; the "Raquel" fur-lined chain-mail bikini (for dinosaur population control) ; and the "Knee-Trembler" range of formal evening-wear ankle-length chain-mail dresses (in titanium, for slightly wobbly knees, or traditional 8-gauge steel for the full knee-trembling effect, accented by the faint jingle of shuddering muscles).

I'll hand over to Kenny Everett's "Cupid Stunt" character to sign off : "It's all done in the BEEEEST possible taste!"

WB replies: I remember, way back when, spotting Terry commenting on Tomb Raider 2 in a newsgroup. I bet it's been a while since he's had time to play Tomb Raider but it's kind of fitting that his daughter is working on the franchise.

* * * * *

* From: "John Prigent"

I surely cannot be the only one who saw this morning's news of the best lawn in England being that of Dr Ogg and wondered - does he have any grandchildren? If he does, that would make his wife a real Nanny Ogg! I think TP should offer her a signed copy of Nanny Ogg's Cookbook.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I've got five questions for from Going Postal for you to rack your brains over. Some easy, some quite hard. Well at least I think they are hard.

What did Dave of Dave's Pin Exchange have tattooed on his bicep?
What type of Thud board does Vetinari own?
According to Stanley Howler what is the most expensive pin ever made commercially?
What method of printing did Teamer and Spools use to produce the first set of stamps?
Who did Anghammarad say Adora Belle Dearheart reminded him of?

The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.

5. Review: Discworld Convention 2012

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

The 2012 Discworld Convention took place over the August bank holiday weekend in Birmingham in the middle of the United Kingdom. The last time I had been to a Discworld Convention was back in 2006 so I was really looking forward to it. This is also the first Discworld Convention my wife has been too so it was going to be interesting to see what she thought of it from a first time perspective.

We arrived mid-afternoon at the hotel. Our first port of call was registration where we picked up our welcome packs and our name badges etc. It was there we also picked up our blue dot stickers that identified us as people that needed a little longer getting into events because my wife Lisa was in her wheelchair. The Convention had a system where people with blue stickers had a separate queue and were allowed into events before the rest of the attendees.

We took a look around all the Convention rooms to get a lay of the land and to work out which routes we could and couldn't take because of the steps. We then headed to the bar for a drink and to meet up with friends. The first real event we went to was the opening ceremony where were treated to a full on fight scene in the Broken Drum punctuated with the clash of swords hitting each other. Once the bodies were dragged off stage the chair of the committee Brian Nisbet came on and introduced us to some of the rules of the Convention. We soon learnt the all important phrase "Go to ops!". Something which I managed not to do for the whole Convention! We were also introduced to the Convention's guests and watched a live Skype chat with Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson who had taken a fall and was sadly unable to attend. I am sure you will like to join us in wishing Bernard a speedy recovery.

After the opening ceremony Lisa and I visited the Backspindle Games presentation where we were introduced to a new prototype game based on the Klacks. After a short explanation I sat down with three other Convention attendees and tried the game out. It took a few minutes to get our heads into the game but once the concept is understood it turns out to be a very quick and fun game to play.

While I was playing the game Lisa was getting tired so I took her back to our room and then headed back down to the bar for a quick drink. Some hours later I stumbled back to our room.

Saturday inexplicably started with me waking with a rather sore head. Can't imagine what happened there. After a very large cooked breakfast and several gallons of tea we chatted with friends until we went to the very interesting Jacqueline Simpson guest lecture about folklore in Ankh-Morpork and how it compared with folklore in London.

After lunch we went to the Guest of Honour Interview where Brian Nisbet talked about what Terry and Rob had been up to in the previous two years. The interview was lively and entertaining with Rob answering most of the questions and Terry making witty and poignant comments where required. Near the end of the interview Stephen Baxter was asked to join Terry, Rob and Brian on stage to answer questions on The Long Earth. Stephen talked about the collaboration process and that he had spent the previous week working with Terry on the sequel.

After the interview I decided to go to Evil Genius, Good-ish Samaritan while Lisa chatted in the bar. In this session members of the convention got to suggest evil ideas and Dr Hix, the Patrician and an unnamed vampire judged the idea and awarded prizes if the idea was suitably evil but within the limits set down by Ridcully.

Lisa needed a lie down at this point so I took her back to our room and then headed down to Unseen University to help set up an event that I was involved in. A quiz show named Discworld SF (or Strangely Fascinating). Any resemblance to a popular Roundworld quiz is purely co-incidental. At six pm people started pouring in from the end of Terry and Rob's stories session. I was one of the contestants along with Stephen Briggs, Jacqueline Simpson and Pat Harkin while Chris Boote took over the question master role. The questions were based around The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic and some strangely fascinating and hopefully entertaining facts were discussed. It seemed like the audience enjoyed the show as the room as often filled with laughter. Very soon the hour was up and amazingly I hadn't come last - that honour went to Stephen Briggs! The clear winner was Jacqueline Simpson who certainly knows a thing or two about Discworld. Plans are already in place to make it even better next time.

Next up for us was the Maskerade where we were entertained and amazed by a variety of skits and costumes - some more bizarre than others. Overall the standard was extremely high and the winners were well deserved, especially the overall winners with their puppet versions of Terry, Vetinari, Death and Rob.

By the time the winners were announced it was nearly midnight so I took Lisa off to bed. I was going to have an early night but Lisa insisted I go back down for one quick drink. I staggered back to our room just after 2:30am.

Sunday started in a similar vain to Saturday with a huge cooked breakfast and copious amounts of tea before heading off to the guest lecture by Stephen Baxter. In this well thought out and well researched presentation Stephen talked about what makes hard sci-fi and managed to show that all the rules of hard sci-fi could be found in The Light Fantastic.

While we were in Stephen's presentation, the charity auction was in full swing in the Dysk (the largest room at the Convention), and over the course of the weekend nearly 16,000 GBP was raised.

Next up for us was the Games Designer's panel - where we got to ask questions of David and Leonard from Guards! Guards, Martin Wallace from Discworld: Ankh Morpork and Phil Masters from the Discworld Roleplay system. It was interesting seeing the difference in the way that the two board game companies worked. Martin Wallace, who is a full time games designer, is much more methodical whereas David and Leonard are more, for want of a better word, chaotic in their design process. Phil Masters' work is very different to the rest because he isn't designing games rules but building all the details that allow you to roleplay in Discworld be that designing stats for the Luggage, magic swords or swamp dragons, etc.

One of the most anticipated panels of the weekend was The Watch Team Interview. This promised to provide some much requested information about some of the upcoming TV adaptations. The first shock, however, was the announcement that rather than working with third parties, Terry and Rob have created a new production company of their own named Narrativia. Rob had the vision of Narativia more than five years ago but it has only recently been possible to put all the plans and ideas into motion. A full press release will be coming in a couple of weeks and we'll send out a special edition when we get it. Narrativia needed a producer so they asked Rod Brown (ex The Mob and PrimeFocus) to join the company in that role. The final director of the company is Terry's daughter Rhianna who has become very influential in the computer games market (having recently reinvented Lara Croft). Rhianna has spent several years building her writing skills on games and has also written a screenplay for a film. She now feels she is ready to work with her father on the Discworld adaptations. Narrativia has teamed up with independant writer Guy Burt - whose recent projects include a recent episode of The Borgias. During the interview it became obvious that Guy is a huge Discworld fan with plenty of character knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm. Wherever possible Narrativia have secured film, TV, digital and merchandise rights to Terry's books. Narrativia will be working on two projects initially: An adaptation of Good Omens and a 13 part police procedural, post-watershed, drama called The Watch. The Watch will feature new stories and new characters as well as existing characters we know and love. Rhianna has spent time working out how forensics might work on the Disc and is planning on bringing Igorina (a cousin of Igor) into the watch as their forensics officer. At the moment both projects are at very early stages - but this all sounds very exciting and I can't wait to see what they produce.

Most of Sunday evening was taken up with The Grand Reconciliation Banquet. This was a ticketed event and Lisa and I decided not to go to it and ate in the bar instead. I spent some time chatting with Rod Brown about Narrativia and can't help but be excited about their vision. After a couple more drinks I felt myself falling asleep so dragged myself to bed just after midnight.

On Monday, after breakfast, we took some time to look at several of the fabulous items in the fan art display and to purchase a few small items in the dealers market. After chatting in the bar we headed over to see The Reduced Discworld Company's version of Eric. Tim Williams as Rincewind and Andrew Neville as Eric were excellent. It was a joy to watch Tim charging around the room screaming "Oh Gods, Oh Gods, I'm going to die, Oh Gods". The rest of the supporting cast were very good as well with only a few missed lines. It was a hugely entertaining play and all the more amazing considering the limited time the cast had to learn their parts.

After Eric we watched a special DVD produced by Daniel Knight of Snowgum Films in Australia that showed the history of Troll Bridge and gave a progress report on how they are spending the 82,000 USD they got from their Kickstarter campaign. The DVD featured three trailers. The first showing Cohen in his prime taking on two armies. The second showing some of the amazing aerial footage they managed to get in New Zealand. The third showing some of the bridge set they built in the studio. The footage looks great and Daniel's enthusiasm and passion is contagious. Terry took time out of his busy schedule to sit and watch the DVD with us and appeared quite excited by what he had seen. Let's hope Daniel can come to the 2014 Convention with the finished movie to show us.

Suddenly we were at the final official event of the Convention - the closing ceremony. Which consisted of giving out prizes and thanking all the people that made the Convention possible. At the end an emotional Brian Nisbet officially stood down as chair of the Convention and his successor was announced as Dr Hix! The theme of the 2014 Convention will be modern Ankh-Morpork.

With sad hearts we said our goodbyes, packed the car and drove home. Tired, but really happy. The Discworld Convention 2012 was a great success and we are so proud to have been there. A huge thank you to everyone that made the convention so wonderfully wonderful - we had a blast.

There are lots of photographs available from the Conventions tumblr page at many more are available from their Facebook group

6. Dodger Raffle - Result

After the success of our previous raffle for a US proof copy of The Long Earth in which we raised 175 GBP, last month we ran another raffle, this time for a US proof copy of Dodger and this time we performed even better than before and raised an amazing 220 GBP.

The randomly selected winner of the raffle was John Hird of Sunderland. Your prize is in a jiffy bag ready to be sent out.

We would like to thank HarperCollins New York for their kind donation and to everyone that purchased tickets.

After sending the donation we received the following email from Alzheimer's Research UK:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your wonderful donation of 220 GBP to Alzheimer's Research UK, following Discworld Monthly's recent competition to win a US proof copy of Terry Pratchett's next novel Dodger. Please pass on our thanks to all the subscribers who purchased tickets; your continued support really does make a huge difference in funding vital dementia research.

As you may have seen in the press, Alzheimer's Research UK awarded a record 5.1 million GBP to new research projects this year, the largest ever UK charity commitment to dementia research in a single year. This investment supports 58 new projects aimed at understanding the causes of dementia, improving diagnosis and finding new treatments and preventions. The largest grant of 350,000 GBP was awarded to researchers at the University of Cambridge, whose major project uses stem cells to recreate Alzheimer's in the lab in an effort to pinpoint the causes of the disease. Your fantastic donation will go directly to projects such as these.

Thank you again for your generous gift and continued hard work in support of our charity.

Kind regards

Lizzie Whitehead Community Fundraising Assistant

Alzheimer's Research UK, the UK's leading dementia research charity

The Stables, Station Road, Gt Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5LR

Switchboard: 01223 843899 Fax: 01223 843325

Twitter @ARUKFundraising


Registered charity no. 1077089 and SC042474

7. Competition Result and New Competition

Last month we gave you the opportunity to win a copy of the first issue of Gramarye from the journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy.

We received 54 entries in the competition and amazingly they all had the correct answer to the question:

What is the name of the folklore book Jacqueline Simpson co-wrote with Terry?

The answer we were looking for was, of course, The Folklore of Discworld.

The randomly selected winner was Jason Gool of Brighton. As with John Hird's prize above, I have them packaged up and ready to post.

* * * * *

* New Competition *

This month the lovely Sandra Kidby of has donated a wonderful signed, stamped and hologrammed first edition of Dodger for us to give away.

In order to win this wonderful prize, simply send your answer to the following questions along with your postal address to by 22nd September 2012.

How much is PSJMPrints selling their signed copies of Dodger for (in GBP not including postage and packaging)?
Terry and PJSMPrints recently auctioned a UK bound proof of Dodger on eBay. How much in GBP did it sell for?

Your postal address will only be used if you are the randomly selected winner and only for sending out your prize - once the prize is 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.

8. Review: Dodger

Reviewed by William Barnett

Dodger, Terry's latest novel, isn't a Discworld book. Unusually for Terry, it's set in Victorian England (sort of). You'll bump into some real people that you've probably read about or heard about - Charlie Dickens is one such character - and other real people from history that I hadn't heard about, or only just, such as Joseph Bazalgette. There's even a note from Terry at the end explaining some of the historical background.

Dodger himself is a young man - I've got an idea he's about 18 - who makes a living as a tosher. I'd never heard of toshers but they're evidently drawn from real history: people who scratched out a livelihood by searching for coins and other valuables in the sewers. Obviously, they did this without any special protective clothing or other gear, so it can't have been a very pleasant, or even safe, profession.

The story begins when Dodger emerges from the sewer on a London street one night to save a girl from being beaten by a couple of unsavoury characters. Dodger is drawn to the girl, Simplicity, and we follow his efforts to find out who she is, what she's running from and ultimately to try and save her.

Dodger's adventures bring him into close contact with Charlie Dickens, his friend Henry Mayhew (also a real Victorian), Sir Robert Peel and others. Sir Robert famously founded a group of men known as peelers, who you'll probably recognise from history at school if you're from the UK.

Dodger's own name recalls the Artful Dodger, of course - a character from Oliver Twist by (the real) Charles Dickens. Indeed, the character Charlie Dickens in this book is frequently jotting down little notes to himself, for example when Dodger mentions his great expectations. If you know a bit about Victorian times, or Dickens's novels, you'll have fun picking up these references to real or fictional history.

There's a good story in here but it took a long while to grab hold of me. Reading Dodger, I was strongly reminded of Snuff, the most recent Discworld novel. I feel Terry's writing has become a lot more long-winded than it used to be. Sentences have asides in them that make them longer and more circuitous. I know that for many, many readers this is no bad thing at all because so many people are keen to hear what Terry has to say. It's a matter of personal taste but for me, I'd like something quicker, more to the point. When I got into Dodger's story, though, I was looking forward to the ending and it doesn't disappoint.

I wonder if Terry gives Dickens such a prominent role in this book because he feels an affinity for the great novelist, both stylistically and in terms of the two writers' preoccupations. Dickens is hardly the most concise author you're ever likely to read. Also, both Terry and Dickens deal with the effects of abject poverty in their work. In his afterword, Terry emphasises Dickens's concern with the Victorian underclass. Dodger is about these very people, of course, while Snuff focused on the Discworld equivalent in the goblins. Many other Discworld characters are from humble or poor circumstances - Commander Vimes is probably the foremost example.

There's a thesis in there somewhere: Terry Pratchett, the modern Charles Dickens? Someone's probably already written it, mind you. Dodger builds up to a strong finale but takes a while to get there... a bit like almost any Dickens novel you'd care to name. If Terry's books start getting as heavy as Little Dorrit or Dombey & Son, though, Discworld Monthly's going to have to start paying me to review them! [We'll pay you to review novels when I give up my day job to write DWM full time, oh and I happened to have enjoyed Snuff a lot as well - Ed]

9. The End

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* DiscTrivia Results *

What did Dave of Dave's Pin Exchange have tattooed on his bicep?
What type of Thud board does Vetinari own?
An original Hnaflbaflsniflwhifltafl slab made of Llamedos bluestone.
According to Stanley Howler what is the most expensive pin ever made commercially?
No. 3 Broad-headed 'Chicken' Extra Longs.
What method of printing did Teamer and Spools use to produce the first set of stamps?
Iconodiabolic engraving.
Who did Anghammarad say Adora Belle Dearheart reminded him of?
Lela The Volcano Goddess.

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