Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 198 - October 2013

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Truckers DVD
6. Sir Terry Pratchett and Friends
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 198. Once again my apologies for being late. Life and a broken tumble dryer got in the way of me completing this issue on time!

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Terry has recently provided a guest entry on the Alzheimer's Research UK's Dementia Blog entitled: what's the point of it all?

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Stephen Baxter has recently visited Terry to work on book 3 of The Long Earth series. The third book is to be called The Long Childhood and is due to be released in 2014.

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I had indented to write a review of the new Martin Wallace Discworld board game The Witches this month but ran out of time. I hope to find some time to review it in time for next month's issue.

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The Discworld Monthly facebook group now has over 5,800 members and continues to have lots of lively and fun conversations.

Anyone can join in the fun but it might take me a few hours to add you to the group. If you want to chat with fellow Discworld Monthly readers between issues make sure you visit us at:

Please note that the facebook page is provided in addition to the newsletter and in no way replaces it!

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The Flaming Trebuchet (the virtual pub that was originally located in the Discworld Monthly facebook group) has now moved into its own new home. The Trebuchet is a private group which means you have to request to become a member before you can read or post in it.

So for quizzes, general chat and fun antics with other Discworld fans don't forget to drop into from 8pm UK time daily.

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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 (Dungeon Master (Ret'd))

2. News

Fancy reliving some 80's classic text adventure gaming on your modern PC? Thanks to Discworld fan David Rogers, you can now play The Colour of Magic text adventure originally created by Delta4 for the ZX Spectrum on modern hardware with nice high-resolution fonts. David remade the game in z-code last year as part of a project on learning to program.

David got permission from Delta 4 and Colin Smythe to make this publicly available earlier this year.

You will need to download two files to get this to work. The first is the game itself which can be downloaded from:

Once you have downloaded the game you will need to extract the files to a subfolder in your documents folder.

You will also need a z-code interpreter. I've been using a program called FROTZ which you can download for various platforms from:

Once you install FROTZ and run it, it will ask you to select the game to open, browse to the folder you created earlier and chose from text only or text with graphics options.

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From Lady Sybil:

The new issue of SFX with Thor on the cover features a review of Truckers from Cosgrove Hall on page 104. The cover date is actually November 2013!

Ian Stewart was interviewed on BBC radio. The bit about Terry and SoD is near the end.

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A trailer has been created to go with the release of The Carpet People in the US next month. You can view the trailer (and some of Terry's original artwork from the book) at:

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The new version of the ever popular VLC video player has been released with the code name Rincewind. The previous version was called Twoflower and if I remember correctly the version before that was called The Luggage. Keep an eye on VLC for future Discworld named versions.

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Think you're Terry's biggest fan? Well be prepared to be disappointed. The National Student features an article entitled: Meet the Super Fan of Terry Pratchett.

The article tells the tale of Dr Pat Harkin (a very nice man and personal friend - Ed) and his obsession with Terry Pratchett. The article barely scratches the surface of how much of a fan Pat really is. Having seen much of his collection of books and memorabilia first hand, I think he definitely deservers the Super Fan Crown:

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In a case of life imitating art, it looks like Joerg Sprave has created the world's smallest encapsulated crossbow "Gonne" that shoots standard crossbow arrows (as opposed to bolts). The link below gives details of the device and even includes videos of it being used.

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Troll Bridge Update from Snowgum Films:

Hi guys,

It is with great regret that we announce we won't have the film finished in time for the Irish Discworld Convention as hoped. The entire team is utterly gutted - it was an outside chance we would make it, but it was something we were striving for nonetheless.

The date has now shifted to early February. We're hoping this buys us enough time to get the quality where it needs to be for a Berlinale world premiere. The good news is that, because Berlin is so close to England, we'll be able to zip across quickly afterwards for a UK premiere the weekend after. We'll keep you posted. Everything is currently resting on a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck. Pray to The Lady for us.

So where are we up to?

We currently have three extremely talented CG model builders working on various assets for the film. Christian Bloch (who has been with us since the original 2003 concept version began) is currently in the process of upgrading the original Mica model. While the model was great for the standard definition cameras we used when we first embarked on this adventure, he's starting to show his age around the edges. A facelift is necessary. As he is a troll, I suspect cement of some form is used.

As a result, Emily McGregor our Production Designer has also upgraded his costume. We're not ready to reveal any of the CG just yet.

Our CG horse is being worked on by the very talented Dmitrij Leppee, who first caught our eye with his incredible renditions of some of the Discworld characters. As the ever talkative mount to Cohen, the horse serves a pivotal role in the film. As horses don't traditionally do a lot of talking, he will be augmented via the CG model. The CG model will also be used in the helicopter shots, as we were unable to get a live horse up into some of those stupidly remote locations.

And lastly we have the artistically exceptional Brian Baxter building us Death Bridge extensions based on some incredible designs by Svetoslav Petrov. Because the bridge is such a huge monstrosity we've had to split the designs, each focusing on a separate portion of the architecture. It was important to us that the bridge reflects the larger than life identities of Cohen and Mica. Great and mighty personalities for their time, yet having seen better days are now looking a little worn and dented around the edges.

We hope you like what we're going for. :)

We'll start updating a little more regularly through Kickstarter too (fortnightly is what we'd like to aim for), just so we can be completely transparent with you all about where we're up to. We're currently working on a workflow table similar to Rich's one from the Order of the Stick Kickstarter. We suspect this will be the best way of communicating to you where we're at, over the last few remaining months.

Once again, and as always, the entire team thanks you for your patience. Not long to go now...

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Terry has struck a 10-book deal with Doubleday and Anchor Books. The first book, "Raising Steam," will be released in March as part of a seven-figure deal.

It should be noted that many of the 10 books in this deal have already been released in the UK. This deal appears to be a chance to finally get all of Terry's books published in the US.

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Terry will be attendeing the WFC 2013 on the afternoon of Friday 1st November.

The 2010 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be in conversation with Rob Wilkins, talking about his life and career, as well as hopefully reading from his 40th "Discworld" novel, Raising Steam, published by Transworld the following week.

Please note that, regrettably, Terry is unable to sign any autographs.

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Steeleye Span have released a trailer for their upcoming collaborative album with Terry named Wintersmith. It doesn't give much away but does feature footage of Terry with Steeleye Span lead singer Maddy Prior.

You can hear Dark Morris one of the tracks from the new album at:

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Below is a round-up of Terry's Twitter posts since last month. You can follow Terry at:

18th Sep 2013: Mango Chilli Mojitos @TheMayFairHotel - suddenly the day seems brighter. Perfect.

18th Sep 2013: Our cocktail of choice was always the @TheMayFairHotel Kick Shot, but these are fabulous.

18th Sep 2013: Regarding our @TheMayFairHotel Mango Chilli Mojitos - the day just got better.

18th Sep 2013: This is the dollop of squirty cream on the day. And sprinkles @DirkMaggs @neilhimself @RadioTimes ...

23rd Sep 2013: Fabulous news; we've just heard that Esme Smith has been found safe in North London! #FindEsme

24th Sep 2013: The rumour of my ten book deal have been greatly exaggerated...

24th Sep 2013: The majority have already been published in the UK...

24th Sep 2013: The spin is, I am sorry to say, nothing more than PR.

24th Sep 2013: The Long Earth is getting a little longer right now...

28th Sep 2013: Big respect for the organist at the @OpenUniversity degree ceremony today; a fine rendition of the Imperial March!

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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.

From issue 190 onwards recurring monthly meetings have been moved to their own area at the bottom of the dates section.

[UK, New] Dursley Operatic and Dramatic Society (the DODS) perform Wyrd Sisters, October 9th-12th 2013, Lister Hall, Dursley, Gloucestershire.

The production is being directed by DODS member Jalea Ward, a long-standing Terry Pratchett fan.

Jalea said: "This really is a dream come true for me. I've been a massive admirer of Terry's books and to direct Wyrd Sisters as my directorial debut for the DODS is a huge honour."

Tickets are now on sale, please call 07890 203318 or

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

Visit or see the facebook page at:

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[UK] Chesham Theatre Company will be performing Maskerade. from Wednesday 6 November to Saturday 9 November in The Elgiva Theatre, St Mary's Way, Chesham, Bucks; evening performances start at 8 pm and there will be a matinee on the Saturday at 2.30.

Tickets from The Elgiva Box Office (tel: 01494 582900) or online at

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[UK, New] Hogswatch comes to Wincanton from 29th November - 1st December 2013. Join in the fun with the celebration of 30 years of Discworld. Meet up with fellow Discworld fans, enjoy the entertainment, purchase Discworld goodies, play Discworld board games, eat a sausage supper and spend what's left of your money at the Charity Auction.

For more information see:

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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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[UK] The Discworld Convention 2014 will take place in Manchester at the Palace hotel from 8th - 11th August. People with long memories will remember that the original Discworld Convention took place in Manchester in 1996 but at a much smaller hotel.

Visit or see the facebook group at:

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[UK, New] Wadfest 2014. Wadfest returns with a Super Heroes and Villains theme in 2014. Wadfest 2014 will take place at the same site as 2013 but with improved camping facilities.

Tickets are normally 25 GBP per adult (children under 16 go free) but if you purchase before the end of 2013 you can get your tickets for 20 GBP each.

Waddy is currently looking for volunteers to help out on the Thursday night. If you want an extra night of camping for *free* then get in contact with Waddy and offer your services.

You can find out more about Wadfest at

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[AU] Nullus Anxietus V will take place from 10th to 12th April 2015 and will be in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

Our Venue is the Novotel on 'eat street' (AKA Church Street), so no shortage of eateries for our guests.

Tickets expected to available in time for Hogswatch, subject to website redesign and upgrade.

Like us on 'Australian Discworld Conventions' on facebook to get updates on ticket bookings and competitions.

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Recurring monthly meetings:

[UK, Updated] 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.

The Drummers' Christmas Dinner will be held on Monday 9th December, rather than 2nd. This is to avoid a clash with the Wincanton Hogswatch event the weekend before.

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

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[AU, Updated] Perth Drummers is a group which celebrates the works of author Sir Terry Pratchett, and welcomes any fans of science fiction and fantasy. Join us for our monthly discussion of Discworld, Terry Pratchett and all things sci-fi and fantasy. We meet the first Monday of each month, subject to holidays, and all are welcome.

Please note we have moved to Carpe Cafe from 5.30pm Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, WA.

Meeting at a cafe means we are under-18 friendly!

For details follow us on Twitter @Perth_Drummers, Instagram perth_drummers, and facebook

Otherwise message Krystel directly at

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

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[AU, Updated] Sydney Drummers normally meet on the first Monday of every month, however the October meet up is brought forward due to a Public Holiday.

We will meet at the NEW venue, 3 Wise Monkeys, 555, George Street, Sydney, 2000 from 6:30pm on MONDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER

For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on

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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.

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[Adelaide, AU] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. We have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit:

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[Brisbane, AU] The Pratchett Partisans meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. For more info about their next meetup, check out: or contact Ula directly at

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 edit your letters to keep them from running away.

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.

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* From: "Dave Hough"

I visited the Discworld Emporium, Wincanton. And just like me, I picked the wrong day. It was shut on a Thursday!

It took us 2 hours to get there from Bristol due to diversions etc. It was a birthday treat, so I was a bit let's say down in the dumps, but a very kind young lady inside opened the door and asked if we wanted to come in.

Which we did, stayed a while, bought a few things including "A World of Poo" print which was great.

I would like to say a BIG thank you to the lady who let us in on Thursday 29th August, she was brilliant.

Thank you.

DWM replies: The opening times of the Discworld Emporium can seem a little unusual. I always recommend calling in advance if you plan to travel any distance. Telephone details can be found at:

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* From: "James Haslam"

I was surfing the net quite randomly today, when I came across this website, which hosts old, abandoned games. One of the games hosted, is Discworld 2 - Mortality Bytes. This game was originally published by Psygnosis Ltd in 1996.

Being such an old game, it has problems running on modern PCs, in fact the sound and cutscenes don't work properly. But the game can be downloaded and played with help from this website.

The game can be downloaded from here:

The website is free to use, however they are looking for donations to help pay for their costs.

DWM replies: We looked into this before including this letter and got permission from the powers that be to include this link. The very clever people at ScummVM have converted the Tinsel engine that runs the Discworld games to work in their virtual machine system. It plays the games better than running them directly in DOS. You can download ScummVM from

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* From: "John Rogers"

On reading New Scientist, I discover that there is now a fifth element of taste, called 'umami', added to salt, sweet, sour and bitter. Now, why does that me think of Ronnie Soak, who left the Horsemen before they became famous, and, indeed, of 'slood'?

Is narrativium leaking from all those millions of copies of Terry's books and beginning to warp Roundworld reality? I think we should be told...

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* From: "Matt Booth"

I found this web page listing some names Puritan children were given, which reminded me of Smite-the-unbeliever-with-cunning-arguments. Presumably this formed some of PTerry's inspiration.

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* From: "Deborah Allen"

I've been trying to buy Making Money in an Audio Book format for three years now and it's nearly impossible to find it at a reasonable price or in decent shape. The UK company I normally use keeps kicking it out whenever I try to purchase it saying it's not allowed to be shipped to the US. To date, I have 15 of Sir Terrry's books (unabridged, of course) and am eager to continue collecting. Can anyone out there tell me why Making Money would be banned in the audio form?

DWM replies: Making Money was originally published in unabridged format by Harper Audio ISBN 978-0-06-136353-5 in 207. Have you checked

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* From: "James Donihue III"

Here's hoping you can answer our question. My wife & I can't figure out why Raising Steam is coming out in Nov. in UK but not till Mar. in US. Do they not know that we can get onto or any other site? I'm also sure that by the end of the year eBay & Amazon marketplace will be an option

DWM replies: We don't know why there would be such a delay. To be fair Terry is still working on Raising Steam at the moment so we don't even know if it will be ready for its November release.

4. DiscTrivia

This month I've opened Turtle Recall at random pages and found a question from each page visited. Some are easy, some are quite hard. Well at least I think they are...

What does Gimick make?
Who / What is Scree?
Why did Erasmus sometimes eat his meals under the table?
What was wrong with Cyril?
Where does Miss Va Va Voom work?

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

5. Review: Truckers DVD

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

On Monday 7th October Truckers (the animated TV series) will be released on DVD for the first time. Previously if you wanted to watch it you either had to scour car boot sales for the old VHS tape version or watch low quality versions on YouTube.

This review is based on a review copy of the DVD so came with none of the packaging of the retail disc. Upon inserting the DVD in the drive I was given the option to play all episodes in sequence or to jump to a particular episode in the series.

It should be noted at this point that unlike the VHS version the DVD is presented in its original TV format of 13 ten-minute episodes. So while the VHS version ran as a single coherent story the DVD is interrupted every few minutes with the start and end title sequences. So while the purists will love the completeness of the format I yearn for the simplicity of watching the series as a movie.

The publishers of the DVD mentioned how the print had been tidied up using state of the art digital restoration and while the DVD is certainly watchable one has to wonder how bad the original footage was that this is the best they could achieve. Sometimes the print looks quite sharp but at other times it doesn't appear much better than the original VHS version.

The voice actors all suit their parts and the story moves along at a decent pace. Cosgrove Hall really were very good at their jobs.

If you've never seen Truckers before it is a good adaptation. Personally for me seeing the old Thames Television Logo brought back some nostalgic memories of watching black and white television as a child in the 1970s. It's great to see the adaptation given a new lease of life.

You can purchase Truckers for less than 11 GBP from Amazon.

Or you will be able to download each episode from iTunes for 0.99GBP per episode.

6. Sir Terry Pratchett and Friends.

Brighton Dome: Sunday 29th September

Review by Steve James

After warnings of heavy rain Sunday turned out to be very clement especially as I was riding from Barnet. Arriving in Brighton I discovered the bus lanes were motorcycle friendly. I was even more impressed when I arrived outside The Dome to discover a generous, if oddly shaped, motorcycle parking area. All this, and Terry yet to come. I spent a pleasant hour or so wandering around the locality before the event.

The venue was excellent, clean and clear and spacious. Spotted a few people I knew and then my eyes alighted on a stall covered in very familiar merchandise - PJSM Prints. It was great to see Sandra after such a long time. I managed to pick up a few pin badges I was missing from my collection. Another stall was selling the whole range of Terry's books with each one sold bearing a special commemorative hand-stamp.

I had tickets in the Circle (Left) with a very good view of the stage; as did every other seat in the place. After the Creative Director (Sarah Hutchings, I think) welcomed us Sir Terry, Rod Brown and Rob Wilkins arrived on the stage. Terry wore an interesting light blue striped blazer which deviated from his usual black.

The only word I can use about what went on on the stage is banter. Quite a few times Rob and Rod would say something and Terry would react, usually correcting or even contradicting what had been said. At time I felt the whole auditorium were flies on the wall of a Narritivia planning meeting. At one point I think I was witness to a complete rewrite of one production.

Rod did reveal a few things in the early stages of development. He did indicate that more concrete announcements would be made once things were in production. He hinted at the development of the City Watch, Reaper Man and very possibly Dodger in the States.

Rob then took to the lectern purporting to read from the upcoming Raising Steam. However, the words were from another era. "Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way. The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself." They then announced that the venue was where Abba had won the Eurovision Contest with Waterloo.

We were treated to a reading from Raising Steam and also Rod using a t'Northern accent. One lucky attendee bid 50GBP for the manuscript that Rob had read from. A question and answer session followed with questions having been previously submitted. When asked where he got his ideas Terry directed the questioner to the Beaconsfield Library. "That is where I got mine" he declared.

It was an excellent 90 minutes that just flew. Plenty of humour and hints for the future. Terry was excellent and although he stumbled a few times he was on the ball. It was well worth the 4 hour round trip. But now the wait; for the book and Narrativia productions.

7. The End

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* Contact Information *

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* Latest Book Information *

The Long War (with Stephen Baxter)

The Long Earth (with Stephen Baxter)



TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion

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* DiscTrivia Results *

What does Gimick make?
Who / What is Scree?
Son of Mica and Beryl the troll family from Troll Bridge.
Why did Erasmus sometimes eat his meals under the table?
On account of Werewolf Blood.
What was wrong with Cyril?
He was dyslexic.
Where does Miss Va Va Voom work?
The Skunk Club, Ankh-Morpork.

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

If you are looking for Terry books or videos over the net, simply visit our web page at and follow the merchandise link at the top of the page.

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