Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 199 - November 2013

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: The Witches - Board Game
6. Raising Steam Competition
7. Review: Steeleye Span - Wintersmith
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 199. Once again my apologies for being late. Life and a broken tumble dryer got in the way of me completing this issue on time! Oh, and waiting for some exclusive news might have caused a little delay...

I've just got off the phone to Narrativia who are currently in the United States. They hope to have some very exciting news about their first two projects, The Watch and Good Omens, soon but are not currently in a position to make any official statements yet. We'll keep you informed as and when we get any information.

During the conversation I asked about The Mob's adaptation of Unseen Academicals. Apparently their option expired back in August and so it therefore looks like, for the time being at least, there will be no adaptation of Unseen Academicals.

* * * * *

This month sees the release of Raising Steam in the UK and The Carpet People in the US. It seems strange to me that in the UK we get Terry's most up to date book while the people in the US get Terry's first novel. I was sent a proof and a finished copy of The Carpet People and have to say that I think it is a lovely and well put together book. I can't comment on Raising Steam as I am yet to receive a copy.

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The Discworld Monthly facebook group now has just under 6,000 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!

Don't forget if you are looking for The Flaming Trebuchet (the virtual pub that grew out of the Discworld Monthly facebook page) you can now find it located at:

* * * * *

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 (Freeloader)

2. News

Rhianna Pratchett has recently announced on Twitter that she is adapting The Wee Free Men into a feature length movie. Rhianna later tweeted that the aspect hasn't been decided yet, but she would imagine live action plus CGI.

Rhianna has since tweeted: My gran was a shepherdess. We also have a proper shepherd's hut. Seriously considering writing Wee Free Men from there for verisimilitude.

To keep up to date on this don't forget to follow Rhianna at

* * * * *

A group of talented young ladies have created a Discworld Inspired Pin-up Calendar. A website for the calendar has been created to give you a little taste of what it will be like and to give you a chance to pre-order it. According to the website it would make a lovely Christmas gift for any Discworld fan (hint, hint, nudge, nudge). The calendar will be a gorgeous glossy A3 size and all profits will go to RICE.

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From Lady Sybil:

News from The Bookseller dated 18th October for the week 6th-12th October.

The paperback of Dodger is no. 23 in the Top 50 best sellers, down from no. 11, having sold over 7,000 copies that week, and nearly 25,000 altogether.

However, it's no. 3 in the Children's Fiction charts, after David Walliams's Demon Dentist and Rick Riordan's The House of Hades.

The official Top 50 for the week 29th Sept to 5th Oct. Dodger is up to no. 11 from no. 27 last week, and has sold a total of nearly 17,500 copies in paperback. Dodger is now second in the top ten children's books, first being David Walliams: Demon Dentist, which is also no. 1 of the Top 50, so children's books are doing well!

Top 50 Bookseller 4th October for previous w/e 28 Sept. In at no. 27, new entry, Dodger, selling over 7,000 copies in new paperback. Children's charts, new in at no. 3, the first 2 spots being taken by books by David Walliams and J. Wilson.

Also ... Steeleye Span are going on quite an extensive tour of the UK with their new Wintersmith tour to promote their new Wintersmith album. [I've heard a couple of songs off the album and quite enjoyed them - Ed.]

* * * * *

American Publishing News from Colin Smythe:

Now that the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group have announced their acquisition of ten of Terry's titles, I can give you more information. There are actually two deals:

Terry's seven-book direct deal covers the 40th Discworld novel, Raising Steam, the four Science of Discworld books, A Blink of the Screen, and A Slip of the Keyboard.

At the same time, Transworld/RandomHouse UK are licensing three titles to Doubleday / Knopf / Anchor - an updated edition of Terry's collaboration with Jacqueline Simpson, The Folklore of Discworld, to cover all 40 Discworld novels, and the Pratchett / Discworld Emporium collaborations, The World of Poo and The Compleat Ankh-Morpork .

The titles scheduled for 2014 are:

March: Raising Steam Doubleday hbk; and The Folklore of Discworld Anchor pbk (no hbk planned)

June: The Science of Discworld Anchor pbk (no hbk planned)

December: The Compleat Ankh-Morpork Doubleday hbk (no pbk planned) and The Science of Discworld 2: The Globe Anchor pbk (no hbk planned)

NOTE: the UK Doubleday edition of A Slip of the Keyboard was replaced in Doubleday's publishing schedule by Raising Steam, so it will not be published till October 2014

* * * * *

Rhianna Pratchett has admitted that she and Terry would be interested in making another Discworld game, but only if the right pitch comes along. And they've had several that just haven't been right.

* * * * *

Discworld fans in the UK will get treated to a new set of colourful woodcut style covers. Not 100% convinced myself - I still like my Josh Kirby covers - Ed.

* * * * *

The Telegraph recently featured a fun interview with Terry. It talks about the new Discworld Novel Raising Steam but covers topics such as The Wind in the Willows and the Just William books. It also touches on Terry's PCA, his documentary about assisted dying and the fact that Death isn't in Raising Steam.

* * * * *

Terry has recently written in The Guardian about why he feels that 'Doctor Who was a safe option for Saturday teatime'. Terry talks about the show's defining moment: 'the decision that would propel the series on for 50 years - the change of the main character, the first regeneration. It's easy to forget now how ground breaking that moment was. Our hero dies - and the series continues, a different lead with different tics but somehow still the same man.'

* * * * *

npr books has a short interview with Terry about the imminent US release of The Carpet People - it talks about re-releasing the book, using dictation software and why he continues to write even when losing his memory.

* * * * *

An exhibition entitled 'Angels, Faeries and Femmes Fatales: Dadd to Discworld' will be on display at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth from 11 October 2013 until 9 March 2014. Admission is free to the museum and exhibition, but they do ask for donations. The exhibition traces the Victorian obsession with the supernatural and features work from Discworld illustrator, Paul Kidby, including work from his new book, 'The Enchanted Realm,' and original artwork created for Discworld novels. There is lots of Paul Kidby merchandise available to buy in the shop!

Paul is also going to be giving an evening talk about all things Discworld on Thursday 7 November from 6.30pm. Tickets are 15GBP and includes entrance to the exhibition, drinks and nibbles.

* * * * *

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

17th Oct 2013: Yes. It is the OOK of Kells.

17th Oct 2013: We were in Dublin last night (still are) for the premiere of The Duel. A wonderful animated Discworld short.

19th Oct 2013: Fabulous work by @stewtaylor for the @StudioTheatre1 adaptation of Making Money.

26th Oct 2013: Brilliant! MT @lempop: hi! I'd like to show you my attempt at a discworld cake. Hope you like it!

27th Oct 2013: CRIVENS! RT @gillykat13: @terryandrob Daughter loved Wee Free Men so much this was her birthday cake

27th Oct 2013: Lou Reed's gone way up to Mars Soon it will be filled with parking cars I watch it for a little while I love to watch things on TV

28th Oct 2013 (re-tweet from Maddy Prior): Wintersmith out today...on @BBCLater with @terryandrob this week.

28th Oct 2013: Brilliant - well done! RT @FirstThings: Crivens! My 8yo is Tiffany Aching for Halloween! @terryandrob

29th Oct 2013:Terry and @MaddyPriorFolk backstage @BBCLater having found the source of their inspiration #Wintersmith

29th Oct 2013:The first #RaisingSteam arrived today - it looks magnificent. Many thanks to all concerned. Thank you.

29th Oct 2013:Terry and @JohnMayer - what a gent.

29th Oct 2013: A very honest @TomChivers interview but large...? Can we go with tall, maybe, next time?! Great meeting you. Thanks!

* * * * *

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] 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

* * * * *

[UK, New] Knebworth Amateur Dramatic Society (KATS) will be performing Guards! Guards! as adapted by Stephen Briggs from Thursday 21 - Saturday 23 November 7.45pm at the Knebworth Village Hall.

Tickets 7GBP, concessions 6GBP

Box office Jo Simson 01438 814166 or 07952 199183

* * * * *

[UK] 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:

* * * * *

[UK] Terry is due to be the special guest at Eastercon 65 from April 18th - April 21st 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.

* * * * *

[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:

* * * * *

[UK] 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.

You can find out more about Wadfest at

* * * * *

[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.

* * * * *

Recurring monthly meetings:

[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.

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

* * * * *

[AU] 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.

* * * * *

[AU, Updated] Sydney Drummers normally meet on the first Monday of every month.

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

For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on

* * * * *

[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.

* * * * *

[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:

* * * * *

[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 the profanity filters happy.

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: "James Cottis"

So to start with, this my first letter and I am around 15 years of age. Anyway... at school I find me and my friend always reminiscing over what we have read (Discworld) thus usually leading to hilarious quoting and acting, and one of my friends says what happens to Commander (or Captain in this case) Vimes in "Guards Guards"? At this point I am ecstatic; reason being this was the first Discworld I read. So I tell him, and of course I need to talk about the rest of the Watch. By the end the library (where I spend my lunch) were all silent and listening to what I was saying. Afterwards there was a popular demand for the book!

Gee, I was thinking this is great to hear.

Overall my favourite books must be "Thud" and "Interesting Times"

DWM replies: Thanks for writing in James. It's great to hear that there is another generation enjoying Terry's works.

* * * * *

* From: "Richard Corfield"

Deer Radiers diejest.

In yor late-ast qizz:. 1. ov yaw qwest-eons sujest d that a percon wiv dislexeea is knot normel! {eye blaim mr pratchette 1st tho] on beharvf ov aul dizlexix evereewear.... (I B'in ov thet purswas-eon); kood tack off-fenss. (if moor tyme avAlabell nd slitely les leif), sow pleez con-sid-R-eight maw, wen setttin qwesjens in the feutia. tthnk U 4 yor payshunce nd considor-ateshon.

yaws Richard (otto)

pea ess.

pleez aksept thiz wiv a lik-wiz tung in tcheek ap-roch az is ment. OLO.....L?

DWM replies: I can't wait to see what my proof reader makes of this! We apologise for any offence caused to dyslexic cockerels who might have read last month's trivia.

* * * * *

* From: "Andy Hancock"

Hope this finds you well.

Just had a quick scan of the latest Discworld Monthly edition where you mention playing the original Colour of Magic using a z-code program to play it.

Thought you'd like to know you can also get hold of and play The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy too using the same program. A quick google should find it for you. I think there are a few other old text games around too. If you can't find it, I know I have a copy sitting on my PC if you want it.

I've got the original Spectrum game somewhere in the collection, but no Spectrum computer to play it!

DWM replies: Thanks Andy. We had a quick search and found which seemed to work.

* * * * *

* From: "Ian Farquharson"

With reference to Article: Freya's 'gerroff - it's MINE' Hogswatch cake that was mentioned back in the December 2010 issue Issue #164

Have made the above cake in the last few days. Or rather my wife has.

A superb tasting cake. Thanks Freya for the recipe and you for publishing it.

DWM replies: mmmmm, cake!

* * * * *

* From: "Greg Galon"

Writing from Australia, I refer to the question raised by "James

Donihue III" - to wit:

"Here's hoping you can answer our question. My wife and 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"

Book Depository comes to the rescue! Here's the link:

Book Depository lists "Raising Steam" both the UK and US release dates, and it's certainly possible to pre-order either. It may take a little while to arrive (speaking from an AU viewpoint, it usually takes between 7 and 10 business days). However, the good thing about Book Depository (and where it trumps eBay and Amazon, at least as far as I'm concerned) is that there are no shipping-and-handling fees -

EVER. :-)

I hope this helps James and all Discworld fans!

Great A'Tuin - well not him as such, but one of his friends - a green sea turtle from

Cancun, Mexico, snapped up close is one of the wildlife shots of the year...

Isn't nature beautiful? :-)

* * * * *

* From: "Simon Schafer"

I'm a big fan of the Annotated Pratchett File ( and find it quite disappointing that it is not maintained any more. So far, I've been unable to find replacement or continuation. I was wondering if anyone here knows of an alternative where one can find annotations for more recent books like Unseen Academicals.

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...

Who is Hibiscus Dunelm?
What was Murune's fate?
Who was Urn's uncle?
What is Sumtin?
How did Iodine get her name?

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

5. Review: The Witches - Board Game

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

Having been involved in some of the playtesting of this game in the past it was with great excitement that I popped into Eclectic Games in Reading to pick up my copy. Eclectic was the first shop in the world to stock the game.

A couple of days later, after I had digested all the new rules, I met up with Richard and we played the two player version of the game. The following week we meet up with Bill and played the three player version.

The game seemed to play quite differently between the two player and three player versions. The two player version seemed to be slightly easier. We were both able to solve a lot of the simple problems early on in the game thus boosting our playing hands - the three player version caused more hard problems to become available quicker and this changed the complexion of the game. We found that we were often in need of the "popping round for a cup of tea" rule.

The game's mechanics are remarkably simple and easy to learn. Within a couple of rounds we were playing it like old timers.

The game itself is based around the concept of trainee witches having to solve various problems such as delivering babies, curing sick sheep and healing broken bones. For every two easy problems you solve you increase the size of your hand by one card. There are also a number of purple hard problems that require solving as well. The purple problems tend to be characters such as Duke or Lady Felmet, The Wintersmith or Lily Weatherwax. These problems are much more difficult to solve and the consequences of failing them are more severe.

Ultimately the winner is the person with the most victory points providing that certain bad conditions haven't been met during the game. For example if there are three or more elf problems face up on the board at the end of your go, all players lose. So there is an element of collaboration as well as selfishness of trying to beat the other players.

We felt that it was a fun and easy game to play. It is certainly easier to play that Ankh-Morpork and that wasn't that hard either.

All in all a great, fun little game. Well worth the purchase price.

There are two versions of the game. The standard edition and the collector's edition. The collector's edition is available directly from the Treefrog Games website for only 40GBP in the UK plus delivery - the collector's edition includes sculpted character pieces rather than the wooden hats of the standard version and also features a poster entitled The Art of Peter Dennis and features all the character art in the game.

The standard edition can be purchased from your local games store or from Eclectic Games for 29.99 GBP plus postage.

6. Raising Steam - Competition

The lovely people at PJSM prints have offered us a copy of Raising Steam signed by Terry to give away this month. PJSM will be exclusively selling the only signed copies of Raising Steam via their website

All you need to do to enter the competition is answer the following simple questions.

What book number is Raising Steam in the Discworld series?
How much in GBP and excluding delivery are PJSM prints selling copies of Wintersmith by Steeleye Span for?

Send your answers to along with your postal address by 25th November. The first randomly selected entry will win the prize.

Competition Rules: Your postal address is required and 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.

7. Review: Steeleye Span - Wintersmith

Review by Paul Bezler

The 28th October saw the release of Steeleye Span's concept album 'Wintersmith' based around the Terry Pratchett novel of the same name. This is my review of that album.

As a fan of Discworld and of Steeleye Span, the release of the album was eagerly awaited.

It is difficult to instil the essence of a book into music but in this case I think that Span have succeeded. From the opening bars of the overture through to the poignant ending of We Shall Wear Midnight, the music evokes all of those emotions inherent in the book. Of all Terry's works, the Tiffany Aching stories have always had the most emotional impact and this does come through in the words and music. Span have been going for a long time now and there is always the fear that the voices are not as strong and the musical dexterity has diminished but the vocals are as good as ever - if a little bit more mature sounding - and the musical score vibrates with all the old energy. On the bouncy Wee Free Men, I can see Maddy Prior, cavorting across the stage with her skirts aswirl in time honoured tradition!

There is a seamless transition from the harder folk rock tunes to the more traditional pure folk melodies which Span were always adept at doing. Perhaps even a hint of 70's prog rock on Wintersmith! Personal favourites after a couple of listens are The Wee Free Men and We Shall Wear Midnight although I cannot find fault with any of the tracks. I was jumping around a la Maddy to The Dark Morris Tune!

If you haven't bought it then do so. It is a jolly good listen!

8. The End

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* Latest Book Information *

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TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion

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* DiscTrivia Results *

Who is Hibiscus Dunelm?
The current landlord of the Mended Drum
What was Murune's fate?
He met a terrible fate involving a red-hot poker, ten pounds of live eels, a three-mile stretch of frozen river, a butt of wine, a couple of tulip bulbs, a number of poisoned eardrops, an oyster and a large man with a mallet.
Who was Urn's uncle?
Didactylos the Ephebian philosopher.
What is Sumtin?
A philosophical system from Klatch. A sub-sect of Sumtin is Zen.
How did Iodine get her name?
Her father liked the sound of the word.

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