Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 202 - February 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Dodger's Guide to London
6. Competition: Win a copy of Raising Steam
7. Review: Steeleye Span - Wintersmith (a second look)
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 202 and the second issue of 2014 - and once again I am late getting the issue out! I apologise for my tardiness.

January has been quite a quiet month for Discworld / Terry news so expect a relatively short news section.

Hopefully we'll get more news soon.

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The Discworld Monthly facebook group has now got around 6,670 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 (depending on when I can get to my laptop). 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 as an addition to the newsletter and in no way replaces it. Oh, and by the way, happy tenth birthday facebook!

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:

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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 (24 Hour Party Pensioner)

2. News

The guys at Steeleye Span got in contact to say that January's issue of Prog Magazine [no I haven't heard of it either - Ed] features a four page feature on Terry and the band. The magazine is out now.

A quick web search found:

Looking deeper into the site finds a feature about the making of the Wintersmith album at:

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Micro Art Studio have extended their Discworld range of miniature characters with the golem Dorfl. has a couple of pictures of Dorfl at:

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Elli Christie, Books Editor of Exepose the student magazine of the University of Exeter has written a really positive review of Raising Steam.

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Terry's mentioned in an article entitled Creating a Dementia-Friendly City in the Edinburgh Evening News. The article starts by talking about Terry and how he envies his father's death.

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Sci-Fi magazine Locus has extracts from an interview with Stephen Baxter from their Jan 2014 issue which references the Long Earth:

The February issue carries an interview with Terry but it is not yet showing on their website. You can either wait for the website to get updated or purchase a copy.

In the meantime here is a link to the February issue's table of contents:

* * * * *

News round-up from Lady Sybil:

The Bookseller for 10th Jan had a cover picture made up of the shape of the UK covered with book-jackets. Raising Steam was situated on the east coast of the south of Scotland.

That week Raising Steam was down from no. 19 to no. 41 in the Top 50 charts, but still at no. 2 in the Top 20 Original Fiction, second only to the new Bridget Jones, having sold just over 4,000 copies with a total since publication of over 170,000 copies. In the official e-book sales ranking for November, Raising Steam was in for the first time at no. 5, having sold nearly 19,000 e-books.

Raising Steam was also one of the Top 50 best-sellers of the year, just in at no. 49, which is good considering it was only published in November 2013, and this chart includes autobiographies, annuals and cookbooks. In the hardback Top 20 for 2013, Raising Steam comes third after Dan Brown's Inferno and Bridget Jones.

By 17th Jan. Raising Steam has dropped out of the Top 50, and is no. 4 of the Original Fiction Top 20. Terry is no. 14 in the Top 50 Authors of 2013, just beating J. Wilson at no. 15, with Julia Donaldson, a very popular children's author, at no. 1. This chart assesses authors by the amount of money made in sales, and Terry sold 4.4m GBP worth of books.

On 24th Jan, Raising Steam is at no. 7 in the Top 20 Original Fiction, having sold just over 1,000 copies. On 31st Jan. it is at no. 8. In the official e-book sales ranking for December it's at no. 13, having sold 8,000 e-books, with a total sale for December of over 82,000 copies.

Terry has written the foreword to a new non-fiction book about assisted dying, Assisted Dying: who makes the final decision? by Lesley Close and Jo Cartwright (Peter Owen, 12th February, pb. 15.99GP); it is a collection of essays by medical and religious experts.

* * * * *

It's been a quiet Twitter month for Terry since last issue - with only one tweet and one re-tweet. You can follow Terry at:

23 Jan 2014: The book arriving at platform four is the US edition of #RaisingSteam. Hurrah!

Retweet: Mirror Pictures @Mirror_Pictures 11 Jan 2014: Jailed: The 'despicable' care home workers who abused frail dementia patients 'for sport'

* * * * *

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] Newport Free Grammar School presents Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters as adapted by Stephen Briggs from Thursday 13 - Saturday 15 March 2014 at 7:30pm.

To be performed at Newport Free Grammar School, Essex, CB11 3TR

Tickets 8GBP, concessions 6GBP

Booking is through the Finance office on 01799 540237

* * * * *

[AU, New] You are invited to Valar Quaeris, Valar Reddulis for a night of Trivia and Games from 4.45pm, 15th Feb, 2014 at Polonia Polish club Milton

Costs*: 8 AUD per person, 40 AUD for a table of 6

All men must ask, all men must answer.

Put your love of Fantasy and Science Fiction to the test and join us for a night of food and fun. There will be movie, book and TV show trivia as well as a mini Reaping and Hunger Games challenges for the tributes and their districts.

* Booking is only secured with payment - please email for details

* * * * *

[UK] Collingwood RSC Theatre Group and have performed many of Terry and Stephen's scripts at The New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.

They are back in 2014 performing in HMS Collingwood, Fareham Hampshire with the world premier of Sir Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad, adapted for the stage and directed by Chris Blatch-Gainey and produced by Stephen Johns.

Dates of the show will be Wednesday 26 till Saturday 29 March 2014

Ticket will go on sale in January from the box office number 07502 037922. Price 6GBP for all seats.

* * * * *

[UK, New] The Thalian Theatre Company are proud to present their latest Pratchett Production, Going Postal at the Towngate Theatre Basildon from 27th to 29th March at 8pm. Following on from many successful Pratchett plays, they are tackling the first of the Moist stories.

"Why not come and find out whether we can "deliver" a great night out (of course we can!)."

Tickets are available from the theatre box office on 01268 465465, 10GBP/8.50GBP concessions.

* * * * *

[UK] Men at Arms will be performed from 3rd-5th April 2014 by Q2 Players. At St. Luke's in The Avenue, Kew, at 8pm from Thursday, April 3rd to Saturday, April 5th, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

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[US, New] Nation, written by Mark Ravenhill and adapted from the novel by Terry Pratchett and directed by Megan Weaver will be performed at Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Film, Dance and Theatre.

School of Theatre and Film

Galvin Playhouse

Campus: Tempe

Cost: 8USD to 16USD; Herberger Institute students are offered free admission on tickets reserved in advance.

April 4-5, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

April 6, 2014 at 2 p.m.

April 10-12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

April 13, 2014 at 2 p.m."

* * * * *

[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, New] Oswaldtwistle Players, will be performing Wyrd Sisters (adapted by Stephen Briggs) from April 30th - May 3rd 2014, 7.30pm at The Civic Theatre, Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, BB5 3HZ.

Tickets: Adults 8.50GBP, Concessions 7.50GBP and Special first night price of 7GBP (all classes) on April 30th.

* * * * *

[UK, New] The Wincanton Spring Fling takes place over the bank holiday weekend of the 3rd and 4th May 2014.

This year will see the return of the very successful story telling on the Friday night, the makers market, the grand charity auction and other surprises to delight young and old.

Eventually more information about the event will appear on the Discworld Emporium website or via their forums (in the events section).

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[US, New] Lifeline Theater in Chicago in the United States is going to be performing Monstrous Regiment from May 30 - July 20, 2014.

20USD Previews: May 30-June 8 (Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 8pm, Sun at 4pm)

40USD Regular Run: June 12-July 20 (Thu and Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 4pm & 8pm, Sun at 4pm)

Christine a fellow fan, who let us know about this event, would like to see the production with a group of other Discworld fans. If you are interested please email Christine on

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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] 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

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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.

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

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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 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.

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[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

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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

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 by upgrading them in Office 2013..

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: "Graham and Christine Chambers"


Thank you for publishing my academic yelp for help. I was thrilled to get a response from Eve Smith, published in the January newsletter. The articles she has written have already been useful for my project, an undergrad conference paper. They are an enjoyable read for any serious (or irreverent) Pratchett fan.

Here's hoping that despite Sir Terry's hilarious commentary on literary criticism (maybe we should call it advanced literary appreciation or analysis) as little poops in stacks of the UU library, folks will take up the cause and help Discworld books find their way into the lives of more too-serious English professors and students.

Best wishes to all for a grand 2014,

Christine Chambers

* * * * *

* From: "John Blackburn"

I thoroughly enjoyed Raising Steam. I just have one little niggle--surely somewhere with a crew of goblins would be "goblinned" not "goblined" (page 219).

What do other readers think about the next "little thing" to change the Discworld? As Sir Terry used to work for the Central Electricity Generating Board (as did I), I reckon it should be Lightning-in-Wires, which would probably inflame the Guild of Candle Makers! Maybe the discoverer of Lightning-in-Wires could be a young Artificer named Alec Trickell...?

* * * * *

* From: "Gary O'Connor"

Whilst looking at Wikipedia I came across the following article and it reminded me of Terry's reference to B.S.Johnson and his sorting machine in Going Postal:

"Electronic mail sorting

In 1956, the company received a contract from the Canadian Post Office to develop an electronic mail sorting system, which they delivered later that year. The system used a hard-wired transistorized computer that stored a table of postal codes on a magnetic drum. Operators were presented with envelopes and typed in the postal code, which their typewriter printed onto the envelope as a bar code in fluorescent ink. The sorting system would then read the bar code and automatically route it and sort it. The system was a complete success.

In fact, this system so impressed visitors from the US Post Office that they decided they needed one of their own. They also decided to develop their own system instead of simply buying the Ferranti one, delaying their entry into automated sorting until 1960. A Canada-wide expansion using Ferranti's existing system soon ended in the 1957 election, whose main issue was rampant Liberal spending, including Ferranti's "million dollar monster".

Ok I know it's not quite 3 = pi but it's a bit of amusement

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 was Rham-ap-efan?
What is Muscara's real name?
What is the Discworld equivalent of Roundworld's pub game Pool? a) Puddle, b) Lake, c) Pond or d) Aqueduct
Who was Cosmo Lavish's secretary?
What is the Liber Paginarum Fulvarum otherwise known as?

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

5. Review: Dodger's Guide to London

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

I'll be honest I put this title down on my Amazon wish list more to build my collection than out of any real desire to read it. I was never really a fan of history at school - it might have been because of boring lessons delivered by a teacher older than the subject - but had I been encouraged to read a book like this I might just have taken a bit more notice.

Reading the back of the book, you get an inkling of what to expect:

"Did you know . . . ?

If a Victorian couldn't afford a sweep, they might drop a goose down their chimney to clean it!

A nobby lady's unmentionables could weigh up to 40lbs!

Parliament had to be suspended during the Great Stink of 1858!

From the wretches of the rookeries to the fancy coves at Buckingham Palace, Dodger will show you every dirty inch of London.

Warning: Includes 'orrible murders, naughty ladies and plenty of geezers!"

I loved reading about the origins of phrases such as "falling off the wagon" and "what a

load of tosh". I won't go into detail - I'll let you find these yourselves.

Did you know that the first bowler hats were produced by Lock and Co of St. James Street for the game keepers of Mister Coke, a gentleman from Norfolk? They were originally named 'coke' hats after the gentleman in question.

The book is also populated with many pictures and bizarre adverts from the Victorian period - which add to the character of the book.

This book is 135 pages of pure enjoyment with not a Richard in sight (apart from the section about Richards of course). It's great fun to read from cover to cover or just as entertaining to pick up and read a few pages at random.

Dodger's Guide to London has a recommended price of 12.99GBP and is well worth the specie (see page 4). - UK - US

6. Competition: Win a copy of Raising Steam

In her haste Lynette Sherburne accidentally purchased two copies of Raising Steam. Being the caring soul that she is (and forgetting to return the spare in reasonable time) Lynette decided to denote an unread UK edition of Raising Steam to us to give away. The Royal Mail did us proud and the book is sitting on top of my wardrobe waiting to wing its way to this month's lucky competition winner.

Discworld Monthly would like to say a huge thank you to Lynette for her kind prize donation.

To be in with a chance to win this well travelled copy of Raising Steam, simply send your answers along with your postal address to by 25th February 2014.

What new form of transport is discovered in Raising Steam?
This is the third Moist von Lipwig novel, what were the other two called?

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 (a second look)

Reviewed by "Claire Muncaster"

There are those who say you don't need to like Terry Pratchett to enjoy this album. I have to disagree; I could've looked up the plot of the book that shares its name rather than searching it out, but me being me wanted to know more. I loved it.

Like Pratchett, I'm a long-standing fan of Steeleye. I used to believe SS had magic powers; to me, they were shapeshifting seers as well as musicians, who could relieve pain. I'd love to buy him a pint & ask him whether he believed something similar. Growing up made me realise this wasn't true, but I am very thankful I was never corrected. Listening to this reminds me why I thought the way I did.

It's so heavy! Am I listening to Iron Maiden or Steeleye Span? Iron Span?? Oh, Chris (can't spell his name) produced it. I'm a Priest fan too, & love Gary Moore's blues stuff. Why haven't Steeleye been this heavy before??

It's hard not to get caught up in Prior's enthusiasm on 'Band Of Teachers'; she sounds as if she's pointing at the travelling teachers of the story saying "Look, look!", the slower chorus sounds as if said teachers are very tired.......or the band themselves are.

As an infirm Spanner and aspiring fantasy writer for this reason, 'I Shall Wear Midnight' has me leaning on anything available, dry-heaving & sobbing. There's also the prospect that the band I love so dearly "shall wear midnight" one day - probably soon with Knight's departure.

'The Dark Morris Song' along with its Tune (despite its name the two have nothing to do with each other, but are linked - very confusing) are both so good it's worth buying this album for them alone; they blow any sub-par tracks out of the water, as well as anything sub-par out of your mind & so your life. The clickety-clack rhythm of the Tune goes through me like Pratchett's special octarine fire. Maybe what I naively believed about the band is true after all.

8. The End

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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 *

Who was Rham-ap-efan?
Admiral of the Djelibeybian navy.
What is Muscara's real name?
Susan (she was one of Diamanda's coven in Lancre)
What is the Discworld equivalent of Roundworld's pub game Pool?
c) Pond
Who was Cosmo Lavish's secretary?
What is the Liber Paginarum Fulvarum otherwise known as?

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