Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 203 - March 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. The Long Mars - Synopsis
6. Competition Result: Raising Steam
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 203 and the second issue of 2014. It's been another quite quiet month for Discworld again. Hopefully with the third book in the Long Earth series The Long Mars coming soon I'll be able to review it for you (in the meantime you can read the synopsis in section 5).

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Ever wanted to visit the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton but were unable to make the trip in person? Now you can visit it virtually. Google street view have visited the store and have worked their magic. To visit the store use the link below:

You may even see the Emporium's cat Dundee.

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The Discworld Monthly facebook group has now got around 6,800 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 (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.

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 (Off [getting] Piste)

2. News

Terry will be Author of the Day at the opening day of the 2014 London Book Fair.

London Book Fair director Jacks Thomas said: "Terry's presence at The London Book Fair 2014 is a complete treat; a national icon and international inspiration, Terry has created a literary fan base of millions around the world; his contribution to the book industry is tremendous and his influence continues to stimulate new generations of readers in numerous markets and languages. We are looking forward very much to welcoming him to Earls Court in April."

The London Book Fair runs from 8th-10th April.

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PCGamer recently looked at the Discworld MUD on one of its Saturday Crapshoot articles - where each week Richard Cobbett writes about an obscure slice of gaming history [their words - Ed] from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities.

The article is written from the perspective of a Discworld fan but someone who is new to Discworld MUD. Discworld MUD is a text based system that allows you to explore the Discworld and interact with other users. Read all about it at the link below and then fire up your Telnet client.

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The Telegram features a review of Terry's latest Discworld Novel Raising Steam at:

BuzzyMag also includes a review of Raising Steam prior to its US release:

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As reported last month Locus Magazine in the US featured an interview in its February edition. Since last month they have published part of the interview entitled: Talking to Other Monkeys online at:

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A funds manager from Dorset, England has been jailed for seven years after conning investors out of over 22 million GBP using a copy of Terry's signature he downloaded off the Internet. He used it to sign business statements and hide his fraudulent business practices.

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Beginning March 12th, Mark Oshiro (of Mark Reads, Mark Watches and Mark Plays) will be reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels in chronological order, beginning with The Colour of Magic. With the sheer number of Discworld books, this means that he's going to be doing this for a really long time - you can check his master schedule for information about which book will be read when.

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'Land Under Wave: Reading the Landscape of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books'

Tuesday 25 March, Mitre Lecture Theatre University of Chichester 4 - 5pm:

Dr Jane Carroll (University of Roehampton), author of Landscape in Children's Literature (Routledge, 2012) (and formerly Research Assistant at the Sussex Centre), talks about her research on the role of landscape in children's fantasy literature, and especially Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series.

* * * * *

Terry's been a little bit busier this month on Twitter with three tweets. You can follow Terry at:

20 Feb 2014: We hope @stewtaylor and all of the cast and crew @StudioTheatre1 break lots of legs tonight #MakingMoney

20 Feb 2014: Looking forward to seeing the opening night of Chris Hawley's adaptation of #MakingMoney

20 Feb 2014: ...and hope to the Gods Mister Fusspot behaves himself.

* * * * *

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.

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[UK] 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

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[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.

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[UK] 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, Updated] 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.

Tickets 8GBP / 6 GBP concessions from 0208 8782173 (6.30-8.30pm) from Wednesday 19th March or email or follow us on Twitter @Q2Players.

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[US] 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.

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[UK, New] Deep End Theatre Company will be performing Lords and Ladies adapted by Irana Brown at The Playhouse, Cheltenham, 47-53 Bath Rd, Town Centre, Cheltenham GL53 7HG

From Wednesday 9th - Saturday 12th April 2014

Evening Performances at 7.45pm Saturday Matinee at 2.00pm

Tickets 10GBP (8GBP Concessions on Wed evening & Sat Matinee only) Available from Cheltenham Playhouse Box Office: 01242 522 852

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[DE, New] The amateur dramatics group "Die Dramateure" will perform 'Weiberregiment', the German version of 'Monstrous Regiment' as their third Discworld play on Friday 11th April and Saturday 12th April at 7:30 pm. The play will take place at 'Burgerhaus Bischofsheim', Dornigheimer Weg 21, 63477 Maintal, Germany. Tickets are 7EUR when bought online. Further information:

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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] 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.

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[UK] 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] 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, Updated] 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 cost 25 GBP per adult (children under 16 go free when accompanied by paying adult).

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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[NL, New] News from the Netherlands: Cabbagecon 3 will be held on 27 and 28 June 2015 in Hotel Golden Tulip Val Monte in Berg en Dal (near Nijmegen). Registration and info on and

No guests announced.

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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

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[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] 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 shuffling them into random patterns..

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: "Dave Hough"

I live in Bristol UK but can never find any articles, meetings or basically anyone interested in Terry Pratchett books etc here. I'm sure there's thousands of his readers here. A Bristol Terry Pratchett Society for instance would be very good or maybe someone in Bristol just wants to share their views about his books or even plays in Bristol.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton last year but it took a few hours to get there.

So if anyone in Bristol is interested in talking about Terry Pratchett and sharing views or belongs to a society please get in contact.

* * * * *

* From: "Jane Burton"

This is my first ever letter to the Discworld Monthly even though I have been an avid reader for years. I was prompted to write by a chance discovery. Sir Terry as we all know has not only a wonderful imagination but often sneaks in-jokes or titbits of knowledge he has accumulated over the years. Recently I happened to stumble across one of his hidden snippets.

It regards one of the Discworld Novels: - Feet of Clay. For those that need a quick reminder the plot is the overthrowing of The Patrician, Lord Vetinari. Since Vetinari is a hard man to kill by using fair means (at least considered fair by the Assassins Guild) the rich and powerful decided to take a different approach. Instead of killing him directly they decide to incapacitate him and supplant him with a puppet leader that they can control.

Spoiler Alert - If you haven't read the book:

Firstly why not?

Secondly stop reading now if you don't want to know any more.

After a great deal of investigation not to mention luck the City Watch finally discover not only who is behind the plot to remove Lord Vetinari but the method they have been using. It is an extremely ingenious method. The Patrician is being slowly poisoned by arsenic. The plotters have smuggled impregnated candles into the palace. Therefore every night when Lord Vetinari lights his bedroom candles he releases poisonous gas into the air.

However this is not the first time this method has been used in fiction. To my surprise I came across the same modus operandi in a DVD collection I bought. For anybody that wants to see it in action, it's a Sherlock Holmes Collection starring Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes and Howard Marion-Crawford as Dr Watson and produced by Sheldon Reynolds.

In Sherlock Holmes: Season 1 Episode 31 The Case of the Exhumed Client aired in America 30th May 1955 Sir Charles Fanworth is found dead in a locked room. However with unusual foresight the late Sir Charles has added a clause in his will. No matter what the official cause of death, Mr Sherlock Holmes is to be engaged to investigate. The Exhumed Client is found to have died from arsenic poison. The result of the investigation is Sherlock Holmes discovers the killer dispatched Sir Charles Fanworth by the use of arsenic gas from the room's candles.

Does anybody know of incidents factual or fiction where this method has been used that pre-dates this 1955 example?

Lady Jane

* * * * *

* From: "Liz Deuchars"

I wonder if you spotted this BBC news item about Queen's record-breaking album sales?

[The Official Charts Company said one in three British families now owned a copy of the 1981 compilation Queen's Greatest Hits - Ed]

I keep thinking of the hypothesis in Good Omens:

[p. 19/3] "[...] all tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into 'Best of Queen' albums."

In an interview in Comics Buyer's Guide with Terry and Neil, shortly after the American release of Good Omens, Terry proposed the theory that, when you're driving through the country late at night, and there's nothing on the radio, you find yourself stopping in at an all-night gas station and looking through the tape rack; the only thing there remotely tolerable is a Best of Queen, so you buy that. Two weeks later you can't remember how the thing got there, so you get rid of it, only to go through the same process again. Neil's theory was that tapes really do turn into Best of Queen albums.


* * * * *

* From: "Jandy Warner"

I enjoy re-reading Sir Terry's books very much and, in the course of it, found two trivial questions.

Have I missed something or is there an error in the math in "The Truth"? If William de Worde pays Mr. Cripslock 20AMD to make five woodblock prints of his monthly newsletter and sells them for 5AMD each how does he wind up with "the best part of 30AMD"?

When dwarfs invade Vimes's home in "Thud" one of them makes it into the nursery before crashing backward through the railing onto the floor. Was he propelled by Dribble the dragon who usually slept under Sam Junior's cot?

Thanks if you can answer.

* * * * *

* From: "John Rogers"

The literal translation of Eisentrager is "Iron Girder". Now, that might ring a bell with Terry's fans, being the name of the first locomotive in "Raising Steam". Eisentrager might also ring a bell with older Bristolians who remember ex-POW Alec Eisentrager as a very popular foot-the-baller for Bristol City and in the Bristol Downs League. It can also be translated as Iron Carrier or Iron Hauler - very appropriate for a steam loco.

I wonder if that is pure coincidence or whether it's a Bristolian in-joke by Terry?

How do I know all this? I named one of my garden railway locos Eisentrager, making the same pun.

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 Quarney?
What is the name of the talking kangaroo in The Last Continent?
What is Ghlen Livid made from?
What does B'zugda-Hiara mean?
How old was Anghammerad?

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

5. The Long Mars - Synopsis

The Long Mars will be the third book in The Long Earth series and is due for release in June 2014.

Transworld publishers have recently released this synopsis:

2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are all involved in this perilous work when, out of the blue, Sally is contacted by her long-vanished father and inventor of the original Stepper device, Willis Linsay. He tells her he is planning a fantastic voyage across the Long Mars and wants her to accompany him. But Sally soon learns that Willis has ulterior motives...

Meanwhile U. S. Navy Commander Maggie Kauffman has embarked on an incredible journey of her own, leading an expedition to the outer limits of the far Long Earth.

For Joshua, the crisis he faces is much closer to home. He becomes embroiled in the plight of the Next: the super-bright post-humans who are beginning to emerge from their 'long childhood' in the community called Happy Landings, located deep in the Long Earth. Ignorance and fear are causing 'normal' human society to turn against the Next - and a dramatic showdown seems inevitable...

You can pre-order The Long Mars via the links below (and help us earn a small commission from each copy purchased):

UK -

US -

6. Competition Result: Raising Steam

Last month we offered you a chance to win a copy of Raising Steam that was very kindly donated to us by Lynette Sherburne who accidentally purchased two copies. Loads of people entered the competition and many of you got the two questions correct.

We asked you to answer these two questions: What new form of transport is discovered in Raising Steam? and This is the third Moist von Lipwig novel, what were the other two called?

The answers we were looking for were Trains / Locomotion and Going Postal and Making Money.

The winner, Christopher Powell from Pontyclun, Mid-Glamorgan was randomly selected from the correct entries. I'll aim to get your parcel in the post w/c 10 March.

Once again we would like to thank Lynette Sherburne for her generous contribution.

7. The End

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* Contact Information *

We prefer information to be sent via email, but can accept information via post at the following addresses:


Post: J Anthony-Rowlands (DWM), 20 Cambrian Place, Pontarddulais, Swansea, SA4 8RG

* 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 is Quarney?
He is the only shop keeper in Lancre.
What is the name of the talking kangaroo in The Last Continent?
What is Ghlen Livid made from?
Ghlen Livid is made from fermented vul nut distilled in the Agatean Empire.
What does B'zugda-Hiara mean?
B'zugda-Hiara is a Dwarfish insult that means 'Lawn Ornament'.
How old was Anghammerad?
Anghammerad was nearly 19,000 years old.

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