Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 204 - April 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 204 and the third issue of 2014. It appears that while spring has finally sprung here in the UK, it's been another quiet month for Discworld. So this month's issue is very short - hopefully we can bring you more next month.

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Something has changed recently in facebook. We don't know what it is, but it does mean that we have had a large intake of new members in the Discworld Monthly facebook group which has grown from around 6,700 members last month to nearly 7,200 members this month. It continues to have lots of lively and fun conversations. In fact if you walk away for five minutes you might miss something!

Anyone can join in the fun but it might take me a few hours / days to add you (depending on when I can get online). 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 (Dungeon Master Revisited)

2. News

The Story Museum in Oxford will be holding a Discworld Day on Sunday 25th May. As we know May 25th is an important day on Discworld - remember to wear the lilac.

Sunday 25 May - Discworld Day

All day: we're Going Postal here in Oxford's old post office with Discworld Day activities inspired by Ankh Morpork's Post Office.

Stephen Briggs 11.30 and 14.00 author event

Finding your way into Discworld. Stephen Briggs, the voice of Terry Pratchett's novels, reads from Going Postal.

Cost: 2 GBP in addition to exhibition entrance. Advance booking recommended. 4 GBP event-only tickets on the day subject to availability.

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The latest The Pratchett Podcast has just been recorded. Each issue Graeme and Rhys review a different Discworld novel. The latest issue, numbered 25, includes a review of Soul Music.

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Why is the 'mor' in 'Voldemort' so evil-sounding? Is a question asked and answered in an article in The Week dated March 12. It's of interest to Discworld fans because it talks about Ankh-Morpork as well as Mordor and Moria from Tolkien and Morlocks from The Time Machine.

The article talks about Phonesthemes, parts of words that sound similar and convey a relationship. It's quite an interesting read.

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Terry's books are good for your health. It's official! Brighton and Hove City Council public health officials believe settling down with a good book can help boost a person's mood and banish the negative feelings.

As part of this process they have announced a list of top mood-busting books that can help to improve your mood. The joint winners (based on readers' suggestions) were five of Terry's books and Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

* * * * *

With Raising Steam finally being released in the US a new round of reviews of the novel have been written.

AV Club is pretty damning in its review -

The Daytona News Journal is less critical -

Cory Doctorow's re-iterates his positive review from the November UK release -

The Seattle Times also enjoyed Raising Steam -

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A trailer for The Duel (the animated Discworld short) created at Trinity College Dublin has now been released.

The trailer appears to have the librarian at around the 24 second mark. The quality of the animation looks really good. I can't wait to see the finished product - Ed.

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Gollancz have recently included a guest blow on their GollanczBlog entitled: Friday Reads: Five Discworld Books You Must Read. The five they suggest are: Mort, Thud!, Going Postal, Guards! Guards! and Snuff. Personally we think you should just read all the Discworld books but I guess we are slightly biased.

* * * * *

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] The Willis museum in Basingstoke, England will be the temporary home to a Paul Kidby Exhibition called Discworld and Beyond that runs from Saturday, March 29 until Saturday, June 28.

[I'm going to attempt to visit one Saturday in April and will hopefully bring you a review of the exhibition next issue - Ed].

* * * * *

[UK, New] Westovian Theatre Society, South Shields will be performing Wyrd Sisters from Monday March 31 to Saturday April 5 2014, starting at 7.30pm at the Pier Pavilion, Pier Parade, South Shields. Doors open 7pm.

Tickets cost 6GBP for Monday and Tuesday and 7GBP Wednesday to Saturday. From Monday March 31, tickets will be available at the theatre box office, which is open for telephone calls between 6.30pm and 8pm. Tel. 0191 456 0980.

Visit for more information.

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[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.

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


* * * * *

[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.

* * * * *

[UK, New] Jadis Shadows Productions Proudly Presents Wyrd Sisters - A working from the stage adaptation by Stephen Briggs.

Production Details:

2nd May 2014 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

3rd May 2014 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

16th May 2014 - Leicester Guild Hall, Leicester

17th May 2014 - Leicester Guild Hall, Leicester

29th May 2014 - Swan Theatre, Worcester

30th May 2014 - Swan Theatre, Worcester

12th June 2014 - Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

30th June 2014 - Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

* * * * *

[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).

* * * * *

[UK, New] Sudbury Dramatic Society based at The Quay Theatre, Sudbury, Suffolk will be performing Monstrous Regiment from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th May at 7.45pm

Tickets 01787 374745 or online at

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[UK, New] Chesham Bois Catholic Players (Amateur) present MORT at The Little Theatre by the Park, Church Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire Friday 16th - Sunday 18th May 2014. Details/Booking on

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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

* * * * *

[AU, New] The Maryborough Players present the world premiere of Renoir's adaptation of Terry Pratchett's WITCHES ABROAD at The Brolga Theatre, Maryborough, Qld

Nightly Wed 4 June to Sat 8 June

Matinee show Saturday 8 June

Benefiting Alzheimers Australia and the Australasian Order of Old Bastards

Bookings now open at

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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).

You can find out more about Wadfest at

* * * * *

[AU] Nullus Anxietus V - The Fifth Australian Discworld Convention is getting all geared up and ready to go for 10th to 12th April 2015. Come to our new website and register here:

There will be lots of Discworld fun and games, people in costumes, people in T-shirts, people in suits, and they all read and enjoy Terry's works. Sign up for announcements on our web page to find out about the exciting events we are planning for you already.

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, Updated] 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

We now have as special guest at Cabbagecon 3 the Dutch translator Venugopalan Ittekot.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

[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.

* * * * *

[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

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 putting them through a shredder and then joining them back together again in a random order.

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: "Gerhard Uibel"

I can actually remember that text-based adventure [The Colour of Magic - Ed] on the C-64, (although mine was a 128-D) unfortunately that was years before Discworld came to me (in Germany, and that was Guards! Guards!) and so the only thing I ever got out of that machine ( I was completely new to the stuff then ) was the sentence "Even the multi-lingual Rincewind cannot understand that." Sadly, that was the end of it, then, but maybe these days when everything seems to be possible somebody will make an adaptation for everybody's mobile phone-thingy, so we can enjoy whenever/wherever we like.

DWM replies: It is possible to play the original ZX Spectrum / C64 version of The Colour of Magic on modern computers. We included details in our October 2013 issue available on-line at: Issue #198

* * * * *

* From: "Tony Anderson"

Regarding Jane Burton's letter about arsenic poisoning, I don't know of any other instances where the poison was administered by candle, but of course the British government was long suspected of implication in Napoleon's death after a heavy concentration of arsenic was found in a sample of his hair. However a preserved piece of his Saint Helena drawing room wallpaper proved to contain copper arsenite, a popular green dye at the time. In the damp Atlantic climate this would have been attacked by mould which slowly released arsenic gas into the room. It didn't kill him, but could have hastened the progress of his stomach ulcer. There's a fascinating article at

Disappointingly, while checking the above reference I came across a recent test which casts doubt on this idea, though it contains some surprising information itself.

Of course I don't know if any of this influenced Sir Pterry's plot.

Thanks for all the effort you put into DWM. It's a must read every month.

* * * * *

* From: "Jessica Schneider"

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned in the monthly yet or not but I wanted to draw your attention to an app called Quizup. It's a trivia game that you play with friends or random people around the world. It has over 400 topics and one of them is a whole quiz about Discworld!

It's free and looks like it's out for iOS and the Google Play store. Online and in the app they list the ranking players for each quiz.

It's fun, addictive, and informative. You can continue to play the game with players over and over in rematches, talk to them over the chat feature, and gain high levels each time you play.

Anyway, just thought I'd share if you hadn't heard about it yet!

* * * * *

* From: "Tony Wood"

I have all the Discworld Calendars from 2001 to 2013 apart from 2006,2008 and 2009.

I'll happily post them to anyone anywhere, rather than throw them in the bin, but I need to dispose of them due to an imminent removal.

If you write to me at the address above and let me know where you are I'll calculate the postage cost (from Australia).

They weigh in at 3kg's and measure 40cms x 34cms x 3cms.

Once I've got the postage I'll get them in the next day's mail.

* * * * *

* From: "Gary O'Connor"

Something that Terry has missed - This is part of a "Special" offer that arrived in a mailing today.

"The great value remote candle set that looks great and smells great too!

Everyone loves candles: their soothing flicker and soft glow bring back memories of times gone by, and add a touch of ambience to any room in your home. Traditional wax candles continue to be popular, with new designs and fragrances, however they'll always have the problems and dangers associated with having a live flame in your home.

But these are different but made from real wax, with a realistic flicker effect and are Safe.

Electronic candles are different, they've been around for a while now, but many don't offer the "feel good factor" of traditional candles - they just don't look, or smell like the real thing. Our new Remote Controlled Candle Set is different, these two top quality, electronic candles look just like large traditional wax candles when not in use, in fact they are actually made from real wax!

The Remote Controlled Candle Set looks great when you're using it too, with the large 15cm high candles boasting an authentic flicker, so you could easily mistake them for traditional candles. They even smell great - with a pleasant vanilla scent."

Must be powered by 'Daemons' so you have to keep feeding them AAA?'

Keep up the brilliant work Jason, you do it well

DWM replies: But are they extra dribbly?

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 not a member of the Smoking Gnu? a) Mad Al Winton, b) Screaming Lord Sutch, c) Sane Alex Carlton, d) Undecided Adrian Emery?
Who is Ishkible?
Why can't model maker Grinjer get a girlfriend?
Who is the treasurer of the Grand Trunk Company?
Where can you find the Light Dams?

The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue [Which is sadly the next section - Ed]

5. 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 *

Who is not a member of the Smoking Gnu?
b) Screaming Lord Sutch
Who is Ishkible?
Prophet of the Omnian religion.
Why can't model maker Grinjer get a girlfriend?
Because he can't find a girl who shares his interest in glue.
Who is the treasurer of the Grand Trunk Company?
Where can you find the Light Dams?
In the Great Nef region.

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