Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 205 May 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Paul Kidby - Discworld and Beyond
6. Review: Spring Fling 2014
7. Press Release - Irish Discworld Convention 2015
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 205 and our 17th birthday issue. I can't believe that Bill, Richard and I have been working on this newsletter for so long. We hope you continue to enjoy it.

Terry also recently celebrated his 66th Birthday at the end of April. So we would like to say to Sir Terry congratulations and happy belated birthday for last week.

* * * * *

Remember the Lego Discworld project we talked about a while back? Apparently the rules have now changed and the project will need to get 10,000 votes within 1 year to reach review status and the possibility of it ever going into production. Currently there is a need for around 6,000 more votes.

Please take a look at the project at:

If you think the project is worthwhile please take a moment to vote for it.

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The changes that facebook made last month have meant that the Discworld Monthly facebook group membership has grown massively since last issue. We now have nearly 9,000 members up from around 7,200 members last month. We would like to welcome all the new members of the group and hope that you enjoy it.

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:

* * * * *

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

A new collection of children's short stories by Terry Pratchett is to be released by Random House Children's Publishers (RHCP) UK, while Gollancz will publish "lavishly illustrated" Discworld diaries for the next three years.

The children's compilation, named Dragons at Crumbling Castle, will include full-page black and white illustrations by Mark Beech.

The stories will be "Brimming with knights, dragons, abominable snowmen and even more abominable crooks, they are a joy to read and share with young readers", according to Kirsten Armstrong, fiction editor at RHCP.

RHCP will publish Dragons at Crumbling Castle in 12.99 GBP hardback and as an e-book in September. A collector's edition with extra content will follow in November.

Gollancz, in partnership with The Discworld Emporium, has secured world rights to publish the Discworld diaries for the next three years.

The Discworld Diary 2015 is published in hardback on 21st August 2014, at 16.99 GBP. The following two diaries will be published in August 2015 and 2016.

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David Brashaw of Back Spindle Games got in contact to let us know that their sell-out boardgame Guards! Guards! is now available on pre-order for summer 2014 at a Special Price of 29.99 GBP for a short time.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

Fancy yourself as a bit of an origami expert? Want to make your own Iron Girder? Well now you can. As part of the publicity for Raising Steam a series of patterns have been released for you to download, print and then fold to make your own cast of Raising Steam. There are nine models in total including: Moist von Lipvig, Dick Simnel and Harry King.

For more information on these amazing cutouts visit:

* * * * *

Steeleye Span will be taking their Wintersmith album to Ireland in May. You can listen to one of the tracks, The Dark Morris, at:

Dates are:

Mon 19th May - Town Hall Theatre Galway, 00353 (0) 91-569777

Tues 20th May - The Hawk's Well Theatre Sligo, 00353 (0) 71-9161518

Weds 21st May - Vicar Street Dublin, 00353 (0)1 77 55 800

* * * * *

Micro Art Studio - the makers of the beautiful if extremely fiddly range of Discworld pewter miniatures have released the first of three Discworld busts. The first being a bust of Death as the Hogfather. (Graeme has reviewed all three pieces over at the Pratchett Podcast).

From what I can pick out from the rather small picture on the website Death as the Hogfather features Death in the Hogfather robes and a long naughty and nice list. The model is approximately 5.3inches high.

It costs 43.05 Euros and is available now.

* * * * *

Gary O'Connor pointed out that we appear to have missed a video interview Terry did with the BBC about dementia back in December 2013.

* * * * *

Buzzfeed has a nice selection of 26 Discworld quotes presented on appropriate and quite pretty backgrounds. They are fun to read and look good too. So if you find one particularly poignant you can print it off and stick it to your office cubicle.

* * * * *

Terry has added his name to a list of authors who have written an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron accusing him of fuelling "alienation and division in our society".

This came shortly after Mr Cameron claimed Britain should be "more confident" about its status as a country with a deep Christian history.

The letter adds: "Britain has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian, and post-Christian forces. We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives, and we are a largely non-religious society."

DWM adds: We don't want to get into political / religious arguments here so we'll leave this up to you to decide for yourselves.

* * * * *

French artist Marc Simonetti is looking to crowd fund his new covers book called Coverama. So far his is 80% funded so it looks like the project will go ahead. If you are a fan of his art it could be a great project to get involved in. There are still around 70 days of the funding to go. If you've seen some of the recent calendars you may well have already seen some of Marc's work.

* * * * *

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] 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. See my review of the exhibition later in this issue.

* * * * *

[UK, New] Boundary Players will be performing Mort at the William Penney Theatre

in Tadley on the Hampshire/Berkshire border. The last play of their season is going to be Terry Pratchett's Mort and will be showing between 6th and 10th May. Please visit our website for further details

DWM adds: Our apologies for the short notice on this. We didn't receive the details until after the last issue was published.

* * * * *

[UK] 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

* * * * *

[UK, New] Guards! Guards! will be performed from the 14th to the 17th of May. It's at the Bob Hope Theatre in Eltham, London.

The number for the box office is 02088503702.

* * * * *

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

Production Details:

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] 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

* * * * *

[AU, New] Unseen Theatre Company will be performing Thief of Time at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide.

A preview will be on Friday 23rd May, opening night will be Saturday 24th May with further performances on May 28, 29, 20, 31 and June 4, 5, 6, 7.

All shows are at 8pm.

Tickets cost: Adults 20AUD/ Concession 18AUD/ Fringe Benefits 16AUD/ Groups (10+) 16AUD/ Preview - all tix 15AUD.

Book from: or at the door on the night (subject to availability)

PLEASE NOTE: By agreement with Sir Terry Pratchett, all proceeds from the Opening Night performance will be donated to SAVES (The South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society)

* * * * *

[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

* * * * *

[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).

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.

* * * * *

[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 May meeting will be on Monday 12th May to avoid the Wincanton Spring Fling.

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

* * * * *

[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 placing them in a bag and drawing them out at random.

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: "Sean Wright"

In the last newsletter you made comment on the AV Club's review of Making Steam as being "pretty damning".

Far from it. In fact I thought that it was quite favourable and accurate in its observations.

I have been with the Pratchett canon (Canon Terry anyone??) since The Colour of Magic and own all novels in hardback with many of them autographed (I have met Terry on four occasions). I believe that the last truly "funny" book that Terry wrote was Hogfather. Since then he has been consistently one of the best "cracking good tale" authors in the world - I believe this is the point the review was making.

Hogfather was the last Laugh Out Loud (lol) thigh slapping, ROFLMAO (don't go there!) with tears of laughter he ever wrote.

After that have come some truly brilliant books. Opinions?

* * * * *

* From: "Loretta H"

Another crossword clue I thought you might enjoy.

Barnum's infamous exit. (the clue). 6 letters.

And of course I got it, thanks to Terry! Please keep up the good work. I love the newsletter.

WB replies: someone's gonna have to send us the answer to this...

* * * * *

* From: Details withheld on request.

Just thought I'd express my disappointment at the cover art used on the new HC printing of Terry's books. Why do they have to have these ugly covers, with this old woodcut type art (not even a good example of the genre) when the publishers could have either commissioned new art from Paul Kidby, or better yet used Marc Simonetti's art from the French Printings on these English language versions. I have looked at the art on most available from the usual sellers online, and have decided that the art sucks. The only near decent one would be 'Feet Of Clay', and possibly 'Hogfather'. One for the almost blacked out silhouette, and the other for use of negative space.

Surely if we cannot have a new and comprehensive hardcover set with the original Josh Kirby art, then the next best thing would be to give us English speaking fans a chance to own a set with decent art like Simonetti's, which I have been mostly enjoying in the recent Discworld Calendars? I say "mostly" because I hate that they cut the full length art down to a square shape instead of presenting us with a set of the full artworks. Why are they doing smaller calendars these days?

I am sure the object of the publisher is to sell more books, and I for one would buy a complete new set if it had the Simonetti art on it.

By the by, can you tell us who did this new woodcut type art? It looks quite childish in some cases, like a school project. It reminds me a bit of the poor quality art used on the US releases, most of which are better than these pieces. (For those who want a decent modern example of woodcut/scratch-board art, just look at the covers done by artist Scott McKowen for the Neil Gaiman Marvel Comics graphic-book/mini-series 'Marvel 1602'. Or just look at the art of John Tenniel or Sidney Paget for older examples of this art form.)

As per usual, thanks for all your hard work on the newsletter.

* * * * *

* From: "Emma Cartwright"

I am re-watching the animated version of Soul Music on YouTube and I can't place the voice of Lias/Cliff. I have heard it before and have googled until I am blue(stone) in the face, but I can't find out who it is!

Does anyone know?

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 is the name of Granny Weatherwax's kitten?
How many steps are there in the Tower of Art?
What happened to the Odium?
What is the motto of the dwarf bakery owned by Setha Ironcrust?
What is Garharta's job?

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

5. Review: Paul Kidby - Discworld and Beyond

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

One fine Saturday morning in April I took my youngest two children with me to Basingstoke's Willis museum to see Paul Kidby's Discworld and Beyond Exhibition. We arrived just after 10am and found that Paul was in residence but had already started a tour explaining how he created each of the paintings - what his influences were etc.

Rather than try to tag onto the existing group we walked around the one (large) room. I don't think I 'd realised just how big the original paintings are for the Discworld artwork. I guess I just assumed they were a similar size to the final book cover. I was wrong. One of the pieces was a new cover for the paperback edition of Raising Steam and it was about two foot wide by about three foot high. It's amazing to see these paintings in the flesh, as it were, because there is just so much detail that the scanning and resizing looses.

About half the room was taken up with Discworld paintings and the other half was mainly his fairy paintings which are very different to the Discworld paintings. The colour palettes are different and less bold but still just as beautiful.

Paul also has some of his bronze statues on display. I particularly liked his Pegasus, the description goes into great detail about researching how wings work and what sizes the wings would need to be to lift a horse-type creature off the ground.

If you have the time to pop into Basingstoke before the end of June I would heartily recommend the exhibition.

For more information visit:

6. Review: Spring Fling 2014

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

This year's spring fling took place over the first May bank holiday weekend. The weather at the event was beautiful which meant I did spend quite a lot of my time in various beer gardens so may have missed some of the activities.

As it was a nice evening on Friday we sat in the beer garden of The Nog Inn until the rest of our party arrived and then enjoyed a very pleasant evening eating and drinking too much. We eventually headed back up the high street to The Dolphin [the pub, not the aquatic mammal - WB] and met up with more friends and more drinks until about 2 in the morning.

Saturday started with a hearty full English and several cups of tea. Once suitably set up for the day I changed into my new wizard costume and headed down to The Bear [the pub, not the actual wild beast - WB] to see what activities were on offer. Steven Dean had brought a large selection of props and costumes from the three Mob Film productions that he was selling. It was fun looking at the costumes and we even had the opportunity to try some of the costumes on. Becky from Eclectic Games in Reading had a stall with more versions of Munchkin than I have ever seen. Pam Martin had her magical green screen with her and had set up a small studio where you could have your picture taken with a suitable background superimposed later which was fun.

I met up with some friends and we played the Star Wars boardgame that involves flying X-wings or TIE fighters around the board trying to destroy either the rebels or the empire. I played particularly badly and the rebels won!

Shortly afterwards Terry turned up to talk with his fans and was soon mobbed by many of the fans that had not met him before so I left them to it. From the short while I was in the area he seemed to be on very good form.

I later decided to see what else was going on so wandered back up the hill to see what the assassin games were all about. It turns out the assassin games were an opportunity to train at the assassins guild and learn about speed, stealth and accuracy of shot. In reality it was one team of assassins throwing very wet soft tennis balls at the other team who were running back and forth between two designated zones trying not to be hit. As the weather was so nice it was actually quite fun to be hit as getting wet was very refreshing.

I later went over to the Balsom centre where the Makers Market was being held. This gave you the opportunity to purchase jewellery, clothing, lathed products, walking staffs and other crafty products or just sit down at the cafe and have a cup of tea and a cake. I once again took the time to sit down and have a long chat with some of the stall holders until the centre closed up for the evening.

We booked in for the evening meal at The Dolphin [pub not fish - WB] and enjoyed a very nice roast with lots of very nicely cooked vegetables. The main organised entertainment of the evening was taking place in the Bear [not animal! - WB] where the theme was Moving Pictures and a Discworld awards ceremony took place. I, however, decided to stay at the Dolphin where a bunch of us decided to play Charades against Humanity using the politically incorrect but hugely entertaining white cards from the Cards against Humanity game (this was certainly not child friendly). We eventually gave up around midnight as most of us we either drunk, very tired or both.

Sunday again started with a hearty cooked breakfast followed by the traditional charity auction that included an eclectic collection of lots. We think it's the first time we have ever auctioned a Scraps costume (this one was first used in Stephen Briggs' theatre group production of Carpe Jugulum) and where a squeaky toy duck in an orange plastic bag raised much more than the equivalent duck without its bag. In the end we raised just over 1050 GBP for the local charity RICE (Research Institute for the Care of Older People) that researches degenerative diseases. At the end of the auction Dr Pat Harkin, head auctioneer, was awarded three beautifully made glass ducks from Charles "Igor" Braham.

After the auction monies were safely stored away we headed back down to the Bear for a talk about the history of Discworld from Bernard and Isobel's perspective. Bernard and Isobel have been involved in Discworld merchandise for longer than anyone else. They spoke about their initial meetings with Terry and the first ever Clarecraft and Discworld event back in 1995 and showed us some photos from that first event and some of Terry's sketches about how he envisioned Rincewind and Granny Weatherwax would look.

Anyone still in costume and many that were not were then asked to join in a bit of filming for a chase scene in a short fan-made film that was being shot over the weekend. It was quite entertaining running up and down some of Wincanton's lesser known (to me at least) pathways.

It was now time for me to head home. I left many of my friends who were staying the extra bank holiday night and headed back down the A303.

As always I had a wonderful weekend [apart from a run-in with an angry bear and a supercilious dolphin - WB] and can't wait to do it all again in November at Hogswatch.

7. Press Release - Irish Discworld Convention 2015

A Watch representative, Captain Shivers, read out a prepared statement earlier today: "Hear ye, hear ye, lads and lasses. We're pleased as punch, and so very proud, to announce that the 4th Irish Discworld Convention will be held from the 2nd to the 5th of October, 2015. We'll be hosted by the Cork International Airport Hotel. And, as you will see from our stupendous new website, , the theme will be the Watch Open Weekend."

She went on to add: "We've updated the website, so it should have all the information you need to know, but if there's something you need to know that we haven't covered, feel free to get in touch on"

During the lengthy press conference, she revealed that memberships for the convention will be going on sale on the Glorious 25th of May.

Captain Shivers also invited any interested bystanders to "join us on facebook or follow us on Twitter". More updates to follow as the story unfolds.

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 *

What is the name of Granny Weatherwax's kitten?
How many steps are there in the Tower of Art?
8,888 very tiny steps
What happened to the Odium?
It burnt down.
What is the motto of the dwarf bakery owned by Setha Ironcrust?
T'Bread Wi'T'Edge
What is Garharta's job?
Guestmaster of Krull.

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

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