Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 206 June 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: The Librarian Jigsaw 2003
6. A Thronging of Thaumaturgists - Revisited
7. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 206. Firstly I'd like to thank all of you that sent in the answer to the crossword question last month. I unfortunately left WB's comment in asking for the answer because I thought he was being funny (shows what I know). Turns out he didn't know the answer was the Egress (not sure how he missed that one!) but thanks for all the messages anyway :)

A quote from Wikipedia's entry on Barnum states:

"At one point, Barnum noticed that people were lingering too long at his exhibits. He posted signs indicating "This Way to the Egress". Not knowing that "Egress" was another word for "Exit", people followed the signs to what they assumed was a fascinating exhibit ... and ended up outside".

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A new group has grown out of the Discworld Monthly facebook page entitled "Discworld Collectors Guild" where you can communicate with other fans about buying, selling, collecting or simply drooling over Discworld rarities.

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The Discworld Monthly facebook group membership has grown again since last month and now has over 9,800 members. 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 (Lost in a Dungeon)

2. News

Rhianna Pratchett tweeted on May 29th that she has finished the first draft of the Wee Free Men film screenplay and is feeling all emotional about it. This hopefully means the project will go ahead at some point.

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The Long War, the second title in the Long Earth series, will be published in paperback on 5th June and The Long Mars, book three in the series, is due to be released on 19th June.

We haven't seen The Long Mars yet so the only information we can provide is the synopsis taken from Amazon's website:

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 order The Long War (Paperback) at:

UK -

US -

You can pre-order The Long Mars at:

UK -

US -

* * * * *

Bloomsbury have commissioned a number of book benches that will start appearing around London. The benches are shaped like partially opened books and will feature illustrations by famous artists to celebrate book title / series.

One of the benches will be illustrated by Paul Kidby.

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If you've seen the recent Dementia Friends television advert, did you notice a certain hirsute author among the contributors? If you haven't seen the advert yet check out the YouTube video at:

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Congratulations to Doctor Sir Terry who has just received an honorary doctorate from the

University of South Australia. Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd awarded Sir Terry with the doctorate at Terry's home in May.

The award acknowledges Terry's enormous contribution to literature and creative writing.

Terry tweeted about the visit on Twitter:

May 27 - The perennially lovely @bobbyllew [Robert Llewellyn- AKA Kryten from Red Dwarf - Ed] successfully manoeuvring a Tesla-S in an already crowded driveway.

May 27 - Yes. They're corks. Professor Lloyd did that.

May 27 - When you can't make it down under to the @UniversitySA - the University of South Australia comes to you.

* * * * *

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] 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 in issue 205.

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[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

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[AU] 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)

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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] 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

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[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] 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.

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[DE, New] With a 1000 camels the German Discworld Convention moves to the mysterious continent of Klatch! Make room in your schedule from September 10th to 13th in 2015 for the fourth German Discworld Convention at Castle Ludwigstein. Be there when it's getting hot!

Visit the homepage for some pictures of the lovely new castle or join the facebook page to receive further updates:

* * * * *

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:

* * * * *

[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 posting them off to foreign parts and hoping they come back...

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: "David M Kennedy"

I have to disagree with your anonymous correspondent about the new collectors' edition book covers.

I notice he or she says they've looked at it on online sellers. I checked some of these out myself, and it is very unclear that this is not a dustjacket; the image is embossed onto the cover itself. This wouldn't work for Kidby or Simonetti pictures, the picture would be fuzzy and all the detail would be lost. I would recommend that they go to a physical bookshop and actually see the books in reality (and pick them up! This kind of cover is remarkably tactile) before coming to a decision.

It may be that they still won't like it; Discworld novels that look like turn-of-the-century books of fairy tales aren't to everyone's taste. I didn't much like the editions a few years ago with the leather bindings and a tiny, heavily-cropped Kidby image in the centre, but other people did so I decided they could buy them and I wouldn't.

Oh, and the cover illustrations are by Joe McLaren. You can see further examples of his intentionally stylised work at!books/c199t

The site also includes a link to an interview with McLaren where he says his work is inspired by the 1940s artist Edward Bawden RA, whose work I suspect your correspondent would also consider "childish".

WB replies: I take one look at the cover and decide there & then if the book's any good. As a result I've missed out on a lot of great books. If only there was some sort of saying, or aphorism that could help me out here...

* * * * *

* From: "Barry Starr"

I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan and have been on your distribution list for a number of years. We (myself and two friends) will be attempting to walk up Snowdon three times in one day on a Saturday in July (which Saturday will be dependant on the weather forecasts).

We have a JustGiving page at where (hopefully) other generous members of Discworld Monthly will be able to donate money to what we feel is a very worthwhile cause.

WB replies: the Ed also used to be a huge fan but since he got a calorie-counting app on his phone, I'm now the biggest Discworld fan at DWM.

* * * * *

* From: "Bri Derbyshire"

RE: Soul Music Query

Ms. Cartwright, and others with similar queries, are referred to the excellent (and probably rare) SFX Special which accompanied the release of the cartoons. I can't find a proper publishing date on it, but an ad for "Soul Music" Part 2 states that it will be "out on video 9th June 1997."

Maybe the SFX on-line archives will show more, but in the meantime: Cliff was voiced by George Harris (of Hair, Flash Gordon, Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc. etc.)

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 unusual about Miss Cambric?
How many months are there in a Discworld year?
What is unusual about the Discworld year 1256?
Who is Cern?
Who was writing "Some Little Known Aspects of Kuian Rain-Making Rituals" when he died?

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

5. Review: The Librarian Jigsaw 2003

Reviewed by Dave Williams

As a Discworld and a puzzle fan I get many hours of pleasure and frustration from the discontinued Gibsons and Spears Discworld puzzles. I did know there was also the 2003 deluxe wooden Paul Kidby "The Librarian" puzzle, produced for Out Of The Hat, but hadn't got one. As only 250 were ever made, I didn't expect to either. That changed this week, when I found out that Out of The Hat still have some in stock.

It isn't a cheap puzzle at GBP 32.50 to the UK, or GBP 39.00 overseas (both including delivery) and it isn't a particularly big one at 250 pieces, and only just 25cm x 36cm, but it is ... different. No two pieces are the same shape, shapes are VERY irregular, straight lines appear in the middle of the puzzle, corners are bisected, and the shaped pieces include some "whimsies", shapes specifically designed to create an image. All in all, it took me as long to do this as a normal 1000 piece would. The puzzle is laser cut in/on wood, so solid, but the very intricate shapes mean it isn't a child's puzzle. It is well presented in a solid carton, with the puzzle pieces in a green cloth bag inside.

Yes, it's an expensive puzzle, but it is challenging and very good quality, and, so far, there are only 250 of them and I've got one. If you'd like your own, they can be found at

[I must get round to putting mine back together again some time - I know where the puzzle is - just need the time to put it together - Thanks for reminding me about this one Dave - Ed]

6. A Thronging of Thaumaturgists - Revisited

Well I'm back... just like your proverbial bad penny. Mr Death and his lovely white horse haven't come for me just yet, just with one thing and another, a move from Lancre to Pseudopolis and a few other things, life got in the way.

You may remember way back in September 2011 that I did 'A Thronging of Thaumaturgists'... well to get you back up to speed, I've asked our esteemed Mr Editor if we can reprint that with subtle edits, if and when our chosen cast have erm... fallen off the edge of the Disk!!

Hope you're all glad to have me and Greebo back in action... let me know with your votes and emails...the address below is still valid!

A Thronging of Thaumaturgists.

By Nanny Oggy

We have seen the Discworld's wizards in adaptations to screen thus far made, and the wizards in question looked imposing and, well, I suppose 'wizard-like' would be apt here. However, if any of them are going to be recurring roles, which since the wizards show up in MOST of the books, that is going to be the case, it's as well to cast strong members in order to have the right person for the job so to speak.

Tim Curry in my opinion was perfect as the scheming Trymon in TCOM...and James Cosmo was a perfect Gander Weatherwax (in fact having him play Mustrum Ridcully would have been good but... )

Joss Ackland who played Mustrum in Hogfather was a quality choice, as was Timothy West in Going Postal, I am hoping that if they do a live action version of say Soul Music or Unseen Academicals, that we get the full faculty in force with appropriate people playing the parts, and that being the case, put your Hollywood director hats on and let's get down to business.

(NOTE: As with the Patrician, another controversial figure, I am NOT featuring Rincewind here - he will have his own article devoted solely to him, and the Librarian will be in with the 'Beasts and Magical Creature Characters' edition. While he WAS a man once, everyone knows and loves him as the ginger mon... erm Orang Utan!!)

Naturally as leader of the UU, the first person up should be Mustrum Ridcully, the Archchancellor. Also known as Ridcully the Brown he became a seventh level mage at the incredibly young age of 27. He then quit the University to look after his family's estates. He is above everything then, loyal.

He had not been back to the UU in 40 years when he was made Archchancellor. It seems this came about after the faculty wanted a bit of a breather after several years of the post being filled (and emptied again) in rather quick succession. It was assumed that since Ridcully was from the country, someone so close to nature might fit the bill by being quiet and easy to manipulate... how wrong could they get?!

He has a HUGE personality, loves his outdoor pursuits, drinking all night (and day), eating greasy food (well ANY food) and making Wow-Wow sauce. However, he MUST be right. He's intelligent, but when he has his mind set on a matter it's better to go along with him or at least try to make him THINK that what you are saying was one of HIS ideas (Ponder Stibbons is particularly good at this!) in the first place. People have been known to roll their eyes behind his back but cross him and you'll know and regret it!

We need someone that can carry off wearing a garish blue and red jogging suit with his fishing fly bedecked wizard's hat tied on AND can perform the Rite of AshkEnte and have Susan Sto-Helit turn up just to offer her breakfast without batting an eyelid like a favourite Uncle. (I would have said grandfather, but um... when you consider who Susan's grandfather is...)

So... my choices are Robbie Coltrane, Brain Blessed, and Richard Griffiths, Timothy West and Joss Ackland.

The Dean - Now we all know that he's an incorrigible scoundrel and went off to be Archchancellor at another University... we'll gloss over that for now though! I'm thinking of a human version of what he was like in the cartoon of Soul Music... to that end I think someone like Anthony Stewart Head with some padding would do, or Bill Bailey or Jim Broadbent.

Next up is the Bursar. He needs to be slightly mad and requiring a good supply of Dried Frog Pills. I only have two suggestions for this - Robbie Corbett or Bill Bailey (in a sort of 'Black Books' role), although Rowan Atkinson could probably do this part.

Ponder Stibbons by the time we get to Thud! is filling just about every position in the UU short of Archchancellor and those still held by living members of the faculty. He is the 'creator' of HEX and is one of the few people willing to stand up to (indeed the rest of the faculty actively encourage this) Ridcully! He's the accountant, admissions officer, exam officer, traditions whatever and a fair few things in between. I've always seen him as somewhat gangly in an 'eternal student' (you know the type that eats Baked Beans cold out of a tin and cold pizza from the night before... IF they eat!!) type. I'm picturing the likes of everyone from Paul Bettany (I know I said I wasn't talking about Rincewind here but he'd do well for running away quickly too LOL), and Colin Morgan (Merlin in the BBC series of the same name). Other suggestions would be Hugh Laurie or Tim McInnery (in a revival of their George/Lord Percy renditions in Blackadder) but could see either of them playing Hix too.

The only other that I really see that would have to be a character would be Dr Hix, the Professor of Post Mortem Communications. I have had suggestions of Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) but I rather favour his 'father' (at least in the Harry Potter films) Jason Issacs. Someone suggested Matt Smith (Dr. Who) although I'd suggest the previous doctor, David Tennant would also do the role justice. I don't see Hix as evil but more someone who has fun with the 'Skull ring remember!', using his position for all it's worth and not letting anyone forget that he's the one that deals with 'dead things'! I could as mentioned also see Hugh Laurie (in more of the House rather than Blackadder personification) and Tim McInnery (doing Capt. Darling not Lord Percy). What's the point of having a position and not flaunting it eh? That's like being a witch and not having a broomstick, cat and pointy hat... I mean ok Magrat, Agnes and Esme don't have a cat but two out of three ain't bad and they can share Greebo when he lets them... little cute kitten that he is!

Other 'honourable mentions' of professors that turn up regularly are: Chair of Infinite Studies, Recent Runes and the Senior Wrangler. I've always thought of these as portly gentlemen... the sort that would happily 'squeeze in' another plum pudding, or Banananana Surprise or three after a twelve course banquet! I don't have anyone in particular in mind at the moment but suggestions would be excellent thank you!

Random other members of the faculty could be eagerly filled by those actors out there that would do ANYTHING for a cameo in a Discworld production as they are die hard TP fans!

Soooo... here's the votes:


Robbie Coltrane

Brian Blessed

Richard Griffiths - May He Rest In Peace

Timothy West

Joss Ackland



Anthony Stewart Head

Bill Bailey

Jim Broadbent



Ronnie Corbett

Bill Bailey

Rowan Atkinson



Paul Bettany

Colin Morgan

Tim McInnery

Hugh Laurie



Tom Felton

Jason Issacs

Matt Smith

David Tennant

Hugh Laurie

Tim McInnery


Next up will be 'A Coronation of Kings' (and Queens, Rulers... well you get the idea, alternative title is Nobs and Nobility a la Blackadder!). Hope you will continue to email me your votes, ideas and suggestions.

Enjoy what's left of the summer, it seems to have found us to some extent in Pseudopolis, just not today. Nanny Oggy and Greebo

7. The End

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* Latest Book Information *

The Long Mars (pre-order):

The Long War (with Stephen Baxter)

TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion

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* DiscTrivia Results *

What is unusual about Miss Cambric?
Long Tall Fat Short Sally - Miss Cambric suffers from Tides.
How many months are there in a Discworld year?
Thirteen - Offle, February, March, April, May, June, Grune, August, Spune, Sektober, Ember, December and Ick.
What is unusual about the Discworld year 1256?
For some reason the year 1256 happened twice. . .
Who is Cern?
Cern is one of Eskarina's brothers.
Who was writing "Some Little Known Aspects of Kuian Rain-Making Rituals" when he died?
Archchancellor Ezrolith Churn.

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