Discworld Monthly Issue 207 July 2014
Table of Contents:
3. Readers' Letters
5. Review: The Long Mars - Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
6. Competition: Gramarye Issue 4
7. A Thronging of Thaumaturgists Results
8. Review: The Witches (Discworld) Boardgame
9. The End
Welcome to issue 207. A broken graphics card on my PC delayed this issue of Discworld Monthly for a week but with the consequence of allowing us to include the following late breaking news.
It appears that the progression of Terry's PCA (posterior cortical atrophy) means that he is sadly no longer able to attend the Discworld Convention in Manchester next month. He will however be doing a Q&A session over Skype in a similar way to Bernard Pearson at the last UK Convention (after Bernard hurt his knee).
In happier news Terry has announced that his is working on a fifth Tiffany Aching book - yet to be titled. He tweeted twice on the 1st July; the first said, "Just to let you all know, the book that's on the screen in front of us - and is well underway - will be the 5th Tiffany Aching novel" and the second follow-up tweet said, "And before you ask - NO - we don't know when it will be published because we don't know when it will be finished."
You can follow Terry on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/terryandrob
The Discworld Monthly facebook group membership has grown again since last month and now has around 10,450 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: www.facebook.com/DiscworldMonthly/
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The Discworld Convention has now allocated all members a society to belong to. If you are going to the Convention in Manchester pop along to the web site www.dwcon.org/ and find out which Society you belong too. Just so you know I've been allocated a member of "The Captains of Industry" - I think that means I am a pirate!
In case you are making costumes for the convention - don't forget it's only a month away!
The following was recently posted on the Terry Pratchett facebook page:
Coming September 2014: Dragons at Crumbling Castle!
A beautifully illustrated collection of short stories by master storyteller Sir Terry Pratchett, featuring dragons, dinosaurs, cavemen and car races!
Dragons have invaded Crumbling Castle, and all of King Arthur's knights are either on holiday or visiting their grannies. It's a disaster! Luckily, there's a spare suit of armour and a very small boy called Ralph who's willing to fill it.
We'll reveal the cover very soon and in the meantime here's a poster to whet your appetites.
'So funny I dropped my spoon laughing!' - King Arthur
Paul Kidby's Discworld Book Bench has now been installed in a position outside London's City Hall near Tower Bridge. Paul Kidby has recently written on facebook that he cannot wait to see your selfies taken with the bench.
I know we've mentioned Discworld cakes before but I recently discovered a new one on ion9's website and it looks amazing with all the rimbows etc. Still not sure I could bring myself to eat Great A'Tuin though...
I am so hungry now - Ed
BBC News recently included a news article about a series of authors dressing up as their literary heroes. Photographer Cambridge Jones convinced 26 writers to take part in the Story Museums 26 Characters exhibition. Terry took part as well as Neil Gaiman and many other authors. Terry's excellent photo shows him dressed as adventurous school boy Just William, from the books by Richmal Crompton, carefully aiming a catapult at the viewer.
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.
[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 Christine.Stesha@gmail.com
[AU, New] Brisbane Arts Theatre is proud to present Hogswatch in July 2014. 26th July, Hardgrave Park Milton from 10am-4pm.
Come and join Pratchett fans and partake in authentic Discworldian activities! Watch Morris dancers, throw a Dwarf Axe, try your hand at cabbage rolling or take a chance and taste C.M.O.T. Dibbler's 'meat' pies. You can even hire an assassin, just stroll through the markets or join us at the games tent. For more information check out
[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.
[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.
The event takes place from Friday 15th - Sunday 17th August 2014.
Tickets are normally 25 GBP per adult (children under 16 go free).
You can find out more about Wadfest at www.wadfest.co.uk
[UK, New] Youth Music Theatre UK, the leading music theatre company for young people aged 11-21 will be performing Soul Music at the Rose Theatre, Kingston from 28-31 August.
[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: ausdwcon.org/
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] 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 www.dutchdwcon.nl and firstname.lastname@example.org
We now have as special guest at Cabbagecon 3 the Dutch translator Venugopalan Ittekot.
[DE] 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:
[IRL, New] The Irish Discworld Convention 2015 will take place in Cork, Ireland at the Cork International Airport Hotel from the 2nd to the 5th of October 2015. Join us as a Special Constable for the Watch Open Weekend.
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 email@example.com
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 www.brokendrummers.org/
[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!
Otherwise message Krystel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
[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: cityofsmallgods.org.au
[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:
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Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who follow up any of these contacts.
Laurie Gutteridge firstname.lastname@example.org writes: I was wondering if you could post a little ad for me in the next edition... I am having a bit of a spring clean and found two Discworld Convention t-shirts, still sealed in their bags...one is a men's size XL from the 1998 UK convention (16 years!!) and the other is a men's size L from the 2002 UK convention. 10 quid each seems fair to me - I took them out of their bags to photograph them - if no one on the mailing list is keen then I will try my luck with Ebay (hence the need for the snaps!). I am based in Adelaide, Australia but am happy to post them anywhere (will have to look up costs).
For Australia based fans I also have all 5 of the original Gibsons Discworld Jigsaw puzzles to sell, 3 of which are sealed in perfect condition (Equal Rites, Mort, Maskerade), 1 of which is sealed but has a slightly squashed lid (Reaper Man) and 1 of which has no seal, the top is damaged, but the puzzle itself is still sealed in its bag unused (Carpe Jugulum). Any aussies wanting to make an offer can email me before I put them on Ebay...
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* From: "Lisa Two-Cent" Lisa@two-cent.net
MY REVIEW: Monstrous Regiment (Lifeline Theater, Chicago IL, USA)
I attended the 8pm May 30th show, which was only their third live performance. Characters and scenes were understandably cut (most notably Nuggan and the A-M Watch people) but the main thrust of the story was kept intact, as was the humor. They handled adapting the action scenes to the limitations of the small space and crew very well and not once during the 2.5 hour run (with a brief intermission) did the pace drag. The scenes transitioned very smoothly so that unless you know the story by heart (ahem) you might not miss those trimmed out parts at all. The cast was great, but I must say my favorite was Igorina. All in all I highly recommend seeing it. The Lifeline is a small theater so book in advance in case they sell out (hopefully!). We will definitely be going back to see it again.
* From: "David Newling" firstname.lastname@example.org
You were looking for an aphorism, so how about "Never buy a book you can't lift to carry home" - (Yes I did realise what was being said here! )
Dust covers can be inviting or misleading, personally I would never have bought a Pratchett book if I had not become acquainted with his style from Dark Side of the Sun published by NEL with a rather good rendering of an insect on the cover rather than the books I bought subsequently with Josh Kirby cover designs.
Just how much would I have missed?
DWM replies: Josh's work has always really divided opinions. We happen to love his style but many fans prefer the more recent Paul Kidby interpretations of Terry's writing. As we've mentioned before, Josh in person at the 1998 convention was hilarious!
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...
The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony
The Long Mars is the third book in the Long Earth series and is set a decade after the events of The Long War. A new generation of super intuitive and highly intelligent humans are beginning to appear. This fascinates Lobsang but worries the world's leaders who have a fear of the unknown.
In the meantime scientists at "The Gap" have created a ship capable of travelling to Mars in a few weeks and Willis Lynsey (the inventor of the Stepper) convinces his estranged daughter Sally to come with him to visit Mars. They also bring Frank Wood, the wannabe astronaut from The Long War, and set off to search the Long Mars.
If you've read either of the previous books you will know what to expect. The books in this series tend to move along a somewhat pedestrian rate. For large periods of the book there is a lot of talk but very little actual action and again like its predecessors there is a lot of build up to what feels like an anti-climatic ending.
So, did I enjoy the book? Yes I did, although you might not realise it from the review. I enjoyed it more than The Long War but I do find the books a little frustrating. There are lots of intriguing ideas that pop up in the books, many of which seem to get quickly forgotten in the mix. Though one hopes that some of them are simply seeds for future stories.
The Long Mars is out now and available from all good book stores. If you'd like to support Discworld Monthly please consider purchasing a copy from:
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0857521748/87
Amazon US - discworldmonthly.co.uk/USISBN/0062297295
The Press and Journal features a review of The Long Mars at discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/TLM207A
This month we have three copies of issue 4 of Gramarye, the journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy.
Issue 4 includes an article by Jacqueline Simpson entitled 'Terry Pratchett, Tiffany Aching, and The Wee Free Men' which goes into great detail about the folklore of Tiffany Aching novels.
For your chance to win a copy send your answers to the following question along with your postal address to email@example.com by 24th July 2014. Your address will only be used if you are one of the winners and only for sending out your prize - once prizes are sent out all addresses will be destroyed. That's to say, we won't keep a record of your address, not that we'll have your house bombed or anything. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.
If you can't wait for the competition you can purchase your own copy of Graymarye Issue 4 for 5GBP from www.chi.ac.uk/scfff
We would like to thank Heather Robbins for supplying the prizes.
Good Morning from Pseudopolis!
I do hope you're all enjoying the summer. I understand my magical colleagues in the Unseen University are in a state of hysteria over the football in some place called Bras Ill.....never seen poorly undergarments before unless you're talking about our Esme's undercrackers... but they're so ancient... yes well... um...best get on with business eh?!
Now I left you last time puzzling over the impossible task of choosing suitable Roundworld representatives to play the esteemed gentlemen of the Unseen University, the current occupants that is. I had a few votes... I think most of you must be out enjoying the sun but hey ho, here are the votes such as they were.
For Mr Ridcully the Archchancellor, the vote was pretty unanimously for the wonderful Brian Blessed... running away with 3 votes, and a surprise vote for Mr Stephen Fry... a good choice there! I agree with both these choices since Mr Ridcully requires someone with an authoritative screen presence. Someone who commands respect from everyone around them, but who is also kindly enough to offer Death's grand-daughter some breakfast!
The Dean had 2 votes for Mr Bill Bailey and one vote apiece for Jim Broadbent and Anthony Stewart Head. I could see either Bill or Jim doing this as both have the comedy twist, although I think for me Mr Bailey would slightly have the edge on it, reprising his role in Black Books. He'd totally suit a 'Born To Rune' leather jacket too!
You need someone rather special (of the window licking variety!) to need dried frogs pills and so it was interesting that 2 votes went to Rowan Atkinson to play the Bursar with one vote for Mr Broadbent and one, controversially - considering the hoohah over him playing a different wizard, the young Mr Rincewind, *AND* Albert (a role for which he was much better suited in my not so humble opinion!)... Mr David Jason. I'm unconvinced on that one personally. Mr Atkinson has been perfect in every role I've ever had the pleasure of seeing him play. I could see him acting this particular role as a sort of ancient wizardly version of Mr Bean, in the same scatter-brained manner!
Young Ponder Stibbons needs to be well... young, student-like and had he not been a) a shoo in for Rincewind and b) a little too old these days, would rather be for me, like Nigel Planer in 'The Young Ones'. It seemed to cause a bit of a kerfuffle this one. While I could see where people were coming from with Colin Morgan (already playing a rather famous wizard, i.e. Merlin) and yes the slightly manic passion for HEX could be pulled off perfectly by Matt Smith - who is still young enough, I think Hugh Laurie is a little too old for this role these days. However, back in his Blackadder days - yes, he would have been perfect! One voter really couldn't pick someone, that's how difficult it is to cast some of these roles. You'll be watching something and suddenly see someone, they'll say something *just so* and you'll be pointing and screaming at the screen saying, 'That's him, he *HAS* to play Ponder Stibbons!'
Mr... sorry, don't wave that ring around at me, I'm not impressed! Ok, ok, DOCTOR Hix has rather too much sense of his own importance and puts a lot of faith in being able to impress and/or intimidate people with his skull head ring. It doesn't *do* anything exactly, but if it makes him feel better....
Well we had two votes for the lovely Mr David Tennant who, I'm reliably informed has already played a doctor, and not one that doled out medicine and had a stethoscope around his neck either. Tended to be a bit mad and yell foreign words at people... yeah, that's Dr Hix ok... Other votes were for Hugh Laurie (not altogether sure if this is because of his previous madcap roles as George in Blackadder, or because he plays a medical doctor in House!) and an 'undecided' between Jason Issacs, which I can see in a Lucius Malfoy way pushing the Necromancer side of things, and an interesting suggestion of Rhys Ifans. I could actually see Mr Ifans better as Rincewind, since the coach in the film 'The Replacements' was taught to say of Rhys...'He's WIRY'. Wiry-ness of course being a pre-requisite to running across the Disc screaming 'OhshitohshitohshitI'mgonnadieohshit!'
Next issue I will introduce you to our candidates for 'A Coronation of Kings' (and queens, rulers, nobility), including our Magrat when she decided to stop being a wet hen and go off queening and having young Esme.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, the kicking and hitting of various sizes of balls by sporty types, the swilling of chilled Bearhuggers brews and ritual cremations of large chunks of cows and pigs shoved between two bits of bread.
Regards, Nanny and Greebo
Reviewed by Vivienne Dunstan firstname.lastname@example.org
I've been trying The Witches (Discworld) boardgame a couple of times over the last few days. I bought it months ago, getting a hefty 10 GBP off the 29.99 GBP RRP thanks to a Waterstones loyalty card, including points from the game purchase which they let me spend on it! Anyway have been waiting for a proper chance to try it. We don't have a good table for gaming on: no dining table, or kitchen table. There is the carpeted lounge floor, in places, but board gaming is a struggle in my house now. So I had to wait until my husband was away for days, and I could requisition his study desk! It's a squeeze fitting the game in, among all his computer cables, but I managed. And I've now played it twice.
The board shows the area around Lancre, part of the Discworld, and the players play trainee witches who move about the board, trying to solve problems that occur. There's a big random element to the game. Problems (which can vary from minor ones like sick pigs, through to major elvish attacks) are placed at random, and they're randomly selected. If they aren't solved quickly enough they build up in numbers, and a crisis situation is reached. That can lead to the end of the game.
When solving a problem, dice are rolled to see if the player manages it. So again there's a strong random element there. Cards that the player draws can improve the odds a bit, or be used to do other tricks. There's a strategy element: do you tackle more easy problems, that you're more likely to solve but won't give such a high victory point total in the end, or do you try for harder ones, and potentially be penalised more if you fail?
I found the game rules somewhat confusing. Important things like where the players start are a bit too hidden. Also I didn't find a vital rule for set up in solitaire mode until I turned to the very last page of the rules! There are also a lot of things to learn. The core mechanics are pretty straightforward: draw a card to place a random new problem on the board, move your witch, and then try to solve a problem or do various other things. But the way that everything interacts, including how to use the cards that you draw to modify the game, is a lot to take in. On my first play through I concentrated on getting to grips with the core gameplay and didn't bother, for example, with playing cards to help me. That I saved for play number 2, which went much more smoothly. I played cautiously, but was very lucky, and nearly got enough points at the end to gain my full witch's licence :)
Board Game Geek suggests a playing time of 90 minutes. That's far longer than I've been finding, admittedly in solitaire mode. For example today, when I played a nearly complete game, only ending it when I'd run out of problem tiles to solve, my play time was nearer to 45 minutes. But I was happy with that and felt I got a lot of play out of it, and had fun. It was also very quick set up the second time around: taking no more than 5 minutes to lay out all the necessary game elements at the start.
I still have to try this in multi-player mode, specifically 2-player mode with my husband. But I think now that one of us has got to grips, just about, with the rules, it will be a lot easier than it would have been otherwise.
I would recommend this game to others, whether you know the Discworld books it's based on or not. The game is based around the Tiffany Aching series of Discworld books, and I haven't read those, though I've read most Discworld books. It doesn't matter whether you know the source material: the game still works. Oh and the artwork on the cards is gorgeous. I kept stopping just to gawp at them.
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The Long Mars:
- UK Hardback: www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0857521748/87
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The Long War (with Stephen Baxter)
- UK Paperback: www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0552167754/87
- US Paperback: discworldmonthly.co.uk/USISBN/0062068695
TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion
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