Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 210 October 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Dragons at Crumbling Castle
6. Review: Discworld Diary 2015 First and Last Aid. We R Igors.
7. Programming for The Great Discworld Fan Meet At Sasquan (WorldCon 2015, in Spokane, Washington)
8. Review: The Ankh Morpork Discworld Jigsaw
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 210. After the hectic and wonderful month of August I was hoping that September would be less dramatic. But with two new books released I've had plenty to read and I've also had some minor surgery which leaves me writing this month's issue in bed. My apologies for the lateness of this issue. Partly it was because I've been enjoying the rest.

Due to the size of this issue already, I'm holding off on the Discworld casting again this month. Discworld casting will return when we have a quieter month.

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A friend, and fellow Discworld fan, Adele Kirby is currently running a kickstarter campaign for an audio fitness training system called Apocalypse Survival Training: an audio fitness adventure app. The basic premise is that you are a survival of an alien invasion and must run away from the alien invasion but whereas other audio fitness systems are purely based on running, Adele's system will include full workouts.

For more information visit:

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The "oookbench" that until recently was on display in London was sold off along with all the other book benches at an auction in London on Tuesday October 7th. Paul Kidby's librarian bench was one of the most popular benches and sold for 8000 GBP.

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Rachel Rowlands, who many of you will remember from the Discworld Monthly facebook group, has been busy working away as the curator of an archive of Discworld merchandise both current and past. The Discworld Collectors' Guild Archive is a fascinating collection of photos of much of what can be collected in Discworld. For more information visit the page at:

If after browsing the archive you realise you have items not listed then Rachel will be happy to review photos of your items and to add them, if appropriate, to the archive.

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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 (Retcon Master)

2. News

The Lego Discworld project has just over 7,000 supporters but needs to reach 10,000 to be considered for release. In order to help make this happen please visit and pledge your support.

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BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a radio adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens in December. It is due to air on consecutive days with the final being a double length episode. From the details I've seen so far there is a lot of great talent involved in the adaptation.

It should be noted that this is in addition to rather than instead of the TV adaptation of Good Omens due next year.

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Neil Gaiman's introduction to A Slip Of The Keyboard has been published by the Guardian newspaper. Neil's thought provoking and emotive essay entitled 'Terry Pratchett isn't jolly. He's angry' is a beautifully written but hard to read account of Neil losing a friend in Terry due to his PCA. Rob (Terry's business manager) read this out at the Convention (twice) and each time there was barely a dry eye in the room.

A Slip Of The Keyboard is out now - you can purchase a copy and help support Discworld Monthly from:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

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The Great British Bookshop are running a competition to win an exclusive print signed by Sir Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby. It is part of the oookbench that was recently auctioned for charity.

Visit to enter by the end of October.

* * * * *

Literary Lacquers, founded by Amy Milder in 2012, is an innovative independent nail polish company. Amy's passion for literature, beauty and nail polish drive her creativity and business; all of her polishes are inspired by great literary works, passages and series. Literary lacquer polishes are all 3-free and are packaged and shipped with 100% recyclable materials (

In 2007, Sir Pratchett announced to the world that he is living and writing with early onset Alzheimer's, or as he refers to it "The Embuggerance". Instead of ceasing his creativity and publicity, Sir Pratchett became a financial donor and guest blogger on Alzheimer's Research UK (,, and continues to write and interact with fans via social media. Earlier this year marked the first time that Sir Pratchett cancelled a public appearance due to the effects of The Embuggerance.

To honour Sir Pratchett's work and his charity work with Alzheimer's Research UK, Literary Lacquers has designed a limited edition charity polish, Luggage For Your Journey. In the Discworld novels, The Luggage is a recurring character that travels, protects (at times voraciously) and accompanies the wizard Rincewind. The Luggage is otherworldly, and yet becomes integral into the fabric of Discworld. This polish is designed to honour Sir Terry Pratchett's amazing literary career, to thank him for the journey into other realms and to serve as a reminder that there is always a companion for life's many journeys.

The bottles of Luggage For Your Journey will be sold for 12USD and 5USD from each bottle will be donated to Alzheimer's Research UK. The polish will be sold as a preorder only from 10/9/14- 10/17/14.

* * * * *

To coincide with the paperback release of Raising Steam a new blog on Waterstones' website discusses Terry's influences for writing Raising Steam.

* * * * *

Also newly released is Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook

Fully illustrated and replete with useful titbits, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook offers a view of the Sto Plains like no other.

Authorised by Mr Lipwig of the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway himself, Mrs Georgina Bradshaw's invaluable guide to the destinations and diversions of the railway deserves a place in the luggage of any traveller, or indeed armchair traveller, upon the Disc.

[I am planning on heading out in a bit once I've finished this issue to go and purchase my copy - I'll tell you all about it next month!]

You can purchase your copy and help support Discworld Monthly at:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US: - Kindle Only!

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

[AU, New] The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents runs 23rd September to 1st November at the Brisbane Arts Centre.

PERFORMANCE TIMES: 11am Tuesday to Friday (23 September to 3 October), 2pm Saturdays (27 September to 1 November), 2pm Sundays (19 October and 26 October only)

TICKET PRICES: All tickets 16AUD, Group 10+ 13AUD, Gold Members 6.50AUD, Members 13AUD.

Families with family membership can redeem their included season tickets for this show.

* * * * *

[PL, New] We cordially invite all interested to a convention of fans of Sir Terry Pratchett in Nawojowa Gora near Krakow - Poland 17-19.10.2014

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[CA, New] Socratic Theatre Collective, is producing Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters from October 31 - November 9 in Toronto, Ontario.

Running Time: 2 hours (including one 15 minute intermission)

Opening Night: Friday, October 31

Performance Dates: Friday - October 31, Saturday - November 1, Sunday - November 2, Friday - November 7, Saturday - November 8, Sunday - November 9

Schedule: Friday - Saturday 7:30pm and Sunday 3:00pm

Tickets: 20 CAD general admission, 15 CAD students and seniors

Location: Fraser Studios, 101-76 Stafford Street

Advance Box Office: Tickets available online at Brown Paper Tickets:

Additional service charges apply.

Venue Box Office: The venue box office at Fraser Studios will open 1 hour before each performance.

Only cash is accepted at the venue box office.

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[UK, New] Monstrous Productions Theatre Company will be performing Wyrd Sisters from the 5th - 8th November, following their sell-out production of Mort. The performance will be at the Gate Theatre, Cardiff and all proceeds will go to Alzheimer's Research UK. Monstrous Productions are proud to have raised over 5,000GBP with their productions so far. They are also pleased to reveal that they have secured a UK premier of a new Discworld production, coming to Cardiff in April 2015. The title will be revealed on October 1st on their facebook page

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[UK] Guisborough Theatre Group will be performing "Carpe Jugulum" as the follow up to the very successful "Wyrd Sisters" they performed Nov 2013

Performances:- Thursday 6th, Friday 7th, Saturday 8th November 2014

Details are on so keep watching for further details or contact or Tel. 07843 429129

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[AU, New] Wyrd Sisters will run from 8 November to 13 December at the Brisbane Arts Centre.

PERFORMANCE TIMES: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays and 6.30pm Sundays

TICKET PRICES: Adults 31AUD, Concession 25AUD, Group 10+ 25AUD, Group 75+ 20AUD, Gold Members 15AUD, Members 25AUD, Student Rush 10AUD (10 mins before curtain)

* * * * *

[UK] East Essex Players take a stroll through the Discworld with their production of Wyrd Sisters. Wyrd Sisters will be performed in the Dixon Studio at the Palace theatre in Southend on the 12th - 15th November 2014. Tickets can be booked online at or by calling the box office on 01702 351135.

* * * * *

[UK] Stage-Door Theatre Company will be presenting Wyrd Sisters from Wednesday 10th to Saturday 14th December 2014 at The Windmill Theatre, Littlehampton.

Evening performances start at 7:30pm. Matinee performances at 2:30pm.

Tickets cost 11GBP (Concessions 10GBP)

Call the box office on 01903 856801

* * * * *

[AU, Updated] Roll out the red carpet, bang those grains, and watch out for stars in your eyes...

NULLUS ANXIETAS V - The Australian Discworld Convention is coming up in a few mere months, and we are taking you to the Moving Pictures!

On April 10-12, 2015 in beautiful Parramatta, Sydney, NSW, Australia, you will experience the magic of the clickies with a range of delightful activities for all types of Discworld fans.

* Meet the stars of the silver screen at the Gala Dinner!

* Show off your costuming and/or acting skills in the "I Wanna Be A Star" Maskerade and XXXX Factor!

* Participate in Studio activities to ensure you make the best clickies possible!

* Test your knowledge of Discworld and Movies and their influence on each other in our Quiz!

* Support the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation at the Charity Auction!

* Be crafty with chain maille, knitting, card-making and more!

* Can you sing? Dance? Handle a sword a little? Learn all these skills and more at our workshops!

* And much more to be announced!

Tickets to the convention (and the Gala Dinner) are on sale now!

One lucky person in the first 100 will get their ticket cost reimbursed, so buy now and you

could be as lucky as an Oswald winner!

For information on all of the above in a lot more detail, head over to our website at

Like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @NullusAnxietasV

With One Thousand Elephants!

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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] 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:

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[IRL] 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.

Visit or see the facebook group at:

* * * * *

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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[Perth, AU] The Perth Drummers have changed their name. They are now known as the Treacle Mining Corporation in honour of their beloved state. They still meet up to celebrate the works of author Sir Terry Pratchett, and welcome any fans of science fiction and fantasy.

Join them for their monthly discussion of Discworld, Terry Pratchett and all things sci-fi and fantasy. They meet the first Monday of each month, subject to holidays, and all are welcome.

The group meets up at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, WA. Meeting at a cafe means they are under-18 friendly!

For details follow them on Twitter @Perth_Drummers, Instagram perth_drummers, and facebook

Otherwise message Alexandra Ware directly at

Unless otherwise stated the group meets up 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

* * * * *

[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 while under the influence of prescription drugs.

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: "John Dinsdale"

Are there any Discworld Meetings in or around Melbourne, Australia?

* * * * *

* From: Details withheld at sender's request

I have a request of Discworld Calendar fans. For years now I have been trying to establish my own list of the art used in each calendar. Could anyone who has the following calendars:

2000 - Discworld - Mini Calendar 2000 by Terry Pratchett

2000 - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2000

2000 - The Terry Pratchett 2000 Discworld Collector's Edition Calendar

2001 - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2001 Calendar

2002 - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2002 Calendar

2003 - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2003 Calendar

2004 - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2004 Calendar

Please take a photo of the front and back, especially the back, so that I can see what art was used in that year's calendar. If you have one of these, please forward your details to me via the Discworld Monthly Newsletter [ - Ed], and I will e-mail you directly. Thank you.

* * * * *

* From: "Jayne Kennedy"

With regards to Holly Blair's letter last month and your comment about mushrooms, thought you might like to know that some seamstresses will indeed own a mushroom:

Image of a darning mushroom!

DWM replies: Yes, we can see how that might hurt if used (in)correctly.

* * * * *

* From: "Dave Hough"

Are there any Terry Pratchett Societies / Clubs / meetings in Bristol, UK or anyone interested in Discworld or Terry Pratchett Books in General.

Or are there any of his plays being acted in Bristol.

Reading through every Discworld Monthly, I find that Bristol does appear a little left out on this subject.

DWM replies: Well, are there any fellow Bristolians that can help Dave out?

4. DiscTrivia

Last month in the trivia I asked who is Keith? And was expecting the answer that he was the "stupid looking kid" according to Maurice. I have since been informed that one of the Ankh-Morpork hippos is also called Keith (the other is Roderick - see Feet of Clay) so my apologies for any confusion.

This month I've opened Turtle Recall at random pages and found a question from each page visited. I've attempted, wherever possible, to include which book the answer belongs to. Hopefully some of the questions are easy and some are quite hard. Well at least I think they are...

Who is Agantia?
Which dead Archchancellor's pickled body still "resides" in the UU?
What is Tshup Aklathep?
What line of work is Tuttle Scrope known for?
Where was Lars Larsnephew born?

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

5. Review: Dragons at Crumbling Castle

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a collection of fourteen stories written by Terry as a teenager when he was a junior reporter at the Bucks Free Press. The stories are just a selection of those he wrote in a weekly series for the paper. You may even recognise a couple of the stories because they became the basis for Terry's first novel. Tales of The Carpet People and Another Tale of the Carpet People are both considerably longer stories than the other twelve - and possibly show which characters Terry had more interest in developing further.

According to Terry's introduction most of the stories appear as they were first published but with the odd tweak here and there.

One thing most of the stories have in common is their simplicity. Don't read this expecting the same prose that you get in the Discworld series. These stories whilst funny were written by a young man learning his skills. The character names, while funny, are often very cheesy. Whether that is because they were funny or they were written that way to meet a particular audience it is not clear.

The book is beautifully presented and filled with wonderful illustrations by Mark Beech in a style reminiscent of Mervyn Peake. The book also eschews normal typographical rules by mixing text sizes and fonts without a care. Some pages are even printed white on black...

Each of the stories has its own charm - it's a very simple book to read and really is aimed at children. Most of the stories are a build up to a simple punchline that are quite clearly signposted but still make you chuckle or groan depending on when you work them out.

I really like this book. It gives a beautiful insight into just how much Terry developed in his career from a young inexperienced author from those early days as a journalist into the wonderfully confident master craftsman he became. Well worth a read for any Pratchett fan.

You can purchase it now in the UK

The US release looks to be February 3rd 2015

6. Review: Discworld Diary 2015 First and Last Aid. We R Igors.

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

After a considerable absence the Discworld Diaries are back. This time produced by the team at The Cunning Artificer in Wincanton. We R Igors is a beautifully illustrated week per double page diary.

Being an Igor diary you can expect there to be some lisps. For example the month after July is listed as Augutht and the following month Theptember.

Each week includes the full 7a days - Monday to Octeday - and normally has a funny / anecdotal piece about Igors in the Octeday section. For example the Octeday in week commencing July 6th suggests: The Ear-mouse is just one of the many new "Beathtieth" appearing as a by-product of bio-artificing. Nosey the rat and Lippy the frog are also contributing, in their own way, to this new science. Testing on animals somehow seems more sporting; a radish can't run away.

The diary is full of fascinating bits of information including but not limited to Igor donor cards, Igor family trees and standard contracts of employment for Igors, including the inevitable get-out clause should the employer upset the locals and they turn up with flaming pitchforks.

While the diary can technically be used as a diary, it's almost too nice for that. I suspect the answer is to purchase two copies. One to deface, use and enjoy and the other to keep as part of your collection.

My copy came direct from The Cunning Artificer's shop and came with a beautifully illustrated approximately A3 poster (that I've now put in a frame and mounted) of many of the Igors and Igorinas that feature in the diary.

The diary has a rrp of 16.99 inc VAT in the UK and can be ordered (with the poster) direct from

7. Programming for The Great Discworld Fan Meet At Sasquan (WorldCon 2015, in Spokane, Washington)

Written by: Dj Connell

We've been in touch with Sasquan (WorldCon 2015, in Spokane, Washington) about the Discworld panels we'd like to see offered there for The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at that convention. We have suggested, among others, the ever popular NADWCon panels titled "The Science of Discworld" and "The Tech of Discworld", "The Women of Discworld" and "Folklore, World Myths, Ancient Legends and The Discworld".

Are there classes, panels, events, or meets you'd like to see there, either for kids or adults? Let us know using the link noted below.

We can and will suggest the names of people many of you folks know from previous NADWCons for these panels and events, and we are always looking for new people who can add to our sum of knowledge.

We will be working closely with the Chair of Events and the Chair of Programming for Sasquan, and we will be gathering and recommending folks for *every* Discworld panel and event until May 1st, 2015. If you wish to be included on a panel - or want to suggest some good ideas - please use the Sasquan Program Idea form:

For further information on Discworld Programming at Sasquan, please follow the blog "It Bodes" ( and/or like and follow the facebook/Twitter pages for North American Discworld Convention (

Thank you,

Dj Connell

Chair, The Great Discworld Gathering at Sasquan

Chair, NADWCon Steering Committee

Founder, Seamstress Guild of North America

Co-Founder, Dark Clerks of North America

Blah, blah, blah, Ginger

8. Review: The Ankh Morpork Discworld Jigsaw

Reviewed by Dave Williams

The Ankh Morpork Discworld Jigsaw - Fiendishly difficult - Oh yes

At the Discworld Convention the Discworld Emporium launched a new 1000 piece jigsaw, showing the city of Ankh-Morpork. It says on the box, 'Not suitable for children under 3, people with short attention spans or those of a nervous disposition.' Can it really be that hard?

Well, I did it, and it took me about 25 hours - and I am not a novice at jigsaws. The detail is amazing, even at the finished size of 69cm by 48cm, and you can make out not only the individual houses and buildings, but also people and animals in the street. This is that same pic that forms the back of the double sided map in the Compleat Ankh-Morpork book, which I would recommend if you want a bigger scale guide. The box lid really doesn't do it justice, and will give you a headache if you try to look at it as a guide. You can, and generally will, need to do it just by seeing where pieces fit, but the different city parts have different styles and colour plans, so that helps. And you really need good light for it.

Is it fiendishly difficult? I'd say yes, and the staggered offset cut, like the old Spears jigsaws, helps with achieving that. Will I do it again? Give me a few months and yes, it will come back out of the box. Would I recommend it? If you like a challenging puzzle, and can spare the table for enough hours, have patience and determination, then yes, it really is a challenge.

9. The End

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You can download either version from

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* Contact Information *

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


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

* Latest Book Information *

Raising Steam

The Long Mars:

The Long War (with Stephen Baxter)

TURTLE RECALL: The Discworld Companion

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* DiscTrivia Results *

Who is Agantia?
The once Queen of Skund according to Casanunda.
Which dead Archchancellor's pickled body still "resides" in the UU?
Archchancellor "Trouter" Hopkins' will stipulated that his body be preserved after his death so that he could continue his own work.
What is Tshup Aklathep?
The Infernal Star Toad with a Million Young. Probably an escapee from the Dungeon Dimensions (Moving Pictures)
What line of work is Tuttle Scrope known for?
He is the owner of a long established leather-working shop in Wixon's Alley. He does not sell shoes, but caters for a rather more exotic clientele (The Truth)
Where was Lars Larsnephew born?
Lars Larsnephew was born in the village of NoThing in NoThingFjord (The Discworld Mapp)

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

If you are looking for Terry books or videos over the net, simply visit our web page at and follow the merchandise link at the top of the page.

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