Better Than

Discworld Monthly Issue 212 December 2014

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: A Slip Of The Keyboard
6. Competition Result: Discworld Convention Folio
7. Competition: The Colour of Magic Giant Poster
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 212. Another month gone and another month I am late with the newsletter. Please accept our apologies for once again being late!

I had planned to write a review of the excellent Hogswatch Event, where amongst other things I was assassinated in the middle of the charity auction (which raised over 2700 GBP) but the dreaded Hogswatch lurgy has taken its toll on me this week - so it will have to wait until next month.

This will be the last issue of the year so please enjoy whatever end of year celebrations you celebrate.

We'll be back next year hopefully rested and feeling better and ready to carry on.

* * * * *

Terry has recently decreed that 2015 on Roundworld shall be the 'Year of the Spinning Mouse' on Discworld. Hurrah! Hurrah! Huzzah!

* * * * *

An update from Narrativia.

A couple of rumours have been floating around Facebook about casting and shooting locations for Narrativia's upcoming TV series The Watch. I have spoken to Narrativia and they have confirmed that while the programme is developing nicely at the moment there have been no casting decisions and no shooting locations planned yet. So any rumours of actors and locations are purely speculation and wishful thinking. As soon as any reportable news gets to us we will pass on the information to you as soon as possible.

* * * * *

Rachel Rowlands has been busy expanding The Discworld Collectors' Guild Archive. It's a fascinating collection of photos of much of what can be collected in Discworld. For more information visit the page at:

Rachel is currently looking for photos (your own please - that you don't mind her using) of all variants of Thud, the Rincewind puppet that was in Bernard's shop, any Hogswatch items and any Waxworks candles. If you can help please send a private message to the archive via facebook attaching your photos or email Rachel 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 / Proof Reader)
Richard Massey (Saga Gold Member)

2. News

The Story Museum are selling 60 copies of their 26 Characters exhibition book that have been signed by every author involved including: Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Julia Donaldson and Terry Pratchett.

The books are on sale for 260GBP and all proceeds go to supporting The Story Museum's work. Find out more by e-mailing

* * * * *

Philosophy and Terry Pratchett is a new book of essays about Terry's writing. I've been sent an early copy to review but haven't had time to read it yet. I'll post a review when I get a chance.

The press release reads: Philosophy and Terry Pratchett explores the genuine philosophical issues at the heart of some of the world's most-loved fantasy fiction novels, including the Discworld books.

Sir Terry Pratchett, who has sold more than 85 million copies of his books, is read and respected worldwide. This book, the first to explicitly address philosophical themes in his work, will appeal to fans of Pratchett, to philosophers interested in popular culture, and to anyone interested in the relationship between fiction and philosophy.

Covering topics in metaphysics, logic, epistemology, ethics, and social and political philosophy, the thirteen contributors to this volume illuminate the philosophical significance of Pratchett's work in a sophisticated way, but written so that anyone who reads Pratchett will find something thought-provoking.

Book information - Philosophy and Terry Pratchett

16.99 GBP / 27 USD | ISBN 9781137360151

Published: 3 December 2014

* * * * *

The latest edition of Gramarye, the folklore magazine of the University of Sussex, is now available to purchase online. In the past Gramarye has included articles on the folklore of Discworld. Issue 6 features:

'The Case of the Ebony Horse' (Part 2), Ruth B. Bottigheimer

'The American Fantasy Tradition', Tom Shippey

'The Mythology of the Dark Tower Universe', Robin Furth

'Childe Roland', Steven O'Brien

'Magic Mirrors and Shifting Skin: An Ecocritical Reading of Cornelia Funke's Reckless', Joanna Coleman

'My Life with Fantasy Literature', Colin Manlove

A review of Brian Attebery's Stories about Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth, Tom Shippey

A review of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur, Dimitra Fimi

A review of Nancy Marie Brown's Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths, Jacqueline Simpson

A review of Jennifer Garlen and Anissa Graham's The Wider Worlds of Jim Henson: Essays on His Work and Legacy Beyond The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, John Patrick Pazdziora

A review of Andrew Teverson's Fairy Tale, Cristina Bacchilega

A review of John Lindow's Trolls: An Unnatural History, Katherine Langrish

If you would like to buy Gramarye 6 in a pdf or Kindle mobi format, it is now available to buy here:

* * * * *

The Radio 4 Good Omens radio adaptation will be broadcast from 22nd December.

The six parts will be broadcast as follows:

Episode 1 - Monday 22nd at 23:00

Episode 2 - Monday 22nd at 23:30

Episode 3 - Tuesday 23rd at 23:30

Episode 4 - Thursday 25th at 23:30

Episode 5 - Friday 26th at 23:27

Episode 6 - Saturday 27th at 14:30

The BBC have set up a Good Omens site at:

You can listen to Neil and Terry's cameo (playing two hapless policemen) from the production at the mini site now.

The site also features production photos, and other clips to whet your appetite.

* * * * *

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] 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] 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] 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!

* * * * *

[NL, Updated] Cabbagecon 3 proudly presents: the Assassins' Guild orientation weekend.

Ever wanted to be a member of one of the most prestigious guilds in Ankh Morpork? Now is your chance! The famous Assassins' Guild has announced that their orientation weekend in 2015 will be held at Cabbagecon 3, the Dutch Discworld convention. Representatives of four of the Guild Houses will be present at the convention to see if the convention members have the skills and dress sense necessary to make it as an Assassin.

Our guest of honour is translator Venugopalan Ittekot, who will give an exclusive presentation about a very special project.

Cabbagecon 3 will be held at hotel Val Monte in Berg en Dal (near Nijmegen) in the weekend of 27 and 28 June 2015. More information can be found at

Team Cabbagecon 3

* * * * *

[DE, Updated] 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!

Registration has started on our homepage and there is a bonus for early bookers who finish their ticket order by December 31st 2014!

Join the facebook page to receive further updates:

* * * * *

[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:

* * * * *

[UK, New] In the October half term of 2015 Uppingham Theatre Company will be putting on an amateur production of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. Audition and read through dates to follow.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

[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.

* * * * *

[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 hurriedly edit your letters while trying to get the newsletter out on time.

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: "Mark"

Love the idea of a new Tiffany Aching story, I thought pTerry had done with her:)

Just finished two books.

The Long Mars, and Slip of the Keyboard.

Sadly, The Long Mars is the first and only Pratchett book I did not like. I ended up reading out of a 'sense of duty'. Without his name on the cover, I would never have known this was a pTerry book. I just could not see the point of it.

However, 'Slip of the Keyboard' is a MUST read for anyone wanting to become a writer, and a great insight into how Sir Terry thinks. Hundreds of short little articles, all with helps, tips, insights. And, at the end, Rage against the Machine. Well, rage against the NHS, actually.

Sir Terry Pratchett SHOULD be world famous for his writing, but, as he sadly acknowledges, he is now world famous for Alzheimer's, something he, and I am sure, all of us, would never want.

* * * * *

* From: "Graeme Neill"

I have launched a new blog that charts my reread of the Discworld series. Dubbed Pratchett Job (in the best/worst punning traditions of the author who inspired it), I look at one book per week, with today's post focusing on Equal Rites.

Any feedback is appreciated.

4. DiscTrivia

This month the lovely Rachel Rowlands has come up with five quite challenging questions for you to ponder this month.

What is the sticky basis of the glue invented by Leonard De Quirm for the Discworld equivalent of the Post-it Note?
Who is known by the alternative name "Feathered Boa"?
What is the name of the creature which exists in only two dimensions and eats mathematicians?
What can suffer with ZigZag throat?
Who transferred his Essence into his own staff?

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

5. Review: A Slip of the Keyboard

Review by Rachel Rowlands

Slip of the Screen [1] Reviewed by the one who said she would do it on the train, on her mobile... with a virtual deadline to meet, so you lot would have a newsletter this month! Slip is another compilation book of Terry's works, this time it's his non-fiction work. [2]

First up, the dedication.

The dedication is to all those who have collaborated or assisted Terry in many different ways over the years. Some of you may have recognised it from the beautiful little portfolio that we got for attending the UK con back in August. Many names mentioned including our own editor and OGON, [3] Jason Anthony.

Nice to see acknowledgements for so many peeps including the infamous Rob Wilkins who is a minor deity in his own right (and should have a statue where we can all meet and worship him).

As for content, Slip runs wildly between giggles and tears, from advice for bookshop owners re: book signing and how to handle authors, to Terry's thoughts on assisted dying.

I challenge you not to shed a tear whilst reading the section entitled 'Days of Rage'.

Often the journalist in Terry comes out to play in Slip, [4] which makes a nice change from reading his normal style of musings... I am not going to ramble on about the content - you can read it yourself - but I will tell you it's not something to read from start to finish.

Mine lives in the bathroom for when I need to escape the universe for ten minutes or so.

It's certainly worth having because you won't get to read this stuff anywhere else. [5]

There... a random review done in a random place on a random medium. [6]


You can purchase A Slip of the Keyboard (and help Discworld Monthly) from:

UK -

US -

[1] I know its Slip of the Keyboard ... just wanted to see how many of you would complain I got it wrong (complaints on a postcard to the AM complaints dept ... Chittering Street Ankh Morpork)

[2] Non-fiction.... as in stuff printed on a thunderer type monster or its virtual equivalent for daily mental consumption but then thrown away.. you know... the stuff you use to wrap fish and chips in

[3] OGON... Oh God Of Newsletters .. nickname earned from peeps using the thing called mobile Hex

[4] Stating the bleeding obvious is my middle name ... He was a journo first, then decided it was more fun to write books

[5] Unless your auntie was a mad hoarder - cough, cough, I mean collector - who hoarded every piece of paper Terry 's work got printed in...

[6] Excessive use of footnotes is known by its Latin name of FooteNoticiusitus

6. Competition Result: Discworld Convention Folio

The wonderful people at PJSM Prints have arranged for us to give away one of the exclusive folios given to each member of the Discworld Convention in Manchester. Numbers of this book were strictly controlled so to be able to offer one to people outside the Convention is a big deal. The folio is a small green book measuring approximately 13cm by 18cm and features a gold leaf silhouette portrait of Terry on the cover. The contents of the book includes two deleted scenes from Raising Steam; a short, heartfelt note from the man that knows Terry best, his business partner and best mate Rob Wilkins; and finally a short piece by Terry entitled A Little Advice for Life, which suggests we grab life by the horns and enjoy it. It really is a very lovely little volume.

We asked you to answer two questions to enter the competition. Over 130 people sent in entries!

The questions, along with the answers we expected, are listed below:

How much does the new The Hogfather enamel badge cost in GBP and excluding postage and packaging?
3. 50 GBP
When is the last order date for the UK to guarantee delivery by Hogswatch (Christmas)?
13th December

The randomly selected of the competition is Jen Schofield of Carnforth in Lancs.

We would like to thank the lovely Sandra at PJSM Prints for providing the prize. Head over to PJSM Prints and order your Hogswatch gifts now!

7. Competition: The Colour of Magic Giant Poster

This month Spineless Classics have offered one of their wonderful The Colour of Magic posters for us to give away. The poster features the complete text of The Colour of Magic and also depicts the Luggage and Great A'Tuin with footprints between the two. The poster measures 700mm by 1000mm.

For your chance to win a copy of the poster send your answer to the following questions along with your postal address to by 27th December 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. Multiple entries will be banned. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.

Can you name any three other fantasy posters from the range?

To view the full range of posters visit:

For those who don't win, Spineless Classics are offering a special 25% discount to readers of Discworld Monthly - to get you discount visit:

8. 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 *

What is the sticky basis of the glue invented by Leonard De Quirm for the Discworld equivalent of the Post-it Note?
Boiled Slugs (MAA)
Who is known by the alternative name "Feathered Boa"?
Quezovercoatl, also known as the god of mass human sacrifices (E)
What is the name of the creature which exists in only two dimensions and eats mathematicians?
The Shadowing Lemma (MAA)
What can suffer with ZigZag throat?
Swamp Dragons (G!G!)
Who transferred his Essence into his own staff?
Ipslore the Red (S)

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

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* Thanks *

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