Better Than

Discworld Monthly - January 2022 - Issue #288

Issue 288

1. Editorial

Welcome back to the January 2022 issue of Discworld Monthly. Thank you so much for all the emails welcoming us back last month. It is truly humbling knowing we were missed.

Last month we had a couple of technical gremlins with the email version of the newsletter. I've been working hard behind the scenes and moving things around a bit. So hopefully the issues we noticed last month should not make a reappearance.

So fingers crossed all should go well this time.

Rachel and I have been very busy as we gear up to run the next Llamedos Holiday Camp in March. With less than six weeks to go we are running full pelt towards the camp. Lots of amazing boxes and items have been arriving recently and we can't wait to return with the first in person Discworld Event since our last Llamedos nearly two years ago.

If you are going to the Discworld Convention in Birmingham in August you may even get to see a small example of the craziness of Llamedos during one session. So keep an eye out for us.

I'll set the deadline for submissions to issue 289 of Discworld Monthly to 18th February 2022.


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Wow, I was very humbled by all your emails over the last month.

Thank you to everyone who emailed in. It meant a huge amount to me to receive them.

Now my nose is to the grindstone as I finish up preparations for not just Llamedos Holiday Camp but also Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention (more about that later) .

Just a quick reminder, if you purchase through our affiliate links we get a few pennies in the pot to help with offsetting the cost of running Discworld Monthly (and occasionally buy me a slice of cake at an event) .

All our social media posts usually have affiliate links too for the item we are shouting about so please care and share. You may not buy it through the link, but somebody else might if you shove it under their nose!


2. News

2.1 Terry Pratchett A Life with Footnotes *The Official Biography by Rob Wilkins

The Official Biography is due out on 29th September.


At the time of his death in 2015, award-winning and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett was working on his finest story yet - his own.

At six years old, Terry was told by his headteacher that he would never amount to anything. He spent the rest of his life proving that teacher wrong. At sixty-six, Terry had lived a life full of achievements: becoming one of the UK's bestselling writers, winning the Carnegie Medal and being awarded a knighthood for services to literature.

Following his untimely death from Alzheimer's disease, the mantle of completing Terry's memoir was passed to Rob Wilkins, his former assistant, friend and now head of the author's literary estate.

Drawing on his own extensive memories, along with those of Terry's family, friends, fans and colleagues, Rob recounts Terry's extraordinary story - from his early childhood to the literary phenomenon that his Discworld series became; and how he met and coped with the challenges that 'The Embuggerance' of Alzheimer's brought with it.

Of all the dead authors in the world, Terry Pratchett is the most alive. - John Lloyd

View our affiliate links to order Terry Pratchett A Life in Footnotes

2.1.1 Terry Pratchett A Life with Footnotes *The Official Biography by Rob Wilkins - Deluxe and Collector Editions.

Terry Pratchett A Life with Footnotes by Rob Wilkins will also get two very special editions exclusive to Waterstones.

These editions have extra content which includes:

  • An unseen transcript of a Terry Pratchett talk from 1991 exclusive to Waterstones.
  • A section of never-before-seen photos from the estate archive and Pratchett's personal collection.
  • Bespoke endpapers designed exclusively for Waterstones and a luxe ribbon marker.

The first is a Deluxe signed edition which retails at 40 GBP.

This Deluxe edition is signed by Rob Wilkins and is a Quarter-bound hardback with a luxurious cloth spine and a debossed foil silhouette of Terry Pratchett.

The second is a very special Signed Exclusive Collector's Edition which retails at 80 GBP and is a beautiful and fully cloth-bound design in pistachio green, signed, stamped and hand-numbered by the author.

This Collector's edition contains not only the same content as the Deluxe edition but also has:

  • A section of never-before-seen photos from the estate archive and Pratchett's personal collection.
  • A collectable never-before-seen self-portrait print sketched by Terry Pratchett himself, shared for the first-time from his personal archive. Produced as an extra-leaf loose inside the book. Only available in the Waterstones Collector's edition.
View our affiliate links to order Terry Pratchett A Life in Footnotes Deluxe and Collector's Editions

2.2 Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention

Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention will be happening at Swansea Arena on the weekend of the 9th and 10th April 2022.

What has this got to do with Pratchett I hear you cry?

This is your opportunity to come and actually meet us (and others) in person.

Discworld Monthly will be in attendance at Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention as we have formally sponsored the Cosplay competition at Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention. We will be providing some of the prizes as well as the certificates for the winners.

You can find us in the Cosplay zone at the event on the Cosplay Information Desk as Jason will be one of the judges of the Cosplay Competition and I will be the compere for it.

Marc Burrows will also be there with copies of his biography The Magic of Terry Pratchett alongside amazing authors such as Jasper Fforde, Howard David Ingham and many more

To get tickets and more information head over to

2.3 Terry Pratchett's The Abominable SnowBaby

Currently you can still watch The Abominable Snowbaby on

It was the programme with the third highest ratings on Channel 4 on Christmas day in the UK.

That is a phenomenal achievement.

2.4 Discworld Monthly 25 years Celebration. - Update

As Jason would have officially been writing Discworld Monthly for exactly half his life, we thought we would make a bit of a fuss.

We intend on holding a bit of a celebration hopefully somewhere relatively central ie in or around Reading. It will be a ticketed event with a meal and a bit of sentimental slush thrown into the mix.

Looks like we'll be doing this in June

If you would be interested in joining us, fill in this google form to register your interest as we need to have a rough idea of how big a venue to book !

2.5 Book Releases - Update

The Amazing Maurice will get a minimum of 3 NEW editions this year

First up will be a Discworld Collectors Library Slipcased edition currently marked down as being released on the 14th April 2022 R.R.P. 25 GBP

Next up will be the Special Edition paperback. This special edition paperback will include an exclusive look at how Terry first imagined the Amazing Maurice! Due for release on 1st September 2022 R.R.P. 7.99 GBP

Lastly The Film tie in paperback edition - The book that inspired the big-hit new film. Read before you see it! With amazing extra content, from scripts to film art.

This edition will also be released on the 1st September and will also have a R.R.P. 7.99 GBP

View our affiliate links to order The Amazing Maurice(Slipcased Edition)

View our affiliate links to order The Amazing Maurice (Special Edition)

View our affiliate links to order The Amazing Maurice (Film Tie-in)
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In April, we see the Bromeliad Trilogy get released in another hardback trilogy edition.

Whilst we don't have cover images yet for this edition, we suspect it will have a Mark Beech illustrated cover. Currently the date we have is the 14th April 2022 for its publication.

This edition will be hardback at a R.R.P. of 16.99 GBP

View our affiliate links to order Bromeliad Trilogy (Hardback)

2.6 All the Discworld's a Stage Volume Two

We've talked about this one a couple of times over the last 3 years, but yet it still has to be published.

Latest potential date we have for it is the 1st January 2025 .. I know ??!?!?!?!?!?

The ISBN is 9781786828873 and of course the book will contain the scripts for Stephen Brigg's amazing stage adaptations of Hogfather, Lords and Ladies and The Shakespeare Codex.

You can of course buy all three of these separately at any good bookstore today but some of us like a good compilation version of these things. I just hope Obereon gets on with it and gives it to us before 2025!

2.7 Good Omens 2 Casting news.

They started filming Good Omens 2 back in October up in the wilds of Scotland.

Filming will take place up until April.

Today's Casting announcement!

Derek Jacobi will reprise his role as Metatron

Also returning are Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Niamh Walsh

Added to the casting line-up are Sian Phillips, Tim Downie , Pete Firman, Andi Osho and Alex Norton. Who they play we do not know (and I practically begged Pete Firman to tell me - Rachel) , but it will be fun to find out!

2.8 The Amazing Maurice Sky Cinema Film news.

Many of you will be spying a very small clip of The Amazing Maurice in Sky Cinema's latest advert.

For those who haven't seen it, you can see Maurice chomping on a chicken leg at approximately 41 seconds into the video for a whole 3 seconds.

The video can be viewed at:

2.8.1 Merchandise News

Some of The Amazing Maurice merchandise items have been announced.

Laurence King Publishing will be producing a 250 piece jigsaw and a matching card game that will both be priced at 12.99 GBP each.

As soon as we get images, we'll let you see them.

2.9 New AudioBooks - Update

Penguin Audio have been busy bees over the last year as they have started recording 40 of Terry's Discworld books as audiobooks.

They will be released over the next 2 years (see schedule below) and have a variety of well known voices narrating and playing certain parts.

The first to come out on Audible (and other places) was Hogfather back on the 9th December.

Hogfather is now available worldwide (apparently - don't hold me to that!)

Sian Clifford is the narrator of the Death series of books with Peter Serafinowicz lending his voice to Death and Bill Nighy as the voice of the footnotes throughout all the books..

  • Sian Clifford is the narrator of the Death series of books.
  • Indira Varma is the narrator of the Witches series of books.
  • Colin Morgan is the narrator of the Wizard series of books.
  • Andy Serkis is the narrator of Small Gods.

The Watch series, The Tiffany series and some of the stand alone books have yet to have narrators announced. As soon as we know, we'll pass on the information via our social media channels.

2.9.1 Release Schedule

Currently the schedule for releases looks like this.

9th December 2021

  • Hogfather - Read by Sian Clifford

28th April 2022

  • Equal Rites - Read by Indira Varma
  • Wyrd Sisters - Read by Indira Varma
  • Witches Abroad - Read by Indira Varma
  • Lords and Ladies - Read by Indira Varma
  • Carpe Jugulum - Read by Indira Varma
  • Maskerade - Read by Indira Varma
  • Small Gods - Read by Andy Serkis

7th July 2022

  • The Colour of Magic - Read by Colin Morgan
  • The Light Fantastic - Read by Colin Morgan
  • Sourcery - Read by Colin Morgan
  • Eric - Read by Colin Morgan
  • The Last Continent - Read by Colin Morgan
  • Interesting Times - Read by Colin Morgan
  • Unseen Academicals - Read by Colin Morgan

6th October 2022

  • The Amazing Maurice - Read by TBA

27th October 2022

  • Mort - Read by Sian Clifford
  • Reaper Man - Read by Sian Clifford
  • Soul Music- Read by Sian Clifford
  • Thief of Time - Read by Sian Clifford

23rd February 2023

  • Pyramids - Read by TBA
  • Moving Pictures- Read by TBA
  • The Truth - Read by TBA
  • Monstrous Regiment - Read by TBA
  • Going Postal - Read by TBA
  • Making Money - Read by TBA
  • Raising Steam - Read by TBA

27th April 2023

  • Guards! Guards! - Read by TBA
  • Men At Arms - Read by TBA
  • Feet of Clay - Read by TBA
  • Jingo - Read by TBA
  • The Fifth Elephant - Read by TBA
  • Thud! - Read by TBA
  • Night Watch - Read by TBA
  • Snuff - Read by TBA
  • The Wee Free Men - Read by TBA
  • A Hat Full of Sky - Read by TBA
  • Wintersmith - Read by TBA
  • I Shall Wear Midnight - Read by TBA
  • The Shepherd's Crown - Read by TBA

We'll write a review of Hogfather for next month when we have finished listening to it [we tried for this month but haven't had chance to finish it yet - Jason] - but if you want to give us your views on this new audiobook, email us at

2.10 Cancellation of Australian Convention

Due to the ongoing issues with COVID and the unpredictability of whether events will be allowed to take place in Australia the team at the Australian Discworld Convention made the very difficult choice to cancel the 2022 Australian Discworld Convention. Head over to their website for more details about what this means to attending members.

3. Competition Result

Last month we offered a copy of the Corgi special edition paperback of Hogfather to give away to one lucky person.

We asked you to answer the following question:

Q1. In the book Hogfather, Twyla describes the monster in the basement to Susan. How many legs does it have according to Twyla?

The answer (as pointed out by some of the entrants) was 8 arms ... In Hogfather it later mentions Susan dragging out the 8 legged creature. So for this creature I think arms / legs can be interchangeable.

The randomly selected winner is Dave Jones of Coventry. We'll get your prize in the post as soon as possible Dave.

4. DiscTrivia

This month we have five trivia questions created by our guest Trivia writer Colin Hicks (He doesn't know he's our guest Trivia writer) . All these questions relate to Guards! Guards!

Q1. When was the book published?
Q2. What is Vimes' rank?
Q3. How old is Carrot at the start of the book?
Q4. What is unique about Carrot's sword?
Q5. Dibbler's anti-dragon cream comes with a money back guarantee. How do you apply for it if you have been incinerated?

The answers can be found at the end of this issue.

5. Birthdays

Everyone has a birthday. If you know someone who would like a mention or if you would like your birthday included in the listings, send us an email the month before your birthday and we will add it to the list! Email Subject: Birthday

Happy belated January and early February Greetings to: Carolanne Ellis-Brewer, Chris Pendry, Bev Greenhalgh, Nicole Henderson, Hannah Wright, Polly Bartlett, Anita Carr, Steven Dean, Dawn Tazare, Gemma P, Stella Carter, Adam Barker, Heather Wallace, Andrew Nevill, Megan Lewis, Andrew Norman, John Quilty, Elaine Boot, Lucie Zeale, Margaret Butler, Emma Spruce-Smith, Bambanella Brunigioni, Mitch Benn, Tim Williams, Keith Stewart, Muriel Lavender Vicky SugarBean Lear, Wendy Green, Elizabeth Navi, Catherine Homer, Marti Sterin, Garry Oxley, Rob Liano, Jane Deal, Andrew Raby, Iain Campbell, Sara-Jane Ray, Christian Almgren, Charles Braham, Richie Watkins, Jen Austen, SteelJam, Astrid Stratton, Abbie Walton, Andrea Potts-Pointer, Naomi Webb, Jeff Rupp, Martin Glauner, Kimberley Chandler, Joe Pattison, Thomas Rowlands, Jerry Elsmore, Beth Murray, Helen Cordingley and Tom Foolery.

6. 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. Your letters may be edited in random and wyrd ways.

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.

We make an editorial decision on what letters to include. Sometimes the opinions expressed in a letter are not the same as our own but we reserve the right to publish them nevertheless. You might not like the content of the letters we publish and we encourage you to write in your own constructive letters explaining your points of view. We will not shy away from including letters that question our views and expect our readers to be able to accept that not everyone has the same point of view on all subjects.

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* From: "Andrew Parker"

Bri Derbyshire asked about the term "High-concept", posted in issue #287.

"High Concept" is a term used in the film industry to describe the general concept of a production (film, series, etc.) from the "highest" most encompassing perspective. A short and simple description of the full and broad nature of the production. Imagine a "High Concept" as a description of Ankh-Morpork as seen in its entirety from high above.

As such, a High concept film is one that can relatively readily be described in a high concept way. Perhaps even with the title alone. "Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice" gives us the high concept that the film is about Batman and Superman in conflict and the film heading towards the formation of the Justice League. "Kong vs Godzilla": Big monkey fights big lizard.

In contrast; a "low concept" description or production, is or requires getting down low, into the deep and gritty nuances of the production, the characterizations and character development, that sort of thing. Such a production may have a general "high concept" plot device. Some obstacle to be overcome, or some situation playing out. But, the real focus is on the characters and/or the impact the situation has on them. A truly "low concept" film is not really ABOUT the events or what the characters face. That is only there to help show the development and personalities of those characters. It is really about them. From a Low Concept perspective, Ankh Morpork is not about the general structure of the city, it's about the people. And often not even the supposedly "important" people, but the "ordinary" ones.

Terry Pratchett's Discworld work was always heavily "Low Concept" focused. His book "Guards! Guards!" (the first story about the City Watch, from which this question arose, in relation to "The Watch" adaptation) is not really about the big event of a dragon being summoned by a cult and wreaking havoc, and the City watch putting a stop to it. It's about the characterization and development of the characters (primarily, but not solely those in the City Watch) . With the dragon plot only there to further the telling, and broaden our understanding and feeling about the characters, city, and world in which it is set.

I hope that helps. Put more succinctly:

"High Concept" takes the big picture from on high. Is short and succinct. And is generally easier to "sell" to a production company as a marketable concept.

"Low Concept" devolves down low into the particular of the characters and setting. It's about detail and personal development. It's all of the little pictures within the bigger framework.

Productions can, of course, be "high or Low concept" in nature, or include both High and Low concept material to varying degrees.

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* From: "Rosemarie Cawkwell"

I've listened to both of The Hogfather audiobooks in the last few days, it being a Hogswatch tradition in this house that at least one edition of the story is read / listened to / watched. I prefer the new audiobook.

The Nigel Planer narrated audiobook is alright, I suppose, but he pronounces several words incorrectly which always irritates me. I also find it a bit 'flat', there's a limited amount of aural variety with the voices and narration. It might be because I'm Autistic that I need to have very distinctive voices for characters in audiobooks so I can keep track of them, but it might also be that Nigel Planer has a dull voice. I did find it amusing that he played Sideney in the Sky film.

The new version, with three separate narrators, is much better. Death has his own voice, as do the footnotes, and the main narrator provides each character with a distinctive tone and accent that I can keep track of. It was refreshing. The narrator brought the characters to life.

I'm looking forward to hearing the other new versions, and comparing them to the ones I already have. It's going to cost me a fortune in audible credits!

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* From: "Stephen Peter Carter LLB"

I've never really been sane as it were. From the moment in 1960 when I was sent off to an all boys boarding school. The school was run by nuns. I was sent there due to having chronic asthma and missing too much schooling due to being ill quite a bit of the time. I was in fact in remedial classes due to not being able to read very well at all and not therefore being able to spell. I was held against my wishes for 8 years. I finally escaped just before my 16th birthday.

I've held all manner of jobs. Got married, had children (one that loves me and one that really doesn't) and now that I'm nearly seventy, I look back and think 'no bloody wonder that I'm not sane.

I very much like the late Terry Pratchett's books and have been reading them for a long time. It's a bloody shame that he's no longer with us! Whilst I don't add to the letters sent out to us. I do enjoy reading them. Please keep up the good work.

Jason replies: Thanks Stephen for your kind works. This is just one example of the many that we received welcoming us back. We really never really went away. We stayed on top of the social media posts but just not the newsletter as that requires a lot more mental spoons. Hopefully we are getting the balance of things back and you can expect to see slightly more regular newsletters.

* * * * *

* From: "Malinda Mayer"

Do you have any information about when Snowbaby will be available on DVD? I am in the States and despair of it ever being shown on television.

Jason replies: We've not heard anything yet. The whole production was put together very quickly - less than ten months from agreement to completion. So I suspect that DVDs were never really thought about. Rest assured if we find anything out we'll be sure to let our readers know.

* * * * *

* From: "Liz Rapoza"

Hello and thank you for bringing back the newsletter. We all missed you.

We're all going through the same numbness and burnout. Binge listening non-stop to Discworld books has gotten me through.

But it made me think about something: Why is Carrot always portrayed as clean shaven? As someone who was raised as a dwarf and who considers himself a dwarf, how can he not have a beard? Even the female dwarves have beards! It makes no sense. And who can deny the appeal of a tall, brawny, bearded ginger? Not me! I'm thinking of Airk Thaughbaer (played by Gavan O'Herlihy) in 'Willow" as a great example of what the bearded Carrot should look like. What do you think?

As for me, I added a beard to all of the pictures of Carrot in my DW coloring book.

Happy Hogswatch and so glad you're back.

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* From: "Charlie"

Of plushies and expectations.

I consider myself a plushie "connoisseur", after all in my youth I had 32 of them at the end of my bed. And to this day I still have very fixed ideas on what makes a "good" plushie friend. You have to take, not only the quality of the fabric used, the stitching, how well the face is made and what it's made of. And to top it off you really have to think of the posing! And regardless of what people have told me in the past, mass produced plushies DO all look different. A few millimetres here or there can change the expression drastically.

And that's why I'm both excited and scared about the prospect of The Amazing Maurice plush toys. Will they be cheap looking? Will they be in rubbish static poses that have no life to them? Will they just look horrifically derpy?

I admit I do have high standards, especially when it comes to Maurice himself. I dream of a large "build-a-bear" size cat with super soft fur and dangling legs and a complete expression of DONE. So I can grip him round his soft belly, with his legs over my arms and just skip around the place. And I would love him and hug him and call him, well Maurice. And frankly if Sardines doesn't come with a removable hat there will be a reckoning.

So I'm watching you, whoever you are with the plushie contract, you have high expectations to fill and frankly I'll properly cry if the plushies aren't up to standard.

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* From: "David Gordon"

I live on the coast, a short drive from my parents who live on the edge of the South Downs, Sussex, which is the real-world equivalent to the setting for the Tiffany Aching books. Now, TP, being a great author, drew on the real life and traditions of Downland shepherds through the ages, and the lore and language that has been extant for many centuries.

But did readers know that you can tell where a shepherd keeps their sheep from the design of their shepherd's crook handle on the Downs? It is true, each area has traditionally had a specific design and proportion, meaning that, like witches, shepherds know where they come from, and those seeing them can identify at a distance and from the back who it is they are seeing.

You may wonder what crooks are made of - well, I am one of a fairly large minority that make walking sticks and shepherds crooks (including wizard's staffs with knobs on the end etc) , and there are several kinds of crook - those made from one piece of wood, essentially a branch still attached to a section of trunk, that is carved and shaped into a crook. Then there are those with handles made from rams horn or metal. The rams horn is obvious - shepherds get plenty of those - but the metal, as always, is shaped by either blacksmiths or dwarves... with twiddly bits of design. Then you have wooden crook handles, attached to the shank (stick part) . If it's a plain design, then the nose will either turn out or in; if it's metal, the blacksmith or dwarf will make sure there's a nose, plus twiddles. With rams horn, a lot of work is needed just to form the horn and shape it, so making a rams horn handled crook takes time - and shepherds watching flocks have time... Some crooks have ornamentation, often an acorn, on the nose of the crook, but most working crooks are plain.

There are actually two types of crook - the leg cleek and the standard design most people will recognise. The leg cleek is used to hook the leg of a sheep, whereas the more familiar design can do necks as well. Why make sticks to hook around legs or necks? Well, if a sheep falls into a ditch, or if their wool gets soaked, they can't get up, and have to be pretty much lifted up and out. Sheep are not intellectuals, and they don't usually help themselves and the shepherd. So the crook has to be strong, and may have markings or notches on the shank, to help the shepherd count his flock. There are traditional counts for this, which vary around the country. Probably the same applies to Tiffany Aching and the shepherds on the disk... but we have a secret language, a secret counting - and know things that others don't. Like how sheep are really bad at staying well. And that certain remedies work on shepherds...

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* From: "Shayne Fitzgerald"

Thanks so much for #287 guys. So sorry for your rough year.

Must admit I had a bit of a Grocer Jack thought earlier in the year but should have been more considerate.

Our daughter Erin lives in Welly NZ. Last week she saw a guy wearing a Discworld T-shirt in the local supermarket. She sidled up to him and said "The Turtle Moves." He almost walked into a tower of tinned peaches!!

All the Best for '22

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* From: "Sarah Taylor"

As another January comes around, I am particularly mindful of my dear old dad who passed away in January 2016. For the previous ten years (since my mum had died) I would call him most evenings, usually when I was walking home from the station. This would be after I had spent my commute with my nose in a Discworld book, or most likely holding said book in front of my face, trying to muffle the sounds of my laughter from fellow passengers even though my shoulders would still be shaking.

Now my father was seldom talkative. When I called him, the brunt of making conversation always fell to me. It was therefore a godsend that I could at least tell him about the latest story I had just been enjoying on the tube. So he got to hear about Granny and Nanny, Moist and Vetinari, Death and Mort, Cheery and Detritus, and all the other old friends. And he would chuckle as I quoted some of the humour, muddied by my clumsy retelling but still brilliant gems. So even though he didn't read novels, nevertheless he did get to enjoy Sir Terry's characters, stories and jokes. These days when I read something funny, I feel a little regret that I cannot share it with my dad and make him chuckle too. But such is the way of things, I am fortunate with my lovely memories and grateful to Sir Terry too.

Cheers, my lovelies.

* * * * *

* From: "Paul Austin"

I have been a fan of the Discworld for a good many years, and grew up with the stories. When Sir Terry died I penned a tribute poem on a Poetry forum that I subsequently lost.

I recently found it again when trawling through old posts.

My tribute to Terry Pratchett.

A world was borne from starry night
Drifting in fantastic light
Magic coloured by light of eight
Chance plays dice with dark eyed Fate
Lords and Ladies and Masquerades
Ancient cities fuelled by trade
Watching the night with feet of clay
Go for the throat and seize the day
The reaper man, he knows the truth
Making money and printing proofs
And through it all the Witches fly
Abroad, at home, hats full of sky
The thief of time with men at arms
On moving pictures with 'diverse alarms'
The Wintersmith lives in 'interesting times'
While soul music plays and Hogfather flies
A world so full of epic cast
Small gods abound, and heroes last
Wizards and witches and luggage that walks
Continents lost and golems that talk.
I shall wear midnight for the loss of the dream
Now going postal, ahead! Raising steam

Jason replies: Thanks Paul, I really enjoyed that.

7. Memories of staging Men at Arms – Live at Moshi Tanzania 2007.

By Trevor Newman

On the 16th of December 2007 the staff and senior students of the International school of Moshi, Northern Tanzania staged "Men at Arms" to raise funds for the school's scholarship programme. I had the honour, and unbelievable stress, of directing, and performing in, the production and thought I would not so much review the play but rather relate a few memories of what it took to bring to life a work of the great man in Africa.

The first obstacle to overcome was introducing the potential cast to the humour and writings of Sir Terry. Our students came from several countries in East Africa and none of them had heard of The Watch and Discworld. Luckily two members of staff were also huge fans so we grouped our enthusiasm and had a week of informal tutorials and book readings, thankfully the kids loved it and, with new found converts, we were ready to go. Next came getting permission from Stephen Briggs to stage the play which, despite the sometimes intermittent internet in Moshi, proved very straightforward (I still have the saved email from SB) and with his blessing it was onto casting and rehearsals.

For the next five weeks we rehearsed in the school's sports hall every other night contending with power cuts, insect infestations, and deafening rain hitting the corrugated iron roof, the latter making for some very interesting delivery of the lines. At the same time the cast were also charged with creating their own costumes and props all of which had to be made from scratch, to say there are not that many theatrical suppliers in Tanzania would be an understatement. It is a testament to TP's writing and SB's adaptation that throughout the kids loved the humour and story, and that the enthusiasm never waned.

We decided to stage the play in the garden of a local restaurant (the sports hall proving unworkable obviously) and to make it a gala performance with food in the interval. This of course meant building a stage and then, of course, the problem of how to construct the scenery. Many a sleepless night was resolved when we chose to back project pictures onto a sheet. There then followed much internet searching for pictures of Tallinn, round world Ankh-Morpork, and suitable interiors.

So with nerves jangling and a full house we were ready to go when the power went out twenty minutes before curtain. At the time, due to lack of power in the country, Tanzania would do load shedding which involved turning off the power to different neighbourhoods in a random rotation, and it was our turn. As luck would have it one of the cast was the daughter of the local head of the electric company and, after a quick phone call, miraculously the lights came on only five minutes late.

The performance went well and was much appreciated by the audience, although a few locals I'm sure did not get all the humour, and a great night was had by all. The students managed to film the play and it was put out as a DVD to raise more donations, selling well despite the not great quality (these were the days before mobiles and we had to rely on bulky VHS video cameras that were not great in the low lighting) . Selected scenes have been put onto YouTube so you can get an idea of the night, just don't focus on my rather patchy interpretation of Fred Colon.

Hopefully Sir Terry and Stephen would have been delighted to know that their incredible talent helped to fund a student from a rural Tanzanian village through a quality international education. The scheme was one I was extremely proud to have been able to contribute to, and it should be noted that two of the scholarship students were on stage that night, Daniel taking the lead role of Vimes, both of whom went on to graduate from the University of British Columbia.

Trevor Newman


Act 1 (Selected scenes)

Act 2 (Selected scenes)

8. The End

This month's issue is brought to you by a few less mental spoons, a bit more patience and a reasonable dose of luck and determination.

The deadline for submissions to issue 289 of Discworld Monthly is 18th February 2022.

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8.5 DiscTrivia Answers

Q1. When was the book published?
A1. 1989
Q2. What is Vimes' rank?
A2. Captain
Q3. How old is Carrot at the start of the book?
A3. Nearly 16. (which technically makes him 15)
Q4. What is unique about Carrot's sword?
A4. It's completely non magical.
Q5. Dibbler's anti-dragon cream comes with a money back guarantee. How do you apply for it if you have been incinerated?
A5. Upon personal application.

8.6 Subscription Information

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8.7 Small Print

We make every effort we can to ensure the information in this newsletter is accurate and legal. All trademarks are recognized as the property of their respective owners, whoever they may be. Discworld (R) is a registered trademark of the Estate of Sir Terry Pratchett used under licence.

8.8 Thanks

Thanks for reading this issue of 'Discworld Monthly'. We hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments, complaints or suggestions for the future of this newsletter please email the editor :

Thank you Terry Pratchett

8.9 The Final Word...

*Rachel here*

We may not be perfect designers, or award winning journalists but we do our best to keep you all entertained and informed about all things Terry. We do have some ethics though. We like our news to be current, up to date and factual with a solid source. We don't like posting rumours but occasionally the source it comes from is 98 percent solid so we will tell you it's a rumour and confirm it when we have a 100 percent confirmation. Our own articles are written by us for us only. You won't find articles from other publications here unless it's a formal press release about an adaptation, book release or event or something we actually wrote for someone else unless they begged us to publish it (OK not begged but some of our lovely friends do ask us occasionally to boost something) . [NB I say we are not award winning but Discworld Monthly did win Website of the Month for Issue 3 back in a different century. It would be nice to win something much more recent, or even just get acknowledged #justsaying]

Whilst you keep reading it, we'll keep on writing it because we love Terry's books just as much as you do.

Keep smiling, Keep washing those hands but most of all, Keep breathing.

We will all get to hug again !

GNU Terry Pratchett...

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
2.1 Terry Pratchett A Life with Footnotes *The Official Biography by Rob Wilkins
2.1.1 Terry Pratchett A Life with Footnotes *The Official Biography by Rob Wilkins - Deluxe and Collector Editions.
2.2 Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention
2.3 Terry Pratchett's The Abominable SnowBaby
2.4 Discworld Monthly 25 years Celebration. - Update
2.5 Book Releases - Update
2.6 All the Discworld's a Stage Volume Two
2.7 Good Omens 2 Casting news.
2.8 The Amazing Maurice Sky Cinema Film news.
2.8.1 Merchandise News
2.9 New AudioBooks - Update
2.9.1 Release Schedule
2.10 Cancellation of Australian Convention
3. Competition Result
4. DiscTrivia
5. Birthdays
6. Readers' Letters
7. Memories of staging Men at Arms – Live at Moshi Tanzania 2007.
8. The End
8.1 Supporting Discworld Monthly
8.2 eBook Editions
8.3 Contact Information
8.4 Latest Book Information
8.5 DiscTrivia Answers
8.6 Subscription Information
8.7 Small Print
8.8 Thanks
8.9 The Final Word...
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