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Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony, Barnett & Massey
Being More Terry Since 1997

Discworld Monthly - Issue 34: February 2000

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. Terry's USA "The Fifth Elephant" Tour Dates
5. Recommendations
6. ISIS unabridged Hogfather Audio Book Competition Results
7. Who's Who: Angua
8. Feature: The Movie Industry vs The Discworld
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 34. We are currently less than six months away from the third Discworld Convention and how many people know about it? The lack of information about this convention is scary - how can they hope to better the 1998 convention without advertising?

Currently all we know about the convention is it will be called MillenniCon Hand & Shrimp and will take place in London from July 28th-31st 2000. More details of the convention can be found at www.lspace.org/fandom/cons/dwcon2k/

--
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Subterfuge Editor)


2. News

Terry Pratchett's 'Sourcery' is being performed by Griffin Youth Theatre in May 2000. It will take place at the Merlin Theatre in Sheffield on May the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, starting at 7.30. The address of the Merlin Theatre is 2 Medow Bank Road, Sheffield (South Yorkshire) To book tickets call: 0114 2551638. Prices are 4.50GBP Adults, 4GBP Students & 3.50GBP Concessions. For more information e-mail Becky Bowler at ( ) or phone: 01709 700297 and ask for Rob Pashley.

Terry will be a guest at the Gateway Sci-Fi Media Convention (stlf.org/gateway) this summer and in honour of his presence Beyond Reality Games is hosting a Discworld Live Action Role-Playing game.

If you are going to be in the Mid-West of the United States on the weekend of July 14-16, you might want to stop by. Even if you aren't or can't, please pass this news on to anyone you know that might be interested!

Below is the description of our event from the Gateway programming page:

Discworld Live Action Role Playing - play the part of denizens of the Discworld, in a 36-hour live game, featuring wizards, witches, trolls, and possibly animated travel accessories. The game is free form, allowing you to step out to get an autograph or listen to a speaker, and step back in at your leisure. Space may be limited, so please e-mail Josh Jeffryes for advance registration if you are interested (there is a small charge to participate in the LARP, paid when it begins. Pre-registration is for intent to play only, it does not require advance payment).

A Finnish discussion-list for Discworld fans has been established. The address is: www.onelist.com/subscribe/Discworld-Suomi

Carolyn Santos ( ) has just created an egroup for people who love to read and want to share their thoughts with others. The group is called "The Book Light" and can be found at: www.egoups.com/group/thebooklight/info.html

Small Ads....

Clive McCartney ( ) wants to know if there are any PTerry fans in South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) who'd like to meet an expat Brit for the elusive "couple of quiet beers"?

Monnie Robinson ( ) is interested in any PC version of Discworld game and chatting about same.

Malaclypse ( ) is currently making a Discworld site named the Mad Priests Guild and is fluent in HTML (web site code), and needs no help in that respect (his Red Dwarf site is situated at come.to/hollyhop/ if anyone's interested) but he really needs some inspiration. He figured that they may have been received by someone else on the web, so if anyone has any ideas, mail them to him!

Peter McCartney ( ) is a 15 year old Canadian who likes Discworld and Star Wars and would like to get an epal.

The Taylors ( ) are looking for the Unadulterated Cat in the US. They have tried Amazon but with no success.

Patsy Nevins ( ) would love to hear from other Pratchett fans, anywhere, but especially on the East Coast of the United States, and any age over 18, but especially 35-55, either gender. She loves talking to people of similar interests, and really loves getting email.

Thomas Wake ( ) is desperate to know where you can get hold of Discworld I and II for the PC?

Traulever ( ) is looking for a French e-pal.

"Peter Read" ( ) wants to find a decent Pratchett Chatroom. He has searched for ages and it is driving him mad!

"Carlo Maturi" ( ) would like to write with other Pratchett fans, he is almost 20, studies Medicine and doesn't know if he could live without Terry's novels.

"Alexander Jozwik" ( ) would like to know of any Discworld activity in Poland.

"Nith Solway" ( ) would like to hear from Discworld fans in Sweden.

"Robert Blokziji" ( ) is looking for Discworld fans who'd like to write reviews of the novels for his Discworld site come.to/thediscworld and is the founder of a yahoo club dedicated to reviewing Discworld sites, he is looking for new members and sites to review. www.rendo.dekooi.nl/~bblokzyl/reviewers/index.html

"Grant" ( ) is interested in conversing with Discworld fans especially those interested in horses and especially farriery.

"Margi Johnson" ( ) is looking for Discworld devotees in NSW Australia for mutual emailing.

"Keith Smith" ( ) is looking for some Discworld models. He is most interested in getting "Death". Anyone who thinks they can teach him all about the Discworld would be welcome to write as well.

"Manic Miranda" ( ) is willing to offer her help with any Pratchett productions in the Bournemouth / Dorset area either backstage or as a character.

"Dominik Wojtaszek" ( ) is looking for Discworld fans from all over the world.

Richard Randall has a Discworld Club with over 200 members called The Mended Drum. If you would like to join visit www.themendeddrum.in2home.co.uk

"Leslie Rossiter" ( ) is desperate to buy Discworld one and two for the sony playstation in Australia. If you know where you can get them please get in contact.


3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters/comments, please email

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters to confuse, bewilder and upset other readers.

Each month the writer of the month's best letter will receive two Discworld badges with PTerry quotes on them from Snapdragon Gifts. You can contact Snapdragon Gifts at or www.snapdragongifts.com. Please mention DWM in any correspondence.

*
* From: "Paul Roughan" ( )
*
Is it just me or did anyone else catch references in 'The Fifth Elephant' about Vetinary (sic) being a vampyre. I have sent the book back through L-space (otherwise known as The Warwickshire Library Service) so I cannot justify my claims with reference to glorious text like my English Lit. teacher tells me to but what the hey.

*
* From: "Graham Cox" ( )
*
In reply to David A Oates message last month:

I thought that his [Carrot's] fast healing was due to the attention of the Igor, and I also got the feeling that Carrot really didn't know much about werewolves from most of the book. He seemed to be quite surprised by a lot of what he learnt about them. Surely if he was part werewolf then he would have known more about them than he seemed to. Also, and this doesn't necessarily mean anything, if Carrot is the heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork, and thus a descendent of the previous royalty, then wouldn't that mean that he was human?

*
* From: "wolfman_s79" ( )
*
In reply to David A Oates' comments about Carrot possibly being part werewolf.

Yes, I've noticed too. There's also, I think, more in the Fifth Elephant on that subject:

1) Angua observes that Carrot can indeed be nasty - but, in her words he "uses it like a claw". Did he have this nasty streak before?

2) The last line of the book is Carrot saying, "Wolves never look back." Is he just talking about Angua, or what is he talking about?

3) Carrot, whilst in Uberwald, got into a fight with Wolfgang. If you take the common stereotype of a werewolf, could he have acquired all this from Wolfgang?

PS. If anyone hasn't joined The City Watch www.angelfire.com/de/watchhouse then do so - it's one of the best Discworld sites on the Net!

RM replies: Vetinari a vampire and Carrot a werewolf, where will it end?

*
* From: "Roberto Garza" ( )
*
As an avid Discworld reader I was dismayed when I obtained a copy of Colour of Magic in my country, Mexico. Everything was translated nicely except... that Death didn't speak in all-caps!!! I was horrified! It just wasn't Death at all..

Anybody know a way to get this problem fixed?

*
* From: "Borgen, Paul A (Paul)" ( )
*
The results of the Main Character Kill Off vote make me sooo thankful that TP pays absolutely no attention to the opinions of his readership... including this one.

JA replies: We'll second that!

*
* From: "Paula Suckling" ( )
*
Hands up all those who've read a Discworld novel after major / minor surgery......and survived?????

In reference to Trucker Johnson's comments on having read Pyramids after surgery and nearly bursting his stitches, I too had surgery and purposely saved Pyramids for my recuperation, I almost wished I hadn't! Perhaps in light of the human condition (i.e. NOT being able to laugh hysterically AND sob with intense pain at the same time), Terry's books should come with the following:

WARNING! Reading this book may be hazardous to your health. If you have recently undergone surgery of any description, you may wish to delay reading this book until you are healed.

My recovery period was six weeks, Pyramids prolonged it by seven! (Oh and by the way, it's no use depending on pain killers, they won't work).

JA replies: We hope you are feeling better now. Maybe you should have taken a Stephen King book so you could have slept for the six weeks!

*
* From: "David Damiral" ( )
*
Applying a bit of Reverse Statistical Analysis to the Main Character Kill Off Survey, (RSA is still legal unless you are caught doing it in a Public Place), looks to me like you had twenty-two replies. OK, it may have been forty-four, or sixty-six, but it was actually twenty-two, wasn't it? Right.

So... that means that the most votes for the most kill-offable character were just four. Right? And the minimum number of votes you need to kill someone off legally is seven, (jury majority.. unless you are an assassin or the Patrician, in which case you don't vote, you just do it).

So, basically, what we have here is a mini lynch-mob trying to 'off' their least favourite characters in a totally undemocratic way.

This is great and completely in keeping with Discworld jurisprudence. Let us hope that PT will take note and inhume them all. Of course, due to the toroidal nature of Discworld time, they may still re-appear in later books....

DWM replies: David receives Letter Of The Month - we may have given you four badges, or six badges, but it will be two badges, wont it.

*
* From: "Martin Leigh" ( )
*
I travel around in the car a bit, and to my mind there's no competition between the Isis tapes and the rest. Terry is so funny I don't want to miss any of the story. Baldrick's "Equal Rites" misses out Hilta Goatberger almost completely, and the liars. Everyone of the teeny-tiny tapes has glaring lacunae. They can't help it, but it is maddening. Nigel Planer is great and "Small Gods" (my fave) IS A MUST. Celia Imrie has a brilliant go at "Equal Rites". My personal gripe with Baldrick is that Nanny Ogg sounds plastered all the time rather than the obligatory 10.18%. Isis are VERY expensive, even at Amazon, but a squillion times better than the alternatives.

*
* From: "Doyle" ( )
*
I find myself disagreeing, if not vehemently then at least somewhat, with the assertion from "Scott Pierson" that Pratchett hasn't included many Blacks in his novels... You mentioned 4 yourself, and left out The Last Continent, my brain is not working right now* although I'm sure there are others... Also, there is no need, NO NEED to read T.P.'s books "in order". That's all I felt the need to say! G'dday. *no jokes...

*
* From: "Martin Collins" ( )
*
I am afraid that I have to agree that the scripts for the stage shows do not even deserve the honour of being compared to CMOT Dibbler sausages. I have worked on a number of these scripts as an actor and potential director. The problem with the is simply that they lift stuff straight from the pages of the books and what works wonderfully when surrounded by the frameworks of the descriptive text dies without that support.

Future adapters of these works need to be brave enough to take the concepts of the books and suggested dialogue and breath new life into it with dialogue that the actor can perform rather that the present stuff that the actor has to recite. It would also be interesting if people began to write plays based within the concept of the Disk but with no relationship to the stories of the master.

WB replies: I don't see any reason for adapting the books AT ALL, to be honest, and I'm horrified about the idea of other people setting stories or plays on the Disc.

*
* From: "Paul Marion" ( )
*
I have noticed that in the Light Fantastic there are some interesting names that crop up again in the series. The main two are Galder Weatherwax, who gives his name to Granny Weatherwax and the troll Rincewind meets, Krysoprase could possibly be the same as the troll mob leader, Chrysoprase in Soul Music.

*
* From: "Steve Kaplan" ( )
*
Having read all the Pratchett books (and owning all but one - Eric) I have to comment on the Fifth Elephant. In the author's blurb in the books there is a line about PTerry sometimes "being accused of literature". TFE is a case in point. While it's written very well, does anyone else get the feeling that it's:

A. A contractual obligation book. B. A character-based narrative, i.e. he's just continuing to flesh out the characters with a vague pretence at plot. It's a fine medium of literature but, I dunno if it's quite in keeping...

In the introduction to "The Stand: Unabridged version", Stephen King says that it's gotten to the point where he could put his name on the cover of the telephone book and it would sell like hotcakes. Here's hoping that our friend hasn't read that edition yet.

WB replies: Fight! Fight!

*
* From: "Simon Crowe" ( )
*
I don't know if anyone else got this impression but I couldn't help feeling disappointed after reading the Fifth Elephant. Don't get me wrong it was very very good, but despite starring my favourite character (Vimes), I didn't feel it was totally up to the phenomenally high standard of the previous few novels. Anyway, I wanted to ask if anyone could explain to me the three sisters who live in the lonely house. I've wracked my brains trying to understand what they are a reference to but I just don't get it.

*
* From: "Elizabeth Wadsworth" ( )
*
I'm pleased to read that Terry Gilliam is going to direct the movie version of Good Omens. If anyone can be trusted not to screw up the story, he can. Unfortunately, Peter Cook is no longer with us, since I can't imagine anyone else playing the part of Crowley (recalling his memorable performance as the Devil in the late-Sixties film Bedazzled.) Good Lord, that really dates me, doesn't it?!

Some more thoughts: Having read all the books up to and including Jingo (the most recent to be available in the U.S.) I can't help wondering if Wee Mad Arthur and Buggy Swires, of Men at Arms and Jingo, respectively, are intended to be the same species as the Nomes of the Bromeliad Trilogy.

*
* From: "Regis Moutier" ( )
*
I would like to give some answers to Joe Johnson about magic in Discworld. First, all wizards should learn a spell to cast it, but when a wizard casts a spell he forgets it. To cast the spell again he should learn it again. Rincewind couldn't learned a new spell until he cast the in-octavo spell, because the spells are afraid. Since his mind was free, he hasn't had time to learn any spell (he sleeps or he runs). For dwarves, how could you know the difference between male and female (they all have a beard). You can't. If you can't, you can't know if a dwarf was a eighth son of a eighth son.

I would like to know if they are some French readers of DWM. You can contact me at you can look at my Discworld site (english and French) at http:\\altern.org\remfifi.

*
* From: "Andy Reynolds" ( )
*
L.J.Thomason is spot on - Lloyd Webber is enjoyed by a considerable percentage of the world's population as opposed to Pratchett who is enjoyed by a few thousand anoraks.

A similar debate went on about Disney vs Pratchett not so long ago with similar results.

Also the problem dilemma about who should play what in any pending film is simple to work out. The film will struggle even with a top drawer name therefore with newcomers or amateurs it will never get off the ground.

*
* From: "96MORLEYSOUTERR" ( )
*
I am probably alone in the world in thinking this, but who thinks Carrot and Angua should get married in a future Watch book? Call me a soppy old smeg head if you want but....it could happen one day......... my favourite Angua quote is: "But when you've been around here for a while you'll find out that sometimes, I can be a bitch."

*
* From: "Adam Linville" ( )
*
In response to Scott Pierson's comment that there is a lack of representation of race in the Discworld: I disagree. "Witches Abroad" makes a good comment on how black people are viewed. When Nanny meets the head cook at the palace in Genua, the first thing that is mentioned is that Nanny had never met a black person before but didn't see her as any different than other people. Rather than address the issue directly, Mr. Pratchett prefers to use species conflicts to represent race conflicts, such as in "Men At Arms" and "Feet of Clay". I find it very effective because it removes our preconceived notions of black and white and replaces them with dwarves and trolls. Who would argue that the aristocracy of Ankh is RIGHT to look down their noses at the other species in the city? WE are left to form the next question on our own: how is this fictional prejudice any different from the real prejudice in our world? Just one more reason why Terry Pratchett is a literary genius -- he makes a fantasy series that is also a powerful social critique.

*
* From: "Floris vd Meijs" ( )
*
In January's issue of DWM we can read about PTerry's next DW novel: "The Truth". This novel will be about a newspaper in Ankh-Morpork, but I really wonder how this will work out. You see, in Maskerade we can read why books are so expensive in AM: the wizards don't hold with movable type, so every book must be written separately. This is said to be the reason for the absence of newspapers in AM. When I read last month's feature article I got visions of tiny imps painting letters onto a big sheet of paper, rather like Moving Pictures (btw, the wizards didn't hold with that either).


4. Terry's USA "The Fifth Elephant" Tour Dates

Terry will be touring the US in March and April on "The Fifth Elephant" signing tour. This information is based on a message Terry recently sent to the newsgroup alt.fan.pratchett.announce

Friday, March 24Murder By The Book Houston, Houston
6PM 2342 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005
(713) 524-8597 (This one is 'time out' from Aggiecon)
  
Tuesday, March 25Texas A&M Bookstore,College Station
1PM Memorial Student Center, College Station,
TX 77844
  
Monday, March 27The Stars our Destination, Chicago
7PM 1021 W Belmont, Chicago IL
(773) 871-2722
  
Tuesday, March 28Cleveland Plain Dealer Book and Author
6PM Dinner, Cleveland
(sorry, I don't know much more about this except that a fellow author there will be Donald Westlake, which is just fine by me).
  
Wednesday, March 29Dreamhaven Books, Minneapolis
6PM 912 W. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN
(612) 823-6161
  
Thursday, March 30University Bookstore, Seattle
7PM 4326 University Way, NE Seattle, WA
(206) 545-4363 Signing to be held on UW campus at Kane Hall
  
Friday, March 31 Powells Books, Portland
7:30PM 1005 West Burnside Street, Portland, OR
(503)228-0540
  
Saturday, April 1Future Fantasy, San Francisco
1PM 2705 El Camino Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650)855-9771
  
Saturday, April 1Booksmith on Page,San Francisco
7PM Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street, San
(415) 863-8688 Francisco, CA
  
Sunday, April 2 Kepler's, San Francisco
3PM 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 594-5935
  
Sunday, April 2The Other Change of Hobbit
7:30PM2020 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94704-1117
(510) 848-0413
  
Monday, April 3Stacy's, San Francisco
12:30581 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 421-4687
  
Monday, April 3
7PMDangerous Visions, Los Angeles
(818) 986-696313563 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
  
Tuesday, April 4Waldenbooks/Brentano's, Los Angeles
12:30PM10250 Santa Monica Blvd Century City,
(310) 785-0204CA 90067
  
Tuesday, April 4Vromans, Los Angeles
7PM695 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320
  
Wednesday, April 5Barnes & Noble Astor Place, New York
7:30PM4 Astor Place NY, NY 10003
(212) 420-0816

5. Recommendations

In order to reduce the size of the letters section with large letters recommending other authors we thought we'd keep things simple by listing the name of the person doing the recommendation and the recommendation itself.

Discworld FanAuthor
Marion EleyTom Holt
Jennifer PeakeDan McGirt - Dirty Work
Mehrangez RahmanMervyn Peake - Gormenghast
Gregory Maguire

There is also a list of comic-fantasy authors at members.tripod.com/de_29/home.html


6. ISIS unabridged Hogfather Audio Book Competition Results

Last month we asked: What was the first Discworld book Graham Higgins illustrated?

The randomly selected winner who correctly identified MORT as the correct answer is Colin Wood.

For more information bout ISIS books you can contact ISIS on 01865-250333 or email


7. Who's Who: Angua

Angua entered the Discworld series at the beginning of Men at Arms, the second Watch book. Remember, this was after the innovative Guards! Guards! and before the Watch had become a plc and a registered trademark, generating sales of the books on a regular basis.

In Men at Arms we see the Watch recruiting to try to reflect the cosmopolitan nature of Ankh-Morpork. There is some comment as this tall, blonde, attractive, intelligent person dons her badge. Reference is made to the fact that her abilities will be impaired for a few days each month, along with the objection that 'for gods sake, she's a W...', steering the reader to suspect some masoganistic resentment. However soon enough we discover that the problem is that Angua is in fact a werewolf.

Angua replaces Terry's prototype female werewolf Ludmilla Cake, and clearly owes a debt of inspiration to Conina the Barbarian Hairdresser and perhaps even Herrena.

The most recent Discworld story (TFE) gives Angua her most prominent role yet. Angua's family are from the Uberwald, an evocatively named region where vampire and werewolf nobility prey on terrified villagers. Angua, of course, doesn't share her relations' predatory contempt for normal people. No, she uses her powers for good, in the Watch.

The Watch benefits enormously from having a lycanthropic member, who can fill the role of both police woman and police dog. When miscreants offer resistance she can threaten to tear them to shreds, although naturally she never actually does so. Plus, she has to get naked every time she changes form! Though whenever she's changing back into human form she demurely does so out of sight, and everyone's really discrete about not embarrassing her.

A romantic attachment has grown up between Angua and Carrot, and if you think about it, this makes sense. Carrot is the closest thing to a classic 'hero' that the Discworld has got: big, strong, heir to the throne - yet considerate, fair and sometimes comically bashful. Angua compliments these traits nicely: she is also big, strong - and yet pleasingly remorseful about her inherited condition.

WB adds: However, we have a problem. It's to do with lunar cycle/period jokes. It's to do with breastplates. It's to do with strong yet vulnerable women characters. And above all, it's to do with my increasing resentment and bitterness towards attractive women.

You would have thought that if any fantasy series could be relied upon to be disrespectful or anarchic it was the Discworld. Not where beautiful women are concerned. Generally the only people who are really rude to women are brutal thugs who get their come-uppance two paragraphs later. People are rude to Vimes, or Rincewind, or the Archchancellor all the time, but none of her colleagues like to criticise Angua. Because she's a werewolf? No. Because she's a looker.

Perhaps this is what I really don't like about Angua - the good looking types succeed all the time in real life. Is it fair that they should on the Discworld, too? When was the last time Rincewind pulled, hmm?

RM adds: The whole point of Angua is that she is so straight - a sane person in an insane world. It isn't always possible to relate to the actions of a semi intelligent troll or a cowardly wizard etc. Angua can be depended on to react to any situation in the same way as the reader might (except the transforming into a dog bit, of course) as opposed to some humerous exageration.

As for her treatment in general, I think that here we have a character which Terry likes. Similar to Carrot, Vimes, Verance, the list goes on, we readers are supposed to like them too. And why not?


8. Feature: The Movie Industry vs The Discworld

Paul Keating ( ) presents his thoughts about the news that Terry Gilliam will produce a movie of Good Omens.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about creating a Discworld movie by fans and also the recent story that Terry Gilliam has taken on the Good Omens movie. Well below are my thoughts on the problems around making any such movies and also my own personal thoughts on who should really be making movies based on PTerry's material.

There are a series of problems to overcome in making any Terry Pratchett novel into a movie. The Studio's. Predominantly these will be major American Studio's. Now America has made some wonderful thought provoking movies, The Shawshank Redemption, The Truman Show, and so on. But when it comes to adapting material from novels or comic source it field record isn't so good, Judge Dredd, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Punisher, the list can go on and on. I am sure we all remember the tales of Good Omens the first time round. American Studio asks, does this have to be set in England, can't it be set in America with an all American teenager. This is the major problem with American Studios, they seem to be employing people who like to destroy originality before it can spread.

Then there is the history. This can be a major problem (possibly even bigger than the studios). We, as fans, know 50-75-100% of the Discworld's history. We know what has happened, and we can remember the important bits. This is the real killer. The general public who have never read a Discworld novel don't know anything about the Discworld and these are the people you have to attract to the Cinema's. They won't know that the Disc is carried on the back of a Giant Turtle and supported by four elephants (first out of the window), they don't know that Death is probably more human than many of the people he "Works" with (he probably wouldn't make an appearance), there would be no room for why trolls are thick (to costly on special effects, no trolls in this movie).

Then there is Terry himself. After being stung by Hollywood before over his treatment on Mort and Good Omens (does this Death character have to be in Mort??) he would probably want to keep some form of control. Even though it is a wonderful idea to protect his own work and I don't blame him, knowing how studios have worked in the past I would say that talks between what the studio want and what Terry wants would result in an ever decreasing circle until the film is put on hold again. There is one way around this. A Japanese director called Hayou Miyazaki (you should try some of his animation, this is what animation is really about) signed a deal with Disney to allow his work to be published into the English speaking market. But Miyazaki had been stung before with a terrible dub and hacked version of one of his films. So his contract with Disney basically means they can not change certain aspects of the story except for westernisation. [By the way, interesting Pratchett style fact. Neil Gaimen, him of Good Omens and Sandman Fame, created the English language script for Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke in the US)]

It isn't all doom and gloom though. There are some wonderful possibilities out there. Not all of TP's novels are difficult to translate. Eric is based around the classic story of Faust, but also features many recognisable story elements. Also the Johnny Maxwell & Bromliad Trilogy would not be difficult to translate to the screen (as has been proved by a TV series of each). Also Good Omen's should, if handled correctly, be handled well now that Terry Gilliam appears to be in control of the project. Anybody who has seen his work on Monty Python, Brazil, The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will now that he is an extremely original and creative director. Good Omens is a simple one to translate to a movie (without studio intervention) as it is based around the story of the Omen movie. There is very little history to this story and what is there should be well known, Heaven and Hell, Angels and Demons, the Apocolypse. It was a good cross between visual humour and written humour (idea's like the Holy Water in a bucket to stop the Demons).

Also there are other brilliant directors and creators out there. Tim Burton who is one of the few people to successfully transfer a comic character to the big screen and do it twice (Batman and Batman Returns), can create modern fairy tales (Edward Scissorhands), adapt classic literature to the big screen (Sleepy Hollow, which I can't wait to receive). Then there is Nick Parks who has done some wonderful work in claymation in all three of his Wallace & Grommit shorts. In fact I haven't seen him do a bad movie. In fact I think if Moving Pictures is ever made he should do it in claymation (Just look at the movie references in his final Wallace & Gromit film, A Close Shave and the Great Escape inspired Chicken Run, released sometime this year).

The movie does not have to be financed by an American Studio. We are slowly getting better at creating movies, a job we were once great at. In the last few years there has been Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, The Full Monty, Trainspotting, Four Weddings and a Funeral (OK I didn't like it, but it was a well made movie and everybody else enjoyed it). There are some great independent companies out there like Film Four. BBC still make movies and even Sky is starting to get in on the act (although exclusively for their Cinema channels).

I don't think the fans could make a good film (sorry about this) because, as much as the American Studio's would change the film, they know how to play the market. I am guessing there are very few fans out there who have a true understanding of how to make a good movie, how to make a movie that is watchable to the general public (always the target audience) and I do not believe it is a simple translation from the stage versions to the big screen. The flow of a stageplay is completely different from the flow of a movie. A cinema goer is a completely different beast from a theatre goer, even though at times they may be the same person. I would love to be proved wrong, but I just can't see the fans creating there own GOOD movie from a Discworld Novel.

There is one small consolation here. A TP novel is a damn site easier to adapt than a Robert Rankin Novel (try reading A Dog Called Demolition and then make it into a movie).


9. The End

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