Home » Back Issues » Issue 39
Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony, Barnett & Massey
The Truth Shall Make Ye Free

Discworld Monthly - Issue 39: July 2000

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. Recommendations
5. DiscTrivia
6. Results Of Last Month's ISIS Audio Book Competition
7. Competition: Win Clarecraft Prizes
8. Short Review: Carpe Jugulum Live
9. Review: Wyrd Sisters - Wokingham Theatre - June 16th
10. Review: Terry Pratchett: Guilty Of Literature
11. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 39. We've just received our proof of Terry's new novel The Truth. The story is about the Discworld's first newspaper. We will hopefully include a full review in the next issue.

Yasmin Mazur wrote to suggest we link to the Annotated Pratchett Files at L-Space as many of the questions we get each month are answered in these files. www.lspace.org/books/apf/index.html

--
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Sold-out Hippy)


2. News

ISIS have exclusively revealed to Discworld Monthly that Stephen Briggs will be stepping in for Nigel Planer on the next ISIS audio book, the Fifth Elephant. Apparently Nigel's other projects are keeping him very busy. ISIS auditioned Stephen a couple of months ago and are extremely happy with their choice. Peter Johnson from ISIS said: Stephen Briggs is a fine reader and he wrote the book (literally!) on pronouncing Discworld names, places etc, so we'll have no more Glaswegian trolls and a scouse Wee Mad Arthur, I hope.

SteveC ( ) works at Computer exchange (www.cex.co.uk) and can provide the service of getting hold of Discworld games for fans.

There will be a production of Wyrd Sisters at the Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester (near the Northgate Arena) from 3rd to 8th July at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are 5GBP. To book, ring 0151-356 0377, 11a.m. to 7 p.m. only.

The Huon Valley Theatre Young Apprentice's Group will stage a production of Mort from 4 Aug to 19 Aug at the Huonville Town Hall (this is in Tasmania* for those of you who don't know). (*That's the little bit at the bottom of XXXX).

Small Ads....

"Julie Driver" ( ) is 17 and looking for an e-pal. She claims to be a bit nutty and a mad Discworld fan.

"Amanda Forster" ( ) has just created a club/forum for Discworld fans at www.clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/DiscworldFans

"Daniel Price" ( ) is looking for a e-pal who's into PTerry, acting and a jolly good time.

"Paul Milward" ( ) is a first year A-level Communications student who is doing a project on the Discworld. Please email him with your favourite books, characters, one-liners and a bit about yourselves.

"Sue & Stew" ( ) is a great fan of Death and is looking for pictures of him.

"Emily Bradshaw" ( ) is a 17 year old girl who is new to the Internet and is looking for an e-pal who loves Discworld, football and computer games.

"Ly Tin Wheedle" ( ) is trying to improve his French and would like recommendations of French (or Canadian) authors with a similar style to Pratchett's.

"Roi Eshel" ( ) is organising a Discworld play in Israel. And says: Anyone who would like to help out, or even just watch such a play here in the holy land, send me an e-mail so we would know if this project can be done. For more details feel free to join the "Pratchett Israeli Fan Club". To become a member of this club, just go to the Web address below: http://edit.clubs.yahoo.com/config/sjg?.k=87D393cddb7sQD8S

Jonny Royale ( ) has around 30 Clarecraft pieces to sell, each has its original box and card. For a complete list email Jonny.

Matthew ( ) is from England and is a big Discworld fan who wants to discuss Discworld with fellow fans (preferably female) as his friends don't understand his love of Pratchett's work.

Keith Day recently spotted a couple of copies of Discworld Noir in the largest Waterstones at Bluewater Park, Kent.

Marie Barrott ( ) is a 17 year old Discworld fan how would like to speak with other fans of similar age.

Jackie Ashton ( ) wants to find out where she can purchase Discworld jigsaws.

Shaun ( ) has a copy of Discworld 1 for the Playstation which he is willing to swap for books by Mick Farren.

Joseph Label ( ) writes: The Wyrd Sisters cartoon movie is now available from Amazon.com

Pam White ( ) has had a great deal of success in finding early Pratchett books through alibris.com They ship using UPS and charge $3.95 per delivery.

Ben Ash ( ) has decided to sell his edition of Waxworks' limited edition Unseen University. The model includes the library, HEM building, boathouse, tower of art, clock tower, great hall and the observatory. It's complete, with certificate of authenticity, and a display base he made of the university grounds. Ben is asking for 500 GBP.


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 run out of witty comments for the beginning bit of the letters section.

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: "Beth Hunter" ( )
*
I am a new fan of TP and this is my 2nd newsletter and it leaves me wondering why the heck we don't have conventions, plays and such here in the States. I'm in PA and maybe I'm just missing this stuff here.

JA replies: Conventions, plays etc are usually put on by fans for other fans. We would therefore recommend considering getting together with other Discworld fans to see if you can organise your own events in the US. You may want to contact The Klatchian Foreign Legion at welcome.to/wossname

*
* From:
*
I can't believe Alain Cain could take the time to write the e-mail asking about "can to can't", but didn't have the time to turn back a few pages to find the bit where Granny said the "can to can't" bit!

In my hardback version of Carpe Jugulum, the bit with Magrat is on page 136, and the bit where Granny says it in the first place is on page 133. The actual quote is: "And I'm an ol' woman living in the woods and I've got to make it all better? When there's three of you? I've had a lifetime of ought from can to can't and now its over, and I'll thank you for gettin' out of my cave. And that's an end of it."

And shame on you, DWM, for not knowing that!!!!!

JA replies: We gave the original letter to Bill Barnett to research for us and he let us down. He will be suitably punished.

*
* From: "Eslington" ( )
*
In reply to Jacqui Lawrence's letter last month. "Microlithic" could refer to "Paramount" as a reversal reference. Micro means "Millionth" or "very small" and "lithic" refers to stones, like Monoliths. As a whole it means "Very small stone". Paramount, on the other hand, is associated with that damn great mountain you see at the start of their films. On the other hand you could be right about Monumental, which would be pretty much the same thing. Seeing as Holy Wood Hill is refereed to as the Para Mountain. I read somewhere that "Floating bladder productions" was just something Pratchett made up and refers to nothing.

JA replies: Nathan Clissold also wrote to say that in the APF for Moving Pictures Terry says: "I've already gone electronically hoarse explaining that Floating Bladder Productions was just picked out of the air."

*
* From: "mulv" ( )
*
With reference to the ongoing (seemingly interminable) debate about literary analysis of Terry's work, I believe there is mention in Soul Music (at Susan Sto Helit's school) of '...the poet's vision being dismantled with inexpert tools' or something like that. Nuff said?

DWM replies: See our feature on Guilty of Literature for more on this issue.

*
* From: "Erica Hateley" ( )
*
A recent collection of interviews with contemporary British authors "Do You Consider Yourself a Postmodern Author?" eds Freiburg & Schnitker contains an extended (and very interesting) interview with our man. I highly recommend the volume for several interesting interviews, but obviously PTerry is of more interest for DWM readers. The volume is available from Amazon.co.uk, however, I don't suggest holding your breath, mine took ages to get to me.

*
* From: "Annie" ( )
*
I have wanted to write for sometime to tell you how much Terry Pratchett's books have come to mean to me. I am disabled and am, on many occasions, in a pretty astonishing state of pain.

I met my husband, otherwise known as my beloved brit, on the Internet. Before he was able to immigrate to America to marry me, he often struggled to find a way to comfort me, via the telephone. So he began reading TP's books to me. I'd never heard of TP before and wasn't much of a science fiction fan. But it only took the description of Bloody Stupid Johnson's famous shower he built for the Archchancellor and I was hooked.

We've been married almost three years now. I have good days and bad with the pain. Reading Terry Pratchett's books to me is now an integral part of my husband's care of me. There have been times when even the sheets hurt my skin but between my husband's reading and his creating voices for the characters, I always wind up laughing through the pain and finding a way to continue the struggle. I now print out your newsletter and have him read it to me also.

So I wanted both you and Mr. Pratchett to know how very very important you both are to my health and well-being. Without the Internet I wouldn't have met my husband or found your wonderful newsletter. And without Mr. Pratchett's genius I wouldn't have the ability to use his words to transport me from the world of pain I generally exist in to Ankh-Mor-Pork. Who would have thought anyone would prefer such a great city to pain?

Ankh-Mor-Pork....I loathe it but need it!!! Keep up the great great work.

DWM replies: We have decided to award Annie this month's Letter of the Month.

*
* From: "Agnes Boddington" ( )
*
We Discworlders must be a special breed. My children lost my Discworld 1 for PC (lent it to "a friend", never to be returned). For months I e-mailed all across the world to find a replacement copy. I was finally contacted by a very generous young man in the USA, who supplied me with a replacement copy. If he reads this, many thanks again.

*
* From: "Tony Royce" ( )
*
In your last issue, the trivia quiz contained a glaring error,,

"3. Death said: There's no justice. There's just us." Not totally accurate, the correct quote should read; "THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE IS JUST ME"

DWM replies: In defence of Adam we think it depends if you read the quote in MORT or Reaper Man.

*
* From: "Lost C'Mell" ( )
*
There is a recommendation that may or may not have been in the DWM before - in fact I'd be surprised if it hasn't - but it bears repeating. This is Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics.

I'm sure most readers are aware that Neil collaborated on Good Omens with PTerry, but in my opinion (as a recent convert) the Sandman series are better than Good Omens, and easily on a par with the Discworld books.

What makes them particularly attractive to Discworld readers is the Death character, who to my mind is (physically) a perfect embodiment of Death's granddaughter Susan, and in outlook is just so nice that you wouldn't mind being led anywhere by her.

*
* From: "Rachael Brown" ( )
*
I currently have three Discworld computer games - are there more than this and if not when is the next one coming out???? Also my version of Discworld 2 is called "missing presumed..?" I have also seen reviews for Discworld 2 "reality bytes". Is one an American version or has the game been released under 2 different names?

DWM replies: If you're REALLY keen there was a game in the 80's for the ZX Spectrum called "The Colour Of Magic".

*
* From: "John Routledge" ( )
*
An answer to Stuart's question last month as to why Americans have to wait so long for Discworld books.

The answer to this is, sadly, that American publishers genuinely think that Americans in general are, to put it kindly, stupid.

They think that the average America (or the average American sci-fi/fantasy reader at any rate) is dumb enough to ALWAYS judge a book by its cover, and to assume that a cartoon cover means a childrens book.

In actually of course, it is the publishers who are stupid. They fall in roughly the same characters as the film producers who asked Terry to rewrite Death out of Mort.

There are indications that internet companies are putting an end to this nonsense. We can but hope the indications are right.

*
* From: "Melville" ( )
*
Re. Lacrymosa, the teenage girl vampire in Carpe Jugulum: Her name translates from Latin either as "bitter" or "lamentation": "Lacrymosa Dies illa" means "day of bitter lamentation" according to my score of Verdi's Requiem.

Also, I believe I have found the origin of the device in the jar built by Riktor the Tinkerer in Moving Pictures: (Quote paraphrased, but bears original information) "A Chang Heng earthquake weathercock from 2nd century AD. It was a large vase, the outside affixed with eight golden dragons, their bodies pointing downwards. Below each sat an open-mouthed frog. A bronze ball rested in each dragon's mouth, and should a tremor occur, the affected dragon would drop his ball into the mouth of his frog, setting off the alarm. The positioning of the dragon would determine the direction of the quake. In AD 138 that very urn had measured a quake four hundred miles away..." Although I found this in a science fiction book mainly about earthquakes ("Richter 10", Mike Maquay and Arther C. Clarke. A very good book.), Mike Maquay's style suggests that this is accurate - as is all of his information about earthquakes and the other subjects he touches on.

*
* From: "David Godden" ( )
*
I have been toying with the idea of setting up a Pan European Discworld Convention for a while now, but really have no idea how to go about it, having never had the chance to attend a convention elsewhere.

I met with a very talented lady on Saturday, who has been setting up business conventions for a while and who is also a devoted Pratchett fan. She has agreed readily to assist me, if I can gage the need and general want for a European Convention.

May I use your publication to put out a general invite to all of Terry's European fans to mail me with ideas, offers of help, location ideas and what they would like to see at a convention. It would probably be in France as Switzerland, where I live is far too expensive to host such an event.

So, if you live in Europe (main land continental Europe that is), and would like to see a Discworld convention set up, send me ideas and offers of help/money/alcohol/ and anything else you can think of to get this off the ground.

Even an idea of numbers (not Richter) attending or wanting to attend would be a great help.

*
* From: "Scott Rockwell" ( )
*
My name is Scott Rockwell, and about ten years ago I adapted the first two Discworld novels into comic book form for Innovation Publishing here in the US. The comics were illustrated by a very talented artist named Steven Ross. These were reprinted in the UK, distributed (I believe) by TransCon. I think I was a bit ahead of my time when I proposed the series to the publisher, since only 4 or so Discworld novels had been published in the US and Pyramids had just come out in the UK. However, I was also the Submissions Editor for Innovation at the time, and so had an inside track on what sort of comics we published. I loved the Discworld series, and thought they would translate well into a graphic format. Unfortunately, the series wasn't a big seller, but I did manage to adapt 8 issues (4 adapting The Colour of Magic and 4 adapting The Light Fantastic) and they were reprinted as two graphic novels.

DWM replies: We will hopefully be featuring more information about these graphic novels in a future issue.

*
* From: "Graham Smith" ( )
*
Allen Beadmoor asked what the exchange rate would be between the GBP and the AM$. I'd say: Really? Are you thinking of taking your Summer Holiday there? Send us a postcard (with amusing etchyng of woode-cutt). Anyway, to address the question, I'd guess that the rate would be about 1$AM = 0.8GBP. This is based on the fact that there are a few references to a loaf of bread costing 1 dollar (FOC) and one or two other little bits I picked up.

*
* From: "Melville" ( )
*
I'm planning to get a copy of Discworld Noir. Is there any difference between the PC and Playstation versions, and if so, which do any of you recommend?

DWM replies: We haven't seen the playstation version, but the PC should top it in terms of visuals.


4. 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
Jamas EnrightStephen Donaldson
Ben FosterNeil Gaiman
Jo LovattAlan Aldrige - "The Gnole"

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


5. DiscTrivia

This month we would like to introduce you to Simon Greener. Simon is nearly 30 and lives in Derby. He has recently started working for PC Servicecall in Nottingham, having previously worked as a Hotel manager. Simon has a degree in Chemistry and is free and desperate. This probably explains why he has time to write trivia questions for us.

On to this month's questions:

  1. What are the three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space?
  2. Old Man's Frogbit is good for what ailment?
  3. What is the name of the elf that informed the Queen that she had lost her unicorn?
  4. What was Teppic's house during his time at the Assassin's Guild, and who was his Housemaster?
  5. Who was the first Ankh Morpork Citizen killed by the Dragon?
  6. Who is Carrot's uncle?
  7. What is Nobby's alter-ego called?
  8. What was Coin's father called?
  9. Who built Lancre Castle?
  10. The characters Weasel and Bravd the Hublander were based on which two literary characters?

The answers as always can be found in the final section. Arguments about the answers as always can be found in next month's issue.


6. Results Of Last Month's ISIS Audio Book Competition

Last month ISIS supplied us with two copies of the new audio book Carpe Jugulum. We asked the following simple questions and the two randomly selected winners are Trinity & Alison Price.

Q1. What does Carpe Jugulum mean in English?
A1. Seize The Throat (we also accepted grab the throat / juglular or go for the throat)

Q2. Which Witch got married in Lords and Ladies?
A2. Magrat to King Verence II

If you entered the competition and didn't request otherwise, ISIS should soon be in contact for your postal addresses so they can send you a catalogue.

If you would like more information about ISIS audio books then email Peter Johnson at


7. Competition: Win Clarecraft Prizes

To coincide with the Clarecraft event this month we have one of each of The Collectors Guilds' three flying witches to give away. If you don't know about the event visit www.clarecraft.co.uk/ for more information.

In order to win one of these sought after pieces simply answer the following question...

  1. What is Magrat's baby's first name?
Please email you answer along with your postal address (so we can send the prizes) to before 22nd July 2000.

The winners will be randomly selected and announced in next months issue.


8. Short Review: Carpe Jugulum Live

Andrea Turner recently visited Wolverton near Milton Keynes to see Carpe Jugulum after seeing the ad in DWM.

The theatre is very small (only 120 seats) and it made a good atmosphere. The cast were all excellent, especially the main characters (the witches and the De Magpyr family) and in particular Agnes. However, the show stealer was definitely Igor. The female playing the character was extremely funny and her make-up was brilliant. The audience loved her.

As is to be expected with amateur productions, the best parts are the parts that go wrong, such as when props and sets take on a life of their own. The collapsing table and broken glasses were well handled with some very funny ad-libbing from other cast members (Igor does it again!). Other mishaps were handled professionally and just ignored - the show went on regardless.

The costumes were all very good and it must have made for a lot of hard work.

The show was heavily applauded and the cast even did photo opportunities after the show.

A very impressive performance. I hope more TP plays appear within my reach soon.

- Andrea Turner


9. Review: Wyrd Sisters - Wokingham Theatre - June 16th

I suppose it was inevitable that my local theatre would end up showing a Pratchett adaptation - given the popularity of the books, you'll probably soon be seeing adverts for Pratchett plays at scientific research stations in Antarctica or on the Moon or something. This is the second time I've seen Stephen Briggs' adaptation of Wyrd Sisters performed by an amateur theatre group. I took the precaution of having SEVERAL BEERS beforehand, and it proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

It's always interesting to see what's been added to the script in a particular production. All the witches had acquired Scottish accents, which suited them really well, while the ghost of the dead king supplied a pretty passable impersonation of Sean Connery. A number of good visual gags also appeared, such as the duke and duchess's thrones: the Duke sits down in the most tall and imposing one, his wife enters and he hurriedly shifts into the small, humble one. Funnier when you see it happen.

Performances were uniformly good. The Duke and his Fool were fantastic - the former's mannerisms really suited the part, while the latter had exactly the right skinny build for foolish capering. The Duchess's great achievement was her broad New York accent, another instance where the performers had evidently really given some thought to what would be funny on stage.

The Witches themselves did an excellent job but you couldn't get over the feeling that Granny and Nanny were far too young, while Magrat was a bit of a fox, even in a bright green dress, striped leggings and red Doc Marten boots. Granny Weatherwax managed to convey some of the iron will associated with her role, however - she strongly reminded me of a particularly stern French teacher I used to have.

Incidental comic relief was provided by the helpful, apologetic bloke behind the bar, and a couple of minor blunders on stage which our esteemed Ed distinguished himself by laughing uproariously at, much to everyone's embarrassment. Altogether an inventive production, certainly the best I've seen yet of Wyrd Sisters.

- William Barnett


10. Review: Terry Pratchett: Guilty Of Literature

Judging by the recent furore in the pages of Discworld Monthly over our half-baked, ill-considered 'analysis' of Angua (DWM#34), Pratchett fans have very strong opinions about the pros and cons of literary analysis, especially when applied to the works of their favourite author. Let's start by saying, then, that if you think analysing the books SUCKS, don't bother reading this review. I'm not saying you're right or wrong, but I'm certainly saying that you won't want to buy Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature.

TP:GoL is a collection of ten critical essays looking at Pratchett's whole body of work, not just Discworld (although inevitably, Discworld receives the most coverage). These are written by various luminaries from the sci-fi and academic worlds, although I had only heard of one of them and, according to the blurb at the back of the book, most of them only do criticism, not actual fiction. Fancy that.

The essays consider a fair range of subjects, including particular characters, the significance of the maps, how come the books are funny and quite a good piece on Terry's idea of morality, or as much of it as can be gleaned from his novels. In terms of interest and quality, the pieces range from fairly successful to utterly dire.

I appreciate that some of us are genetically predisposed towards an enjoyment of analysis. Some of us have had lit. crit. educated into us to such an extent that we can't help it any more. I suggest, however, that wilfully obfuscatory arguments couched in inaccessible language are no fun for anyone - except the person who's written them. John Clute's 'Coming of Age' is the best example of this approach to criticism in TP:GoL - I was unable to determine what his point was (if he ever had one) either from the title or the text of his essay. (Ed - perhaps some sort of competition's in order?)

It's not all dross, by any means. While the authors are often guilty of telling you things you already know there are a few new angles to take on board - probably not enough to warrant spending time reading these essays, mind you. What it all boils down to is whether or not you customarily read books of literary criticism. If you don't, Guilty of Literature is not a good enough reason to begin doing so.

Oh, there is one unlooked-for bonus. The Bursar's name (forthcoming in The Truth) is revealed: Dr Horace Worblehat, D.M. (7th), D.Thau., B.Occ., M.Coll., B.F. Almost makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?

- William Barnett


11. The End

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* DiscTrivia Answers *

  1. What are the three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space?
        1, Silence (Guards! Guards!)
        2, Books must be returned no later than the last date shown
        3, Do not interfere with the nature of causality

  2. Old Man's Frogbit is good for what ailment?
        Constipation (Wyrd Sisters)

  3. What is the name of the elf that informed the Queen that she had lost her unicorn?
        Lankin (Lords and Ladies)

  4. What was Teppic's house during his time at the Assassin's Guild, and who was his Housemaster?
        1, Viper House (Pyramids)
        2, Grunworth Nivor

  5. Who was the first Ankh Morpork Citizen killed by the Dragon.
        - Zebbo Mooty (Men At Arms)

  6. Who is Carrot's uncle?
        Bjorn Stronginthearm (Guards! Guards!)

  7. What is Nobby's alter-ego called?
        Beti (Jingo)

  8. What was Coin's father called?
        Ipslore the Red (Sourcery)

  9. Who built Lancre Castle?
        Champot (Wyrd Sisters)

  10. The characters Weasel and Bravd the Hublander were based on which two literary characters?
        Fafh'rd and the Gray Mouser (Colour Of Magic)

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