Discworld Monthly - Issue 40: August 2000
Table of Contents:1. Editorial
3. Readers' Wives
5. Result of Last Month's Competition to Win Clarecraft Prizes
6. German Tour Dates
7. Feature: Colin Smythe
8. Review: Carpe Jugulum - ISIS Audi Book
9. Review: The Truth
10. The End
1. EditorialWelcome to issue 40. The end of July saw the Clarecraft Event 2000 take place, in Woolpit, Bury St Edmunds. I was on hand at the event and should hopefully include a review next month. You should soon be able to see the pictures from the event on Clarecraft's website at www.clarecraft.co.uk/
Unfortunately we are unable to include DiscTriva this month, please look out for a new batch of question in next month's issue.
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Sold-out Hippy)
2. NewsLast month we announced six new MP3 audio books from ISIS. We have recently received this statement from ISIS about these titles.
"In the course of running the MP3 editions of the six titles we pre-released to your subscribers on a variety of players, we've discovered a few 'glitches'. It seems that during the CD to MP3 conversion process, some tracks (each lasts about 5 mins.) got fractions of a second lopped off just before and just after the band that divides them. Hence, where one track ends and another begins in the middle of a sentence, there may be a kind of gulp in the narration.
Assuming it doesn't occur on every track, and given that it could only occur once every 5 or 6 mins, it might not impair some people's listening too badly, but we really aren't in the business of selling second rate or faulty products. So if anyone who has bought one is having any kind of problem loading, playing or listening to them, please let us know. We want to put this matter right as quickly and efficiently as we can. Please fax us on +44 (0) 1865 209 303 or +44 (0) 1865 790 358.
For those who may be encountering difficulties, we apologise wholeheartedly; to those considering buying the product, please rest assured that no more will be sold until this glitch is ironed out."
The Purple Theatre Company will be showing Carpe Jugulum from Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th December at the Compass Theatre in Ickenham, Middlesex. The shows start at 8pm with a matinee on the Saturday at 3pm. Tickets cost 7.50GBP with concessions of 6.50GBP available for the Wednesday, Thursday and matinee performances. Tickets are available on 07050 605081 or email
A couple of ladies turned up at Terry's signing in Chippenham, Wilts, last year and told him that a Stick and Bucket Dance contest was now officially part of the town's folk festival.
After he'd stopped laughing they showed him the official winners' cup, the gold-painted Bucket D'Or. It was a good bucket, he said, as buckets went. But maybe it was possible to do it better.
So for this year's contest he donated a real golden -- well, a very, very gold- looking -- bucket for the contest's third event. It had been designed by Cunning Artificer Bernard Pearson and built by Stephen Crane (Commander Vimes to fans who've seen him at Discworld masquerades).
Although the new Bucket D'Or will be officially 'owned' by the winning team until next year, it will stay in a display case at the Elderflower's home pub, the Old Road Tavern.
Any team, old or new, that wants to try for it next year should contact Jane Machin, at 28 Queen Square, Chippenham, Wilts, SN15 3EA
For those few actors reading this newsletter who happen to live in Adelaide, Unseen Theatre Company is holding auditions for its production of Guards! Guards! to be held at the Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide from 6th November. Currently they are looking for Ten males 18+, Four females 18+ & tech crews etc. Information Night is at the Tower Arts Centre on 13th August and Auditions on 20th August, both at 7.30pm. For more details, email:-
An anonymous reader wrote to tell us about a lady who crochets
Discworld clothes for fashion dolls. The site already has
Rincewind, Magrat, Susan, Lady Sybil, Lord Vetinari, Death and
Chris Ayres ( ) is a major Discworld fan, especially of Watch series... and is looking for an e-pal to discuss these particular books as well as the rest of the series.
Lionel Blanchet ( ) would like to know if there is a French language Discworld newsletter or a serious French speaking fan club in either France of Belgium.
Rosa ( ) says: I am looking for the following: An old copy of the Watch diary 1999, an American edition of Men at Arms or (out to any budding Manga artists) any Discworld Manga cartoons that people have drawn. I love Manga cartoons and I would love to see my favourite Discworld characters in Manga form!
Craig ( ) writes: As far as I am aware the Discworld game's soundtracks currently exist on CD as I have two myself. The single of 'That's Death' by Eric Idle from DW2 (credit music), and the whole soundtrack for DW Noir, both of which came with the game. It wouldn't surprise me if a soundtrack for DW1 existed too. I think it was some kind of limited edition promotion, as when I bought the games I noticed that only some of the boxes had a sticker on saying that the soundtrack was included. If you wish I'd be willing to sell the two, but believe me they aren't anything special, I think only die-hard collectors would appreciate them.
Asa Olsson ( ) is a 28-year-old Swedish Discworld fan who would like to know where they can get hold of a t-shirt with their favourite characters. Asa wants to make everyone in Umea jealous.
Beth Winter (
) has a large (260 members at last
count) and friendly Yahoo! club that's always looking for new
Shelley Pearson ( ) has Witches Abroad (perfect condition) and The Colour of Magic (slightly foxed cover) for sale. Offers in GBP should be emailed to Shelley.
David Campbell ( ) is 21 and male, lives in the States and would like an e-pal. He is wondering why all the females who write in are 17 (because they are the only ones we allow *grin* - Ed). David is interested in Pratchett, Sci-Fi (especially in novel form), and war gamming.
Jasmine S. Lellock ( ) is finding it incredibly difficult to find books or other Discworld fans in the states. Jasmine will soon be moving to Boston.
Emma Barnes (
) got a copy of Discworld Noir from
www.Shop4Games.com last week for 21.99GBP. But warns that,
as you don't pay for postage it comes just wrapped in brown paper
and her case was broken. If you're not that picky or are desperate
give it a go.
Alison ( ) will be 15 in September and would like to talk to people of roughly the same age who like the Discworld and other fun stuff.
3. Readers' LettersIf 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 because
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: "Karri Malm" ( )
In the last issue the review of "Terry Pratchett: Guilty Of Literature" ends with "The Bursar's name (forthcoming in The Truth) is revealed: Dr Horace Worblehat, D.M. (7th), D.Thau., B.Occ., M.Coll., B.F." In the Discworld Companion it says, under the title-word Librarian, "There is a rumour that the Librarian was once Dr Horace Worblehat, B. Thau, D.M., but no one utters this out loud." Which one is most likely true? And what are B.Occ. and M.Coll. anyway?
DWM replies: Thanks to K Massam & Richard Speight who also spotted this appalling incongruity. The question now arises: Did TP:GoL make a mistake, or, more shocking still, has Terry had the contradiction pointed out and changed the Bursar's name ... to Dr A.A. Spottiswode, D.M (7th), D.Thau, B.Occ, M.Coll, B.F? Because this is how it appears in our proof of the Truth. Don't miss next month's DWM to find out: what is really 'The Truth' about the Bursar's name...
* From: "Andy Sawyer" ( )
Hi: thanks for reviewing TERRY PRATCHETT: GUILTY OF LITERATURE.
Mr Barnett finds a few problems with the book - fair enough, but he
makes some rather odd statements along with his judgement. First,
"Most" of us "only do criticism". As if that matters? In fact I
can't speak for all the contributors, but I know for certain that
four of us have also "done" fiction. Which doesn't help one way or
another any reader who wants to read what we've written in *this*
book. But if you want another competition, you might like to guess
*which* four ...
Second, Mr Barnett, along with a number of Discworld Monthly's readers over the past few mailings, seem to have had bad experiences in the English class. I'm sorry about that ... but if "analysis" is such a dirty word why are people getting together in forums such as Discworld Monthly to talk about Terry Pratchett's books? Literary criticism isn't something that's beaten into unwilling heads (well, not after the age of 16 :-)) - it's something that we (ie everyone who likes reading and books) *do*. And we do it because we like reading and talking about literature. And "we" isn't just us ivory-tower bods in universities but everyone who reads a book and thinks "Hmm - this is good" and tells their friends about it and gets together with other people who think the same way, and argues with people who like different sorts of books.
By all means fault us for not achieving what we set out to do, but
William Barnett's beating the old straw man rather than any real
Oh well, the Library Association seemed to get the joke ...
BTW, TP:GoL is available from: The Science Fiction Foundation, 22 Addington Road, Reading RG1 5PT, UK.
Price 10GBP or 16USD (1GBP or 4USD for postage and packing).
1GBP from each copy sold goes to the Orang-Utan Foundation. For
further details see the web page at
Referring to the question about Discworld Computer games I remember (However dimly) such a thing on the C64. It was sort of an interactive-text-game as far as I recall. The most I got out of it was the line: "Even the multi-lingual Rincewind didn't understand that."
JA Replies: Ah, the good old games. I don't think Discworld 1 was much better, with Rincewind saying "I can't do that!" all the time.
* From: "Gordon Tough" ( )
Does anyone know if the work of Terry has ever been used in a sermon?
* From: "P. Jones" ( )
I have recently been studying Hans Christian Anderssen and have come across a rather bizarre possible link to the Discworld. Among his many peculiarities Anderssen had an acute fear of death. He often took this fear to such extremes as to wear a sign around his neck while he slept, stating "I am not really dead". Could this be related to Granny Weatherwax's borrowing sign "I ATE'NT DEAD".
DWM replies: Is this really true? Phil get this months Letter of the Month... and that really is true.
* From: "Laura Holborow" ( )
A friend is hoping to direct Mort early next year, and I am stage managing it for her. Does anyone have any advice they could offer us about doing Mort? How did people get round the Binky flying scenes? We don't have a projection screen we can use which is what is suggested by Stephen Briggs in the script.
* From: "Jacob Aron" ( )
Question 6 of your quiz (who is Carrot's uncle) has the wrong answer, Bjorn Stronginthearm is actually his father's uncle, making him Carrots great uncle. Also I have spotted a mistake in Guards Guards. PTerry explains that dwarves do not use the pronoun she, but then the characters do when talking about Minty, the dwarf Carrot is in love with. What's that all about?
DWM replies: Thanks also to Donovan Hatting and Russ Lamberson who spotted the same grey area in the Trivia.
* From: "Cagken" ( )
I may have my name removed from your mailing list for asking this question, but here goes anyway....... are there any other 54 year old Grandmothers out there in e-space who are TP fans? Love to hear from you if there are. I have just read my first newsletter. Thank you. To Terry, I say what about a book starring Susan and Mr Rochester? (At least meeting her in a dark lane would have been a good reason for Rochester's horse to shy.) Also what would happen if the Listening Monks picked up Radio Four? Look forward to next issue.
* From: "Jacqui" ( )
Since the Latin 'lacrima' means "tear" and lacrimation is crying, I've always translated 'Lacrimosa' in music to mean "sobbing, crying". In the context (Mozart's Requiem, Verdi, etc) they're nearly always quiet, sad pieces, not loud and lamenting. Lacrimose means tearful, or possibly doleful. Like the Murphys, it's not bitter...
* From: "Malaclypse" ( )
I saw the graphic novels Scott Rockwell was talking about in By The Same Author and could never find them in my bookshops.
I found the Light Fantastic in my local library and rented it out. It was very good. It was in fact a reprint from 1997 - it shouldn't be too difficult to find, but then again - the DW cartoons were made in that year and look at the amount available - I think that the 2nd game was as well. (If anyone knows where I can buy a first hand copy of either 1st or 2nd game on the net - not auction- then please let me know!)
I took the ISBN and searched Amazon and the page that greeted me wasn't too awe inspiring - All the text was "About the paperback version" (ie the Corgi novel) there was no picture and customer comments and knowing Amazon and the mess they made when I tried to order the h2g2 radio series (on CD) which is quite obscure I doubt you'd actually get the graphic novel.
4. RecommendationsIn 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.
|Danny Wong||Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson|
There is also a list of comic-fantasy authors at members.tripod.com/de_29/home.html
5. Result of Last Month's Competition to Win Clarecraft PrizesLast month we offered one each of The Collectors Guilds three flying witches as prizes. In order to win one of the prizes you needed to answer the following (simple) question. Almost everyone who entered got it right, and almost everyone read the rules and included their postal address! This really does make my life much easier and rest assured as soon as I selected the winners all other addresses were deleted.
For more information about the Collectors Guild and Clarecraft visit www.clarecraft.co.uk/
Q. What is Magrat's baby's first name?
Her full name is: Esmerelda Magaret Note Spelling of Lancre
The randomly chosen winners are Lauren Nichols, Clive Gillard & Tracy Horton. Your prizes should soon be on the way to you.
We would like to thank Elton of Clarecraft for arranging these prizes. www.clarecraft.co.uk/
6. German Tour DatesThis information, although just supplied, is a couple of months old so please check first.
September Signings and/or Readings
25 Bonn - evening Bouvier (R+S)
26 Koblenz - evening Bouvier (R+S)
27 afternoon Dortmund (S only) not sure where; evening Cologne Gonski (R+S)
28 evening Hamburg, Thalia (R+S)
29 Berlin afternoon (S) at Kaufhof, evening UFO bookstore (R+S)
7. Feature: Colin SmytheThe first four Discworld novels were originally published in the US with Josh Kirby's illustrations on the covers, but these were dropped as the feedback New American Library got was that this sort of design made readers in the US think they were children's books, so they decided to go for the standard American fantasy style. NAL (now part of Penguin USA) first published Terry under the Signet and then Roc imprint. The present style in use by HarperCollins is to try and avoid typecasting Terry's books so that hopefully they'll be picked up by non-fantasy readers. While I think some are terrible, the plan seems to be working....
Books normally take about the same time from delivery of manuscript to publication as a human pregnancy, nine months. Publication dates for Terry's books are normally at the end of October/beginning or November or April/beginning of May. Obviously, the pre-Christmas period is better for sales, but no publisher will turn its nose up a two books in a year from a best-selling author rather than one, if they get the chance. The time is necessary to allow for editing, production (including allowing Josh time to paint the cover picture - and he can't be hurried), publicity, and the need to get copies to Australia to comply with their copyright laws that require virtually simultaneous publication there and in Britain, means that some finished copies are actually available well before official publication but can't be sold until others have reached Australia. In Terry's case, books have been occasionally published rather more speedily, so there's been only six months between delivery and publication, but it does cause difficulties if things are rushed. There's also the desire on the part of different publishers to get their book into the no.1 slot on the bestseller list so having a slot that is well-known is useful not only for Transworld but other companies so they avoid clashes - one doesn't want three books of the same genre appearing the same week as there's only so much money in readers' pockets.
A major company has a good number of books they know are going to be bestsellers, but they will not have the machinery to market them together even if they wanted to do so - their production, publicity, sales and despatch departments would not be able to cope with too many at once - so their most important publications for their Christmas market will tend to be spread through October and November. With in excess of 100,000 new titles being published each year in Britain - about 300 for every day of the year - publishers do their best to pick a time when a particular title is less likely to get lost in the scrum. Only a minute fraction are ever going to be noticed in the national press: it is up to the papers' literary editors to choose what titles they think their readers would be interested in.
But Literary Editors can get it hopelessly wrong if they think their reviews are going to sell copies. One of the few titles we published that got noticed by the national press, a volume of correspondence between Bernard Shaw and Frank Harris (publisher of Wilde, Beardsley, The Yellow Book, etc.), called 'The Playwright and the Pirate', was reviewed in almost every major national paper, with Bernard Levin - at that time an extremely influential reviewer who could create bestsellers by what he wrote - writing in The Observer, I think, that he had taken it with him on a trip to the North of England and when he was reading it at night in bed the man in the hotel room next to his was banging on the wall to stop him from laughing so loudly. Yet the total sales resulting from all that coverage was only about 250 copies over the next six months. The press coverage was very satisfying, but it would have been nice if it had been converted into sales.
- Colin Smythe
8. Review: Carpe Jugulum - ISIS Audio BookThe ISIS audio books are just slightly bigger than the Discworld hard covers and usually contain 8 audio cassettes (lasting around 11 hours). Carpe Jugulum was read by long term Discworld reader Nigel Planer (although the next book will be read by Stephen Briggs).
Carpe is one of my favourite of the modern Discworld novels so I was pleased to give it an audition. Sound quality as always is very good, with the tapes being recorded in Dolby NR. Nigel's voice is very relaxing and I found listening to the tapes in the car made my morning drive to work much more tolerable.
I find one of the side effects of having the books read to you is that the story tends to flow more, allowing you to take more in. Due to Nigel's excellent reading and comic timing some of the jokes seem more pronounced. You can just shut you eyes and thoroughly immerse yourself into the story. [except when you're driving to work, of course - RM]
One of the nice things about the unabridged books is nothing is taken away from the original unlike conversions to other formats. If you haven't listened to any of the ISIS books then Carpe is as good an introduction as you any.
Carpe Jugulum costs around 25 GBP from ISIS. For more information about this and other ISIS audio books email Peter Johnson on or contact ISIS's sales line on 0800 731 5637 in the UK or +44 (0) 1865 250333 for the rest of the world. Please mention Discworld Monthly in any conversations.
9. Review: The TruthThe Truth is the 25th Discworld Novel and tells the tale of Ankh-Morpork's first newspaper. William de Worde makes a living by writing short monthly letters about noteworthy events in Ankh-Morpork. He gets these printed, by having them manually engraved and then delivered to several interested, and wealthy, parties. Only, one day he gets involved in Dwarves and moving type. In typical Pratchett style there is a second major story-line, but unlike many of the previous books the two story-lines are more closely entwined.
It's difficult to give an objective review of this book. After two dozen books you get the impression Pratchett could rattle off this kind of thing in his sleep, but someone new to his style might find the Truth as new and refreshing as I found TCOM and TLF.
Seasoned Discworld fans will love the various cameos from the usual Ankh-Morpork crowd - e.g. the Wizards & CMOT Dibbler. Though someone new to Discworld probably wont understand the significance of an Igor working as a surgeon losing his lisp. The Watch is encountered during the reporter's investigation, and it's interesting to read about them in the third person rather than as the main characters of the book.
The most significant thing is that all these walk on parts give way to - hold the press - some new main characters! William de Worde the editor, Sacharissa Cripslock and a b-total Vampire Otto Chriek amongst others. Two new villains - Mr. Tulip and Mr. Pin - bear more than a passing resemblance to certain Pulp Fiction characters (but knowing his book will be read by children as well as adults Pratchett has -ing moderated his -ing language a bit). Oh yes, I know William de Worde isn't new, but I'd forgotten about him.
Pratchett includes his usual selection of philosophies on life. Principally how stupid people are in that they'll believe anything in print. Though I found de Worde's opinion on the injustice of the class system within the great city more than a little reminiscent of Vimes's beliefs - even to the point where he gets really angry towards the end of the book.
Some non UK readers may not appreciate de Worde's use of the homeless people of Ankh-Morpork to sell the paper. This is a reference to Britain's 'The Big Issue', a weekly publication sold by the homeless in this country's larger cities.
In a rare burst of self-reference, there is a conversation between
William de Worde and the Patrician about Holy Wood and Music with
Rocks in, with the Patrician voicing his concerns that the printing press might be, for example, built at a place of occult significance.
The Truth is due for release in the UK in November. You can pre-order The Truth from Amazon.co.uk by following this link: 0385601026/87
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