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Discworld Monthly - Issue 81: January 2004

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Lords and Ladies Live
6. Competitions
7. When Realities Collide
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 81, the first issue of 2004. Some events to look forward to in 2004 include:

If you know of other events that should be listed please email me at with the relevant details.

We hope you all had a great festive time and got all the presents you wanted. I was lucky enough to get one of Bernard Pearson's wonderful Hogswatch plaques which will soon take pride of place on my study wall next to my IIIb sign.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Nazgul wannabe)

2. News

The two animated Discworld movies, created by Cosgrove Hall, Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters can now be purchase from www.play.com for only 6.49 GBP each including free UK delivery

Fey writes: I'd like to inform all other Pratchett fans that 'Wyrd Sisters' is going to be staged in Berlin, Germany, in February, 2004. The performance will be by students of English of the Humboldt University, Berlin. Exact dates are February 12-15, 2004.

Small Ads....

Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.

Jonathan writes: As there's almost always an Ad in DWM from somebody somewhere trying to get hold of the "Discworld Noir" PC game, I just thought I'd mention that it's been re-released for just a fiver on Infogrames' budget range for only a fiver. Infogrames has actually just rebranded itself to Atari, incidentally, but just have a look in the cheapo section of your local Game and it should be there.

Charles Fort writes: I have a UK first edition of The Colour of Magic for sale, ex-library. If anyone is interested please contact me in the first instance via email and I'll send you a URL where you can learn more about the book.

Mand Sanderson writes: Just wondered if anyone knows anything about the Unseen Library editions of the Discworld novels. I have the first 6 but have heard nothing about the others as yet please help if you can.

Tony WHALE writes: My copy of Discworld 2 - Missing presumed ..... is no more! RIP!! I should be grateful to hear from anyone who has this game either for the PC or Playstation that they no longer require.

Naturally, I will be happy to pay postage etc.

writes: Is anyone in the Newcastle upon Tyne area interested in doing the Discworld role-playing game (the book of which I just got off Amazon, sorry don't have details to hand)? Or does anyone already do this? I wanted to arrange it with Discworld fans and hope anyone interested will contact me. Previous role playing experience is completely irrelevant, but willingness to have a laugh essential! ;-)

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters and eat the mince pies you left out for Father Christmas.

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.

The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied by Bonsai Trading. Bonsai Trading is the Discworld store that brings you Clarecraft figurines, diaries & calendars, Thud and much more. bonsai.discworldmonthly.org

* From: "Bjoernar Tuftin"
I'm a compulsive Pratchettite, and Joe Marsden's mention of a reference to Pratchett in "Bare Bones" reminded me of my favourite Pratchett reference. In Peter F. Hamilton's "Fallen Dragon", on a distant planet, in the far future, a pre-school teacher is making up a story to tell her pupils and her superior asks her why she doesn't just read them one of the classics, like Tolkien or Pratchett. And who knows, maybe they will be, despite, or possibly because of the many references to more or less contemporary culture.

* From:
The Wyrd Sisters cartoon was originally shown on TV around about 1997. It is a good adaptation of the book and definitely worth getting although the copy I have splits the story into episodes which can be a bit off-putting. There is also a cartoon version of Soul Music available on DVD (I found a copy in HMV) which plays the story from start to finish. But be warned - if the characters in the cartoon aren't how you picture them, you'll never be able to read the book again and see them in your own way.

A quick word on cultural references in MR. John Knox's 'monstrous regiment' included the powerful women of his time - Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth and the empress Tzu Tzi. He probably wouldn't have thought much of Polly and her troop and Jackrum would have had him foaming at the mouth.

* From: "Covell, Ian"
Last month Andreas Kristiansen asked why there was no record of Terry's award for Pyramids and mentioned on the Harper Collins web site.

..that's because he won the British SF Award, not the British Fantasy Award.. typical American inaccuracy.

Oddly enough, despite the brilliance of his work, Terry has never won a British Fantasy Award. Not enough horror in it, obviously.

* From: "Jackie Porter"
Has anyone noticed the small but obvious homage to Terry Pratchett in Robert Rankin's book, Snuff Fiction? Robert mentions several gangs including a gang called the Greebos.

Carrying on from the cat connection, my sister has a ginger tabby called Greebo (in Witches Abroad, Greebo expressed a desire to be ginger!) and he certainly lives up to his namesake - the cat next door (a pedigree Siamese no less) had to have part of his foot amputated after a fight with Greebo.

* From: "Hegarty, Cain"
On a recent signing tour Terry had to cry off visiting Mssrs W, H and Smith in the fine burgh of Swindon due to illness, and I hope he has fully recovered.

Does anyone know of any plans for him to come back to PigHill (Swindon in the old tongue)? I was hoping to get a couple of copies of Monstrous regiment signed that I am going to give as Hogswatch gifts.

P.S. does TP have any East Anglian connections? Through work I've noticed a reference that the heavy clay soils over there used to be called 'Treacle Mines' by narked gardeners, and pondered a link with the well known Ankh-Morpork street...

* From: "noel wray"
Merry Hogswatch All,

Here is a question I would like answered. Have any Pratchett fans, or indeed the man himself, ever seen the movie 'Arsenic And Old Lace'? In it there is a superb performance by the actor Raymond Massey as the lead's brother, Jonathan Brewster. What is remarkable about this is that the second I heard him speak, I thought instantly that he was speaking exactly as PTerry describes the voice of Death. He even looks a little skeletal in appearance. I wondered if this movie has any, even if only a small one, insight into the origin of the end product of Death as appearanced by PTerry. I know that the basic origin is the traditional Death from mythology, but there is a remarkable likeness. It may just be that I've just re-read 'Hogfather' that has caused this association in my mind, but I wondered. Mind you, I've never pictured Albert as a Peter Lorre type. Lorre plays Dr Einstein, Jonathan's companion and plastic surgeon.

* From:
Henna-Maija Aikas in Discworld Monthly #80 was asking: 'The sea and little fishes' ... please tell me what the story is about and how could I get my hands on an English version?

'Legends' edited by Robert Silverberg, published by Voyager ISBN 0 00 648394 1

TS&LF is about the annual Witch Trials in Lancre and gives us another good look into the complex personality of Granny Weatherwax - highly recommended.

The Unadulterated Cat ... the third cat is what I'm interested about.

That will be the King Charles Lapcat: familiar to everyone. Note length of ears.

* From:
I would just like to inform French-speaking Pratchett readers about the French translation of "The Last Continent" by P.Couton (quite literally "Le Dernier Continent"). Would you believe it this is actually one of the last Pratchett available in French (non-English readers can wait a bunch of time till Monstrous Regiment is out!).

In the English version, most of local FourEcksians speak with an Australian accent and expressions (like the whole lot of "no worries!", etc). In the French version though these tasty bits are translated by using accent and colloquial expressions from New Caledonia, a small tropical island, former French colony just next to Australia in the east. I come from this island but am presently living in France. I was thoroughly amazed when, out of sheer curiosity, I looked into the French version of The Last Continent and saw these words, like "aita" (which means hello in Melanesian dialect), "tama", "valab", or "casse pas la tete" which are really typical expressions from New Caledonia, that you can find nowhere else in the French-speaking world. They are mostly oral, except for a locally famous comic (La Brousse En Folie, (Berger)="crazy bush") which uses many endemic characters and idiomatic expressions. The translator must have been inspired by this book...

I think we can salute the tenacity of the French translator Mr Couton, who has already won numerous prizes in France for his work on our favourite author. He did get the same "exotic taste" between UK and Australian English than between France and New Caledonia French. It won't prevent people from reading the original version first (in English),but the translations seem trustworthy!!

DWM replies: Colin get this month's Letter Of The Month.

* From: "Ray King"
John Blackburn isn't the only wrinkly old Folky to recognize not only Sweet Polly Oliver, but a whole slew of related folk songs of Female Drummer Boys, Female Cabin Boys, Female Soldiers and Sailors. In fact, just as PTerry puts it in his book, they almost ran the armed forces or so you would think with the number of songs on this subject, and many of them so close to Monstrous Regiment that one might think that ....... but that's being uncharitable to Terry's genius which has me in both stitches and tears on many an occasion. I really do appreciate the way he takes all sorts of folk references and turns them to his own use.

* From: "Case Jones"
My name is Casey Jones, and I found the Discworld through a friend's recommendation about four years ago. Since then, I have had the pleasure of reading every Discworld book, most twice or more often. One of my happiest disc-overies (bwa ha ha) was that there was a GURPS based Role-Playing game, which I quickly bought. It was only this weekend that I finally rallied a group of friends together to play, and they enjoyed it immensely.

My idea for an article is this: Could you ask people to write in their favourite game-related stories, either about the characters they played, the fun they had, or the plots their GMs had concocted for them? I for one would love to hear more about others' enjoyment with this great game, which I cannot wait to play again.

DWM replies: We are afraid your idea of game-related stories sounds too much like fan fiction. We have always had a policy of not including any fan fiction in Discworld Monthly. I suggest that the swapping of stories would be better suited to a web forum or blog.

* From: "Alanna S"
I have been an avid Discworld fan for almost ten years, which living in the United States and only being 21 is quite a bit. But I have managed to acquire an extensive collection given my resources. (ebay not being one of them due to the fact I do not own a credit card) I was randomly looking at ebay listings though just to see what's new, because most of the time whatever I find on ebay, I can find on another site and order by check or money order. That's how I discovered what would make my collection perfect, the Unseen Library Collection. The first six Discworld books in hardcover leather bound beautiful editions. But to my dismay, the only website to carry it only delivers to UK residents. I can't describe how hurt and disappointed I am by this. That just because I live in the US I can't obtain what look to be the most beautiful publications of my favourite books. Please, tell me if they are planning on a US release and if not where I can start a petition to do so. The US is now a huge market for the Discworld and I find it unfair that we get left out of the good stuff.

* From: "Sander van Straeten"
Reading Discworld books one will become aware of the fact that mister Pratchett seems to pick the names for his characters with a certain degree of Irony (with a capital I). I may be stating the well known (to anyone but me) but I did find out two remarkably coincidences. Firstly I was watching a recent remake of the 1921 movie "Nosferatu" so called because the producer (I forgot his name) was not able to get the rights for Bram Stoker's Dracula. He also had to re-name his vampire into Count Orlock, now the actor playing this part (according to the movie) was called Max Schreck. I don't think I have to tell you who's name originated from that. Nice detail was that the movie was one of the most convincing Dracula-films and rumour has it this is because mister Schreck was a real vampire...

The other most striking coincidence I found was when reading Richard Holmes's biography of the Duke of Wellington I found that when the Duke opposed reform of government in 1830 he was told by a certain "Captain Swing, spectral leader of agricultural labourers" that his life was in danger. Doesn't the Night Watch novel include a Captain Swing who is bent on capturing any revolutionaries?

Well I just imagined you might want to know this. Do excuse any spelling-mistakes I am a Dutchie and not quite adept in writing in English.

* From: "Ingemar Ohlsson"
Woof! Was that ever a scare! Just opened issue #79, intending to scroll down to the DiscTrivia as I usually do (gotta stay sharp!), but for once I laid eyes on the editorial first - and what do I find? Not only has PTerry been on tour again, but he's been ill as well. I don't know what kind of flu they got over in the States, but here in the Cold North it's not to be trifled with ... Anyway, I'm definitely reading the DWnews from now on. I nearly missed the note about Josh Kirby's unfortunate passing when that was up, and now I missed telling my US acquaintances to keep an eye on the tour! No more slip-ups here. While we're talking tours, is there even a remote possibility of PTerry doing a signing tour in Sweden again? Last time he visited the SF Bookshop in Stockholm's Old Town, I went with a friend of mine - the shop was packed with people, and the queue outside stretched fifty metres up Vasterlang Street. We just snuck in and skulked around behind the signing tables, in the t-shirt section (Ah, that accent - you gotta love it!), then gave up and went home. Later we heard that Terry and Neil Gaiman had refused to pack up before the whole crowed had gone past 'em! Don't know if I've been so annoyed in my entire life. I'm not missing that again. If it happens. (Pretty please?) Finally, I wish good health and good reading to all you other DW-junkies, the Editors, and of course, the Pratchetts themselves. Stay cool (though I might recommend staying at least above freezing to anyone living on the northern hemisphere).

* From: "Andrew Cotterill"
It is well-known to readers of Pratchett's books that there is a mountainous, rainy country on the Disc called Llamedos. What may not be so well known (it wasn't to me, because I haven't actually read/seen it) is that Dylan Thomas' famous play 'Under Milk Wood' features a Welsh village called 'Llareggub'. I know it's not exactly the same joke, but closely related? I think so.

* From: "susan"
This question has come up elsewhere. What is the oook quote and what does it mean? thank you very much if you could clear this up.

DWM replies: oook?

* From: "lalita mukherjea"
I am writing to tell you that PTerry has impeccable sense of timing even when he isn't trying.

On 24th November, I said a bleak farewell to my son who was going back for his last term at school, and came home ready to throw a tantrum about anything at all, to relieve my gloom. And in my mailbox, the real one, I found a letter with a Southampton postmark.

Great. I live in India, and the only person who would write to me from England is my next-door neighbour, who lives most of the year in England, but then it'd say Manchester. Puzzled but pleased that I have some nice stamps for my philately enthusiast of a friend, I opened the envelope.

It was PTerry replying to a letter of mine.

I'd written to PTerry a few months ago, mostly complaining about bad proof reading,

(I guess they call it bad setting now) in the paperback edition of Jingo. And I was moaning about the quality of paper and binding, the general callousness that publishers show towards paperbacks. I also wondered if he had a flashback kind of a romance between Lady Margolatta and Lord Vetinari planned, at all. (I wonder if Vetinari had a memorable neck)

Mind you, I had no idea of Himself's address, and at that time I was reading a lovely book titled Six And Out, where I came across a picture of an envelope that had Don Bradman's photo stuck on it and 'Playing somewhere in England' by way of address. (My husband tells me I ought to give the details of the book, so: Six And Out, The Legend of Australian Cricket; edited by Jack Pollard, and the publishers were Angus and Robertson, England 1965; it was one of Sir Don's favourite fan letters.)

So I addressed my letter to Terry Pratchett, author of Discworld books, resident of Wiltshire, England.

And PTerry's letter arrived in a perfect moment. My incipient depression about my son going back to school was cured, and I got to gloat at my local lending library staff, who, once they realised it was real, asked for a photocopy to put up on their notice board.

I had to send photocopies to friends who refused to believe PTerry actually took the time to read and reply to a letter from me.

But he did. Oooh, oooh. I am thrilled to bits.

* From: "katherine parlevliet"
In reply to "Henna-Maija Aikas" In issue 80

Firstly - 'The sea and little fishes' can be found in the anthology ' LEGENDS' edited by Robert Silverberg (published by voyager in 1998)

Secondly - The third 'potential' cat is- "King Charles' Lapcat: Familiar to everyone. Note length of ears."

* From: "David Hopkins"
The many references to Mr Hong are not referring to another of PTerry's books; they are rather a reference to the "Cthulhu mythos", a set of horror stories originally created by H.P. Lovecraft and then continued by many other writers.

The Cthulhu mythos contains many elements which have appeared in PTerry; the Things From The Dungeon Dimensions are very similar to many of the horrific Things That Man Was Not Meant To Know in the Cthulhu stories.

You may have noticed that the unfortunate Mr Hong's fish shop was built on Dagon Street. Dagon is the name of an evil fish god in one of H.P. Lovecraft's short stories. Other Cthulhu "personalities" parodied in Pratchett include Nyarlathotep (elsewhere parodied as Gnarlythotep, the Demon Surfer, and in the Discworld Noir computer game as Nylonathatep) and Yob Shoggoth.

No doubt Dagon Street is named after the patron deity of the temple, who must have been less than pleased to have a fish-and-chip shop open on his consecrated ground! The fact that it opened at midnight during a full moon, a traditionally occult sort of time, simply made it worse. The grisly fate of Mr Hong (often hinted at, but never fully explained in the novels) shows why it never wise to displease a Discworld deity, let alone one of great evil who is completely antithetical to humanity. :)

Hope this helps!

4. DiscTrivia

For the next few months we thought we would concentrate each trivia section on a certain subject. This month we have decided to ask questions about Hogswatch and the Hogfather. If the answers are wrong this month you will have to blame Jason .

What happens if you find an ant on Hogswatch Day?
Who started his apprenticeship at Hogswatch?
Who wanted a new bathroom for Hogswatch?
What type of animals did Mr Crumley almost mistake Gouger, Rooter, Tusker and Snout for when they crashed into his store?
What is the traditional appreciation given by children to the Hogfather?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.

5. Review: Lords and Ladies Live

by Robert Crisp

Adapted by Irana Brown Performed by the Purple Monkey theatre co. 13th, 14th, 15th November 2003 Queen St Central Hall, Scarborough.

The Purple Monkey is a Theatre Company on the rise. Since their first show that I saw in 2001, (A rather mediocre Guards Guards) they have gone from strength to strength, each show being better than the last.

I was disappointed, therefore, to see such a poor turnout for their opening night of Lords and Ladies, especially after their breathtaking adaptation of "The Truth" A few months back. I felt for the cast and crew as the doors closed with a meagre handful of audience members. However, the players, unperturbed, were professional to the last and gave us all a hugely entertaining evening.

Lords and Ladies is a story about the Lancre witches and the Elves invasion of the village. All the characters were very strongly played, and close to their book counterparts, particularly in the case of Granny Weatherwax, Ponder Stibbons, Munstrum Ridcully and King Verence.

The gags were well timed and funny, I particularly liked the Bursar delivering the line "We aren't the wizards your looking for" Obi Wan Kenobi style to the Troll guarding Lancre bridge, though I suspect that it was an adlib!

The set was relatively simple with a rose garden feel to it, and a clever use of lighting to project atmosphere and emotion, I was particularly chilled when the Elves broke out of the stone circle in a wonderfully terrifying scene.

Other scenes that worked well, although from more of a humorous angle were the stick and bucket dance, and the final wedding scene. Oh, and the final line has to be the funniest way to end a show I have ever seen!

The play was adapted by Irana Brown and I feel the script let the show down a little, there were far too many plot holes and unless you were a Discworld fan I don't think you'd understand what was going on, especially in the final battle scene.

Having said that, I am a Discworld fan and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening! The actors were well cast and their performances were spotless, the costumes were clever and in many cases elaborate, (Need to mention Magrat's stunning armour here but that could just be some kinky male thing on my part!) and the effects and technical wizardry were well laid out, but why didn't the bees take a curtain call!?

I understand that the Purple Monkey theatre co. will not be doing any more Pratchett for a while and this is a shame. But when they next do one I recommend you pay them a visit, as I said at the beginning, the purple monkey is going from strength to strength and their shows are well worth the journey as some of you have already discovered.

I for one will be waiting for their next Terry Pratchett show with eager anticipation!

6. Competitions

Please note that unless stated otherwise our competitions are open to all readers, regardless of where you live.

* Bonsai Tankard Competitions *

Bonsai Trading is the premiere on-line store for Clarecraft Figurines, Discworld Diaries & Calendars, Isis Audio Books, Octarine Forge Jewellery and Prints. More information can be found at bonsai.discworldmonthly.org

Last month Bonsai Trading offered one of their new Discworld Tankards to the winner of our competition. The winner needed to answer the question:

What does the Latin on the top of the new tankards translate to?

The correct answer was: A drink concerning the state of your heath.

The randomly selected winner is Judy Axcell of Stoke on Trent.

* New Competition *

This month we have a DW05 "Death at a Party" to give away. In order to win this wonderful Clarecraft piece simply send the answer to the following question to by 21st January 2004 along with your postal town.

Q. Which Discworld Novel features Albert reluctantly getting into the 'Christmas' spirit?'

The randomly selected winner will be announced next issue.

7. When Realities Collide

by David Hakeney

There seems to have been a leak between realities taking place in South America. Look at the following news stories: firstly has a famous restaurant from Ankh Morpork magically appeared?

* Fried rat shocks diners in Chilean restaurant *

A restaurant in Chile is serving fried rat with potatoes as one of its main courses.

It is a traditional dish in parts of neighbouring Peru but has shocked diners in Santiago, says Las Ultimas Noticias.

Marco Barandarian, the Peruvian chef of the Barandarian restaurant, said: "Here people get all disgusted and ask how can we serve such dish but we have eaten them forever in Peru."

Mr Barandarian added: "The meat is red and tastes much better than rabbit. It is like pork and we serve the whole rat, head included."

* Secondly Has Gytha Ogg been wandering around here *

Erotic bakery a big hit with Chilean women

A bakery which specialises in erotic cakes and pastries has proved a surprise hit with women in Santiago.

The Erotic Bakery sells cakes with icing depicting various naughty bits! reports Las Ultimas Online.

Owner of the bakery Lucio Penaloza said 90% of his customers were women catering for women-only parties.

"In the beginning people were a bit ashamed of asking about the erotic cakes and cookies but now they just come in and order what they want," he said.

"Women seem to be a lot more at ease with the idea of ordering the pastries, but we get a lot of men as well ordering for bachelor parties and birthdays.

"People are getting cheeky and coming up with their own ideas and drawings."

and finally from 2001 (where was Rincewind then?)

"CARRYING a heavy case should soon be as easy as walking the dog.

"British inventor Sarteep Kader has applied for a patent for a motorised suitcase which follows its owner around. As is only appropriate, the case always keeps a few respectful paces behind its master.

"Mr Kader from Osterley, West London, has created 'self-propelled remote-controlled luggage' with a battery-powered motor which drives the wheels.

"The invention raises the prospect of yet more chaos at airport lounges, train stations and taxi ranks, with not only people but their cases roaming around in different directions.

"Details of the invention are revealed today in New Scientist"

8. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What happens if you find an ant on Hogswatch Day?
It will be mild for rest of Winter

Who started his apprenticeship at Hogswatch?

Who wanted a new bathroom for Hogswatch?

What type of animals did Mr Crumley almost mistake Gouger, Rooter, Tusker and Snout for when they crashed into his store?

What is the traditional appreciation given by children to the Hogfather?
'nk you

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