Discworld Monthly - Issue 187 - November 2012
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 187. We were all geared up to send this issue out last weekend but just before going to press I received an email from my old friend Bernard who asked if we could hold of for a few days so they could get us news about The Compleat Ankh-Morpork and to offer a special copy as a competition prize - I think it was worth the wait.
After mentioning our Facebook page last month we got a sudden influx of over 350 new members to the group bringing our total to 2862 by Sunday 28th October. With so many new members onboard it has become a hive of activity and is quickly becoming a nice community. My thanks to all those who have taken the time to post - it is most satisfying to see the group take off.
While most Discworld Conventions have their own Facebook pages, a page on Facebook inspiringly named Discworld Conventions attempts to centralise information about, you guessed it Discworld Conventions.
Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.
Also if you have written an article that you think we might want to include in the newsletter please feel free to email me at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use.
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Dribbler of the Notes)
Terry and Rob have been nominated for a Grierson Award for Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - Domestic for their Choosing to Die documentary. The awards ceremony takes place on the 6th November. Late News: I have it on good authority that Terry won the category and is now the owner of a Grierson Award.
They have also been nominated for an International Emmy on the 19th November for their Choosing to Die documentary.
PJSM Prints have let me know that they have a limited stock of signed copies of both The Compleat Ankh Morpork and Turtle Recall (the latest version of the Discworld companion).
Is this the new Luggage? Our thanks to Wes Stinson for finding this.
Thanks to a new suitcase called "Hop," lugging your carry-on bag around the airport could get a bit easier. Utilizing the Bluetooth connectivity in your telephone, the suitcase can wheel after its owner all on its own. The luggage robot even tells the owner if it has gotten lost as the owner's phone will vibrate if the luggage loses Bluetooth connectivity. No reports of homicidal activity have yet been reported and no mention of how heavy the battery pack is!
Ana from Things Mean a Lot has written about Terry's recent visit to Ely to talk about Dodger.
Bleeding Cool has pieced together some more information about Narrativia's plans. This article explains that Terry Jones and Gavin Scott are writing Good Omens, while Guy Burt is working on The Watch. No mention of what Rhianna is doing.
Lee Moyer has created a Literary Pin-Up Calendar featuring "sexy" versions of famous literary characters from fantasy authors. Among the list of character is Terry's Rincewind as you've never seen him / her before! Other authors' characters that are getting this treatment include Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin.
The site states: You may remember Rincewind as the skinny drink of water with the spirit of a wizard but the body of a long distance runner, from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series; however should you lay your hands on a copy of Lee Moyer's 2013 Literary Pin-Up Calendar you'll note one or two minor changes to the canon. Moyer has taken - with full permission from the authors concerned - inspiration from some of fantasy's most well-beloved characters to create this latest version of his charity cheesecake series.
This is Gloucestershire has a review of Terry's talk at the recent Cheltenham Literature Festival where Terry talked about Dodger, Narrativia and his plans to work on his autobiography.
Terry's documentary: Choosing To Die has been nominated for an International Emmy for best documentary. The ceremony will take place in New York on 19th November 2012.
Lady Sybil reports the latest book sales stats from The Bookseller Magazine.
Dodger is still in the Top 50 - issue dated 19th October Dodger is down to no. 39 from 23, issue dated 26th October still at no. 39. Total copies sold: 72,059 since publication.
In the children's charts Dodger is at no. 3 on 26th October having sold 5,878 copies that week, and giving way only to David Walliams with Ratburger and Jacqueline Wilson with Emerald Star.
Stats of course refer to the previous week's sales, i.e. 14th Oct - 20th October.
Lady Sybil also reports that she saw a very large poster on the London Underground advertising A Blink of the Screen. I googled for it and found this
Terry will be one of the speakers at a special after hours event at the Natural History Museum on Friday 9th November 2012 from 19:30.
Museum of Natural Curiosity - After Hours event. The Natural History Museum and the team behind BBC Radio 4's cerebral comedy panel show, The Museum of Curiosity, have joined forces to bring you an evening of razor sharp wit, fascinating facts and virtual burglary.
Tickets 35 GBP, Members 31.50 GBP
Tickets can be booked online - doors open at 19.00
Relax in the beautiful surroundings of the Central Hall as our illustrious panelists plunder the nation's treasure house of natural history for their own infinitely curious museum.
- John Lloyd
- Terry Pratchett
- Alan West, First Sea Lord
- Erica McAlister
- Richard Fortey
- Dave Gorman
Terry's been quite busy on Twitter this month. You can follow Terry at: https://twitter.com/#!/terryandrob
26th October: Dear Reader : Science of Discworld IV is being lovingly crafted right now just for you. Be excited. We are. http://pic.twitter.com/SmnRtNnU
23rd October: Okay. We're either hallucinating or Maureen Lipman is here in the office... http://pic.twitter.com/755GjjSj
17th October: Thank you to everyone who joined us in Naperville this evening. What a joy! You really were the most delightful audience.
13th October: Barnes & Noble Union Square NYC 2pm today. Be there or... well, don't.
13th October: Yes. We were at NYCC yesterday... in the cellphone signal absorbing Javitz Centre. A pleasure to meet you all! Today we're at B&N Union Sq.
13th October: But why?! Why???! http://pic.twitter.com/TsZVDCEi
9th October: Blimey! Choosing to Die is nominated for an International Emmy for best documentary. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19884012 ...
7th October: For all of you waiting for us to go on stage at #CheltLitFest - we've got to get through all of these first. Cake! http://pic.twitter.com/CJDv9XSM
7th October: Sitting in the Writers' Room at the #CheltLitFest with the perennially delightful @K_L_Armstrong - drinking brandy (Terry) and tea (Rob).
4th October: Take a look at Marc Simonetti painting Susan's Classroom - http://bit.ly/UH3Vwc - recorded in real time. Honest.
On the 14th of October The Sunday Times Magazine featured an article named Relative Values about Terry and Rhianna Pratchett. Each gets to talk about their relationship with the other. Terry tells about Rhianna's childhood, her schools and how she coped with his announcement of his illness and Rhianna talks about her early memories of playing computer games with her dad and how she has worked hard to establish herself as a separate entity. When asked if she would consider taking over writing Discworld from her father Rhianna replied: "They are my father's achievements, and sacred to him, I'd like them to stay that way."
To read the full article you will need to find a library that keeps copies of The Sunday Times.
The Independent newspaper recently interviewed Terry in London in an article named 'What keeps me going is the fight'.
Some more reviews of Dodger:
- Boing Boing - http://boingboing.net/2012/10/11/pratchetts-dodger.html
- The Guardian - http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/DODGER187A
While at the Dodger book launch in London Terry sat down for a short video interview in which he talked about the late, great Josh Kirby.
A short video of the Dodger book launch has been uploaded to YouTube. Thankfully I managed to avoid being filmed but the video does show one or two fans among the rich and famous.
Wired features an article about Terry's visit to New York this month. In the article Terry describes himself as "a poor man with lots of money" and talks about The Watch TV series or as Terry describes it: "Think of it like a Pratchett-style CSI"
Terry recently featured in an article of the magazine The Big Issue entitled: Shut up and let me finish my story. It talks frankly about Terry's PCA, about assisted dying and about Peter Smedley who featured in Terry's documentary about travelling to Dignitas in Switzerland to die.
On 15th October The Telegraph featured an extract from AS Byatt's introduction from Blink of The Screen - Terry's new collection of essays and short articles.
The Sydney Morning Herald features an interview with Terry about Dodger. He says he is working on his memoirs (working title: A Life in Footnotes). He also talks about his entry into science fiction as a boy. An interesting and amusing story in itself and well worth reading.
The Independent newspaper recently included a short article entitled 'One Minute With: Terry Pratchett, novelist' which is basically a quick fire interview with Terry and asks Terry to name his favourite author and to describe the room in which he normally writes.
While in the US this month Terry visited ComicCon and spent some time with Sean Astin talking about The Colour of Magic. One of the members of the audience recorded some of the panel and uploaded it to YouTube.
Emily S Whitten who you may remember as one of the organisers of the US conventions was in New York at the same time as Terry and Comic Con and wrote about it and Terry's talk at a local Barnes and Noble bookshop.
Across the Pond TV a blog that describes itself as "a nerdy British TV blog with an American perspective" also has some information about Terry's talk at Barnes and Noble including a few short video clips.
This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.
[UK] Providing last month's meeting went well. The Broken Vectis Drummers next meeting will be held at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight on Thursday 1st November from 7.30pm onwards. Meetings will be every first Thursday of the month. Come along and chat to other people who love Sir Terry's work and long to talk all things Disc-shaped! Any queries, email:
[UK] On the first Friday of every month there will be a meeting of WOTS - Omnian Temperance Society - Wincanton branch - to be held at The Bear Inn from 7pm. New members or visitors from other places always welcome.
The next meeting is Friday 2nd November.
[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. The next meeting will be on Monday 3rd December.
This will be the annual Christmas party. Anyone wanting the Christmas dinner will need to order it in advance. Please contact for more information and to order your meal. You are still welcome to attend without having the meal but be aware that the bar menu may not be available.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors. You can find out more about the Drummers at http://www.brokendrummers.org/
[AU] The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in Australia.
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.
The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia. You can contact the organiser Daniel Hatton on
[AU] The Drummers Downunder (Sydney) meet at Maloneys Hotel on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia from 6.30pm. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.
In October 2012 we will meet on Tuesday 2nd October because of the Public Holiday on Monday 1st October. Venue unchanged and Gabby is doing the quiz.
[Adelaide, AU, Updated] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans
in Adelaide and South Australia. We have regular dinner and games
nights, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social
activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our
mailing list, visit:
[AU, New] Following the success of "Wyrd Sisters" in 2009 Glenbrook Players, in Glenbrook, Lower Blue Mountains, west of Sydney NSW will present "Carpe Jugulum" at Glenbrook Theatre for six performances beginning Friday 16th November, 2012.
For all details and bookings see visit: http://www.glenbrookplayers.com.au
[US, New] Burlingame High School Drama Department presents a production of Wyrd Sisters at Burlingame High School's theater, 1 Mangini Way, Burlingame, CA.
There are 3 shows only: November 16 and 17 at 7:00pm and November 18th at 2:00pm.
Tickets are 12 USD Adults and 10 USD Students/Seniors
For more information: http://www.facebook.com/BurlingameDrama
[UK, New] Chichester Players will be presenting a production of Night Watch, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs in March 2013. The dates are still to be finalised.
However, auditions will be held at 7.30 pm in St John's Church, St John's Street, Chichester, West Sussex, on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 November 2012, and all are welcome.
[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by WADS (Whitchurch's community theatre group) on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th November at 7.30 pm at Parish Hall, London Street, Whitchurch RG28
Tickets cost 7.50 GBP (5 GBP concessions, including the unwaged)
[UK, New] Abingdon and Witney College will be performing Sir Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters in December.
The play will be performed at Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus Performance Theatre on 11, 12, 13 December 2012 at 7.30pm.
Tickets are priced 6 GBP for adults and 4 GBP for concessions.
Please 01235 555585 to book visit http://www.facebook.com/events/328497730579533/ for more info.
[UK, New] The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett, adapted by Stephen Briggs and directed by Chris Moran will be performed by The Progress Theatre, Reading from Thursday 17th to Saturday 26th January 2013 at 7:45pm (with Matinees on Saturday 19th and 26th at 2:30pm)
Tickets are 10 GBP (8 GBP concessions) and are available in advance from Reading Arts Box Office (booking fee applies):
On 0118 960 6060, online at http://www.readingarts.co.uk or in person at the Hexagon or Town Hall
[UK, Updated] The Studio Theatre Club will be presenting Dodger, adapted and directed by Stephen Briggs from 22 to 26 January 2013 at 19:30 (+ 14:30 on 26 Jan) at Unicorn Theatre, Thames Street, Abingdon
Tickets cost 8.50 GBP and are now on sale. Tickets tend to sell out quickly so please book your tickets soon by:
Sending your ticket order (with back-up choices if you're after Friday or Saturday tickets) along with your cheque (payable to 'STC'), and a stamped, self-addressed, envelope to:
Studio Theatre Club (Dodger), PO Box 1486, Oxford, OX4 9DQ
I understand that the Saturday evening performance has already sold out.
[UK, Updated] The Cult Classic Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland has recently been given permission to adapt Good Omens for the stage and the show will take place in March 2013. Rehearsals for the play started in October.
[UK, New] A small drama group are planning on performing Monstrous Regiment from 23rd to 25th May 2013 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Apparently The Exchange is a great 300 seat venue.
The group are looking for any society events which might like to be arranged at the same time?
According to the group Terry lives within spitting distance of the venue and has been to it before and they are hoping he may come along as well. Perhaps even Stephen Briggs! Who knows?
JA replies: The company I work for has a factory in Sturminster Newton - I wonder if I can arrange a factory visit to coincide with the event! Must start scheming!
[NL, Updated] The second Dutch Discworld Convention CabbageCon will take place from 24 till 26 May 2013 in Zandvoort aan Zee. The new website is available at:
Dr. Jack Cohen will be guest at the Second Dutch Discworld convention and they now have some special items for the charity auction.
[US] North American Discworld Convention 2013
The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013 in Baltimore, MD.
[UK] Wadfest 2013 will take place from the 9th - 11th August 2013. Wadfest has a new home and will be at Wood Green, Animal Shelter, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH
The new site features a licensed bar, an event area with its own PA system, a cafeteria and a couple of shops.
The event organisers have managed to negotiate a much better deal with the new site and have therefore managed to pass on a huge discount on the price of tickets which are now 20 GBP each (5 GBP per ticket less than Wadfest 2011).
[DE, Update] German Discworld Convention 2013
With a 1000 camels the German Discworld Convention moves to the mysterious continent of Klatch! Make room in your schedule from October 3rd to 6th in 2013 for the fourth German Discworld Convention. Be there when it's getting hot!
Registration starts at November the 1st and there is an early booker gift if you register before the end of this year. http://www.Discworld-Convention.de
[IE] The Third Irish Discworld Convention 2013 takes place from Friday 1st November to Monday 4th November 2013 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick, Ireland. Other details are sketchy at the moment.
[UK] Terry is due to be the special guest at Eastercon 65 from April 18th - April 21st 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.
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 treltes, ltretes, srlette, ... oh I give up!
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.
* From: "David Rickson"
Hello to all who enjoy Terry's literary output (and that would include his notes to the milkman, if he has one).
I am a pensioner and therefore have difficulty keeping up with the above mentioned output. I have rarely saved enough to buy his latest book when I find out another is on its way.
I am ashamed to say that the Terry Pratchett section of my bookshelves is a mixture of brand new, proudly displayed, hardbacks, new paperbacks, well used second-hand hardbacks and an embarrassing eight inches of charity shop purchases with suspicious stains on many pages.
With all of that in mind I have to say that no matter what form these works arrive to me in I treasure every word of them.
I was an early book-worm and have enjoyed many authors but not everything written by them. But with Terry Pratchett I can honestly say that I have, without fail, thoroughly loved getting lost among the pages of every single novel he has produced.
I also enjoy the video adaptations of Terry's books but I still prefer the written medium as he has clearly found a way to fast-track his characters straight into my imagination. For instance, Nobby is so much better on the page than on the screen. Terry's description is much more enjoyable than merely looking at the watchman, no matter how good the actor or director is.
A few years ago I was laid low with a serious illness (better now, thanks) and I am convinced that getting lost within the pages of a Discworld story was a major contributor to my recovery. The humour lifted me from my depressed state and the stories helped me forget my physical pain and allowed my body to get on with its repair work.
Yes, I have much to be grateful to Terry Pratchett for. So, if he ever publishes "Note to the Milkman" I shall start saving.
* From: "Heleanor Feltham"
Fairy tales were not originally designed for children. Even the early collectors and publishers such as Charles Perrault wrote for an adult audience, as did the Grimm Brothers, while the 1001 Arabian Nights were wildly unsuitable for a young audience without major pruning. Jung, his follower Marie-Luise von Franz, Bruno Bettleheim and Marina Warner have all contributed to the psychoanalysis of the fairy tale and the various folk motifs that are found almost everywhere - principally as warnings for young adults or peasant fantasies of the rich and powerful getting their come-uppance. Kids might appreciate a bit of grue and horror provided the ending is OK, but few fairy tales in their original form would pass the censor.
My psychic childhood life was thoroughly traumatised by the horrors of Hans Andersen (who admittedly wrote his own) - the Little Mermaid dissolving into froth, the Red Shoes girl having her feet cut off with an axe; even Terry has a critical go at the dismal Little Match Girl.
WB replies: Allumette by the great Tomi Ungerer is the version of the Little Match Girl that I grew up with - arguably an improvement on the original fairytale.
* From: "Liz Parkin"
There is the lovely bit in Lords and Ladies when the Lancre Morris Men are practising and their names are revealed to be rather non-intuitive e.g. Carter the baker and Baker the weaver. I always chuckle about this (I think my fellow dog-walkers must think I'm nuts) when I go past the cottage in my village of Potter the Thatcher.
* From: "Daniel Hicks"
Firstly I'd like to say thank you so much for your newsletter, I would be lost without it and absolutely love everything in it!
I was wondering if there are any TP groups etc in the South Wales area? I see lots going on in London, Glasgow etc but nothing in Wales! Any info anybody could email me with would be gratefully received!
* From: "Mark"
Last month Noel wrote:
"I'm looking forward to 'Dodger', the book, I'm sure it will be better than 'The Long Earth', which I may say is the first Pratchett book I have not enjoyed. It's hard to read, boring, and just doesn't seem to be going anywhere."
I have to disagree with Noel, I rather liked 'The Long Earth' and I'm looking forward to more in the series but 'The Long Earth', like 'Nation' before it, was to me recognisable Terry Pratchett.
I thought Dodger was not. Indeed, at first I had difficulty reading it, but maybe that is because the Kindle version seemed closely formatted and seemed to forget about paragraph breaks, so a mass of text on each page.
Being a London kid myself, from a long family of London kids, I could really relate to the story and soon got into it but, if you gave me this book without the name of the author, I would not have recognised it as a Pratchett work.
That said, I was soon reading chapter after chapter, wanting to see what happened next and found it a wonderful story. Since I can't see a sequel coming out of this book, I have already ordered (as recommend by Sir Terry Pratchett) London Labour and the London Poor by H. Mayhew (Author) as a factual follow-up to the background of the storyline.
* From: "Colleen Burke"
I've often had trouble picturing the river Ankh, a river so polluted that people land on it, rather than splash into it. I've just seen some pictures of the Citarum river in West Java, and I think it may be the Roundworld equivalent of the Ankh. Here are some links
* From: "Linda miller"
Firstly, thank you Discworld Monthly for publicising this event. Without you I'm sure it wouldn't have been so well attended.
I went to see the production of Wyrd Sisters at the Rose Theatre in Rugeley by the Tower Players on Friday 19th October.
It was a very enjoyable performance. The script was excellent as you would expect from Stephen Briggs. It involved lots of laughing and stayed very true to Terry's script. Highly recommendable.
* From: "Grace Koscielna"
Just wanted to let you know about my recent discovery a Polish artist, Bartek Drejewicz who draws Discworld characters. So far mostly from Monstrous Regiment and the Watch (in general), but I'm trying to encourage him to try some others, too.
We have created a gallery at http://www.pratchett.pl to show them to other Discworld fans.
I hope you enjoy it!
This month I've got five questions from Hogfather for you to rack your brains over. Some easy, some quite hard. Well at least I think they are hard.
The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.
Review by Jason Anthony
At the Discworld Convention 2012 I was given a very nice looking presentation pack of four Discworld beers to try. The four beers were Hix's Darkside, Bledlow's Silence, Bugarup Blonde and Modo's Midden.
A week or two after the Convention we were invited to a bar-b-que with some friends and I decided that it would be fun to try the beers out with some friends while stuffing our faces with burgers that were crunchy on the outside and undercooked in the middle! Luckily our host had the cooking under control and the burgers were cooked just fine. It should be noted that only one other person at the Bar-b-que had read any Discworld so our tasting was based purely on the taste of the beers themselves.
We decided to start with Bugarup Blonde - described as "a light refreshing blonde ale with a delicate bitterness making this a truly quaffable beer. Don't be fooled, however; with the super high-alpha Stella, the aromas give sweet citrus and beautiful fruit. Fresh lemon and pine are present on the palate with delightful apricot and melon flavours hanging around in the background. The beer finally leaves a sweet but crisp happiness in the mouth."
We felt that the beer certainly had a citrusy hoppy taste, but sadly three of the five testers said that they wouldn't want another bottle of it and one said that it wasn't too bad. The beer is rated at 4% ABV.
Next we moved onto Bledlow's Silence described as "a classic style IPA. Simcoe and Chinook hops work in perfect harmony in this brew giving a beautiful aroma of tropical citrus fruits and resinous pine. The flavour fills the mouth with this delightful aroma leading to intense grapefruit and a pleasing lingering bitterness."
We felt that this was a stronger tasting beer with a more rounded flavour, it was more bitter than the blonde. Two people said that they didn't like the taste. This beer is 5.5% ABV.
Next we tried Modo's Midden described as "an honest, earthy and refreshing golden ale with a classic aroma of cedar and herbs. On the palate a light lemon/grapefruit flavour develops under the cedar for a truly distinctive character. The beer leaves a rounded taste in the mouth wanting you to take more."
This was our favourite of the four beers, much smoother, more balanced and much more drinkable. We felt that this was a beer you could enjoy a few bottles of over the course of an evening. This beer is 4.5% ABV
Finally we tried Hix's Darkside described as "an aged oatmeal stout making the beer rounded yet robust. A complex malt character gives this beer a multitude of flavours trickling down the throat and lingering in the mouth. A smooth sweetness is felt on the palate from the abundance of oats poured in, giving this beer its style."
This is the first of the four beers that someone actually spat out! We all felt that it left a nasty aftertaste in our mouths and all agreed we would prefer a pint of Guinness instead. This stout is rated 7% ABV.
I have built up quite a collection of Discworld beers bottles over the years and have seen many different style bottles and labels. All four of these beers use the same bottles and the labels are all styled in a similar way (the inking on each label is of a different colour) making them very presentable as a set. The labels feature monochrome drawings of Discworld characters and the livery around the labels represents the beer in some way - Modo's Midden for example features garden spades and forks while Hix's Darkside features candles and a Morpork owl.
If you've tried some of these beers, why not get in contact with us on what you thought of them and we'll let other readers know which ones you liked the best?
If our views haven't put you off trying some or all of these beers you can visit the website at: http://www.discworldales.co.uk of visit @discworldales on twitter or http://www.facebook.com/discworldales
Review by Jason Anthony.
My initial pre conception of this book was that it would be a reprint of Once More With Footnotes - I am glad to say that I was wrong!
While there is obviously a lot of crossover with the previous book there are some very nice additions to this book that make it worth its price.
For me the two stand out stories are Rincemangle, the Gnome of Even Moore, originally written in 1973 and The High Meggas written in 1986. Rincemangle tells the tale of a gnome named Rincemangle and his trip in a lorry to a department store and then the desperate escape from the store when the gnomes are discovered. This short story was obviously the genesis of the Bromeliad trilogy and you can really see the basic shape of Truckers within it. The High Meggas however, while obviously the basis for The Long Earth, bears little resemblance to it. Some of the character names are the same but the method of moving between the Earths is vastly different and there is no restriction on transporting iron between worlds.
Each of the stories features a small foreword by Terry explaining where the story came from and why it was written. Some of the stories are pretty obscure and Terry is happy to admit when he cannot remember what he was thinking about at the time of writing.
The book features an entertaining foreword by A S Byatt who is obviously a long term fan of Terry, having picked up Men at Arms when she needed to go somewhere psychologically elsewhere. While initially put off by the Josh Kirby covers she has grown to love them.
The end of the book includes a number of illustrations ranging from an original Christmas card designed by Terry back in 1971, via covers from the books the short stories first appeared in, pictures of the Unseen Academical cigarette football cards and other Josh Kirby pictures. My review is of the ebook edition so the pictures are small and grayscale only. I assume the book features full colour illustrations.
Even if you have previously already read Once More with Footnotes I would recommend purchasing this book. It shows a history of Terry's writing over several decades and includes a few pleasant surprises you may not have read before.
The Compleat Ankh-Morpork hits the shops on the 8th and as you lot are amongst the keenest of the keen we humbly lay before you a little insight into what we at the Discworld Emporium hope will set a new benchmark for the amalgamation of the words of Terry Pratchett and the cunning artifice of illustrators, paper snotters and manic cartographers.
One of the great pleasures in helping to create this new work has been working with so many good friends. We have studied every word of Terry's and had such fun fitting a whole new form of reality around his writings. With such a rich tapestry to work with, Ankh-Morpork being a 'Citie of one thousand surprises', it was easy to work-in some rather special 'in-jokes'. They might take some finding, we hope they do, but I can tell you now that the esteemed editor of this organ has a namesake in the city running an 'establishment', as do others, and worse!
The 'Compleat' took over a year to create, from the beginning, which was an idea sparked over a pint or three with Terry and Rob Wilkins, to the finished edited piece, which funnily enough was celebrated over a pint or five with Terry and Rob Wilkins.
Between conception and completion lay a huge amount of research, not just on every book in the Discworld canon but on how great cities actually 'work'; from the mechanics of urban life such as wells, waterways and where you hang the washing, to the etymology of street names. All roads, alleys, cuts and lanes are now drawn to scale and richly illustrated, and all businesses and municipal services documented.
Transworld have really pulled out all the stops with the production values of this book. It was one thing to design it, but when we were shown a production model it bowled us all over. This is not 'just' a book, it is a slice of Ankh-Morpork life, with the added bonus of a massive map measuring just under a metre wide. And, just so you get the real 'picture' of our favourite city, there is a glorious aerial-view illustration of it on the other side for which we drew slight inspiration from Jacopo de Barbari's famous depiction of Venice.
Perhaps I'm biased (This book has been part of my life and that of Isobel, Reb and Ian for months), but when we had our pre-production copies sent to us I took one upstairs, to a quiet room, on mine own and read it, cover to cover. It made me laugh and I really couldn't see the seams - words making pictures, and pictures making words, like I had never seen Ankh-Morpork before.
You can see a bit of a promotion animation we've put together on our website http://discworldemporium.com and on http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk, and via our associated Facebook pages - a good mate of ours created it and we supplied the bits.
So with that in mind here is a competition for you all...
Listen carefully to the soundtrack for the promotional animation and tell us what the gentleman says to Rosie. Submit your entry to along with your postal address by 25th November and the first name randomly drawn out of the hat will win one of our pre-production copies of the 'Compleat Ankh-Morpork' signed by all the Discworld Emporium partners and a FREE property in the SHADES (including all leases, paperwork and everything) courtesy of THE UNREAL ESTATE, Purveyors of property throughout Ankh-Morpork.
(Note: You'll hear more of the UNREAL ESTATE - Your chance to own a piece of that great city ANKH-MORPORK in later issues of this very publication!)
And, dear friends, we're pleased to say that this is just the start of something very, very, special. There is a Discworld Atlas underway already.
You can order the Compleat Ankh-Morpork from http://www.discworldemporium.com Every book bought from the Emporium is accompanied by 'The Compleat Story', a behind-the-scenes bumper feature!
Competition Rules: Your postal address is required and will only be used if you are the randomly selected winner and only for sending out your prize - once the prize is sent out all address information will be destroyed. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.
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I Shall Wear Midnight
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