Discworld Monthly Issue 224 January 2016
Table of Contents:
3. Events - January 2016
4. Events - Upcoming
5. Recurring Monthly Fan Meetings
6. Readers' Letters
8. Review: Maskerade Live at ADC Cambridge
9. Competition Result: Win a "Small" Death and a Kitten Sweatshirt from Discworld.com
10. Review: Wyrd Sisters at Newcastle Emlyn.
11. The End
Welcome to issue 224 and welcome to 2016, the Discworld Year of the Sneezing Panda.
The 5th December 2014 was Terry Pratchett's very last writing day. Just 3 days later his PCA became Alzheimer's Disease and, as Rob Wilkins writes, "nothing was ever quite the same again." Over the next few months Terry slowly succumbed to his illness until he passed peacefully on 12th March 2015 at home with his immediate family. You can read all about Terry's last working day in this moving article at: discworld.com/6254-2/
At a recent awards ceremony, Terry was posthumously awarded the Eleanor Farjeon award for distinguished service to the world of British children's books. It was announced that there would be a memorial event for Terry run in the middle of April 2016. We will bring you more details when they are made available.
While look through the BBC website recently I found an obituary they wrote for Terry which makes interesting reading:
Also available is Terry's Desert Island Discs appearance on Radio 4 back in 1997:
The BBC will be broadcasting Terry's edition of Meet The Author on BBC news at 18:45 on the 3rd January 2016:
And the aforementioned appearance on Desert Island Discs will be broadcast on Radio 4 extra at 10:15am on the 3rd January as part of their Absent Friends series:
In a case of more haste, less speed, in last month's editorial I got the year of publication of The Colour of Magic wrong... Not by a year or two but by a whole decade. So I should have said that The Colour of Magic was first published in the USA on or around 21st October 1983 (the actual date is known only be the history monks and the 21st was Colin Smythe's best guess) and then later in the UK on the 24th November 1983.
Last month Rachel and I attended the fan-run not Hogswatch event aka The Gathering of Loonies. We had a lot of fun meeting up with friends, playing lots of card games, eating delicious food and enjoying a beverage or few at the local hostelries.
While we had fun we look forward to a time when, hopefully, the Discworld Emporium will run events again.
* SPECIAL DISCWORLD MONTHLY READERS' OFFER *
Don't forget for the first week of January, Discworld Monthly readers can purchase tickets to Terry Pratchett: The Shakespeare Codex the play as written and performed by Stephen Briggs, before anyone else. After that tickets will go on general sale and will probably sell out really quickly if Stephen's previous plays are anything to go by.
To purchase your tickets read the PDF at discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/752 and follow the instructions carefully... You must comply with the instructions or your tickets will not be reserved.
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)
- Rachel Rowlands (Trivia Writer / Interesting Stuff Finder)
- William Barnett (Deputy Editor / Proofreader)
- Amy Simmonds (Artist in Residence)
- Richard Massey (Volume Control Master)
Rhianna Pratchett has written a very moving tribute to her father for the Observer Newspaper. You can read the article on the Guardian website at:
The North American Discworld Convention (NADWCon), a literary convention focusing on the works of Discworld series author Sir Terry Pratchett, will be returning to the fandom convention schedule in 2017. NADWCon, which debuted in Tempe, AZ in 2009, and has since taken place in Madison, WI in 2011 and Baltimore, MD in 2013, is a four-day convention of approximately 1,000 attendees which consists of themed Discworld and other Pratchett related programming and guests.
The 2017 NADWCon will be organized by RavenQuoth, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was responsible for NADWCon 2013, which raised over 24,000 USD in charity funds that were split equally between the Orangutan Foundation UK and Alzheimer's Research UK. The 2017 NADWCon will be co-chaired by Emily S. Whitten and Richard Atha-Nicholls. Emily S. Whitten was co-founder of The North American Discworld Convention, Vice-Chair of NADWCon 2009, and Chair of NADWCon 2011. Richard Atha-Nicholls was Chair of NADWCon 2013 and is President of RavenQuoth, Inc.
Further information will be available at: nadwcon2017.org/
Diggers, the second book of the Nomes series will be released with a new cover on 31st December 2015. The new cover by Mark Beech follows a similar style as seen on Dragons of Crumbling Castle and Truckers. The rear cover of Diggers cover also includes a sneak preview of the cover of Wings which will be released at a later date.
The BBC recently had Stephen Baxter as a guest on "Start The Week" talking about Intergalactic Travel and the future of mankind in deep space.
This section will contain a list of events taking placing within the current issue's month. The next section will include future dates.
[UK] We Are Theatre are holding auditions in York for their production of Mort in June 2016. The auditions take place on 10th, 17th and 24th January 2016.
To book an audition contact or call 07521 364107 with the following information: Name, age (if under 18), email address, phone number and preferred audition date.
Rehearsals will be held on Sunday afternoons / evenings from Spring 2016 onwards.
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 Durham] Ooook! Productions in Durham will be presenting their production of Terry Pratchett's Soul Music adapted by Imogen Eddleston at the Assembly Rooms Theatre, 40 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3ET
The performance dates will be Thursday 18th, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th of February 2016 at 7.30pm, in addition to a matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30pm.
Ticket prices will be 7.50 GBP standard and 6.50 GBP students / concessions.
Online booking details etc will be forthcoming.
[UK] Monstrous Productions will be performing their production of Eric! from February 18th - 20th 2016 at the Gate Theatre in Cardiff, South Wales.
[UK] Dereham Theatre Company in Norfolk will be performing Wyrd Sisters from March 10th - 12th 2016 at 7:30pm.
The venue is: Dereham Memorial Hall, 61 Norwich Street, Dereham, NR19 1AD
More details (including audition forms) can be found at: dosoc.co.uk/production2.asp
[UK] Stephens Briggs' new production The Shakespeare Codex (based loosely on The Science of Discworld II) will be performed from 6th - 9th April 2016. Tickets go on sale on January 1st and are, as usual, expected to sell out fast.
* SPECIAL DISCWORLD MONTHLY READERS' OFFER *
Discworld Monthly Readers - Pre-general release ordering.
To purchase your tickets read the PDF at discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/752 and follow the instructions carefully... You must comply with the instructions or your tickets will not be reserved.
[UK, New] Minehead Dramatic Society are presenting 'Wyrd Sisters ' at the Regal Theatre in Minehead, Somerset on the 13, 14 and 15th May 2016.
They still have some parts to cast if anyone in the local area is interested please contact
Rehearsals will be twice weekly starting in March.
[UK] We are Theatre will be performing Mort from 21st - 22nd June 2016 at 7:30pm at Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York.
Tickets cost 10GBP (8GBP concessions) and are available from York Theatre Royal Box Office (01904) 623568. Group bookings contact or call us on 07511 364107
[UK, New] July 23rd - Sept 18th 2016. Discworld and Beyond, Paul Kidby's touring exhibition, is going to spend next summer in Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery (Riversley Park, Coton Rd, Nuneaton CV11 5TU).
[UK] Wadfest 2016, the Science Fiction Camping Event, dates have been announced. The event entitled: "Putting on the Flicks: It came from Planet W" will take place from 12th - 14th August at Wood Green, The Animal Shelter, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmachester, Cambs. PE29 2NH
Adult camping tickets cost 20 GBP with junior tickets costing 1p when booked with an adult. Adult visitor tickets cost 10 GBP. Concessions are available for students / people on low income and cost 15 GBP each.
These prices are expected to increase by 5GBP per adult ticket in the new year. So beat the increase and purchase your early bird tickets soon.
[UK] Monstrous Productions will be performing Going Postal from August 17th - 20th at the Gate Theatre in Cardiff, South Wales.
[UK, New] The Discworld Convention 2016: The Band With Rocks In will take place in Chesford Grange Hotel Warwick from 26th-29th August 2016.
The event sold out in a matter of days when tickets first became available. Though the con have been running a waiting list for people still hoping to attend.
[AU, New] Guards! Guards! Will be performed in Brisbane, Australia from 8th October -12 November 2016. by Brisbane Art Theatre.
Tickets are available from: www.artstheatre.com.au/show/guardsguards
[DE] We invite all the Witches and denizens of the Chalk to the 5th German Discworld Convention which will take place at Castle Ludwigstein from May 18th to 21st in 2017.
More information will be released on our Facebook page:
[AU] Announcing The Discworld Grand Tour 2017.
The Ankh-Morpork Tourism Board invites you to a journey of wonder, whimsy, and, er, wossname at *Nullus Anxietas VI - The Discworld Grand Tour - The Australian Discworld Convention.*
The Discworld Grand Tour will be held on 4th-6th August 2017 at the Lakes Resort Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia. This convention will be a way to escape on a luxurious trip to the Discworld to enjoy three (or four) fabulous days of fun and frivolity with your fellow fans of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett.
Our wonderful new website has just launched and can be found at ausdwcon.org
Please visit the site to read all about the upcoming convention and to book your tickets!
Let Rincewind tell you all about it: youtu.be/j80m1JdktQA
Terry Pratchett Folio Special Offer
Thanks to the kind generosity of Rob Wilkins, the first 50 people to purchase tickets to Nullus Anxietas VI will receive a very special gift - a limited edition Terry Pratchett Folio, containing some short writings by our very favourite author. These have only been previously available to attendees at the UK Discworld Convention in 2014, at Nullus Anxietas V in 2015 and for a very short time at Discworld.com. This is your chance to get one of the few remaining copies, simply by buying your ticket to Nullus Anxietas VI!
For more information, see ausdwcon.org/shop/folio-special-offer/
Meet your fellow tourists
You can find out more about Nullus Anxietas VI - The Discworld Grand Tour - The Australian Discworld Convention and chat with other potential tourists at:
Facebook page: facebook.com/Ausdwcon
Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/ausdwcon2017
[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on
Also please note that due to email problems some addresses have been lost from the mailing list. If you are not getting Drummers emails and want to, please email me.
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors. You can find out more about the Drummers at www.brokendrummers.org/ or
[Perth, AU] The Treacle Mining Corporation formally The Perth Drummers. Meet up to celebrate the works of author Sir Terry Pratchett, and welcome any fans of science fiction and fantasy.
Join them for their monthly discussion of Discworld, Terry Pratchett and all things sci-fi and fantasy. They meet the first Monday of each month, subject to holidays, and all are welcome.
The group meets up at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, WA. Meeting at a cafe means they are under-18 friendly!
Otherwise message Alexandra Ware directly at
Unless otherwise stated the group meets up on the first Monday of each month.
[AU] Sydney Drummers normally meet on the first Monday of every month.
We meet at the NEW venue, 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney, 2000 from 6:30pm
For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on
[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.
[Adelaide, AU] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. We have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit: cityofsmallgods.org.au
[Brisbane, AU] The Pratchett Partisans meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. For more info about their next meetup, check out: www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/
[UK] The A 2 Z Science Fiction Group meet from 8pm on the 3rd Thursday in the month in Chelmsford. They are happy to discuss anything from Asimov to Zelazny [passing Pratchett somewhere in the middle - Ed]. They meet at the United Brethren Pub, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0LF
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 edit your letters by adding extra "L's" and removing most of the vowels.
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 Sutton"
I just finished The Shepherd's Crown. I'm probably way behind most Terry Pratchett fans, but it took a while before I was in the mood. I can't explain why, but Terry's death was difficult for me. Maybe knowing the hours I've spent in Discworld were ending was hard to face.
I did finally read the last book, and a few pages in I was home again, so to speak. The familiar characters, the feeling of home and environment, and the quirky humor and word play were all there. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It seemed a little less polished, some things felt abrupt, and reading Rob's commentary at the end told me that I might be right. My impression was that Terry wrote and rewrote constantly, and The Shepherd's Crown may have outlived him.
I first came to Terry's work a long time ago. I was looking for a new author, and one evening I was paging through books in the Science Fiction section of a local book store. I read a description of a very tall man who was a dwarf. Well, not technically a dwarf, but he was raised as one. That was the beginning of a long devotion to his work. Many of Terry's titles were out of print in the US, and it meant buying books from the UK and Canada via eBay or from used book dealer who braved the unknowns of the early web. But, the books had to be bought, there wasn't really a choice in the matter.
My heartfelt condolences to Terry's family and friends. Thank you for sharing him with us.
David Sutton, USA.
* From: "Galileo Griffin"
My name is Louisiana Galileo Ahnstrom, and I am attempting to get a STP meetup group happening in Stockholm, Sweden. I wondered if you guys could advertise it for us?
We already have 6 other members and our first meetup is meant to be on the 11th of December, but I hope we can meet at least once every 3 months, but hopefully more.
I don't really know what you guys want me to say though. Here is the meetup link.
Central No Thingfjord Skolduggery
And yep, I know that link is wrong. it's what you get when I organise something in the middle of the night with a screamy baby in one arm.
* From: "James Donihue III"
I have just finished listening to the BBC Guards! Guards! play. Do you know if they are going to release the play as CDs like they did with good omens?
DWM replies: We don't think so James. Good Omens came out on CD not long after broadcast. The Guards! Guards! adaptation is already a few years old. Can't seem the BBC going through its back catalogue to do this.
* From: "David M Kennedy"
I though people might be interested to know that there was a discussion on the Steve Jackson Games message boards about the new edition of the Discworld Role-Playing Game for GURPS 5th Edition. Unfortunately, the situation seems to be that the book is basically complete, but SJ Games isn't sure it would be profitable to actually publish it just yet -- a view the author, Phil Masters, is baffled by.
You can read the discussion here:
From: "Bob Coard"
I've just seen a Nissan Shogun with the vanity registration OOK 1, parked outside my local library.
JA Replies: I've never been a fan of vanity plates but OOK 1 would be special wouldn't it. I do remember seeing registration A4 many years ago and wondered if it belonged to a paper maker and who can forget seeing a 944 Porsche driving along the M4 with THE 944S as its registration number.
We're back with five more challenging trivia questions for you. This month's trivia is all about the footnotes. For each of the following footnotes, state which book they come from. Good luck.
The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.
Review by Mark Wynn
I can't claim to be a great theatre goer or critic but I find myself being both. When my daughters were little I read them the Tiffany Aching books at bedtime, attempting all the Feegle voices to make them laugh. As they've now entered their teens they sadly haven't continued their journey through the Discworld. In the hope of rekindling their interest we went along to the ADC Theatre in Cambridge to see their production of Maskerade.
I've only ever been to the ADC once before, coincidentally to see Mort about twenty years ago, so I'm keeping my viewing preference 100% Discworld! The theatre, although small was filled to capacity on the night we were there. The company was about ten strong with many of the performers playing multiple roles. There were few set changes but very clever use of in and out of character stage hands kept things flowing. The in character stage hands in the opera house were a little bit of a double act for some visual gags.
The cast were committed and professional, with some lovely performances. As might be expected, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax stole the show. They had a great on stage chemistry and obviously knew the characters well.
The cast all did a great job, with Mr Bucket and Saltcellar deserving particular credit. The handling of Greebo's transformation was cleverly done via a short filmed segment, and this device was also used for silent movie style delivery of the Opera Ghost's letters and other short set pieces.
Overall, a fun and entertaining evening, well worth your time. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for their next Discworld production.
Last month Sheetal Ramesh Shah () accidentally ordered two Death and a Kitten Sweatshirts from www.discworld.com and rather than send one back decided to gift it to us to give away. We decided to make this competition open to under 18s only.
In order to win this prize we asked you to get creative... We asked you to illustrate your favourite Discworld character in whatever medium you prefer and then scan it and email it to us.
You can view all the entries in our album located at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/750
The quality of the artwork is really amazing. We loved the illustrations from artists as young as 3 years old. It was really hard choosing a winner but judged on relative merit we decided that our favourite illustration was of Tiffany vs The Queen of the Elves by Eanna Alfonso aged 12 from Ireland. We'll pack your prize up and get it to you soon.
We have decided to send out a small prize to all entrants to the competition as we appreciated the effort that these young artists made.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony.
In early December Rachel and I braved the very winding back roads of West Wales (about an hour's drive) to visit Newcastle Emlyn's Attic Theatre to see their production of Wyrd Sisters. It was based on Stephen Briggs' adaptation of the novel (which I have seen several times in the past) so we had an idea what to expect.
After stumbling across the village and parking at the castle we discovered the attic theatre at the top of a flight of stone stairs. Once inside we were immediately at the tiny box office which led to the theatre itself. We located ourselves in the front row and awaited the production to start. The curtains opened to a surprisingly deep stage for such a small theatre.
The three leads were all very good. Nanny was just about perfect but we did have our reservations about Granny. She was both far too tall and far to enthusiastic about things. We just expected her to be a little more stern. Magrat also didn't quite fit our preconceived idea of her. We weren't expecting a brunette for a start. But once we got past those initial prejudices we enjoyed their performances very much.
The old king was brilliantly portrayed by projecting his image onto the background to make him look all ghostly. This was accomplished by pre-recording his parts. The actor who played him was also the director of the play and was otherwise occupied during the performance.
The play moved along at a steady pace with quite quick scene changes. The simple sets made it easy to keep things moving along. Soon the Witches were flying around Lancre (a nice simple piece of computer animation used here) and the first half was over.
We loved the fact that we had to leave the building, go down the stone steps and walk around the building to get to the toilets. Such is the limitation of space at the theatre. After a brief break the second half started some 15 years later.
The second half of the production moved on even quicker than the first half and it was almost all over before it started. Such is the position of the break in the story.
Overall it was a very well produced production and we really enjoyed it. This was the group's first visit to Discworld and if they decide to visit again we will one again be happy to face the wilds of West Wales.
Rachel adds: Next time I will make Jason take the main road not the country lane way... It was scary.
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