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Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony, Barnett & Massey
#GNU Terry Pratchett

Discworld Monthly Issue 230 June 2016

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Upcoming Book Releases
4. June Events
5. Future Events
6. Recurring Monthly Fan Meetings
7. Readers' Letters
8. DiscTrivia
9. The Didjabringabeeralong Regatta
10. Truckers, Diggers and Wings Competition Result
11. Lords and Ladies Live in Switzerland
12. Review of Wyrd Sisters at Caversham Park Theatre
13. The End


1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 230. We had planned to go to the Discworld day in Oxford at The Story Museum on Saturday 21st May but we were unable to attend. We did however write a challenging quiz for the Dangerous Beans dinner and we've heard that everyone had a great time.

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We are sorry to say that sadly we don't have a competition prize to give away this month. Hopefully we will have something to give away next month.

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Discworld Monthly is a fan run volunteer organisation that is partially funded by online sales of our fully licensed and authorised products. Please take a look at our range of pin badges, keyrings, fridge magnets, car "cling" stickers and mugs at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/shop.php

All profits are used to pay for prizes, postage, travel expenses, web site fees, domain renewals and various sundry costs that we have to cover to keep everything going.

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Want to ensure you get all the latest news direct from Discworld Monthly between issues? Then visit the Discworld Monthly Facebook page and hit the "Like" button. The page is an announcement only page and is always the first place we post new information.

www.facebook.com/DiscworldMonthly

We include all our back issues on our website at discworldmonthly.co.uk where you can also find Terry Pratchett quotes, a full bibliography and links to articles we have written over the years.

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The Wadfest auction team are currently looking for items. Please email with the subject Wadfest Auction to let us know what you want to donate. Thank you.

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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 us at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use.

Please let us have any submissions for issue 231 of Discworld Monthly BEFORE Friday 24th June 2016.


2. News

Editions L'Atalante have put together a wonderful album of photos from the launch night of the French translation of The Shepherd's Crown.

In attendance were Rob Wilkins, Colin Smythe and the translator Patrick Couton.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/804

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Back in issue 228 we mentioned that Terry had been posthumously awarded the 2016 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. On the weekend of the 12th-14th April 2016 the award was presented at the 2016 SFWA Nebula Conference in Chicago.

The award was created in 2008 and given at the discretion of the SFWA President and Board. The award is for individuals who have had a significant impact on the science fiction or fantasy landscape, and is particularly intended for those who have consistently made a major positive difference within the speculative fiction field, much like its namesake.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/801

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The original painting of The Discworld Massif by Paul Kidby was auctioned in Christie's in Paris. The guide price was 12,000 - 15,000 EUR but eventually sold for 39,900 EUR to a certain Rob Wilkins (aka Terry Pratchett's business manager).

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/803

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Our very own Jason Anthony was interviewed by Heart Thames Valley [Part of a large UK commercial radio station - Ed] this week about Terry Pratchett to coincide with the Discworld day at Oxford's The Story Museum on Saturday 21st May.

You can read about it and listen to Jason's interview at:

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/802

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Paul Kidby has confirmed some of his art will be shown at Widdershins 2016 - Pathways to the Faerie Realm from 25th June 2016 - 27th August 2016.

The free exhibition will take place at Green Hill Arts, Fore Street,

Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 8LL

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/797

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A headmaster from The Acorn Independent School in Nailsworth has claimed that reading Harry Potter books makes children mentally ill. Graeme Whiting also listed Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games and books by Terry Pratchett as stories parents should steer their kids away from.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/798

Rhianna Pratchett has responded to the article on Twitter by stating: I know what my father would say if anyone told him that his books encourage "difficult behaviour." He would say 'Good!'

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The Folio Society have released two illustrated editions of Mort. The standard edition featuring six full colour illustrations by Omar Rayyan with a seventh on the cover. Price 34.95GBP including standard delivery to UK.

www.foliosociety.com/book/MOR/mort

The limited edition slipcase (500 copies) has all seven full colour illustrations inside plus a limited edition print. Price 120.00GBP including standard delivery to UK.

www.foliosociety.com/book/LMO

Both books are available exclusively through the Folio Society website.

* UPDATE * The slipcase edition sold out within 13 hours of it being announced and is the fastest selling limited edition that the Folio Society have ever produced.

The Guardian have an online interview with Omar Rayyan about illustrating Mort. discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/800

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The DC Metro Theater Arts website features a really positive review of Wyrd Sisters as performed by MAD at NASA's Goddard Flight Centre. We included details of the play in last month's issue.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/799

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Amazon UK currently have the Kindle edition of The Long Earth for 1.99GBP.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/ISBN/B0073E4FTI


3. Upcoming Book Releases

* UK Releases *

The Shepherd's Crown will be released in paperback on 2nd June 2016 by Corgi Children's.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/ISBN/0552574473

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The Long Cosmos (book five in The Long Earth Series) will be published in hardback by Penguin Random House on 30th June 2016.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/ISBN/0857521780

The Long Cosmos Slipcase Edition is now available to pre-order from Waterstones. Priced at 35GBP it will be released on the 30th June 2016.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd, ISBN: 9780857524294

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/773

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The Long Utopia (book four in The Long Earth Series) will be published in paperback on 30th June by Corgi.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/ISBN/0552169366

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Small Gods the Graphic Novel is currently scheduled for release on the 28th July this year in the UK. It will have 144 pages and be published by Doubleday.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/ISBN/0857522965

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The OFFICIAL DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK by Paul Kidby. Each and every drawing in the book had been painstakingly recreated by Paul Kidby. Paul had to rationalise each picture to choose which lines to include and which to discard. Paul estimates that each illustration takes around 60 hours to convert.

The book is due for release on the 11th August 2016. It will have 96 pages of glorious Paul Kidby illustrations for you to colour in and enjoy.

It will be published by Gollancz / Orion and it's ISBN details are:

ISBN-10: 1473217474

ISBN-13: 978-1473217478

The book will measure 15 x 21 cm and will be 2.2cm thick.

It has an RRP of 9.99GBP.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/ISBN/1473217474

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The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner (a collection of 14 short stories written by Terry as a young man) will be released on 25th August 2016 (the day before the Discworld Convention). The slipcase edition will feature an additional story.

/books_thewitchsvacuumcleaner.php

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The Terry Pratchett Diary by Terry Pratchett and The Discworld Emporium should be published on 13th October 2016. It will be a perennial diary full of remembrances and tributes from some of those that loved him and his extraordinary body of work. With an introduction by Rhianna Pratchett and an afterword from Rob Wilkins.

ISBN-10: 1473208335

ISBN-13: 9781473208339

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The Carpet People (with Mark Beech cover) is due for release in paperback on 1st June 2017.

ISBN-10: 0552573361

ISBN-13: 9780552573368

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Author Joanne Harris (via Twitter) has confirmed she has written a new introduction for Wyrd Sisters. We don't have a release date for this yet - but we suspect it will be sometime in 2017.

It has been confirmed that the new paperback editions of Mort and Guards! Guards! we mentioned previously will now be released in 2017.

* Other releases *

Small Gods The Graphic Novel (International Release) is scheduled to be published on the 23rd August 2016.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/USISBN/0857522965


4. June Events

[USA, New] A couple of Discworld fans are getting together to host a number of Discworld-themed panels at Phoenix Comicon from 2-5th June 2016. Topics include How Discworld Changed my Life, Technomancy of Discworld, The Wyrdest Link (a Discworld-themed gameshow with audience participation), and one or two others that are in the works.

Phoenix Comicon will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center

www.phoenixcomicon.com/

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[UK] Masquerade Theatre Group will be performing Wyrd Sisters as adapted by Stephen Briggs on 3rd and 4th June, at Parkside Hall, Ampthill, Bedford.

Tickets cost 10 GBP and the curtain goes up at 19:45.

Tickets are available by phone 07817 528077 or by email:

www.facebook.com/Ampthill.Info/timeline

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[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

www.wearetheatre.co.uk


5. Future Events

[UK, New] Carpe Jugulum will be performed by the Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre aka CAST from 13th- 16th July at Colnbrook Village Hall, Vicarage Way, Colnbrook, Berkshire, SL3 0RF.

Phone: 07944 215487 (Secretary)

Tickets will soon be available from: cast-online.org.uk/box-office

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[UK, RESCHEDULED] Lords and Ladies (adapted by Irana Brown) will be performed by the People's Theatre (Newcastle upon Tyne). Originally scheduled for 12th July to 16th July 2016 from 7:30pm but NOW rescheduled to 19th-23rd July 2016.

"Unfortunately we have had to reschedule this production to a week later than originally advertised. All customers who had already booked have been notified of this change. Please contact the Box Office at your earliest convenience to arrange to swap your tickets to a new date, or get a refund if required. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Tickets cost 13.50 GBP (11 GBP concessions).

Box office: 0191 265 5020 (Option 2)

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/762

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[UK] 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).

www.facebook.com/paulkidby

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[UK] Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society will be performing Wyrd Sisters from Thu 28th to Sat 30th July and Thu 4th Aug to Sat 6th Aug 2016 at The Georgian Theatre Royal. Performances start at 7.30pm and tickets cost from 6.50 GBP to 12.50 GBP. The Theatre is located in the heart of Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Box office 01748 825252

tickets.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk/public/show.asp

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[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 25 GBP with junior tickets costing 1p when booked with an adult. Adult visitor tickets cost 15 GBP. Concessions are available for students / people on low income and cost 20 GBP each.

www.wadfest.co.uk

Waddy has confirmed that sculptor Mark Ayling (ex Clarecraft) will be selling some of his wonderful designs at the event. Mark created the Dis-organiser, Death's Clock, the Iconograph and The "clicks" Iconograph from Moving Pictures.

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/796

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[UK] Monstrous Productions will be performing Going Postal from August 17th - 20th at the Gate Theatre in Cardiff, South Wales.

Tickets are 8 GBP (6 GBP Concessions) and can be ordered from 7889269b08cd.fikket.com/

Monstrous Productions Theatre Company are a Cardiff-based theatre company that solely performs plays by Terry Pratchett to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK

www.monstrousptc.com

www.facebook.com/MonstrousProductionsTheatreCompany

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[UK] 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.

2016.dwcon.org

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[Australia] 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

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[UK] Bolton Little Theatre will be presenting "Wyrd Sisters" on 6th - 11th March 2017.

The address is Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG

discworldmonthly.co.uk/uid/788

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[Germany, Updated] All the Witches and denizens of the Chalk are invited to the 5th German Discworld Convention which will take place at Castle Ludwigstein from May 18th to 21st in 2017.

Tickets are available now: www.Discworld-Convention.de

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[Netherlands] Cabbagecon 4 - July 2017

The Cabbagecon team is proud to announce a new edition of the one and only Dutch Discworld convention.

After visiting the Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild in 2015, we will team up with the Guild of Merchants to explore the great city of Ankh-Morpork some more in 2017.

Come and see the sights, meet the colourful city-dwellers, try the local food and, in general, experience the unique atmosphere of the Disc's most famous city. The Ankh-Morpork Guild of Merchants has gracefully agreed to provide a balanced and representative programme of activities to keep all visitors entertained.

Cabbagecon 4 will be held at the Hotel Carlton President in Utrecht on 1-2 July 2017.

Check out our new website at www.dutchdwcon.nl

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[Australia] 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.

You can find out more about Nullus Anxietas VI - The Discworld Grand Tour - The Australian Discworld Convention and chat with other potential tourists at:

Website: ausdwcon.org

Facebook page: facebook.com/Ausdwcon

Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/ausdwcon2017

Twitter: twitter.com/ausdwcon


6. Recurring Monthly Fan Meetings

[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 Helen Nicholls on

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

www.facebook.com/groups/55107511411/

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[Perth, Australia] The Treacle Mining Corporation meet up to celebrate the works of 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!

For details follow them on Twitter @Perth_Drummers, Instagram perth_drummers, and Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/

Otherwise message Alexandra Ware directly at

Unless otherwise stated the group meets up on the first Monday of each month.

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[Sydney, Australia] Sydney Drummers normally meet on the first Monday of every month.

They 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

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[Adelaide, Australia] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. They 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 their mailing list, visit: cityofsmallgods.org.au

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[Brisbane, Australia] 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/


7. 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 edit your letters for our own perfectly innocent reasons.

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.

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* From: "Greg G"

Firstly, please accept my congratulations on keeping the Discworld Monthly going for so many years. It does you credit that you have kept us all up-to-date about all things Discworld for so long. :-)

I am, however, also an editor - but somewhat kinder than the Editors of Reality - so while I will take issue with the trivia questions, it will be done much more charitably. ;)

I refer to questions 2 and 3, 'What killed Mr Hammer-Hock?' and 'How many arrows did it take to "kill" Reg Shoe?'

Unfortunately, there is no hyphen in the name of the blacksmith who repairs the gun; his name is Mr Hammerhock. I realise this is only a small error, but someone is bound to pick it up! So please consider me a picker-up of unconsidered trifles. :-)

The error in Q3 is even more slight, if possible. Carcer and the crew who shoot Reg Shoe in Night Watch are armed with crossbows - indeed, the crossbow is (more or less) the weapon of choice for law enforcement officials in Ankh-Morpork. Unfortunately, I think PTerry got his facts mixed up a little here; he notes that Reg was hit by five heavy bolts, and then another three arrows. However, crossbows do not shoot arrows. Indeed, arrows are generally longer and sleeker than crossbow bolts, and therefore more aerodynamic and travel further. The downside is that they are not as heavy; although they can be made heavier (as happened at Agincourt), this results in a somewhat shorter range. Crossbow bolts can penetrate chainmail easily at 200 yards, while archers rely on volume (the more arrows in the air at once, the better) and range (the further from the enemy, the better) for their effectiveness. [New research suggest that archers were better at close up combat. They tended to keep a number of arrows in their shooting hand which made the bow a very quick draw weapon. Google Lars Anderson the fastest archer in the world. - Ed]

So in conclusion, Reg Shoe must have been shot with 8 crossbow bolts - not arrows - unless Carcer's crew had some kind of bow (a recurve bow, perhaps, or a long bow or a steel bow). Compare and contrast crossbow bolts and arrows, or these arrows.

My apologies for digressing for so long, but then, I'm a history geek. ;-) Cheers!

DWM replies: Thank you for being "gentle" with us! [Yes, let's not 'quarrel' about it - guffaw! WB]

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* From: "Rod Pitcher" ()

My Review of Seriously Funny: The Endlessly Quotable Terry Pratchett

I'm very disappointed and seriously underwhelmed with Seriously Funny.

I wouldn't call the book Seriously Funny, if 'seriously' is to be taken as meaning 'to a significant degree'. "Ironic and Humorous" would have been better.

And with only just over a 100 quotations I wouldn't say that it is Endlessly Quotable.

There is a short introduction about Sir Terry, then the book is divided into sections: Human Nature, Romance, Learning and Wisdom, Success, Life and Death, Animals, Religion, Politics, and Words and Writing. Each quotation takes up a whole page, even though some of them are only one or two lines long. There's a lot of wasted space that could have been used for more quotations. Included is a reference to the source of the quotation. Many seem to come from the Discworld books.

In general, the quotations are good and are typical of Sir Terry, as one would expect. The problem is that there's just not enough of them to make the book worth the price.

Something doesn't feel quite right about this book. Sir Terry's name is on the cover (but actually only as part of the title, not separately as one would expect the author's name to be) but I have to wonder whether it was done by someone else taking advantage of his name to sell useless books to unsuspecting Discworld fans. It just doesn't feel like Sir Terry's work, and I doubt that he would have approved of it.

Done properly this could have been a very useful and interesting book. It would have been a suitable and fitting memorial to the late Sir Terry Pratchett. Unfortunately, it wasn't done properly.

My advice? Don't waste your money buying Seriously Funny.

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* From: "Rod Pitcher"

A Discworld haiku:

There are on Discworld

Creatures weird and wonderful.

Pratchett made them all.


8. DiscTrivia

We're back with five challenging trivia questions for you - this time they all come from The Truth. Good luck, Jason.

Q1.
Who says "--ing" a lot?
Q2.
What do they call a sausage-in-a-bun in Quirm?
Q3.
What is Mr Goodmountain's first name?
Q4.
When William de Worde was hit by the cart, what letter was printed on his forehead in bruise colours?
Q5.
What is the missing word from the title of the Inquirer story "Elves ate my _____"?

The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.


9. The Didjabringabeeralong Regatta

Article by Dr. Rod Pitcher, PhD. (ozzwhispers.blogspot.com.au/)

Every spring, Alice Springs, in Central Australia, is the host to a regatta, the Henley-on-Todd, sometimes known as the Todd River Race, on the Todd River which runs through the middle of the town. Since there is rarely any water in the Todd and Alice Springs is some 1500 kilometres from the nearest large body of water, special provisions have to be made for the event.

On a typical regatta day, bottomless 'boats' race up and down the dry river bed, the legs of their crews showing below the 'waterline', as they battle the dry dust lying thickly in the waterless bed of the Todd River and each other. Pirate and Viking 'ships' carried along by their crews battle for the supremacy of the river, often inundating the spectators with their water and flour bombs. Great fun is had by all!

"No fishing" signs are put up for the day, so that people fishing in the river don't obstruct or interfere with the races.

Of course, lots of beer is consumed. It wouldn't be Australian without it.

The Alice Springs regatta is advertised as "A boat race with a unique difference - on the dry sands of the Todd River." It is claimed to be the only dry river regatta in the world.

Unique is the right word. No-one else in the world would even think of doing it!

Apparently, the regatta was started in 1962 as a joke on the Henley-on-Thames regatta in London, England, and on the English nobs who take part. This is typical of Australians' derisive attitude towards their English heritage.

The regatta is run each year by the Rotary Clubs of Alice Springs in aid of various charities. For more information and pictures, Google "Alice Springs regatta".

In The Last Continent, Terry Pratchett describes similar bottomless 'boats' running down a dry river bed in the fictional town of Didjabringabeeralong which I can positively identify as Alice Springs, having lived there. It appears that he must have seen and appreciated the regatta, and that it made a big enough impression on him that he included a sideways reference to it in his book. The book is highly recommended for its very funny comments on all things Australian. It's a good story, too.

Unfortunately, the year I lived in Alice Springs I was unable to take part in the regatta. It was cancelled because there was water in the Todd River. It was said that having a dry-river regatta while there is water in the river would be to make a farce of the whole thing.


10. Truckers, Diggers and Wings Competition Result

Last month we purchased a set of paperback editions of Truckers, Diggers and Wings with the new Mark Beech covers to give away this month.

In order to win this new trilogy of Nomes books and a competition winner's pin badge, you needed to answer the following question:

Q1.
Name any other Terry Pratchett book illustrated by Mark Beech.

The answer we were looking for was Dragons at Crumbling Castle but we also accepted The Abominable Snowman.

The randomly selected winner of the trilogy is Chris Jones of Halifax, West Yorkshire.

For more information about Discworld Monthly visit discworldmonthly.co.uk


11. Lords and Ladies Live in Switzerland

Review by Martin Glauner

The Gay Beggars, an independent and non-professional theatre company at Basel University (not Unseen) Switzerland, performed in April and May "Lords & Ladies" (adapted by Irana Brown) in Basel. They had previously performed "Wyrd Sisters" back in 2007, based on the adaptation by Stephen Briggs.

It was really a two and a half hour power-play in a completely sold-out little theatre. There was a lot of laughter, drama, glamour and love in the details. The costumes and masquerade of all the characters we love so much (Esme Weatherwax, Gytha Ogg, Magrat Garlick, the Librarian, other members of the Ogg family, the wizards, Casanunda and so on) were amazing. The same is true for the ones we do not love so much (the elves... er, the Lords and Ladies).

During the break the team tried to keep us staying on the Disk. So they offered us "lite Morporkian beer" (wizards' brew), "Darke Lancre beer" (witches' brew) and something with mostly apples in it.

The (in)famous stick and bucket dance was one of the many little highlights that made the performance such a good time for the audience.

The four of us from the German Discworld fanclub (www.ankh-morpork.de) enjoyed it very much and we will definitely come back for the next Discworld play.


12. Review of Wyrd Sisters at Caversham Park Theatre

Review by Nick Caulfield on 14th May 2016

This was my first trip to see an adaptation of a Terry Pratchett book at the theatre (unless you count "The Sea and Little Fishes" at one of the conventions) and the first amateur production of any play I have been to for quite a number of years. I took the family so it had to appeal to one non-fan and two kids as well as myself. Having booked back in February when Jason announced it, I ended up with the best seats in the house in the middle of the front row. That said, it was well attended so I also "avoided disappointment".

In terms of acting, I thought the standard for the main roles was generally high, with both the Duke (played by Dan Bretherton) and the Duchess (played by Bill Walton) outstanding, and of the witches, Magrat (played by Nikki Kemp) was wonderfully expressive. I suspect that my internal picture of Granny and Nanny is so shaped by the books that the actresses in those roles had more to live up to.

Any dramatic adaptation has to fit the time available to it, of course, although that meant that there were some lines I found myself looking out for which didn't get included. For example, on the road to Lancre the players only met one witch and not all three so no-one got to say "It's salt pork, take it or leave it". Also, while an actor gets to fluff his lines as Death backstage, Death himself appeared to have been written out.

Someone had clearly put a lot of work into the costumes and setting which helped to raise the standard above what I had expected of an amateur production and added to my enjoyment. I was particularly impressed by the lighting projection of plant growth they used when Magrat worked magic on the dungeon door, although I suspect that people who hadn't previously read the book (I gather these people exist) may not have quite realised what happened there.

Two minor criticisms I have occurred in scenes at the end of the play. After the coronation banquet, when the three witches discuss Tomjon and Verence's relationship to each other and to the late King and Queen, Granny was portrayed as slightly jollier than I had expected and in the final scene, when they go their separate ways, although the words are largely the same as in the last couple of pages of the book, the tone seemed to suggest that the three of them parted somewhat in a huff, whereas in the book I was left with a strong impression that while they may not need to continue to try and organise themselves, they parted on "you know where to find me if you need me" terms. This wasn't just me because the following morning, my wife asked me to explain the final scene as it had not quite made sense.

That shouldn't detract from what was a very enjoyable production.


13. The End

Please let us have any submissions for issue 231 of Discworld Monthly BEFORE Friday 24th June 2016.

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* DiscTrivia Results *

Q1.
Who says "--ing" a lot?
A1.
Mr Tulip (and also to a lesser extent Mr Pin)
Q2.
What do they call a sausage-in-a-bun in Quirm?
A2.
le sausage-in-le-bun
Q3.
What is Mr Goodmountain's first name?
A3.
Gunilla
Q4.
When William de Worde was hit by the cart, what letter was printed on his forehead in bruise colours?
A4.
The letter "R"
Q5.
What is the missing word from the title of the Inquirer story "Elves ate my _____"?
A5.
Gerbil

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