Discworld Monthly - Issue 2: June 1997
Table of Contents:1. Editorial
2. Contact Information
4. Back issues - web pages & live chat
5. Results of questionnaire from issue 1
6. What's new?
7. PTerry in Australia
8. Obtaining PTerry's books
9. The ultimate PTerry interview
10. Feature: Animated Pratchett
11. The End
1. EditorialFor all those new to "Discworld Monthly" (who number over five hundred due to the amazing number of new subscribers) Welcome! "Discworld Monthly" is a free monthly electronic magazine about Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
We have been busy compiling the results of last month's questionnaire (which can be found in section 5). This has provided us with much amusement and lack of sleep due to the vast quantities of data we have had to sieve through. Thanks go to everybody that sent in words of encouragement and to all those that got lots more people to subscribe.
Issue 3 will be delayed until the second week in July. I am going on holiday and celebrating my first wedding anniversary.
We need your input: please send us any articles, book reviews, details of events or anything else that other PTerry fans might enjoy. We need to receive all articles no less than a week before the next issue is due. We should receive all submissions for issue three by Monday 23rd June 1997.
New thanks goto the following for displaying a subscription form for Discworld Monthly on their pages.
Ensign Kim's Homepage
Stuart Beaton, Liquid Space Magazine
Angua - members.wbs.net/homepages/a/n/g/angua0.html
John Dooley - www.nwnet.co.uk/oxford/discworld.htm
(editor / web & email)
William Barnett, firstname.lastname@example.org (deputy editor / features)
Richard Massey, email@example.com (proof reading / comments)
2. Contact InformationWe prefer information to be sent via email, but can accept information via fax or post at the following addresses.
Post: J Anthony (DWM), 86 Bruce Road, Woodley, Berkshire, RG5 3DZ
3. SubscriptionTo subscribe to this monthly newsletter simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject of "subscribe" or fill in the form on our web page. You will receive an email confirming your subscription as soon as we can reply (usually within a couple of days).
To un-subscribe from this newsletter simply send an email to email@example.com with a subject of "remove". You will receive an email confirming your removal as soon as we can reply (usually within a couple of days).
NOTE: In order to keep the subscription list current any addresses that bounce will be removed. If you fail to receive an issue, please subscribe again.
4. Back issues - web pages & live chatAll issues will be accessible from the "Discworld Monthly" web site, where you will also find links to other Discworld pages. discworldmonthly.co.uk/
We have set up a java based chat page. If you have a java enabled web browser you will be able to chat in real time to other Discworld Fans. To try this out we would like to announce a live meeting to discuss the future of Discworld Monthly on Saturday 7th June 1997 at 18:00 GMT (that's 19:00 British Summer Time). Please confirm if you will be able to make it.
I am informed that java compatible browsers include:
- Microsoft Interner Explorer 3+ (Win 95 or Mac)
- Netscape Navigator 2+ (not Mac or Win 3.x)
- Netscape Navigator 3.01 (beta) for Win 3.x
5. Results of Questionnaire from issue 1We were really impressed with the number of questionnaires that you completed. Compiling the information has been amazingly difficult. Next time round we will need to reconsider how we phrase our questions.
Q1. What is your favourite PTerry book?
|Men at Arms||14|
|Feet of Clay||5|
|Lords and Ladies||3|
|Colour of Magic||2|
|Only You Can Save Mankind||1*|
* (because it's easy to read in the bath)
Q2. Who / What is your favourite character?
|You Bastard (the camel)||2|
|Bloody Stupid Johnson||1|
|The Fool (Venerance)||1|
Q3. Do you have any ideas for new characters?
There was some good ideas including an author on the Discworld who writes about a round world, Carrot & Angua's child and LIFE. One of the most popular ideas was for a mate for the Librarian. One other common answer to this question was "That's up to PTerry isn't it!" and "let PTerry do the hard work!".
Q4. What did you think of the Discworld games?
General consensus was quite encouraging but a lot of people stated that they were not Discworld enough and they ran too slowly. Game one was too complicated and game two was too easy. Somebody wrote in to say he prefers Cripple Mr Onion after he found the rules at LSpace. www.lspace.org/
Q5. How many legs has the Luggage has got?
Answers were varied and included 10, 24, 162, lots, as many as it needs, 999999999999999999999999999999999 not including those belonging to others, about 100, oodles and oodles, who cares, 137 because one dropped off, DOZENS, more than me, far too many if it jumps on you, I hope I never find out and the square root of 236 times the number of eggs needed for a good omelette.
Q6. What is your favourite quote?
There don't appear to be any obvious winners. It is apparent that everyone has their own favourites. With such a rich source of quotes available it's not surprising really. Notable favourites include:
6. What's new?I have been informed that the new book Jingo is not due out until October / November this year.
Information from Steve Jackson Games' web site suggests that they are having a few problems with their GURPS Discworld system, and are not going to release it until it is correct. www.io.com/sjgames
Animated Soul Music Part 2 will be out on Monday 9th June 1997.
PTerry was on a British lunchtime television program on Tuesday 6th May 1997 and when asked "will you ever write the last Discworld book?" replied "My grandad died at the age of 96 in possession of all his faculties plus some he borrowed from other people and never returned. Um, I'm never planning to write the last Discworld book. Um, They're going to slow down a bit because I want to spend some of the money I've accumulated. I'm never going to write the last one."
7. PTerry in AustraliaTerry Pratchett will be returning to Australia in July, to sign copies of his latest paperback, "Feet Of Clay".
The only confirmed appearance so far is in Adelaide, South Australia, at "Alex's Bookshop", at 2pm, Tuesday July 15.
Stuart Beaton, from Liquid Space Magazine, has been granted a one on one interview with Terry. He's interested in asking any questions that "Discworld Monthly"'s readers have - you can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find a copy of his last interview with Terry at:
There is a performance of Wyrd Sisters being put on in Canberra,
Australia. Running from 26th June to the 5th July.
8. Obtaining PTerry's booksIf you live in the UK you can go to most book shops and pick up PTerry's books without problems. Other countries may find it more difficult. You can order any of PTerry's books over the Net from Amazon.co.uk (they even provide an on-line currency converter for anyone outside the UK). www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/redirect-home/87
9. The ultimate PTerry InterviewHow many interviews have you read about PTerry and thought "has the interviewer read any of the books?" Well, here is your chance to get it right. PTerry has agreed to answer ten of the best questions the assorted readers of this newsletter can come up with (provided they aren't too dumb - PTerry's words). So send us your best question for PTerry. The closing date for questions will be Monday 23rd June 1997. The interview will (hopefully) appear in issue four.
10. Feature: Animated PratchettOn Sunday 18th May 1997. Britain's Channel 4 television showed the first episode of the Wyrd Sisters animated series. We were there (in true couch potato style) to review episode one, and if that wasn't enough got hold of Soul Music (Part 1) on video.
The first part of Soul Music *is* great, and that's official. We were sceptical about how well PTerry's books would convert to cartoon, but Cosgrove Hall have done a really good job. We were a little unsure of the voices to begin with but were soon so engrossed in the story we forgot about them completely. The animation is great and the jokes are delivered well. The University Faculty are a little disappointing but Ridcully is just right. Our only real complaint is not with the video, but with the fact that they've only released part one. (see news section for release date of part 2)
Jason - I liked the west country accents but felt that DEATH was better in Soul Music. I don't like the way nanny Ogg's name is pronounced. I always thought of it sounding like guy-fer rather than giffa. I find it very hard not to judge the cartoon relative to the book I know and love but it is good enough to stand up on its own right as a piece of entertainment. After watching episode two, I noticed that Magrat's name changed from M'grat to Mag-rat (how I expected her name to sound). I also found the episodes too short. It would have been better with longer commercials before and after and had the whole episode without interruption. It has been quite some time since I've read Wyrd Sisters but this has encouraged me to read it again.
William - Wyrd Sisters is a real blinder of a book, even for the consistently great Discworld series. The Witches really come into their own, the Shakespeare parody is a really brilliant device, and you feel learned and intelligent for having realised it's Shakespeare being parodied in the first place. But the cartoon ...
Why bother? What do we need televised PTerry in any form for? There are already legions of fans around the world who are devoted to the books. As soon as you try and transfer any form of entertainment into another medium you risk upsetting everyone who liked it in its original form (and probably initiating a storm of indignant e-mail as well). Okay, you might win over a few more people who, by virtue of being thoroughly illiterate, have not already discovered the books. I don't think that's the case with the cartoon, though, because almost no concessions are made to newbies. In staying close to the book it includes all the references, characters and conventions that only existing fans are going to pick up on.
I'm worried that the only real justification for animating the Discworld is to squeeze more money out of it. Then again, I'm also worried that a good 50% of PTerry fans (myself included) are going to whinge on as if Discworld is sacrosanct and must be protected from any form of alteration ... a bit like Shakespeare.
Richard - It's usually true when you've enjoyed reading a book that any sort of adaptation of it is going to be a disappointment. Luckily this isn't the case with Cosgrove Hall's version of Wyrd Sisters. Is it as good as the book? Well of course not, but it has got a lot to live up to.
Most people (certainly me anyway) are going to judge the animation by comparing it with the images they ...er... imagine when they're reading the books. To my mind the action should be in real-life cinemascope (with some guidance from the cover illustrations by Josh Kirby) but Cosgrove Hall's budget probably didn't stretch that far.
So how does the cartoon fare? Well apart from the voice they've used for Magrat, which I'm really not sure about, and maybe Granny Weatherwax, who isn't as imposing as she might be, it's pretty spot on. The Duke and Lady Felmet are excellent, as is the background scenery - and weather - of Lancre. The jokes come at about the right rate (some of them being surreptitiously changed from what a character thinks to what they actually say to get them in), in fact I found some of the Shakespeare references easier to pick up than in the book. They also seem to have summarised the plot to a reasonable degree, though they had to cram a lot into half an hour.
I've just watched episode two and it's keeping up to the same standard, so roll on next Sunday (and June 9th).