Discworld Monthly - Issue 75: July 2003
Table of Contents:1. Editorial
3. Readers' Letters
5. Competition: Bonsai Trading
6. "Eric" - Performing Pratchett Professionally Part 3
7. Review: The Opening of the Ankh-Morpork consulate in Wincanton
8. Review: Death and Binky Pewter Miniature
9. The End
1. EditorialWelcome to issue 75. This month I am looking forward to seeing Eric performed in York and next issue we will include a review of the play finishing off our series of articles about performing Pratchett professionally.
Don't forget to enter our competition to win a Death and Binky Pewter Miniature. See the review in section 8 for details of how to compete.
I would also like to remind you that you can still get tickets for both the Clarecraft weekend that takes place on the 1st-3rd August and the Wadfest weekend that takes place on the 20th-22nd September.
More information can be found at www.clarecraft.co.uk and www.wadfest.co.uk respectively.
Jason Anthony (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Building Inspector)
The Dreaming Theatre Production Company are thrilled to be able to
announce that the Cunning Artificer himself - Bernard Pearson - is
creating a unique collectable for their production of Eric, which
will sell for just a few pounds! Anyone who has ever seen a Cunning
Artificer piece will know how excellent these collectables are!
This particular piece is being created as a limited edition of just
100, but they are only available to purchase at a performance of
Eric. We will be selling no more than 5 at each performance, which
means that whatever night you choose to attend there will be an
opportunity to buy one of these wonderful pieces. No doubt they
will start to appear on Ebay shortly at highly inflated prices -
they often do! For more information on this professional production
of Eric visit
For more information on Bernard and his incredible Discworld sculptures visit www.artificer.co.uk
Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of
any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise
caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We
*strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.
Steph Williams email@example.com writes: I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and I am looking for a group of like-minded Pratchett lovers to get together with and discuss all things Discworld. I only know of one other person who loves TP. If there are any Calgarians interested, drop me a line. If there is already a group, please let me know!
Chris firstname.lastname@example.org writes: I had all the books in hardback along with various maps and stuff. Unfortunately I was burgled recently and I lost the lot. But don't despair: the nice Mr Insurance man gave me some money so I am going to buy them all again. Does anyone know of any websites that sell them all as one? I would like to get them all from one site and maybe get a discount. I don't mind getting the cookbooks and diaries from another but would like the complete works from one place.
Oh and for the gits that did me over, I've got a friend who wants to meet you to say HELLO.
Kevin Brubeck Unhammer email@example.com writes: I've been looking for the second Discworld game (Mortality Bytes / Missing, Presumed) for some time now. If anyone would like to sell their copy of it to me I'd be glad to buy it... (I live in Norway).
Estelle Farrar firstname.lastname@example.org writes: A wonderful friend bought me the Discworld Noir PC game - how nice of him I hear you say. Unfortunately for me, I am now living in my own private hell of sleepless nights, whiskey chasers with my coffee and vodka on my cornflakes. I AM STUCK. I have dealt with dead body of troll "Sapphire" and found piece of material from carriage on the bridge, also dropped my grapple hook into the Ankh and it hit something but it's prompting me that I need help to retrieve it. But I can't find anyone? I have hit a complete dead end. Please can someone help me out of this constant state of Discworld fuelled depression? Waiting in anticipation xxx.
Jen Crowe email@example.com writes: Does anyone know where you can still get this year's Pratchett diary from? I suddenly find I am lost without one!
Paul Cunningham firstname.lastname@example.org writes: I have a mint copy of Discworld Noir for the PC for sale and a walkthrough guide printout (if you wish to cheat). This is in as new condition and comes on three discs. I am open to offers of about 12GBP or 18 euros (+ postage at cost).
dabrowne email@example.com writes: Could Jedi Princess please send me her physical address again so I can send the TP audio CD? Very sorry, my old pc crashed with perfect timing approximately a week before I got my new one...
3. Readers' LettersIf you have any letters or comments, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters and use them as low grade toilet paper.
It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.
The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print
supplied by Bonsai Trading. Bonsai Trading, is the Discworld store
that brings you Clarecraft figurines, diaries & calendars, Thud and
* From: "Timo-Jussi Hamalainen" email@example.com
In Readers' Letters David Lev wondered if The Thief of Time got its name from Tony Hillerman's book of the same name. As I recall, there was some discussion on the subject in a.b.p. The name is very common for a book. I had a quick search on Amazon.uk, and found at least five different books by that name. Wonder what happened if I went through the university's library base (eeek).
To Evelina Schmuckli: I happen to know a Finnish TP translator. She was always despairing with the puns, and had quite often to come up with new ones in Finnish. Poor soul.
* From: "Mark Langford" firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be going to the CCDWE [Clarecraft Discworld Event - Ed] in August, and I intend to fly a pyramid-shaped kite. I would like to fly a GIANT pyramid-shaped kite, or even a whole flock of them. I'll need help, though.
The kite is cellular, that is, it is made of many identical parts connected together. If anybody would like instructions on how to make part of the kite (and the more who do, the bigger kite will be), please e-mail me and I will send you instructions on how to join in. All you will need is thin paper (preferably tissue, preferably sort of Pyramid coloured) and at least 4 straws.
Of course, I'd like everybody who joins in to make some sort of donation to the Orang-Utan foundation as well...
* From: "LauraJ" email@example.com
There is a somewhat dreary proverb that goes "Procrastination is the thief of time," coined by, I am informed, a mid-18th centuary Englishman named Edward Young. I would imagine having it floating around in the English-speaking hindbrain made it sound like a good title. The one in Tony Hillerman had to do with a looter of archaeological sites. Good writer, the only murder mysteries I know recommended for anthropology students.
I work in a bookstore reading when I am not supposed to be, and The Wee Free Men is far and away the best recent thing there.
* From: "Andrew Springer" firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to Lalita Mukherjea's question about the Beatles:
I haven't read Thief of Time, so I can't say if there's an actual connection between the Horsemen and the Beatles, but for a short period in 1960 there were indeed five Beatles--John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe, and Pete Best.
Sutcliffe (bass guitar) left voluntarily early on, while Pete Best (drums) was kicked out later, because the Beatles' first label didn't like his playing, and because he didn't fit in and the rest of the group wanted Ringo Starr (whom they had met in Hamburg while he was playing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes) on drums instead. So by the end of 1960, the Beatles were down to the final four of Paul, John, George, and Ringo. So yes, there was a fifth--and a sixth--Beatle.
I got all this from "The Beatles Unseen Archives" if it matters.
* From: "Drusilla Wieloch" email@example.com
I've just read the latest newsletter. Shades Chase is just no good as a title [for the potential new Discworld board game mentioned last month]. I think the game should be called Millennium Hand and Shrimp.
* From: "Jon Lenton" firstname.lastname@example.org
Five books in the The Big Read and Night Watch only out for a few months. Amazing achievement don't you think? Well, apparently the "debate team", who discussed all the entries on BBC3 after the main programme didn't think so.
I sat waiting for them to get on to the "Sci-fi/Fantasy" section and when they duly got there the discussion was... well, um... limp, for want of a better word. I don't think any of the esteemed authors / journalists have even read a PTerry book. They just dismissed and patronised the books with comments like "it's a world on the back of a turtle...oh, and there's some elephants"... o.k. I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea.
I'm sorely disappointed, nay, angry at the way those "experts" completely ignored one of the funniest, socially observant writers of the last century.
And he wears damn good hats!
DWM replies: Jon wins this month's Letter of the Month.
* From: "Christine Russell" email@example.com
Did you know Terry was seen wearing a t-shirt reading "Less dead than Dickens". We should all get them made up as -TP - Less Dead than Dickens - in time for the next stage of The Big Read.
JA replies: When I was at Bernard's in Wincanton, I was shown Terry's new coffee mug which included the phrase "Less dead than Dickens".
* From: "Sjaak Nack" firstname.lastname@example.org
In reply to all those people who tell us that reading PTerry's books in the original language is better than reading the translated versions. In my opinion this might well be true, more true if you have a thorough insight in English (or British) history, culture, language (idioms & puns), psyche and way of life. For non-English speaking persons the typical PTerry-humor is sometimes hard to understand, the cunning references to 'real' life situations are sometimes very hard to find or track down. (eg. the tortoise crashing down to the priest's head in Small Gods)
Good translations depend entirely on the translator('s team). Us Dutch-speaking people are very lucky to have Mr. Venugopalan Ittekot (what's in a name?) as an excellent translator for the Discworld novels. To him I would like to say: "Thank you, Mr. Ittekot, for introducing the likes of 'Rinswind' (Rincewind), 'Opoe Wedersmeer' (Granny Weatherwax), 'Ootje Nack' (Nanny Ogg), the AMCW and the Librarian, into my world. Thank you for your excellent translations. Because of these I (and no doubt countless others) discovered the Discworld and I'm enjoying Pterry's books in both Dutch and English. BEDANKT.."
Because who cares if you read them in English or your own, native, language? As long as you're reading them! To me reading the Discworld novels is double fun. First I enjoy them in English and a few months later I enjoy them once again in Dutch. Both are supercalli-fragillistic-expi-allidocious. Now please have Susan beat me to death with her umbrella.
DWM replies: What IS the significance of the tortoise falling on the priest's head?
* From: "Edith Rogers" email@example.com
I was just wondering is anyone else's favourite character Vetinari? He's been my favourite character ever since I read Night Watch. I really liked the scene where he is reading the book at the table. I wouldn't have had the patience! (I don't mind people laughing at the books I read, but if someone tried to take away or damage it they'd end up with a fork in their ear! Ok, Ok, I'd probably end up being beaten up! But it's the thought that counts!) I love the way he gets revenge though. Everyone I know seems to like Vimes, he's my 2nd favourite but Vetinari's not so popular!
* From: "Rob Hawley" firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been on a website today looking at Discworld goodies for sale and note with interest Josh Kirby prints for sale in A3 size ranging from 9GBP to 12GBP. I have 5 prints which measure 32 inches by 25 inches (sorry to work in old money but I am old). They are Jingo, Reaper Man, Light Fantastic, Soul Music and The Discworld Mapp. I was given these by a friend of mine whose wife used to work for a printing company in Essex called Posters Plus and there weren't a lot of them made by all accounts due to the complexity of the drawings. I have had them framed professionally and was wondering if there is a value that can be put to them for insurance purposes. I would be grateful for any advice you may have to offer.
* From: "Simpson, Helen" Helen.Simpson@atosorigin.com
I thought people might be interested in the following. It is from 'The Northerner' which is a digest of news stories from northern England produced by the Guardian newspaper.
>>> GREAT APE EMERGES PEACEFULLY FROM CAGE
An orang-utan alarmed visitors to Chester zoo when it escaped from its cage.
Hundreds of visitors at the zoo were herded into the sanctuary of the restaurant, tropical house and cafes, after the male ape climbed out of his enclosure last Friday afternoon. After 90 minutes of low-key drama, he lowered himself back into the cage and went to sleep.
It later emerged that during the past few days the errant ape had lifted and removed roof tiles to the enclosure, which houses five orang-utans.
A marksman armed with a rifle was put on standby in case he went berserk, but he was tempted back into captivity with food.
A spokeswoman for the zoo told the Liverpool Daily Post: "He simply went up and enjoyed the sunshine. He didn't run around and he didn't threaten anyone. I think he was soaking up being the centre of attention.
"We have never known anything like this. Orang-utans can be very crafty animals and can work things out quickly."
Orang-utans, which are regarded as critically endangered, are kept at the zoo in two separate enclosures.
The 150 visitors caught up in the excitement were kept happy with free cold drinks and ice lollies. And their tickets were refunded.
* From: "Nathan Rose" email@example.com
I recently re-read Night Watch and I found one thing a bit perplexing. What is it that the Unmentionables want? They arrested revolutionaries but they were also stirring up the crowd against the watchhouses. If anyone can explain it would help.
* From: "Ty Browning" firstname.lastname@example.org
Having read recently 'Night Watch' I can safely say that this has to be PTerry's finest Discworld novel to date. Many may argue that it is unnecessarily dark and macabre for a series meant to a look at the lighter side of life in a 'mirror' world, but I say that life is not always beer and skittles. As a result, 'Night Watch' takes on a more sombre tone, one that makes us reflect on not just ourselves but the whole Discworld series in general.
As an old soldier myself, I found 'Night Watch' highly poignant and deeply moving. The whole story is immensely emotive, ranging from agonising lows (the 'chamber of horrors') to moments of pure joy ("I'll teach him to walk!"). From sprigs of lilac to the police-code-that-ain't-written-down, from marching tunes - 'How Do They Rise Up' completely underscores the entire ethos of a soldier- to the political BS that plagues many a life - bravo Mr Pratchett, bravo. I had nearly lost faith in contemporary literature, and your opus has restored it. I may sound a little sentimental, but on a personal level it pulled on the right heart strings and brought back all the old memories from my brothers in arms. I hope the Discworld novels continue to be works of outstanding quality, and I hope they will continue to enrich the lives of many a reader.
4. DiscTriviaFor the next few months we thought we would concentrate each trivia section on a certain subject. This month we have decided to ask questions about the Watch. If the answers are wrong this month you will have to blame Jason email@example.com .
- When Carrot first comes to AM what book is he carrying? (GG)
- What is Vimes' badge number? (MAA)
- What is Nobby's name when he is in disguise in Klatch? (J)
- What rank is Fred Colon promoted to in The Fifth Elephant?
- Who administers medical care in the Watch? (NW)
The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.
5. Competition: Bonsai TradingLast month in our competition with Bonsai Trading we asked the following two questions.
1. How much (in GBP) does Catskind's "Kiss The Cook" print cost on the Bonsai Trading site?
2. What was the current circulation of Discworld Monthly?
The answers were 4.49GBP and 20,300 respectively.
The winners were selected randomly by computer from all the correct entries. The first prize winner of the Kiss The Cook poster was David Fookes and second and third prize winners of Discworld keyrings were Jerome Ward and Ben Ash. We will shortly be contacting the winners for their postal addresses.
Bonsai Trading (
bonsai.discworldmonthly.org), is the
Discworld store that brings you Clarecraft figurines, diaries &
calendars, Thud and much more.
6. "Eric" - Performing Pratchett ProfessionallyBy Scott Harrison & Lee Harris
Part 3 - Rehearsing the Play
We have been working on this production of "Eric" for five months, now, so it was with a mixture of relief and trepidation that we turned up to the first rehearsal on June 16th. We are taking just over two weeks to rehearse the play (which is a long time for a professional production - often you get just a week, but there are a lot of props/characters/sound effects in this production, and the extra rehearsals will come in useful).
This article is being written at the end of the first week of rehearsals, and so far things are going way way way better than we could possibly have hoped! The cast is uniformly superb, and even though we have now read the play literally dozens of times, and seen it rehearsed over and over again, the actors are still making us laugh! A testament not only to their skills as character actors, but to Terry Pratchett's talent as a humourist!
Day one kicked off with a trip to Clifford's Tower, and a chance for the assembled cast to become familiar with the wonderful venue we would be using. We took them up the long, winding stone steps and out onto the high ramparts where several scenes between Rincewind and Eric will be played out - it was a beautiful warm day and we could see for miles across the city in every direction. Afterwards it was straight to Starbucks for a coffee and a chance for all the cast and crew to get to know one another. Cups now empty and introductions made, it was time to head back to the rehearsal room where things truly got underway with our first full cast read-through of the script (actually this isn't entirely true as the actor who would be playing Eric wouldn't arrive until the following day, but, hey, 8 out of 9 ain't bad!). It was such a wonderful experience to finally hear our script come to life, and it was such a relief to discover that - aside from the odd bit of rewriting here and there - the script worked beautifully.
On the third day of rehearsals we were looking through an old junk-shop as we were still in need of a very old-looking book as a prop for Astfgl - one of the major characters in "Eric". Those of you who know the story will be aware that one of the important minor characters is a demon called "Quezovercoatl" who masquerades as a god to a backward tribe of savages. Well, on our search through this old junk shop we found a book that looked ideal - it was old, worn, and looked exactly the kind of tome that might be used by Astfgl. We bought it, and took it back to the rehearsal room and handed it to the actor playing Astfgl. He flicked through it, and landed on an old black and white photograph of a carving of the ancient Aztec god Quezecoatl. We're interpreting this as a good omen, but if any of you know otherwise, please don't tell us until the play is over!
This weekend we got to see our Luggage for the first time, too! A local carpentry firm is making him for us, and he promises to be one of the highlights of the show! Unfortunately he may prove too large for us to keep once the production is over, so we may end up having to dispose of him via Ebay, or by some other means! Keep an eye on our website nearer the end of July for more details.
We have also been contacted by a few theatre groups to ask if "Eric" will be made available for amateur productions. One pointed out that there are currently no other Rincewind plays in publication. Unfortunately it looks unlikely at the moment, but who knows what the future may hold?
"Eric" runs from July 3rd to 26th at Clifford's Tower, York.
Tickets are still available from
from Travelling Man on 01904 628787. Production photographs of the
"Eric" rehearsals can be seen at the website by clicking on the
7. Review: The Opening of the Ankh-Morpork Consulate in WincantonBy Jason Anthony
Following on from December's twinning between Wincanton and Ankh-Morpork it was inevitable that a Consulate would need to be created to allow safe passage between the two locations.
On Saturday 24th May the Ankh-Morpork Consulate opened at the Cunning Artificer's Shop in Wincanton. It is now possible to apply for a special Ankh-Morpork passport that will allow you free passage through Wincanton.
The opening took place in Wincanton Council Offices at just after 2pm. The proceedings were slightly delayed when Drumknott (the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork's personal secretary) got delayed on the A303.
When Drumknott finally arrived (obviously flustered by the ordeal of round-world traffic) his speech was brief and eloquent. Gongs were handed over and Frank Foster (ex-mayor of Wincanton) was announced as Consular General of the Consulate.
After a brief speech by David Heath MP, the ceremony was over and we got down to the serious business of merry making.
Trevor Truran was on hand in the Dolphin to explain some Discworld games, including Cripple Mr Onion and a new potential game (at the time called Merlin's Challenge but over the course of the weekend the game had also been known as Night Watch, Day Watch and The Shades Chase). The game involves a board made up from 48 pieces in an eight by six grid - the board pieces are drawn randomly to form a unique board every time you play the game. The idea of the game is to get all eight of your pieces across to the other side of the board before your opponent can do the same. You can only move to a square that is either the same colour as the one you are on or has the same symbol on it. You can also jump over a number of your pieces if the destination colour / symbol is the same as the starting point. This game proved to be very well received and rumour has it that Terry may be interested in getting Bernard and Trevor to take the design further.
On the Saturday evening a special sausage supper had been arranged at two pubs in the town. The sausages were made locally from local produce and tasted very nice. The meal was finished off with a crumble and custard.
After the meal a charity auction took place, with over 500GBP being raised to a charity that makes special equipment for people with special needs, which Terry topped up to 1000GBP. Notable lots in the auction included a single pickled onion (pickled by Terry himself) in a jar (the rest of the jar's content had previously been eaten by Bernard) which raised 30GBP and a model snake with sunglasses made for Good Omens but never put on sale which raised over 220GBP.
Sunday was a relaxed affair as the charity auction and book signings had taken place on the previous day, with more games played in the games room and a rather strange closing ceremony, which involved Frank Foster trying to kiss everyone who did well in the Thud tournament.
We were finally told to bugger off by Bernard and the weekend was over. Everyone appeared to have a really good time and plans are already in place for an event on the 6th and 7th December.
More information about the event should soon appear on the Cunning Artificer's web site at www.artificer.co.uk
8. Review: Death and Binky Pewter MiniatureBy Jason Anthony
At a recent book signing in Woodley, I was fortunate enough to bump into Sally from Clarecraft who gave me one of Clarecraft's new Death and Binky pewter miniature pieces DWP79 that was recently released in June.
Measuring approximately 70mm high the piece is part of a new group of super size miniatures that includes The Discword (DWP77), Ninereeds (DWP78) and Death on Bike (DWP80).
Obviously, being so small there is not going to be the same detail as Clarecraft's normal range. Having said that the details on this piece are very good. In fact having looked at pictures of the original Death and Binky DW24 (which was almost 200mm high) I think the pewter model has more character, with Death appearing to be more realistically proportioned.
I feel the piece looks great when positioned correctly because of the way light bounces off the detailed pewter almost making it look like Death's eyes are glowing in their sockets.
The other advantage of the pewter range is that they are much more affordable than their full sized cousins. The original DW24 retails for around 120 GBP whereas the new DWP79 retails at around 20 GBP.
To find out more about this and other pewter miniatures from Clarecraft visit their web site at www.clarecraft.co.uk
* Competition *
To coincide with this review we have arranged a competition with Bonsai Trading to win a Clarecraft pewter Death on Binky. You can purchase Death on Binky (DWP79), Death on Bike (DWP80) or Ninereeds (DWP78) from the Bonsai Trading web site for only 16.99 GBP each plus postage. Bonsai Trading also have the bigger Discworld (DWP77) available for 21.20 GBP plus postage. All these pieces being sold at 15% off RRP.
To enter the prize draw to win this wonderful prize all you need to do is send the answer to the following simple question by 23rd July to firstname.lastname@example.org
- What was the first super-size pewter miniature produced? (the
answer can be found on the Bonsai Trading web site located at
The winner will be announced next issue.
9. The End* Contact Information *
We 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
* Latest Book Information *
Discworld paperback: The Thief of Time 0552148407/87
Discworld hardback: The Wee Free Men 0385605331/87
Collaboration: The New Discworld Companion 0575074671/87
* DiscTrivia Answers *
- When carrot first comes to AM what book is he carrying? (GG)
- The Laws and Ordinances of The Cities of Ankh and Morpork.
- What is Vimes' badge number? (MAA)
- What is Nobby's name when he is in disguise in Klatch? (J)
- What rank is Fred Colon promoted too in The Fifth Elephant?
- Acting Captain
- Who administers medical care in the watch? (NW)
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