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Discworld Monthly - Issue 107: March 2006

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Comparison: Johnny and the Bomb and the recent TV adaptation.
6. Competitions
7. Hogfather Adaptation News
8. Terry makes a wish come true for young fan
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 107. We appear to be meeting a critical mass with regards to adaptations of Terry's books at the moment. What with the recent Johnny and the Bomb television series, The Wee Free Men Movie and now officially the Hogfather television adaptation.

Having seen how Childsplay adapted Johnny and the Bomb, I look forward to seeing how accurately the others are adapted.

Jason Anthony (Editor) oook@discworldmonthly.co.uk
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Quake Quaker)

2. News

Joe Pattison, the sculptor of many of Clarecraft's figurines, has announced a repair service for Clarecraft's products. So if you have an unfortunate accident with your Rincewind or drop your Death - Joe will try to fix it for you.

Joe says that no damage has beaten him yet. If you need to get a Clarecraft piece fixed you can contact Joe via his website www.inthesticks.co.uk or email him at joe@tudcot.fsnet.co.uk

News from Irene Meis:

Neil Gaiman posted a very nice photo of himself and Terry that will appear on the back of the new Good Omens edition.


[The above should be entered as one line on your browser]

He also wrote a bit about the books themselves:

"And my preview copies of the new editions of GOOD OMENS arrived today. Two beautiful books with red endpapers (and a picture of Aziraphale and Crowley on the endpapers, for people who buy the book with the other one on the cover) and rather a lot in the way of additional material. Here's a picture of both covers side by side. www.neilgaiman.com/journal/uploaded_images/goodomens-796755.jpg

[The above should be entered as one line on your browser]

There doesn't actually appear to be an online method of buying a particular cover (short of going to a small online retailer like DreamHaven's www.neilgaiman.net and simply letting them know which cover you want), as each case of books will contain equal quantities of each book, and they share an ISBN. But they are both lovely.

Publication date is the 28th of February, but I'm sure copies will trickle out early."

The original post is here: www.neilgaiman.com/journal/

BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting its adaptation of Small Gods at 23.00-23.30 on 28th February, 7th, 14th and 21st March. It has been dramatised by Robin Brooks, directed by Gordon House and produced by Claire Grove. You should be able to listen to it on the web via the listen again system.

Discworld Dates...

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, Updated] Guards! Guards! is being performed at the Questors Theatre Club in Ealing from the 14-18th March. Tickets cost just 5.50 GBP - 13.00 GBP.

More information at www.questors.org.uk

[UK, NEW] The Stockport Garrick Theatre will be performing Lords and Ladies from the 10th-17th June. Tickets cost 7.50 GBP (6 GBP for concessions).

More information can be found at www.stockportgarrick.co.uk

[UK] Behind The Mask - Discworld Convention 2006. A glorious four-day weekend where fans of Terry Pratchett can get together, relax, enjoy each other's company, meet Terry and the other guests, attend some (or many) of the scores of programme events, and generally Have A Good Time...

Location: Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK

Guest of Honour: Terry Pratchett

Other Guests: Stephen Briggs, Bernard Pearson, Trevor Truran, Colin Smythe, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen, Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, David Langford, Lionel Fanthorpe

Membership: Full attending 50GBP Concessions: 35GBP Supporting: 20GBP Child: Free

Contact: Discworld Convention 2006, P.O. Box 102, Royston, Herts, SG8 7ZJ, UK

Accommodation: Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK

Email: info@dwcon.org
Webpage: www.dwcon.org

[UK] Wadfest 2006 will take place over the weekend of the 1st-3rd September. This year's event will take place again at Trentfield Farm which proved to be very suitable last year. More details at www.wadfest.co.uk

[AU] Nullus Anxietas: The Australian Discworld Convention, Melbourne 2007 - There's now not even a month left until membership prices rise - sign up before the 9th of February to take advantage of the discounted rates. Visit the website for more information - www.ausdwcon.org

Small Ads...

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.

Raye Johnsen raye_j@yahoo.com is looking for a copy of the soundtrack to the 1998 animated version of 'Soul Music'.

Christopher McGrillen christophermcgrillen@yahoo.co.uk writes: I can't believe it! I just can't believe it, they're not printing Nanny Ogg's Cookbook anymore. I have been searching for it for ages so I decided to order it into my local easons. During the time it took for them to order it in they had stopped printing it. Can someone please tell me if they will start printing it again?

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to oook@discworldmonthly.co.uk

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 beat Rich soundly at Quake 4.

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 much more. bonsai.discworldmonthly.org

* From: "Chris Laslett" chris.laslett@tiscali.co.uk
I always have mixed feelings about Pterry's works being filmed; I feel strangely protective of them, having read anything I can get my hands on over the last 20-odd years (Gods, has it really been that long??) On the one hand I have the evangelist's fanaticism for passing on the Good Word, so it's great to see Johnny & the Bomb being given serious attention by the BBC. On the other hand, I find myself watching carefully for errors and omissions - not to the point of taking notes, but certainly squirming and biting my lip to stop myself telling all those around me that they missed a bit.

If I had to make one criticism of JATB, it would be the casting of Mrs Tachyon. Zoe Wanamaker is too damn young and too damn clean looking! I think they missed the perfect opportunity to put Liz Smith in the role. Anyone who has seen her in the Vicar of Dibley making chocolate cakes coated in Marmite has to agree.

* From: "Sam Barnes" ginger_beer_and_cake@hotmail.com
Every year since they started them we've been getting the Unseen Library editions of the Discworld novels from ETSP. But this year they don't seem to have done new ones. Does anyone know why, or have I missed them? I thought they usually came out just after Christmas. Thanks. Sam x

* From: "Clair" merialc@gmail.com
I'm a long time lover of Terry Pratchett, desperately trying to rekindle my German but I'm finding it very difficult finding anywhere where I can buy German language books in the UK. Do any readers out there have any suggestions of where I can look?

* From: "Debbie Savannah George" debbie@dsavannah.com
People clearly love their Pratchett. I just joined a great online book swap www.paperbackswap.com/ They have over 318,000 titles available for swap - and not a single one of them is a book by Terry Pratchett!

* From: "Groves, Trevor" Trevor.Groves@Hexcel.com
Moist von Lipwig, Postmaster General of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office would be proud of this.


Missing Austrian postcard mystery

Anne Murphy wrote a postcard on her first holiday without her parents. A holiday postcard sent from Austria in 1972 has finally turned up at its destination in Kent 34 years later.

* From: "hpetken" heidikins@bigpond.com
Up until the last week or two I would never have considered myself to be an obsessive person. I have enjoyed spending several lazy years collecting up the Discworld series in no particular order, and although I've read them all, I'm yet to start at the beginning and read them all in sequence.

BUT... on a recent trip to my local bookshop I was horrified to discover that the covers of the earlier books on the shelf no longer featured the art of Josh Kirby. Instead I was faced with some dark covers bearing a single photo 'icon' to represent the story. It was only then that I realised that the artwork was such an important part of the Discworld package for me. I was rigid with horror.

I gather now, from looking at various websites, that publishers release a range of covers in different countries. But is the art of Josh Kirby gone forever from the shelves of XXXX?

(In fairness I have to give credit to the new covers being a good marketing ploy... I didn't rest for the next two days until I found the four outstanding books from my collection with the Kirby covers. At least now I can sleep again.)

DWM replies: hpetken [cool name] gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: philip.resheph@btinternet.com
In another case of Life imitating art, it appears that Ankh Morpork is not the only place where the mail is hoarded.

From an original story found in The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Postal worker hoarded 111,000 items of mail Steven Morris, Friday February 10 2006, The Guardian

A postal worker who hoarded mail at her home appeared at Plymouth crown court yesterday where she was told she faced prison.

Lisa Harvey, 31, said she had kept the 111,000 letters and packages at her house in Plymouth out of curiosity.

When investigators tried to get into her house, they struggled to open the door because of all the post, which was piled up to the ceiling in some rooms. Staff spent weeks trying to ensure the mail was delivered, in some cases almost six years late.

Harvey admitted theft and delaying delivery of letters. Sentencing was adjourned while a report was prepared.

* From: "Geega Harris" rdfheut@hotmail.com
In response to Paul Bines's email about the similarities between "Life on Mars" and "Nightwatch", I assume at least some people on here watched last week's episode (6th Feb), which had Sam trying to solve a murder, before all hell broke out in his town - "Thud", anyone? Okay so it was football-related with reds v. blues instead of Trolls v. Dwarves, but it was the same kinda thing, wasn't it?! Maybe I'm reading too much into it, and my family nearly started throwing cushions at me when I mentioned it to them last week, just 'cos they were trying to watch it! Just thought I'd mention it, since it's the most exciting thing which I've thought all week...

* From: SMYTHR354@aol.com
Having been a big fan of Terry for some years now.. I am 41 now, and finding his books hilarious, and even met the great man himself on a couple of occasions, it was only natural that you tell other folk about how great these books are. The main person I told quite naturally was the wife, she is 30, and said on more than one occasion; "no i'm not interested in those sort of books". Well it finally happened one night... she was in the lounge, I was in the computer room, and heard laughter, thinking there was a funny programme on the television, I came through for a look see.... only to find she was sitting reading the Death trilogy; her words were; "this is great...got any more?" ... so add on one new convert. All the best Bob, and now Vicky.

* From: "Paul van Oven" p.van.oven@hetnet.nl
I've read all your newsletters, and am a subscriber from about number 20.

I remember having read somewhere about the god of hangovers (Ohmigod).

Well on a recent trip to Costa Rica I discovered he has followers who did not drink before calling their god:

Near the town of Quepos there are two bridges in the coast road where you have to pray to the god for a safe passing. While both are single lane bridges, one has no sidewalk and pedestrians have to jump from one plank to the next and all other traffic has to wait till they crossed the bridge, and the other bridge has two sidewalks with about half of the planks missing, so the pedestrians have to jump even further to get across. Those who forget to pray will fall into the rover and may drown, as is shown by several photos posted on the entrance of the bridges.

A fellow traveller mentioned that a few months ago he saw someone on a bicycle, who disappeared in the middle of one of the bridges: he managed to grab a plank and was rescued, though he lost his bike.

Nice and true story.

* From: "Richard Hayes" Richard.Hayes@britishcouncil.org
I have just come into possession of a 1st edition, signed, with dust jacket, The Colour of magic. The only drawback is that it is an American club edition. Do you have any idea how much it is worth?

* From: "Steven Parkes" sjp3@wlv.ac.uk
This is really a more of a plea than a letter, but please bear with me! I am a third year undergraduate student at a University and have been a huge fan of Terry Pratchett for as long as I can remember, (started with the Truckers series and progressed to Discworld and other series' soon after) therefore I've chose to begin my dissertation on the Discworld series, in particular the Magic/Fantastic novels in a post-modern sense. However I have soon discovered to my surprise that hardly any literary criticism is available in hard format in concern to Mr Pratchett's work, (can you believe it?), but apparently a vast amount lies here on the Internet and through other fans and communities here on the web. As a complete novice to the web I need help. Anyone who can help is welcome to email me, if you can perhaps share any information on work they themselves have done or know of. This would be extremely helpful and improve my chances of writing a piece that would do the Discworld series justice. Thanks for your time,

4. DiscTrivia

This month I have decided to ask questions about The Colour of Magic.

When Rincewind jostled into Death for the first time why was Death surprised to see him?

Who or what is otherwise known as The Soul Eater?

What is the name of the upside down mountain?

When Hrun tosses a coin in the magical field which way up does it land?
a) Heads
b) Tails
c) some sort of fish with legs
d) Edge

When Rincewind and Twoflower end up in an alternate universe what are their names?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.

5. Comparison: Johnny and the Bomb and the recent TV adaptation.

Comparison by Jason Anthony

Note: The following contains spoilers.

Watching the recent adaptation by the BBC of Johnny and the Bomb inspired me to dig out the book and read it again. It's been nearly 10 years since I last read it so I had forgotten many of the details. I am glad I did because I wasn't aware of just what liberties had been taken in adapting the book to television. I should make it clear up front that I thoroughly enjoyed the adaptation and felt that it certainly had a lot of character in it. It certainly felt like a Pratchett story even if it wasn't quite the one that Terry originally wrote.

I was aware of some of the obvious changes that the TV series made (for example Bigmac's mobile phone and the Harry Potter references) but I hadn't realised some of the bigger liberties that the TV series made with the story. Strangely, something that I had not noticed before is that Johnny and the Bomb is actually a book about Wobbler rather than Johnny.

Probably the biggest change was that in the book it is Wobbler's grandfather (rather than Johnny's grandmother) that gets killed by the Bomb in Paradise Street - this causes Wobbler not to be able to return to the future because he no longer exists there. I suspect that by changing it to Johnny's grandmother it makes the adaptation a story about Johnny rather than Wobbler.

In the TV adaptation originally nobody was killed when Paradise Street was bombed. However, Johnny and the gang's actions caused 19 deaths - which they then managed to save again to finish off the story. In the book, however, 19 people originally died because the air-raid siren failed. Wobbler's intervention in the past caused his grandfather to stay in Paradise Street rather than return to London - and therefore get killed by the Bomb. In the course of rescuing Wobbler's grandfather the other people in Paradise Street also got saved. The TV's version provides a nice symmetry to the story and allows for a clean explanation, whereas although Terry's story has a positive spin, it does leave things a little less tidy.

In the novel, the Wobbler that got left behind changed his name to John and eventually became Sir John. In the adaptation he simply became Sir Walter - again this was probably to allow for simplicity.

Ultimately these changes didn't prevent the adaptation from being great fun to watch but did still show how much liberty is being taken with Terry's work. It is still undeniably recognisable but not the same. It will be interesting to see how Sky's adaptation of Hogfather this Christmas and The Wee Free Men in 2007 will compare to their original sources.

6. Competitions

Last month we teamed up with the very nice people at www.discworld.com to give you chance to win a signed copy of The Colour of Magic: Facsimile Edition.

All you needed to was answer a simple question:

When was the original The Colour of Magic first published?

The answer was, of course, November 23, 1983. We also accepted November 1983 and 1983 and correct answers. Unfortunately, somebody decided to spam the competition sending in over 260 mail merged entries. Whilst these were all correct they were disallowed. This was both a waste of time for the spammer and also for me.

From the, over 240, non cheating entries I managed to randomly select Erin Elvin from Edinburgh in Scotland as the winner. As soon as we get Erin's postal address a copy of The Colour of Magic: Facsimile Edition will be on its way.

For more information about the complete range of Discworld products offered by discworld.com visit their website at www.discworld.com

* New Competition *

The ever-popular Animated Versions of the Discworld Novels Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters were given a DVD boost recently when they were released in a Limited Edition Box Set with the paperback of Going Postal.

The limited edition set was rapidly snapped up and is now best found in the dark realms of Ebay - but all is not lost!

There is now a new Box Set available containing Just the 2 DVDs, RRP 19.99 GBP. The box design echoes that of the stylishly designed Limited Edition set, but thinner now that the paperback book is no longer included.

Courtesy of Bonsai Trading (the online Discworld store), you can now get your hands on a spanking new copy of this Box Set.

For a chance to win, just answer this question:

What is the name of the company that produced the Discworld Animations "Soul Music" and "Wyrd Sisters"?

(Tip: The answer can be found on the Bonsai Trading site!)

Send your answer to the question to oook@discworldmonthly.co.uk by 20th March 2006. The randomly selected winner will be announced next month. For more information about Bonsai Trading and their wide range of Discworld products visit bonsai.discworldmonthly.org

7. Hogfather Adaptation News

At long last the rumours of a Hogfather adaptation have been verified. Sky Television have recently confirmed that they are making a live action / CG animated four hour TV version of Hogfather in conjunction with RHI Entertainment. Sky have really backed Terry by allocating their biggest ever budget for a TV production. The six million pound production will be transmitted on Sky One over the Christmas period 2006.

David Jason (Only Fools and Horses and A Touch of Frost) will star as Death's manservant Albert. Apparently Mr Jason is a Discworld fan, and will take a break from A Touch of Frost to film this role. "I am thrilled to be taking part in Hogfather", said Mr Jason, "I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett's books and to play the part of Albert is going to be great fun."

The voice of Death will be performed by Ian Richardson, recently seen in the TV adaptation of House of Cards. Death will be physically performed by a 6ft 7in thus far unnamed Dutch actor. [That's to say, he probably has a name but we haven't been told what it is yet - Ed]

Further casting announcements should be made over the coming months.

Filming will soon begin in Romania due to the need for vast studio space and ready access to mountain scenery.

8. Terry makes a wish come true for young fan

The Make-A-Wish Foundation UK recently asked Terry to help make a wish come true for Euan Macrae, a young man who is living with Ewing's Sarcoma [a type of cancer that affects bones - Ed] and just happens to be a huge Discworld fan. The charity flew Euan and his parents down from Scotland to London to spend a day with Terry. The day in question coincided with the press launch of the new Hogfather adaptation by Sky Television. Terry and personal assistant Rob Wilkins took Euan to the press release in a limo. Euan was able to spend much of the day talking with Terry and impressed him enough to invite Euan as his special guest at the upcoming Discworld Convention.

After the press conference Terry, Rob, Colin Smythe (Terry's agent), the producer of Hogfather, Rob Brown and director Vadim Jean took Euan to an exclusive visit to The Mob Film Company studios. Euan was shown models of the sets from the upcoming movie.

They later went to lunch where Terry presented Euan with a big bag of Discworld goodies, contributed by various friends and companies.

Rob Wilkins has made some of the pictures of the day available on the Paul Kidby website at www.paulkidby.com/news

The Make-A-Wish Foundation UK is the leading UK wish granting charity with one simple aim - to turn the wishes of children and young people aged 13 to 17 living with life-threatening illnesses into reality. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, corporate, celebrity and individual sponsors around the country. Make-A-Wish has granted nearly 4,000 wishes since it began in 1996 and is currently granting as many as 10 wishes a week. Originally founded in America, Make-A-Wish Foundation is now established in 32 countries on five continents. More details can be found at www.make-a-wish.org.uk/

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:

Email: oook@discworldmonthly.co.uk
Fax: 0118-977-2158
Post: J Anthony (DWM), 86 Bruce Road, Woodley, Berkshire, RG5 3DZ

* Latest Book Information *

Discworld paperback: Going Postal 0552149438/87

Discworld hardback: Thud! 0385608675/87

Discworld hardback Companion: Where's My Cow? 038560937X/87

Discworld Young Adult paperback: A Hat Full of Sky 0552551449/87

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* Disc Trivia Results *

When Rincewind jostled into Death for the first time why was Death surprised to see him?
He was expecting him in Psephopololis.

Who or what is otherwise known as The Soul Eater?

What is the name of the upside down mountain?

When Hrun tosses a coin in the magical field which way up does it land?
d) Edge

When Rincewind and Twoflower end up in an alternate universe what are their names?
Jack Zweiblomen and Dr Rjinswand.

* Obtaining Terry's Books *

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My account for each of these is oook@discworldmonthly.co.uk


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* Thanks *

Thanks for reading this issue of 'Discworld Monthly'. We hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments or suggestions for the future of this newsletter please email: oook@discworldmonthly.co.uk
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