Discworld Monthly - Issue 190 - February 2013
Table of Contents:
3. Readers' Letters
5. Review: The Fifth Elephant - Progress Theatre, Reading
6. Competition: PJSM Prints
7. The End
Welcome to issue 190. I had planned to review the Johnny and the Bomb stage performance pack this month but work commitments have meant I simply have not had the time this month. I promise to try and make some more time in February!
I received a call from Rob Wilkins (Terry's business manager) from the middle of a Narrativia (Terry and Rob's new media production company) board meeting this week. We talked about many new and really exciting things that I sadly can't tell you about yet as the ink hasn't dried on the contracts... but what I can say is that the team at Narrativia have been working very hard and hope to be able to report some exciting news by the time the next issue comes out. So keep reading.
Work has been completed on The Long War (the sequel to The Long Earth) and as reported later in this issue will be released in June.
Terry and Rob have locked themselves away and have been working extensively on the next full adult Discworld novel - they are making good progress and the words are really steaming along. I can also confirm that this novel will NOT be Raising Taxes.
Some of the newspapers have reported that Rhianna Pratchett will take over writing Discworld novels after Terry stops. Rhianna and Terry actually meant that Rhianna is well placed to concentrate on co-writing the adaptations for Narrativia and working on spin off works because of her in depth knowledge of Discworld. Rhianna has no plans to write Discworld novels as she feels Discworld these should remain her father's legacy.
We will hopefully soon be able to report some good news regarding the new Clacks games that has been in development by David Brashaw and Leonard Boyd of Bankspindle Games (the developers of the Guards! Guards! board game). David and Leonard were demonstrating prototypes of the game at last year's Discworld Convention and I found the rules to be simple to learn and the gameplay to be challenging but fun. It will be interesting to see how the game has developed since August last year.
The Discworld Monthly facebook group is getting busier than ever thanks to all the wonderful members of the group. If you want your Discworld Monthly fix between issues, make sure you visit.
Don't forget, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider it for publication.
Also if you have written an article that you think we might want to include in the newsletter please feel free to email me at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use.
Jason Anthony (Editor) email@example.com
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Failed Psyker)
The Long War - the second book in The Long Earth series will be released on 20 June 2013. And is available to pre-order from Amazon now.
Martin Wallace of Treefrog Games has been busy working on a new Discworld game after the world wide success of Discworld Ankh-Morpork. The new Witches game will be released in September 2013. I have had the pleasure of trying out early prototypes of the game in the past and really enjoyed it. The game captured the spirit of the Lancre Witches and that was without all the wonderful artwork that will adorn the final product.
I look forward to seeing the final product and will bring you a review as soon as I can get hold of a copy. I would like to congratulate Martin and his wife Julia on finally making their long anticipated move to New Zealand.
The French Speaking Terry Pratchett website vademecum-dm.com have created a new competition.
To start the year 2013 on a right foot, we give you the opportunity to win a last late Christmas gift!
With the help of Koba Films, we offer you a competition, from 1st to 13th of February, to win 13 DVDs of "The Discworld Tales" (Hogfather), released in France last December - including French and English versions and French subtitles - split up by random draw into two: 7 DVDS for metropolitan France residents and 6 for residents of other European Union countries.
Try your luck and fill in the form!
The Discworld App comes a step closer. A screenshot of the App was recently pasted on the Terry Pratchett Facebook page. The App will initially be released for the iPad only and there are currently no immediate plans to support other platforms
Late breaking news (5th February) I now have it on good authority that the App will be available to purchase and download from Monday 11th February..
Update from Nullus Anxietas IV:
Nullus Anxietas IV is (strangely enough) the fourth National Australian Discworld convention. This year, it is being held in Melbourne, at Bell Rydges, Preston, Labour Day (Victoria) weekend, 8-10 March, 2013.
Right now, we're in a flurry, making sure it will be an incredible experience. The theme for the convention is Soul Music, complete with a Buskers' Guild and the Fourecks Factor. It started as an international cultural festival, operated out of Ankh-Morpork by the Dark Clerks.
And then the Dibblers got hold of it.
Suddenly, it's more glitzy, more grandiose, with everything guaranteed by the Dibbler seal of quality (don'treadthefineprint).
- the Fourecks Factor, with sneak previews available over the next couple of months on the YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/NullusAnxietasIV
- The Quaff and Scoff - our Saturday night dinner, with music by the Fourgones.
Beyond that, we'll have dancing classes, beard-knitting (for when you want to sneak into a show), loads of panels, Guild competitions, a Funny Vegetable extravaganza, Ian and Reb from The Discworld Emporium, a new game from Treefrog, and much much more.
"That's fantastic! How do I join up?"
This is the important bit. Tickets for Nullus Anxietas are
Ticket sales close the week before the con, but for the latecomers, tickets will be available at the door for 200 AUD.
Tickets are 180 AUD from the website so it's definitely worth buying them beforehand.
This is a Dibbler-run operation, so there must be things to buy.
Check out our online shop:
Before and after the convention, there are tours running. A walking tour of Melbourne on the Friday to introduce you to our fine city, and a Brewery Tour on the Monday to farewell it.
On the Saturday night, join us for the Quaff and Scoff. Tickets are
available from our site:
A three course meal, drinks for sale, a rockin' band, quizzes and competitions. It will be a fantastic evening.
Finally, we are all over the web. Come find us:
Google+: search for Nullus Anxietas IV
flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/nullusanxietasiv/ (with a Gallery of Wonders still to come).
Pick your favourite social media outlet and come say hi.
We look forward to seeing everybody at Nullus Anxietas IV: The Convention with Rocks In!
The New Statesman featured an thought provoking and sobering interview with Terry back in November. The interview with Laurie Penny is quite long but well worth a read.
Booklist online features an interview with Terry about Dodger. In the interview Terry talks about Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor.
The Independent on Sunday recently made a list of 2012's Great Britains. As it was Olympics year a lot of the names are sporty types. But nestled among Nicola Adams and Jonnie Peacock was a certain Terry Pratchett. Terry's entry reads:
The much-loved author of The Discworld series and many more seems to have stepped up his workload since being diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007. He campaigns vigorously, as well as writing books - 2012's The Long Earth, co-written with Stephen Baxter, is the latest hit.
The Guardian recently featured an article about amateur dramatics and focused on Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company's production of Wyrd Sisters.
Stephen Briggs' adaptation and performance of Dodger made the Oxford Mail website a week before its opening night. The article talks about Stephen Briggs contacting Terry back in 1991 asking for permission to stage Wyrd Sisters.
The RBLR (Royal British Legion Riders Branch) exist for the sole purpose of raising money for the Poppy Appeal and are a cross between the Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment and the Mended Drum clientele. Each year they hold a rally that no-one attends at a place that exists (at least hypothetically) and these have in previous years been Santa's Grotto, The 100 Acre Wood, 10 Forward, The Titanic Ballroom and somewhere else that they can't remember. It is known as a NAR (Non Attendance Rally).
Anyhow, the redoubtable Sir Terry Pratchett and his sidekick Paul Kidby have given the RBLR permission to hold their 2013 NAR at Hide Park, Ankh Morpok. Terry said he thinks they are "madder than a box of fish that has been thrown into the Ankh".
If you would like to help the Poppy Appeal and have the chance of getting a rare piece of Ankh Morpork memorabilia please visit: http://www.rblr.co.uk/content/?page=nar.php
Once again it appears life is imitating art. In a case that sounds like The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, St. Clair Shores a town in the USA is considering offering a bounty of 5 USD for each rat killed after it admitted that the rat population was getting out of control.
Terry's has posted a few tweets since last issue - below is a roundup of those posts. You can follow Terry at: https://twitter.com/terryandrob
11th January 2013: One of those really productive days spent working on the #discworldapp http://pic.twitter.com/qoBtA8qF
15th January 2013: We're out of the office for a few days doing some practical research, although not for the next book... possibly the one after that.
15th January 2013: No, you little scamps, it doesn't involve the pub and the next novel (as in the one we're not researching right now) is NOT Raising Taxes.
16th January 2013: See, dear reader, we're definitely not conducting our research down the pub... http://pic.twitter.com/itByHGij
16th January 2013: Oscar Wilde; "This poverty really breaks one's heart: it is so sale, so utterly depressing, so hopeless." http://pic.twitter.com/JMFOEEZe
16th January 2013: He was describing his final home, the Hotel d'Alsace (now known as L'Hotel), in Paris; thankfully things have greatly improved.
30th January 2013: Narrativia in the news http://bit.ly/YDE27L
5th February 2013: We're getting very excited about the forthcoming Discworld App - http://www.discworldapp.com - not long to wait!
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.
From issue 190 onwards recurring monthly meetings have been moved to their own area at the bottom of the dates section.
[UK, New] Thief of Time, adapted for the stage by Tim Foster, will be performed at the Assembly Rooms Theatre in Durham on 14th February, 7:30pm, 15th February, 7:30pm, 16th February, 2:30pm and 16th February, 7:30pm.
At the request of Terry Pratchett, profits from the production will be donated to Dignity in Dying.
Tickets cost just 6.00 GBP / 5.50 GBP (students)
Tickets can be booked online at http://www.dur.ac.uk/theatre/show.php?show=1012 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
[UK, New] Studio Theatre in Salisbury are putting on a production of Going Postal. Adapted by Stephen Briggs, it's a tale of love, revenge .... and stamps!!!
It runs from February 20th to March 2nd and tickets are now on sale from Salisbury Tourist Information Centre (01722 334 956). There will be a special Charity Gala Evening on the 20th in aid of The Alzheimer's Society and the theatre group are pleased, proud and excited to announce a certain author, who now resides in Salisbury, will be attending. So book early as tickets, no doubt, will be selling fast.
Performances start at 7:30pm and cost 10 GBP (8 GBP concessions). The Charity Gala evening tickets cost 12 GBP.
[UK, Updated] Chichester Players will be presenting a production of Night Watch, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, in March 2013. Performances are booked for Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd March.
[UK, Updated] The Cult Classic Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland has recently been given permission to adapt Good Omens for the stage and the show will take place from Wednesday 20th March to Sunday 24th March and then Wednesday 27th March to Saturday 30th March.
The performances will take place at the Cottiers Theatre.
Tickets appear to range in value from 3 GBP - 5 GBP each.
[UK, New] Swansea Little Theatre Presents The Fifth Elephant at the Dylan Thomas Theatre Swansea UK from 17th - 20th of April 2013 at 7:30pm. Tickets cost 10 GBP (9 GBP concessions).
[UK] A small drama group are planning on performing Monstrous Regiment from 23rd to 25th May 2013 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Apparently The Exchange is a great 300 seat venue.
The group are looking for any society events which might like to be arranged at the same time?
According to the group Terry lives within spitting distance of the venue and has been to it before and they are hoping he may come along as well. Perhaps even Stephen Briggs! Who knows?
[NL] The second Dutch Discworld Convention CabbageCon will take place from 24 till 26 May 2013 in Zandvoort aan Zee. The new website is available at:
Dr. Jack Cohen will be a guest at the Second Dutch Discworld convention and they now have some special items for the charity auction.
[UK, New] Monstrous Productions Theatre Company will be performing Carpe Jugulum in June 2013 in Cardiff. All proceeds from the performances will be donated Alzheimer's Research UK.
Dates and prices to be confirmed.
[US] North American Discworld Convention 2013
The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013 in Baltimore, MD.
[UK] Wadfest 2013 will take place from the 9th - 11th August 2013. Wadfest has a new home and will be at Wood Green, Animal Shelter, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH
The new site features a licensed bar, an event area with its own PA system, a cafeteria and a couple of shops.
The event organisers have managed to negotiate a much better deal with the new site and have therefore managed to pass on a huge discount on the price of tickets which are now 20 GBP each (5 GBP per ticket less than Wadfest 2011).
[DE] German Discworld Convention 2013
With a 1000 camels the German Discworld Convention moves to the mysterious continent of Klatch! Make room in your schedule from October 3rd to 6th in 2013 for the fourth German Discworld Convention. Be there when it's getting hot!
Visit our homepage for tickets and a 3-D tour of the castle. http://www.Discworld-Convention.de
[IE] The Third Irish Discworld Convention 2013 takes place from Friday 1st November to Monday 4th November 2013 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick, Ireland. Other details are sketchy at the moment.
Visit http://www.idwcon.org/ or see the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/idwcon
[UK] Terry is due to be the special guest at Eastercon 65 from April 18th - April 21st 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.
[UK] The Discworld Convention 2014 will take place in Manchester at the Palace hotel from 8th - 11th August. People with long memories will remember that the original Discworld Convention took place in Manchester in 1996 but at a much smaller hotel.
Visit http://www.dwcon.org/ or see the facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/489457174398254/
Recurring monthly meetings:
[UK] The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. For more information contact Helen Nicholls on email@example.com
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 http://www.brokendrummers.org/
[AU] The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in Australia.
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.
The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia. You can contact the organiser Daniel Hatton on firstname.lastname@example.org
[AU] The Drummers Downunder (Sydney) meet at Maloneys Hotel on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia from 6.30pm. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on email@example.com
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month.
[UK] On the first Friday of every month there will be a meeting of WOTS - Omnian Temperance Society - Wincanton branch - to be held at The Bear Inn from 7pm. New members or visitors from other places always welcome.
[Adelaide, AU] The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in
Adelaide and South Australia. We have regular dinner and games
nights, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social
activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our
mailing list, visit:
3. Readers' Letters
If 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 while reading The Science of Discworld 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.
* From: "Brian Gatcombe"email@example.com
Can anyone tell me if there is a Discworld group here on the island of Mallorca where we now live?
Kind regards, Brian and Lynn Gatcombe of Sant Elm, Mallorca
* From: "Phil Barker"firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicholas Taleb in his new "Antifragile" writes that after a civil war and an Israeli invasion in Lebanon and 2 power outages in New York, he is convinced that the essential preparation for emergency is a very large number of paper novels that do not require electricity. Rereading the last half of the Pratchett canon has just seen me through 3 weeks of Norovirus, though the 3 "Science of Discworld" books were a challenge until the grey fog had mostly cleared. I am now agog for the rumoured 4th...
JA replies: I can confirm that Science of Discworld 4 will be released in April. I received an unbound copy to read just this week and will look at reviewing it in either issue 191 or 192.
* From: "Johann Coetzer" email@example.com
As a youngster I was quite nose up for certain books, and believed the world was round! (How wrong was I) I tried J.K Rowling, C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Jack Higgins, Tom Clancy and I can go on. Until one day my English Teacher (Having a remarkable resemblance to Granny Weatherwax, and classroom full of Discworld art) said I must try these two books and tell her what I think, what she handed over to me was the end of my life as I knew it. The books were Carpet People and The Colour of Magic. I could not believe that I had missed such an amazing author. As from then my English teacher ruined me for all other authors, I just can't get through other books, but now I can count myself among the lucky weird ones In the great city of Ankh-Morpork. As such, I would give anything to meet Sir Terry Pratchett - unfortunately I live in Durban South-Africa, I do not think he would come around here any time at all, the following here is just too weak, and no seminars here either just in Cape Town (If there are any please let me know)
JA replies: It looks like there might be a South African Discworld
Convention in 2014. Take a look at:
* From: "Bri Derbyshire" firstname.lastname@example.org
With reference to Dave Tant's letter last month:
Oh, my dear sir! How could you possibly compare the sardonic, perceptive, ruthless, and above all competent Tyrant of Ankh-Morpork to poor dear silly Hercules Gritpype-Thynne? The Goon Show's resident villain was a mere cad, a spoof of the George Sanders role in Hitchcock's "Rebecca", the straight man to Count (assorted Pling! noises) Moriarty ... and author of schemes which were universally foredoomed to hilarious failure. (My favourite was the "twinning" of Dartmoor prison with the Chateau D'If ... remember?)
Personally, I'd put Havelock somewhere near Sir Humphrey from "Yes, Minister" - devious and nasty, true, but with the welfare of the city at the top of his agenda. Long may he remain a force for good, whilst pretending to black-hearted villainy.
And as for Drumknott - how would he react, if it were suggested that his role was suitable to be played by Spike Milligan? Dearie me ....
* From: "Charon Hill" email@example.com
There is a newly released game named Chaos on Deponia that is allegedly based around Pratchett's world and also Douglas Adams, combined humour, the only problem is that I have not been able to get it working on my version of Windows 7 64bit Ultimate even with compatibility sorted. I will eventually get it running and try and do a review. Just thought you might like to try it and see if it is actually as it is advertised as "pratchett-ish".
I have a question that I could not find an answer to in PTerry's books, but I found on Wikipedia, about Albert, and how he became Death's servant. I was trying to get verification if its true. The theory is that he cast the Rite of Ashkente in reverse.
Thank you for your time. Keep up the great work.
* From: "David Harris" firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought that you might be interested by an article in the 17 January edition of The Oxford Times about All Souls College, Oxford. Apparently there used to be an annual ceremony at the college marking the start of Hilary Term: "...which for some unknown reason they did on the day following his [St Hilary's] feast day i.e. 14 January... They used to perform the Mallard Hunt at least once a year. The ceremony entails electing a Lord Mallard and forming a procession of officers and fellows, armed with staves, to poke about all over the college, including the roof, in search of a giant mallard that was supposed to have been present when the foundations were laid.... The Mallard Song, which fellers sang on the roof, is still sung annually, but the full rooftop perambulation these days only happens once a century, most recently in 2001".
I am starting to think that the antics of Unseen University are rather tame.
* From: "whowray" email@example.com
Not only am I a Pratchett fan, I have pretty much given up on almost all other current writers (except maybe Neil, but thats another story), but as an artist, I am an avid fan of official art related to the books, especially the Discworld books. I am still looking forward to getting this year's calendar (2013), which I have had to order from specialist importers because, disappointingly, the normal local supplier has not imported the calendar this time. Growl... Marc Simonetti, brilliant artist by the by, is the French cover artist for the most recent reprint of the books in that part of the world. I am pleased that the calendar has introduced the rest of us to his art.
I have been a long term fan of Josh Kirby's weird covers, and am having trouble getting the poster book that he did of various Pratchett art. I was wondering if it isn't perhaps time that the publisher did an updated version of this book, including all the art done since the original book's release, up to his sad departure from this mortal coil, and also including any other art (alternate covers and some internal art) he did for the wonderful worlds of PTerry. I for one would be ecstatic.
Something else I would always pip for would be a book of all the art used in previous years calendars, including as an aside to these, some of the other wonderful art used on other alternate book covers, both foreign and British. I do not think there are ever enough art books for the subject of the Discworld, nor any definitive collections of all the alternate and sometimes amazing art used on all the books - David Wyatt, Thomas Kidd, Stephen Player, Jill Baumann, Doug Andersen, et al.
What I really want is one huge book with all the art to date in it, but I doubt I'd get it. :-D
This month I've opened Turtle Recall at random pages and found a question from each page visited. Some are easy, some are quite hard. Well at least I think they are ...
The (hopefully correct) answers can be found at the end of this issue.
5. Review: The Fifth Elephant - Progress Theatre, Reading
Review by William Barnett
Jason and I, along with selected members of our families, were fortunate enough to go along for the press night of Progress Theatre's recent production of The Fifth Elephant. I hadn't been to the Progress Theatre before - it's a small venue in Reading and very handy for us to get to.
I can report right now that Jason was bitterly disappointed and let down by the whole thing: no-one fell over the scenery or fluffed their lines, which is how he usually gets his entertainment on these occasions. [While I admit I do enjoy that sort of thing, I really enjoyed the performance despite what WB says - JA]
It's a while since I last read The Fifth Elephant. I was surprised when the play opened with Gaspode setting the scene. In fact, Gaspode acts as narrator throughout, probably pretty essential to fill in the gaps for people who don't already know the story. My wife had no clue what was going on throughout the whole evening, but that's not unusual. However, the teenagers we took with us enjoyed the play and seemed to have followed the essentials of the plot.
Gaspode has one of the best scenes, when he's trying to chat up the Uberwald lady wolves. The play stands or falls on Vimes's performance, though, and luckily John Goodman [no not that one - Ed] was excellent. Vimes came across as an unassuming, down-to-earth sort of bloke, uncomfortable with titles and ceremony and diplomatic niceties. I'd always imagined Vimes with a more corpulent figure, but apart from that he was spot on!
Other characters deserving special mention include Carrot, Lady Margolotta, Detritus, Wolfgang... I could go on. Inigo Skimmer was very effective but doesn't last long, Lady Sybil was convincing but doesn't get a lot of time on stage. When you look back at the book, it's striking how much has to be cut out to make a workable play. There's a whole sub-plot with Nobby & Colon back in Ankh-Morpork which there evidently wasn't room for in the stage adaptation.
Detritus had the best costume, for my money, although Wolfgang's chestwig comes a close second. I was a bit baffled by Lady Margolotta's dowdy appearance until Jason reminded me that she's 'on the wagon', trying to behave in a more civilised manner than the classic vampires.
I found the dwarves took a bit of getting used to. I'm not sure whether it was born of necessity or intended as a deliberate gag, but ALL the dwarves are played by women. Assuming you know the plot of the novel, this could be an ingenious touch - it's just the voices are higher pitched than one might be expecting. I thought it was a bit difficult for the actors to emote from behind the big beards, too. (By the way, apologies to any of the dwarves who may have been genuinely male - the beards make it difficult to tell, which is odd if you think about it.)
All in all, it was a very good evening. The highlight for me was the Chekhov parody, featuring the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya - it works better on stage than it does in the book, I think, probably because it parodies material intended for the stage. Let's hope Progress Theatre produce another Pratchett adaptation in the future.
6. Competition: PJSM Prints
The lovely people from PJSM Prints have set up a wonderful competition for us this month.
All sixteen of their sepia card designs are now back in stock including Rincewind and the Luggage, Greebo, the Librarian and the Unusual Suspects.
For your chance to win a framed sepia print, signed by Terry, please answer the following question:
Q. Who are the largest and smallest members of the City Watch?
Send your answer along with which sepia design you would like and your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 21st February 2013. The randomly selected winner will be announced next issue.
Competition Rules: Your postal address is required and will only be used if you are the randomly selected winner and only for sending out your prize - once the prize is sent out all address information will be destroyed. Entries received after the closing date or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.
You can find out more about the sepia cards and sepia frames at:
We would like to thank PJSM prints for the wonderful prize.
7. The End
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