Terry Pratchett's works may soon become, officially, Literature. The British Council's upmarket Writers and their Work series of critical monographs - which admitted Tolkien to the ranks of the saved only in Autumn 1995 - is apparently planning to commission a Pratchett study. (Reproduced from Ansible with the kind permission of Dave Langford)

Terry recorded two episodes of the television programme "Call My Bluff" on September 8th for transmission at a later date. He announced the news to alt.fan.pratchett and said that the programme would probably go out when people had forgotten to set their video recorders. He did two shows and got on very well in one and badly in the other. "Better to slit your wrists than drive a weak bluff into the combined skills of Alan Coren and Barry Cryer". "Coffee adverts next, I expect" were his final words on the matter.

The Last Continent is finished and is now being edited ready for publication next year in May. A witches novel and one involving the Watch but set mainly in and around Angua's home country of Uberwald are neck and neck for future attention.

On alt.fan.pratchett more details were revealed:

"Okay, okay, after The Last Continent I'll set to work on the witches/vampires one. I've been meaning to do it for ages, and it's been in the forefront of my mind long enough to get some more substance... I relish the idea of sending Granny up against an opponent she can't beat. Then the one set largely in Uberwald, which I suppose will be a Watch book - although since it'll just be some of the Watch, caught well outside their jurisdiction (although, of course, Vimes thinks of the law as something he carries around with him), it won't be like the others.

The problem I now have is that the Watch are sufficiently part of the Ankh-Morpork scene to make further books set there a bit tricky - it's like setting a story in Gotham City and trying to keep Batman out of it. But there are ways.

Vampires will make an ideal foil to Granny Weatherwax, because in every respect they're 'traditionally' stronger then her - agile, intelligent, and capable of putting a serious 'fluence on people."

Testing continues on Steve Jackson Games' Discworld GURPS. It should be in the shops before Christmas. The delay stems from difficulties in getting the role-playing game just right.

Six Discworld mugs, featuring designs by Paul Kidby and Josh Kirby, are being considered by a company called "Blue Cat". We believe they will try to hit the Christmas market with the products.

"I was a journalist for Wessex newspapers in Bath at the time when I heard" said Terry when asked where he was when Elvis Presley died. In the survey completed by OK magazine (Aug 22nd), commemorating the 20 years since Elvis's death, he added "But I was never a Presley fan, so there was no internal black explosion in my head. He made the mistake of getting old and fat. Bad career move."

The animated Wyrd Sisters series makes it to video on October 20th. Astrion Video is releasing the six part series on two tapes in a special edition gift box, which will cost £19.99. All episodes are cut together seamlessly without commercial breaks to form a feature-length version of one of Terry's most popular books. Included on the tapes will be a mini "Making Of..." in which Astrion hopes to show preliminary sketches, line tests and interviews with key animators and illustrators. As a special bonus, the video set comes with an offer to buy an exclusive Wyrd Sisters mug. Soul Music has been given the same treatment and there will also be an exclusive mug available to buy. The Soul Music video will feature the Terry Pratchett interview and the promotional Discworld trailer. Plans to release each of the videos with three enamel badges have evidently been dropped. For more information write to:

Discworld Videos,
Astrion PLC,
142 Great North Way,
or e-mail: april@astrion.co.uk.

Bernard and Isobel Pearson's "Discworld Candles" were awarded the "Best Collectable 1997/8" award at the recent gift industry Autumn Fair in Birmingham.

Theatre productions: The Stafford Players will be performing Steven Briggs' Maskerade from November 19th to 22nd at the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford.

picture courtesy of Cosgrove Hall
Cliff (Lias Bluestone) looming.
"Moomin? I ain't moomin,
I ain't never moomed!"

Terry chose The Moomintroll for his contribution to "My Favourite Books" compiled by William Watt. ISBN 0-906169-49-6.

Stephen Briggs' script for Maskerade is now likely to be published by theatrical publishers Samuel French. Stephen is pleased to see this one, which works very well on the stage, being published and he is looking forward to tightening up the script, which he first developed in 1995.

Paul Kidby's artwork for the Lancre Map has been delivered to Transworld Publishers to begin the long transformation into a Discworld product. The map is due for release in May 1998. Issue Three of the Chronicle will feature a sneak preview of the map.

We are told by a reliable source that "thought is being given to the possibility of a Discworld Cookbook". Interest was shown in the project about two years ago, but other things have pushed it (rather appropriately) onto the back burner. The book is likely to feature historical and interesting recipes, which could quite easily be found on the Discworld.

The Oxford Mail interviewed Stephen Briggs recently in advance of the STC's production of Stephen's latest adaptation, Jingo. We do not have details of a publication date but Jingo is being performed from the 2nd to 6th December 1997. (At the time of writing, virtually all tickets for these performances were sold out.)

Terry has been interviewed by XL magazine as part of the publicity for the release of Jingo and the Discworld Diary. The Times is also running a large feature on the 8th November.

Channel 1, a news programme available via cable or satellite, recently showed a feature on Terry and Stephen. The piece related to a professional West End production of Wyrd Sisters which is in the early planning stages.

Catalyst, a film production company, has plans for a live action Discworld series. These plans are at a very early stage.

The Department of Education leaflet "Education - what it means to you" includes a short but interesting article by Terry.

The children of Surrey County Council's secondary schools are being involved in the creation of a unique work as part of Surrey Literacy Week (Oct 5th - 12th). Spearheaded by Terry and called the "Never Ending Story", this tale will circulate from school to school where students will have the opportunity of adding their own contributions.

Discworld booze is now available from Eric Wall. For more details, send an SSAE to:

11-13 Hornbean Close,
The Fairways,
Loughborough, Leicestershire,
LE11 2NY.

Eric is planning on producing an exclusive Convention beer for 1998.

This year, Paul Kidby is again producing four Discworld Christmas cards. The designs will feature Death and Albert (he's making a list, he's checking it twice...), and the Death of Rats in a very M.C. Escher "hand with reflecting globe" pose. In this case, it's a Christmas bauble. Jack Frost and the Verucca Gnome, and Nanny Ogg, slightly tipsy with Greebo on her lap, are the other two designs.

The cards are available in packs of 4, 8 and 12 (one of each, two of each etc.) for £5.50, £9.95 and £12.95, or for £1.50 each. All prices include postage and packing in the UK only.

The new cards will be available in mid-November from

PJSM Prints, PO Box 1883,
BA11 3YA.
Tel: 01373 473755.

All of last year's cards are also available at the same prices as shown above. All cheques should be made payable to "PJSM PRINTS".

Two of the journalists from SFX magazine, which in recent months has given much coverage to Discworld news, appeared on BBC TV's "Style Challenge". They were turned from Science Fiction fans into, well, rather better dressed Science Fiction fans!

Rumour has it that Clarecraft will be repeating their QVC hour in the not too distant future. For those of you who missed the first screening, the Convention has a copy to be shown in 1998.

Membership matters - please remember that the rates for membership rise from January 1st 1998. Tell your friends!

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December 1997