Discworld News

Dave Langford reported in the February edition of Ansible that Terry is apparently not "literature" after all. The academic editors of the British Council's posh 'Writers and their Work' series were keen to commission a critical monograph on Terry's work, and invited me to write it. The publisher also made eager noises, and then, even as my pen hovered over the contract, came the news that "there has been a policy change". Project cancelled. Terry: "I am intrigued that after (you tell me) unrestrained joy and enthusiasm from everyone involved in producing this, suddenly they do a handbrake turn ... who's that lurking outside? ... what's that clicking on the phone? ..." The ashen-faced, tight-lipped General Editor would only say: "I am sorry about the policy change, but we do have to work with the British Council."

The Discworld Calendar looks like finally happening.The 1999 Discworld Calendar with reproductions of Josh Kirby's work will be published by The Ink Group, as will a day-by-day calendar - a 4.5" square pad with illustrations by Paul Kidby and extracts from the Companion.

Plans for a permanent exhibition of Josh Kirby's work are moving forward slowly. An educational foundation is looking into the funding possibilities for the project and a team of architects is checking the feasibility of likely sites, including a bell tower in London.

In Issue Two we reported that a Discworld Cookbook was "a definite possibility". We have since heard that the project - presently titled Nanny Ogg's Cookbook will feature, among other things, Discworld recipes. Tina Hannan, a cook with some twenty years experience and an avid Discworld fan, has been contracted to provide the recipes. Stephen Briggs and Paul Kidby will be working with Terry on the project.

Paul Kidby has produced a pair of limited edition prints of Errol. Only 1000 of each will ever be produced. Each is signed and numbered by Paul himself. One of the prints is a re-working of the drawing included in the Pratchett Portfolio. At £14.95 each (including P&P) they are a very good buy.

Swansea Little Theatre follows up its highly successful 1997 production of Mort with Wyrd Sisters from Wednesday June 17th to Saturday June 20th. Address for information is:

WYRD SISTERS c/o Nev Williams, Dylan Thomas Theatre, Gloucester Place, Swansea SA1 1TP.

You can also ring the ticket office on 01792 473238. Please leave a message and the theatre staff will contact you to answer any queries.

Terry was on BBC1's The Big Question on Sunday 1st February. We will be showing a recording of this programme at the Convention.

The Western Daily Press featured a Christmas article by Terry on Christmas Eve. The piece was titled "My Christmas". Terry's short story "The Megabyte Drive to Believe in Santa Claus" appeared in the 1996 Christmas Eve edition and is now a collectors piece, having not been published since.

 The Discworld jigsaws are now no longer being manufactured. We believe that they are still available in some stores, but their availability will soon begin to fall. These pieces are sure to become collectors' items.

Daniel Heald announced that Sydcon (Sydney, Australia), a gaming convention down under, will be hosting "Cripple Mr Onion - House of Cards". On the Internet Daniel said: "It will be a 'guards' game, but unlike the first three books won't involve someone trying to put a king on the throne of Ankh-Morpork." Enquiries via clubsmed@ign.com.au

The first professional production of Guards! Guards! is now on tour. Details are included elsewhere in this issue.

Blue Cat have been delayed somewhat with their range of Discworld mugs. It seems unlikely that the Josh Kirby and Paul Kidby decorated mugs will be available until summer of this year. They might even be delaying until Christmas 1998.

Perfect Entertainment, the development team responsible for producing the Discworld and Discworld 2 games, has been given the go-ahead to make a third Discworld game - Discworld Noir - which will follow the adventures of Lewton, an ex-watchman (dismissed in suspicious circumstances) and the Discworld's first Private Investigator, as he investigates his way through the Disc's seedy underworld.

The game will be more serious in tone than previous offerings, although there will be an element of humour present in the plot. Unlike the previous two games, Discworld Noir will use a 3D interface allowing players to guide Lewton around as they collect clues and track down suspects in order to crack the case.

The game will parody many well-known 'films noirs' and forties movies, and will also include a full music score and several recorded songs. The locations will be dark, cinematic and moody, and will feature real shadows. Discworld Noir should be released during Spring 1999.

Currently, Perfect haven't decided who's going to provide Lewton's voice, although they have a few ideas. So far fans have suggested Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart and Bob Hoskins. Nominations will be considered, so if you'd like to see a particular actor taking the role, let the Convention know and we'll forward the names to Perfect.

 May will see the publication of a Tourist Guide to Lancre which features text by Stephen Briggs and Terry and a wonderful map by Paul Kidby, published by Corgi. Reliable sources tell us that a map of Death's Domain is also in the pipeline.

On the same day will be published the illustrated Wyrd Sisters with scenes from the Cosgrove Hall animation.

The Last Continent is released at the same time, both as a hardback and as an audiobook of the abridged read by Tony Robinson.

This October will see the publication of Terry's short story 'The Sea and Little Fishes' in the anthology Legends: Masters of Fantasy edited by Robert Silverberg. The UK edition will be published by HarperCollins with a cover by Josh Kirby. Josh has had to paint another version of the cover following the removal from the story of the scene he had previously illustrated. The original painting will be used on the cover of the bound proofs for the collection.

SFX will be giving away a free Discworld poster by artist Paul Kidby. It'll be a picture of Rincewind standing before the 'Last Continent' and the Discworld theme may well be continued inside the magazine. Timed to coincide with the next Discworld hardback, it'll be in SFX, June 1998 (on sale May 15th).

Steve Jackson Games continue work on the long awaited Discworld GURPS. They are hoping to have it ready for a May release, but this is not set in stone. Terry is listed as co-author with Phil Masters. GURPS is a gaming system around which the company builds many different worlds and scenarios. In the case of Discworld, the book will include a 32 page insert (GURPS Lite) which should make the gaming system more accessible to Discworld fans. There'll be no need to buy the complete GURPS rules, which are published separately, so the package is completely self-contained. Apologies to Andrew Kruzycki for not providing this information in Issue Two. The book is likely to be entirely illustrated with pictures by Paul Kidby, including a number of unpublished ones. There may also be a poster which will be sold separately.

The National Portrait Gallery has published a collection of 'Postcard Biographies' in their "Art and Life" series. The present set of texts has been published in advertisements in the Independent on Sunday. Terry's biography of J.R.R Tolkien appears as part of the set and was featured in the 4th January issue of the Sunday Review Section. Each contains a biography of someone whose portrait is in the NPG, is about 70 words in length and may or may not contain biographical facts about the subject.

The 25 cards are sold in a pull-out pack at £5.00 from the NPG Shop or by mail order. Phone 0171 306 0055 x280 or fax 0171 306 0092. Add £1 P&P for up to two packs, £1.50 thereafter. News from Stephen Briggs and the House of Dibbler - the Death of Rats mouse mat and the 'DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?' t-shirt are both out of print and will not be reprinted. Also, there are no longer any sweatshirt versions of the 'Turtle Moves' t-shirt available.

Clarecraft have just released the latest additions to their growing collection of Discworld-inspired models. The new pieces are three Bonsai mountains - Bonsai Mountain Valley, Himalayan and Volcanic Bonsai. All three are about ten centimetres high and are priced at £15.95 each. They will also be releasing 'The Band with Rocks In' as three individual pieces: Imp y Celyn £24.95, Lias Bluestone £44.75 and Glod Glodsson £24.95. Susan Sto Helit £32.95 and Greebo as a Man £29.95 complete the new releases which are available from all Discworld stockists now.

A script has been written for a proposed Cosgrove Hall feature length animation of Hogfather. The option has not yet been signed, but terms have been agreed so things are looking positive.

Theatre West Four are putting on a production of Wyrd Sisters (adapted by Stephen Briggs) from 28th April to 2nd May at The Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London, W4 1LW. Call 0181 995 6035 for ticket details.

The Convention is supporting the Huntington's Disease Association (Charity No. 296453) by donating all used stamps received at Convention HQ to their appeal. Anyone who wishes to donate any stamps can do so by sending them to the Convention's address. We will pass them on to the Association on your behalf.

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May 1998