Terry was in Australia and New Zealand for a signing tour from July 5th to 17th. During the middle week of this period Terry appeared at a small fan convention organised by Phantasia bookshop in Penrith, Sydney. Dave Gemmell was also in attendance. The two authors were touring the country simultaneously, appearing at many of the same stores, but only met up at the Convention. The Convention itself was described by one of the fans attending as "a disappointment".

Costuming fans may be interested in Masque 6, Britain's sixth annual costume convention, which is being held from 2nd to 4th October 1998 in Eastbourne. Contact: Masque, 43 Millbrook Gardens, Cheltenham, GL50 3RQ.

More news from Terry on the next instalment in the Discworld game series. The script for Discworld III - Discworld Noir has just been agreed with Perfect Entertainment and Terry had this to say: "Rincewind isn't in it (but Death is, and so are Vimes, Nobby, Detritus and Gaspode). It's rather darker than the first two, in more ways than one, with dead bodies turning up all over the place. It'll help if you've read the books, of course, but also if you're familiar with that genre of hard-boiled movie that finds its echoes even in 'Bladerunner' and 'Seven'."

In a future issue of the Chronicle, we will be bringing you an exclusive look inside the design studios of Perfect Entertainment, who are busy developing the game.

Terry made an appearance on Open Book, the Radio 4 book programme, on Sunday April 26th at the start of his media exposure in preparation for the release of The Last Continent. He spoke about how the Discworld characters get their sometimes-outlandish names.

Nanny Ogg's Cookbook (working title) will include Nanny Ogg's guide to etiquette and life, along with other Discworld contributions.

In a recent issue of SFX, Europe's best-selling sci-fi magazine, Terry and the Discworld books featured prominently. In the "Best SF/Fantasy Book or Video Cover", Jingo was placed third and Hogfather seventh. Discworld II reached tenth in the "Best SF/Fantasy Related Software" and the Soul Music videos released by Astrion came eighth in the "Best Archive/Straight to Video Release". Unfortunately, in the "Worst Dressed Person in SF" Terry was voted ninth. Still, not a bad showing really, and Pratchett was the only UK author to appear in the lists.

Another project on the horizon is The Science of Discworld with Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart. It is going to be a semi-serious look at the way science is portrayed in Discworld. Terry will be writing a fairly lengthy short story that will weave its way through the book, probably starting when the wizards at Unseen University build whatever that thing is they want to build on the squash court.

Stephen Player was commissioned to prepare the cover artwork for Stephen Brigg's play adaptation of Maskerade. The adaptation, to be published by Samuel French Ltd of London, will have a cover showing the Phantom creeping up behind Perdita and will be in a similar style to Stephen's other work on play covers.

"A lot of them don't read, a lot of them don't read English and a lot of them can't read." Terry, on the American public. This quote appeared in a number of publications including The Dundee Courier and The Observer.

Due to the totally unforeseen circumstance of the chairman of the committee going off and getting engaged to a beautiful American girl whilst he was travelling around Australia over the last few months, the XXXX Con tentatively planned for January of the year 2000 has been cancelled. Rumour has it that the remaining members of the committee are trying to change the date and venue in the hope that the project can get off the ground again.

Folkestone Hythe Operatic and Dramatic Society presents Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, from the 28th September to the 3rd October 1998. The performances will be at Little Theatre, Sandgate, near Folkestone, Kent CT20 3BY. Their information reads - "With a cast drawn from our Senior and Youth sections and some of the most cunning backstage artificers available, we are sure that you will have a splendid evening." Further details are available from Peter Chamberlain on 01303 254122 or by writing to the theatre.

Terry kindly donated a signed cheque to St. Mark's Primary School in Somerset so that it could be auctioned to raise funds for the school. The auction raised a total of £648 with Terry's cheque topping the bids at £35. Other cheques were donated by Lord Archer, the leaders of the main political parties, Terry Wogan and a host of other celebrities. Martin Pickett, who made the winning bid for Terry's cheque, told us that he was "delighted" with his purchase.

Terry Pratchett on what influenced The Last Continent: "I suppose I'd better say this officially: I've spent some time in Oz since 1990 - more time than the average tourist, certainly - and being an old journo I grab all the papers when I'm there and read them thoroughly and, well, I absorb stuff. My view is that non-Aussies who take some interest in the country will pick up most of the references and those they don't they just won't notice."

Death's Domain will be the fourth Mapp of the Discworld - the land that could not be mapped. It will again be a collaboration between Terry, Paul Kidby and Stephen Briggs. Following the problems with the Lancre Mapp, Transworld will no doubt be keen to get this one right first time.

Dave Langford, who has cast his eye over more than one Discworld novel prior to publication, informed us that Carpe Jugulum is being copy edited by Transworld. In other news, Dave had a little accident and was rushed to hospital with a punctured artery. We understand that the two incidents are unrelated and wish Dave a speedy recovery.

The May issue of SFX included an XXXX promotional poster by Paul Kidby. On the plastic covering Paul Kidby was described as "Official Discworld Artist", which might come as a bit of a surprise to Josh Kirby. When asked to comment, Terry said: "Paul's drawings are pretty much exactly as I imagine the Discworld characters to be; Josh's brief is to produce an interesting cover design (cue the old argument over whether Granny should look like a crone or not). There's room for both of them. I'm just happy with the status quo."

Terry will be sharing a platform with A S Byatt (of Possession fame) and Alistair Gray at the Royal Festival Hall on 23rd September 1998 at 7:30pm. The event is described as "Three world class writers discussing their work". If you want to book tickets, contact the Royal Festival Hall on 0171 960 4242. Terry's writing was described by A S Byatt as "having the energy of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland".

Terry will be appearing at the Cheltenham Festival on Saturday 17th October at 5:00pm. The venue is the Town Hall, and tickets cost £6 or £8 for a reserved seat. Call 01242 227979 to book.

The Bromeliad - a hardback omnibus edition of the extremely popular nome trilogy - will finally get its release on November 5th. This children's hardback will retail at £12.99.

The Griffin Youth Theatre will be staging Terry's Witches Abroad at the Rotherham Civic Theatre from 3rd to 7th November in South Yorkshire. Tickets cost £5 (£4 concessions and £3 for under 16s). Call 01709 366602 for more information.

As mentioned previously, David Chapman is working on a Thaumagotchi, which is a 2" high demon figure held by an octogram on the floor in a wooden cage. The demon will be cast in white metal and hand painted. A unique demon will be on auction at the Convention, but if you want your own one, David is willing to produce a demon for general release. For further details contact David on 01224 310094.

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November 1998