THE LAWS AND ORDINANCES OF ALT.BOOKS/FAN.PRATCHETT
PRATCHETT NEWSGROUP FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"alt.fan.pratchett ... is a little like written CB, and
something like being at a party. Or several parties.
all in one go. Blindfolded."
- Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
Hearin lies a list of frequently asked questions (and, of course,
their answers) for the internet newsgroups alt.fan.pratchett
This tome contains biographical information about Terry Pratchett,
as well as information about his books, his collaborators, upcoming
releases newsgroup ettiquette and Pratchettian internet resources.
Suggestions, comments, bouquets and FAQ additions to or...@lspace.org
THE NEXT BOOK.
FAQ SUGGESTIONS WELCOME.
THE USENET NEWSGROUPS.
OTHER INTERNET RESOURCES.
TERRY PRATCHETT AND THE INTERNET.
MERCHANDISING AND FANDOM.
PTERRY ON THE PTELLY.
COMMON THREADS AND HOW TO COPE WITH THEM. (Or "Not the FAQ")
THE NEXT BOOK
Something to do with Vimes and Sybil's child and
possibly time travel to the "pre-Carrot" watch.
Due November 2002.
The NEW Discworld Companion.
Updated, Revised, Elongated, Stretched and definitely
not featuring purple cover art. The long awaited
update to take into account all of the Discworld stuff
that has happened since the companion in paperback
The Wee Free Men
A classic fairy story with the addition
of the Nac Mac Feegle.
A Miss Cosmopolite Guide - similar in
theme to Nanny Ogg's Cookbook.
(Very Rumoured - Status Unconfirmed)
Ponder-Osa (not even a working title)
Even more speculative and *not* Interesting Times.
Ponder builds some big HEM building device and
tears a hole in the fabric of reality. (that bit
made up). Something to do with the University and
Reformed Assassin's Diary 2003.
The next in the Diary series - following on from UU Diary, Fools Guild,
City Watch, Assassin's Guild and Thieves Guild.
Map of Unseen University.
Doesn't Exist. Will Never Exist.
Made up by the irc channel.
A Cruel Prank.
Terry Pratchett paperbacks are always released one
year after the hardback release. This has not changed
and will not change in the future.
Any suggestions, alterations, daquiris or renditions of
the "Banana Splits" theme song can be emailed to the
author at or...@lspace.org. A FAQ is as relevant as
the newsgroup helps it to be. If you reckon something
is wrong or is not covered give us a yell. Your email
will be highly appreciated. This document can only be as
relevant as people help me make it. Needless to say, as
I've been around AFP since late 1992, my view on what
constitutes an FAQ is going to be rather different to yours
- but in a lot of ways *your* interpretation is more
important as I am perhaps past the point where I can see
this with clear eyes.
THE USENET NEWSGROUPS
Welcome to the Pratchett Usenet Newsgroups.
Where possible, pointers to existing information (such as books,
magazine articles, and ftp sites) are included here.
This FAQ is currently posted to news.answers
All posts to news.answers are archived, and it is possible to retrieve
the last posted copy via anonymous FTP from
Those without FTP access should mailto:mail-...@rtfm.mit.edu
with "send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" in the body to find
out how to get archived news.answers posts by e-mail.
This FAQ was mostly written by Orin Thomas who took it on in May
in 1995 from Nathan Torkington. It includes contributions by Leo
the Ent (thalt shall worship) and the readers of
alt.fan.pratchett and alt.books.pratchett (pterry included).
There are four newsgroups devoted to the author Terry Pratchett on
the internet. These are.
The oldest and perhaps the best known Pratchett newsgroup. It has
a fairly large amount of traffic much of it not directly Pratchett
related. Think of it more as the discussion of a group of Terry
Pratchett fans meeting at an on-line pub.
AFPA is the noticeboard of the aformentioned on-line pub. People
post FAQ's like this one, notices of fan meetings and other
important information. Terry also posts his signing tour details
alt.books.pratchett is to alt.fan.pratchett as a Cafe is to a Pub.
This is where the more serious pratchett discussions take place.
If you want a serious discussion of an idea you want to explore
this is a better place to start.
A low traffic newsgroup frequented by those that have been around
afp for a reasonably long time and find the hurly burly somewhat
exhausting. Posting is a complex affair however instructions can
be found on lspace - <http://www.lspace.org/>
If you haven't already done so, now is as good a time as any to read
the guide to Net etiquette which is posted to news.announce.newusers
You should be familiar with acronyms like FAQ, FTP and IMHO, as well
as know about smileys, followups and when to reply by e-mail to postings.
Posting a question covered in a well circulated FAQ shows a disregard
for polite nettiquette. If you note that someone is asking an FAQ then
email them and say - "did you know they have this thing called a FAQ?"
Posting a short story of Terry's is not only bad nettiquette but will
earn you a visit from Lawyers. We are not kidding. Do not do it.
--- Flaming ---
More recently afp has been subjected to several flame wars where people
have hurled abuse at one another under the mistaken impression that the
rest of us actually care. Your views on sex, religion, race and politics
are of no interest to the group. Your negative views on other posters are
also of no interest to the group.
Be very aware now that online defamation law is now gaining ground.
If you flame a poster who has earnt a significant reputation it is
very possible that you will be hit by a defamation lawsuit. A
defamation is an imputation that harms a reputation. Also it is
very important to note that defendants are almost never awarded
costs - hence if you are hit with a defamation suit, you will
most likely have to pay your own legal fees. Finally, given that
the internet is multi-jurisdictional, a particularly vindictive
plaintiff might choose to sue you in a country where defamtion
laws are especially strict. Just because the US has a form of
free speech doesn't mean that Australia or the UK does as well.
You have been warned.
As a further addendum to this particular passage. One AFPer
has threatened a defamation suit against an ISP and a particular
poster. This threat was later withdrawn.
Whilst the law might acknowledge your right to litigate such
a problem - be aware that the newsgroup probably will not. You
will want to be standing on extremely solid ground before you
launch, or threaten, a defamation action. If you are launching
it against a group regular - you might as well kiss your future
postings goodbye. That may seem unfair to say - but groups do
tend to watch after their own. Defamation litigation should be
your utter last resort - and is guarenteed to do your reputation
worse harm than any imputations made in someone's original post.
If you post about religion and it don't involve a turtle named "OM"
... well ... you have been warned. Though I must admit it does get
you added to quite a few killfiles very quickly.
Flaming Pterry is just stupid and is likely to give you a mailbox full
of bile. We like him. We probably don't like you. Nuff Said.
PRATCHETT NEWSGROUP PECULIARITIES.
Being a rather unique bunch of people we also have some guidelines
that are more or less being used on alt.fan/books.pratchett.
--- THE USE OF [R] and [I]. ---
"In theory they are forums for those who appreciate the books, but
exchanges segue into something completely different with extreme
rapidity. On alt.fan.pratchett they generally head in the direction
of the topics of food, traffic roundabouts, drink and, for some reason,
- Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs. DW Companion.
[R] is for Relevant.
[I] is for Irrelevant.
Anything about Terry Pratchett, His Books, His Characters,
the Computer Games, and items Pratchettesque should be labeled
[R]. Anything else should be labeled [I]. Given the high volume of
posting to AFP it would be appreciated if you could please modify the
subject line as often as you can.
Be aware that some [R] threads can turn [I] very quickly. Make sure
you don't cross post an [I] thread to the group alt.books.pratchett
as this will make people very cross. Discipline via Orang-Utan is
--- WHAT IS A SPOILER AND WHEN SHOULD I USE ONE? ---
A spoiler is essentially a warning about information contained in
a book. For example saying that Nobby lead the revolt in
Uberwald Nights, or that Rincewind ran away too quickly on
his wedding night in "The Missing Chapter" would require a
spoiler if these texts existed.
Originally we asked that you didn't post information to the group
about new books not yet available in paperback. Though you should
be especially careful about the newer books you might wish to take
care in revealing information about older books as well. Many people
new to the group will not have read each and every DW book so keep
this in mind when discussing them and warn people appropriately.
Terry obviously doesn't have to worry about this. It is rare that
he *starts* a thread - and if he answers a spoiler article it is
really up to the person who first put the spoiler in to duly warn.
Perhaps the best way to warn for spoilers is to take the
alt.books.pratchett approach of putting the first line of
your post as
Spoilers: Jingo, MAA
and then leaving a few lines of spoiler space. Perhaps even putting
in something like:
--- Posting to Alt.Fan.Pratchett.Annouce ---
The Moderated Newsgroup devoted to the important posts that might be
missed in the clutter of alt.fan.pratchett.
If you have something important to announce to alt.fan.pratchett then
Please note, the submission criterion are not particularly strict. If
you email the moderator with something (an annotation perhaps) that
has already been covered by one of the FAQs or files then you will
be politely pointed towards the aformentioned source (without
any embarrassment). If you think that it is important and that the
whole newsgroup should know then post it. A.f.p.a is not just for FAQs!
--- More FAQs than you can poke a stick at ---
There are a lot of FAQs around the pratchett newsgroups. I don't think
anyone knows exactly how many there are now. alt.fan.pratchett.announce
seems to carry all of them so browse there if you have a question. Perhaps
at some stage one of us will write an afplopedia which incorporates all
this knowledge. (though at present the lspace web does this quite nicely)
It would be novel if people read the FAQs so kindly point any newbies
at this document if they seem a little clueless.
A good place to find these is:
OTHER INTERNET RESOURCES.
--- The LSPACE Web ---
Perhaps the most important development in the last years has been the
setting up of the Lspace web pages. These are essentially an online
library to Pratchett Fandom. There are mirrors at many places around
the world and the sites are updated weekly, if not daily. This is sort
of the "permanent record" of internet pratchettdom. If you log onto the
main server at <http://www.lspace.org/> you should be redirected to your
closest lspace mirror.
Things on the Lspace Web include:
The Annotated Pratchett File
This file explains some of the subtleties of Terry's works. It is
currently at v7.a.5.3 and can be retrieved via anonymous FTP from the
Pratchett Archives. If you've ever gone ... "I know where he got that
from" ... this is the file for *YOU*!
The APF is pretty much the alt.fan.pratchett encyclopedia including
many of the best quotes from Terry on the net over the years. It is
in various formats including Windows Help file format. Reading this
will answer almost any question about the books.
Pratchett Quote File
Another Leo Breebaart production this is a file of all the best of Terry's
quotes from all the books. If you want to look up a quote in a hurry,
or look for something impressive in a .sig file, take a gander
at this one. Now moderated by Kimberley Verburg.
The Discworld Timeline
A highly impressive document suggesting which events followed other
events which might have preceded certain events but only after
particular events which are known to have caused final events.
Available on Lspace.org
Photos and personal information on some of the Pratchett Newsgroup's
more active denizens. Find out what your favorite posters look like.
The Rouges Gallery is getting a little outdated these days. It is
more representative of the 1996-1997 AFP crowd than today's posters.
Soon will be coming the A-Files - a more current collection of AFPers.
You will also find the words to the "Hedgehog Song" and "A Wizard's Staff"
as well as the rules to Cripple Mr Onion sitting in the Rouges Gallery.
This excellent resource has been around for many a year now. I'd
advise that you subscribe to it as it keeps you very up to date
on the goings on in the Pratchett Universe. Go to
Where you can enter your email address on a web based form to subscribe.
--- Fan Fiction Mailing List ---
This gives pratchetteers a chance to write their own stories without
violating the 'don't post your own fiction to AFP' rule. (reasons
for this rule detailed in the NO-NO's section). If you want to get
onto the mailing list send email to:
in the body of the message have the following
subscribe tp_fanfiction Your_Real_Name_Goes_Here
Subscriptions to the mailing list should be sent to
--- AFP Recipes ---
You can all submit your favourites to the address:
To get an index of the current recipes, send an email to:
recip...@lspace.org with "send index" in the subject line.
This resource also resides at the Lspace Web.
--- irc.lspace.org ---
As with the Newsgroups try to get a hang of the site by
listening to the conversation for a while instead of barging
in, announcing yourself and pissing everyone else off.
(a sure way to be banned)
--- The Pratchett Archives ---
Leo Breebaart (l...@lspace.org) maintains an FTP site of Pratchett related
material that is mirrored around the world. The home site is:
It is mirrored by
This FAQ, the Annotated Pratchett, the bibliographic information,
rules for Cripple Mr Onion, lyrics to the Hedgehog Song, and JPGs of
all the covers are kept on these sites.
--- The Merchandise FAQ ---
Circulated by Vixen this contains lists of Pratchettesque
items that are available from various suppliers. Includes Web sites
for International Bookshops, mailing addresses for Clarecraft and where
to get the Album.
--- The 'Terry Pratchett Bibliography' ---
This contains ISBN numbers, titles and blurbs for all TP's books. It is
available at the pratchett archives and maintained by ppint.
This is posted around the first of every month to alt.fan.pratchett,
alt.fan.pratchett.annouce alt.answers and news.answers.
This is stuff about Terry Pratchett himself. Information about Terry is
usually hard to find if only because he prefers to talk about his works
rather than himself. This information is condensed from the "About the Author"
sections of his books.
--- PERSONAL HISTORY ---
"People never read these biographies anyway, do they? They want to
get on with the book, not wade through masses of prose designed to
suggest that the author is really a very interesting person so look,
okay, he wrote these other books, all right. Most were also about the
Discworld, and actually quite a lot of people liked them."
- From the "About the Author" section of the
earlier Discworld books.
Terry Pratchett is, on average, a sort of youngish middle-aged.
He was born on the 28th of April in 1948 in the village of Forty Green
(now a part of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire) and is still not dead.
He lives in the west country with his wife Lyn and daughter Rhianna
where he writes books in between answering the mail. He lives in
constant dread that someone will find out how enjoyable he finds
writing, and stop him doing it.
He chose journalism as a career because it was indoor work with no
heavy lifting. He's managed to avoid all the really interesting jobs
authors take in order to look good in this sort of biography.
He started work as a journalist one day in 1965 and saw his first
corpse three hours later, work experience meaning something in
those days. After doing just about every job it's possible to do in
provincial journalism, except of course covering Saturday afternoon
football, he joined the Central Electricity Generating Board and
became press officer for four nuclear power stations just before
Three Mile Island, which shows his unerring sense of timing.
He'd write a book about his experiences if he thought anyone would
believe it. All this came to an end in 1987 when it became obvious
that the Discworld series was much more enjoyable than real work.
Occasionally he gets accused of literature. He says writing is the
most fun anyone can have by themselves.
He grows carnivorous (which, he argues, are really insectivorious)
plants as a hobby (which are doing quite well by the way) and tells
us that they are a lot less interesting than people believe. He likes
people to buy him banana daiquiris (he knows people don't read author
biographies, but feels this might be worth a try). He tries to make
computers do things they were never intended to do. He also feels that
the world could use more orang-utans.
He has a two speed Hedge Cutter and there is no truth to the rumor that
he likes being presented with Dried Frog Pills. Someone's father once
sold him a carrot.
--- HOW DID HE COME TO WRITE? ---
The first story he ever wrote was for a school assignment and was called
"The Hades Business". He managed to get 10 out of 10 for it. It was the
first time he had gotten 10 out of 10 for anything except for a painting
which his teacher *thought* was two dinosaurs fighting. This story was
then published in his school magazine.
There it would have ended, except for his school headmaster who
addressed an assembly shortly afterward and announced that he didn't
approve of the "moral tone" of the story. The magazine, which would
have struggled to break even, sold out within 15 minutes. He learned
an important lesson, right then -- by writing it is possible to
infuriate your enemies as well as please your friends.
He then had the story typed up by his Aunt and sold it to the magazine
Science Fantasy (#60, vol 20, 1963), and with the profits bought a
typewriter. This his first act as an income earner was to fire his Aunt.
His mother rewarded this Thatcherite attitude and paid for his typing
lessons and he was on his way.
--- I WANT TO CONTACT TERRY FOR AN INTERVIEW OR SOMETHING ---
Contact his agent, Colin Smythe (CPSm...@aol.com) - that is the best
way to ensure that your request gets to Terry. You can try to email him
directly - but given the volume he gets, there is a good chance that it
might not be responded to.
--- THE DISCWORLD BOOK LIST ---
Here is a list of Terry's Discworld Book Titles. A more complete listing
including the Nome, Pre-Discworld, Collaborations and Young Adult books
(including ISBN etc) is in the PRATCHETT BIBLIOGRAPHY.
The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort
Sourcery, Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards! Guards!, Eric
Moving Pictures, Reaper Man, Witches Abroad, Small Gods
Lords and Ladies, Men At Arms, Soul Music, Interesting Times,
Maskerade, The Streets of Ankh Morpork (with Stephen Briggs),
The Discworld Companion (with Stephen Briggs), Mappe of the
Discworld (with Stephen Briggs),Maskerade, Feet of Clay,
The Pratchett Portfolio (with Paul Kidby), Hogfather, Jingo,
The Last Continent, A Tourist Guide to Lancre (with
Stephen Briggs), Carpe Jugulum, The Science of the Discworld
Death's Domain, The Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Thief of Time,
The Last Hero, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents and
Science of Discworld II.
Co-wrote the fan favorite "Good Omens" with Pterry.
Neil Gaiman used to be a journalist, but gave it all up to write
comics, which he claims are a totally valid late twentieth century
art-form, and he's even won awards for them, so that's all right.
He's 5'10'' tall, owns a number of black T-shirts, and, although
he's not overly keen of banana daiquiris, is always very flattered
when appreciative fans send him money.
from "Good Omens" written with
Stephen Briggs was born in 1951 and lives in Oxfordshire.
With the assistance of Terry Pratchett, he helped with the
creation of the 'Streets of Ankh-Morpork', 'The Discworld
Companion' and the 'Map of the Discworld'. He also collaborated
with Terry on the Discworld Diaries and Nanny Ogg's Cookbook.
Oxford's Studio Theatre Club went on to stage Stephen's adaptations of
Wyrd Sisters, Mort, Guards! Guards!, Maskerade, Jingo and Carpe
Jugulum. Stephen is currently rehearsing a production of the Fifth
Elephant. Six of the plays have been published as has his version
of Johnny & the Dead.
There is a photo of him on the lspace web. He would like the publishers to
pay for more trips to exciting places than they have currently sent
him to. He deeply suspects that Terry gets sent really cool places
that have daquiris and dancing girls and wants in.
There is no truth to the rumor that his most exciting experience on
tour with Terry involved a senior citizens club and some cucumber
His merchandise can be found at http://www.cmotdibbler.com
Josh Kirby is an artist who has been drawing covers for many years
now. He has done the covers for (among others) Terry Pratchett, Craig
Shaw Gardner, Esther Friesner, Dan McGirt and the new editions of Tom
He also illustrated the Discworld (sort-of picture) book "Eric". He
has at least two poster books out, one with large versions of the
first seven Discworld covers. One is "In the Garden of Unearthly
Delights", published by Paper Tiger in 1991. Its ISBN is
1-85028-154-8. It costs #9.95 (pounds sterling) and runs to 143 pages
of artwork. The other is "The Josh Kirby Poster Book" published by
Corgi in 1991, ISBN 0 552 99382 4.
Josh passed away in October 2001 aged 72.
Paul Kidby has collaborated with Terry Pratchett on a number of
projects including the exceptionally interesting Pratchett Portfolio
as well as Nanny's Cookbook and the Discworld Diaries and most recently
The Last Hero.
TERRY PRATCHETT and the INTERNET.
--- Terry Pratchett and Usenet ---
Terry Pratchett was a regular on alt.fan.pratchett between
1992 and 1999. He was a regular on alt.books.pratchett between
its inception an 1999. He has had several periods where he
hasn't posted - between 1999 and late 2000 being one.
To give you an idea of exactly how long TP has been on usenet,
if internet years are like dog years - Terry has been around more
than 50 internet years. This is a monumental effort. Consider this,
of the regulars that were on the group when Terry joined in
1992, only 2 or so are still around now.
His last hiatus was caused by the posting of speculative
stories about future discworld events. TP felt that this put him
in an awkward legal position. It meant that he could not use these
ideas if he had independantly developed them because of possible
litigation. There is a *rumour* that a few paragraphs of The
Fifth Elephant had to be cut because someone posted a speculative
article about the future of Sir and Lady Vimes.
So this is a warning - don't post speculative stuff.
--- His E-Mail address ---
"When I first went on line I left myself open to about a thousand
mailings on the lines of "Are you Terry Pratchett or what?" It
didn't matter what I replied. If I played it straight and said
"yes" some of them would reply, "oh, go on, you're not, are you?"
and I was damned if I was going to say "no"."
Terry Pratchett - Discworld Companion.
"Well, it's happened...
"I have to announce:
"I can no longer answer all my email.
"There's simply too much. It's hard to catch up even if I'm away from
the machine for a day or two, and now I've realised that despite me
continuing to give it as much time as I can the inbox is actually
getting bigger, possibly because the apparent sudden surge in US fans.
Sorry. From now on, an email to me is going to be a shot in the dark,
"Certainly at lot of the emails I get suggest that the writer doesn't
read afp -- there's a daily sprinkle of 'What's the next book about?'
and 'When's the next tour?'
"But in reality people often aren't writing because they want that
information. They want to write an email to a favourite author, and
they don't want to sound too fanboy, so asking a real question gives
them, they feel, a reason. This is fine. It's just that there's so
Terry gets a staggering amount of email and because he is getting
snowed under to the point of being unable to write books, his address
has been removed from this document. Smart people tend to be able
to figure it out all by themselves though.
--- His Setup ---
Terry's house is probably similar to the computer version of an Elephant's
graveyard. Many relics stored around the place. The house has a network.
He is currently using a Pentium II with Word Perfect for Windows. Although, in
a concession to tradition, he has Word Perfect set up to run like Word
Perfect 4.2 for DOS :-)
He also used to own an Amstrad, and is a fan of the classic isometric
perspective games, Batman and Head Over Heels, as well as being a
ZX-81 maniac. He is a declared fan of the Wing Commander series and
also is quite fond of the game Doom. Future historians of computer
science will probably look upon his extensive collection with awe.
I don't know what he is playing at the moment but it probably involves
lots of explosions ... Rabbits probably figure prominently as well ...
and don't get him started about that 2 speed hedge trimmer!
According to dejanews the group which he posts to the 3rd most
is alt.games.tombraider so he *probably* plays that as well.
Think of it this way - if you were a technophile like him and had
the oppertunity to get all the kit you wanted - wouldn't you make
sure that you were bleeding edge?
--- "The Colour of Magic" Game ---
There was a game called "The Colour of Magic" released by Delta 4,
which contained passages straight from the book. It was available for
8-bit machines, the Spectrum and C64.
It should be available at the Pratchett Archives.
--- "Terry Pratchett's Discworld" Game ---
Released by Psygnosis the new Discworld game has been released for the
PC on both CD-ROM and Floppy. The difference between the two being that
the CD-ROM contains full speech by Eric Idle, Tony Robinson, Jon Pertwee
and Kate Robbins. The basic plot is Guards! Guards! with Rincewind thrown
An FAQ for the game is regulalry posted by Christopher McMullen
mailto:chr...@lspace.org This FAQ is also available at the
A demo of this game is also available from the pratchett archives.
--- Discworld II ---
Chris McMullen is "da man" when it comes to walkthrus and FAQ's for
this new game. (Bright Orange Box - you can't miss it!). These are
available at lspace web. <http://www.lspace.org/>
--- Discworld Noir ---
Not manufactured by Psygnosis this game involves you playing
Ankh-Morpork's first private detective. More information at
lspace web in the games section.
MERCHANDISING AND FANDOM
There is a Merchandise FAQ posted regularly to AFP. There are
two main sources of merchandise. Stephen CMOT Briggs and ClareCraft.
CMOT can be contacted at http://www.cmotdibbler.com/ and ClareCraft
has a WWW page on the lspace web
--- Discworld Convention 2002 ---
There is to be a Discworld Convention held on the 16th - 19th of August
2002 at the Hanover International Hotel in Leicestershire (UK). Guests
include Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs, Paul Kidby, Bernard & Isobel
Pearson, Graham Higgins, Dave Langford, Colin Smythe, Stephen Player,
Jay Hurst, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart.
The merchandise FAQ can be found at the pratchett archives.
--- ClareCraft ---
Further information about Clarecrafts Discworld range of products,
can be requested from el...@lspace.org Including your
postal address means that they can send you a free brochure, etc ..
--- Octarine ---
Terry has this to say:
The officially unofficial Not-the-Terry-Pratchett-Fan-Club. The guy
to write to is
22 The City
"It's like this: a couple of years ago they approached me, and I said
I thought it would be an amazingly bad idea (I mean, what do you do
after issue three of the magazine: `Um. He's done another book. It's
great/okay/not as good as the last one IMHO. Um. Is he losing more
hair, or what?' So I suggested they broaden the base to include
humorous sf/fantasy generally."
--- Fan Club ---
``The Guild of Fans and Disciples'' is the unofficial fan club of
Terry Pratchett and Josh Kirby. It is run on a non profit-making basis
by a group of fans who produce a bi-monthly newsletter to keep other
fans up to date with events. Terry has no direct involvement in the
club, other than supplying news and consenting to their existence as
long as they avoid commercialism.
For more information you can e-mail mailto:go...@bigfoot.com
--- CLARECRAFT COLLECTOR'S GUILD ---
According to ClareCraft has about 1500 members and its newsletter is
practically becoming a fanzine in its own right. Information from
PTERRY ON THE PTELLY
--- The Bromiliad ---
The film rights to the Bromiliad have been picked up by Dreamworks SKG
- there is a rumour that they will do this CGI like they did Shreck.
--- Good Omens: The Film ---
A movie about this is in pre-production now. Being filmed in Germany
it is going to be directed by Terry Gilliam. According to Gilliam
the contracts have been signed with Renaissance Films.
--- Truckers Video ---
There is a video of "Truckers" available. The details are: Thames
Television International, video Collection International VHS TV 8159,
110 minutes, VHS-PAL, price: approx. 8 pounds.
--- Johnny and the Dead ---
This is also available.
--- The Mort Film ---
Terry wrote a couple of script drafts which went down well and
everything was looking fine and then the US backers said "Hey, we've
been doing market research in Power Cable, Nebraska, and other
centres of culture, and the Death/skeleton bit doesn't work for us,
it's a bit of a downer, we have a problem with it, so lose the skeleton".
The rest of the consortium said, did you read the script? The Americans
said: sure, we LOVE it, it's GREAT, it's HIGH CONCEPT. Just lose the
Death angle, guys.
Whereupon, Terry is happy to say, they were told to keep on with the
medication and come back in a hundred years. Power Cable Nebraska doesn't
appear to exist BTW. (at least my Encarta 96 Atlas didn't have it!)
Maybe someone wants to go to Nebraska and plant a sign declaring
Lincoln to actually be Power Cable. If there is ever an American
DWCon we should hold it in Nebraska. There is even a place called
Terrytown in Nebraska. Perhaps someone should get a photo of them
selves infront of the sign with a P infront of the T.
--- Soul Music/Wyrd Sisters ---
Also available on video for those that are interested. Details in the
--- Terry Pratchett's Borneo Adventure ---
He also helped out with a wildlife documentary in Borneo on Orang-Utans.
This was recently (May 1995) shown in the United Kingdom and no one really
knows if it is going to be released on video. I heard from the production
company and if there is enough interest it will be.
--- Theatrical Plays ---
Oxford's Studio Theatre Club went on to stage Stephen's adaptations of
Wyrd Sisters, Mort, Guards! Guards!,Maskerade and Jingo
If you are interested in more information, please E-mail:
Some of these plays are available in book form as well. (see Bib)
--- From the Discworld CD ---
A mainly instrumental collection written by Dave Greenslade, a friend
of Terry's probably best known for the Pentateuch double album. A
Discworld Theme album.
Some threads, like the perennial bad penny, just keep turning up. At
least read this section of the FAQ before indulging yourself in posting
about any of the following subjects. Remember your [I]'s and [R]'s please!
--- Using groups.google if you want ---
Sometimes it is a great idea to trawl groups.google to look at threads past.
Interestingly enough, this very document comes up in the database as one of
the oldest posts on AFP. Though it is fair to say that it has already been
said before you will most likely pull some pearls from an afp of the past.
This is definitely recommended if you are posting a new thread that you
suspect may have been discussed before.
Point your browser at <http://groups.google.com/> and in the search terms box
place your topic and alt.fan.pratchett.
Just because something has been discussed before doesn't mean it can't
be discussed again - but if you are looking for an answer to a question
(which is what this FAQ is about) then groups.google is a great start.
--- What is the "N-Word" in Soul Music ---
Quoth, the Raven, won't say the N-Word. The N-Word is "Never More".
You can find out more about the literary relevance of this
phrase (if you don't recognise it) and the answers to questions
that you didn't know that you had in the Annotated Pratchett File
available at your friendly neighborhood lspace web.
--- Old AFP versus New AFP ---
Every now and then the group gets very restless. I suspect this has
more to do with people deciding that what they once found was funny
is now somewhat tiresome. The "good old days" are brought up and
handed around. This at times has lead to the creation of the
new groups like alt.books.pratchett. Other times this leads to flame
My only advice on this one is that you consider that at some stage
you are likely to be, or have been, on the other side of this
argument. If you stick around you WILL become an oldbie. You will
probably get annoyed at newbies. Those that seem locked in their
ivory tower of oldbieness you will note as time goes on have
very similar views to you. It is kinda funny that way.
--- What is UNCLEAR PHYSICS and Where can I get a copy? ---
Unclear Physics was the WORKING TITLE of the book INTERESTING TIMES.
This particular FAQ writer gets at least three letters a month asking
for the ISBN of this book (which I am sure amuses everyone else on
the newsgroup :-). This happens so often that I got my copy of
IT signed as THIS IS NOT UNCLEAR PHYSICS.
I dunno if it was a joke but Terry recently said that he might
actually write a book called "unclear physics" as the title was
about a particular plot point in IT that never came to fruition.
This is speculation.
--- Posting an Annotation ---
An annotation (usually marked [A]) of a Terry Pratchett book is a
reflection of a small "inside joke" used in the text. An example of
which is the "Soul Food Cafe" scene in "Soul Music".
Something written or filmed after the publication of a TP book obviously
does not constitute an annotation. The television show "Due South"
might have been influenced in some way by "Guards! Guards!" but it is
impossible for it to have happened the other way around.
You might also want to consider how you phrase a prospective annotation.
Some annotations sound more like allegations of plagiarism rather
than a helpful attempt to point out an inside joke. Such allegations might
even be considered libelous.
When posting an annotation it would be helpful if you included:
1) The original text you are annotating (TP's) (include page number)
2) The year of the source of the annotation. (Blues Brothers (1981))
3) As close an approximation as you can get of the text of the
source. (i.e. writing out the conversation in the Soul Food Cafe)
If you are worried that your annotation may have been covered before I
suggest that you trawl Dejanews with the original "TP" text. As we
would like you to quote the original when annotating anyway this means
that simply by searching on the original text you should be able to
find any extra commentary.
--- Criticising Terry Pratchett on Alt.Fan.Pratchett ---
The following is some quotes that Terry Posted after a mini flame war
erupted through one group of people suggesting that book X was much
worse than book Y and another group of people suggesting "get out of
your tree ... this is AFP ... we don't critisise *him* here".
Note this was from before "The Last Continent" was even a gleam
in Terry's eye.
These are Terry's exact words:
" Let me drop a few things into this quite interesting thread.
"1 I always listen to advice. It's polite.
"2 If I *heeded* all the advice I've had over the years, I've have
written 18 books about Rincewind. Absolutely true. The most
common plea in my mail right now is 'when are we going to read
about Rincewind in XXXX?'
" I'm being instructed that I have a duty to my readers -- if I was
innocent, I'd be attaching corks to that battered pointy hat even
now. But perhaps this is an issue on which I have thought long
and hard. After all, it's my living and ten years of my life.
" If Discworld continues, then old characters will continue --
Rincewind will get red dust in his sandals, the Watch will be back,
Gaspode will probably limp into stories. And new characters will
arise. Why not? It's not as if there are *rules*. What will
probably *end* Discworld is simple crowding -- the Watch already
make Ankh-Morpork based stories a little problematical, and I won't
get into the comic book convention of having Captain Courage out
of town so that Commander Socko can take centre stage.
"3 I wish people wouldn't feel obliged to put in the 'no offence
meant, pterry' rubric. I'm a big boy. I don't take offence easily
at criticism above the 'Moving Pictures is crap' level and can tell
if offence is meant, on the whole. If something *is* offensive, to
me or anyone else, 'NOM,P' is superfluous. As they say elsewhere,
you own your words - in all senses of 'own'.
Anyway, as I've harped before, afp isn't mine. If I log on and
read something I don't like, I have the same options as anyone else
(actually, I probably don't, come to think of it -- but that's my
" I do get embarrassed when people give me a lecture on my duties,
approach to writing, tell me book X isn't a patch on book Y, and
then send me a private email hastening to assure me that 'no
offence is meant'. But I do grin when, after all of this, they
tag on that "it's about time we saw Gaspode again" or they're
waiting for Rincewind's adventures on XXXX..."
- Terry Pratchett
Terry's views are here for all to see. It would be advisable for all
sides to take note. AFP *is* about discussing the books, characters
excetra - how that discussion goes is up to you. Remember though ...
politeness is a virtue.
Terry would also like to point out that anything you post is
"Your Words in EVERY SENSE". They are stored in groups.google and
other places - they are likely to be around a very long time.
--- WHY PTERRY? ---
Pterry is an affectionate nickname in the tradition of his book
Pyramids. Pteppic, Ptracy and therefore Pterry.
--- CASTING MOVIES ---
Leo Breebaart went through 13 Mb of a.f.p. logfiles, extracted 450 Kb of "Let's
cast a Discworld movie" articles, and put together a complete list of
all the suggestions ever made, leaving out the less serious
possibilities. This can be found at the Pratchett Archives.
This thread seems to be fairly virulent at the moment so I hope all
potential posters have had a look at the casting page at www.lspace.org
You CAN post a casting thread - but I recommend you check out all
that has been suggested before so you don't do the obvious.
"I reckon that James Earl Jones would make a gread Death."
Some of us suspect that this phrase was the first ever transmitted
over the internet. It was soon followed by:
"Does Pterry Post here or What?"
What has been amusing me even more of late is the thread of casting an
AFP movie. In traditional AFP style everyone is arguing which actor would
best represent them while completely ignoring the question of the proposed
film's plot. Then again this is AFP ... there would not be a plot!
--- How should I pronounce Rincewind's Name? ---
Terry himself pronounces it to rhyme with "Mince pinned" and in Eric,
Rincewind meets his ancestor whose translated name means "Washer
[Rinser?] of Winds". Evidence would then tend to point to this
pronunciation (like the pronunciations in the Discworld Game)
--- How should I pronounce Gaspode's Name? ---
According to the game the wonder dog's name is pronounced to rhyme
with Gas-Mode. Not Gas-Po-Dee. As I thought. Apparently no one else
did. But I did. So Nyeh.
--- What are the words to the The Hedgehog Song? ---
The words to the Hedgehog song (many different versions) can be found
at the Pratchett Archives. Download, Print, Visit the pub, consume
alcohol and sing. (It probably sounds better)(Well .. to you at least)
There is no line about a two speed hedge trimmer in this song.
--- What/Where is the Missing Chapter? ---
There is *NO* Missing Chapter!
If some guy comes up to you at a meet and says "hey baby, wanna
come back to my place, see my local area network and download
the missing chapter?" he probably just wants sex.
One of the more recalcitrant threads that pops up, much like the
legend of the Yeti, Yowie or Bigfoot, is the legend of the Missing
Chapter. The story goes that, late one night whilst working on a
particularly hilarious section of the Discworld Chronicles Terry
accidently transmitted a section of his work to alt.fan.pratchett
and then had his computer suffer something akin to a complete hard
disk failure. Fun is had by all as alt.fan.pratchett regularly mounts
search parties around the internet looking for this particular untamed
ornithoid. (this was Leo's Fault! (and TP went along with it!))
--- What is a "Merkin"? ---
Merkin is an affectionate name used by some of the denizens of
alt.fan.pratchett for citizens of the United States. If you want
to know what the word really means I suggest that you consult a good
Apparently on one of the larger US networks AFP's newsgroup description
says "Book signings and the sale of Merkins". One unfortunate
actually posted asking where could he order a merkin. Apparently he needed
one due to an embarrasing personal problem.
No one on AFP sells Merkins. (although it could signal a strange new
diversification of the CMOT Briggs enterprise :-). CMOT replied that
he didn't really want to explain all this to the British Postal Service.
--- Does Terry Pratchett post here or what? ---
He does - and sometimes he doesn't. It is kind of Quantum really.
--- Due South/Frazier/Carrot/Hey aren't they ... ---
A television series came along which was based around a wide
eyed Canadian Mountie working as a cop in deep dark Chicago. Many
have noted that similarities exist between the character Frazier
and the beloved Discworld "Dwarf" Carrot. Well Terry's books were
written first so no, he didn't copy the idea. I have no information
suggesting that the creators of Due South are even aware of the
adventures of Carrot. So it is likely that they didn't copy either.
If they did, I missed the episode where Frazier fought the Dragon,
or the one where a crazy man with a Gonne tried to make Frazier
mayor of Chicago ... and I am sure that the woman at the police
station who likes Frazier is *not* a werewolf.
--- What is [G], [C], [G], [O], [O], [K] ---
Several other "bracketed capitals" have cropped up on alt.fan.pratchett
These are not "official" and sometimes I wonder if people make up new
ones just to keep life interesting. [I], [R], and the occasional [A]
are simple ... anything more is bordering on the anal-retentive. You
shouldn't constantly need to refer to a manual to read Usenet!
Karen posts an FAQ explaining all of this.
--- Your Purity Test Score ---
I have a hard time reconciling this topic with anything in the TP books,
as, as mentioned in the DW Companion, there is no real sex in the DW or
other TP books. (No actual sex, just some before bits and some after
bits - as in Good Omens and Men at Arms). So unless you have something
to post about Carrot's purity score, maybe these admissions are best
left to the alt.sex groups :-)
--- Will there be a sequel to "Good Omens" ---
Nope. What is left to say?
--- What is Slood? ---
Slood is a substance only invented by intelligent civilisations.
Our civilisation hasn't invented slood. Draw your own conclusions.
Here's some stuff that didn't fit into any other category.
--- Similar Authors ---
P.G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Jerome K. Jerome, Robert Rankin, Tom
Sharpe, Tom Holt, Calvin Trillin, P.J O'Rourke and Dave Barry are some
people whose styles are similar. He reminds me a bit of Joseph Heller
(Catch 22) as well ... although not so cynical.
Terry occasionally also posts information about books that interest
him or have impressed him recently. Keep a look out on alt.fan.pratchett
--- The Future ---
DISCWORLD POST PTERRY.
Terry is a fairly young bloke (well my dad would say so as they were born
only 2 months apart) so is only old enough to be Uncle Pterry instead of
Grandpa Pterry so there is at least 40 years left in him yet. However, in
recent times, other author's work has been "resurrected" after their death.
This brings up the possibility, of course, of Discworld (or Johnny Maxwell
and Truckers) Novels being written by "someone else". Terry had obviously
given this some thought and has put in place the legal framework so that
NO ONE BUT TERRY PRATCHETT WRITES DISCWORLD.
Whether or not this means that a "50th Anniversary Tribute" to the Discworld
could be written for Terry whilst he is still alive in 2033 similar to what
Terry himself did for Tolkien in "After the King" (see the Bib for details)
or Asimov had this done in "Friends of the Foundation" is questionable.
(You can email Terry in 2033 to ask if you want :-)
I wonder if someone changed their name by deed pole to "Terry Pratchett"
that they would be allowed to do this :-)
--- Big NO NO's! ---
The following things are advised not be done on alt.fan.pratchett. The
reasons why they should not be done are detailed here. The internet is,
of course, free and 'youcanpostwhateveryouwant' but I hope that you see
the following as an intelligent and logical set of rules.
Posting Fan Fiction to alt.fan.pratchett
It is asked that you do not post your own discworld/pratchettesque
Stories to the newsgroup. Someone might feel that an idea in a newly
released TP novel was similar to one they posted on day X. They might
even have the audacity to take TP to court on this. (this *HAS*
happened to television people on other newsgroups). To avoid the
possibility of this ever occurring Pterry politely asked that we not
post our own stories to alt.fan.pratchett. See the 'Fan Fiction
Mailing List' for where you can post your stories in safety.
Posting 'Posting Stats'
After several bad experiences it has been generally decided that
putting forward lists showing the people who contribute the most
articles to afp is a really bad idea. The reaction has been 'gosh
I only posted X articles ... better post more to improve my ranking'
This generally means alt.fan.pratchett is flooded with a higher than
usual amount of rubbish.
Posting "Test Posts"
There is a newsgroup which automatically responds to test posts
via email telling you where your news post has landed around the
world. Test posts on alt.fan.pratchett are likely to be followed
up and become long winded threads in their own right. The newsgroup
is alt.test. Although nothing is wrong with this, there is a more
effective way of testing your news server :-)
This got so out of hand that there is now a newsgroup (lspace.test)
devoted purely to afp test posts.
--- Inconsistencies ---
Well, he is fallible. Known inconsistencies are documented in the
Annotated Pratchett File. (available at the Pratchett Archives).
The Author suggests, however, that there are few inconsistencies
merely several alternative pasts. :-). These are getting rarer
as time goes on and a discworld "lore" builds itself up.
--- Appearances ---
He'll post when he's going walkabout, so just bide your time and see.
The alt.fan.pratchett www page usually has some information in this area
if you missed it. Generally he will sign three novels per person, and,
if there is time, get on to the others.
The Stamp which reads EX LIBRIS MORTIS - HIC EST VITA VESTER
FROM THE LIBRARY OF DEATH
THIS IS YOUR LIFE (S Briggs Translation)
There is a Web Page on the Lspace Web with tour details.
He generally goes on tours after a book is just published.
--- The Orang-Utan Foundation ---
Those who enjoyed the program where Terry went to Borneo and want
to find out more about Orang-Utans can contact:
The Orangutan Foundation
7 Kent Terrace,
London NW1 4RP
--- Approximate Number of Books Published ---
The current estimates that there are over 40 million Terry Pratchett
books published worldwide at the moment. This will probably increase
at a rate of a million per year. (A LOT of books)
If each Pratchett book was placed on top of another Prachett book -
There would be over 40 million of them! (you didn't see that joke
coming did you!)
Many people have contributed to this FAQ (so much so that almost two
whole pages of text were taken up with credits). In the interests of
bandwidth I removed them. If you want a list of those who have
contributed to the FAQ (and Bibliography) email me and I will forward
one to you. Thank you to all people who have helped out with this FAQ,
it is very very very very very very very much appreciated.
Thanks to Leo for all his help over the years. If it wasn't for him
there wouldn't really be any order to the online pratchett universe.
Thanks to my fiancee Oksana - you are the best!