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[FAQ] Welcome to the Pratchett newsgroups!

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Leo Breebaart

Jan 19, 2003, 7:00:11 PM1/19/03
Archive-name: pratchett/mini-faq
Posting-Frequency: weekly (on Monday)
Last-modified: 19 May 2001
URL: <>

Changes: + Fix minor spelling/grammar errors.
+ Add new URLs for Bibliography and Usenet FAQs.
+ Reformatted for 72 columns

*** Welcome to the Pratchett newsgroups! ***

Who is Terry Pratchett?

Terry Pratchett is an author of humorous fantasy-based novels.

In order to find out more, read the Frequently
Asked Questions list (or FAQ). The FAQ is posted monthly, but is also
available from the L-Space Web (see below). There are in fact several
FAQs, covering a range of topics about these newsgroups and other
Pratchett-related issues.


What are the Pratchett newsgroups?

There are three different newsgroups devoted to Terry Pratchett's work.

- (or afpa) is a moderated, low-volume
newsgroup where announcements of general interest such as signings,
meets, etc. are posted. You really should subscribe to it if you
are interested in Terry's work at all.

- alt.books.pratchett (or abp) is an unmoderated medium-volume
newsgroup where all aspects of Terry's novels and other related,
"Pratchett-relevant" issues are discussed. Subscribe to it if you
are primarily interested in talking about the books themselves.

- (or afp) is an unmoderated high-volume meeting
place for the fans of Terry's books. The discussions often have
nothing to do with Terry or his writing at all. Subscribe to it if
you are interested in hanging out with a bunch of friendly people,
who also happen to be Pratchett fans.

The Pratchett newsgroups are mostly made up of friendly, good-natured
people, who do their best to welcome new posters. However, it is a
lot easier and more pleasant for yourself and the other posters if
you spend some time reading other people's posts and the FAQs before
first posting.

First-time posters to afp can expect to receive an e-mail with basic
newsgroup info from the afp Welcomer. This is a service run by the
afp Clue Fairies, who you can also turn to if you have any further
questions concerning the newsgroup. The Clue Fairies can be reached
at <>. Please do not hesitate to contact them.

What books has he written?
What is the (chronological) order of the Discworld novels?

In order to find out, you can read the Terry Pratchett Bibliography,
posted monthly to afp/abp, or consult Colin Smythe's on-line
Checklist at <>

Did you notice that in novel X ...?
What is the 'N-word' in Soul Music?

Terry Pratchett's work is chock-full of references, allusions,
parodies and in-jokes. We have collected 1300 of such annotations in
a huge document called the Annotated Pratchett File (or APF). This
file, too, is available from the L-Space Web.


Discussing annotations is a favourite pastime in these groups, but if
you want to post something along those lines please check out the APF
first, to make sure you are not wasting bandwidth on something we
already know. Also, please use the tag "[A]" in your Subject to make
sure the APF editor will get to see your article (See below).

What do the [R], [I], etc. in the article subjects mean?

They are 'subject tags' that subdivide the newsgroup traffic in
categories. People use the tags to automatically filter out or select
articles, and thus keep the newsgroup manageable.

A complete explanation of the subject tags can be found in the
Tagging FAQ posted weekly to the groups, and available from the
L-Space Web.


A short summary:

[A] Comments on references and annotations in the novels
[R] Otherwise directly relevant to Terry or his work
[I] Not related ("irrelevant") to Terry or his work
[M] Discussion of 'meta'-issues relating to the newsgroups themselves
[F] Fan activity
[G] Discworld games
[C] Content-free, "cascading" performance art posts

[FAQ] Frequently Asked Question and other periodical documents
[ABP] Cross-posted from, or to, alt.books.pratchett
[ANNOUNCE] Cross-posted from

So where is this L-Space Web, then?

The L-Space Web is a World Wide Web site located in Europe, with
identical mirror sites all over the world.

Besides the various FAQs and the APF, the L-Space Web also contain
many other items of Pratchettian interest, including a quotes file
with more than 600 quotes, a large section on the various Discworld
games, different versions of the Hedgehog Song, and scanned images of
most of the original covers of the novels.

The L-Space Web can be found at:


Um, what *is* a newsgroup? What does "http" mean?

If you are new to Usenet and its terminology, you might want to read
the general introductory articles found in the newsgroup
news.announce.newusers (also available from web sites such as
<>). Doing so will make your life on the
net much easier, and will probably save you from making those
embarrassing silly beginner's mistakes that you'll regret in the

If you think that right now you are reading an echo, a conference, or
a bboard, I'd also strongly suggest a trip over to

(It is true that some of you may indeed be receiving this group as an
web page, echo, conference, or what have you, but that just means
somebody set up a gateway. Generally, it will be wise not to forget
that most of the articles in these newsgroups originate (and end up!)
on Usenet.)

Leo Breebaart <>

Leo Breebaart

Jan 26, 2003, 7:00:12 PM1/26/03
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