WOSSNAME -- JULY 2001 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)
6) THE DATA FILE
We've had a number of requests for vital Terry data and have
turned up two web sites which may amuse you:
THE DISCWORLD TIMELINE
This is a history of the Discworld from the year -5000 to 2015.
by years, courtesy of Paul Godsil.
THE ANNOTATED PRATCHETT FILES
We also heard from Nicholas Fletcher, who asked:
>Does anyone know where the Annotated Pratchett Files
> are? I can't find them any more, and I don't have my
> bookmarks with me...
To which Steve D'Aprano replied:
These are title by title files of every obscure reference in
all of PTerry's books. Some are quite astonishing.
7. GEOF'S JABBER
Towards the end of Guards! Guards! there is a scene with
Vimes, Vetinari, and the Watch, with Lupine Wonse, ppsquiggle
Vimes tells Vetinari to "Shut up!"
Vetinari apparently just takes this, and shuts up... However, my dad
(another keen aficionado :-) suggested the following...
Vetinari gets back at Vimes by promoting him.
As points to note, Vimes is happiest when chasing crooks - the
quintessential copper. Case in hand, when he's leading the parade as Duke
and a handbag snatcher appears in front of him... However, as he gets
promoted, he gets less and less chance to go ahead with this sort of work,
and more politicking (which he says he hates - whilst being rather good at
it, in an offhand sort of way. Albeit ably (and more than ably) assisted
Does this make as much sense to other people as it does to me? It fits
Vetinari's sneaky sort of underhanded way of getting back at people by
giving them what they want... And it fits Vimes, and his apparent
-- Rob Dawson, New Zealand
For me, a key Discworld theme is learning. I'm sure I haven't got it quite
right but there's a line in Lords and Ladies in the confrontation between
Granny W and the Elven Queen (perhaps the centremost part of the series) in
which Granny says something along the lines of "always singing, never
It seems to me that all TP's best characters are learning - they are on a
journey. (e.g. Om is on a journey from being an old testament god to
becoming a new testament god.)
Vetinari is on journey from being a Machiavellian leader to a Lao Tzu-ish
leader. Vimes is on a journey from being cog in the machinery of
convenience to someone who can rebuild the machine.
Just a thought..
Interesting. Paul and I were talking earlier about much the same thing:
he's wondering if the Discworld itself is evolving socio-politically, i.e.
beginning to leave the "dark ages" to enter into an industrialised
world society (well, Paul put it rather more succinctly,but I'm both
verbose and prolix given half the chance...)
If you take a moment to separate author and creation, it seems to me that
Pterry's Discworld characters - main ones - are achieving a kind of
causal critical mass. I used to think this started happening back around
the 5th or 6th book, but on re-reading, I find that there were
of characterisation right up to - and maybe past - Feet of Clay. I refer to
the way Granny, Angua and Detritus have changed, among others;
not just that they're better fleshed out, but also that their personae
are sufficiently "fixed". Rather than have me list details, look 'em up
yourselves and we can argue if anyone fancies arguing...
Also, I think Vimes and Vetinari are aspects of the same mind. The main
difference is that the Patrician thinks, um, bigger, but they think alike.
Well, the person who least wants the job is usually the best
person for the job (provided said person is responsible and capable of
doing the job). Vetinari made a shrewd choice by promoting Vimes, I think
it's just an added bonus that Vimes would hate it so much.
-- Holly, Snow Queen - Alaska
What would the character equivalents be if the storyline was set in
present times, or even the future?
Mmmmmm... a futuristic Discworld.
My take is that Discworld started as a comic artifice using fantasy much as
Douglas Adams used Sci-fi. Along the way TP discovered the "mirror of
worlds" - our world. In that sense the stories ARE set in present times.
The series has sped from high fantasy - late medieval through renaissance
heading rapidly towards industrial revolution and beyond.
I always thought of the stories being set in the present times, but they're
just not as advanced on the discworld as we are... maybe I got it all wrong
I certainly think I'd rather live on the Discworld than here though... seems
more fun and less responsibilities all round!
-- Fuzzy (aka Fiona Wynn)
8) LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
>The other thing Neil said was that neither he nor Terry are having anything
>to do with the writing of the script or the production of the film. He is
>only in touch with Terry Gilliam because they are old friends.
Having seen what Terry Gilliam did with "Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas"
(i.e. a faithful adaptation), I don't know if there's much that we need to
Still, this is Hollywood we're talking about.
The Gonzo Lager, US
(FYI, the Gonz was the very first member of NADS. -- Ed.)
Being fortunate enough to have lived in a town called Aylesbury
where the boy Pratchett began his journalistic career (I believe it
was on the Bucks Free Press) I have over the years spotted a
number of places where I believe he may have blagged some of
his ideas from, I could of course be wrong, but...
There is a Havelock Street in the centre of Aylesbury.
There is an area called the Dancers just outside Aylesbury near
RAF Halton. (Lords & Ladies)
Bledlow is located some 7 miles from Aylesbury.
(The Bledlows from Unseen Uni)
I actually grew up in a place called Sheepridge, though that's
in Yorkshire and probably just a coincidence.
(Where Death apprentices Mort)
And I'm shortly going to spend three months in the desert
of "Rub Al Khali" which is in Oman and probably crosses
into Saudi Arabia. (Mentioned at least once in Sourcery, Home of
the Rhoxi and Creosote)
The first time I worked out the gag behind Llamedos I nearly
widdled meself. Any one who hasn't spotted that one yet
(and there must be a least one) may possibly be a European ally
or a lost Merkin in which case I'd be delighted to enlighten them.
Anybody got any more?
-- Paul W Simpkins, UK
End of Part 2, says my computer -- continued on Part 3 of 3
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