Discworld flataly

Discworld flataly

Exactly 7 years ago the Royal Mail issued a commemorative set of eight stamps called “Magical Realms”. Two stamps from that set are portraying characters from the fantasy series “Discworld” by Sir Terry Pratchett.


Terry Pratchett and Discworld


Image source: blog.alzheimers.org.uk


Terry Pratchett is a world-famous British author, most well-known for his Discworld series of fantasy novels. His world called “Discworld” is a flat, round disc supported by four elephants that stand on the back of a giant flying turtle that’s swimming through space and has a small fiery sun orbiting it. It shouldn’t be surprising in a universe that was created with less regard for physics, or even common sense, and more sense of humor than in our “Roundworld”.


Image source: io9.gizmodo.com


In the Year of the Justifiably Defensive Lobster (Roundworld 2018.) it is now 70 years since birth of Terry Pratchett at the 28th of April 1948., and three years since he died at home “with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family”. in the Year of the Spinning Mouse (Roundworld 2015.) at the age of 66.

He was a very prolific author that produced 41 books placed in his Discworld series and 20 more unrelated to it, 18 graphic novels, 10 collections, 27 short stories, 6 maps, 4 companions, 4 books of science of Discworld, 7 artbooks, and plenty more miscellany. His books sold in more than 70 million copies worldwide, and they were translated into more than 30 languages. He also held the questionable honor of being Britain’s most shoplifted novelist. For his contributions and service to literature he was knighted in the Year of the Pensive Hare (Roundworld 2009.).


Ankh-Morpork Post Office

His fictional metropolis of Ankh-Morpork has its own postal service that developed its own stamps, a trend which soon spread through the rest of the Disc. And we know that where there are stamps, there are stamp collectors too! In Discworld they are known as flatalists, and their hobby as flataly, because the item of their interest is, well – flat. Flatalists exist in our Roundworld too, and since the Year of the Prawn (Roundworld 2004.) they can collect numerous fictional stamps faithfully recreated from their descriptions in the novels, or depicting scenes and characters of some notice. Those stamps are known as “emberella” stamps, where Emberella is the Discworld equivalent of our Cinderella, and cinderella stamps are “virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration”. Emberella stamps are issued by the Discworld Emporium which is appointed by Sir Terry Pratchett himself as an official branch of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office with an exclusive licence to produce stamps from all over the Disc.


Image source: ebay


Royal Mail and Discworld

Phenomenon of emberella stamps deserves its own post, so here we will talk only about real-life, official, Royal Mail issued stamps with Discworld motifs. On the 8th of March 2011. (in Discworld – the Year of the Complicated Monkey) Royal Mail issued a set of eight 1st and 2nd rate stamps called Magical Realms, with two of them picturing Discworld characters.


Stamp’s characteristics are:

Designed by So Design Consultants

Size 35mm (h) x 35mm (v)

Printed by De La Rue Security Print

Print Process Gravure

Perforations 14.5 x 14.5

Phosphor All Over



On one is a wizard called Rincewind:


Copyright© 2011 Royal Mail. All Rights Reserved.


And on the other a witch named Nanny Ogg:


Copyright© 2011 Royal Mail. All Rights Reserved.


The six other characters of the collection are: Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort, Merlin and Morgan LeFay, Aslan and the White Witch.


First Day cover:


Copyright© 2011 Royal Mail. All Rights Reserved.


Emberella stamps are much more edwardian and victorian in their looks, evoking the aesthetics of early 20th century. They continue to be printed and new releases come to life even after the author’s passing, ensuring that the fandom that came to life in the Century of the Fruitbat is continuing strong into the Century of the Anchovy, keeping the spirit and legacy of Sir Terry Pratchett well and alive.


Let’s stop here with one wise quote Terry left us: “Pets are always a help in times of stress. And in times of starvation, too, of course.”


Continue reading: Video Games on Stamps: Retro Gaming

Please subscribe and read more on the main page.

Leave a reply