Terry Pratchett

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Terry Pratchett

Post  lisa on Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:37 am

I know a lot of Snarkers are big fans of his (as am I). And I just finished Snuff and am dying to talk about it with someone.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Cutebutpsycho on Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:11 am

OOOH! I just finished it too! What did you think?
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  lisa on Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:44 pm

1. Did I miss the DEATH cameo? I seem to recall that every book has one, yet I don't recall it being one here.

2. I thought it was quite similar to Unseen Academicals with the "People learn that other species are sapient and have rights too" thing. But I am guessing that is a topic that is a) historically relevant if you hail from a land with a long history of colonizing other peoples, and b) is still tragically relevant today.

3. Not really a fan of Super Vimes. However, I did love how Sybil kicked ass. (Is it just me, or is Pratchett fond of the dyad where you have one grim-and-reluctant hero like Vimes or Weatherwax, and playing "backup" is their shrewd counterpart like Sybil or Nanny Ogg?)

4. This may be considered blackest heresy, but I think this is the first book where you can tell it's evident that the author's memory and cognitive tools are not what they once were.

That said, I am still of the mind that an "okay" book by Pratchett is better than many other "good" books by other authors.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Cutebutpsycho on Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:50 pm

I can see what you mean about feeling like it read like Pratchett's cognitive tools and memory wasn't quite the same. For me, I felt like it was a deliberate shift in style and tone -- Vimes is a bit off center and uncertain about some things because he's been forced into a vacation with his family, so I think some of it is that. It took me a bit to get into, but looking back, I always have that sense of Vimes books -- they always start out with him going "WHAT THE FUCK?" with the surroundings around him, and then the narrative (to me), feels like it smooths out a bit.

Other bits I wonder because he's using voice recognition software and many other tools (that make his office look like the Goddamn Batcave) to help him and that kind of changes things. Speaking and transcribing is different than writing it out, I've found.

You're right! There wasn't a cameo by DEATH. Sadly. I miss him.

Sybil always kicks ass and takes names. I think when I saw her in Guards! Guards! I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

As for the goblins, I wonder how much of that echoes with the current events in Europe and England?

And hands down, without a doubt, a Pratchett book (of any quality) is better than some of the "good" books out there.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  punzy on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:39 pm

He mentioned in a recent interview that there is a big difference between typing and dictating. And that dictating makes it more like storytelling. Here is the link, the interview is in the first half.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Cutebutpsycho on Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:14 pm

Brilliant! Thank you so much!

As someone who met him at the Discworld Convention and watched him hold court with a rapt audience, he is a master storyteller. I can't wait to hear this.

ETA -- Just tried to listen to it. It's not available for us bloody yanks!
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Raksha on Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:02 am

Alas, I'm dead broke so I can't afford to buy Snuff just yet, but through the magic of Paperback Swap I got a copy of Monstrous Regiment for free! It was hardback and still so new it crackled when I opened it. I love that site so much I want to cry.

Anyway, I just finished it today and I LOVED it! I'm making my way through the Discworld books all willynilly, but out of the ones I've read so far I think this is my favorite. It was hilarious and somehow managed to be a both pessimistic with an optimistic end note. I liked that it didn't go for the simplistic sort of "war is bad, therefore people who make war are bad," "the world would be better if it were run by women," and "this amazing feat of daring/crazy revelation about the top brass change everything for women from now on" kind of storylines you usually see in these kinds of books. I appreciated the attention to the nuances of each of these situations. Pratchett is great at writing female characters, mostly because I think he doesn't write female characters, he just writes characters, if you know what I mean.

My favorite few throw away bits were Maladict(a)'s Vietnam flashsideways and Vimes laughing at the Zlobenian soldiers when Polly told them to shove their offer up their jumpers. They just made me giggle!


Also, I've been loudly denouncing various things as Abominations Unto Nuggan for the last few days, earning me confused and at times slightly alarmed looks. It's more fun than it ought to be.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  punzy on Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:28 am

Cutebutpsycho wrote:Brilliant! Thank you so much!

As someone who met him at the Discworld Convention and watched him hold court with a rapt audience, he is a master storyteller. I can't wait to hear this.

ETA -- Just tried to listen to it. It's not available for us bloody yanks!

That's odd, I am in North Carolina and can listen to it!

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  lisa on Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:36 pm

He mentioned in a recent interview that there is a big difference between typing and dictating. And that dictating makes it more like storytelling.

Yes, this latest is the first one that seems as if it would be more enjoyable were it to be listened to and not read.

Again: not complaining. I liked Willikins' ongoing evolution, the Jane Austen tongue-in-cheek callouts, and the way Cheery Littlebottom's grown into the job. The overall experience just seemed different, and I've been trying to peg why/how. Because I can't read anything without getting all critic-y on it.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  rivki8699 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:57 pm

I think Cheery Littlebottom's and her thoughts about Carrot was the funniest part of Snuff.


And I absolutely adore Monstrous Regiment. I was giggling to myself about "spruce up" today, even though I'm in the middle of listening to Going Postal. Sergeant Jackrum really sticks with you.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Cutebutpsycho on Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:27 pm

Cheeri is just amazing watching her progress from the unsure dwarf woman to the forensic specialist. I just love her.

And I love Monstrous Regiment. I find myself muttering about how a woman always has a half an onion on her when I'm cooking with onions. And the colonel wanting to be like the guys and eat "authentic" food also cracks me up.

Watching Pratchett's progress with female characters is amazing -- it's like his progression as a writer. In the beginning I remember they were OK, but mostly like a way to poke fun at a fantasy stereotype of the boobs and chain mail bikinis. I'ts like how sometimes I winced at his portrayal of Twoflower in the first books, but by Interesting Times, I loved how strong he was in his own way.

The women are really fully-fleshed and so diverse. You have serious and sober people like Granny Weatherwax and Glinda, and then there's the quietly strong and stoic like Sybil Vimes.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  allochthonous on Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:57 am

The point about dictating vs. typing is interesting; the last couple of DWs have definitely had a slightly different feel, and I guess that explains it. I thought Snuff was an enjoyable romp, although I really missed Ankh-Morpork itself, which is a hugely important part of any Watch book for me (the recent Pratchetts I have enjoyed most are the Moist von Lipwig books and Nightwatch, I guess for this reason). I want to know more about Lord Vetinari's Undertaking (is it me, or was there mention somewhere, either in a previous book or interview, of an AM subway system?) and the way the Watch is evolving, as well as getting more than just cameos from all of the old-school members of the watch. But I did like seeing more of Sybil and Wilikins, and watching Young Sam grow up is fun.

I remember reading Monstrous Regiment for the first time and finding the big reveal scene (where it turns out two thirds of the army are women) wildly over the top, but I reread it a few months ago and enjoyed it a lot more. He is one of the best writers of female characters out there - I wish I had had Tiffany Aching as a role model when I was that age.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  sagitare on Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:14 pm

I remember reading Monstrous Regiment for the first time and finding the big reveal scene (where it turns out two thirds of the army are women) wildly over the top, but I reread it a few months ago and enjoyed it a lot more.
I thought the same about that scene as well. I felt he had already made his point in spades, so to have most of the army revealing themselves to be women was just overkill - it took me right out of the story, to be honest. I've been meaning to go back to that book, though, and give it another go as I think I've only read it twice - it's one of the rare DW books that I haven't repeatedly re-read. The Last Continent I've only read the once - I'm not a huge fan of the wizards when they're the whole book, quite honestly. I prefer them in smaller doses as supporting characters.

I started Unseen Academicals months ago but drifted away from it. I think part of that was the wizards focus but also I wondered at the time if how Pratchett composes his books now factored into it. I felt there was an overall tone shift/issue but couldn't be quite sure if it was more me reacting to the wizards or if it was coming from the book. Anyhoo, I just didn't get into it quite like I usually do with his books, and then my schedule went nuts, so I ended putting it down and just not picking it back up again. I'm looking forward to starting it again fresh very soon.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Charishawk on Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:52 am

I'm glad I'm not the only fan who likes Monstrous Regiment. It's odd, but a lot of diehard fans seem to hold it in disfavor. Not me! Also, I have used "Abomination Unto Nuggan" in real life without thinking about it.

I enjoyed Snuff (actually more than Unseen Academicals) but there is definitely a shift in tone/style. I think a lot more of it has to do with the shift in typing vs. speech recognition software than with Terry's condition, although of course that may play a part.

I really liked Young Sam's bits a lot. And, of course, the names of the lovely daughters in the Pride-and-Prejudice scene. Heh heh heh.

What I want to hear more about right now is the Watch TV series! Also: Good Omens miniseries! I can't wait for those to come out.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  rivki8699 on Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:36 pm

Charishawk wrote:I really liked Young Sam's bits a lot. And, of course, the names of the lovely daughters in the Pride-and-Prejudice scene. Heh heh heh.

What I want to hear more about right now is the Watch TV series! Also: Good Omens miniseries! I can't wait for those to come out.

I knew Emily must be named after you! (I think I posted to that effect back on the last board.) I felt very privileged to know that as I was reading. :)

Young Sam cuddling people's knees was definitely a highlight of Snuff.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  midnight radio on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Charishawk wrote:I'm glad I'm not the only fan who likes Monstrous Regiment. It's odd, but a lot of diehard fans seem to hold it in disfavor. Not me!

I enjoyed Snuff (actually more than Unseen Academicals) but there is definitely a shift in tone/style. I think a lot more of it has to do with the shift in typing vs. speech recognition software than with Terry's condition, although of course that may play a part.

I really liked Young Sam's bits a lot. And, of course, the names of the lovely daughters in the Pride-and-Prejudice scene. Heh heh heh.

I love Monstrous Regiment! It's one of my favorites, actually. I think about the "half an onion" thing every time I have to cut up an onion, and sometimes if I'm pouring something and accidentally slosh too much, I'm reminded of Shufti "swearing" by saying "sugar".

I love seeing more of Sybil, but I miss Nobby, Sgt. Colon, and Carrot.

There seemed to be more "people don't actually talk like that" moments in this one. Maybe it's always been like that and I just haven't noticed, but there were several instances here where the dialogue really hit my ear funny.

I normally don't have much use for small boys (Bran in A Song of Ice and Fire, for instance, annoys the shit out of me), but Young Sam cuddling people's knees and immediately holding the hand of any female he's introduced to, definitely got to me. Awww.

I want a Wilikins! I'll have to try harder to drum up enough intrigue to warrant such a badass bodyguard. Too bad my EchoBazaar persona doesn't apply.

Do we know what "hardly addictive" thing Vetinari is supposed to be taxing? I tore through the book so quickly it's entirely possible I just missed that, but I don't remember it actually being said.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  rivki8699 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:24 pm

Do we know what "hardly addictive" thing Vetinari is supposed to be taxing? I tore through the book so quickly it's entirely possible I just missed that, but I don't remember it actually being said.

He was taxing snuff. Or possibly tabacco in general. That's why the stuff was being smuggled in, along with the troll drugs.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  midnight radio on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:33 pm

rivki8699 wrote:
Do we know what "hardly addictive" thing Vetinari is supposed to be taxing? I tore through the book so quickly it's entirely possible I just missed that, but I don't remember it actually being said.

He was taxing snuff. Or possibly tabacco in general. That's why the stuff was being smuggled in, along with the troll drugs.

Yeah, that's what I thought. Thanks!

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Red Wolf on Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:27 am

So I finished The Long Earth today. Very good. Wish it was longer. Want the sequel now.

What I found interesting was that they gave away that the other worlds weren't empty before even stating they were. It's a very backwards way of doing things, to have the twist first. And then, the idea of giving birth via teleportation! That's just a great use of the concept. And while I'm at it, for some reason I imagine Joshua as Connor Trinneer

Part of me wonders if there is anything like FPS happening in the east. And for that matter, will we ever discover stepping north and south?

There's a talk about the book here, but I should warn you. The whole first part is about quantum physics, and most of the open Q&A is discussing many worlds theories with very little about the book at all.

Also, it's really hard seeing Terry like that. I can just tell that it must be so frustrating not to remember so much about his own works. There were a few times when I could have answered the question, complete with which book it was in. But he had to sit there and struggle through.

What did everyone else think?

Edit! Why Gandalf Never Married, copy of an ancient speech given by Terry, discussing wizards and witches, setting up Equal Rites, and other Wizards/Witches books. Very interesting.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  rivki8699 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:17 pm

I finally read The Long Earth, and while it was really good, I had some issues with some of it.

Spoiler:

I just don't buy that anything more than a very small minority of the population of the developed world would be willing to leave Base Earth to go live in worlds without electricity/medicine/infrastructure/fast food/tv/internet. Just not gonna happen. A race for awesome lake houses, sure. Or prime camping grounds - yeah, that I can believe. But not for most people to build a life there.

I don't understand or agree with the implicit notion that everyone would be happier if they were living in a hunter gatherer society. Hunting and gathering is hard work! We left it behind because it sucks.

The idea that crime and societal ills are caused by people living close together, and that if we were all living in pioneering communities there'd be no crime, is just wrong. Like really wrong.
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Raksha on Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:37 am

BBC Radio 4 Extra is airing an audio play version of Small Gods. The episodes are available online for 7 days after they air and the first 2 (of 4) are up already!
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Red Wolf on Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:17 pm

Discworld shirt! Available for the next one day, five hours. Not my thing, but some of you may like it.

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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  Cutebutpsycho on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:52 pm

UNSEEN UNIVERSITY! That would be so much win! *contemplates hardcore*
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Re: Terry Pratchett

Post  big chicken on Mon May 18, 2015 1:33 am

AudioSync is has Dodger as one of its free audiobooks this week.

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