Tag: Terry Pratchett

Jun 17 2018

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Just in time for World Cup, I have finished Unseen Academicals, the Discworld book that takes up soccer — football, as it is known in some places, or foot-the-ball, as it is generally called in Ankh-Morpork. I had not been looking forward to this particular book on my trek through all of the main Discworld novels. …

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Jun 12 2018

Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Like Going Postal, Making Money starts with a deus ex Vetinari. Moist van Lipwig has brought the Royal Post back to life, but the operation is running so smoothly that being in charge no longer satisfies his urge to take ridiculous risks. Lord Vetinari, the Patrician who rules the great city of Ankh-Morpork with a …

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May 01 2018

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Of the later Discworld books, I like the ones about Tiffany Aching best because their stories arise from the characters and the natural interactions that flow from their natures as Pratchett has described them. Naturally there is the overarching theme of Tiffany growing up — and in Wintersmith her precociousness is easier for me to accept …

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Apr 20 2018

Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Thud, like The Last Jedi, was much better than it had any right to be: deep into the series, with the previous outing in need of tightening up a bit (Star Wars: The Third Death Star needed much more than that, but nevermind). Thud also embodies a particular hazard of a long-running series: an item …

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Mar 08 2018

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

At different parts in the Discworld books, Terry Pratchett considers what might happen when something like a modern technology appears in the magical, quasi-medieval societies of the Disc. Moving Pictures was the first of these, back at the 10th book in the set, and they become more common later in the run. The Truth introduces …

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Feb 06 2018

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

The second Tiffany Aching book, A Hat Full of Sky, picks up right where the first one left off. The Lancre witches have arranged for Tiffany to learn from a witch, in something like an apprenticeship. This matches with traditions in the Chalk, Tiffany’s home region, in which girls often went “into service.” Pratchett explains, …

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Jan 30 2018

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

One of the things I like about middle and later Discworld novels is Terry Pratchett’s willingness to start a farce and then just keep going with it, well past the point where a more cautious or less experienced author would have reined in his plot and characters. I noted this in particular in The Fifth …

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Jan 03 2018

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

What a lovely start! In The Wee Free Men, the thirtieth Discworld book and the second explicitly marked as intended for young adults, Terry Pratchett introduces Tiffany Aching, a young witch who would go on to feature in four more novels, including Pratchett’s last. Likewise, he introduces a new setting, a rural area known as …

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Nov 29 2017

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

In a long-running series there is often a problem with escalation. Characters that started in a low station move up in the world. They face new challenges as they rise; the stakes are implicitly higher for the fictional world, as their actions can now affect more people. At some point, though, the character rises as …

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Nov 20 2017

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

At the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork, magic leaks into all sorts of things, including the scraps from the wizards’ sumptuous dinners. Some of the rats who were helping themselves to leftovers got an unexpected dose of intelligence as part of the magic in the cooking. And a cat, Maurice, got it too when he ate …

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