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Terry Pratchett reviews

Updated on January 6, 2010
The Man!
The Man!

An Introduction to Terry Pratchett

"As far as I'm aware I'm not specifically banned anywhere in the USA, and am rather depressed about it. Surely some of you guys can do something?" -- Terry Pratchett, alt.books.pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the funniest authors on the shelves today. He takes a very skewed look at the fantasy genre, as well as Shakespeare and politics and casts it through a kaleidoscope of chaos. With a dry and cynical sense of humor, he takes on current events and twists them to make you see both the humor and the tragedy. He does to fantasy what Douglass Adams did for Science Fiction, so if you've read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series you'll know what I mean. While He is best known for his Discworld series, you don't want to miss out on Good Omens, his collaboration with Neil Gaiman or Johnny and The Bomb.

Terry Pratchett was one of the United Kingdoms bestselling author's through the 90's, holding the top spot until Harry Potter creator JK Rowling came on the scene. With over 55 million books in print, and translated into 36 languages, he is truly a world renown author. In 1998, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his "services to literature" and was knighted in 2009.

In 2007, Sir Pratchett announced he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has since made significant donations to the U.K.'s Alzheimer's Research Trust as well as working with the BBC to develop a documentary about coping with the disease day to day.

A lifelong atheist, he recently has altered his public stance a small bit. Instead of absolutely denying the existence of god, he has stated that "It is just possible that once you have got past all the gods that we have created with big beards and many human traits, just beyond all that, on the other side of physics, there just may be the ordered structure from which everything flows." It seems that rather than a flat denial of god, he may have more of an objection to the religious bodies that represent it. But pinning him down on specifics is always difficult.

Great A'Tuin

A more realistic worldview?
A more realistic worldview?

And the Discworld

Discworld is a flat world carried on the backs of four elephants standing on the turtle known as the Great A'Tuin, who swims through space to a destination only he can imagine, where magic is part of life and the laws of the universe are just a little bit different, even while the fundamentals of truth and greed and human venality remain the same. The series is 36 books with three more in the works. Certainly the characters and stories become intertwined over time, and the timeline does advance as the books get newer, but start anywhere in the series and you'll find your way down the path with ease. . And whatever you do, make sure you read the footnotes. They're much better than what you'd find in an academic text.

Who will you meet along the way? Granny Weatherwax, the most powerful witch in the Ramtop Mountains? Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch? Perhaps Archchancellor Ridcully of the Unseen University. Or the newest citizen of the Disc, Moist Von Lipwig. All will keep you coming back for more. In future posts, I'll look closer at individual books. I can't tell you how excited I am to see the newest, Unseen Academicals hitting bookshelves in October.

Stay Tuned.

A Discworld Bibliography

As of 2009, there are 37 novels, with one more expected in 2010, 6 published short stories, 4 maps, 3 science books, 2 quiz books and a variety of supplementary books. I must say, Sir Pratchett is a very prolific writer.

  • The Colour of Magic (1983) (Rincewind)
  • The Light Fantastic (1986) (Rincewind)
  • Equal Rites (1987) (Witches)
  • Mort (1987) (Death)
  • Sourcery (1988) (Rincewind)
  • Wyrd Sisters (1988) (Witches)
  • Pyramids (1989) (One-off)
  • Guards! Guards! (1989) (City Watch)
  • Faust Eric (1990) (Rincewind)
  • Moving Pictures (1990) (One-off)
  • Reaper Man (1991) (Death)
  • Witches Abroad (1991) (Witches)
  • Small Gods (1992) (One-off)
  • Lords and Ladies (1992) (Witches)
  • Troll Bridge (1992) (Short story)
  • The Colour of Magic: The Graphic Novel (Graphic Novel)
  • Men at Arms (1993) (City Watch)
  • Theatre of Cruelty (1993) (Short story)
  • The Light Fantastic: The Graphic Novel (1993) (Graphic Novel)
  • The Streets of Ankh-Morpork (1993) (Map)
  • Soul Music (1994) (Death)
  • Interesting Times (1994) (Rincewind)
  • Mort: A Discworld Big Comic (1994) (Graphic Novel)
  • The Discworld Companion (1994) (Companion)
  • Maskerade (1995) (Witches)
  • The Discworld Mapp (1995) (Map)
  • Feet of Clay (1996) (City Watch)
  • Hogfather (1996) (Death)
  • The Pratchett Portfolio (1996) (Art)
  • The Unseen University Challenge (1996) (Quizbook)
  • Jingo (1997) (City Watch)
  • The Unseen University Diary (1998) (Diary)
  • The Last Continent (1998) (Rincewind)
  • Carpe Jugulum (1998) (Witches)
  • The Sea and Little Fishes (1998) (Short story)
  • A Tourist Guide to Lancre (1998) (Map)
  • The Ankh-Morpork City Watch Diary (1999) (Diary)
  • The Fifth Elephant (1999) (City Watch)
  • The Science of Discworld (1999) (Science)
  • Nanny Ogg's Cookbook (1999) (Recipes)
  • Death's Domain (1999) (Map)
  • The Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary (2000)
  • The Truth (2000) (One-off)
  • Guards! Guards! (Graphic Novel) (2000) (Graphic Novel)
  • The Fools' Guild Yearbook and Diary (2001) (Diary)
  • Thief of Time (2001) (Death)
  • The Last Hero (2001) (Rincewind, although this is debatable)
  • The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents (2001) (One-off, children's)
  • The Thieves' Guild Yearbook and Diary (2002) (Diary)
  • Night Watch (2002) (City Watch)
  • Death and What Comes Next (2002) (Short story)
  • The Science of Discworld II: The Globe (2002)(Science)
  • The Wyrdest Link (2002) (Quizbook)
  • The (Reformed) Vampyre's Diary (2003) (Diary)
  • The Wee Free Men (2003) (Wee Free Men)
  • The New Discworld Companion (2003) (Companion)
  • Monstrous Regiment (2003) (One-off)
  • A Hat Full of Sky (2004) (Wee Free Men)
  • Going Postal (2004) (Post Office)
  • Once More* *With Footnotes (2004) (Compilation of short works)
  • The Art of Discworld (2004) (Art)
  • The Discworld Almanack (2005) (Almanack)
  • Thud! (2005) (City Watch)
  • Where's My Cow? (2005) (Picture Book)
  • The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch (2005) (Science)
  • Wintersmith (2006) (Wee Free Men)
  • Making Money (2007) (Post Office)
  • Unseen Academicals (2009) (Unseen University)


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    • tdarby profile image

      tdarby 8 years ago

      Prachett Rules!