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mister_terrific said on November 9th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

My wife says that Pratchett’s son is more or less transcribing Terry’s stuff now–which would be confirmed as I’d read somewhere that he can no longer type for himself. While reading Midnight I got the feeling I wasn’t reading “pure” Pratchett–kind of like Tolkein’s son continuing the LOTR work.

I also got the distinct impression this was Terry’s farewell to the witches, which saddens me to no end.

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MarvinAndroid said on November 9th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

In the interest of minimizing spoilers, I’ll ask this: What did you think of the reappearance of a certain character from one of the early books? Since the canon status of that book has always been… questionable, what was your reaction?

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Equal Rites was never “questionably canon”, any more than the first two books are. By Lords and Ladies, when Granny said she’d been to UU, that should have certainly settled most questions, and The Thief of Time should have settled the rest.

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One of these days, I’ll have to start reading Discworld.

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@mister_terrific: BTW, Terry doesn’t have a son – a daughter, yes, but I didn’t think she was married. I had heard he was using speech recognition software to write, perhaps that’s why it felt “off” to you?

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mister_terrific said on November 9th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

@mindset–Wiki says that he also dictates to his assistant, Rob Wilkins, as well as using the speech recognition software. I probably got things mixed up. I don’t know why the book felt off in places; it was like the cadence or word choice was it read like Pratchett would write it, as opposed to the real thing. Can’t really explain it, and I’m probably dead wrong.

On happier news, I was thrilled to see that Disney is sniffing around “Mort” as a possible animation feature. That one has possibilities.

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@Marvin- In what sense is Equal Rites status as canon questionable in any way?

And as for said character, that got a resounding fuck yeah from me. It was total fanboy continuity porn, and it was GLORIOUS. I actually put down the book to squee.

I don’t think this was his farewell to the Witches, except inasmuch as any book could be his last, but this was almost certainly the last Tiffany book. And it’s okay at that. IMO, Hat Full of Sky is the strongest of Tiffany’s four outings. But that’s just me.

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Brilliant snatches?

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The last 3 Terry books have been different. I assume because of the progress of Terry’s disease. On the other hand, I found Nation one of his absolute best, and I Shall Wear Midnight was good. Unseen Academicals was just OK.

Oh and MGK: You ever read The Chocolate War? I think most any of Terry’s books pale in terms of disturbing young adult fiction…

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I’ve read your blog on-and-off for a long time now and love it, but had no idea you were a Pratchett fan! Since this is the case – have you heard of the upcoming North American Discworld Convention? http://www.nadwcon.org. Sir Terry & other awesome guests will be there, and the first one (in 2009) had about 1,000 people and was really awesome! This one’s July 8-11, 2011 in Madison, WI.

Just FYI. :)

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Babysitter’s Club is in no way young adult. It’s children’s lit, a step above chapter books. Young adult books are just as likely to be filled with violence (and the occasional sex) as anything else these days; the only real distinction is that the protagonists are teenagers.

Right, off my genre soapbox now.

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Tom Galloway said on November 10th, 2010 at 1:09 am

For what it’s worth, Terry stated at last year’s NA Discworld Convention that he was having to dictate to Rob (in case anyone’s doubting Wikipedia on this).

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MarvinAndroid said on November 10th, 2010 at 1:33 am

@Murc — Because until this book, none of the events were mentioned, or even hinted at, in any other book, in spite of being, hypothetically, fairly world-changing. Additionally, Granny Weatherwax acts rather out of character, so I figured it was just unofficially non-canon, and Pratchett wanted everyone to forget it happened. So I was a bit surprised to find a reference to it at all, let alone a character reappearance.

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Got this on hold at my library/my job. ;)

Looking forward to reading this.

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Pronouncement said on November 10th, 2010 at 9:54 am

I Know That a Teenage Werewolf Shall Wear Midnight While Spitting On Your Grave Last Summer

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@Marvin-

Lords and Ladies. Granny Weatherwax explicitly mentions having been to Unseen University before, and the only book prior to that where it happens is… Equal Rites. That counts as at least a ‘hint’ I think.

Basically, while there are a lot of Discworld fans who go “NEVER recommend a new reader start with Colour of Magic; the ‘real’ beginning of the series is with Mort” the first three novels in the series DID, in fact, actually happen within the internal timeline of the Discworld. Lords and Ladies, Interesting Times, and The Last Hero explicitly rehabilitate them into later canon.

Equal Rites has always been, IMO, one of the stronger entries in the series (and I think as far as the pre-Ridcully wizard books go, it stands shoulders about Sourcery, which nobody has ever said should be disregarded) but I do kinda get why people say you should start with Mort; Equal Rites is the first of Pratchetts books to take a stronger social/moral commentary style he doesn’t really perfect until Small Gods and its not entirely representative of the series going forward the way Mort is.

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MarvinAndroid said on November 10th, 2010 at 11:28 am

@Murc — Damn, really? I’ve read that book at least a half-dozen times, too… I think this might be the first time I’ve made a mistake with regards to Discworld.

Also I disagree about Equal Rites being one of the stronger entries in the series. Pratchett plays with some interesting ideas, but overall it’s a pretty weak book. I would put it down in the bottom three along with Eric and Making Money. Although it has been a while since I read it (for obvious reasons), so maybe it’s better than I remember.

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In an interview about the death of his dad and assisted suicide, while this book might not be Pratchett’s farewell to witches, it is apparently his farewell to Tiffany.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/sep/01/terry-pratchett-alzheimers-assisted-suicide

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mister_terrific said on November 10th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Trust me, I am very much hoping there’s at least one more witches story to come. Nanny Ogg demands it!

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Murc: I really don’t think that people who recommend against starting with the first book or two (I am one, myself) are in any way talking in terms of continuity, or that the earliest books didn’t “happen” or don’t count. It’s just a recommendation based on the fact that you start with a stronger example of what makes Discworld great if you start with something a few books in.
This is usually in reaction to someone who tried Colour of Magic and didn’t see what all the fuss was about and had already written the whole thing off.
The fact that it’s pretty easy to jump in that way helps, in that yes, Discworld has continuity, but it’s not so tight or linear that you absolutely have to start at the beginning (something some fannish types seem to think is necessary for absolutely everything) or you’re lost.

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