It felt a bit like Christmas used to when I was a little bit younger (okay, a lot younger), this last week. Some might say that The Long Mars (now published) is not a wholly Pratchett novel and therefore it's not the 'real deal' but to a true TP fan there's enough of his inimitable style to make it more than just a worthwhile reading exercise. Between them, Sir Terry and Stephen Baxter have created a joyous future for us all - http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Long-Mars-Earth/dp/0857521748 - and apparently even they are sometimes unsure of which author wrote which bit. In a fascinating article, Stephen reveals just what it's like to work with Terry - http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=5098,
It's certainly got a lot of people talking where I work and there's a surprising depth of knowledge kicking around the place. Favourite characters from the Discworld series was a hot topic over the last few days and the name 'Weatherwax' cropped up more than once. I even saw an 'I aten't dead' screensaver on one computer I hobbled past.
The Witches were mentioned more frequently than any other set of characters with even Magrat getting a mention. Greebo featured as well, although I'm not too sure that I would name any cat of mine that way (apparently one colleague has).
I recall being likened to an oft-featured character a few years back, and how happy I was - until they made it clear that they were referring to a young Vimes. Oh well, it could have been worse I guess. At least Nobby didn't get mentioned.
And that's the joy of the monumental Discworld series. There are just so many memorable characters that everyone loves - or loves to loathe. And so many different people have their particular favourites and their particular favourite tales. There were plenty of mentions of the Witches, plenty of the Watch, lots of references to Moist (if you haven't read about him, I'm not going to explain - just buy a book), loads of praise for Gaspode, and a wealth of worship for the Nac Mac Feegle. And how could anyone not mention Death and his trusty steed, Binky? To anyone who doesn't recognise those characters I would only say that they are missing out on one of the true literary wonders of the modern age. Or rather on several of them.
Sir Terry is justifiably one of the most read - and most stolen - authors alive. There are now forty Discworld novels to choose from and, strictly speaking, they are virtually all stories in their own right without any need to read the precursors. I wouldn't recommend that though. Start at the beginning (The Colour of Magic) and work your way through them - although 'work' is definitely not the right word. 'Enjoy you way through them' just doesn't sound right, but trust me, it should.
MS might well have wrecked my life in so many ways, but I can still read and adore Sir Terry's brilliance. So there are no prizes for guessing what I will be sitting and reading all day today. Pass the crackers and a nice glass of something warming (except Scumble...)