Terry Pratchett can't attend Discworld convention

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2014/07/04/terry-pratchett-cant-attend.html

Buggery. And Banksie.

Well, crap.

Short of a miraculous cure, I suppose the best we can hope for is for Pratchett to retain his wits long enough to tie up loose ends, make his goodbyes, and arrange for his exit with dignity. And hopefully humor.



I was saddened to read the report of his cancellation yesterday, but heartened to know that he’s working on a fifth Tiffany Aching book.

I suppose that makes me selfish considering the current state of his health, but they are my favorite Discworld tales and I can only assume that Sir Terry sees value in them as well.

He has my thanks and best wishes, for whatever that may be worth.


He is grooming his daughter to take over the Discworld series. She already writes story lines for video games and working with the BBC for a TV series “The Watch” which was pitched as “CSI: Ankmorpork” But the last I heard of it was a mention in this article:

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Unfortunately, Pratchett’s latest couple of Discworld books have been borderline unreadable. I’m not sure whether his failing health is to blame, but it’s depressing to watch a wonderful fantasy franchise fall apart in real time.

In any case, I hope he feels better. Alzheimer’s is a rotten deal.

Steam was pretty disjointed and really needed a good second edit and probably the first Discworld book that really required reading the majority of the series. And I still don’t understand the mechanics of the Gollem bit at the end.

I thought “Snuff” was also good and Unseen Academical and The last Tiffany book was very good.

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She’s said on Twitter that she’s going to be caretaking the series - handling TV and so on - and not writing new Discworld books.

A new Discworld game (or even a re-release of the old ones) would be great.

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I never made it to Steam. Snuff was so incredibly bad (with established characters experiencing bizarre changes in personality and a disjointed rambling narrative) that I barely finished it. I Shall Wear Midnight was only marginally better (the plot falls apart about halfway through).

I don’t mean to sound so negative. I’m a huge fan of Discworld. I grew up with it, and it has had a profound impact on both my sense of humor and my general perception of the fantasy genre. That’s what makes everything that has happened to the series in the last few years so tragic.

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Sigh. All of my sad feels.


I found the early Discworld books much less readable than the newer one. (with the glaring exception of Steam)

Color of Magic, and Pyramids…etc. I shrugged them off.

I only got into the series and back tracked after “Going Postal” and “THUD”.

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L. Frank Baum’s great grandson, Roger S. Baum took over the Oz books, and has handled them with care. He does write new books. Rhianna is currently living with an ailing father who is slipping away, and that’s much more important than her making a decision to continue the series. Asking that right now would be asking her to say goodbye too soon.

She may find later that her best way to remain tied to her father is to continue his work in her voice. If not, I’m sure she’ll do her best to give good care to the existing works.


Why don’t we have here a broken heart icon next to the heart one? because this makes me SAD.

I grew up reading Pratchett’s books and that has influenced heavily my world-view and sense of humour.

Since he announced that had Alzheimer’s I can’t stop visualizing Death taking a little bit of him every single day…


Ah, that would explain it. I started with Lords and Ladies, and the books in middle tend to be my favorites (Interesting Times, Hogfather, and especially Small Gods).

I think of the earlier books as very uneven, and the later books (after Going Postal) as less good. However, even Making Money and Unseen Academicals have some great scenes. The ones after that - not so much.

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I am so very sad to hear this…

I hate reading these stories about Pratchett’s health. It’s such a tragedy, firstly for him and his family, but also for us as a people, to have such a treasure slip away from us, not to mention - at the risk of sounding grandiose - for me myself.

I first picked up a Discworld book when I was nine or ten years old, and the intervening twenty years hasn’t made me want to stop. Reading my dad’s copies of Lords and Ladies, Feet of Clay, and Maskerade were really formative experiences for me, and I feel the series reached a real crescendo with Nightwatch and Thud!.

That the man who had such a great influence on me could be made to suffer feels like an intensely personal tragedy. That a day might come very soon when I can no longer have the experience of picking up a new Discworld book - which reminds me, every time, of sneaking a paperback off the shelves in my dad’s office - is just salt in the wound.


Heh, the embuggerance made me blurt out a sad chuckle. I hope he finds peace before he gets lots in the fog. All the best to him and his loved ones.

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His Discworld books have always worked much better as audio with actors doing a good job with the dialects. Not hearing the dialect makes the dialog appear unreadable on the page if you’re unfamiliar with it. What’s different over the past ten years is that he’s gone beyond the regular British dialects Americans are used to. Dick Simnel’s t’this t’isn’ting is a special example. It’s great on audio, but jarring on the page.

Nation was a fairly straightforward read.

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I was referring to the meandering nonsensical plots and the weird character personality shifts in the last few books (e.g compare Willikins as he is in Snuff to the way he is in, say, Jingo).

I don’t find the dialects that bad (e.g. compare to Mark Twain’s Huck Finn), but the drop in the quality of the writing makes it very hard to keep reading.

By the way, if you can find them, I recommend Nigel Planer’s narration for the audiobook versions of the first however many Discworld books.

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I agree with you about Planer’s narration, he has much more range than Briggs, though Planer’s characterization of each voice seemed to wander quite a bit from book to book.

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