Have you listened to Desert Island Discworld?

Hello. Long time no speak. Good Christmas? How’s the family? Good, good.

Just a quick post from me recommending something you’re hopefully already aware of.

The Desert Island Discworld podcast has been going for several months now, doing exactly what you’d imagine. Writers such as Kieron Gillen, Cara Ellison and Amal el-Mohtar* are interviewed about their favourite Discworld novel and their own creative processes.

It’s fab: perfect treadmill/commute/ramble listening.

Anyway. Mind how you go.

*I’m reading her This is How You Lose the Time War right now and it is ace.

The Day The World Went Away – The Shepherd’s Crown

ShepCrowUs witches don’t mourn for very long. We are satisfied with happy memories – they’re there to be cherished.

What would it be like to witness your own funeral? I must admit this rather adolescent train of thought occasionally creeps into my adult daydreaming but I doubt I am the only one. What would people say about you? If you had a choice, how would you sum up your life to your friends and family? What would everyone’s reaction be when your final song is played and it’s “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” by Iggy Pop and the Stooges?

It comes as no surprise that there is an elegiac air to The Shepherd’s Crown, the final book in the Discworld series. As we embark over the jump just be warned that from that point onwards, there will be a lot of spoilers. This post will still be here when you have read the novel.

OK? Continue reading →

Rating the Discworld – Part Two

The-science-of-discworld-1(close-up) Last week I looked at the lesser Discworld novels. There were few stinkers there, but unsurprisingly the post-Embuggerance novels belonged at the lower end of Pratchett’s work.

This week, we are into much better territory. There is not a bad book among these. They may have flaws and some may work better than others but you could safely hand any of these to a Discworld newbie and they’d enjoy it. Continue reading →

Rating the Discworld – Part One

Massif_LCS_mainRanking is brilliant. I know there are high-falutin arguments about the subjectivity of art and how your opinion should be no more valid than anyone else’s because of the unique way each and every one of us sees the world etc etc etc.

No.

‘[THIS] is better than [THAT]’ is at the heart of what we read, what we watch and what we listen to. Finding someone you agree with, and talking through what you loved about something is fun. Finding someone you disagree with, and finding out why they found joy in something you didn’t is arguably even more rewarding. Continue reading →

The End of the Line – Raising Steam

Steam“Let me tell you, the world changes with every generation and if we don’t learn to surf on the tide then we will be smashed on the rocks.”

Bugsy Malone is a very strange film, and probably an odd one to start a post about a novel on the railway industry with. It’s that rare thing for me, a musical that is deeply enjoyable and a film I have watched more times than I can remember.

It also has a killer ending, where a shootout is abruptly halted so that everyone, good guys and bad guys alike, can make up and have a bit of a song and a dance. It’s sentimental, it kinda flies in the face of what you have just been watching and feels somewhat strange. But it works and that’s why it reminds me of Raising Steam. Continue reading →