PRATCHETT, Terry


PRATCHETT, Terry
(1948-)
   UK writer who began publishing with "The Hades Business" in Science Fantasy in 1963, and who for many years was in full-time employment, as a journalist until 1980, and as a publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board until 1987; as a consequence, hisearly books were written and published intermittently. His first, The Carpet People (1971; rev 1992), is a fantasy for children. The Dark Sideof the Sun (1976), sf, makes gentle fun of the alien-cluttered Known Space books of Larry NIVEN, though further targets, including Ron GOULART and Jack VANCE, are also affectionately addressed; STRATA (1981) also parodiesNiven and other HARD-SF writers, in this case by depicting an artificial flat world embedded within Ptolemaic heavens - it is a POCKET UNIVERSE, in fact-seemingly constructed by the ancient Spindle Kings, though in fact Builder Gods were responsible. No GODS are given responsibility by namefor the construction of Discworld, a fantasy creation borne through space on the back of a huge turtle, but an sf world-building premise does unseriously underlie the Discworld books, which made TP famous. The novels themselves are FANTASY. The series comprises The Colour of Magic (1983), The Light Fantastic (1986), Equal Rites (1987), Mort (1987), Sourcery(1988), Wyrd Sisters (1988), Pyramids (1989), Guards! Guards! (1989), Eric (1990) with Josh KIRBY (responsible for all the UK Discworld covers) given equal billing on the original edition (the text is heavily illustrated; paperback editions, lacking the illustrations, give TP alone as author), Moving Pictures (1990), Reaper Man (1991), Witches Abroad (1991), SmallGods (1992),Lords and Ladies (1992), Men at Arms (1993), Soul Music (1994) and Interesting Times (1994) with further titles projected; they make up the finest set of pure comedies the genre has yet seen. A second series, the Book of the Nomes CHILDREN'S-SF trilogy about small extraterrestrials caught for eons on Earth and attempting escape, comprises Truckers (1989), Diggers (1990) and Wings (1990), all three being assembled as TheBromeliad (omni 1993 US). Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990; rev 1990 US) with Neil GAIMAN is a fantasy about the END OF THE WORLD. The youthful protagonist of Only You Can Save Mankind (1992), sf for young adults, must help the space warriors of anarcade game (GAMES AND TOYS) escape futile combat with human players; the sequel is Johnny and the Dead (1993), in which Johnny fights on behalf of its dead residents to keep developers from destroying a cemetery.
   JC

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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