Ye be aboot tae rede this pro-log-yew thingy. Garey writ whut he thinks ye’ll nede tae unnerstand afore ye redes ither posts on this webeysit.
If this post were a podcast, I’d call it Episode 0. If it were a piece of music, I’d call it a prelude – literally: before-play.* Since it’s just a piece of writing, I’m calling it a prologue – literally: before-saying. This fits nicely with the first book I’ll be looking at with you, The Colour of Magic, which has two prologues, no less.
There are a few housekeeping tasks, for lack of a better term, that I need to get out of the way before I actually get into the first book review.
First, if you haven’t read the About page, you really should do so. It’s sort of a prologue of its own.
Second, as you can already see, I’m going to use First Person Singular point of view here. I thought about using First Person Plural or even Second Person, but since these are my thoughts and opinions (which may not agree with yours) about the stories, I think First Person Singular is best.
As noted on the About page (which, again, you really should read soon), my reviews will initially be about the Discworld books written by the late Sir Terry Pratchett. I will probably need to refer to him by name rather frequently. I want to be consistent in what I call him. Even though I did not know him personally, never saw him even on TV, and have only seen pictures of him, I’m going to use the familiar “Terry” to speak of him. Many fans refer to him lovingly as STP, and that’s fine. But it reminds me a little too much of the liquid additive you can put into your car’s gas tank. Other forms, like Sir Pratchett, Sir Terry, Mr. Pratchett, or Terry Pratchett just feel too formal. And just plain Pratchett almost seems rude in this context. So Terry it is.
Third, I recently finished reading the Discworld novels in order of publication. I will be discussing them here in that same order. Some people – Terry included – don’t think you should read The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic as your first books in the Discworld experience. One argument against doing so is that Terry hadn’t fully realized what the Disc was all about yet, so you should start with one that describes a more mature world and universe.
My problem with that comes in two parts. One, then when do you read those first two books? And, if you start somewhere else, where do you go next? How do you navigate the rest of the series? By starting at the beginning of the series, your path is well-marked and you get to learn about Discworld right along with the author. If it’s not the “best” (for a given value of best) of the books available to you, so what? Sooner or later, you’ll get to all of them, if you stick with me.
If you’re going to follow my second journey through these books, it’s probably a good idea to have the book in question in front of you and to be reading the section(s) that I’m reading (or have just read) just before I wrote what you read here. Make sense? I’ll try to make it obvious as to which part of which book I’m writing about, so you can follow along.
I think that’s all you need to know for now. Oh, maybe one more thing. I have no set schedule for posting new review articles. Sorry. I’ll be posting frequently, but don’t count on a new blurb every Tuesday. Most of Terry’s books don’t have chapters, so I can’t normally use that as a guide for posting. And I’m not always going to wait until I finish a whole book** (or chapter) to talk with you about it. I intend to write when the spirit moves me, which should be quite often – maybe.
So I hope you think this will be as much fun as I do and will come back to look for more of my thoughts about Discworld (and other stories I’ve read later). Perhaps you’ll even bookmark or favorite my site. I would consider it an honor should you so choose.
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*I didn’t go there when I first wrote it. You shouldn’t go there either. I only thought of it afterwards. If that hadn’t been the case, I wouldn’t need to write this footnote.
**Somewhere along the line, I switched from writing several posts per book to just one after I’d finished the whole story.