Raising Steam One Last Time

Ach! If Big Bigjobs ha’ stayed on a wee bit longer, we Feegle would ha’ made it intae these scribblins tae.

Here is a list of characters – 56 of them (assuming I counted correctly).

  • The Abbot
  • Adora Belle
  • Aeron
  • Albrecht
  • All Jolson
  • Anoia
  • Ridcully
  • Ardent
  • B’hrain
  • Bashfull
  • Bluejohn
  • Vimes
  • Chair of Indefinite Studies
  • Haddock
  • Nobby
  • Dibbler
  • Mr. Trooper
  • Death
  • Angua
  • Detritus
  • Dick & Ned Simnel
  • Done It Duncan
  • Dr. Lawn
  • Drumknott
  • Feeney Upshot
  • Hamcrusher
  • Igor
  • Effie
  • Lady Margolotta
  • Lecturer in Recent Runes
  • Leonard of Quirm
  • Lu-Tze
  • Mavolio Bent
  • Moist
  • Monsieur Lestripe
  • Harry King
  • Mr. Fusspot
  • Mr. Shine
  • Mr. Slant
  • Of the Twilight the Darkness
  • Otto
  • Vetinari
  • Ponder
  • Keli
  • Queen Ynci
  • Reg
  • Rhys
  • Rincewind
  • Sacharissa
  • The Senior Wrangler
  • Fred Colon
  • Seriph Creosote
  • Snori
  • Tak
  • Tears of the Mushroom
  • William de Worde

Here is another list of characters – 40 of them (not counting plurals and parenthetical inclusions).

  • Twoflower
  • The Luggage
  • Ly Tin Wheedle
  • The Bursar
  • Cohen
  • Ysabell
  • Granny Weatherwax
  • Nanny Ogg (and the rest of our family)
  • Magrat
  • Esk
  • Mrs. Palm
  • Verence
  • Carrot
  • Sybil
  • Blind Io (and the rest of the Cori Celesti gang)
  • The Auditors
  • Mrs. Cake
  • Maurice
  • Death of Rats
  • Om
  • Brutha
  • Hodgesaargh
  • Rust
  • Downey
  • B. S. Johnson
  • Foul Ole Ron (and his cohorts)
  • Susan
  • Quoth
  • Dorfl
  • Agnes
  • Visit
  • Cheery
  • Wee Mad Arthur
  • Mrs. Whitlow
  • Mightily Oats
  • Rob Anybody
  • Tiffany
  • Polly Perks
  • Horace
  • You

The characters in the first list are all found in Raising Steam. Those in the second are not. While obviously not all-inclusive, these two lists pretty much show you everyone of significance in all of the Discworld novels. (Don’t argue with me. Just play along.)

My point here is this.

Terry kept writing and writing and writing Raising Steam, according to Rob Wilkins*, as if he would go on forever. It was like he didn’t know how to end it. I think Terry knew this was one of his final books and tried to include as many of his main characters from past novels as possible. He had to stop sometime. He just did so before the train tracks made it to Lancre.

I bet that by now those tracks cover virtually all the Disc. Certainly they would have been laid in places you would think it impossible for them to be – Bhangbhangduc, the Tooth Fairy’s house, Klatch.

Maybe, in a sad sort of way, it’s a good thing that these novels (almost) end here. I don’t think the Disc could handle too much more modernization (compared to the Round world). The Discworld Age of Steam has now come. What would be next?

I don’t really want to know.


*In Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes.

Raising Steam One More Time
Article Name
Raising Steam One More Time
Thoughts on why there are so many characters in Raising Steam.
Publisher Name
Narrativium Reviews
Publisher Logo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *