Terry Pratchett writes stories that can be enjoyed as comic romps, witty philosophical
commentary, delicious sendups of popular cultural icons, or intricately
There is a lot of material about Terry Pratchett on the web: bibliographies,
reviews, annotations, quotations, biography and fannish filk songs, among
other things. Here is a brief index, a list of the Pratchett books I've
read, some of my filk songs and miscellany — and the hope
that you explore onward, to great delight.
All external links open in a separate window.
Art by Josh Kirby
What I have read of The Canon:
(Most of the following links take you to amazon.com, except where I found more
interesting reviews elsewhere. If you do decide to buy a copy of the book at Amazon
while following one of these links, a few cents of your purchase will go to the
Real Change Homeless
Colour of Magic
- A galactic tourist discovers Discworld, the most unique world in the Cosmos:
a flat disc supported by four giant elephants, being carried through space
on the back of the great turtle A'Tuin. His introductory tour is made even
more interesting by his tour guide, the dropout wizard Rincewind, and his
Luggage, which has 100 dear little legs and a mind of its own.
- The tour continues, with all of Discworld in hot pursuit, because the dropout
wizard Rincewind actually does have one working spell — the most dangerous
spell in Discworld.
- The eighth son of an eighth son, inheritor of a wizard's staff —
is female! Feminism takes on Discworld, with humor; rare and delightful.
- Death takes on an Apprentice. This was the first Discworld novel I read;
the one that inspired me to read all the others.
- One mark of really good fantasy is an intricate and logical system of magic.
This book takes that grand tradition and marks it all up, hilariously. There
is also quite a bit of fun had with the traditions of Barbarian Hero and Heroine.
- Terry Pratchett sends up Macbeth and the The Pirates of Penzance
and quite a bit else. The first mention of The Hedgehog Song.
[out of print for ages: can be found at amazon
- Pratchett takes on popular mythology about Egypt.
- Dragons, heroes, court intrigue -- all foiled by the despised city guard,
"not so much 'rank and file' as just 'rank'."
- A teenage would-be Faust calls up Rincewind, the most inept wizard in the
- The alchemy of the Discworld awakens Holy Wood. Buy a bag of banged grains
and watch a giant woman carry a screaming ape up a tall building.
- Death Takes a Holiday on the Discworld.
Abroad (also out of print for ages: can be found at amazon
- The creator of the Hedgehog Song and her companions leave Ankh-Morpork to
save the world — to the dismay of many therein. Mordant comments on
what would happen if fairy tales really did come true.
- The god Om manifests himself to the lowliest of novices, Brutha, as a very
small tortoise, setting religion in Discworld in turmoil and giving play to
intriguing speculations on other religious and spiritual subjects, like —
- Elves have always been a prime ingredient in fantasy, long before Tolkien
— and here Terry Pratchett takes them on as a prime ingredient for satire.
- The ancient tale of the Hero who, raised as a foundling, is really a King
— as done by Pratchett. Also magic swords. And poodles.
- In which Ankh-Morpork discovers Music With Rocks In. While Death has gone
off again, to join the Klatchian Foreign Legion, leaving in charge his grand-daughter
Susan, who likes the young man who does Music With Rocks In...
- Rincewind is ba-a-ack... along with the intergalactic tourist Twoflower,
the demented Luggage, and Cohen the Barbarian, traveling to the endangered
Empire of Hong, Sung, Fang, Tang and McSweeney, where a new Emperor is about
to be chosen in the Forbidden City of HungHung. All the standard fictional
images of the Mysterious East are fractured in Pratchett style.
- Phantom of the Opera, Discworld style, with Witches.
- Another fond fantasy motif, the Golem, gets a working over by Pratchett.
- Ankh-Morpork has to have Christmas, right? Well, Death thinks it does, so
when the cosmic Auditors delete Santa, Death tries driving the sleigh...
- Do you know that there is a rock island off the coast of Sicily that rises
above water once every 200 years or so, and countries wrangle with each other
over who gets to claim it? That might be what sparked Pratchett this time,
or it might be all the rest of the history of human warfare and diplomacy
("war by other means.") A small island rises off the coast between
Ankh-Morpork and Klatch, and we're off to the races.
- Australia. Theoretical physics. Evolution. Drag queens. Pratchett sends
up the popular fantasies about all of them as Rincewind is off to the far
continent of Fourecks and the Wizards of Unseen University are off 30,000
years in the past.
- I am as fond of vampire literature as any female, but even I think it gets
overdone. What Pratchett did to elves in Lords and Ladies he
does again to vampires in Carpe Jugulum — and he
sics the Witches on 'em.
- Four elephants hold up Discworld, supported in turn by A'Tuin the Great
Turtle. Legend says that a fifth elephant came hurtling out of space and crashed
on the Disc, ages ago, becoming the source of the enormous fat mines of Uberwald.
Ankh-Morpork needs its trade with Uberwald, which is why the Patrician sends
an Ambassador to the coronation of the new Dwarf King. He makes Commander
of the Watch Sam Vimes be that Ambassodor because he expects trouble (he always
does) and he isn't disappointed. Neither are readers: much more from a lot
of favorite characters, new bits in the culture of the Dwarves, and Werewolves.
- Ankh-Morpork gets its first printing press, and the newspaper business gets
the business from Pratchett.
Thief of Time
- The cosmic Auditors return, still intent on clearing up the untidiness of
Humanity. They are opposed by the Monks of History, the Grim Reaper, and the
Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (the one who quit before they became famous.)
- Huge graphic novel about the last (?) adventure of Cohen the Barbarian and
the Silver Horde. Leonard da Quim is released from his tower and invents a
dragon-thrust vehicle to circumnavagate the Disc. Someone else gets out of
his usual haunts, too. "Houston, we have an orangutang." Illustrated
by Paul Kirby. It's awful expensive, but worth it for the annotated drawings
from da Quim's notebook.
- Lu Tze the Sweeper (from the History Monks) returns when Commander Vimes
of the Night Watch pursues an insane serial killer over the roof of the wizard's
Library and is tumbled 30 years into the past by a magic accident —
along with the serial killer. Anyone see a movie like this? I haven't seen
it, but I bet the book's funnier.
- Not read yet: The
Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, a Discworld novel "turned
down a notch to be accessible to children," so far available only in
the UK, apparently because US publishers disagree about what should be accessible
to children. Available
at amazon uk
Discworld Related Books:
- The Science
- The only one of the non-novel Discworld books I have, as yet. Actual science,
of our own world, explored by the device of comparison with Discworld. The
Wizards of Unseen University have a new experiment in progress. They have
created an odd little Universe where planets form into balls instead of disks.
(Were the craters of the moon the result of Ponder's trials with orbital dynamics?
Were the asteroids created by a game of pocket billiards?) Ian Stewart and
Jack Cohen collaborate with Terry Pratchett.
- There are many more: a second Science book, The Discworld
Companion, map books, calendars, graphic novels, plays based on the
books, audio books, a Nanny Ogg Cookbook, and instead of listing
them I will refer you to the L-Space
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman set the Apocalypse on its ear and spin
Terry Pratchett has many other great series's.
See the Terry Pratchett
Bibliography kept by his agent
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AFPfriend to James Green and to Adrian Morgan; AFPwordlover to Laurabelle; AFPtangent
to Kevin Hackett
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December 7, 2002