The title (when we were expecting Raising Taxes) suggests that The Author is jerking us around again. It's more evidence of his genius, I guess, that we seem to enjoy it so much: rather like the Patrician, innit? --Old Dickens (talk) 23:58, 14 October 2013 (GMT)
Not even halfway through it yet, but there is a surge of relief that something like the old Terry Pratchett has returned to us. After the God-awful The Science of Discworld IV: Judgment Day and the dissappointingly lacklustre "Long Earth" books, this was not necessarily a given. It has to be said, though, the jarring, un-Pratchett-like author's voice that so fouled up The Science of Discworld IV: Judgment Day was not completely absent from Raising Steam. The dialogue between Mustrum Ridcully and Lu-Tze is written in this voice - which felt so utterly wrong for the characters or the usual quality of Discworld writing that you wondered if Rhianna had been given a few pages to write. Or Rob Williams. AgProv (talk) 02:41, 14 November 2013 (GMT)
- I had already made a similar note on the Ridcully - Lu-Tze scene: more of the high-quality fanfic feel I noted before. --Old Dickens (talk) 03:59, 16 November 2013 (GMT)
I've only just caught notice that this is out (I'm annoyingly out of the country at the moment, and where I am Pratchett has not yet broken ground) -- but I find myself wondering if pTerry is channeling the Reverend W. Awdry in this one ...? --that's wot I sed ... (talk) 03:28, 16 November 2013 (GMT)
- Interesting aside, although I don't see a direct connection. Over on this side of the pond, I wasn't familiar with Awdry, but he, in turn, seemed to echo The Little Engine That Could. I recall that from my childhood back in the steam age and it was elderly then. (What remote corner of the world has less access to the works of Pratchett than Canada?) --Old Dickens (talk) 03:55, 16 November 2013 (GMT)
Errr... reference footnote on page 228 (noted on Annotations page). This deals with the spin-off industry of model railway sets. Sir Harry King has not given permission for his likeness to be licenced for marketing as a trackside figure. But he is somewhat chuffed and will not make an issue out if it, even though Lady Effie complained it makes him look too fat....AgProv (talk) 13:23, 16 November 2013 (GMT)
- The Fat Controller even features in the blurb, of course. --Old Dickens (talk) 15:54, 16 November 2013 (GMT)
As The Author throws more curveballs, screwballs, spitballs and beanballs at us Book Discussion pages may become overworked as we try to work out what's actually going on. More oddities seem to appear lately that cause me, at least, to shake the head and ask: "where did that come from?" We've recently noticed:
- a remarkable turnaround at the Fiddler's Riddle
- the miraculous recovery of Vetinari's gammy leg. He may have noticed and availed himself of Grapeshot's Therapeutic Squeezer, but we're not sure if that works on old injuries.
- Moist von Lipwig becoming middle-aged when we wouldn't have thought him more than thirty-five (and Vimes and Vetinari remain young and spry).
- Margolotta's accent, which had disappeared by the time of the great town-amd-gown football match, has returned.
- magnetism is now fairly well known on the Discworld.
- another change of management at Goatberger publishers.
- "Flash", the Golem horse is only 903 years old, not 60,000.
- and, of course, the Dwarfs have acquired religion, something they'd avoided successfully for ages. Even Bashfull Bashfullsson calls on Tak as a god.
- Just a few thoughts
- Re: Vetinari's gammy leg - I've been under the impression (or perhaps illusion) that it hasn't really been a problem for some time and Vetinari has quietly encouraged the view that it's a problem. Perhaps he made use of the spell closer to the time the injury took place. Perhaps, considering how many wizards were present following the injury, it seemed a good idea to them to offer what help they could, else once back on his feet his Lordship might start asking some difficult questions (like 'how useful is magic - and therefore practitioners - really?', or 'how is it witches and not wizards are renowned for the healing practices?' or 'when spells such as Grapeshot's Therapeutic Squeezer are known, why didn't the wizards present use it?' - the sort of difficult questions which seem more poignant than potential answers). There is also a mention in Men at Arms that could be imagined/twisted to fit in:
- 'The Archchancellor had also given him a long drink of something he said was a marvelous remedy, although he'd been unspecific as to what it cured.'
- Discreet recourse to Igors, perhaps, whilst maintaining the cane and limp for appearances' sake? there's that revealing little snippet in The Truth about Vetinari being able to move with a speed and agility that would surprise many people (especially intruders in the Palace). And Havelock is a graduate Assassin, after all...AgProv (talk) 21:09, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
- Re: Moist's age, I wonder if the term 'Middle age' is being applied in a confusing way. Moist was around 26/27 I reckon at the time of Going Postal and therefore in order for spying, etc to be part of his 'misspent youth and... largely misspent middle age' It would probably have to be before then. The 'largely' might suggest the turning point in his life from illegal con artist to public servant, pinning that temporal point and therefore definition of middle age to 26/27 - admittedly odd since most sources refer to middle age as starting around 40 - 45. It is very plausible he'd spend his duller moments perfecting the arts of spying even after taking over the post office etc (which could expand the definition) however I doubt he'd have had quite the same freedom or motive and it would be harder to apply the term 'misspent' to his life after Going Postal.
- As for Vimes and Vetinari apparently being unaffected by age, well, there are those known to age in odd ways. Personally I reckon it has a lot to do with Narrativia and narrative energy (e.g. think of how the Egyptians believed immortality was partly achieved by keeping memories and names alive... but perhaps I'm blurring the lines too much between the Discworld I see that inspires fanfictiony scribblings and the one generally seen on the page and screen).
- Re: Margolotta's accent - You could potentially put it down to something similar to how Igors sometimes forget to lisp. I wonder if there's a pattern to when she does use the accent. In Raising Steam (certainly early on - I'm yet to finish it) she's in Uberwald, so for appearances sake - even just for the Igors/servants/locals - and possibly habit she uses the accent. Where as in Unseen Academicals, when she's in Ankh-Morpork she lets the habit slip or speaks Morporkian as Morporkians do (for some reason I'm put in mind of a scene from Poirot referring to 'Learn to speak French like a Frenchman' and the concept of speaking the Queen's English in the UK). I also wonder whether in an Uberwaldian accent 'when' would be pronounced 'vhen', just as 'what' is pronounced 'vhat' - if so it's not the case in Raising Steam.
- But of course, a lot of this is explaining away problems. I hate nitpicking over words - to be honest I tend to just overlook or dismiss on grounds similar to the above a lot of these inconsistencies (Though Margolotta's accent variations between different books has been noticable) and get on with whats still an enjoyable story.
- --Verity (talk) 00:43, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
- Mmm. You can get Tony Robinson's abridged version and you can the real one as a download (expensively}, but the unabridged cds don't seem to be available until March even from Britain. Audible differentiates between countries? --Old Dickens (talk) 20:14, 5 January 2014 (GMT)