Talk:Book:Raising Steam/Annotations

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p124: "-and a guaranteed herd of goats". No one has explained the goats to me yet. Trolls have an ancient and well-documented aversion to goats; they can't eat goat or cheese; what do they do with these goats? --Old Dickens (talk) 16:38, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wool, perhaps, for the essential troll loincloth... or it could be a Magpyr-style learning process in confronting what you most fear, ie a big billy-goat gruff bent on butting you off the bridge...AgProv (talk) 17:29, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Then another possibility creeps in: sacrificial purposes? Throw a goat off the bridge in hope of being hit on the head with the rock of good fortune? _ --Old Dickens (talk) 01:09, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Or else the good old Discworld principle of opposites and balance: if trolls are traditionally associated with bridges, then so are goats. Maybe Vetinari thought this up...AgProv (talk) 01:16, 14 February 2014 (UTC) Like the Kitten Torture for people? Or else the goats are there to remind the trolls they're only employed and are tenants, so don't go getting any big ideas.AgProv (talk) 14:09, 8 March 2014 (UTC)


I like the idea of Murder on the Überwald Express, but how many set-ups has The Man laid out for sequels or new stories that we're still looking for? We have several pages for books that don't exist. He's not only an ideas machine, he likes to lead us on. --Old Dickens (talk) 20:41, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

A strange thing

And a little unsettling: I saw the p/b cover of Raising Steam in Waterstones today not far away from art books about socialist/realist totalitarian art in the 1930's. There was an artwork from Nazi Germany showing an idealised railway worker declaring his love for the Nazi Party; his pose and the angles of his arms and legs evoked a living swastika, with spanner upraised on right hand declaring that he was perfectly prepared to let the wheels (of the railways) turn for Victory. I looked again at Dick Simnel on the cover of RS and blow me.... almost the same pose. Also set against a railway engine. Was this meant to evoke a (National) Socialist realist-Art poster of the thirties, man subordinated to machine in pursuit of a greater ideology? (A background theme of the book is the railway in service of a (currently benevolent) Dictator, after all... can't see a way of putting this as a main Annotation yet, though! AgProv (talk) 01:01, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Hmm. Such idealised heroic poses are common in totalitarian art of the 1930's and 40's, in the case of the USSR almost up to the 80's. Propaganda posters from Italy, Germany and Russia invariably show craggy handsome well-nourished workers triumphantly posing in front of the heavy machinery they are creating and the power they are taming for the glory of the State. Posing them to evoke the symbol of the State seems to be a common artistic device: some Soviet posters explicitly make the link of a worker with two legs, two arms and head evoking the five points of the Red Star. A worker with right arm bent at the elbow and flexed up, left arm flexed at the elbow and pointing slightly down, and legs flexed in a slightly strained semi-kneeling crouch to look a little bit like a swastika.... I wonder what sort of allusion the cover artist was making here to an industrialised (benign) dictatorship discovering heavy machinery and making its Industrial Revolution? AgProv (talk) 09:48, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I think you're reading an awful lot into Paul Kidby's cover, showing Moist von Lipwig in yet another triumphant pose. I certainly can't see any resemblance to a swastika. You could always ask the man himself, who has a a strong presence on social media. Terry undoubtedly saw and approved the cover though, so your unsettling thoughts will have to include him as well. They became friends, and Terry always said that Paul "nearly always gets the characters right, looking like what I've seen in my mind". --AlanD (talk) 14:58, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Right Here, Right Now

I think this is more likely to be a reference to the Jesus Jones song, which has changing times as its theme and contains the lyrics "Right here, right now/Watching the world wake up from history." Metz77 (talk) 05:25, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Another source

Wikipedia just spit out the name of Richard Trevithick, who sounds like a Roundworld source for Dick Simnel. --Old Dickens (talk) 02:01, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Cornishman Richard Trevithick is one of the pioneers of steam, and well known to any steam fan. His engines predate Stephenson's, but without steel for rails, the cast-iron plateways he used were unable to support the engines reliably and suffered many breakages. His 1802 Pen-y-Darren locomotive is usually given the accolade of first successful railway locomotive. His fourth and final locomotive, Catch-me-who-can, was used to give rides to paying thrill-seekers on a circular track in London. This is undoubtedly the source for Iron Girder's exploits in Harry King's yard.

I think that Dick Simnel is a combination of Trevithick, George Stephenson, the unlettered engineer from Killingworth who finally assembled all the components of a modern railway locomotive and made it work, and George's son Robert, also a railway engineer, who even has the same initials. George, self-educated, suffered ridicule for his Northern accent at the Parliamentary hearings for the Liverpool and Manchester railway bill, and made sure that his son had the education he'd never had (and learned alongside him too).--AlanD (talk) 14:59, 3 December 2018 (UTC)