Terry Pratchett. What a legend. I was working from home when he died, and the news broke on the radio and via my new app at the same time, and… reader, I cried.
I’ve read maybe half of his Discworld titles so far. We own a few of the recent (ish) reprints by Gollancz, which have revived my enthusiasm for the series.
One such title is Guards! Guards!, which is ostensibly about a dragon, but really about one of Ankh-Morpork’s heroes, Sam Vines. One of my favourite features of Pratchett’s writing is the footnotes of comic effect. This book goes in for that less than other titles, so I didn’t expect to finish it with the sense of affection and satisfaction that I did.
I think it’s because I laughed at the characters’ jokes and foibles, but also cheered for their successes and lamented their setbacks. Insomuch as you can when reading about a flat world carried by a giant turtle inhabited by witches, trolls and bards, I believed it. It didn’t need to be “meta-scifi”, because it was itself – a lovely (funny) story.
NO – it still gets a bit meta in places….