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October 10, 2011 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Snuff, Sir Terry Pratchett's 50th book (and 37th Discworld book) will be released in the U.S. tomorrow, and Neil Gaiman has interviewed him for Boing Boing.

Also see, (from Gaiman's website):

* Terry Pratchett, An Appreciation
* Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett at EosCon IV
posted by zarq (47 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I knew his books were getting darker, but this is a bit much...

Terry Pratchett speaking at the Opera House. I was there; he read an excerpt from this book. reminded me of Wicker Man/Hot Fuzz
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:15 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So disappointed this didn't end with:

NG: So are you ready to start on the sequel to Good Omens?

TP: I would be delighted.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:19 PM on October 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Is there a sequel there? I don't know. I think as fans we always want more, but that world is so realized and so self-contained, built to tell that story. I'm more happy that Gaiman and Pratchett came out of that collaboration friends to this day, which is surely a rarer feat than writing a decent book.
posted by Errant at 8:24 PM on October 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't know. I'm already a little worried that the American Gods sequel will ruin my memories of the original (yes yes, I know I don't have to read it, but will probably try anyways). Good Omens should just be left as is, no sequels plz.
posted by mannequito at 8:25 PM on October 10, 2011


LiB, many thanks for the video link. Am going to really enjoy watching it.
posted by zarq at 8:25 PM on October 10, 2011


Eh, Terry and Neil can collaborate on anything they want as far as I'm concerned.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:27 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This might be his last. He was talking about going to a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:29 PM on October 10, 2011


Is there a sequel there?

The writers of the last three seasons of Supernatural think so. Naming the character based on Crowley 'Crowley' was subtle.

I don't know. I'm already a little worried that the American Gods sequel will ruin my memories of the original (yes yes, I know I don't have to read it, but will probably try anyways).

Supernatural has that covered, too. I'm amazed Neil & Terry don't sue.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:33 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


pterry's going to be at the National Press Club on Friday, and I'll be there will bells on. I've seen him talk...God, it's got to be half a dozen times now. But this might well be the last one, and that's really sobering.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:39 PM on October 10, 2011



Is there a sequel there?

The writers of the last three seasons of Supernatural think so. Naming the character based on Crowley 'Crowley' was subtle.

I don't know. I'm already a little worried that the American Gods sequel will ruin my memories of the original (yes yes, I know I don't have to read it, but will probably try anyways).

Supernatural has that covered, too. I'm amazed Neil & Terry don't sue.


Forgot to mention that they dressed Azrephaile up to look exactly like John Constantine. Because when you borrow from a well-loved fantasy author and a knight, you might as well annoy their angry wizard friend.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:44 PM on October 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Eh, the idea of personified gods that depend on belief isn't exactly new. Gaiman and Pratchett have riffed on the concept in many different works both together (Good Omens) and separately (Sandman, Small Gods, etc). And neither were the first.

And there's people named Crowley associated with the occult outside of Good Omens, ya know. Though the SPN Crowley definitely has some nods to the GO Crowley. I think it's an homage more than a ripoff.
posted by kmz at 8:47 PM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]



Eh, the idea of personified gods that depend on belief isn't exactly new. Gaiman and Pratchett have riffed on the concept in many different works both together (Good Omens) and separately (Sandman, Small Gods, etc). And neither were the first.

And there's people named Crowley associated with the occult outside of Good Omens, ya know. Though the SPN Crowley definitely has some nods to the GO Crowley. I think it's an homage more than a ripoff.


I honestly really love Supernatural, but the episode with all the gods in the hotel from two seasons ago felt like an American Gods rip. Crowley is a bit more of a stretch, but his relationship with Cas did feel familiar. and the Cas being based on John Constantine originally was, IIRC, confirmed by the show.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:49 PM on October 10, 2011


Sometimes I think "Oh God, I wish it would just go on forever"
posted by fullerine at 9:31 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The original release date was Oct 13th in the UK. The release date in Canada is November 22nd (according to chapters.ca and amazon.ca, as of this morning). BoingBoing had a post this morning that it was available today, October 10th (but Amazon.com still had it as pre-order earlier today, PST, but also confirmed the Oct 10th date).

An epub version of Snuff was posted to Usenet 6 days ago. Another version was posted about 24 hours ago with about 1kb size difference. Both completely DRM free.

I reside in Canada.

I bought Unseen Academicals the day it was available here (the same day as the US, UK iirc or very close). I will be buying the hardcover when it's available. The 6 day vs 1 day old usenet epub is very similar, as far as I can tell. The 1 day version is more "official" [copyright, trademark notices, formatting, ISBN numbers, &c] but the main text is identical as far as I can tell from quickly glancing).
posted by porpoise at 10:27 PM on October 10, 2011


This might be his last. He was talking about going to a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland.

In my heart-of-hearts, I was always hoping that was just publicity to help the euthanasia talks move forward and to raise public awareness of the illegality of it. Totally support his choice, though.

Could have sworn that there was another book announced after snuff (another Tiffany Aching one), but I could be mis-remembering, but wikipedia is contradicting me. Yeah, I'm probably misremembering.

Oct 2009 (Unseen Academicals) - Sept 2010 (I Shall Wear Midnight) - Oct 2011 (Snuff)

That's incredibly, incredibly, prolific. The consistent high quality is more than incredible, though.

I also bought the hardcover I Shall Wear Midnight the day it was available, too. Brain fart - misclassified as a YA book over a DW book; like Miéville's Un Lun Dun didn't feel like a Miéville book until I saw how it helped him become a better writer in Kraken.

--

Is the TV show Supernatural even anywhere close to being as interesting as American Gods?
posted by porpoise at 10:42 PM on October 10, 2011


the episode with all the gods in the hotel from two seasons ago felt like an American Gods rip

Which felt conspicuously similar to Season of Mists, but whatever.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:42 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got mail from the library that my epub version of Snuff was available for checkout an hour and half ago. It has so far failed to give me a download link that doesn't end with "@@DOWNLOAD_LINK@@" and 404 when clicked. I'm getting a little antsy. (I told my folks that the hardback would be a good birthday present for my wife, or I'd be off to the bookstore first thing in the morning.)
posted by hades at 10:44 PM on October 10, 2011


Is the TV show Supernatural even anywhere close to being as interesting as American Gods?

It would be hard for it not to be.

/old school Sandman nerd
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:54 PM on October 10, 2011


Thanks for the link LiB. I was there too, but I didn't realise that it was available online.
posted by kjs4 at 10:55 PM on October 10, 2011


the episode with all the gods in the hotel from two seasons ago felt like an American Gods rip

Which felt conspicuously similar to Season of Mists, but whatever.


There's nothing to prevent Sandman and American Gods having taken place in the same universe.

In fact, from memory, in the scene in AG where Shadow goes with Wednesday to meet Easter for the first time, and they're sitting on the grass having a picnic, Delirium and her dog friend Barnabas are in the background (though unnamed): "A young girl, no older than fourteen, her hair dyed green and orange and pink, stared at them as they went by. She sat beside a dog, a mongrel, with a piece of string for a collar and a leash.".

Anyway, it's OK for Gaiman to steal from himself. Someone else doing it is less cool.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:00 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's nothing to prevent Sandman and American Gods having taken place in the same universe.

Yes there is. It's the same thing that prevented Supernatural from using John Constantine: Warner Brother's lawyers and the rules of the DC Universe. Like it or not, Sandman takes place in the DCU.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:04 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


/old school Sandman nerd

At the risk (hahahaha!) of being un-hip... could you please explain?
posted by porpoise at 11:10 PM on October 10, 2011


I really loved Sandman. Everything else he wrote? Not so much.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:13 PM on October 10, 2011


Huh. Interesting quirk of the electronic edition of Snuff: every instance of the word "people" has had the space before it removed. "He didn't trust manypeople." "Ifpeople complained overmuch ..." "... he hadpeople to do the paperwork ..." I hope it's not that way in the printed edition, or if it is that it has some later meta-textual justification, because it's kind of glaring.
posted by hades at 12:09 AM on October 11, 2011


porpoise: Sandman.
posted by pharm at 2:09 AM on October 11, 2011


So, are the last few series of Supernatural worth watching? I watched the odd episode of the older ones, but if they've been on a Crowley/Good Omens/John Constantine riff then I might pick it up again. Where should I start?
posted by pharm at 2:10 AM on October 11, 2011


I just want the John Constantine show.
posted by Errant at 2:12 AM on October 11, 2011


Yes there is. It's the same thing that prevented Supernatural from using John Constantine: Warner Brother's lawyers and the rules of the DC Universe. Like it or not, Sandman takes place in the DCU.

Clearly, Gaiman disagreed.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:19 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hurrah, another DW novel. Hard to believe I have been reading TP for 23 years now...

As for Supernatural, is this something I would need a tv to understand?
posted by marienbad at 4:16 AM on October 11, 2011


You have the Internet; why would you need a TV to watch TV?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:34 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm currently reading The Science of Discworld. Besides the funny bits, it's a very good science popularization, and has already inspired me to read another of one of the co-author's books (Nature's Numbers by Ian Stewart.)

It never had a US publication. The publishing world is a complicated place and there are lots of imaginable pitfalls in securing republication rights to a 3-author book attached to an existing franchise but published in the UK by a different publisher than the bulk of said franchise... but you'd think the opportunity to sell another book with "Pratchett" and "Discworld" on it would be enough incentive to overcome them.

So I have to wonder... has someone looked at this and just concluded that a book with real science content would damage the franchise among US readers, costing them more sales in the long-term than it produced?
posted by Zed at 6:08 AM on October 11, 2011



I don't know. I'm already a little worried that the American Gods sequel will ruin my memories of the original (yes yes, I know I don't have to read it, but will probably try anyways).


mannequito, you should absolutely give Anansi Boys a try. I actually like it better than American Gods, and it's a sequel only in the loosest sense of the word-- it carries over one character from American Gods, who isn't even around for most of the book.

This interview was delightful, and I can't wait for Snuff-- my preorder should be arriving soon!

So, okay, is anyone else coping really, really badly with the idea of Pterry not being around any more? By now I probably should have achieved some sort of peace with it, right? But it doesn't seem to be happening. Hell, I ended up writing a novella's worth of Discworld fanfic to work out my feelings about it, and I still kind of want to burst into tears every time I think about it too hard.
posted by nonasuch at 6:33 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zed: " So I have to wonder... has someone looked at this and just concluded that a book with real science content would damage the franchise among US readers, costing them more sales in the long-term than it produced?"

Considering that many prominent science books have spent quite a large number of weeks on the NYT bestseller's list over the years, I kinda doubt it.


Unless you think a segment of Pterry's American readers consider Discworld novels non-fiction... which might explain a lot now that you mention it....
posted by zarq at 6:55 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's tons of non-mainline Discworld books that have never officially crossed the pond. Back in the day I loved my local Borders because they actually carried a bunch of imports, among them stuff like the maps, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, and the Science of Discworld. (I think some of those have since seen US publication.)

I should find the other 2 Science of Discworld books. I only read the first one, which was great.

And oh, if you're a Pratchett fan and haven't read some of this non-DW stuff like the Bromeliad and the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, you really should.
posted by kmz at 9:00 AM on October 11, 2011


So, okay, is anyone else coping really, really badly with the idea of Pterry not being around any more

Nope, not coping well with the idea at all, even for the crude and selfish reason that it means Raising Taxes won't get finished and I couldn't spend more time with Moist and Adora.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a Nanny Ogg's Cookbook?! Ooooooooh.
posted by zarq at 9:23 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yes! It's awesome. Here's one of my faves, Lord Vetinari's Bread and Water.
posted by kmz at 9:32 AM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


is anyone else coping really, really badly with the idea of Pterry not being around any more?

More than I can possibly explain. Over the years, his writing has ceased being just entertainment for me and moved into something more essential to my personality and my hopes that inside of me that there might be a good person.

There is a code of ethics and morality that weaves its way through his books, and it's articulated in a way that resonates with me in a way that no religion or other teaching has ever been able to. I'm not saying that those things aren't important to others, but Pratchett managed to put voice to the things I could never find a way to say about things like self control, loyalty, and taking care of people around me.

And that he does it all with such a wit and the ability to turn a phrase so good it'll bring a tear to my eye, fills me with a combination of abject envy that I can't do it myself and deep satisfaction that I was privileged enough to witness someone who could.

There are a very few people that I would love to shake hands with and honestly say "What you did changed my life for the better."

Terry Pratchett is one of them.
posted by quin at 10:46 AM on October 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm sure Pratchett's said somewhere that he can't imagine suicide whilst he still has a book to finish ... so I'm holding on to that. There's a mention in the interview that he's working on a non-DW book with Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth, and the latest DW monthly includes a note from him saying he's working on his autobiography and has a "punishing writing schedule".

Thanks for posting the interview. I love this:
I picked up a collection of very large books with the series title ‘London Then And Now’ and realised that the ‘now’ was in fact 1880? There was even a lovely woodcut of Primrose Hill when it had primroses on it. It really is wonderful stuff. Small things that people might not notice but to me are like a fly to a rising trout.
posted by paduasoy at 12:53 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


PS I have a second-hand copy of the DW Mapp I was going to Oxfam - if any MF members (in Europe) would like it, MeMail me and I'll put it in the post to the first person to contact me.
posted by paduasoy at 1:09 PM on October 11, 2011


Anansi Boys

Ohhhh, is this the "American Gods sequel?" Because Anansi Boys is delightful and playful and sweet and nothing at all like American Gods (which I also like, but worries over Anansi Boys spoiling anything about American Gods shouldn't keep you from reading it). The Monarch of the Glen is a much more proper "American Gods sequel," but thankfully manages to be a pretty good sequel by actually expanding just a little on some of the less fleshed out elements of AG, and allowing returning characters to move in different directions. Anansi Boys is even better at doing this (the little bit at the beginning where Charlie's father comes home for his mother's birthday is just lovely), but has almost nothing to do with American Gods.
posted by byanyothername at 3:25 PM on October 11, 2011


Because Anansi Boys is delightful and playful and sweet and nothing at all like American Gods

Seconded. Read away. It's much lighter, and a lot more fun, than American Gods. But excellent.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:37 PM on October 11, 2011


quin: There is a code of ethics and morality that weaves its way through his books

If there's any way of thinking (and practice) that deserves the title of Humanism it is that that underlies his tales. A more fleshed out retelling of Vonnegut's:

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

But flat, and on elephants standing on a turtle.
posted by titus-g at 3:50 PM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm off to An Evening With Terry Pratchett at the Theatre Royal in London on Tuesday.

I've got a feeling I may end up crying.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:10 PM on October 11, 2011


I'm about an hour into Snuff and it's brought me to tears with laughter and poignancy several times already.

He's really a very good writer.
posted by quin at 11:33 AM on October 13, 2011


I got Snuff last night, and devoured it. At one point I wandered into the kitchen, still reading, and didn't notice my roommate standing at the sink until I'd been in there for a couple of minutes, reading and laughing at the funny bits.

His writing style has changed a bit in recent years-- I feel like he's tending more towards big paragraphs of dialogue, in a way he didn't used to-- but he's certainly still a wonderful read.

Night Watch remains my favorite Discworld book, but Snuff was a lot of fun, and I'm sure I'll get more out of it on subsequent rereads.
posted by nonasuch at 7:47 AM on October 14, 2011


Terry's Capclave Interview

"Terry Pratchett, along with his assistant Rob Wilkins, made a surprise appearance at Capclave in Gaithersburg, Maryland on Saturday, October 15, 2011." It's an hour-long video. :)
posted by zarq at 8:50 AM on October 19, 2011


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