Terry Pratchett – A Slip of the Keyboard

This is the long-awaited[1] collection of  Terry Pratchett’s non-fiction writing, which might be considered to be a companion to A Blink of the Screen, which collected his short fiction.

The book contains a variety of work – newspaper articles, speeches, pieces written for conventions, and contains much that is funny, much that is serious and much that is angry. Yes, angry. I’ve noticed a fair degree of anger in Terry’s books before, and indeed two of his greatest characters, Granny Weatherwax and Sam Vimes have plenty of it between them. So I was interested by Neil Gaiman’s introduction which went into some detail about Terry’s anger…

But enough of me muttering, and on with the essential part of this post: the quotes. I’ll keep this relatively brief, otherwise I’d end up quoting more than half the book, which would (a) take a while and (b) probably get me into trouble on grounds of copyright or something.

In the introduction to the introduction[2] to the third Australian Discworld convention, Terry recalls the first Discworld convention, where he witnessed fans being amazed to find they were not alone

They’re a loveable lot who drink like the rugby club and fight like the chess club

And talking of Australia, there’s this place he visits that he likes

What we particularly like about it is the tennis court and golf course, because it doesn’t have them.

Sounds like my kind of place.

But it’s not all for laughs. There’s a lot about his Alzheimer’s disease, and his determination to meet his end in his own way in his own time. And there’s a lot of his justifiable anger there….

There’s also anger for the plight of the orangutans, being driven to extinction by human action.

But overall, there’s a lot of warmth, wit, wisdom and probably other things beginning with “w” that I can’t think of right now. Well worth reading even if you’re not a Discworld fan.[3]

[1] Seriously – it was announced last year and had its publication date shifted, mutter
[2] There are short introductions to the pieces in the book, putting them into perspective…
[3] Rumour has it that such people exist