Stargate Archives

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett


Moving Pictures (Discworld #10)Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would Hollywood be like if it was on the Discworld, well we find out in Moving Pictures when the "wild idea" is released and not for the first time upon the disc. First it captures the imaginations of the alchemists who soon come up with projectors, cameras and film plus bang-grains which seem to be the ideal food for watching moving pictures. The deserted coast of Holywood is now the home to the rapidly expanding industry and draws in Dwarves, Trolls and any other who has something to contribute be it behind the scenes (Dibbler as a movie mogul) or in front of the camera or simply waiting for their big break by holding horses or waiting tables.
Victor Tugelbend (Victor Maraschino) a student wizard is drawn towards Holywood after watching a moving picture in Ankh-Morpork, he has the right "look" for the movies and soon along with Theda Withel (Ginger) become the defacto stars of the silver screen and the only couple who could front the epic "Blown Away". However when reality is manipulated by the moving pictures it reacts in the same way as when influenced by magic and the denizens of the dungeon dimensions take notice...
Moving Pictures is a fun read, well paced and entertaining from start to finish. We are given a direct analogy of a real world entity upon the disc which is something Terry adopts with gusto in later books and well it all works so well. The level of imagination on the page is truly impressive cumulating in a set piece that echoes the very best of what Hollywood has provided over the decades and let's not forget Gaspode makes an appearance.
Yeah I liked this novel but only 4 stars because there is better to come.

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Sunday, 19 June 2022

The Illustrated Eric by Terry Pratchett


The Illustrated Eric (Discworld, #9)The Illustrated Eric by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eric is an illustrated novel so it's different to what we have come to expect from the Discworld offerings but the novella length story combined with the artwork still provides the reader with an entertaining story. Rincewind as you may or may not know is dead or missing or misplaced but when the young amateur demonologist Eric summons a demon naturally it is Rincewind who was just passing by (well running) at just the right or wrong moment.
Eric naturally demands his due in the form of “The most beautiful woman who has ever lived, mastery of all the kingdoms of the world, and to live for ever" which wouldn't be a problem for a demon but for Rincewind the Wizzard well it could be tricky until he gets some unexpected "help" from the powers that be via the demon realm. So Eric and Rincewind have their adventures and as is normally the case with this trope what Eric wants he gets but it isn't what he expected and as for Rincewind (and the Luggage) it's just a matter of survival while meeting an ancestor, the creator of the world and more running preferably away from anything dangerous.
Eric should be enjoyed in its original form but even as a plain ebook without illustrations it was a lot more enjoyable than I remembered, the pacing was as you would expect pretty quick and the time travelling adventures showed lots of imagination and were in parts very humorous and clever.

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Sunday, 12 June 2022

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett


The Illustrated Guards! Guards!The Illustrated Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the first novel from Terry Pratchett I ever read and this latest hardback release adds some beautiful artwork by Paul Kidby. The story takes place in Ankh-Morpork and has two major plots which eventually twine around each other with humour, satire and an all too real reflection of the real world and our society. The first story is all about Carrot who as a baby was the only survivor of a wagon party destroyed in the mountains, taken in by dwarfs he was raised but eventually his adopted parents had to reveal the truth and he was sent to the city to have a human made of him. As a volunteer for the City Watch he ends up being dumped into the Night Watch and well the rusty wheels finally begin to turn and the City will never be the same. The second story is the devious plan of an unknown individual influencing the members of a secret society to use magic to create a dragon and use it to punish those that believe to have done them wrong and eventually to set the scene for a "hero" to appear, banish the dragon, unseat the Patrician and install said devious dude in the position of power. Naturally a revitalised Night Watch and the Plot to destabilize the city clash and well by then you will be enamoured with the characters, writing and sheer style that was Terry Pratchett.

Just finished the novel again as part of my Discworld from start to finish reading adventure and it still ranks up there although part of the that is certainly because it was my first and Terry got to know these characters far better as he went on and wrote them with more complexity in latter novels. That said Guards! Guards! is always the first I'll get off the shelf when I fancy a visit to the Disc.

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Pyramids by Terry Pratchett


Pyramids (Discworld, #7)Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Kingdom of Djelibeybi has been in existence for a long long time and has a thing for pyramids so much so they go further into economic depression and debt whenever a King dies and their heir places the order for a Pyramid. Teppic the son of the current ruler Teppicymon XXVII is the first of the line to travel beyond the kingdom for his education attending the Assassins Guild in Ankh-Morpork. It is a good education but Teppic when it comes right down to it doesn't really want to kill people and depending upon your point of view when his father passes he is blessed with the gifts of his position and returns home where as King he doesn't have to kill anyone, he has people that will do that for him. Teppic soon clashes with Dios the head priest who has served the kingdom for far longer than you would considered "normal" and when he as King has to allow the young handmaiden Ptraci to die he dons his Assassins garb to rescue her but his dual life eventually forces him to flee the kingdom which then "vanishes" leaving nothing but a line in the sand and an echo of the seabirds and spell of the sea.
Pyramids was a good read, I like the idea of a kingdom on the disc that mirrored historical Egypt with the Terry tweaks so you get Pyramids that indeed have immense power to control the flow of time and highly intelligent camels as well as the usual blend of humour, satire and nods towards everyday concerns we have now. In the grand collection of Discworld the novel shows how far Terry had come as a writer and how far he would still go in perfecting his craft but for all that Pyramids is well worth a read.

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Saturday, 4 June 2022

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett


Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6)Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Wyrd Sisters we are immersed in all things Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and the young and enthusiastic Magrat Garlick. The setting is once again the Ramtops and more specifically the small realm of Lancre ruled by a King who has just been murdered which is an occupational hazard of monarchy. However his young son is smuggled out of the castle by a loyal guard who dies handing the child over to Granny who deals in her own way with those set to commit one of the darker realities of succession. Thus the three witches (mother, maiden and crone) have to protect the heir to the realm, deal with the new King (and his wife) plus the desires of the land itself within a real world narrative which can easily be twisted to paint them as evil and malicious.
Wyrd sisters is a strong novel this early in the Discworld series and quite a bit of the stories nuts and bolts will be familiar to anyone who has read or seen Shakespeare but built upon that is a wonderful story full of magic, wonder and a belief that if we are doing it then it can't be bad (Granny's Worldview). Thus mid air magical refuelling, time manipulation, ghosts, a play, a jester and an unexpected romance conspire to entertain the reader in a most satisfying manner. The novel is funny, familiar (in a good way) and in hindsight it builds strongly upon Equal Rites to solidify what the witches mean to the Discworld.

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