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mike js

Sir Terry Pratchett at Ely Cathedral

Terry Pratchett was at Ely Cathedral yesterday, for the publication of his new novel Dodger, in an event organised by the local bookshop. Tickets were £10, but those who wanted to buy the book could use the ticket for £10 off the cover price.

I went along, and the cathedral really was packed. According to reports, about 1,300 tickets were sold. Terry was there with his assistant (Rob Wilkins, I think). People were warned well before tickets were sold that, because of Terry Pratchett's health †only a limited number of people would be able to 'meet the author'; 100 chosen at random from those who bought the book at the event. Also, he wouldn't be signing books on the day; I think they had special signed inserts for the chosen 100 people.

Terry was interesting and often funny; perhaps a little rambling at times. I don't know if the latter is his natural style, or to what extent things are now difficult. Certainly, his assistant did the readings, and chaired the talking. Unfortunately, the amplified acoustics were a bit tricky from where I sat (I was one of the last in), so I missed some details, particularly when TP was talking. But I gathered something about a new production company being formed with his assistant and his daughter, to have control over some future TV (or film?) adaptations. TP mentioned religion, atheism, and also assisted death briefly. Slightly awkward perhaps, given the venue!

There were lots of keen people, including youngsters, and the event was well organised. The bookshop normally runs much smaller author events I think! The bookshop really is splendid. They regularly have author events, but at the moment they are advertising a book festival, with lots of events over coming weeks.

I didn't know quite where to put this link but I hope some people read it who are not fans of the genre.

It's a marvellous piece about Terry's books I'm hoping it brings him a few extra fans.

I enjoyed that, too, though I did agree with the comment that it was a bit hyperbolic.  Unfortunately we won't still be round in 100 years to see who is still read.  I must send this to my son, and get my husband to read it - not that that will bring in new fans since they are already fans.  My husband is reading Snuff at the moment in bed at night.  I have only read Sir Terry randomly - there's a bit much action in them for me; I enjoy most in them the themes that he takes and mocks.  So I liked very much the one about reporters and the newspaper, was about to call it Going Postal but it wasn't.  Loved Good Omens, written with Neil Gaiman.  (But then I absolutely loved the Neil Gaiman novel I read, though I haven't tried others.)  I thought I would read the Discworld novels in some sort of order, but I don't think The Colour of Magic is his best really and it was a bit too introductory.  And the witchy Hat ones were written for children really, so while they were enjoyable enough, they didn't have the subtlety of his adult books.

The newspaper one is called The Truth Caro.

I have just got The Long Earth from the library that Terry wrote in collaboration with Stephan Baxter. It wasn't very well reviewed so I am surprised and pleased to be finding it quite witty and an interesting idea. There are millions of parallel worlds to ours and someone has invented a machine that can take you to them. Our planet is emptying as people rush off the find a better world. The new societies have to be created without iron or steel  as the machine won't allow the transport of ferrous metals. Criminals are trying to exploit the system, individuals are trying to get rich quick (without much luck) and our Earth is suffering from the sudden decrease in population.

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