Right, we have some new fan art for you. The first piece is again by Riley-Boi/Raichu-ish and is of Rogue holding a hotdog. No I don’t know why, but I like it. Next we have FIVE pieces from Queen Qeeko, who has done Eastwood, Lothar, Rogue, Virus, and even SILVERSWORD in plush form. Aww how cute, thought I think the Eastwood one wants to eat my soul (this quote was nicked off someone on the forum).
Recently, I’ve started getting into a series of books. A series of books that do contain fantasy elements and recant the tales of various individuals as they go through there lives through this quite extraordinary place. This place does indeed feature a magical education establishment which is either a setting or a plot device used to spur the story for our heroes.
It may come as a shock to you that these books are NOT the Harry Potter books. Because J.K. Rowling is not the be all and end all of Fantasy fiction. No, the books that I have started getting interested in, thanks to my well read friend Eastwood, are certain Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.
Let me get this straight out in the open, I do not give two shits about Harry Potter. I have not read the books, and while I have seen about 30 minutes of the first movie I only did so because it was on TV while I was waiting for something else to start. Cynically, I view the Harry Potter series to be nothing but “Saved By The Bell: The New Class” but without Screech or Mr Belding, who were the only two entertaining characters in that show. Even so, by then they were just doing the same fucking jokes over and over and over, like a hamster caught in a perpetual motion machine. He just keeps running along the same wheel. WE GET IT, SCREECH IS UNCOMFORTABLE AROUND GIRLS! GET A NEW FUCKING SCRIPT ALREADY!
Anyway, so yes. Harry Potter does not interest me. What annoys myself and Eastwood (though mostly Eastwood as he is the one who pointed this out to me) is that Harry Potter gets SHITLOADS of coverage, whereas everybody else, aside from Dan Brown who just keeps releasing the same book every year or so, gets fuck all coverage. There is also the fact that too many of the children who have gotten into reading through Harry Potter, will never read anything else.
It is a shame, because Terry Pratchett is a bloody great writer and deserves more attention, though to be fair, he’s sold about 40 million books worldwide, and is only second to Rowling in fantasy books sold in some list that somebody pointed me to, so that isn’t bad. The reasons why I am enjoying Pratchett’s books so far are these:
1) They are hilarious. One such example is from the book I started and finished today (Monday). Two of the main characters, Cuddy, a dwarf and Detritus a troll are part of two species that do not like each other very much. But are made partners on the Ankh-Morpok Night Watch (Police) and as such, must stereotypically learn to get along with each other (I never said Pratchett was that original, he can be, but he doesn’t have to be since this IS comedy). Anyway, the two lance-constables get caught in a massive battle between the dwarves and trolls of Ankh-Morpok. Cuddy decides to run towards an alley, which leads to this piece of amusing dialogue…
Detritus: Where this go?
Cuddy: It goes away from the people chasing us!
Detritus: I like this alley.
Amusing dialogue like this peppers the books, which also see the Grim Reaper trying to be more people friendly when escorting people off to the land of the dead by making knock-knock jokes. Hilarious! One of the books in the series features the adventures of a group of wizards who are going to drop off the edge of the world to figure out what the gender is of the giant turtle that Discworld is situated on the back of! BRILLIANT!
2) Captain/Commander Vimes. Commander Vimes is my favourite book character ever. Why? Because he’s cynical, hates royalty, tells people what he thinks and hardly anybody who isn’t in the Watch likes him. And yet he’s one of the most powerful and influential people on Discworld. I love the bastard. In his first book appearance (as Captain Vimes in “Guards! Guards!”) he is talking to the Patrician’s (“Mayor” of Ankh-Morpok) secretary, who is criticising him because the then Constable Carrot (now Captain) has arrested the head of the Thieves guild (look just go read the book, as the political workings of Ankh-Morpok deserve a fucking ESSAY about them). So when told what to do, Vimes replies “Yes sir! I’ll make sure he knows arresting thieves is illegal sir!”.
I must stress that Vimes is NOT the main character in all of Pratchett’s books. He has written some thing like 35 Discworld books, 10 children’s books and a fair few others (probably around 50). Vimes is only the main character in 3 (arguably four, but Men at Arms is more about the new recruits in the Watch) and gets a few mentions in a few others.
3) Pratchett, despite setting his books in a fantasy setting, doesn’t make a big deal about it. It’s just “normal” in the Discworld books to have trolls, dwarves, vampires and werewolves going about doing their shopping. The fantasy genre has never interested me much, but I’m loving these books. Maybe since Pratchett takes the absolute piss out of it, and anything else, including science-fiction, history and what have you.
Ok, I could go on forever listing what I like about Pratchett. The fact is, the man has also partly inspired Eastwood and myself to write books of our own. Eastwood’s one has been in the pipe for over a year now, and I’m just starting to work on the bare bones of my own. No we’re not going to tell you what our respective books are about so don’t even ask.
And don’t even fucking bother emailing me about how good Harry Potter is. I DON’T GIVE TWO NUT-FLAVOURED CARAMEL COATED SHITS! IT DOES NOT INTEREST ME THAT GINGER CUNT AND CURLY-HAIRED BITCH FELT EACH OTHER UP (You can thank my assistant manager at work for that juicy bit of information I could have done without knowing). A typo-ridden, horribly punctuated email from a 13 year old who doesn’t even know how to properly use the Caps Lock or Shift buttons will not change my mind on the subject. See you Friday.