October 7, 2010: The Turtle Moves: Moves the Disk World.

It is time to visit Cormac’s Library. I do so love to read and have loved to do so since Mrs. Kokendorfer taught me how in the first grade. In the far to many years since, I’ve read voraciously, in all genres except romance. Just never got into romance much.

Roughly 15 years ago my friend Lee introduced me to the works of Terry Pratchett. I don’t think I’ve thanked him enough for that. In the years since I have read all of Sir Terry’s works many times, and each time I’ve gained something new fro the experience.

Pratchett writes, mostly , in the fantasy genre, and unlike most fantasy writers, he write truly funny, and thought provoking satire. It takes great skill as a writer to make someone not merely smile, but to laugh outloud, and Pratchett has that talent in spades.

Most of his work is set on the Disk World. This is a place where magic is real; you must accept that as a given. Unlike writers like say Robert Jordan, Pratchett doesn’t go to a lot of effort to explain the magic, it just is. Over the course of 38 novels, Terry has fully developed this world into a truly interesting and unique place.

The Disk is a flat world, not a sphere, It rides on the back of four giant elephants, who in turn stand on the back of the Great A’Tuin, the celestial space turtle, who swims through space toward some unknown point and unknown time. Can you see why magic has to exist on such a world?

There are four main sets of stories in Pratchett’s work: The Wizards of Unseen University, The City Watch of Ankh Morpork, the Witches of Lancre, and DEATH and other anthromorphications. In the last eight years he has also started another series of Ankh Morpork stories featuring a reformed con-man named Moist Von Lipwig, and a second set of witch novels based on Tiffany Aching. While each book can be read as a stand alone novel, if they are read in order the experience is much richer.

Over the next few weeks I’ll examine the individual books in the Disk World Cannon, starting with my personal favorite set of characters, the City Watch of Ankh Morpork. Next week we will take a look at “Guards Guards”.