Everyone’s going to Glasgow. Charles went last week, and so did Gary and Russell. Justine went a few days ago, and I think Gwenda’s off any day. The people I talk to on the weekend aren’t here, and the people who reliably blog away are gone too. I’m trying very hard not to be envious, but pretty much failing. I’m hoping everyone has the best con ever, but I can’t wait for it to be over so I can have just missed it, and can start looking forward to Madison.
Following on from last week’s post, I’m still suffering from the flu, though at least this feels like the aftermath rather than the main event. I’m hoping it’ll be completely gone by the weekend. In the meantime, I’m back at work, and making sure I get plenty of sleep. Hopefully that will see me through.
I didn’t do as much reading as I’d have liked, though I did do some. Finished Thud!, which was terrific. Neil linked to Terry’s Carnegie Medal speech which, I think, carries within it much of the explanation of why he’s so good. Yes, he writes fantasy. Yes, it’s funny. But the stuff he’s writing about is very real indeed. When you list the things he writes about they almost sound trite because they are big and obvious, but that misses the point. The observations he makes are fresh and real, and the subjects really are the kind of thing you can’t touch on too often. Someone somewhere will review the book and, no doubt, erroneously link it to the post 9-11 world and the situation in the Middle East. While the analogy is there to be drawn, I don’t believe it’s a reasonable connection. As Pratchett himself says in his speech (talking about The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents):
“People have already asked me if I had the current international situation in mind when I wrote the book. The answer is no. I wouldn’t insult even rats by turning them into handy metaphors. It’s just unfortunate that the current international situation is pretty much the same old dull, stupid international situation, in a world obsessed by the monsters it has made up, dragons that are hard to kill. We look around and see foreign policies that are little more than the taking of revenge for the revenge that was taken in revenge for the revenge last time. It’s a path that leads only downwards, and still the world flocks along it. It makes you want to spit.”
Much the same could be said of Thud!. Er, not that it makes you want to spit, that is, but the other part about not referencing the current international situation.