Thursday, 22 November 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: A Blink of the Screen: Collected Short Fiction - Terry Pratchett

Release Date: 11/10/12

In the four decades since his first book appeared in print, Terry Pratchett has become one of the world's best-selling and best-loved authors. Here for the first time are his short stories and other short form fiction collected into one volume. A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press,; to the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People; and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series.

Here are characters both familiar and yet to be discovered; abandoned worlds and others still expanding; adventure, chickens, death, disco and, actually, some quite disturbing ideas about Christmas,all of it shot through with his inimitable brand of humour.

With an introduction by Booker Prize-winning author A.S. Byatt, illustrations by the late Josh Kirby and drawings by the author himself, this is a book to treasure.


To be honest I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from this book, but when opening it, I discovered a whole set of short stories from various points in Terry’s writing career (including his first story that he wrote at 13 that sold.) It was definitely interesting to read a lot of his none Discworld short tales but to be honest the main reason people will buy this is for these. They’re funny, they’ll hit the itch that readers have and to be honest with the inclusion of the artwork, its definitely something that will be very popular.

Add to this some great asides, that Discworld magic breathing down your neck (as if its been laced with Octarine) and all in is definitely something that will more than please any fan if they were to wake up and find this in their Christmas stocking. (although you might need to borrow Nanny Ogg’s to get it in there.)

All in a solid enough book and one that I had fun with but personally I’d have preferred it to be 100% Discworld without any others added.


Bob Milne said...

Hmm, I haven't read any of his short fiction, but I'll have to give this a read. Who knows, maybe it will get rid of the bad taste left in my brain by his atrocious co-writing jaunt with Stephen Baxter.

T. James said...

I've been a long-term fan of Pratchett since I started reading seriously in the 1980's, and like you I've always been most captivated by the Discworld series. But Pratchett is Pratchett, and if I can enjoy his "Diggers" trilogy for children, then this is another book to put on my to-be-read list. Thanks for another helpful review.

P.S. At time of writing I think the synopsis may have been muddled with another review...