The News from Ankh-Morpork

Sir Terry Pratchett, the Creator of Discworld (Image: Penguin Books)

I made a major discovery in 1998 when I read Terry Pratchett’s Feet of Clay, about a golem who joins the police force of Ankh-Morpork, a large, ancient, and very disreputable city on the Discworld. According to the Wikipedia entry for Discworld:

The Discworld is the fictional setting for all of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy novels. It consists of a large disc (complete with edge-of-the-world drop-off and consequent waterfall) resting on the backs of four huge elephants which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle, named Great A’Tuin (similar to Chukwa or Akupara from Hindu mythology) as it slowly swims through space. The Disc has been shown to be heavily influenced by magic and, while Pratchett gave it certain similarities to planet Earth, he also created his own system of physics for it.

Sir Terry wrote some 41 novels set in his fictional Discworld, until Alzheimer’s caught up with him and carried him off at the age of 66 in 2015. Although the last novels in the series are not his best work, he wrote a number of novels that brought cheer and guffaws into my life, specifically:

  • Mort (1987), featuring Death, who speaks in all caps
  • Pyramids (1989), set in Djelibeybi (the Discworld equivalent of ancient Egypt)
  • Guards! Guards! (1989), the first of the novels about the Watch (A-M’s police force)
  • Small Gods (1992), in which Sir Terry takes on organized religions
  • Feet of Clay (1996), another novel about the Watch

I would not recommend any of the Discworld novels written after 2000. But before then, I have read most of the works and enjoyed most of them, particularly the titles listed above.