As you may have noticed I don't ususally join in these book discussions. I tend to reread DW books out of order when you guys are reading them.. also I love to discuss books face to face. But sometimes I scan what you are talking about.
With reference to Pooh's comment about TP's "planning" ahead his books, I personally don't know that he has great plots mapped out in intricate detail ala some other authors (remember seeing or reading something to that effect years ago) but I do think he is a traveller in DW who takes us on his journey (read something like that too said by his Sir-ship).
What I do remember is that when I came to DW I was quite a few books behind and read them all up to the most recent published (at the time) in one go. So imagine how godlike I thought this man was when I found a small casual reference to something 6 or 7 books before in the book I was reading. I can't remember what it was or what book etc... I just remember it wasn't something major or a major plot device... just something so minor and unimportant..... As my daughter was a DW addict as well we hunted back through the books to find it,... and we did.
It was like having a dinner party with friends and you suddenly remember you friend of 20 years played the trombone for one semester in music class in high school.
I also remember TP talking once about how he was so indebted that so many of his fans DO do his chronology for him... things HE can reference that he had forgotten about.
A bit like Star Trek fans who challenge the writers at SFCons huh? And hence one more reason I suspect I don't get toooooo involved in these threads. TP is a mere mortal. An amazing author yes. But so often WE the fans pull his books apart word by word, phrase by phrase trying to discover secret writings, (and easy enough to do too since he DOES hide alot of references and puns in his books), read between the lines.... trying to second guess him on the future of the DW.
As to his ability as an author with his "buggerence" hanging over him? Lets not be patronising. We all like or dislike one or another of his books. Personally I was not a HUGE fan of AU. But I loved ISWM. Every author has good and bad books. Every author has fans who like and dislike this or that book. Lets not get too blase about the sheer VOLUME of work he has published in the DW series alone.
I am sure he would not be offering his books up for publication if he thought they were not worthy of his readers (nor would his close associates let him flounder like that). He has too much self-respect and respect for us.