Ferry Interesting

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Ferry Interesting

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:15 pm

Just stumbled across this from the Guardian paper in the last 5 mins. on the Locus website

Fantasy might have made him his fortune, but for his next project, Terry Pratchett is set to venture into the world of science fiction, returning to a concept he first dreamed up almost 25 years ago in collaboration with the award-winning British science fiction writer Stephen Baxter.


Pratchett began work on a novel about a chain of parallel worlds, The Long Earth, in 1986, just after completing Equal Rites, the third book set in his Discworld universe in which the world is held up by four elephants, standing on a giant turtle. "I thought to myself [Discworld] is fantasy, and I want to get back to my first love, which is science fiction," Pratchett told the Guardian. The author had previously written two science fiction novels in the late 70s and early 80s, The Dark Side of the Sun and Strata.


But the Discworld books took off, and Pratchett decided to pursue the fantasy path. "Equal Rites was very successful, and without me making an actual decision about it, I found I enjoyed writing the Discworld books, and The Long Earth remained on the back burner until the back burner receded over the horizon," he said.


Digging through his archive recently in search of material for a compilation, his agent, Colin Smythe, stumbled across the unfinished novel and two short stories, and Pratchett began to realise "there was such a lot that could be done with it".


"It was simply based on the quantum theory idea, that the earth is one of an immeasurable number of earths, each one differing by one electron. Like a lot of science fiction, or at least like the stuff which interests me, this is a scenario where we can start to have lots of fun," he said.


"A way is found almost by accident for people to go from one world to another. An overarching theory here is how much our wars are caused by the scarcity of land. Supposing that the thickness of a thought away is another earth, almost exactly like this one, and as far as we can tell not inhabited by anything human. It'd be the land rush to end all land rushes. So off we go, but hang on a minute, there are no mobile phones … so there are certain problems: metal doesn't go well through whatever ether you step through to get to the next world. You're really pretty well having to start again, so it's a strange kind of situation – people are incredibly rare, they're the biggest resource you have."


Pratchett has collaborated with other authors before, working with Neil Gaiman on Good Omens, and was keen to team up with a science fiction writer to develop The Long Earth series. Baxter, author of Flood, Ark and the Time's Tapestry and Destiny's Children series, and winner of the British Science Fiction Association prize and the Philip K Dick award, felt like the right choice.


"I think Stephen Baxter is one of our best science fiction writers, and the best hard science fiction writer," he said. "I really like his stuff. There's a man who's at home with trillions … The nice thing about working with him is that pretty much one or other of us can solve any sort of problem. It'll be fun – an antidote to all the other boys and girls being allowed out to play and you typing away by yourself. I suffer from permanent cabin fever. It's having a mirror to bounce things off, and at the same time you're his mirror as well. Also he is used to writing hard science fiction."


At the moment, the pair are both working on other books (Pratchett's next Discworld novel is out next autumn) but they're bouncing ideas off each other and pinning down the outline for the series, the first book of which will be published by Doubleday in spring 2012. "There are excited phone calls – and there will probably be fights over who does what scene," said Pratchett, who's particularly looking forward to covering Native Americans visiting a pristine version of the Black Hills of Dakota, "and saying this is great but I really hope we get cell phones going, this blanket and smoke thing really sucks".


This being a Terry Pratchett series, there will, of course, be humour involved, but the author is adamant that "you can't just put humour in a book". "There has to be something to play it up against – tragic relief," he stressed. "Humour should come from the situation, not because you think it's a good time to put a joke in."


Both authors are determined to put the parameters of their world(s) down in concrete before getting started. "Once you've got the science and the background you have to be true to it. One of the problems of Doctor Who-type fiction is that you can make it up as you go along. If you do it right, you use the modelling clay you've got," said Pratchett. "You only get one chance to put down the parameters of what's possible. I've been phoning doctors and people like that and saying 'Can this work?' You have to find something which seems right and not too blatantly bad from a scientific point of view."


Generally speaking, "the rule in science fiction is you are allowed one impossible thing," he said. "Ours is, supposing we can step to the world next door – to all the words next door. And let's see what people do, faced with this … Of course, being writers we can play with what we know about mankind – offered an absolute paradise, he will find some way of cocking things up."
:mrgreen: Image :D
This may be a bit better [url]Guardian article[/url]
Last edited by Who's Wee Dug on Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:34 pm

Sounds interesting! :P
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Postby mspanners » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:04 am

The trouble with a lot of SciFi is that sometimes it takes it's self to seriously I just hope IF He goes ahead with this project He is able to keep the sense of fun in the Books and not at the Discworld's expense... or is He thinking of alternate Discworld novels?

An evil Rincewind for example, a bit like the Star Trek alternate Universe where everyone is an opposite persona?

:lol:

Anyone remember the TV show Sliders? That was good until they lost a couple of the original actors......then it went slowly down hill.
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:06 am

Check out his Dark Side of the Sun & Strata for the SF ones before Discworld. :)
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:38 am

All Terry's collaborations have worked out well so let's hope this one's the same or better! :D
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Postby mspanners » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:06 pm

Got he audio book for Strata and not impressed with it, started to read Dark side of the sun but could not get into that book at all............ :cry:

His colaberation book Good Omens.well, now there is a fine book!

:D

Terry is a lot better as a comic fantasy writer than a pure SciFi writer I think.
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Postby Bouncy Castle » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:39 pm

I'm with you on Strata and Dark Side - couldn't get on with them at all.

Love Good Omens. Read it about once a year.
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Postby Tiffany » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:57 pm

I agree with you both on Strata & The Dark Side Of The Moon & I have both books. I couldn't get into them either. I've got Good Omens, but haven't read it yet.
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Postby Bouncy Castle » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:06 pm

It's a hoot! :D
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Postby mspanners » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:06 pm

Good Omens is a MUST if you like terry's sense of humor... not sure how the two of them split the book but you can see lots of Terry's work in there!

Even DEATH has a part in it......true it is a slightly darker DEATH but not to dark. 8)

Get that book out now and I think you will have trouble putting it down....
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Postby Penfold » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:43 pm

I agree with mspanners re Good omens. Its one of my all time favourites and one that my friends, who are far from Discworld fans, really enjoyed!

About Dark Side of the Moon and Strata, its worth bearing in mind that these were written very early into Sir Terry's career and that his skill as both a writer and storyteller has improved astronomically since then. The difference in style and content between Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic and Unseen Academicals, for example, is immense. I personally have high hopes for a new Terry Pratchett Sci-fi series especially if he holds to his high values of storytelling without resorting to suddenly introducing some amazing piece of techno-wizardry to rescue his heroes from deadly situations (Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series, for example). In the Discworld series, in my opinion, he works very hard to avoid this trap and, unlike many authors of the fantasy genre, he relies very little on magic (other than for mainly comic value, or to move a story along) to get his heroes out of trouble, so I really can't see him putting in any less effort in a sci-fi setting. I am actually quite looking forward to reading something else of Sir Terry's that is non Discworld for a nice change of pace. :D
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Postby mspanners » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:09 am

Maybe it is just Me then but I have found His other works apart from Good Omens not very good, I read Nation only once and did not like it very much..... maybe I am just a Discworld addict and hate the idea of Terry wasting time on other projects!!!! :shock: :lol:
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:18 pm

What about his short stories that are not Discworld,or have you not read any of those.
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Postby high eight » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:55 am

Who's Wee Dug wrote:What about his short stories that are not Discworld,or have you not read any of those.


I've read three of his short stories:

Turntables of the Night - Fantasy. Death talks rock'n'roll with a DJ and record collector: "Have you got all the Beatles?" "NOT YET" - Hilarious.

#ifdefDEBUG + "world/enough" + "time" - It's an SF story, a love story and a ghost story. It's also one of the best things PTerry has done, IMO. Oh, and it's serious.

Hollywood Chickens - SF. Evolved chickens invent a machine for crossing roads. Bit of a one-joke story, but it's a good joke.
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Postby Batty » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:16 am

I enjoy Terry's YA books, & Good Omens, but I didn't enjoy Strata or Dark Side of the Sun.

If Terry uses a lot of technology / science in the storyline, then I just won't bother to read it. In fact, I could even imagine myself feeling peeved that he could have produced another Discworld book and my having to wait yet another 12 months for him to do so! :cry:
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