*waits for poohbcarrot to start yelling about having his head done in*
Trish - yes, yes and yes.
Most people don't 'get' the difference between sci-fi and fantasy and let's face it the lines are sometimes very blurred indeed. It's like (bear with me please!
) Star Wars could be argued as being fantasy (the 'classic' ones anyway) as they very much had an ethical appeal and patently weren't
all about flying saucers and ray guns and more to do knights and distressed damsels - well yeah GL rubbed our noses in that one of course -
or even cowboys and indians with bounty hunters (the Mos Eisly saloon/cantina) etc
It's all in the perception and I think every one of us on here 'gets' Terry's fantasies and how they go beyond humour and satire and are in some respects almost like parables - and here I'm specifically thinking of Small Gods and Jingo and MR - but it goes for all the others too of course in different respects. They do have a 'message' and the carrier is undoubtly humour, but that doesn't detract from the fact Pterry generally has a serious message in amongst the jokes, puns, cariacatures and lampoons.
But they're also rattling good yarns too and that's why authors like Terry are perhaps not credited too much with being 'proper' or serious authors simply because they're so entertaining. Same with JK Rowling to some extent, although I don't seek to put her into the same category as Terry.
Her writing is far more 'successful' as in commercial, but like Terry she's never going to win a great serious and major prize for literature even though (or more probably because
) their work is broadly read and so influential and, in these vacuous yet 'media-sophisticated' times, anything that has the potential to encourage people to examine their own lives and motivations has to be good - if you 'get' the message in the first place of course.
As a legacy I think most authors would prefer a lot of people to actually want to read their books for pleasure pure and simple - how many people have read Satre or Solzhenitsyn because they actually wanted
to as opposed to treking through it as part of their college course...
And yes before anyone says it I know there's no real comparison except - philosophically. And what better place to pontificate (in a pragmatic and reasonably transparent manner) and play with impossible concepts than on an impossible world!