The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

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The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:01 am

**Warning**

This thread is for discussing The Light Fantastic in some depth. If you haven’t read the book then read on at your own risk – or, better still, go and read the book and join in the fun.

For those of us that are going to join in the discussion, here are a few guidelines:

Please feel free to make comparisons to other Discworld books, making sure you identify the book and the passage you are referring to. Others may not be as familiar with the book you are referencing, so think before you post.

Sometimes we’ll need to agree to disagree – only Terry knows for sure what he was thinking when he wrote the books and individuals members may have widely different interpretations – so try to keep the discussion friendly.

We may be discussing a book that you don’t much care for – don’t be put off joining in the discussion. If you didn’t care for the book, then that in itself is a good topic for discussion.

Please note: there is no time limit to this discussion. Please feel free to add to it at any time - especially if you've just read the book.

And finally:

Please endeavour to keep the discussion on topic. If necessary I will step in and steer it back to the original topic – so no digressions please!

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The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Originally published 1986


Image

Saved from death after falling off the Disc, Rincewind the failed wizard and Twoflower, the Disc’s first tourist, find themselves facing the threat of the Red Star.

With the help of trolls, clouds with rocks in and the Disc’s oldest hero, our heroes must get back to Ankh Morpork before Hogswatch Day to save the world.
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Colour of Magic part 2, or an adventure in its own right?

Personally, I like this book much more than Colour of magic, even though it is a very different style of Pratchett to the later books. At times I can almost hear Peter Jones reading from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when I read the Light Fantastic. There is a lot more of the Fantasy parody in this book that was in Colour of Magic – but more of the Sword and Sorcery type I think.

Still – there are some great bits in there. I’m very fond of Cohen and some of the jokes are groan-out-loud funny.

But what did you think?

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Want to write the introduction for the next discussion (Reaper Man)? PM me and let me know if you’d like to – first come first served. :wink:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:03 am

It remains one my top five Discworld books and while very much connected to the C.O.M. I consider it an adventure in its own right,Cohen is brilliant in it and the jokes,puns,and one liners just give me smileiteus, a joy to read and a genius in the making. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Sister Jennifer » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:04 am

Like I said on the Best Book Ever thread I'm suprised COM & more specifically LF don't list higher.

Here's a couple of reasons why LF is a favourite of mine:

Our introduction to Cohen. That on it's own is enough. I was much, much younger the first time I read LF and I don't mind saying it was something of a revelation to me the concept of heroes getting old. He's so wise & he just gets it. I mean if you can't see the profundity in, 'Hot water, good dentistry and soft lav paper'. Well, there's no hope. Also The Luggage knew better than to mess with him.

The birth of the world turtles is amazing. It's not really mentioned again in any other DW novel. Rightly or wrongly so. Maybe it should remain a mystery as to the fate of the other DW's. Apart from magical, how similar to the DW we know would they be? I don't know, it was beautiful though.

I had read Reaper Man before COM or LF so I could see how different TP's DW Death was, but even that was new to me and the whole concept of the 4 Horseman having these personalities was astounding. And Twoflower trying to teach them Bridge, so funny.

Anyway, it's been a while since I read LF but I just took it off the shelf and am going to start reading it again today.

I'll be back.
Undead yes -
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:29 pm

What I noticed upon a re-read was that my mind almost auotmatically changed bits and pieces of sentences to fit more with the later style. Anyone with the same experience?
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:35 pm

LilMaibe wrote:What I noticed upon a re-read was that my mind almost auotmatically changed bits and pieces of sentences to fit more with the later style. Anyone with the same experience?

Not really. I see this book as almost being set on another Discworld. It feels like a rough draft of the later Disc - and I don't mean that in a bad way. The ideas are new and interesting, but, having read the later books, I know that the ideas will evolve and maybe even vanish.

Trolls, for example seem somewhat different in TLF. The whole business of them turning to stone during the day seems to have been pretty much discarded.

Anyone notice that there is no mention of Rincewind's beloved hat in either this book or COM? There's also no mention of his spelling of "Wizzard". I'd have sworn that those two ideas go right back to the start, but apparently not. :)
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:38 pm

Did he actually have his hat during TLF? I somehow remember him losing it in the great fire.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:40 pm

The fire was in Colour of Magic - and no, I'm almost certain there's no mention of him ever wearing a hat in either book.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:48 pm

Will re-read com to check once i'm done with the re-read of GP
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:37 pm

My only comment on this is that for me it is largely unreadable and a demonstration of Pterry's early attempts to be little more than the Douglas Adams of fantasy. Fortunately, he was able to move light years beyond this in a relatively short time.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby ChristianBecker » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:23 am

It must be 10 or more years since I last read LF, but I remember enjoying it very much.
Sure, it is mostly a funny fantasy novel without the depth of later works. However, I have no problem reading something that is just funny - and funny it definitely is.
Only got it in English last Christmas or birthday and didn't read it yet since there was other unread stuff on my pile.

As for the trolls - they seem to be inspired by Tolkien's trolls (which are based on the Norwegian trolls?). On the other hand this really old troll, who has become a mountain seems to be an original idea by Pratchett (but then, apart from Pratchett and Tolkien I don't read any fantasy) and shows one of the typical traits of Pratchett, which is to think things to an end (often with a humorous logic) , which some authors just introduce because they need something to rescue their plot - funnily enough I can't think of a good example for this right now, but they're often in there. (A not so good one would be the Counting trees: Men fell them and count the rings to determine their age → Evolution kicks in and the trees develop numbers → Men fell the trees to get house numbers; ah, wait, a good thing: fundamental laws are also true for magic - thus you can't just create something out of nothing or have to be careful not to get your brain squeezed out of your ears when using a magic lever. This prevents him, at the same time, from overusing magic as a type of deus ex machina - something J.K. Rowling didn't achieve in such an elegant way and which caused some inelegant work-arounds (you can't create food or money with magic).)
However, in the beginning of the series Pratchett often mentioned the dislike of trolls for the sun. It is even mentioned in TMC - somewhere he says (when he introduces the troll bodyguards of the President(?) of the Merchants' Guild) that they were good as bodyguards and you only had some higher expenses for sunblocker.
The sunblocker trolls need is mentioned again in Moving Pictures. I think after that it is more or less "common knowledge" and Terry doesn't mention it anymore.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby cabbagehead » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:26 am

There were many fun jokes, like what would a ginger-bread cottage really be like or the technology jokes wrt the druids and their stone circles (I think the only other time we meet druids is with Buddy's family in Soul Music, right?) with the occasional more thoughtful moment - like the reflections of the aging Cohen as mentioned above, the fanaticism of the star people, thoughts about the limited roles available to women in fantasy worlds. The Librarian makes his first appearance.

Besides Death and the trolls being very different compared with later book, the same applies to the dwarf in the wandering shop, very different from the dwarfs we will meet starting from Wyrd Sisters. Come on, he has a rusty axe! OTOH troll teeth being made of diamonds will be plot-significant in Soul Music.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:23 pm

Ysabelle seems somewhat different in this book than she does in Mort as well.
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby swreader » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:07 am

I hadn't re-read LF for years, and I came away thinking that there are parts of it that are quite funny (vignettes). I particularly like Grandpa Troll and Rincewind hunting for onions. It's very clear that this is a very early work. Lots of things have changed dramatically--and of course we still have another set of wizards to go through before we get to Ridcully and company.

That said, I have to agree with raisindot's assessment. I can wait another 10 years (or longer) before I try this again. If I had started reading Terry with CofM and LF, rather than Equal Rites, I don't think I'd have persevered. And that would have been a real loss. He writes so well now, and takes on important issues.

Plus, if it hadn't been for Hat Full of Sky, I'd never haven't gotten to know Tony, let alone end up married to him. That wouldn't do at all. :violin:
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:28 pm

swreader wrote:That said, I have to agree with raisindot's assessment.


I'm honored! Really! :D

swreader wrote:Plus, if it hadn't been for Hat Full of Sky, I'd never haven't gotten to know Tony, let alone end up married to him. That wouldn't do at all. :violin:


Now that is a great story, and a testament to the power of literature to literally bring people together!
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Re: The Light Fantastic Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:44 am

I was kind of interested to read how much less of a part that Trymon seemed to have in the book compared to the TV show. I guess if you've hired Tim Curry then you have to expand the role somewhat to let him fill it. ;)

Interesting the way Galder Weatherwax got done in. I had to go back and read that again as I missed it the first time.

As far as I could tell, after all the wizards got killed off, the University was pretty much left leaderless. And it seems to me that Rincewind hadn't actually lived in the university for some time. There's talk of him sleeping in stables etc.

I think I have missed these facts from previous readings. :think:
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