Trying to get into the new book. Really trying. The scientific bits are, as usual, challenging going, but once you grasp what they're getting at, it actually gets quite interesting. But the Discworld story, so far, is... well, lacklustre. It doesn't even feel as if he wrote it, if you see what I mean. It reads like second-division fan fic. The sort that isn't bad, tells a decent story, the characters are in context... but the author only gets the classic Terry Pratchett voice here and there in little flashes of brilliance. If anything, the Margery Dawes bits (and why does that make me think of Matt Lucas dragged up) read as if they're in the Felicity Beedle voice TP devised for The World of Poo.. I really, really, hope it improves.
Another little problem as I get further into the book: the balance is wrong. The science chapters are too long and the Discworld chapters are too short. Not. Enough. Discworld.
And it used to be said about Terry that he avoided the "plots-r-us" school of dialogue. His dialogue between characters here not only appears to take the place of plot, the speeches are far too long. Dialogue sequences used to be short, pithy and bang-bang. Now there are whole paragraphs of character-led exposition. Rincewind does not sound like Rincewind; the Dean is not the Dean. What's gone wrong? Was Terry just content to write an outline script and then let others - Rob Williams or Rhianna Pratchett or both - fill in the details? There are moments of the old Pratchett genius - his description of how Vetinari can force a crowded room into silence just by sitting there is excellent - but there are just too few of them. So far.
Used to be too clever by half, but by virtue of consistent drinking, now only too clever by about a quarter. Banned from all BBC messageboards for being too much of an "uncceptable editorial risk".