The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    PirateGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Interesting Times
    Seeing more luggages was... Conflicting. On one hand, it makes the character less unique (Also I thought it was all that powerful because it was bought from one of the mysterious disappearing shops, not because it was from the Counterweight Continent), OTOH, it was funny to see it meeting others of its kind and even begin a family (and if I'm not misunderstanding something, The Luggage is still uniquely vicious and clever, in part because of everything it has seen and learned during its adventures Rincewind)...
    From the L-Space annotations for this book there's a comment from Terry about this:
    "That was a long time ago... think of how it's all progressed. They've got real clocks in Ankh-Morpork now, people wear spectacles... you might as well say home computers were rare and special things in 1980 so how come there were so many of them in 1990? What makes the Luggage special is its peculiarly endearing character..."
    Now with half the calories!

  2. - Top - End - #392
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Apparently this was an unintentional mistake on behalf of the artist, Josh Kirby. He was given an early draft of The Colour of Magic to read as reference for his work and, when Two-Flower was called "Four Eyes" by someone as an insult, took it literally without thinking to ask.

    I mean, it was a Fantasy novel written in the 1980's - one guy having 4 eyes really isn't all that remarkable, even if it were accurate.
    I figured it had something to do with the term "Four Eyes"... It's still a rather bizarre mistake to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Still, I know what you mean about Rincewind's appearance. In my mind' eye, I always think of him as he was portrayed in the video games - 30-ish years old, with a short ginger beard (and sounding a lot like Eric Idle...).
    And yet when you read The Colour of Magic and The Lite Fantastic, it describes how he was in the same class as Ymper Trymon, who has spent at least a few decades working his way up through the ranks of Wizardry to become 7th Level. Depending on how long that process took, Rincewind could be anything from 30 to 60 years old!
    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but the timeline is kinda muddy anyway... But the way Rincewind is described and how he's addressed by other characters, unless I'm missing something, it's pretty clear he's somewhere around his early-to-middle 30s. At very least, he isn't a long-white-bearded sexagenarian as the cover art shows... In fact, he's explicitly described as having a brown hair and short beard. IMO, the cover artist simply drew a generic wizard.

    Didn't anyone show the art to PTerry?

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDMMk3 View Post
    Oh I hope you and I share tastes, because I would pay real money to be able to read Maskerade for the first time again. Easily a top 5 book for me. And please forgive and ignore the side tangent, the thread must go on!!!!!
    I hope so! I only read a few pages due to time constraints, but I'm enjoying it so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by The New Bruceski View Post
    From the L-Space annotations for this book there's a comment from Terry about this:
    "That was a long time ago... think of how it's all progressed. They've got real clocks in Ankh-Morpork now, people wear spectacles... you might as well say home computers were rare and special things in 1980 so how come there were so many of them in 1990? What makes the Luggage special is its peculiarly endearing character..."
    I understand PTerry's point, but at the same time... The Luggage was presented as some kind of unique artifact, bought from a mystical shop, not kinda-rare piece of technology . In fact, part of the comedy comes from how oblivious Twoflower is to its monstrous abilities. Well... It doesn't make the book any less entertaining, so it doesn't bother me much.
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  3. - Top - End - #393
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    What? Share art work with those pleb authors? How could they understand true art? How could they understand the thought process of a tortured soul?

    In seriousness, I think the authors are the last people that the publishers talk about cover art with, especially if they are fairly new in their careers. One just has to look at the (in)famous original covers of the Wheel of Time for example.

    As to Rincewind, well, he has been through so many temporal wossnames its kind of hard to know how old he is.

    On the gods in Interesting Times;

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    I believe this is the last novel that they actually put in a physical experience. They make a brief one in the Last Hero, and there is of course the god of evolution in the Last Continent, but after this the pantheon just fades into the background. It sort of also marks the tonal shift in the novels that is shortly to start.

  4. - Top - End - #394
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    What made the Luggage special was what it was made of and that it came from Far AwayTM. Since we have gone to Far AwayTM it makes sense there’d be more of them. It’s basically the ‘Twoflowers doesn’t realize the value of gold’ joke in reverse.

    As for the cover art I think it is supposed to mock the usual cover arts of fantasy novels of the day? I mean the cover of one of the first books depicts the female adventurer whose name I forgot exactly like the narration says she isn’t supposed to be depicted on the cover.

    If that was the joke however, I never got it and I’m glad the covers eventually changed.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2019-09-17 at 02:01 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #395
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    If the cover art bothers you (it sure bothers me, I never liked the style either, wrong depictions of characters aside), you may be glad to hear that later books have a different, much better illustrator.
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  6. - Top - End - #396
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but the timeline is kinda muddy anyway... But the way Rincewind is described and how he's addressed by other characters, unless I'm missing something, it's pretty clear he's somewhere around his early-to-middle 30s. At very least, he isn't a long-white-bearded sexagenarian as the cover art shows... In fact, he's explicitly described as having a brown hair and short beard. IMO, the cover artist simply drew a generic wizard.
    PTerry kept his timelines vague on purpose. If there wasn't a fixed timeline, there can't be continuity issues. The same reason he resisted a map of Ank-Morpork for quite a long time, so he could place buildings where he wanted them without being constraint by something that was published.

    And as Corvus said, Rincewind has been through many temporal wossnames.

    Spoiler: Death on Rincewind
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    In one of the books (I don't recall which one again), Rincewind's hourglass is described as having so many weird turns (where glass actually goes through other glass, even though it can't really) that it's impossible to figure out when he's going to die. Death doesn't like it, as it leads to many near-Rincewind experiences (if Rincewind has a near-Death experience, Death by design has to have a near-Rincewind experience and he doesn't like it).
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  7. - Top - End - #397
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    Quote Originally Posted by farothel View Post
    Spoiler: Death on Rincewind
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    In one of the books (I don't recall which one again), Rincewind's hourglass is described as having so many weird turns (where glass actually goes through other glass, even though it can't really) that it's impossible to figure out when he's going to die. Death doesn't like it, as it leads to many near-Rincewind experiences (if Rincewind has a near-Death experience, Death by design has to have a near-Rincewind experience and he doesn't like it).
    I remember that... But I can't say what book it's from either... Perhaps it's from one I haven't read but someone commented on?

    In any case, one of my favorites scenes in Discworld is in Eric, when the demon... Asthfgel (?) goes to the end of time and meets Death, then ask about Rincewind, to which Death replies "The Wizzard?!" in a clearly exacerbated tone.
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2019-09-17 at 01:26 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #398
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    We've done that scene during the play at the Discworld Con. Quite fun to do. Getting Death's voice right wasn't easy for the sound guys, but I think we did a good job.
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  9. - Top - End - #399
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    Quote Originally Posted by farothel View Post
    And as Corvus said, Rincewind has been through many temporal wossnames.

    Spoiler: Death on Rincewind
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    In one of the books (I don't recall which one again), Rincewind's hourglass is described as having so many weird turns (where glass actually goes through other glass, even though it can't really) that it's impossible to figure out when he's going to die. Death doesn't like it, as it leads to many near-Rincewind experiences (if Rincewind has a near-Death experience, Death by design has to have a near-Rincewind experience and he doesn't like it).
    I believe that one is from The Last Continent, in one of the early introductory scenes.

  10. - Top - End - #400
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    The bit about Rincewind's hourglass being all screwy is from Last Continent I'm pretty sure, but I don't think Death ever actually comments on the necessity of 'near-Rincewind experiences'. As I recall he does however, in a later book, have a near-Vimes experience.
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  11. - Top - End - #401
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thufir View Post
    The bit about Rincewind's hourglass being all screwy is from Last Continent I'm pretty sure (...)
    Huh... I must have read it somewhere else, then. Or maybe someone made a comment about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thufir View Post
    but I don't think Death ever actually comments on the necessity of 'near-Rincewind experiences'. As I recall he does however, in a later book, have a near-Vimes experience.
    I think Death says something a la "I believe I just had a near-Rincewind experience" all the way back in one of the first two books.
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  12. - Top - End - #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Huh... I must have read it somewhere else, then. Or maybe someone made a comment about it?

    I think Death says something a la "I believe I just had a near-Rincewind experience" all the way back in one of the first two books.
    Worth noting that they happen so frequently, I doubt Death sees them as a frustrating formality at this point. One book has him show up for an execution with an unconcerned "I look forward to hearing how you escaped", which of course Rincewind then does. It doesn't help that Rincewind has turned the time-dilation effect of Death's last minute into a form of martial arts - dodging lethal attacks by capitalizing on the grinning giant's arrival. Death is caught in the unenviable position of either helping Rincewind survive or engaging in... gasp... poor customer service. So, yeah, not really a choice to be made.
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  13. - Top - End - #403
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by farothel View Post
    We've done that scene during the play at the Discworld Con. Quite fun to do. Getting Death's voice right wasn't easy for the sound guys, but I think we did a good job.
    That sounds fun. Next time I visit my sister, I try to find out if there's another Con going on. :)
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  14. - Top - End - #404
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    Maskerade

    Oops! I finished reading Maskerade a few days ago, but forgot to post here... My bad.

    Phantom of the Opera meets Discworld! What could go wrong?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a general rule, I really enjoy how Pratchett focuses more and more on characters, and less on fantasy tropes. And there are so many great characters here... Aside from Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, whose depictions in this book felt really true and accurate to their characters, we also have Agnes Nitt, back from Lord and Ladies (good to know she was more than just Diamanda's lackey) and the whole cast from the Opera House, including Walter Plinge who gave a real touch of humanity and wholeness to the book, and the hilarious Christine, Mr. Buckets and Mr. Salzella, who had what's possibly the funniest death in the Discworld books . And of course, there's Greebo, whose twisted personality is always fun to have around(for the reader, not so much for the other characters), although I felt he didn't get to shine as much as I'd like.

    I miss Magrat, whose newly-developed badassery in "Lords and Ladies" made her one of my favorite characters. I hope she returns in future books, even if it's in minor roles.

    What really surprised me is that there are moments of real tension in this book... In particular, that scene where Agnes is hiding behind the curtains while someone creeps in the darkness was really well written and got me truly anxious for the character. I was actually disappointed that it just turned out to be a misunderstanding between good guys. Still, the tension was real. Worthy of any suspense/terror book!

    The plight of Walter Plinge was one of my favorite parts. He felt like the heart of the book. Being constantly underestimated and never given the opportunity to shine, despite his obvious skill and devotion, the way he is taken advantage of by an unscrupulous villain... How he needs a mask to show his confidence, etc. And yet, he never stops being a good person. In fact, his naivete and general goodness tie in with one of my few criticisms of the book...

    Maskerade is a wonderful book, but it isn't perfect. There are really only two real criticisms that I have. The first of them is Walter's good-natured-janitor-no-one-takes-seriously character. It made him being the Opera Ghost really obvious, which in turn, made him not being the murderer just as obvious. This being a Discworld book, I consider it to be a lesser problem than it would be in other book series, as the mystery of the murders really isn't the point of the book, IMHO. That'd the characters themselves. The second one is that Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg felt too invincible. They are never challenged or even moderately threatened by anything or anyone, and are completely aware of this. All that tension that I mentioned before, when the scene is described from the PoV of Agnes and other characters? It completely vanishes any time either witch becomes the focus character.

    Despite this, Maskerade is still one of the better Discworld books so far.

    Next is "Feet of Clay"... Which, judging by the cover and title, has something to do with golems.

    It seems I finally reached... The halfway point of the series?! And that's not counting "The Science of Discworld" and non-Discworld books! Holy Crap!!! I had actually forgotten how many books there are! Sir Terry Pratchett really deserved all the acknowledgement he ever got, including his knighthood! This is indeed a huge contribution to humanity!

    EDIT: Wait... My mistake! Halfway through will only be in another book and half!

    Off we go!
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2019-09-27 at 11:01 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #405
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    This book contains one of my favourate Discworld AND mystery moments, seriously it is a twist that would have been worthy of Mr Holmes or Mrs Marple:
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    You know who he is, because you can't see his face?

    Its a sublime clue, its just a regular assumption that can so easily be wrong.
    Last edited by Evil DM Mark3; 2019-09-27 at 11:59 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #406
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    "You know, there's a nasty word for men who hang around in dark places looking for trouble."
    "Yes. It's 'policeman'."

    One of my favourite lines in Discworld.

    The next Witch's book after Maskerade is Carpe Jugulum which, I have to say, is my favourite Witch's book. It also addresses all of the problems that you had with Maskerade, from the lack of Magrat to Granny and Nanny always getting things their own way. Hopefully you'll look forward to that one.

    In the mean time, I'd say you're well into the "Golden Age" of Discworld. I personally think that Feet of Clay is the best of the Watch books (although Night Watch is the best *Vimes* book), and the amount of world-building that goes on in what seems to be a rather strange whodunnit is always impressive even after the 6th or 7th read through.
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  17. - Top - End - #407
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    I think Walter being so good is a way for Terry to point out the inconsistent characterization/dualityof the phanton in the source material.

    And yeah, Granny and Nanny are very sure of themselves, that is part of the course of being a witch. As is said in Wintersmith:
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    A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.


    I like how different they both act in the theater compared to their behaviour in Wyrd Sisters.

    Oh boy, oh boy, I can't read Feet of Clay without tearing up a little (or a lot sometimes). You're in for a good ride.


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  18. - Top - End - #408
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    Maskerade is also one of my favourites, although I find the witches' books often less interesting.

    And on DWCONs we call the sketch/dance/whatever show that everyone can participate in also The Maskerade.
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  19. - Top - End - #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    The second one is that Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg felt too invincible. They are never challenged or even moderately threatened by anything or anyone, and are completely aware of this. All that tension that I mentioned before, when the scene is described from the PoV of Agnes and other characters? It completely vanishes any time either witch becomes the focus character.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    The next Witch's book after Maskerade is Carpe Jugulum which, I have to say, is my favourite Witch's book. It also addresses all of the problems that you had with Maskerade, from the lack of Magrat to Granny and Nanny always getting things their own way. Hopefully you'll look forward to that one.
    The thing is, by this time Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg really are this against mundane opponents, so making it look as if they had difficulties would be even worse. Instead, the focus is on the relationship and low-level rivalry between them.

    Perhaps my favourite scene for that is the one where they are discussing Mrs Palm, and Gytha has clearly forgotten that Esme has been in Ankh-Morpock before.
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  20. - Top - End - #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    The thing is, by this time Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg really are this against mundane opponents, so making it look as if they had difficulties would be even worse. Instead, the focus is on the relationship and low-level rivalry between them.
    Absolutely right - that's pretty much...

    Spoiler: Plot to Carpe Jugulum
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    ...The theme of the first half of Carpe Jugulum. Granny gets back from Ankh Morpork, and immediately the ennui sets in. She's back in Lancre being the smartest woman in a village full of idiots; even her most recent adventure amounted to visiting a city that she has already visited and doing the same Headology that she's done countless times before, just on people who are fatter than she normally meets. The temptation to just go Borrowing and never come back is intoxicating.

    And Nanny knows that. She's constantly watching over her friend, intentionally antagonising her to stop Granny from getting bored because when Granny gets bored, things happen.

    That's why the events of Carpe Jugulum are so distressing, and thus, enjoyable to read. Granny gets what she wished for - a challenge - and it very nearly kills her. That's the level she's operating at; No second chances, and no ordinary human can hope to compete. Mental rocket-tag
    Last edited by Wraith; 2019-09-27 at 03:55 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #411
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    Personally I feel Granny and Nanny being invincible in Maskerade worked because, ad Granny says, it isn't their fight. They move through Agnes's story/adventure observing, keeping things moving here and there, but empowering others rather than fighting anything.
    Now with half the calories!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Bruceski View Post
    Personally I feel Granny and Nanny being invincible in Maskerade worked because, ad Granny says, it isn't their fight. They move through Agnes's story/adventure observing, keeping things moving here and there, but empowering others rather than fighting anything.
    This is also true - I was focussing on the relationship between the two rather than their relationship with the rest of the story. In that respect they are almost acting as the comic relief in this story as nearly everything they do is played humourously (Except the bit about the baby and the cow, of course).
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  23. - Top - End - #413
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    Personally I feel Granny and Nanny being invincible in Maskerade worked because, ad Granny says, it isn't their fight. They move through Agnes's story/adventure observing, keeping things moving here and there, but empowering others rather than fighting anything.
    Yeah. I think that is a very good point.
    The win condition for Esme and Nanny wasnt to beat the opposition.
    It was to first solve the riddle of what went on. And then aid the hero of the story, in defeating the villain.
    Because yes Esme could have crushed his mind like a gnat, but that would not be the optimal ending.
    It would not simultaneously empower the hero.

    Spoiler: Carpe Jugelum
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    That's why the events of Carpe Jugulum are so distressing, and thus, enjoyable to read. Granny gets what she wished for - a challenge - and it very nearly kills her. That's the level she's operating at; No second chances, and no ordinary human can hope to compete. Mental rocket-tag
    Yeah. The fight she found in Carpe Jugelum was exceptionally nasty. Likely the hardest she had ever encountered.
    The count was exceptionally powerful for a discworld villain. Both physically, magically and mentally.
    So that the only possible way to victory was a out-of-box solution.

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  24. - Top - End - #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Bruceski View Post
    Personally I feel Granny and Nanny being invincible in Maskerade worked because, ad Granny says, it isn't their fight. They move through Agnes's story/adventure observing, keeping things moving here and there, but empowering others rather than fighting anything.
    I understand that the focus of the book is on the characters, not on the mystery or drama... I even mentioned that in my review. And not every story has to be a life-threatening adventure. That's ok. However, in this specific case, I still think it detracts from the story, simply because there are moments of true tension in the book, like the one where Agnes hides behind the curtain, and the duel between Walter and Salzella... But that tension immediately evaporates as soon as Granny shows up. Even when Death is around (that was a great scene, BTW... It just didn't have any real tension).

    Now, I really like both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, and I also really enjoy seeing them be badass (They bullying themselves into the caravan and recovering Nanny Ogg's money were perfectly fine). But there are a few moments where I think the story would've been better if it didn't happen. Doesn't have to be because they are threatened by mundane opponents ... It could be because they are busy otherwise, somewhere else, or simply chose not to (directly) intervene. e.g.: Granny could've given a short speech to Agnes, and Agnes could've been the one to come up with the "invisible mask" idea. (Of course, PTerry being an infinitely better writer than I'll ever be, perhaps that wouldn't have worked so well for whatever reason... This is just an idea based on my own preference).

    But again, it's a really good book. Don't let my criticism make you think that I didn't thoroughly enjoy reading it, or that I won't read it again (in fact, I'm pretty sure I'll eventually re-read most Discworld books at least once or twice).

    - - -

    I started "Feet of Clay" today. I honestly didn't expect it to be a City Watch book... Are those people in the cover supposed to be the City Watch? One of them I'm guessing is Detritus because it seems to be made of stone (although it looks more like a distant cousin of Ben Grimm than how I pictured Trolls in my mind). I also see the Death of Rats in there, but I can't even begin to guess who the other characters are meant to be... -.-'

    Spoiler: Cover art for my edition of the book .
    Show


    I want to comment on the story itself, but I'll save that for my review...
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2019-09-28 at 04:32 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #415
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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    I started "Feet of Clay" today. I honestly didn't expect it to be a City Watch book... Are those people in the cover supposed to be the City Watch? One of them I'm guessing is Detritus because it seems to be made of stone (although it looks more like a distant cousin of Ben Grimm than how I pictured Trolls in my mind). I also see the Death of Rats in there, but I can't even begin to guess who the other characters are meant to be... -.-'
    Ill be honest. I think the waste majority of the discworld covers have been straight up horrible. I read the books despite of them.
    Not because of them. And yeah, i think this one is an especially awful case.
    The Troll, Dwarf and Woman is easy to identify from logic. The guy with the Halbeard is Fred Colon, because thats his prefered weapon.
    The small one is Nobby, because he is really short. The guy with the beak nose likely Dragon. As for the rest, well ???
    Honestly i have always been disapointed by how badly fitting the covers are. As if the artist didnt read the book.
    I mean. A resting troll is suposedly hard to tell from a pile of rocks. And twoflower only meant to have 1 pair of eyes.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  26. - Top - End - #416
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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    In the early days of Discworld - Colour of Magic and Lite Fantastic - Terry Pratchett was still relatively unknown as a novel writer, so he didn't have the influence over his books that he would later have. This meant that he was given "generic fantasy art" for his covers - not that Josh Kirby is a bad artist of course, just one with a particular style that became "tradition" as the Dicworld books grew in popularity.

    Discworld trolls eventually went on to look more like this when Paul Kidby took over, but the 'big yellow lizard' look never quite went away in the minds of fans.

    With regards to the cover for Feet of Clay... The only thing I'll say is that it's deliberately misleading. VERY MINOR SPOILER: That character never goes into that place with those people, so don't worry if you can't identify who they are because it's all out of context, unlike Maskerade or Witches Abroad in which a specific scene from the book is depicted.
    Last edited by Wraith; 2019-09-29 at 05:51 AM.
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  27. - Top - End - #417
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    In the early days of Discworld - Colour of Magic and Lite Fantastic - Terry Pratchett was still relatively unknown as a novel writer, so he didn't have the influence over his books that he would later have. This meant that he was given "generic fantasy art" for his covers - not that Josh Kirby is a bad artist of course, just one with a particular style that became "tradition" as the Dicworld books grew in popularity.

    Discworld trolls eventually went on to look more like this when Paul Kidby took over, but the 'big yellow lizard' look never quite went away in the minds of fans.

    With regards to the cover for Feet of Clay... The only thing I'll say is that it's deliberately misleading. VERY MINOR SPOILER: That character never goes into that place with those people, so don't worry if you can't identify who they are because it's all out of context, unlike Maskerade or Witches Abroad in which a specific scene from the book is depicted.
    I'm personally very happy that my collection is almost entirely with the understated US covers:



    The style is simple, the books are easily identifiable on a shelf, and they don't have any pictures of the characters so that you can imagine them how you please.

  28. - Top - End - #418
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    Default Re: Feet of Clay cover art

    That'd be Vimes on the left with crossbow. See Carrot anywhere?

    It's very busy and confusing, but at least the artist is familiar with the material of the book and there's lots of small details from the story (like the coat of arms). There's lots to like about Kirby art, but the style isn't for everyone.

  29. - Top - End - #419
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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    If you want decent covers for the earlier books, there's the French (I think?) covers by Marc Simonelli:

    Spoiler
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    Or the woodcut cover for the collector's edition:

    Spoiler
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    These are relatively simple, but they are printed in relief, and gorgeous if you can get to hold them.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2019-09-30 at 05:18 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #420
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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    I'm quite partial to the reprinted "adult editions" of the British covers - around the time that Harry Potter was taking off, many so-called grown ups felt embarrassed about reading a novel with a cartoon wizard on the front cover, and the publishers printed "adult appropriate" alternatives. Cashing in on a fad, Discworld did the same with a stark, monochrome-esque theme;

    Spoiler
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    I have a couple of these and they look very smart, but I didn't find out about them until my collection of traditional covers was nigh complete and I never felt the need to go back and replace them all.
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