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WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2005 -- PART 3 OF 4 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2005 -- PART 3 OF 4 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BOOK
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2005
      WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2005 -- PART 3 OF 4 (continued)

      ====Part 3
      by Drusilla D'Afanguin

      by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen
      Ebury Press, London, 2005, 344 pp., GBP 17.99


      A dialogue in the Penguin Colony

      Him: I thought it was the weakest of the three Science of Discworld
      books. Good, but nowhere near the quality of the first two.

      Her: I thought it was very good! In fact, I liked it better than The
      Globe, the second SoD book.

      Him: If we take it as two parts - the story part and the science

      Her: Yes, I always read them like that. I read the Discworld story,
      the Terry Pratchett part, first and then come back and read the
      Stewart-and-Cohen science part.

      Him: ...I thought the story part felt kind of rushed.

      Her: No way! It felt comfortable to me throughout. And I love the way
      Rincewind is such a real person in the SoD books. Less of a charming
      caricature and more of a real person, with depths and actual force of

      Him: The science stuff, on the other hand...it was all over the
      place. Undisciplined. They start off talking about one thing in a
      chapter and suddenly get off the track. Like discussing evolution and
      then with no warning talking about time travel. It felt like they
      weren't really focussing.

      Her: I did notice that a little, yes. Of course, I've not finished
      the science bits yet because you keep nicking the book...

      Him: I also have some trepidations about Hex. He - it - seems to be
      getting a bit too all-powerful. Godlike. That makes things too easy.

      Her: But that's only where Hex interacts with Roundworld! In the main
      Discworld books, Hex is still a mysterious machine that works
      randomly. See, I've always seen the SoD books as exercises in
      problem-solving and expositions of scientific theories, which just
      happen to be decorated by a Pratchett cast of characters, and as I
      love both Pratchett books and science books, that does fine for me.

      Him: I still say it felt rushed.

      Her: And I still say no way. There's real character development here.
      And the wizards seem to have an actual place, and wield actual power.
      In a comically wizardly way, of course. I particularly like the way
      Ponder is maturing...and the way Pterry showed him as being banjaxed
      by the ever-increasing evidential possibility of intelligent design
      ...oh wait, better not give that part away.

      Him: I liked the bit about Second Breakfast...

      Her: Trust you to think about food at a time like this!

      Him: Anyway, I'll have to read it again now, and see if I still have
      the same opinion.

      Her: Well, I liked it. A lot.

      Him: It's too expensive, though.

      Her: Huh? It was a pressie!

      Him: But if I'd bought it, it would have been too expensive. Actually
      I hadn't bought it because I thought the price seemed very high. Now
      I know I was right.

      Her: And I know I'm going to recommend it anyway. But yes, the price
      *is* too high. We should complain to the Guild of Booksellers about
      that. Um, do we have a guild of booksellers here in XXXX?...

      by Terry Pratchett
      HarperCollins, New York, 2003, 353 pp., $24.95

      I've just re-read Monstrous Regiment. I originally thought it was a
      bloody good book, but not one of the Great Ones in the DW series.

      I've changed my mind. It's a bloody excellent book.

      It's so very much more layered and incisive than I'd thought. And one
      thing that stood out to me was my impression, this time, that the
      presence of Vimes and Angua was not at all "gratuitous", as some
      persons here (and one male werevampenguin) have claimed. Both
      Ankh-Morporkians have a definite purpose in the plot; although
      they're secondary characters, I feel strongly that they are
      *important* characters to the story. And not just because of the
      coffee beans...

      Also, I'd originally thought the climactic scenes near the end were a
      bit too OTT, and now I think they were justified because they drove
      the point home with big pointy things and made the whole "you are my
      little lads" really stand out!


      To The Editor:

      I just have 2 things to say something about.

      1) In the puzzles section, I really really do think the other
      books should very much be covered. 'Carpet People' should
      very definitely be covered. Ooooooo, it's a luvvverlyyyyy tale.

      2) As for the Pterry and Rowling debate -- well, all I can say is
      -- I am certain Rowling read 'Strata' before she wrote the first
      book (hint - the invisibility cloak -- the way it looks to the onlooker),
      and 'Men at Arms' before she wrote the red eyes and the resurrection-
      speech of Voldemort (hint - Big Fido). Also, I might mention here that
      among the little circle I frequent, the opinion is rife that the latest book
      is anthology of fanfiction, while the earlier ones were anthologies of
      well-known, published literature (Dickens, Poe and so on). Like, you know,
      those reviews in scientific journals which summarise all the hitherto known
      aspects of the subject being dealt with and citing numerous

      Actually, a friend of mine, a scientist, said to me after she read
      first potter book --- this was the 4th one of the series --- 'Hey,
      where's the references? Should be a massive section at the end ...
      It's got the rest, abstract or summary, intro, methods, results, discussion
      ... only the acknowledgements and the references are missing ...
      no figures or tables, of course.'

      However, I can personally assert with total conviction that the authoress
      of the potter-series doesn't read Aristophanes, or much of Shaw or Wilde.
      She should at least try. She should also try reading Robert Graves ---
      that might help her sort out the woods of the wands --- it's a mess at the
      moment. And if she fails, there's always Pterry and Tolkien and the
      Arabian Nights to bail her out, yes?

      -- writer's name lost, due to power surge from electrical storm -- please
      let us know who you are (yes, that was Hurricane Katrina)


      To the Editor:

      Hah! After going through several pieces of several books, I found it!
      Vimes was elevated to er um dukehood at the end of Feet of Clay, but
      the actual formal title wasn't mentioned until Jingo, pp. 21-22:

      "Oh, I couldn't send the Commander of the City Watch..." (Vetinari
      says to Vimes). "I'm sending the Duke of Ankh instead."

      See, I was *sure* of that! And I stand on my assertion that "the Duke
      of Ankh" is a better choice, since it fits the rhythm of the old Duke
      of York nursery rhyme ("...he had 10,000 men..."). What's more, we've
      been long since given to understand that the Ankh side of A-M is the
      posher (and thus possibly older as a formal city?) side.

      So Oi calls all the references to "the Duke of Ankh-Morpork" in THUD
      a big mistake, Oi does!

      -- Annie Mac



      To the Editor:

      Quoting Steven D'Aprano <limeguin@...>:

      > On Sunday 28 August 2005 19:43, Confusing Manifestation wrote:
      > > Further to that, I just checked: it's the Gaming Edition of Thud,
      > Gaming Edition? Of a game?
      > As in "The version you can play, and the version that you can't play"
      > sort of thing?

      http://www.thudgame.com - Click on Buy Thud for the different versions.

      In an obtuse kind of way, you're sort of right. The Gaming Edition is the
      cheapest, mass-produced version while the other three editions have
      hand-made pieces and more detail. So it's like the difference between the
      "eating cutlery" and the "good cutlery" - not that you can't eat with the
      good cutlery, just that you're more likely to be careful with it and save
      it for special occasions.

      -- ConMan
      [Ed Note: No, I don't know what this all means either.]

      End of Part 3, says my computer -- continued on Part 4 of 4
      If you did not get all 4 parts, write: jschaum111@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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