Terry Pratchett Book Club
December 30, 2016 1:42 PM - Subscribe

I'm interested in reading through Terry Pratchett's excellent Discworld novels with MeFites. This post is to gauge interest, and make a plan for the order in which to read his (fairly extensive) Discworld oeuvre.

First and foremost, I'd posting to see if there's sufficient interest to merit a club! At least a few folks would be great. I own and have read about 7 of them so far, and just adore the books. They are, to me, a rare genre unto themselves - fantasy-esque with flavors of all sorts of sub genres, with self-satire and whimsy aplenty. They also have a broad base of strong female leads and are pretty great as far as avoiding the usual fantasy sexist / racist undertones and pitfalls that can ruin the experience for this reader.

Secondly, there's a couple different options for the order in which to read the 41 books. That number could also include a couple bonuses, like his collaboration with Neil Gaiman or perhaps some of the Discworld short stories. Straight from his website, there's both the Suggested Reading Order and the Discworld by Character order. I think it would be best to do the suggested reading order which will setup the multiple tie-ins and cross pollination between novels over time. There are also many other suggested reading orders out there.

Thirdly, there's the frequency. These books are pretty quick, easy reads and not too long. I don't think it would be challenging to do 2 per month, and given the volume of them I think one per month might be too slow. I'm totally up to do 3 or 4 per month as well.

Thoughts? Ideas? Any feedback is welcome.
posted by lazaruslong (25 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting -- I'd love to do this! I'm currently about 10 books in (started with Rincewind but then got hooked on the witches) and agree that 2-4 per month is totally doable.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 2:58 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've read all of them, and would love to do this.
posted by nonasuch at 8:59 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hmm, I'd be interested in discussing a book or two of his, or a general discussion of Discworld.
posted by latkes at 9:42 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Great! Thank y'all.

I've gone through and messaged some people that have posted Pratchett stuff to the blue, and hopefully we will get a few more responses over here soon. I'll give it a few days then perhaps we can figure out an order and get started!
posted by lazaruslong at 10:12 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I tagged this discussion so SSFF club members will see it.
The ssff club (Silly Sci Fi and Fantasy) has started off with Colour of Magic but we've not yet done Light fantastic.
Also The Shepherd's Crown.

So you could use that as a jumping off point if you liked?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:46 AM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm down. Thanks for doing this.
posted by Fizz at 11:45 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Would like to participate.
posted by paduasoy at 12:21 PM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I strongly advocate going in publication order. Yes, it took Pratchett a few books to really refine things, but no better time to get those out of the way than at the start.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 PM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'd be in on that.
posted by Jilder at 4:11 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm also in, and I'm agnostic regarding the reading order.

After reading one of the Night Watch books years back, I bought a ton of the books, including the picture books, but I haven't read through them all yet.

More house-keeping: I don't mind people mentioning items from other books, and would actually appreciate people making those connections I might otherwise miss.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:26 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hope it's ok to put this here - Jenny Crusie has Good Omens as the Argh Ink Book Club read for January.

Slightly more on topic, three a month would be too many for me, but of course I could always sit the odd one out.
posted by paduasoy at 3:12 PM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Interesting idea.

A straight up chronological read through might be a slog, as the earliest stories aren't up to the standards of the later ones and you might lose interest after reading three-four of them. I'd suggest doing it per subseries (DEATH, Witches, Guards, his YA entries), preferably mixing up the series as we go along. A good place to start would be with Guards! Guards! which has pTerry hitting his stride as a novelist, is the start of the Watches series which is arguably the most interesting subseries and is rather funny as well.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:17 PM on January 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I am totally into this in whatever order you go in!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:17 AM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm in,
posted by miss-lapin at 4:54 PM on January 4, 2017

> I'd be interested in discussing a book or two of his, or a general discussion of Discworld.

A discussion of Discworld on MeFi cold be lovely, but I think it might benefit with something to revolve around.

Everyone's seen the Sky/whatever The Hogfather and Going Postal adaptations, right? As well as the (three?) animated ones from way back?

They're both flawed (by being merely great/amazing), but I really love The Hogfather.

Anyone hear any word that the TV adaptation of the Ankh Morpork Guards project is not completely moribund?
posted by porpoise at 9:33 PM on January 4, 2017

Mark Oshiro and Dave Bulmer have persuaded me that publication order is the way to go, especially if one is committing to reading through the whole thing.
posted by Shmuel510 at 6:06 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Great! Thanks so much for the valuable input, everyone. I'm so glad there's a decent level of interest in this (exciting!) book club project.

Here's how I'll be setting up the club, based on both my desires and feedback from this thread:

1. Publication order. I totally agree that the first few may be a little weaker, and TP hits his stride later as is to be expected, so I think getting through these first is important. Also, I feel like part of the value of this is to be a part of that evolution over time! So publication order it is.

2. Frequency of books. I'll start out with 2 per month. Maybe will slip in a third short story / ephemera option during the "slower" months of the year (read:summer). This is going to be a 2ish year club, and that's okay!

3. Spoilers / linkages. I think we can attempt to avoid any MAJOR spoilers from later books in the earlier book threads, but I also think that one of the best parts of the Discworld novels is recognizing the little easter eggs and cross linkages that we might otherwise miss. So big thumbs up to little things, and try to avoid major stuff.

4. Timeline. I'll get the club created and post the first book (The Colour of Magic) tonight, for reading and discussion over the weeks of the 9th and 16th. Then a new book for each two week period.

5. General note - it's totally cool if folks want to drop in and drop out depending on frequency concerns / books they have already read / etc. No pressure or anything. I'm in it for the aggregate long view but that's just me!

Edit: Also, re: Good Omens. I think this will be a good one to end on after reading through Discworld proper, so no worries on the Jan discussion in the other club. It'll be 2019 before we get to it here. =)
posted by lazaruslong at 7:13 AM on January 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

Hooray! to all of this.
Except that I'm not sure you can redo colour of magic. I think, being as there already is a thread on it that Fanfare won't let you post another one.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:33 AM on January 5, 2017

Alrighty folks, let's get this sucker started!

The club can be found here, and the first post is up! There's no problem with dupes apparently.

I'll be cracking this open over the weekend. The Light Fantastic will be next, going up around January 20th ::involuntary shudder::

posted by lazaruslong at 3:35 PM on January 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'll tag them ssff_club also, if there are no objections, just to keep most eye on them.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:20 AM on January 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've read the first three Rincewind books in the last year. Loved the first two, the third Sourcery less so. Like to explore some the other parts of Discworld.
posted by octothorpe at 6:40 AM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is someone going to post the next book? Although I'm no Pratchett expert, I have read them all a few times so I can put up a basic post at least. Plus I'm already two books ahead on the re-read so if the next one is delayed too long I'll probably forget details if we wait much longer.

and then I'd have to re-read them yet again...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:33 PM on January 31, 2017

I'd be up to post some as well if it would be helpful. Not to step on lazaruslong's toes if he's excited to post, but if others are also interested in posting (and continuing the Discworld discussions), we could assign the post dates for upcoming books and have various club members volunteer to take some on.

I haven't read many of the Discworld books mostly because I've been intimidated by the vastness of the world, and I'm looking forward to exploring them with fans of the series.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 8:08 PM on January 31, 2017

Sorry y'all, I was hoping to get the next one up around the 20th and then protests took all of my bandwidth. I will post the next one up tonight, I promise!
posted by lazaruslong at 7:58 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm doing a Discworld re-read and so here I am, five years too late but I'm not going to let that stop me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:21 PM on March 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

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