Rereading My Pratchett

My Knight Writer has followed DEATH to the realm of chess and brandy, so I must reread his work. “Pestle, Mortar, Pratchett” was my immediate reaction to his leaving; “rereading my Pratchett” is my echoing of his wisdom: “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”

The Discworld Series

Witches of Lancre
Equal RitesIf Women Were as Good as Men They’d Be Better
a favorite quote:
– “…the modern wolves were the offspring of ancestors that had survived because they had learned that human meat had sharp edges.”

Wyrd Sisters – “Heard, in the Dark”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “Destiny is important, see, but people go wrong when they think it controls them. It’s the other way around.”

Witches Abroad – “My Weird Sisters”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “The natural size of a coven is one.”

Lords and Ladies – “Island of Pain”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “…if you stay here and keep trying to call the Lords and Ladies, then you’ll be up against me again. Not playing stupid games in the daylight, but real witchcraft. Not messing around with moon circles, but the true stuff, out of the blood and the bone and out of the head.”

Maskerade – “I Collect Nightmares”, a poem
a favorite quote:
“Granny Weatherwax had never heard of psychiatry and would have had no truck with it even if she had. There are some arts too black even for a witch. She practiced headology—practiced, in fact, until she was very good at it. And though there may be some superficial similarities between a psychiatrist and a headologist, there is a huge practical difference. A psychiatrist, dealing with a man who fears he is being followed by a large and terrible monster, will endeavor to convince him that monsters don’t exist. Granny Weatherwax would simply give him a chair to stand on and a very heavy stick.”

“The Sea and Little Fishes” – “Howls Are Forever”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “…witches are quite careful about what they say. You can never be sure what the words are going to do when they’re out of earshot.” 

Carpe Jugulum – “Under Her Breast”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “Don’t trust the cannibal just ’cos he’s usin’ a knife and fork!”

Tiffany Aching
The Wee Fee Men – “She Will Mourn in Darkness Nevermore”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “…anger was better than fear. Fear was a damp cold mess, but anger had an edge. She could use it.”

A Hat Full of Sky – “Vacant Skulls and Hollow Hearts”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “Learning how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them. Harder, maybe. Thered be a sight more frogs in this world if I didnt know how not to turn people into them.”

a favorite quote:
– “Just because a woman’s got no teeth doesn’t mean she’s wise. It might just mean she’s been stupid for a very long time.”

I Shall Wear Midnight – “The Rough Music”, a poem
a favorite quote:
– “‘You set the rough music on me, didn’t ya?’

‘No one controls the music, Mr. Pretty—you know that. It just turns up when people have had enough. No one knows where it starts. People look around, and catch on another’s eye, and give each other a little nod, and other people see that. Other people catch their eye and so, very slowly, the music starts and somebody picks up a spoon and bangs it on a plate, and then somebody else bangs a jug on the table and boots starts to stamp on the floor, louder and louder. It is the sound of anger, it is the sound of people who have had enough. Do you want to face the music?’”

The Shepherd’s Crown
a favorite quote:
– “…a witch stands on the very edge of everything, between the light and the dark, between life and death, making choices, making decisions so that others may pretend no decisions have even been needed.”


a favorite quote:
– “Mort was already aware that love made you feel hot and cold and cruel and weak, but he hadn’t realized that it could make you stupid.”

Reaper Man
2 favorite quotes:
– “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
– “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…”

Soul Music
a favorite quote:
– “It was sad music. But it waved its sadness like a battle flag. It said the universe had done all it could, but you were still alive.”

a favorite quote:
– “You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?”

Thief of Time
a favorite quote:
– “People like that don’t need a reason apart from ‘because I can’. They have a nightmare and try to make it happen.”

“Death and What Comes Next”
a favorite quote:
– “I see you.”

Ancient Civilizations

a favorite quote:
– “The fact is that camels are far more intelligent than dolphins. They are so much brighter that they soon realised that the most prudent thing any intelligent animal can do, if it would prefer its descendants not to spend a lot of time on a slab with electrodes clamped to their brains or sticking mines on the bottom of ships or being patronised rigid by zoologists, is to make bloody certain humans don’t find out about it.”

Small Gods
a favorite quote:
– “Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water!”

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
a favorite quote:
– “I am not so blind that I can’t see darkness.”

The Watch

Guards! Guards!
a favorite quote:
– “… the food was good solid stuff for a cold morning, all calories and fat and protein and maybe a vitamin crying softly because it was all alone.

“Theatre of Cruelty”
a favorite quote:
– “I call it highly suspicious, being dead like that. He’s been drinking, too. We could do him for being dead and disorderly.”

Men at Arms
a favorite quote:
– “If you had enough money, you could hardly commit crimes at all. You just perpetrated amusing little peccadilloes.”

Feet of Clay
a favorite quote:
– “One of the advantages of a life much longer than average was that you saw how fragile the future was. Men said things like ‘peace in our time’ or ‘an empire that will last a thousand years,’ and less than half a lifetime later no one even remembered who they were, let alone what they had said or where the mob had buried their ashes. What changed history were smaller things. Often a few strokes of the pen would do the trick.”

a favorite quote:
– “History was full of the bones of good men who’d followed bad orders in the hope that they could soften the blow.”

The Fifth Elephant
a favorite quote:
– “He ached all over. It wasn’t just that his brain was writing checks that his body couldn’t cash. It had gone beyond that. Now his feet were borrowing money that his legs hadn’t got, and his back muscles were looking for loose change under the sofa cushions.”

Night Watch
a favorite quote:
“One of the hardest lessons of young Sam’s life had been finding out that the people in charge weren’t in charge. It had been finding out that governments were not, on the whole, staffed by people who had a grip, and that plans were what people made instead of thinking.”

a favorite quote:
“He hated games they made the world look too simple. Chess, in particular, had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the king lounged about doing nothing. If only the pawns would’ve united… the whole board could’ve been a republic in about a dozen moves.”

a favorite quote:
– “Some of the most terrible things in the world are done by people who think, genuinely think, that they’re doing it for the best, especially if there is some god involved.”


The Color of Magic
a favorite quote:
– “An alternative, favored by those of a religious persuasion, was that A‘Tuin was crawling from the Birthplace to the Time of Mating, as were all the stars in the sky which were, obviously, also carried by giant turtles. When they arrived they would briefly and passionately mate, for the first and only time, and from that fiery union new turtles would be born to carry a new pattern of worlds. This was known as the Big Bang hypothesis.”

The Light Fantastic
a favorite quote:
– “He always held that panic was the best means of survival; back in the olden days, his theory went, people faced with hungry saber-toothed tigers could be divided very simply into those who panicked and those who stood there saying “What a magnificent brute!” and “Here, pussy.”

a favorite quote:
– “Despite rumor, Death isn’t cruel—merely terribly, terribly good at his job.”

“Troll Bridge”
a favorite quote:
– “‘When I was just starting out in the barbarian hero business,’ said Cohen, ‘every bridge had a troll under it. And you couldn’t go through a forest like we’ve just gone through without a dozen goblins trying to chop your head off.’ He sighed.”

a favorite quote:
– “Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.”

Interesting Times
a favorite quoted:
– “Most of the gods throw dice but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been using two queens all along. Fate wins.”

The Last Continent
a favorite quote:
– “Palaeontology and archaeology and other skulduggery were not subjects that interested wizards. Things are buried for a reason, they considered. There’s no point in wondering what it was. Don’t go digging things up in case they won’t let you bury them again.”

Unseen Academicals
a favorite quote:
– “…one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining on mother and children. And that’s when I first learned about evil. It is built into the nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.”

“A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices”
a favorite quote:
– “‘Put it behind us’ is a political term used meaning, ‘I’ve done something I ought to be thoroughly ashamed of, if not actually prosecuted with the full force of the law, so I wish to push the issue away before people start looking too hard.”

Industrial Revolution
Moving Pictures
a favorite quote:
– “This is space. It’s sometimes called the final frontier.

(Except that of course you can’t have a final frontier, because there’d be nothing for it to be a frontier to, but as frontiers go, it’s pretty penultimate…)”

The truth
a favorite note:
– “If his body was a temple, it was one of those strange ones where people did odd things to animals in the basement, and if he watched what he ate, it was only to see it wriggle.”

Monstrous Regiment
a favorite quote:
– “Perhaps that’s why men did it. You didn’t do it to save duchesses, or countries. You killed the enemy to stop him killing your mates, that they in turn might save you…”

Going Postal
2 favorite quotes:
– “The wizards from Unseen University had been jolly interested in the problem, like doctors being really fascinated by some new, virulent disease; the patient appreciates all the interest but would very much prefer it if they either came up with a cure or stopped prodding.”
– “What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.”

Making Money
a favorite quote:
– “You get a wonderful view from the point of no return.”

Raising Steam
a favorite quote:
– “Anger was a weapon to be honed and treasured and used only at the moment yielding most premium.”

The Science of the Discworld Series

The Science of the Discworld
a favorite quote:
– “Sometimes scientists change their minds. New developments cause a rethink. If this bothers you, consider how much damage is being done to the world by people for whom new developments do not cause a rethink.”

The Globe
a favorite quote:
– “Before you can make something, you have to picture it in your head.”

Darwin’s Watch
a favorite quote:
– “Human beings must become ever more diverse, valuing and enjoying each other’s differences rather than fearing them or suppressing them.”

Judgement Day
a favorite quote:
“The flower of a cultivated rose is a monstrous concoction that has undone millions of years of evolution by selecting genetic differences over the generations. In any plant nursery there are hundreds of cultivated varieties, of many plant species, all with monstrously enlarged petals and double flowers, in which anthers and sepals have been converted into petals. These varieties are unable to reproduce sexually and have to be multiplied by methods such as taking cuttings. We humans have exaggerated their sexual parts to such an extent that for them, sex is now impossible.”

Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion… So Far
a favorite quote:
– “The Ankh is probably the only river in the universe on which murder investigators could chalk the outline of a corpse.” I’ve no idea why this quote makes me giggle so much.

Non-Discworld Works

The Nome Trilogy
a favorite quote:
– “The way to deal with an impossible task was to chop it down into a number of merely very difficult tasks, and break each one of them into a group of horribly hard tasks, and each of them into tricky jobs, and each of them…”

a favorite quote:
– “She sniffed, and smiled a bit, but not too much because if there is one thing worse than someone who doesn’t understand you it’s someone who understands perfectly, before you’ve had a chance to have a good pout about not being understood.”

a favorite quote:
– “For some reason, humans needed things that weren’t true.”

Johnny Maxwell

Only You Can Save Mankind
a favorite quote:
– “Just because you’ve got a mind like a, a hammer doesn’t mean you have to treat everyone like a nail.”

Johnny and the Dead
a favorite quote:
– “It’s amazing what you can do with a kind word, provided you’ve also got a big stick.”

Johnny and the Bomb
a favorite quote:
– “…if you go mad, do you know you’ve gone mad? If you don’t, how do you know you’re not mad?”

The Long Earth Series
(with Stephen Baxter)
The Long Earth
a favorite quote:
– “Modesty is only arrogance by stealth.”

The Long War
a favorite quote:
– “The Long Earth is bountiful but not forgiving.”

The Long Mars
a favorite quote:
– “So many worlds, so many wonders.”

The Long Utopia
a favorite quote:
– “…nobody told this smart kid that communication between such divergent life forms was impossible, so he just went ahead and did it anyhow.”

Stand Alone Novels

The Carpet People
a favorite  quote:
“What you look at, you change.”

The Unadulterated Cat (with Gray Jolliffe)

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (with Neil Gaiman)
a favorite quote:
– “I don’t see what’s so t’riffic about creating people as people and then getting’ upset ‘cos they act like people,” said Adam severely. “Anyway, if you stopped tellin’ people it’s all sorted out after they’re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they’re alive.” 

a favorite quote:
– “She’d had a cousin like that—Botney was his name—who never left a frog unsquashed, a kitten unkicked, or a spider unflattened. In the end, she’d accidentally broken two of his fingers under the nursery rocking horse, told him she’d put wasps down his trousers next time if he didn’t mend his ways, and then burst into tears when people came running. You didn’t come from a family of ancient fighters like hers without at least a pinch of ruthlessness.”

a favorite quote:
– “…all men are writers, journalists scribbling within their skulls the narrative of what they see and hear…”


A Blink of the Screen
a favorite quote:
– “You fight a war to change the world, and it changes into a world with no place in it for you, the fighter.”

A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-Fiction Writings
a favorite quote:
– “It only takes a tweak to make the whole world new.”

The Discworld Series
(in chronological order)
1. The Color of Magic
2. The Light Fantastic
3. Equal Rites
4. Mort
5. Sourcery
6. Wyrd Sisters
7. Pyramids
8. Guards! Guards!
“Theatre of Cruelty”
9. Eric
10. Moving Pictures
11. Reaper Man
12. Witches Abroad
13. Small Gods
14. Lords and Ladies
15. Men at Arms
16. Soul Music
17. Interesting Times
18. Maskerade
19. Feet of Clay
20. Hogfather
21. Jingo
22. The Last Continent
“The Sea and little fishes”
23. Carpe Jugulum
24. The Fifth Elephant
25. The Truth
26. Thief of Time
27. The Last Hero
28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
“Death and What Comes Next”
29. Night Watch
30. The Wee Free Men
31. Monstrous Regiment
32. A Hat Full of Sky
33. Going Postal
“A Collegiate Casting out of devilish Devices”
34. Thud!
34.5 Where’s My Cow?
35. Wintersmith
36. Making Money
37. Unseen Academicals
38. I Shall Wear Midnight
39. Snuff
39.5 The World of Poo (illustrated spin-off of Snuff)
40. Raising Steam
40.5 Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook
41. The Shepherd’s Crown

Terry Pratchett and DEATH Playing Chess, by Paul KidbyTerry Pratchett and DEATH Playing Chess, by Paul Kidby

7 thoughts on “Rereading My Pratchett”

  1. Goodness! So many! I knew he was prolific but this amazes me. I will start with the witchy ones, I think. We have a trip to the used bookstore scheduled as soon as the dog is well enough to be left alone for a few hours, so will see what I can find.

  2. Oh Magaly, dear, I’m thrilled, that you’re a Pratchett fan.
    My most favourite is Death series. Less – Rincewind.
    Did you ever read Good Omens? It’s not Discworld, but nevertheless, DEATH appears in there. Not to mention, that this book is brilliant.

    • I love the Discworld, and pretty much everything written by Pratchett. My favorite of the series are the Witches books. I think Rincewind might be everyone least favorite.

      And yes, I’ve read Good Omens (a few times, actually), since it was written by Pratchett and Gaiman (another mega-favorite).

      Have you read Gaiman?

  3. I need to reread Good Omens. After all, it was 2 years ago. Need to refresh my memory.
    No, not yet. But Gaiman is in my to-read list. I want to read American Gods, Anansi Boys… If you have good recommendations – please, do tell! 😉

    • American Gods is magnificent. But if you’ve never read Gaiman, I would probably go with one of the short story collections first, to sort of get used to his style. I also think you might really enjoy The Graveyard Book, one of his YA novels. Oh, his graphic novels are delicious! The Sandman is one of my favorite comic book series.

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