Illustration and teaser for chapter 4 of my Tour de France AU Slipstream. The chapter is mostly written. I hope to finish it this week.
I’ve been on a Discworld re-read for about a year now, and it just struck me how Pterry gets progressively angrier and less subtle about it throughout the series.
Like, we start out nice and easy with Rincewind who’s on some wacky adventures and ha ha ha oh golly that Twoflower sure is silly and the Luggage is epic, where can I get one. Meanwhile Rincewind just wants to live out his boring days as a boring Librarian but is dragged along against his will by an annoying little tourist guy and honestly? Fuck this.
We get the first view of Sam Vimes, and he’s just a drunken beaten down sod who wants to spend his last days as a copper in some dive but oh fuck now he has to fight a dragon and honestly? Fuck this.
The first time we see Granny Weatherwax, she’s just a cranky old woman who has never set foot outside her village but oh fuck now she has to guide this weird girl who should be a witch but is apparently a wizard all the way down to Ankh Morpork and honestly? Fuck this.
Like, these books deal with grumpy, cranky people. But mostly, the early books are a lot of fun. Sure, they have messages about good and evil and the weirdness of the world, and they’re good messages too, but mostly they are just wacky romps through a world that’s just different enough that we can have a good laugh about it without taking things too much to heart.
But then you get to Small Gods, in which organized religion is eviscerated so thorouhgly that if it was human, even the Quisition would say it’s gone a bit too far while at the same time not condemning people having faith which is kind of an important distinction.
You get to Men at Arms and I encourage everybody with an opinion on the Second Amendment to read that one.
You get to Jingo, Monstrous Regiment, Going Postal (featuring an evil CEO who is squeezing his own company dry to get to every last penny, not caring one lick about his product or his workers or his customers or anything else and who, coincidentally, works out of Tump Tower. I’m not making this up).
And just when you think, whew, this is getting a bit much but hey, look, he wrote YA as well! And it’s about this cute little girl who wants to be a witch and has help from a lot of rowdy blue little men, this will be fun! A bit of a break from all the anger!
The Tiffany Aching books are the angriest of all. But you know what the great thing is?
The great thing is that Pterry’s anger is the kind of fury that makes you want to get up and do something about it. It upsets you, sure. But it also says It’s up to you to change all of this. And you can change all of this, and even if you can’t. Do it anyway. Because magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.
It’s the kind of anger that gives you purpose, and it gives you hope. And that concludes my essay about why the Discworld series is so gloriously cathartic to read when it seems like all the world is going to shit.
So go. Read them, get angry and then get up and fight. Fight for truth. Justice. Freedom. Reasonably priced love and, most importantly, a hard-boiled egg.
GNU Terry Pratchett.
That’s precisely why I love these books so much, and revisit them regularly because sometimes, I feel I need a good dose of this righteous anger to cope with the world.
Also, my Summer Boy Series of Sherlock fics is an hommage to the Tiffany Aching books.
Anonymous asked: Hey! I love that recent art from howl’s moving castle. The feathers must have taken you ages!! I just wanted to ask – do you know a bit more about the Enigma book?
Hiya, thanks a lot for your message. I’m almost through with editing Enigma (and its brief sequel Silent Night) for the printed version (four more chapters to go). Then I have to typeset the whole thing and add the illustrations, and design a cover/binding.
Given my busy real life at the moment, I can’t really say when the books will be ready. I hope to get everything done before Easter, though. I will post an update here and on twitter as soon as they are ready for preorder at my storenvy shop.
Binding design and three illustrations for the 2019 Folio Society competition. This year’s book was Howl’s Moving Castle. Sadly, my entry didn’t make the longlist, but I enjoyed working on it and look forward to next year’s choice of book.
Another sketch of Martin, because he looked so content in the photograph I used for reference (from the 2014 Winter TCA Tour).
Sketches of Martin Freeman from his current play The Dumb Waiter at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.
Sadly, he didn’t do stage door on either evening I was there. But the play is cool, and there was some improvisation each time: on Friday a match wouldn’t light and Martin tried to strike it on each of his shoes, and on Saturday there was a wardrobe malfunction with his waistcoat (it even lost a button), which he and his co-star seamlessly integrated into the play.