SPOILERS Pyramids Discussion *Spoilers*

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Oct 1, 2009
Boston, MA USA
Mimpsey said:
I will be starting Guards! Guards! soon, and am eagerly anticipating my introduction to Sam Vines...as he is apparently on many DW reader's list of favorite characters in the novels. If it is as good as this one...then I am in for a treat!
Without getting into too much detail, the Sam Vimes of Guards! Guards! is like the Granny Weatherwax of Equal Rites--an embryonic depiction of what the character will eventually grow into. The evolution of Sam VImes over the course of the Guards series is perhaps Pterry's greatest literary achievement.


New Member
Jul 19, 2016
Mimpsey said:
What do readers consider to be Sir Terry's "great period"? What book kicks it off, and when does it supposedly end. I ask this in all sincerity, as I have just now discovered the novels and am reading them in order of publishing...more or less.
This is a newbie question, so apologies for that, but does this discussion about the "great period", or, more widely, the various periods of Sir Terry's writing styles and/or technical achievements, exist elsewhere on the forum? It seems a shame that it's tucked away in the end of a thread about a specific book. I appreciate that it might permeate many threads rather be confined to one. For someone like me, who read the books as they were released but hasn't (until lately) re-read them, and thinks more in terms of his steady progression and mastery of style, however, the concept of a 'classic' period, a 'dark' period, a later Alzheimers-influenced period etc. and members' opinions about these would be of great interest.


Super Moderator
City Watch
Jul 25, 2008
Cardiff, Wales
I'd honestly say Terry's "great" period was on and off throughout the books. At one point he was bringing out three books a year. Some were hits and others not so. You would occasionally get hiccup amongst a great run of books - such as Interesting Times. Even right up until the end there were some books that I loved and others that, while good, weren't in the same class. But it's about personal preference - some people actually like Making Money. :laugh:


May 20, 2012
1989-1992, three years, 14 books and a short story:

The Unadulterated Cat (1989)
Pyramids (Gollancz, 1989 June)
Guards! Guards! (Gollancz, 1989 Aug)
Good Omens (1990 May 1)
Eric (Gollancz, 1990 Aug)
Moving Pictures (Gollancz, 1990) (probably Sept)
Diggers (1990)
Wings (1990)
Reaper Man (Gollancz, 1991 May)
Witches Abroad (Gollancz, 1991 Nov)
short story Troll Bridge (1991)
Small Gods (Gollancz, 1992 May)
Only You Can Save Mankind (1992 Sept)
Revised The Carpet People (1992)
Lords and Ladies (Gollancz, 1992)

Then he took a little break and only wrote two books and the first Mappe in 1993:

Johnny and the Dead (1993)
Men at Arms (Gollancz, 1993 Jan)
Streets of Ankh-Morpork Mappe (1993 Nov) - I seem to recall he said the short material - diaries, short stories, booklets for the Mappes - took as much work as a novel, in part because they had to be kept short.


May 20, 2012
oops, I missed a bunch: another novel, three short stories and a poem, plus articles and introductions:

Truckers (1989)
Turntables of the Night (1989) - short story
Introduction to: "The Evolution Man" (1989) by Roy Lewis
Roots of Fantasy (1989) (article in "The Roots of Fantasy: Myth, Folklore & Archetype", program book of World Fantasy Convention 1989)
Thought Progress (1989) (article from May 1989 in magazine "20/20")

#ifdefDEBUG + "WORLD/ENOUGH" + "TIME" (1990) - short story
Hollywood Chickens (1990) - short story
Where Particle Sheep Safely Wave (1990) (article from 5th May, 1990 in magazine "New Scientist")
Terry Pratchett's Wild Unattached Footnotes to Life (1990) (article for Charity magazine, 1 July 1990)

Whose Fantasy Are You? (1991) (article from 17th September, 1991 in magazine "WH Smith Bookcase")
The Secret Book of the Dead (1991) (Poem)
Elves Were Bastards (1992) (article in Hillcon programme book, November 1992)
Joint Account (1992) (article from 1992 in magazine "WH Smith Junior Bookcase, Heatwave Edition")


Dec 29, 2009
I think Tony pretty much summed it up. Even during his most successful period, there were books I didn't enjoy as much as others but I would say that it was from Mort onwards that his skill as a satirist rather than just a parody writer started coming to the fore.


City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
Melbourne, Victoria
This may be a newbie question, or have been discussed already (and if so, sorry) ... but I just re-read Pyramids, and this quote struck me:

“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 patronized rigid by zoologists, is to make bloody certain humans don't find out about it. So they long ago plumped for a lifestyle that, in return for a certain amount of porterage and being prodded with sticks, allowed them adequate food and grooming and the chance to spit in a human's eye and get away with it.”
For years, I just thought this was a comment on human-dolphin and human-camel interaction.

But ... has anyone mentioned that this is a (probably deliberate) riff/parody/etc. on "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (especially the bit where the dolphins leave the Earth, with their only message being "So long, and thanks for all the fish")? ;)


Super Moderator
City Watch
Jul 25, 2008
Cardiff, Wales
I hadn't thought about that. It's possible - however, I don't think camels are as intelligent as Terry is making out.

It's like my theory that cats decided that, rather than evolving they learned to control humans instead.


May 20, 2012
Dolphins were kind of a big thing at the time, and it is also true that Sir pTerry liked Doug Adams' work.
Camels are intelligent enough to be ornery, so I would rank them with mules.

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