|Jerry Pournelle||West of Honor||Paperback|
|Jerry Pournelle||Exiles to Glory||Publisher: Edition: first; Boris Vallejo cover||Paperback|
|Jerry Pournelle||High Justice||Big monster celestial face-off!||Paperback|
|Jerry Pournelle||King David's Spaceship||Hardcover|
|Jerry Pournelle||The Mercenary||Paperback|
|Jerry Pournelle (ed.)||The Endless Frontier, Vol. 1||Paperback|
|Jerry Pournelle (ed.), John F. Carr (ed.)||The Endless Frontier: Volume II||Paperback|
|Jerry E. Pournelle, Roland J. Green||Storms of Victory (Janissaries III)||Janissaries||Paperback|
|Tim Powers||Dinner at Deviant's Palace||Cover by Ron Walotsky
First published in 1985, this legendary and still distinctive novel may attract new fans, although the postnuclear-war theme has become somewhat dated. Technology has vanished in a barbaric, 22nd-century California run by a Sidney Greenstreet lookalike messiah, Norton Jaybush, who boasts a fancifully colossal "night club of the damned" in Venice and his own Holy City in Irvine. His young hippie followers, aka "Jaybirds," drift in a hallucinatory Philip K. Dick-style dream, while "redeemers" strive to rescue them. The serviceable plot focuses largely on the efforts of the hero, Gregorio Rivas, a musician and former redeemer who lives in "Ellay," to bring back a runaway. The film Mad Max (1980) seems to have inspired many of the images in this rundown world, such as "an old but painstakingly polished Chevrolet body mounted on a flat wooden wagon drawn by two horses." Powers has a nice knack for puns, e.g., a "hemogoblin," a balloonlike monster who sucks blood from its victims, and "fifths," paper money issued by a "Distiller of the Treasury."||Hardcover|
|Timothy Powers||Epitaph in Rust||Paperback|
|Terry Pratchett||Colour of Magic :Discworld 1||Discworld||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Night Watch (Vimes #6)||Discworld||British author Pratchett's storytelling, a clever blend of Monty Pythonesque humor and Big Questions about morality and the workings of the universe, is in top form in his 28th novel in the phenomenally bestselling Discworld series (The Last Hero, etc.). Pragmatic Sam Vimes, Commander of Ankh-Morpork's City Watch, can't complain. He has a title, his wife is due to give birth to their first child any moment and he hasn't had to pound a beat in ages but that doesn't stop him from missing certain bits of his old life. Thank goodness there's work to be done. Vimes manages to corner a murderer, Carcer, on the library dome at Unseen University during a tremendous storm, only to be zapped back in time 30 years, to an Ankh-Morpork where the Watch is a joke, the ruling Patrician mad and the city on the verge of rebellion. Three decades earlier, a man named John Keel took over the Night Watch and taught young Sam Vimes how to be a good cop before dying in that rebellion. Unfortunately, in this version of the past, Carcer has killed Keel. The only way Vimes can hope to return home and ensure he has a future to return home to is to take on Keel's role. The author lightens Vimes's decidedly dark situation with glimpses into the origins of several of the more unique denizens of Ankh-Morpork. One comes away, as always, with the feeling that if Ankh-Morpork isn't a real place, it bloody well ought to be.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Review by Ann Cecil (PARSEC):
Fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series will need only to know that this a Vimes book. They can stop reading here and go buy this one (if they haven't already).
For the rest of you, I'll add some background. Terry Pratchett, who is a Brit with enormous style, wit, and sharp observation of the foibles of Humanity. On a good day, he's right up there with William Tenn; on a bad day, he's just funny.
A number of years ago, having made a small splash with some good, insightful, inventive sf, but not much money, he turned to fantasy. But, being Terry Pratchett, he invented a format all his own: Discworld. It is NOT fantasy in the traditional sense. Discworld conforms to its own rules, which only Pratchett understands. While there are 33 or 34 books all labeled 'Discworld,' there are four discernable threads or types of Discworld novels. The original books were about a hapless wizard named Rincewind, whose spells mostly didn't work; these books are mostly broad parodies. The next set is about female wizards, the Grannies, whose spells most definitely work. And then came books about Vimes, who belongs to the Night Watch; Vimes' books tend more toward social satire. And last but not least, the archetype, Death, has become the hero of his own set of books, which defy description. Mostly they defy description because you are either laughing too hard, or hit by an odd touch of pathos. Pratchett has the touch of a master; at his best, he can mix the two so as to catch you unawares and go straight to your heart.
Vimes' books, which started out to just be about the Night Watch in Ankh-Morpork, your typical very large, very corrupt city, have morphed into something with a great deal more substance. The latest, Night Watch, uses a standard fantasy device to send Sam Vimes, now a successful Commander of the Watch, Duke, and about-to-be father, back in time. Back to meet the raw, wet-behind-the-ears Constable Vimes, who needs some sage advice. The advice is critical. A turning point, in many senses, for Ankh-Morpork and many of its inhabitants, is about to occur.
And Vimes wrestles with moral dilemmas, not once but throughout the book. Needless to say, the reader gets some new insights into the backgrounds of several of the recurring characters; Pratchett develops his minor characters as thoroughly as the heroes and villains. This one has its fair number of chuckles, and one really good laugh-out-loud scene, but it is more thoughtful than hilarious. And that's only fair, since Sam Vimes has continued to grow impressively in this series.
Highly recommended, of course, by Ann Cecil. ||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||The Bromeliad Trilogy: Truckers, Diggers, and Wings||“Terry Pratchett has created a wild adventure, a fable, a fantasy, an elegant satire.”– Lloyd Alexander (Lloyd Alexander )
“Pratchett gives his cast plenty of personality and fuels the plot with nonstop comedy.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“Witty, funny, wise and altogether delightful.” (Locus )
“A delicious, rewarding, wry and antic fable.”—Harlan Ellison“A rollicking good story.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“A wry tongue-in-cheek fantasy…which unhesitatingly lampoons the ingrained habits and complacent attitudes found in any society.” (ALA Booklist )
“Fascinating and funny.” (The Horn Book )||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Guards! Guards! (Vimes #1)||Discworld||Some night-time prowler is turning the (mostly) honest citizens of Ankh-Morpork into something resembling small charcoal biscuits. And that's a real problem for Captain Vimes, who must tramp the mean streets of the naked city looking for a seventy-foot-long fire-breathing dragon which, he believes, can help him with his enquiries. But there's more - now we get to see Ankh-Morpork in all its glory; illustrations so vibrant you can practically smell and taste the denizens of this delightful city (although with Corporal Nobbs, you might rather wish you didn't have to). All rendered in painstaking detail by Graham Higgins (who feels he now knows altogether far too much about the murky goings on inside Nobbs' head).||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Unseen Academicals (Discworld)||Discworld||Football, food, fashion and wizards collide in Pratchett's 37th Discworld novel (after 2007's Making Money), an affectionate satire on the foibles of sports and sports fans. The always out-of-touch wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University stand to lose a very big bequest unless they enter a team in a violent but popular street sport competition. As the wizards struggle to learn the game, aided by the university's hired help, Ankh-Morpork's ruler schemes to use the competition for his own purposes. Though the book suffers from a few awkward moments (Pratchett's attempts to discuss racism through the strained relationships of dwarves, humans and goblins fall particularly flat), the prose crackles with wit and charm, and the sendups of league football, academic posturing, Romeo and Juliet and cheesy sports dramas are razor sharp and hilarious but never cruel. At its heart, this is an intelligent, cheeky love letter to football, its fans and the unifying power of sports. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Going Postal (Discworld: Moist Lipwig #1)||Discworld||British fantasist Pratchett's latest special-delivery delight, set in his wonderfully crazed city of Ankh-Morpork, hilariously reflects the plight of post offices the world over as they struggle to compete in an era when e-mail has stolen much of the glamour from the postal trade. Soon after Moist von Lipwig (aka Alfred Spangler), Pratchett's not-quite-hapless, accidental hero, barely avoids hanging, Lord Havelock Vetinari, the despotic but pretty cool ruler of Ankh-Morpork, makes him a job offer he can't refuse—postmaster general of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office. The post office hasn't been open for 20 years since the advent of the Internet-like clacks communication system. Moist's first impulse is to try to escape, but Mr. Pump, his golem parole officer, quickly catches him. Moist must then deal with the musty mounds of undelivered mail that fill every room of the decaying Post Office building maintained by ancient and smelly Junior Postman Groat and his callow assistant, Apprentice Postman Stanley. The place is also haunted by dead postmen and guarded by Mr. Tiddles, a crafty cat. Readers will cheer Moist on as he eventually finds himself in a race with the dysfunctional clacks system to see whose message can be delivered first. Thanks to the timely subject matter and Pratchett's effervescent wit, this 29th Discworld novel (after 2003's Monstrous Regiment) may capture more of the American audience he deserves.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Feet of Clay (Discworld, Sam Vimes #3)||Discworld||In Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett continues the fantasy adventures on Discworld--where anything goes. Anything but murder, that is. Commander Vimes of the Watch must investigate a puzzling series of deaths, with help from various trolls and dwarfs. Pratchett's humor and excellent writing skills draw the reader effortlessly into his zany world. Feet of Clay is 19th in the series. --Blaise Selby --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter||The Long Earth||“Stay tuned for the next episode of a very old-fashioned sf quest yarn (think Jules Verne and 2001) that, since Pratchett is involved, is crammed with scientifically informed amusement.” (Booklist )
“In this thought-provoking collaboration, Pratchett (the Discworld series) and Baxter (Stone Spring) create an infinity of worlds to explore… fascinating premise…” (Publishers Weekly )
“The Long Earth is a brilliant Science Fiction collaboration with Stephen Baxter: a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere… This novel is a gift to be shared with anyone who loves to be amazed.” (Io9 )
“The writing is elegant and witty...The worlds of the Long Earth are all richly rendered, and even the walk-on characters are deftly imagined…and the potential seems endless not just for the characters, but for Pratchett and Baxter as well.” (Tor.com )
“ The Long Earth is the solid start of a series with infinite potential.” (Shelf Awareness )||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Jingo (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Discworld Vimes #4)||Discworld||Terry Pratchett is a phenomenon unto himself. Never read a Discworld book? The closest comparison might be Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with its uniquely British sense of the absurd, and side-splitting, smart humor. Jingo is the 20th of Pratchett's Discworld novels, and the fourth to feature the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork. As Jingo begins, an island suddenly rises between Ankh-Morpork and Al-Khali, capital of Klatch. Both cities claim it. Lord Vetinari, the Patrician, has failed to convince the Ruling Council that force is a bad idea, despite reminding them that they have no army, and "I believe one of those is generally considered vital to the successful prosecution of a war." Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, has to find out who shot the Klatchian envoy, Prince Khufurah, and set fire to their embassy, before war breaks out.
Pratchett's characters are both sympathetic and outrageously entertaining, from Captain Carrot, who always finds the best in people and puts it to work playing football, to Sergeant Colon and his sidekick, Corporal Nobbs, who have "an ability to get out of their depth on a wet pavement." Then there is the mysterious D'reg, 71-hour Ahmed. What is his part in all this, and why 71 hours? Anyone who doesn't mind laughing themselves silly at the idiocy of people in general and governments in particular will enjoy Jingo. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.||School & Library Binding|
|Terry Pratchett||Moving Pictures||Discworld||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||Sourcery (Discworld Novel S.)||Discworld||Paperback|
|Terry Pratchett||The Fifth Elephant (A Novel of Discworld, Sam Vimes #5)||Discworld||Terry Pratchett has a seemingly endless capacity for generating inventively comic novels about the Discworld and its inhabitants, but there is in the hearts of most of his admirers a particular place for those novels that feature the hard-bitten captain of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Samuel Vimes. Sent as ambassador to the Northern principality of Uberwald where they mine gold, iron, and fat--but never silver--he is caught up in an uneasy truce between dwarfs, werewolves, and vampires in the theft of the Scone of Stone (a particularly important piece of dwarf bread) and in the old werewolf custom of giving humans a short start in the hunt and then cheating.
Pratchett is always at his best when the comedy is combined with a real sense of jeopardy that even favorite characters might be hurt if there was a good joke in it. As always, the most unlikely things crop up as the subjects of gags--Chekhov, grand opera, the Caine Mutiny--and as always there are remorselessly funny gags about the inevitability of story:
They say that the fifth elephant came screaming and trumpeting through the atmosphere of the young world all those years ago and landed hard enough to split continents and raise mountains.
No one actually saw it land, which raised the interesting philosophical question: when millions of tons of angry elephant come spinning through the sky, and there is no one to hear it, does it--philosophically speaking--make a noise?
As for the dwarfs, whose legend it is, and who mine a lot deeper than other people, they say that there is a grain of truth in it.
All this, the usual guest appearances, and Gaspode the Wonder Dog. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk||Hardcover|
|Terry Pratchett||A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld Tiffany Aching #2)||Discworld||Gr. 6-10. Incipient witch Tiffany Aching, who confronted danger in The Wee Free Men (2003), faces even greater peril in this equally quirky sequel. She is taken on as an apprentice witch by Miss Level, who is one person with two bodies--an oddity to say the least. Also, Tiffany is stalked and taken over by a hiver, an invisible, brainless entity that commands and distorts the mind of its host, which eventually dies. Luckily Tiffany is strong enough to hide a section of her mind within herself, but she is otherwise completely under the control of the hiver. It's the cantankerous Wee Free Men (or the Nac Mac Feegle) to the rescue, with the help of Miss Level and the wisest, most respected witch of all. The chase is part slapstick, part terror, and in the end, Tiffany herself sets things straight. Pratchett maintains the momentum of the first book, and fans will relish the further adventures of the "big wee hag," as Tiffany is known to the Feegles. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.||School & Library Binding|
|Terry Pratchett||The Wee Free Men (Discworld Tiffany Aching #1)||Discworld||Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching needs magic--fast! Her sticky little brother Wentworth has been spirited away by the evil Queen of faerie, and it’s up to her to get him back safely. Having already decided to grow up to be a witch, now all Tiffany has to do is find her power. But she quickly learns that it’s not all black cats and broomsticks. According to her witchy mentor Miss Tick, "Witches don’t use magic unless they really have to...We do other things. A witch pays attention to everything that’s going on...A witch uses her head...A witch always has a piece of string!" Luckily, besides her trusty string, Tiffany’s also got the Nac Mac Feegles, or the Wee Free Men on her side. Small, blue, and heavily tattooed, the Feegles love nothing more than a good fight except maybe a drop of strong drink! Tiffany, heavily armed with an iron skillet, the feisty Feegles, and a talking toad on loan from Miss Tick, is a formidable adversary. But the Queen has a few tricks of her own, most of them deadly. Tiffany and the Feegles might get more than they bargained for on the flip side of Faerie! Prolific fantasy author Terry Pratchett has served up another delicious helping of his famed Discworld fare. The not-quite-teen set will delight in the Feegles’ spicy, irreverent dialogue and Tiffany’s salty determination. Novices to Pratchett’s prose will find much to like here, and quickly go back to devour the rest of his Discworld offerings. Scrumptiously recommended. (Ages 10 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.||School & Library Binding|
|Terry Pratchett||Snuff (Vimes #8)||Discworld||Author One-to-One: Neil Gaiman Interviews Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novels include Neverwhere, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett). He is the creator of the Sandman series of graphic novels and author of the short-fiction collections Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things.
Neil Gaiman: Where did the idea for Snuff originate?
Terry Pratchett: I haven’t a clue, but I think I started out by considering the character of Sir Samuel Vimes, as he now is, and since I find his inner monologue interesting I decided to use the old and well-tried plot device of sending a policeman on holiday somewhere he can relax, because we all know the way this one is supposed to go. And then I realised that moving Vimes out of his city element and away from his comfort zone was going to be a sheer treat to write.
Gaiman: The Watch fascinate me. You get to do hardboiled police procedurals while still writing funny smart books set in a fantastic world.
Pratchett: On a point of order, Mister Gaiman, the world in which Sam Vimes finds himself is hardly fantastic. Okay, there are goblins, but the overall ambience is that of the shires of Middle England. It’s all about the commonality of humankind. Shove Sam Vimes into a situation that has gone toxic and away he goes, as realistic as any other policeman and thinking in the very same ways and being Sam Vimes, questioning his motives and procedures all the way through.
Gaiman: Did you really say in a previous interview that you’d like to be like Sam Vines? Why?
Pratchett: I don’t think I actually said that, but you know how it is and ‘how it is’ changes as you get older. The author can always delve into his own personality and find aspects of himself with which he can dress his characters. If you pushed me I would say that ever since I stood up and talked about my Alzheimer’s I have been a public figure; I visited Downing Street twice, wrote angry letters to the Times, got into debates in the House of Commons, and generally became a geezer to the extent that I sit here sometimes bewildered and think to myself, “Actually, your job is to sit here writing another book. Changing the world is for other people...” and then I come back to myself with, “No it isn’t!” And so, bearing in mind that these days, people call a kid from the council houses “Sir” allows me to create a mindset for Vimes.
Gaiman: On a piece about writing in the New York Times, Carl Hiaasen (a writer you started me reading on the Good Omens tour), wrote, “Every writer scrounges for inspiration in different places, and there's no shame in raiding the headlines. It's necessary, in fact, when attempting contemporary satire. Sharp-edged humor relies on topical reference points... Unfortunately for novelists, real life is getting way too funny and far-fetched.” Does the Discworld as a setting allow you to escape from that? Or is it a tool that lets you raid the headlines in ways people might not expect?
Pratchett: I think that’s the commonality of humankind again. I hope that everyone in Discworld is a recognisable and understandable character and so sometimes I can present them with modern and contemporary problems, such as Mustrum Ridcully getting his head around homosexuality.
In truth, I never have to go looking for this stuff; I turn to find it smacking me in the face. I was very pleased when Making Money came out just before the banking crisis and everyone said I had predicted it. It was hardly difficult.
Gaiman: How has the Discworld changed over the years?
Pratchett: I suppose the simple answer is that there is still humour, but the gags are no longer set up; they are derived from characters’ personalities and situations. These days the humour seems to arrive of its own accord.
Gaiman: How has writing the Discworld novels changed how you see the world?
Pratchett: I think it more true that getting older changes how you see the world. There is stuff in Snuff, for example, that I couldn’t have written at 25. Although I had written things before Discworld, I really leaned writing, on the job as it were, on Discworld. I think that the books are, if not serious, dealing with more serious subjects. These days it’s not just for laughs. My world view had changed; sometimes I feel that the world is made up of sensible people who know that plot and bloody idiots who don’t. Of course, all Discworld fans know the plot by heart!
Gaiman: How has writing the Discworld novels changed how the world sees you?
Pratchett: Has it? My agent pointed out one day that I had been quoted by a columnist in some American newspaper, and he noted with some glee that they simply identified me by name without reminding people who I was, apparently in the clear expectation that their readers would know who I am. I have quite a large number of honorary doctorates; I am a professor of English at Trinity College Dublin and a fellow of King’s College London, on top of all the other stuff, including the knighthood. However, when it gets to the sub-editors I am always going to be that writer of wacky fantasy, though I have to say that dismissiveness is getting rarer and rarer.
Gaiman: Are you respectable?
Pratchett: Is this a trick question? If so, then I shall say yes. Generally speaking I try to obey the law, pay my taxes (of which there are an enormous lot), give to charity, and write letters to the Times that they print.
It’s a weird term, respectable; isn’t ‘respek’ what every street kid wants and might possibly expect at the point of a knife? I certainly get involved with things and shortly after finishing this interview will be annoying my local MP. It’s fun. Discworld and the Alzheimer’s together have given me a platform.||Hardcover|