|Author: Terry Pratchett|
|In an alternative London, ruled by the young Queen Victoria, an enterprising lad can find adventure and opportunityNif he is very smart, and very, very lucky. Dodger has the brains, the luckNand the cheekNto scrape by on his own.|
Terry Pratchett's published his first story when he was only 13 years old. "The Hades Business" originally appeared in a school magazine and, two years later, it was re-published in Science Fantasy magazine, making him a professional writer at the age of 15. His first novel, THE CARPET PEOPLE, was published in 1971 and followed the adventures of a society of microscopic people living in, well, a carpet. Essentially, a children's novel in the vein of John Peterson's THE LITTLES (who, incidentally, would be giants compared to Pratchett's people) and the like, the novel paved the way for Pratchett's style of "grounded" fantasy. Many of his novels are feature fairly traditional fantasy elements in fairly traditional fantasy settings, but almost all of these settings are microcosms of the "real" world--in the case of the Discworld series, for example, all the action takes place on a flat planet that sits atop the backs of four immense elephants who, in turn, ride on the shell of an enormous turtle travelling through space. The Discworld books, which form the bulk of Pratchett's literary work and are his most well-known titles, initially began as extremely clever, and very funny, parodies of fantasy fiction and have slowly morphed into being much more. His 1989 novel, PYRAMIDS, was awarded the British Science Fiction Award and a collaboration with Neil Gaiman, GOOD OMENS, was nominated for the 1991 World Fantasy Award. A prolific author, Pratchett is a consistent best seller in England, where, according to some estimates, his fiction accounts for a little over 1% of ALL books sold in any given year.