Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE was a British fantasy, Science fiction, and children's author. He was best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Pratchett's first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971, and since his first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic) was published in 1983, he has written two books a year on average. Pratchett was also known for close collaboration on adaptations of his books, and now has three of his books made into films.
Before he became a full-time writer, Pratchett had already had a thorough grounding in unbelievable and ridiculous situations. He was a press officer for a nuclear power station during the days of the Cold War, Chernobyl and the time the Hartlepool Power Station visitor centre was open every day apart from Christmas Day.
It was an experience that taught him the virtues of scepticism, which shines through in his writing. He said: “Eight years involved with the nuclear industry have taught me that when nothing can possibly go wrong and every avenue has been covered, then is the time to buy a house on the next continent.”
Every genre novelist needs his stock ‘end of the world’ scenario, and for Pratchett this was the Dungeon Dimensions. These parallel universes, filled with creatures that would give H.R. Geiger a headache, exist beyond the edge of reality. However, as a world forever on the cusp of unreality itself, the Discworld is always one major magical event away from the Dungeon Dimensions breaking through and wreaking havoc.
No early Discworld book is spared the threat of an invasion of these monsters, which can feel a little wearing if you’re binge reading the series. Thankfully though, Pratchett learned to vary his peril as the series went on. If you’re keen to see a Dungeon Dimension breakthrough especially well-handled though, consider his spoof of the movie business, Moving Pictures.
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