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Matt Graubner (Kentucky, United States)

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Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel: 6
Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel: 6
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witches of Lancre Unite!, 6 Nov. 2005
Witches on the Disc have traditions, they're just not what you might think. Getting three of them together to form a coven is hard enough you can forget midnight "dancin around without your drawers on" as Nanny Ogg says. Besides the whole magic part one of the distinguishing features of witches is that they don't generally associate with each other.
This of course makes this story all the more interesting as Granny Weatherwax, Magrat (her mother couldn't spell Margaret) Garlick, and Nanny Ogg must cooperate to save the kingdom of Lancre from certain disaster. While Granny was introduced in Equal Rites this marks the introduction of Magrat and Nanny.
You'll see plenty of Shakespeare in this volume, especially MacBeth and Hamlet, which I think makes it all the more enjoyable. There is nothing more fun than getting exactly what you don't expect from a traditional tale whenever you're venturing onto the Disc.
And what could be a better setting than the country of Lancre, squeezed in at the foot of the Ramtops where most flat land is vertical. Lancre castle overlooks the main town (imaginatively called Lancre Town) and occasionally bits and pieces fall into the gorge and the far off (vertically) Lancre River.
If you like this volume then you should definately go on to Witches Abroad and Lords and Ladies. It delivers the humour definately expected from Pratchett and has the classical touch of Shakespeare turned on his head and spinning in his grave. :-)


Eric (Discworld Novels)
Eric (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Faust, 6 Nov. 2005
The edition I read was the original "Discworld story" illustrated by Josh Kirby, only published in Great Britain (I purchased it on-line). The pictures are enjoyable and add to the story, but aren't essential.
Rincewind is fleeing through the nether regions, though his flight echoes through Death's Domains and Ankh-Morpork. He has chances of a million to one of escaping, which of course means that he will be summoned by a fourteen year old "demonology hacker" named Eric.
In the tradition of Rincewind tales much of Eric is spent fleeing from one danger or the other, and always suspecting apparent good fortune. As with Twoflower, Rincewind's companion Eric doesn't believe that he is just an inept wizard--rather he must be a powerful and crafty demon!
Besides being a parody of the German tale of Faust, Eric contains several other parodies and mockeries as is quite traditional for Pratchett. All in all I thought it was a good showing.
While this is the fourth Rincewind novel it doesn't require strictly require knowledge of the previous volumes and thus could serve as an introduction to the Disc. If you're a longtime fan then you should definately read this tale, though if you can find the illustrated edition I would recommend that one over the purely textual version.


Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels)
Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assistant to Death, 6 Nov. 2005
All Mort's father wants for him is an apprenticeship, but everybody passes up on this scrawny boy. Then after all of the other people have left one figure comes out to accept the boy, it is none other than Death.
Hereafter we follow Mort as he explores Death's Domain, meets Death's daughter, and learns the ropes of being Death. Meanwhile Death gets distracted by studying humanity and gradually Mort starts to become death, even SPEAKING IN THE VOICE. It isn't long, however, before things start to go terribly wrong, without Death at the reigns.
I actually read this volume after Reaper Man and Hogfather, so I was quite interested to learn more about Albert and see the roots (literarily speaking) of Death's Domain. I also enjoyed seeing Mort grow and then struggle as only a human would, with the job of being Death and asking many questions that Death never could have.
If you've enjoyed seeing Death at the edges of other Discworld novels then you should definately check out his first starring role. Also, being fairly early in the series it can be a good introduction to the Disc without any real spoilers or prerequisites.


The Streets of Ankh-Morpork
The Streets of Ankh-Morpork
by Stephen Briggs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, you can get lost WITH a map!, 6 Nov. 2005
First of all the booklet here contains only the numbered key and explanations behind the production of the map--but this isn't too bad. Ankh-Morpork has been so thoroughly explored in so many books that it would be hard to put together a booklet sumarzing important things--though the Merchant Guild's famous guide (in full) or something put together by C.M.O.T. Dibbler would have been good.
It was apparently a long process involving many revisions--but it was well worth it. It may not be perfect (but what map beyond the imagination is?) but it is darn close and now I'm ready to read through my next Discworld novel with the map close at hand to trace the route some characters travel.
If you're at all into Discworld then you simply cannot pass up this map! The mapp of Lancre and Death's Domain may not be essential, but this one so illuminates the Disc's premier city that I would consider it essential for any true fan or devotee.


Death's Domain: A Discworld Mapp
Death's Domain: A Discworld Mapp
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.18

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars See Death before you Die, 6 Nov. 2005
Death decided that he needed a place to live, so Death's Domain was born, just nobody is exactly sure precisely where it is. "Death, significantly, does not see many crypts or coffins. Most peole die at home, or at sea, or at least out in the fresh air." So therefore there isn't anything terribly gothic or spooky about the house--except that everything is in various shades of the colour black.
In the tradition of previous Discworld Mapps this volume contains a large map and a booklet. I honestly found the booklet and the border illustrations the best.
I really like Kidby's illustrations of Death and his associates so that is quite enjoyable. Not only are we treated to Death, Susan, and Albert but we see Death of Rats peeking over an edge and his raven in the midst of black roses. And don't forget Binky!
The booklet was also quite illuminating, especially the discussions between Albert and Death concerning the golf course and the maze. The character of Death as portrayed by Pratchett has long fascinated me (it is nice to see him in every book) and it is fun to see more of him than before.
However, we don't actually see the inside of the house (since it is larger on the inside than the outside). Also, somewhat disappointingly some of the details were too small to properly make out. I would have really enjoyed seeing the tree swing that Death made for Susan, but it is far too small to see anything clearly.
Finally I would encourage casual fans to not pick up this volume unless they're really fascinated by Death. Yes it is interesting (and vital to the diehard fan), but it doesn't add too much to the books and doesn't make much sense just on its own.


The Discworld Mapp
The Discworld Mapp
by Stephen Briggs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mapp of the 'Unmappable', 6 Nov. 2005
This review is from: The Discworld Mapp (Paperback)
"I said there would never be a map of the Discworld. This is it." Thus does Pratchett introduce this volume, however, he explains that he didn't want to start with a map and fit everything onto it, rather the map essentially evolved as his stories multiplied until it could be physically created.
From Lancre to Uberwald to Koom Valley you can plot out where everything is. I do find it most useful to put everything and the many varied locations in perspective. For example now you can see exactly how the witches flew to Genua or where Leshp was.
Accompanying the large map is a small booklet containing small biographies of the Disc's prominent explorers (those who were proper explorers anyway). These were enjoyable, but not quite the same as a Discworld story (though the normal humour was present in full). My only disappointment with the map is that I simply cannot locate Copperhead!
Just don't expect any earthshattering revelations about the nature of the Disc: "Exactly how [the internal layer of molten rock] is maintained, and how the water that pours ceaselessly over the rim from the Circle Sea is replaced, are but two of the unfathomable mysteries of the world."
A true Discworld aficionado shouldn't be without this mapp. But if you're a more casual reader then it might be best to leave things up to your imagination and Terry's wonderful descriptive language.


Where's My Cow? (Discworld)
Where's My Cow? (Discworld)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.41

38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vital Companion to Thud!, 6 Nov. 2005
If you've read Thud! then you know that each night, come rain, shine, or impossible traffic Commander Sam Vimes is home at six to read Where is My Cow? to his young son. It is the most popular book in the nursery and he has it memorized.
In this wonderful volume we not only get the original text of Where is My Cow? but we also see Sam reading to young Sam and the one night that he decides to try the unauthorized Where is My Daddy? rendition. Just one note though, this isn't a children's book--it is meant to look like one, but you wouldn't read it as a bedtime story to your three year old.
If you've kept up with Pratchett's Discworld novels then this is definately the book for you, especially if you enjoy tales of Sam Vimes and the City Watch. Even the Librarian recommends it with an enthusiastic "Ook!" Of course if you're new to Discworld then this makes a great introduction to the humour of Pratchett without many spoilers as to previous books and their varied and sundry plots. I highly recommend this essential companion to Thud!


Thud! (Discworld Novels)
Thud! (Discworld Novels)
by Sir Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing good tale, 6 Nov. 2005
I've been reading through many of Pratchett's books and while I'm not done yet I think I've gotten a feel for the series. Instead of degrading over the years as he publishes more and more books I think that the quality has actually gone up. As the Discworld becomes more defined and interactions between characters more known the plots have also become better.
Not only must Commander Vimes solve a mysterious murder, but he discovers new depth to the Dwarven and Troll cultures that have come to occupy Ankh-Morpork in recent decades. The anniversary of the epic battle of Koom Valley is looming and it will take his best copper skills to hold off war between these two ancient antagonists while solving a murder and bringing a, eh, new element into the Watch.
Not only do we discover new depth to Ankh-Morpork but familiar situations and characters keep cropping up. The Watch encounters everything from Times reporters (The Truth) to controversial stamps (Going Postal) to references to Uberwald (The Fifth Elephant) to the Pork Futures Warehouse (Guards, Guards!).
Of course all of this pales in comparison to the responsiblity of reading "Where is My Cow? to young Sam Vimes. While I definately did enjoy the chase and the mystery the nighly reading to young Sam was a highlight of the book. It illustrates just how dedicated is Vimes "who, everyone knows, is as straight as an arrow even if he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer." And even though I read Where is My Cow? first I could really picture it from the excerpts we glimpse in Thud!.
If you've enjoyed any of Pratchett's previous adventures then Thud! is definately the book for you. However, I would make sure that you not read it until you've at least finished the other City Watch books for each one sees some new revelations that will be spoiled if you skip to the end with Thud!.
Of course if you're entirely new to the Discworld universe then this might be a good place to start if you don't mind the fact that you'll be seeing things from previous books. It is a very well rounded tale nonetheless full of Pratchett's normal humour and satire.


Star Trek Ships of the Line 2006: Wall Calendar (Star Trek (Calendars))
Star Trek Ships of the Line 2006: Wall Calendar (Star Trek (Calendars))
by Doug Drexler
Edition: Calendar

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressing to me, 6 Nov. 2005
I pre-ordered this calendar with another item and now realize that I should have waited until I could have read reviews of it. I had no idea that it would be exclusively Original Series (TOS) art. I enjoy all the series, but TOS isn't my favourite, so I would have passed if I'd known this ahead of time. Furthermore, while I do enjoy CG at times all of these pictures are blatently computer generated.
They aren't horrible pictures, they just do not have the visual crispness and clairty that I associate with Star Trek visual effects shots--they were clearly not commercially produced, but made by fans. Again, this isn't something necessarily very bad, but neither of these facts was advertised and so I feel quite cheated.
If TOS is your favourite Star Trek series and you don't mind CG then go for it, you'll love this calendar. If however, you're looking for a mix of the generations and a bit higher quality then look elsewhere or perhaps wait for next year's offering.


Gilden-fire
Gilden-fire
by Stephen Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bloodguard Vignette, 6 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Gilden-fire (Hardcover)
This book is really nothing more than a vignette, a deleted scene from The Illearth War. According to Donaldson's foreward this was part of an initial separate section to the novel. However, he realized (after being told by his publishers to cut the manuscript down) that the story (told from the perspective of Korik the Bloodguard) didn't have a narrational connection to Covenant's world, thereby weakening the perception of the Land's unreality so key to Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Therefore along with Tull's story this episode would have comprised the fourth section of the novel.
However, all of that said I would definately recomend this to anyone who loved the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. You learn more about the Bloodguard in these few pages than in almost the three novels of the first Chronicles--furthermore it is simply insightful and interesting to see things from the perspective of a Bloodguard.
Don't bother with this if you've not read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Simliarly you don't need this if you already have Donaldson's collection of short stories Daughter of Regals.
However, if neither of the above apply then you should hunt down this book, especially since this volume will fit better with hard back volumes and includes several illustrations not found in the collection (though the one of Revelstone clearly does not mesh with the book description and the one found in the Atlas of the Land).


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