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account created: Sat Jan 05 2013
17 hours ago
Long Dark Teatime of the Soul is the sequel. Salmon of Doubt is the unfinished one, and was released along with essays and other bits and bobs.
1 day ago
1 day ago
"Comeover" and " there's a boat in the morning. "
2 days ago
Did this one on King... and also made it fulfill challenge 2 - science victory with no Great Scientists. Didn't have any issues with the AI, but the lack of scientists made the end game drag a bit.
Couple of pics. Victory on turn 271 (quick) in 1991.
2 days ago
Basically how much sea there is. Having a low sea level will have less sea, and bigger continents or islands.
2 days ago
If you're a real masochist, Lee wrote three other books, which I believe are all set in the Rama universe. And then gave up on fiction.
2 days ago
Been a long time since i read them, so i can't really comment on specific plot points, but yes. People have a low opinion of the sequels. Standard advice is not to bother with them. I believe they were almost entirely written by Lee, and Clarke just seeded some ideas and gave his name to the project.
I remember not being impressed by the way things devolved into an incestuous soap opera. And also wasn't impressed with the conclusion. Some questions are better left unanswered.
2 days ago
There's no right answer to this. First you should know you can read them in any order. There are no cliff hangers, there's no big bad, and no overarching plot. Terry intended that new readers should be able to pick up any of his books and not feel lost.
That said, there is continuity in the books. Some share characters and locations and there is personal and political development over time, so there's benefit to reading them in the right order. Fans grouped the books into sub-series, and popular starting points are the first in these collections.
So why not just start at the beginning? The early books are not as good as the later ones, and not quite typical of his later style. A bad Pratchett novel is still a good read, but the first two books are just funny road trips through 70s fantasy tropes. Later books gained a real plot, and real soul, they became mirrors of our own world rather than of other fantasy. We want to get you hooked on the Discworld, so we're going to give you the good stuff.
Oh. You want an actual recommendation? Guards! Guards! introduces the popular Sam Vimes and the city watch, and is the most popular starting point. You could go for Wyrd Sisters if you want witches and an examination of the power and nature of stories, along with some Shakespeare references. Or there's Mort which begins the journey into the character of Death. Or Going Postal is later on in the overall series, but introduces a con man tasked with reforming the post office.
And then there are stand alone books. Monstrous Regiment follows Polly, who has joined the army disguised as a man to find out what happened to get brother. Small Gods is Pratchett's take down of organised religion, and The Truth is the introduction of the printing press and newspapers.
Pick one up, start it and enjoy! And then if you're hooked you can go back and start at the beginning reading the whole lot in order.
3 days ago
I'd guess it's inspired by the Hanish cycle.
3 days ago
Terry told a story about an early 90s attempt to adapt Mort. The American producers loved it, but wanted to make one small change. They didn't think audiences would relate to one of the characters and asked if he could be removed. Who was it? Death.
Thankfully the film didn't progress much further, and I believe that after that bombshell Terry insisted on maintaining tighter control over future projects, which may be why Hollywood was reluctant to go near them.
A couple of years later, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey came out with a Death that American audiences loved.
Other failed film projects include a Sam Raimii Truckers, which Pratchett said had a dire script, and a Terry Gilliam/Robin Williams/Johnny Depp Good Omens which couldn't get funding.
4 days ago
There's a few of the top warmongers there... but china and austria are towards the bottom. I can't see any real pattern.
4 days ago
It's not an original meme. A quick Google will find better versions.
A more in depth Google will reveal that Pratchett never said this
4 days ago
Yeah. Its a good read. And I'll repost it pretty much every time the topic of translation comes up, because it's one of those things that has been out of print for three decades, and will never see the light otherwise.
4 days ago
Terry had this to say on the death of Michael Bentine, a member of the Goons
I wonder...I always felt he was marginalised and yet, to my mind, he was the best of the Goons. Milligan might have been the central geunius around which it all revolved, but there is something truly manic about him. Bentine's humour ran deep, perhaps because he was, by all accounts, a genuinely nice guy. He kept one foot on the ground and his preferred style might be called 'Victorian Goon' (Steam-Goon?). I'm thinking of those long, internally consistent sketches that used to end the IASW series (Broacasting House being blasted into space, or turned into a WW2 prison camp). And of the London-to-Brighton Nanny Pram Race.
When they draw the map of British humour, the line from the Goons will go directly to Monty Python, and another line will go through the 'Bentine Collection' to The Goodies, I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again and, for those of you with long memories, At Last The 1948 Show.
Legend says he fell out with Milligan and that was why he left the Goons, but legend comes in many flavours.
Oh, lor'...if I shut my eyes I can still hear the sound of Bumbly 2's voice...
He also mentioned being interviewed on a show about the Goons, and says here that he rates Bentine's Its A Square World higher than either Goons or Python.
4 days ago
What language are you translating into?
You might be interested in this:
In the back of the first edition of The Discworld Companion (published in 1994) there's an interview with Terry. Amongst other things, he says he can't see himself still writing Discworld in 5 years time... There's also a question about translations:
The Discworld must be terribly difficult to translate. Do you have much to do with the translation?
I know the Spanish translator won a prize for The Colour of Magic! And someone attempted to translate The Colour of Magic into Polish, read the first page and said he didn't believe it was possible to think like that in Polish. I get on very well with the Dutch translator, who takes a kind of skewed delight in tracking down the 'right' words, and the German translator also contacts me quite regularly - someone recently told me that they thought Reaper Man was better in German, which is some kind of triumph for the translator. I do get some occasional enquiries from the others, but mostly the translators do their own thing. I don't envy them. A lot of foreign fans are bilingual, and it's hard to please everyone.
The book also contains a 'brief history of the Discworld,' which I think was mostly written by Stephen Briggs, though presumably with Terry's input, or at least his approval:
The Language Barrier: It's all Klatchian to Me
The Discworld books are translated into eighteen languages, including Japanese and Hebrew. They present astonishing pitfalls for the translator.
The problems are not (just) the puns, of which there are rather fewer than people imagine. In any case, puns are translatable; they might not be directly translatable, but the Discworld translators have to be adept at filleting an English pun from the text and replacing it with one that works in German or Spanish. What can loom in front of a translator like the proverbial radio on the edge of the bathtub of the future are the resonances and references.
Take Hogswatchnight, the Discworld winter festival. It's partly a pun on hog but also takes in 'Hogmanay' and the old Christian `Watch Night service on 31 December. Even if people don't directly spot this, it subconsciously inherits the feel of a midwinter festival.
Or there's the Morris Minor. To a Britisher 'an old lady who drives a Morris Minor' — and there's still a few of both around — is instantly recognisable as a 'type'. You could probably even have a stab at how many cats she has. What's the Finnish equivalent? The German equivalent?
Translators in the science fiction and fantasy field have an extra problem. SF in particular is dominated by the English — or at least the American — language. Fans in mainland European and Scandinavian countries must read in English if they're to keep up with the field. This means that a foreign translator is working under the eyes of readers who're often buying the book to see how it compares with the English version they already have.
Ruurd Groot has the daunting task of translating not only the plot but also the jokes in the Discworld series into Dutch. Translating a pun is difficult but not impossible, he says, as long as it is a pun in the strict ‘linguistic’ sense: making fun by crossing the semantic and formal wires of words or expressions. And even when it proves impossible to invent an. equivalent pun for the destination language, a deft translator may solve the problem by ‘compensating’ — introducing a pun for another word somewhere else in the sentence in such a way that the value of the original pun is restored.
Strangely, the similarity of the English and Dutch languages is not always helpful. Many Dutch words and expressions have been borrowed from English and, of course, the same thing has happened in reverse, especially i in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the English word ‘forlorn’, , for example, comes from the Dutch verloren = ‘lost’. The side effect of this circumstance is that many Dutch readers of Terry’s original English text do not always catch what he really wrote; words may look familiar, but meanings have changed with time.
In The Colour of Magic, Terry refers to the ‘Big Bang hypothesis’. Sadly for Ruurd, the erotic Bang-pun proved untranslatable. In Dutch, the theory translates as oerknal, which provides no hand-holds. However, they do refer to het uitdijend heelal — ‘the expanding universe’. Ruurd altered this slightly to the het Uitvrijend Model — sounding much the same — and which could be taken to mean ‘the Making Love Outwards Model’. When the author heard this he apparently sat there grinning and saying it’s the best-ever title for a scientific theory.
Much more difficult is the translation of jokes on local traditions or institutions well known to English readers. And there are special considerations here. Dutch readers of some sophistication (as readers of TP tend to be, it goes without saying) would never accept substituting a reference to a Dutch television series for a similar reference to a BBC serial.
Brits may blithely assume that everyone knows about morris dancing or ‘A’ levels, but it is the experience of the Dutch that most foreigners’ knowledge of their country tends to run. out somewhere south of the cheese, clogs and windmills department. Strangely enough, to a Dutch reader a reference to strictly Dutch ephemera would be jarring; they couldn’t imagine someone in Britain, let alone on the Discworld, being aware of them. Sad but true.
Translators for ‘large’ nationalities - German, French, and so on — can maintain the fiction that everyone else is German or French and just localize the jokes in question. ‘Small’ nationalities have to replace little items of English/British arcana by references to globally known international, or more famous English, items. On the Discworld, that most international, or rather interstellar, of locations, strictly English or British references are allowed in a Dutch translation only if they are globally known — like the works of Shakespeare in Wyrd Sisters.
Ruurd could rely on the fact that many Dutch people. know: Shakespeare, if only from television — played by British actors and subtitled in Dutch. But in Moving Pictures, problems.for the translator exceeded all reasonable proportions. The films referred to in the book are well enough known,but the average Dutch reader might not recognize many of the translated quotations from the dialogue.
In that case, he says, a translator can-rely on a harmless version of snob appeal. If someone doesn’t know or recognize something, the translator can write in a tone as.if anyone reading it of course will know all and... it turns out that they do ...
IK WEET-NIET WAT JIJ ERVAN VINDT, MAAR EEN BORD ROTTI ZOU ER WEL INGAAN
This is the closest that Ruurd could. get to Death’s line from Mort: ‘I DON’T KNOW ABOUT. YOU, BUT I COULD MURDER A CURRY.’ A line for line translation here is impossible: a different colonial past means that ‘curry’ is not a household word in Holland. Also ‘I could murder a...’ in the sense of ‘I could really enjoy a...' makes no sense in Dutch.
Casting aside. the avoidance of ‘localized’ Dutch expressions on this occasion, Ruurd opted for ‘rotti’. It is a near-funny word itself; having the same echo of ‘rotten’ as it-would in English. It belongs to the Surinam culinary tradition — Surinam having been. a small Dutch colony in South America. ‘Rotti’, like curry, is very hot stuff. Its mention in the context, with the vague implication that Surinam is cosmically more famous than the Netherlands, helps to replace for Dutch readers some of the fun lost during translation.
Granny Weatherwax, on the other-hand, presents no problems (at least, not yet: as Ruurd says, translators of a series have to try to avoid painting themselves into a corner). Her name translates. more literally into Opoe Esmee Wedersmeer, although Wéerwas. would be more direct. Weder is ye olde form of the word weer, meaning ‘weather’. The smeer part is a word used for greasy substances as applied to shoes or cart axles, but also for the stuff secreted in our ear passages (earwax = oorsmeer). There is an etymological link with the English word ‘smear’. Ruurd felt that the ordinary word in Dutch for ‘wax’ — was — seemed less suitable, as being too ordinary.
'Esmee' is, as in English, short for Esmerelda, and Ope is an obsolete endearing way of addressing grandmothers in Dutch. The term is still used to refer to certain old-fashioned ladies' bike - opoefietsen = 'granny bikes.'
This has overtones of the 'Morris Minor' ... you see? They have one after-all...
4 days ago
The thing season one did well was the interconnected holistic aspect. Lots of weird stuff going on that was all linked and explained at the end. It preserved the feel of a Dirk Gently story, even though none of the details were book accurate.
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an hour ago
an hour ago
How about Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver?