There was once a caustic comment from someone suggesting I was breeding a new race. Fans from different countries have married, amazing things like that. I've been to some of the weddings. I went to one here the other day, a pagan ceremony.
The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can't so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care?
You can't build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I'm not writing 'The A-Team' - if there's a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.
Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil... prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon.
The ideal death, I think, is what was the ideal Victorian death, you know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop.
I believe everyone should have a good death. You know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. Because after all, tears are appropriate on a death bed. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop.
In the first book of my Discworld series, published more than 26 years ago, I introduced Death as a character; there was nothing particularly new about this - death has featured in art and literature since medieval times, and for centuries we have had a fascination with the Grim Reaper.
That's the most terrible thing about being an author - standing there at your mother's funeral, but you don't switch the author off. So your own innermost thoughts are grist for the mill. Who was it said - one of the famous lady novelists - 'unhappy is the family that contains an author'?
It seems sensible to me that we should look to the medical profession, that over the centuries has helped us to live longer and healthier lives, to help us die peacefully among our loved ones in our own home without a long stay in God's waiting room.
I've always felt that what I have going for me is not my imagination, because everyone has an imagination. What I have is a relentlessly controlled imagination. What looks like wild invention is actually quite carefully calculated.
I think we are waiting for an e-book that even non-techies can be comfortable with. From my point of view, the biggest change is that I don't have to spend most of the day printing out and packaging a manuscript. I think I almost miss that.
Christ managed to boil down an awful lot of commandments to a few very simple rules for living. It's when you go backwards through the 'begats' and the Garden of Eden, and you start thinking, 'Hang on, that's a big punishment for eating one lousy apple... There's a human-rights issue.'
Previous generations understood about death, and undoubtedly would have seen a reasonable amount of death. Once you get into the Victorian era, you might well have seen the funerals of many of your siblings before you were very old.
I got quite annoyed after the Haiti earthquake. A baby was taken from the wreckage and people said it was a miracle. It would have been a miracle had God stopped the earthquake. More wonderful was that a load of evolved monkeys got together to save the life of a child that wasn't theirs.
There is a soak-the-rich attitude in the air, a feeling that if you have a lot of money you must have got it by some ghastly means. I can quite happily say there was never any family money. All the money we got was mine, just from writing books.
The most watched programme on the BBC, after the news, is probably 'Doctor Who.' What has happened is that science fiction has been subsumed into modern literature. There are grandparents out there who speak Klingon, who are quite capable of holding down a job. No one would think twice now about a parallel universe.
The bravest person I've ever met was a young boy going through massive amounts of treatment for a very rare, complex and unpleasant disease. I last saw him at a Discworld convention, where he chose to take part in a game as an assassin. He died not long afterwards, and I wish I had his fortitude and sense of style.
If you are going to write, say, fantasy - stop reading fantasy. You've already read too much. Read other things; read westerns, read history, read anything that seems interesting, because if you only read fantasy and then you start to write fantasy, all you're going to do is recycle the same old stuff and move it around a bit.
I intend, before the endgame looms, to die sitting in a chair in my own garden with a glass of brandy in my hand and Thomas Tallis on the iPod. Oh, and since this is England, I had better add, 'If wet, in the library.' Who could say that this is bad?
My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them.
We have been so successful in the past century at the art of living longer and staying alive that we have forgotten how to die. Too often we learn the hard way. As soon as the baby boomers pass pensionable age, their lesson will be harsher still.
It cannot be said often enough that science fiction as a genre is incredibly educational - and I'm speaking the written science fiction, not 'Star Trek.' Science fiction writers tend to fill their books if they're clever with little bits of interesting stuff and real stuff.
I've lost both parents in the last two years, so you pick up on that stuff. That's the most terrible thing about being an author - standing there at your mother's funeral, but you don't switch the author off. So your own innermost thoughts are grist for the mill.
My advice is this. For Christ's sake, don't write a book that is suitable for a kid of 12 years old, because the kids who read who are 12 years old are reading books for adults. I read all of the James Bond books when I was about 11, which was approximately the right time to read James Bond books.
I think when people mean that Discworld books have become darker they really mean the series is growing up. In 'The Colour of Magic' most of the city is set alight. It's a joke, in much the same way that the Earth is destroyed almost at the start of Douglas Adams's 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.'
Anyway, why would you trust anything written down? She certainly didn't trust Mothers of Borogravia! and that was from the government. And if you couldn't trust the government, who could you trust?Very nearly everyone, come to think of it
Are we entirely ready, sir? said Lieutenant Hornett, with the special inflection that means We are not entirely ready, sir.We had better be. Glory awaits, gentlemen. In the words of General Tacticus, 'let us take history by the scrotum.' Of course, he was not a very honourable fighter.
Cohen looked at the forest of lances and pennants. Hundreds of thousands of men looked like quite a lot of men when you saw them close to.I suppose, he said, slowly, that none of you has got some amazing plan you've been keeping quiet about?We thought you had one, said Truckle.
Learning how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them. Harder, maybe. There'd be a sight more frogs in this world if I didn't know how not to turn people into them. And big pink balloons, too.
They stole from rich merchants and temples and kings. They didn't steal from poor people; this was not because there was anything virtuous about poor people, it was simply because poor people had no money.
Silverfish: "He disappeared a few years ago.""Disappeared? How? said Cuddy."We think," said Silverfish, leaning closer, "that he found a way of making himself invisible.""Really?""Because," said Silverfish, nodding conspiratorially, "no-one has seen him.
The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.
The footprints go this way," said Cuddy, "and then they return. But the ones coming back aren't so deep as the ones going. You can see they're later ones because they're over the top of the other ones. So he was heavier than he was coming back, yes?""Right," said DetritusSo that means...?""He lose weight?"
Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying."
You grow up readin' about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus' when you think the world's all full of amazin' things, they tell you it's really all dead whales and chopped-down forests and nucular waste hang-in' about for millions of years. 'Snot worth growin' up for, if you ask my opinion."
Map-making had never been a precise art on the Discworld. People tended to start off with good intentions and then get so carried away with the spouting whales, monsters, waves and other twiddly bits of cartographic furniture that the often forgot to put the boring mountains and rivers in at all."
It takes an unusual man to make up a hymn in a hurry, but such a man was Captain Roberts. He knew every hymn in The Antique and Contemporary Hymn Book, and sang his way through them loudly and joyously when he was on watch, which had been one of the reasons for the mutiny."
Right!""Right!""You can get there!""I can get there!""You're a natural at counting to two!""I'm a nat'ral at counting to two!""If you can count to two, you can count to anything!""If I can count to two, I can count to anything!""And then the world is your mollusc!""My mollusc! What's a mollusc?"
... when your name is really and truly Percy Blakeney, pronounced 'Black-knee', and you still have bad acne in your twenties, you accept Pimple as a nickname and are grateful that it wasn't anything worse.
Sham Harga had run a successful eatery for many years by always smiling, never extending credit, and realizing that most of his customers wanted meals properly balanced between the four food groups: sugar, starch, grease, and burnt crunchy bits.
I regarded finding I had a form of Alzheimer's as an insult and decided to do my best to marshal any kind of forces I could against this wretched disease. I have posterior cortical atrophy or PCA. They say, rather ingenuously, that if you have Alzheimer's it's the best form of Alzheimer's to have.
Fantasy doesn't have to be fantastic. American writers in particular find this much harder to grasp. You need to have your feet on the ground as much as your head in the clouds. The cute dragon that sits on your shoulder also craps all down your back, but this makes it more interesting because it gives it an added dimension.
And gears," said Anathema. "My bike didn't have gears. I'm sure my bike didn't have gears." Crowley leaned over to the angel. "Oh lord, heal this bike," he whispered sarcastically. "I'm sorry, I just got carried away," hissed Aziraphale.
The point is that descriptive writing is very rarely entirely accurate and during the reign of Olaf Quimby II as Patrician of Ankh-Morpork some legislation was passed in a determined attempt to ?put a stop to this sort of thing and introduce some honest.
I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It's generally a better bet. There's more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say "it was god's will" when granny dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow.
He found that he had this sudden desperate longing for the fuming, smoky streets of Ankh-Morpork, which was always at its best in the spring, when the gummy sheen on the turbid waters of the Ankh River had a special iridescence and the eaves were full of birdsong, or at least birds coughing rhythmically
Technically, the city of Ankh-Morpork is a Tyranny, which is not always the same thing as a monarchy, and in fact even the post of Tyrant has been somewhat redefined by the incumbent, Lord Vetinari, as the only form of democracy that works. Everyone is entitled to vote, unless disqualified by reason of age or not being Lord Vetinari.
The people of Ankh-Morpork had a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to entertainment, and while they were looking forward to seeing a dragon slain, they'd be happy to settle instead for seeing someone being baked alive in his own armour. You didn't get the chance every day to see someone baked alive in their own armour. It would be something for the children to remember.
The rising sun managed to peek around the vast column of smoke that forever rose from Ankh-Morpork, City of Cities, illustrating almost up to the edge of space that smoke means progress or, at least, people setting fire to things.
It was Carrot who'd suggested to the Patrician that hardened criminals should be given the chance to 'serve the community' by redecorating the homes of the elderly, lending a new terror to old age and, given Ankh-Morpork's crime rate, leading to at least one old lady having her front room wallpapered so many times in six months that now she could only get in sideways.
Sergeant Colon of the Ankh-Morpork City Guard was on duty. He was guarding the Brass Bridge, the main link between Ankh and Morpork. From theft. When it came to crime prevention, Sergeant Colon found it safest to think big.
The disc, being flat, has no real horizon. Any adventurous sailor who got funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges for too long and set out for the antipodes soon learned that the reason why distant ships sometimes looked as though they were disappearing over the edge of the world was that they were disappearing over the edge of the world.
Granny Weatherwaz was a witch. That was quite acceptable in the Ramtops, and no one had a bad word to say about witches. At least, not if he wanted to wake up in the morning the same shape as he went to bed.
One of the recurring philosophical questions is: 'Does a falling tree in the forest make a sound when there is no one to hear?' Which says something about the nature of philosophers , because there is always someone in a forest. It may only be a badger, wondering what that cracking noise was, or a squirrel a bit puzzled by all the scenery going upwards, but someone.
And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman's eye.
At such times the universe gets a little closer to us. They are strange times, times of beginnings and endings. Dangerous and powerful. And we feel it even if we don't know what it is. These times are not necessarily good, and not necessarily bad. In fact, what they are depends on what *we* are.
I think I would like to go into modelling. Of course, I don't know how to do it, and wouldn't be any good at it if I did, so I'm going to employ someone to walk the catwalks on my behalf. It would still be me, of course.
Funny, reely," he said. "You spend your whole life goin' to school and learnin' stuff, and they never tell you about stuff like the Bermuda Triangle and UFOs and all these Old Masters running around the inside of the Earth. Why do we have to learn boring stuff when there's all this brilliant stuff we could be learnin', that's what I want to know.
I read the best works of some of the best satirists, and indeed best writers from the beginning of the Victorian era to about the 1960s. If you want to be a blacksmith, you go and watch the blacksmith working, and you work out what the blacksmith does.
The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.
An Assassin, a real Assassin had to look like one-black clothes, hood, boots, and all. If they could wear any clothes, any disguise, then what could anyone do but spend all day in a small room with a loaded crossbow pointed at the door?
I don't want unnecessary violence, sergeant," said Blouse. "Right you are, sir!" said the sergeant. "Carborundum! First man comes through that door runnin', I want him nailed to the wall!" He caught the lieutenant's eye, and added: "But not too hard!
It was also a room full of books and made of books. There was no actual furniture; this is to say, the desk and chairs were shaped out of books. It looked as though many of them were frequently referred to, because they lay open with other books used as bookmarks.
I thought it very strange, and very sad, that the fairy kingdom largely appears to be English. I thought it was time for some regional representation. And the Nac Mac Feegle are, well, they're like tiny little Scottish Smurfs who have seen Braveheart altogether too many times.
I'm a fantasy writer, called a fantasy writer. But there's very little, apart from one or two basic concepts in 'I Shall Wear Midnight,' which are in fact fantasy. You have sticks that fly, but they're practical broomsticks, with a bloody great strap that you can hold on to so you don't fall off. And you try not to use them too often.
I'm not the world's greatest expert, but I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, ... broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?' - when J.K. Rowling insisted she wasn't writing fantasy.
They always gives me bath salts," complained Nobby. "And bath soap and bubble bath and herbal bath lumps and tons of bath stuff and I can't think why, 'cos it's not as if I hardly ever has a bath. You'd think they'd take the hint, wouldn't you?
I found while driving in Wyoming that wearing a stetson and driving a beat-up pickup meant you could go as fast as you like, while the police picked up Californian winnebagos that went one mph over 55. After all, they wanted to bring money into the state, not merely circulate it.
There is always a choice." "You mean I could choose certain death?" "A choice nevertheless, or perhaps an alternative. You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.
...Granny Weatherwax, who had walked nightly without fear in the bandit-haunted forests of the mountains all her life in the certain knowledge that the darkness held nothing more terrible than she was...
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man I put away childish things because. wow, then I could afford much *better* childish things!
Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
The Four Horsemen whose Ride presages the end of the world are known to be Death, War, Famine, and Pestilence. But even less significant events have their own Horsemen. For example, the Four Horsemen of the Common Cold are Sniffles, Chesty, Nostril, and Lack of Tissues; the Four Horsemen whose appearance foreshadows any public holiday are Storm, Gales, Sleet, and Contra-flow.
So let's not get frightened when the children read fantasy. It's the compost for a healthy mind. It stimulate s the inquisitive nodes, and there is some evidence that a rich internal fantasy life is as good and necessary for a child as healthy soil is for a plant, for much the same reasons.
Contrary to popular belief and hope, people don't usually come running when they hear a scream. That's not how humans work. Humans look at other humans and say, 'Did you hear a scream?' because the first scream might have been you screaming inside your head, or a horse backfiring.
He'd noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination - but at the end of the day they'd settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.
Watching a dog try to chew a large piece of toffee is a pastime fit for gods. Mr. Fusspot's mixed ancestry had given him a dexterity of jaw that was truly awesome. He somersaulted happily around the floor, making faces like a rubber gargoyle in a washing machine.
The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that's where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won't do if they don't know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight.
Picturesque meant - he decided after careful observation of the scenerey that inspired Twoflower to use the word - that the landscape was horribly precipitous. Quaint, when used to describe the occasional village through which they passed, meant fever-ridden and tumbledown. Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, mean 'idiot'.
You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs.
The thing is, 'Discworld' had been going on for a very long time, and I've written children's books as well. Usually when people have a really big series they franchise it, which I thought is a bit of a no-no, so I thought what I'd do is I'd franchise it to myself.
I think I work much harder on the children's books. I suppose I enjoy that. I find it interesting that although there are more than 30 books in the Discworld series, it is the four that were written for children which have won the awards. I've never been quite certain why this is.
Well, the news has got around. The Duchess of Keepsake has invited us to a ball, Sir Henry and Lady Withering have invited us to a ball, and Lord and Lady Hangfinger have invited us to... yes, a ball." "Well, that's a lot of..." "Don't you dare, Sam.
I saved a man's life once," said Granny. "Special medicine, twice a day. Boiled water with a bit of berry juice in it. Told him I'd bought it from the dwarves. That's the biggest part of doct'rin, really. Most people'll get over most things if they put their minds to it, you just have to give them an interest.
Classically, very few people have considered that cleanliness is next to godliness. A rank loincloth and hair in an advanced state of matted entanglement have generally been the badges of office of prophets whose injunction to disdain earthly things starts with soap.
A witch who is bored might do ANYTHING. People said things like 'we had to make our own amusements in those days' as if this signified some kind of moral worth, and perhaps it did, but the last thing you wanted a witch to do was get bored and start making her own amusements, because witches sometimes had famously erratic ideas about what was amusing.
Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact.
However, you do need rules. Driving on the left (or the right or, in parts of Europe, on the left and the right as the mood takes you) is a rule which works, since following it means you're more likely to reach your intended rather than your final destination.
The secret is not to dream," she whispered. "The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. I know where I come from and I know where I'm going. You cannot fool me any more. Or touch me. Or anything that is mine.
The Chain Letter to the Ephebians. Forget Your Gods. Be Subjugated. Learn to Fear. Do not break the chain -- the last people who did woke up one morning to find fifty thousand armed men on their lawn.
What was supposed to be so special about a full moon? It was only a big circle of light. And the dark of the moon was only darkness. But halfway between the two, when the moon was between the worlds of light and dark, when even the moon lived on the edge...maybe then a witch could believe in the moon.
...the proliferation of luminous fungi or iridescent crystals in deep caves where the torchlessly improvident hero needs to see is one of the most obvious intrusions of narrative causality into the physical universe.
Haven't you got any romance in your soul?" said Magrat plaintively. "No," said Granny. "I ain't. And stars don't care what you wish, and magic don't make things better, and no one doesn't get burned who sticks their hand in a fire. If you want to amount to anything as a witch, Magrat Garlick, you got to learn three things. What's real, what's not real, and what's the difference.
The sign, which says: "Do not, under any circumstances, open this door!" - Of course, I've read it. Why do you think I want it opened?.. To see why they wanted it shut, of course. This exchange contains almost all you need to know about human civilization. At least, those bits of it that are now under the sea, fenced off or still smoking.
It's an interesting fact that fewer than 17 % of Real cats end their lives with the same name they started with. Much family effort goes into selecting one at the start ("She looks like a Winnifred to me"), and the as the years roll by it suddenly finds itself being called Meepo or Ratbag.
The phrase "may you live in interesting times" is the lowest in a trilogy of Chinese curses that continue "may you come to the attention of those in authority" and finish with "may the gods give you everything you ask for." I have no idea about its authenticity.
She'd stopped reading the kind of women's magazine that talked about romance and knitting and started reading the kind of women's magazine that talked about orgasms, but apart from making a mental note to have one if ever the occasion presented itsel
I must have read every issue of 'Punch' published in the 20th century, and I think in the process I picked up the true voice of English humour - that amiable, fairly liberal, laconic voice which you find in something like 'Three Men in a Boat.'
Albert grunted. "Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?" Mort thought for a moment. "No," he said eventually, "what?" There was silence. Then Albert straightened up and said, "Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve 'em right.
The Monks of Cool, whose tiny and exclusive monastery is hidden in a really cool and laid-back valley in the lower Ramtops, have a passing-out test for a novice. He is taken into a room full of all types of clothing and asked: Yo, my son, which of these is the most stylish thing to wear? And the correct answer is: Hey, whatever I select.
People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as "Is this the laundry?" "How do you spell surreptitious?" and, on a regular basis, "Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.
Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.
One minute I'm just another rabbit and happy about it, next minute *whazaam*, I'm thinking. That's a major drawback if you're looking for happiness as a rabbit, let me tell you. You want grass and sex, not thoughts like 'What's it all about, when you get right down to it?'
Behind him the Master of Ceremonies cleared his throat. His eyes took on a distant, glazed look.The Stealer of Souls, he said in the faraway voice of one whose ears aren't hearing what his mouth is saying, Defeater of Empires, Swallower of Oceans, Thief of Years, The Ultimate Reality, Harvester of Mankind, the-ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT. I CAN SEE MYSELF IN.
Belief is one of the most powerful organic forces in the multiverse. It may not be able to move mountains, exactly. But it can create someone who can. People get exactly the wrong idea about belief. They think it works back to front. They think the sequence is, first object, then belief. In fact, it works the other way.
It's daft, locking us up," said Nanny. "I'd have had us killed." "That's because you're basically good," said Magrat. "The good are innocent and create justice. The bad are guilty, which is why they invent mercy.
He had never been interested in stories at any age, and had never quite understood the basic concept. He'd never read a work of fiction all the way through. He did remember, as a small boy, being really annoyed at the depiction of Hickory Dickory Dock in a rag book of nursery rhymes because the clock in the drawing was completely wrong for the period.
Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.
Incidentally, it's best not to argue with the nursing staff. I find the best course of action is to throw some chocolates in one direction and hurry off in the other while their attention is distracted.
Once you've ruled out the impossible then whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth. The problem lay in working out what was impossible, of course. That was the trick, all right. There was also the curious incident of the orangutan in the night-time.
I would like you to teach [the orcs] civilised behaviour," said Ladyship coldly. He appeared to consider this. "Yes of course, I think that would be quite possible," he said. "And who would you send to teach the humans?
I read the 'Old Testament' all the way through when I was about 13 and was horrified. A few months afterwards I read 'The Origin Of Species', hallucinating very mildly because I was in bed with flu at the time. Despite that, or because of that, it all made perfect sense.
It was quite impossible to describe. Here is what it looked like. It looked like a piano sounds shortly after being dropped down a well. It tasted yellow, and it felt Paisley. It smelled like the total eclipse of the moon.
The 'New Testament', now, I quite liked. Jesus had a lot of good things to say, and as for his father, he must have been highly thought of by the community to work with wood - a material that couldn't have been widely available in Palestine.
Particles of raw inspiration sleet through the universe all the time. Every once in a while one of them hits a receptive mind, which then invents DNA or the flute sonata form or a way of making light bulbs wear out in half the time. But most of them miss. Most people go through their lives without being hit by even one.
I'd like to stand up for the rights of people who put everything on their burger - chutney, mustard, pickle, mustard pickle, tomato sauce... It is common knowledge in my family that I can't tell the difference between a veggie burger and a meat one, because the ratio of burger to pickles is so high.
The elevator shaft was a kind of heat sink. Hot food was cold by the time it arrived. Cold food got colder. No one knew what would happen to ice cream, but it would probably involve some rewriting of the laws of thermodynamics.
I would like permission to fetch a note from my mother, sir' Ridcully sighed. 'Rincewind, you once informed me, to my everlasting puzzlement, that you never knew your mother because she ran away before you were born. Distinctly remember writing it down in my diary. Would you like another try?' 'Permission to go and find my mother?'
It was octarine, the colour of magic. It was alive and glowing and vibrant and it was the undisputed pigment of the imagination, because wherever it appeared it was a sign that mere matter was a servant of the powers of the magical mind. It was enchantment itself. But Rincewind always thought it looked a sort of greenish-purple.
Of course, like all the informal inhabitants of the University the roaches were a little unusual, but there was something particularly unpleasant about the sound of billions of very small feet hitting the stones in perfect time. Rincewind stepped gingerly over the marching column. The Librarian jumped it. The Luggage, of course, followed them with a noise like someone tapdancing over a bag of crisps.
That was always the dream, wasn't it? 'I wish I'd known then what I know now'? But when you got older you found out that you NOW wasn't YOU then. You then was a twerp. You then was what you had to be to start out on the rocky road of becoming you now, and one of the rocky patches on that road was being a twerp.
It's an old magical principle - it's even filtered down into RPG systems - that magic, while taking a lot of effort, can be 'stored' - in a staff, for example. No doubt a wizard spends a little time each day charging up his staff, although you go blind if you do it too much, of course.
Oh, my dear Vimes, history changes all the time. It is constantly being re-examined and re-evaluated, otherwise how would we be able to keep historians occupied? We can't possibly allow people with their sort of minds to walk around with time on their hands.
An' things ha' come to a pretty pass, ye ken, if people are going to leave stuff like that aroound where innocent people could accidentally smash the door doon and lever the bars aside and take the big chain off'f the cupboard and pick the lock and drink it!
Having to haul around extra poundage was far too much effort, so he saw to it that he never put it on and he kept himself in trim, because doing things with decent muscles was far less effort than trying to achieve things with bags of flab.
Mr. Young hadn't had to quiet a screaming baby for years. H'ed never been much good at it to start with. He'd always respected Sir Winston Churchill, and patting small versions of him on the bottom had always seemed ungracious.
I don't want unnecessary violence, sergeant, said Blouse.Right you are, sir! said the sergeantCarborundum! First man comes through that door runnin', I want him nailed to the wall! He caught the lieutenant's eye, and added: But not too hard!
His Greatness the King Pteppicymon XXVIII, Lord of the Heavens, Charioteer of the Wagon of the Sun, Steersman of the Barque of the Sun, Guardian of the Secret Knowledge, Lord of the Horizon, Keeper of the Way, the Flail of Mercy, the High Born One, the Never Dying King.
Men said things like peace in our time or an empire that will last a thousand years, and less than half a lifetime later no one even remembered who they were, let alone what they had said or where the mob had buried their ashes.
And that's what I don't like about magic, Captain. 'cos it's *magic*. You can't ask questions, it's magic. It doesn't explain anything, it's magic. You don't know where it comes from, it's magic! That's what I don't like about magic, it does everything by magic!
Far more beguiling than the idea that evil can be destroyed by throwing a piece of expensive jewelry into a volcano is the possibility that evil can be defused by talking. The fantasy of justice is more interesting than the fantasy of fairies, and more truly fantastic.
It's rude to stare," said the troll. Its mouth opened with a little crest of foam, and shut again in exactly the same way that water closes over a stone. "Is it? Why?" asked Rincewind. How does he hold himself together, his mind screamed at him. Why doesn't he spill?
In fact the Gods were as puzzled by all this as the wizards were, but they were powerless to do anything and in any case were engaged in an eons-old battle with the Ice Giants, who had refused to return the lawnmower.
Nanny Ogg was an attractive lady, which is not the same as being beautiful. She fascinated Casanunda. She was an incredibly comfortable person to be around, partly because she had a mind so broad it could accommodate three football fields and a bowling alley.
A man walked across the moors from Razorback to Lancre town without seeing a single marshlight, head-less dog, strolling tree, ghostly coach or comet, and had to be taken in by a tavern and given a drink to unsteady his nerves.
What have I always believed?That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.
Money is an unavoidable consequence, but it isn't the reason I write; if it was, I wouldn't have written any of the YA books, because advances in that field are small compared to what I'd got now for an 'adult' DW.
Triboplasts played a crucial role in evolution, precisely because they did have internal organs, and in particular they could ingest food and excrete it. Their excreta became a major resource for other creatures; to get an interestingly complicated world, it is vitally important that shit happens.
There are all kinds of darkness, and all kinds of things can be found in them, imprisoned, banished, lost or hidden. Sometimes they escape. Sometimes they simply fall out. Sometimes they just can't take it any more.
A book has been taken. A book has been taken? You summoned the Watch," Carrot drew himself up proudly, "because someone's taken a book? You think that's worse than murder?"The Librarian gave him the kind of look other people would reserve for people who said things like "What's so bad about genocide?
Many things went on at Unseen University and, regrettably, teaching had to be one of them. The faculty had long ago confronted this fact and had perfected various devices for avoiding it. But this was perfectly all right because, to be fair, so had the students.
Everybody has somebody. It could be a friend, a lover, a spouse, a writing partner, or even That One Person You See At The Coffee Shop each day. Sometimes they exist to comfort you. Sometimes they exist to drive you absolutely mad. Be open to either as a form of self-improvement.
Things just happen, one after another. They don't care who knows. But history... ah, history is different. History has to be observed. Otherwise it's not history. It's just... well, things happening one after another.
It's daft, locking us up," said Nanny. "I'd have had us killed.""That's because you're basically good," said Magrat. "The good are innocent and create justice. The bad are guilty, which is why they invent mercy.
I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.
If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
I don't want unnecessary violence, sergeant," said Blouse."Right you are, sir!" said the sergeant. "Carborundum! First man comes through that door runnin', I want him nailed to the wall!" He caught the lieutenant's eye, and added: "But not too hard!
NAUGHTY AND NICE? said Death. BUT IT'S EASY TO BE NICE IF YOU'RE RICH. IS THIS FAIR?Albert wanted to argue. He wanted to say, Really? In that case, how come so many of the rich buggers is bastards? And being poor don't mean being naughty, neither.
Hell wasn't a major reservoir of evil, any more then Heaven, in Crowley's opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.
Anyway, why would you trust anything written down? She certainly didn't trust "Mothers of Borogravia!" and that was from the government. And if you couldn't trust the government, who could you trust?Very nearly everyone, come to think of it...
WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN THE HEART OF MEN?The Death of Rats looked up from the feast of the potato. SQUEAK, he said.Death waved a hand dismissively. WELL, YES, OBVIOUSLY ME, he said. I JUST WONDERED IF THERE WAS ANYONE ELSE.
And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
And now the birds were singing overhead, and there was a soft rustling in the undergrowth, and all the sounds of the forest that showed that life was still being lived blended with the souls of the dead in a woodland requiem. The whole forest now sang for Granny Weatherwax.
Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water!
There are millions of chords. There are millions of numbers. And everyone forgets the one that is a zero. But without the zero, numbers are just arithmetic. Without the empty chord, music is just noise.
For an author, the nice characters aren't much fun. What you want are the screwed up characters. You know, the characters that are constantly wondering if what they are doing is the right thing, characters that are not only screwed up but are self-tapping screws. They're doing it for themselves.
The Librarian was not familiar with love, which had always struck him as a bit ethereal and soppy, but kindness, on the other hand, was practical. You knew where you were with kindness, especially if you were holding a pie it had just given you.
Cheery was aware that Commander Vimes didn't like the phrase 'The innocent have nothing to fear', believing the innocent had everything to fear, mostly from the guilty but in the longer term even more from those who say things like 'The innocent have nothing to fear'.
But the helmet had gold decoration, and the bespoke armorers had made a new gleaming breastplate with useless gold ornamentation on it. Sam Vimes felt like a class traitor every time he wore it. He hated being thought of as one of those people that wore stupid ornamental armor. It was gilt by association.
A Duke couldn't have the arse hanging out of his trousers when meeting foreign diplomats. Actually even plain old Sam Vimes never had the arse hanging out of his trousers, either, but no one would have actually started a war if he had.
And Sam Vimes thought: Why is Young Sam's nursery full of farmyard animals anyway? Why are his books full of moo-cows and baa-lambs? He is growing up in the city. He will only see them on a plate! They go sizzle!
Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it's all because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place.
Let's see, now... in HOGFATHER there are a number of stabbings, someone's killed by a man made of knives, someone's killed by the dark, and someone just been killed by a wardrobe. It's a book about the magic of childhood. You can tell.
The landscape was snow and green ice on broken mountains. These weren't old mountains, worn down by time and weather and full of gentle ski slopes, but young, sulky, adolescent mountains. They held secret ravines and merciless crevices. One yodel out of place would attract, not the jolly echo of a lonely goatherd, but fifty tons of express-delivery snow.
They didn't know why these things were funny. Sometimes you laugh because you've got no more room for crying. Sometimes you laugh because table manners on a beach are funny. And sometimes you laugh because you're alive, when you really shouldn't be.
It had a very long pendulum, and the pendulum swung with a slow tick-tock that set his teeth on edge, because it was the the kind of delibrate, annoying ticking that wanted to make it abundantly clear that every tick and every tock was stripping another second off your life.
First Sight means you can see what really is there, and Second Thoughts mean thinking about what you are thinking. And in Tiffany's case, there were sometimes Third Thoughts and Fourth Thoughts although these...sometimes led her to walk into doors.
Tiffany has been apprenticing as a witch by visiting people in need with her mentor. After meeting with one particularly sad case, she tells her mentor, "It shouldn't be like this." Her mentor replies, "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do.
The real world was far too real to leave neat little hints. It was full of too many things. It wasn't by eliminating the impossible that you got to the truth, however improbable; it was by the much harder process of eliminating the possibilities.
Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended. And this is all very natural and organic and in tune with mysterious cycles of the cosmos, which believes that there's nothing like millions of years of really frustrating trial and error to give a species moral fiber and, in some cases, backbone.
And the people next door oppress me all night long. I tell them, I work all day, a man's got to have some time to learn to play the tuba. That's oppression, that is. If I'm not under the heel of the oppressor, I don't know who is.
And these are your reasons, my lord?" "Do you think I have others?" said Lord Vetinari. "My motives, as ever, are entirely transparent." Hughnon reflected that 'entirely transparent' meant either that you could see right through them or that you couldn't see them at all.
I must confess the activities of the UK governments for the past couple of years have been watched with frank admiration and amazement by Lord Vetinari. Outright theft as a policy had never occurred to him.
It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
Mum had done everything you need to educate a kid. She made me a kid who likes books and she told me about 'Wind in the Willows' and read it and I thought this is weird, Rat, Mole, Toad and my first ever Bolshie thought - you know about 'The Wind in the Willows.'
Your average witch is not, by nature, a social animal as far as other witches are concerned. There's a conflict of dominant personalities. There's a group of ringleaders without a ring. There's the basic unwritten rule of witchcraft, which is 'Don't do what you will, do what I say.' The natural size of a coven is one. Witches only get together when they can't avoid it.
The thing about witchcraft," said Mistress Weatherwax, "is that it's not like school at all. First you get the test, and then afterward you spend years findin' out how you passed it. It's a bit like life in that respect
The most prudent thing any intelligent animal can do, if it would prefer its descendents not to spend a lot of time on a slab with electrodes clamped to their brains or sticking mines on the bottom of ships, or being patronised by zoologists, is to make bloody certain humans don't find out about it.
Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? To my juvenile eyes, Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn't take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.
In all seriousness, people think that it's the ideas that are important. Well, everyone has ideas, all the time. I tend to write mine down and remember them, but at some point you have to apply the bum to the seat and knock out about sixty five thousand words - that's how long a novel is.
I particularly admire are Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome who wrote in a certain tone of voice which was humane and understanding of humanity, but always ready to annotate its little foibles. I think I'd lay my cards down on that, and say that it's that that I'm trying to do.
Seven hundred thousand people who have dementia in this country are not heard. I'm fortunate; I can be heard. Regrettably, it's amazing how people listen if you stand up in public and give away $1 million for research into the disease, as I have done.