faustus: (culture)
( Dec. 20th, 2007 03:45 pm)
Albatross HouseWalking down T Road and a woman in her forties said to me, "I had no idea any of this existed" and laughed manically.

Tested camera on wall - picture of the site of Albatross House.

Dropped cards into work - took an hour.

Went to farmers' market and spent £45 on cheese (this is the real shit) with and £8 on chorizo with Patrick. 

Bought bacon bap from van - delayed by (homeless?) woman who was failing to pay, then failing to find her purse (she'd got it out already).

Charity shopping. Nada.

Boots for prescription. Tesco for remains of food shop. Need crackers, though. And something else. I forget. I couple more cards.

Listening in to discussion on Pratchett book: Mr Discworld Monthly remains unconvinced. C'est le vie. http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10560&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=6edbaefd7475f22bf5239f1dc6ef9a8f
faustus: (heaven)
( Dec. 17th, 2007 02:17 am)
 ... I have held a copy of the paperback in my hand. There are typos. There are a couple of wrong dates. But it is a thing of beauty and it is as good as I could make it.

Further projects are... projected.
faustus: (gorilla)
( Dec. 9th, 2007 05:40 pm)
I had an appraisal back in the midst of May, and got a report from it on Thursday. This is a step above the previous two, which never led to a report. Anyway, I have to respond by Monday. My response: )

Re: Shelving - cut for dullness )

Terry Pratchetts )

Student correspondence )

Ah well, five days to go before we break for Xmas - well, until I need to do all this marking... Off to do something with brussel sprouts.

faustus: (heaven)
( Nov. 28th, 2007 11:43 am)

Here's a review from WOSSNAME that's nicer than the one in Discworld Monthly:


The Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett
Reviewed by Annie Mac

"Ohh noes! It's another Pratchett compendium! And I bet they forgot
to mention *this* and they didn't give enough credit to *that* and
what do we need another book for when we already have the Discworld
Companion and the Annotated Pratchett File and and and..."

Yes, it's another Pratchett compendium. But it certainly deserves
to exist. And I like it.

It's a labour of love -- lot of labour, and a whole lotta love.
Compiler/editor Andrew Butler, who also co-edited Terry Pratchett:
Guilty of Literature, has obviously devoted a Librarian-worthy
(oook!) amount of time and care to creating this ambitious reference
work, and a team of eleven writers, academicians and general Pterry-
nuts have also contributed greatly to the content.

There are plenty of Discworld and general Pratchett fans who can
confidently -- and correctly -- answer, at parties, every question
every compiler of a Wyrdest Link-type trivia game could possibly
come up with, but Andrew Butler and his co-researchers have
*actually taken the time to write things down*. A myriad of things.
Useful things, interesting things, thought-provoking things, not-a
-lot-of- people-know-that things, and all of it covering or relevant
to Terry Pratchett's entire oeuvre. All the novels are here, not
only Discworld ones but also the Bromeliad series, the Johnny
Maxwell Series, Good Omens, the Unadulterated Cat, etc.; all the
well-known and lesser-known short stories, from The Sea and Little
Fishes to Hollywood Chickens to Turntables of the Night, plus the
collected odds and sods of Pterry's other work such as magazine
pieces; not to mention the Science of Discworld novels, the Mapp
books, the artwork collections, the audio versions, the animated
versions, the stage versions, the screen versions...it's an
impressive collection, and it has a good heart. What's not to like?

While the Discworld Companion (and its updated edition) might offer
a greater number of entries about various characters, places,
philosophies and whatnot, these only cover the Discworld novels.
While the online Annotated Pratchett File might offer masses of
fine-ground explanations for every little detail of so many of the
novels, you can't hold it in your hands and turn the pages at will.
The Unofficial Companion, in my opinion, goes a long way toward
filling that gap. In its pages you'll find biographies of vital
members of Team Pterry (e.g. Stewart and Cohen, Kirby and Kidby,
Stephen Briggs, Colin Smythe et al), essays on important themes,
history, sociology and the like in Pratchett's work (e.g. religion,
feminism, politics), and entries on other relevant or influential
works of popular culture such as the Carry On farces, Hollywood
comedies, and the novels of Neil Gaiman, Fritz Leiber, Robert
Sheckley and Douglas Adams, to name but a few. There are also a fair
number of illustrations and even photographs of Discworld fans at
play -- the one of the self-titled Silver Horde is remarkably, um,
authentic -- and there's a selected bibliography.

However, any home-grown reference work -- where "home-grown" means
"lacking the vast fact-checking infrastructure of, say, the
Encyclopaedia Britannica" -- will have its flaws, and the Unofficial
Companion is no exception. Just to give an example: the entry on
Susan Sto Helit describes her as having a white streak in her hair
(and references Elsa Lanchester's Bride of Frankenstein film
character), and also claims, "In theory she is now the Duchess of
Sto Helit, but this has not been mentioned." Um, that would be a no.
Susan -- as we all know -- has a *black* streak in her otherwise
white hair (the Bride in reverse, as it were), and has indeed been
identified as hereditary nobility, e.g. on page 9 of the Gollancz
hardcover of Hogfather:"The only tricky bit had been when her
employer found out that she was a duchess, because...the upper crust
wasn't supposed to work." My relentless proofreader's eye unearthed
other banjaxes, but Susan is a major character in the Discworld
series and thus deserves the highest standard of information-
checking. It's to be hoped that glitches such as these will have
been caught and corrected by the time the Unofficial Companion goes
to press.

My only other nit-pick is that, as with the Discworld Companion, the
Unofficial Companion lacks an index of entries. Note to the
Assembled Pterry Reference Works Brigade: some of us would like to
be able to check in the back to see if there's an entry for, say,
commemorative Quirm cabbage stamps before launching into a search
through every letter that might have something relating to such an

Large (over 450 pages), sweeping in scope (Lu-Tze would be proud)
and reasonably priced (trust me on this), An Unofficial Companion to
the Novels of Terry Pratchett belongs on the bookshelf of any true
Pratchett aficionado, and will be available for purchase early in
the new year.

(This is a review of the proofs, which lack the index and other front and back matter)

Apparently hard and paperback copies have been spotted, and copies are being freighted to some upcoming Hogswatch do.

Other copies will hit these shores next week. A little later than planned.

31 November said the adverts.


31. November.

As my dad always used to say:

"Thirty days hath September 
All the rest I can't remember.
Calendar's hanging on the wall.
So why the %&* ask me at all?"
I wrote a quick piece for the research newsletter, stealing a paragraph from the Press Release. Our PR people have done me the courtesy of rewriting it. Chiz.

“I have written the Companion with humour, a light touch and containing a lot of detail,” explained David. “It is the definitive companion to Terry Pratchett’s work and essential reading for all Pratchett fans.”

Who the hell is David and what is he doing in my article?
faustus: (auton)
( Nov. 7th, 2007 11:05 am)
We'll skip over the fact that the hardback of An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett is higher ranked than the paperback (it's three times the price of the discounted paperback), and ponder whether this is anything to do with me. If so, I want my M back, please.
faustus: (heaven)
( Nov. 2nd, 2007 09:05 pm)
This would have been of the proofs, with low res pictures, no index and pre proofreading: Discworld Monthly. A little lukewarm - and clearly not someone who likes context or subtext.
faustus: (heaven)
( Oct. 23rd, 2007 11:40 am)
The book is now at the printer. That is all.
faustus: (heaven)
( Oct. 11th, 2007 02:38 am)
A day of meetings - I clearly keep kidding myself that I'm in charge of the programme, telling the kids to shut up whilst others speak - and proof reading. I was rather proud of my "PROF READING - PLEASE DO NOT DISROBE" sign on my office door.

25 pages left to do - but I need to make a list and check a few things. Accents are kaput, as always in the switch from Word to PDFs (via a layout program?). My bell hooks has unhelpfully become Bell Hooks. Must correct.

Snuck some writing in this morning on getting up - finished chapter eight - and did a bit of chapter nine.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
50,817 / 100,000

Half way... 600 words a day to finish this year.

Note though that if you just count the first eight chapters which are all drafted, I have 34922 words, suggesting a final word count of 13096 words - which would be 900+ words a day to finish at this length. Not half way. I'll have to write shorter. I suspect that is possible.
faustus: (heaven)
( Oct. 4th, 2007 11:56 pm)
It hasn't been a good week or so for fiction since the start of term. Alongside the nonsense of random room bookings I've had to go back and do an unexpected edit on what I thought was basically going to be an updated reprint, which took longer than planned. There has been unplanned Photoshopping. And I'm going to be in a validation event for a theology degree tomorrow.

Pratchett proofs to look at, though goodness knows when as Saturday is an open day, Monday the big teaching day, and Monday night I'm going to a freebie drink. Plus another edit job returning from the dead past. Sheesh.

Still, I've finally finished chapter six, and the partially written chapter seven I completed tonight. None of chapter eight is written, but a third of chapter nine was (my perspective on it has changed). I need to find the time to keep the momentum.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,471 / 100,000

Back to about 620 words a day to finish this year.
faustus: (dreamland)
( Oct. 4th, 2007 11:44 am)
The Pratchett Companion publicity machine is juddering into life - I have to write articles for various publications, one site wants an interview and someone is interviewing [livejournal.com profile] esmeraldus_neo. Various copies are being given away in competitions.

The Bookseller has a full page advert - though I've not seen a copy.

And an article by myself appeared in Wossname.

Greenwood Press

UK Amazon Paperback

UK Amazon Hardback

US Amazon Hardback.
faustus: (Default)
( Sep. 29th, 2007 10:14 am)
Strange bedfollows, but that's my CV.

It's a real shame that Making Money came too late to be included in the Greenwood Press
book I've been
editing. I've just read this Guardian review which seems timely:

Boris Johnson's candidacy for mayor of London could have come straight from a Terry Pratchett novel: a lovable buffoon with no discernible accomplishments becomes a leading contender for just those very qualities (ie buffoonery, Liverpool-bashing - is there anything else?). Bullyingly jovial, faintly sinister and with no apparent plans for the city except to promise the exact opposite kind of tyranny as the current tyrant-incumbent, all that remains is for him to be revealed as a multi-tentacled demon to make a jolly good Discworld novel. Vote for him, it may yet happen.

And I was thinking, Northern Rock. Which Patrick Ness mentions. Pratchett writes on "racism, sexism, journalism, death, war, the army, the Inquisition, the ambiguous nature of good and evil, and the uncomfortable power of narrative", a good list if not necessarily in the right order. In recent years Pratchett has had congruences with 9/11, 7/7 and now sub-rime mortgages. That's a long way from parodying dragon novels, I'm thinking.

I'm also thinking, Second Edition.


And Jonathan Lethem has announced the contents of Library of America's second volume on Dick, which covers the 1960s and 1970s:

Martian Time-Slip
Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
Now Wait For Last Year
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
A Scanner Darkly

No real duds there - NWFLY is perhaps not as strong, but you're talking The Penultimate Truth, The Zap Gun, A Maze of Death and We Can Build You as being on a par with it and it's a difficult choice between them. The ending of NWFLY perhaps clinches it. After that you've got Our Friends From Frolix 8, The Unteleported Man (in several versions), Counter-Clock World, Nick and the Glimmung, The Crack in Space and The Simulacra which falls apart at the end. But I think I would have gone for Clans of the Alphane Moon or Galactic Pot-Healer.

Does that leave a volume for the Divine/VALIS trilogy (which needs to include Radio Free Albemuth and/or The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, according to hiow you count the trilogy)? What about the 1950s. Eye in the Sky and Time Out of Joint are the best novels - with Solar Lottery saying more about sf at the start of the 1950s than Dick's fiction. The Cosmic Puppets holds up, and The World Jones Made - but how about Confessions of a Crap Artist and any of the half dozen or so mainstream novels? In Milton Lumky Territory gets my vote.
faustus: (culture)
( Sep. 25th, 2007 06:20 pm)

Publication date now seems to be January 2008 not November 2007 though.

ISBN-10: 1846450438
ISBN-13: 978-1846450433
Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank: 46,977 (whatever that really means)

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #957,391 (hardback)

UK paperback
UK hardback
US hardback

Edit: Good news is that it is November after all:

"Here in the UK we will publish just as soon as we
can, which looks like end Nov/beginning Dec. A UK pub date is meant to
appear on the website - but it obviously doesn't. We'll fix it."
faustus: (heaven)
( Aug. 20th, 2007 03:21 pm)
One of the albatrosses (albatri?) round my neck from the last two years is a project on Terry Pratchett. After saying yes to this (in the midst if the depression and OCD which peaked a year after moving here), I bought a new computer which wouldn't talk to the new one. And the lack of a discdrive on the new machine and a USB on the old made the old work difficult to transfer, especially as I then moved and it was almost impossible to get work. Exhaustion and a constant stream of unproductive coughs basically meant the Big Project was almost constantly cursed throughout - in the sense of what might go wrong will go wrong rather than the $%^&%&ing book, which was also a factor. I'd work hard on it, and then burn out for a couple of months or feel too ill to work out where I was on it and how to proceed. In the grand tradition of Douglas Adams, deadlines wooshed by.

The good news is An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett is now being copy-edited, we are working on illustrations, working on covers, and me learned friends are happy no great copyright has been infringed. We even have the tacit approval, at the very least good will, of a couple of people involved in the oeuvre. And have a title which is both more or less accurate (there's non-novel stuff in there too) and which does seem unduly official.

But now to get back to all the things I've neglected in the meantime.
faustus: (heaven)
( Jul. 6th, 2007 06:52 pm)
Then he thinks, should I include all the American editions in the bibliography? And then - and - and -

Zokutou word meter
168,704 / 160,000

But I've finally sent it off. Hurrah.

More editing to go, and an index - a seven hundred page manuscript as it stands.
faustus: (heaven)
( Jul. 3rd, 2007 02:24 pm)

Zokutou word meter
166,714 / 160,000

I have to edit the contents page, add some more dummy entries, and do surgery on at least one entry, a webography, correct bits of the biblio, and then that's done.

Thank fuck.

Of course, there's editorial processes to go through.
Have entirely failed to write any fiction in ages - since shortly after Easter, but I've managed to get within touching distance of the end of The Big Project:

Zokutou word meter
163,831 / 160,000

My guess is about 1500 more words, and I wouldn't have to do those if the contributors to the project had done their part.

H'mm. I owe the good ones emails, I guess.

But... nearly there. I just hope they don't want me to cut.

A couple of heartening pub-related things, but I'll save them.
faustus: (gorilla)
( May. 22nd, 2007 01:31 pm)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
153,976 / 160,000

And this is without 15,000 words to come and index.



faustus: (Default)


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