Just finished Nation, a non-Discworld Pratchett book. It is a good read set on a tropical island in an alternative version of Earth. I had picked it up by accident, assuming it was the latest (at the time of purchase) in the Discworld series.
Although I was mildly disappointing to discover the book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, I’m glad I gave it a chance. The content is easy to follow – everybody knows how tropical island paradises work from the many films set there over the years and 1800s period dramas are quite common too – and the book has a neatly self-contained feel to it.
I think the book is aimed at young adults but that doesn’t matter – I find all his YA Discworld books (such as The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents or the Tiffany Aching series) just as enjoyable for older readers. Maybe they’re written with a pantomime audience in mind – different parts for the younger and older readers.
Reading the book did leave me with a little sadness at the fact that authors don’t live forever. There will come a time, not so far away, when the Pratchett bibliography comes to an end and I will miss reading about his world (or, more accurately, worlds).
There have been other authors that I have followed in depth but usually I have read all they needed to say before they passed on. David Gemmell is a good example of this where I still have a number of unread works on the shelf, four years after he died of heart disease.
For a slightly different reason, I’ve stopped reading Terry Brooks (who is still alive and well at the age of 67) – story fatigue. Several years ago I decided to re-read the first couple of Shannara stories that I had enjoyed in the late 70s/early 80s, a time when I used to plough through SF at quite a rate. Little did I know how much more he had written since then and I endeavoured to catch up – in all, 14 fat books passed my eyes but I really don’t think I’m up to the challenge of the same number again just to cover the releases from 2006-2014. There are so many other books out there with new worlds to explore.