Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Annotated Terry Pratchett

I love Terry Pratchett's books. I don't like his novels featuring the wizard Rincewind, but all the others are "cherce."

It hasn't been updated for 2 years, which is rather worrying, but there's lots of good stuff there.

It's been a while since I looked at this website, and I did so today because I'd been reading an Asimov essay (written in 1960), and found a reference to a Greek story which reminded me of an incident in the book Small Gods.

So I went to this site to see if it had already been put in, and it wasn't mentioned, so I emailed them.

Most of Pratchett's books pay homage to all kinds of legends and earth history. Small Gods has quite a bit of references to the Greek philosophers.

There's one scene where Brutha - the lead character - is on a ship heading toward Omnia. The evil Vorbis causes the captain of the ship to kill a dolphin. In order to propitiate the sea god, someone on the ship has to be sacrificed, and the sailors decide it might as well be Brutha. Brutha requests that he be allowed one last prayer. The sailors grant his wish, and his god (for the great god Om has been turned into a tortoise and travels with Brutha) arranges for the storm to stop.

When I was reading Asimov's essay called "Now Hear This" (collected in VIew From a Height, he tells of the Greek's fondness for dolphins and of the story of Arion. Now, the Greek sailors were going to throw him overboard because they wanted to steal his baggage, but still, elements of the story are the same.

So...a bit of serendipity there!

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