Looking forward to a screening of the 48 hour competition short films this weekend - our team, Second Foundation, will be there in force. Last year's event produced a high quality winner and plenty of enjoyable entries - my review here, the films can also be seen here. Moving on:
My relationship with Terry Pratchett's novels seems to be different from most other fans I have spoken to. For me the majority of the Discworld series are amusing and readable satire but not that special. There are exceptions - the recent novel Night Watch is excellent and Sam Vimes joins the pantheon of time-travellers sharing the forename Sam (Sam Beckett, Sam Tyler etc...)
The stand-out Pratchett books are the first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic) and two other novels, Dark Side of the Sun and Strata. The first is well-liked but quite different from the later, much more satirical books - it's a tale of magic with a semi-scientific feel, reminiscent of Ursula K. le Guin in terms of "hard" magical laws including conservation of momentum - and to my mind the humour is more original and works better.
Strata stands out as an attempt to link Discworld, or a discworld, with the real universe in a sci-fi setting. It's a creationist story with ancient races creating younger races and laying down fossil records to disguise their origins, and this is another book with a mind-blowing, emotionally resonant twist in the tale.
The third book, Dark Side of the Sun is pre-Discworld space opera and I don't know anyone else who's read it although there are ideas in Alastair Reynold's fiction that make me wonder.... Read it. Discworld's gain has been space opera's loss. I may write more about this book another day, if I can find my copy.