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A (very) quick chat with Terry Pratchett
Following his sell-out event at Conway Hall in London discussing The Science of Discworld IV with co-authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, Terry Pratchett grabbed a moment to answer a couple of our questions...
Rincewind, who featured in the very first Discworld book The Colour of Magic, returns in The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day, though in recent years you've been busy creating plenty of other new characters and worlds - most recently in Dodger. How does it feel to return to an old character? Is it the proverbial comfy old shoe feeling or more like that of the outgrown and now mildly restrictive trouser?
Rincewind, who is doing fine, thank you, also gets a mention in the upcoming Raising Steam (coming later this year). I do like to give my characters a rest after a while, although I have to admit that I like Commander Vimes; he is so blasted onto my imagination that if he could type he could write a book for me.
The "Science" bit of "Science Fiction" is often a place for flights of fancy as you've demonstrated on many occasions. What is it then that keeps drawing you to explore both the Disc and Roundworld through proper science in the Science of Discworld series?
In many ways it's because this world appears to be a fantasy when you step back and look at it.
You've looked at the extinction threat to orang-utans in a recent TV show and this week a team from Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute have warned there's a real threat of human extinction in the next century at the hands of our own naivety when it comes to responsible use of our scientific knowledge are you optimistic about scientific progress or is it just a matter of time before our iPads become sentient and turn on us?
Regrettably they won't, although it would be fun if they did. But yes, I am with those guys in Oxford. Because of the war god of the Israelites we believe that the world is about us to do anything we like with while all the other creatures, sapient or otherwise, are just playing pieces. We think it's all about us. In fact, it should be all about the planet.
Given the choice, would you swap your life on Roundworld to live on the Disc? What advantages do you think youd enjoy there if so?
Are you serious? They don't have personal computers on the Disc. And, I have to tell you, the Discworld isn't... real. Sorry.
Dan Lewis, for Waterstones.com/blog