Tag Archives: Fundamentalism / orthodoxy

Pratchett, Terry: Raising Steam (Discworld 40) (2013)

Terry Pratchett is God. Or perhaps he is Moist von Lipwig. What a name. Seriously! Pratchett has a way with names that I have never seen outdone.

I loved Raising Steam. Goblins are my new favorite race. These people keep on knocking over the expectations of other races time and again. Their freedom from being eaten, chased, beaten and downtrodden (at least in theory) has led to them outdoing many of their old masters.

Perhaps this is the main reason Pratchett has caught my heart. He isn’t afraid to address problems in society, and he does it in a manner that helps me see them in a new light. Moist von Lipwig is an excellent conduit for that message. He races through the story having to face himself ever so many times. Facing myself is not my favorite pastime but it is one that I try to make time for daily. One of the advantages of limited mobility is that I can no longer run from whatever parts of me I might wish to run from. Moist tries but Mister Of the Twilight the Darkness keeps him on track.

In Raising Steam those tracks are technology and the steam engine. But I guess like so many of Mr. Pratchett stories, Raising Steam is about our fears. Facing our fears. In this case our fears take the shape of racism, fear of technology, fundamentalism and basically fear of any person or thing that is not within our scope of experience.

We are all frightened little shites trying to muddle our way throughout life without realizing that all of the others around us are also frightened little shites. For this reason I truly love Pratchett. He shows us our fears, and our fears are many. What we need is a Vimes who asks us difficult questions and at the same time helps us realize that we are dumber than bread in persisting in our fears.

Like von Lipwig, Pratchett is my enabler. He helps me see what needs to be faced and leaves me feeling graced by his presence. No wonder he is my god.


Wikipedia: Raising Steam


Raising Steam available on Amazon UK paperback, Amazon UK hardcover, Amazon e-book, Audible, iTunes, iTunes AudioRandomhouse, Waterstones paperback, Waterstones audio, Waterstones hardback


Other Moist von Lipwig books

  1. Going Postal
  2. Making Money

Leckman, J.R.: Pursuit (The Legend of Kimberly) (2012)

Pursuit
Cover art by Georgi Markov

I have placed this cover among my favorites (see slide show). Markov has captured one of the scenes of the story perfectly.

So, here we are with book no. 2 of The Legend of Kimberly, Pursuit. According to the author: “The Legend of Kimberly series is really about growing up and learning that life, even a fairy tale one, is never what you expect of it.” I think that all of us who have been through this process can attest to that statement.

Kimberly grew up very quickly in Inheritance, at least physically, when she was unceremoniously dumped in Auvierra. Mentally she had quite a bit of catching up to do. Through her friendship with the “fox” Ip and the troupe she ends up wandering and fighting with she finally gets an understanding of what fairly healthy relationships are like and she gains the strength to continue her fight against the cruelty that others wish to inflict on her and others.

Fighting for the “light side” continues to be part of Kimberly’s job in Pursuit. This time she has to get her friend Serra away from those freaking zealots that appeared in Inheritance and kidnapped Serra. The Brotherhood of Zor are possessed with defining anything non-human or non-conformative as demons or as being possessed by demons. These guys are nuts from my point of view but filled with the light of truth from their own point of view.

The first chapter has a wonderfully gross description of Kimberly’s encounter with the macklejacks. I must admit that I am partial to such vivid detail of muck and smells. Action-filled and humorous first pages.

Poor uncle Ben – Kimberly’s uncle. He is about to get the shock of his life. When he discovers that he is the son of an apparently insane author father and then discovers that dad really wasn’t crazy after all life can only get worse. Then he meets a mermaid. After that the Brotherhood. Oh, boy, his introduction to Auvierra stinks. Unfortunately, this makes becoming a family for Ben and Kimberly more difficult.

We have some seriously crazy people in Pursuit. In addition to the Brotherhood a wizard with an evil imagination joins the kabal (hold-over from Inheritance). His compatriot is an assassin/con-artist who loves to torment others. I’m not sure if we can add his walking staff to the evil cabal but he/it too has some serious issues. For those of you who like nasty, I am certain Maitlan’s fate is right up your alley.

J.R. Leckman writes well, really well. He remains in the flow for the most part and has an action-pace that almost takes my breath away. Add to that all of the strange characters and abilities and we have a cauldron filled to the top with a delicious word-stew. Good job.


Reviews:


  • Published: Aug. 01, 2012  
  • Words: 57,370 (approximate)
  • Print Length: 161 pages           
  • Language: American English           
  • ISBN: 9781476239446
  • ASIN: B008RQLEHW

My review of Inheritance