‘Some people would be asking: whose side are you on? If you’re not for us, you’re against us. Huh. If you’re not an apple, you’re a banana’. Koom Valley, the ancient battle where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls, was a long time ago. But if he doesn’t solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office. With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him. Oh . . . and at six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read ‘Where’s My Cow?’, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do.
They say that diplomacy is a gentle art. That mastering it is a lifetime’s work. But you do need a certain inclination in that direction. It’s not something you can just pick up on the job. A few days ago Sam Vimes was a copper – an important copper, true – chief of police – but still, at his core, a policeman. But today he is an ambassador – to the mysterious, fat-rich country of Uberwald. Today, Sam Vimes is also a man on the run. He has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don’t ask). It’s snowing. It’s freezing. And if he can’t make it through the forest to civilization there’s going to be a terrible war. There are monsters on his trail. They’re bright. They’re fast. They’re werewolves – and they’re catching up.
William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld’s first newspaper. New printing technology means that words just won’t obediently stay nailed down like usual. There’s a very real threat of news getting out there. Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist’s life – people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes. William just wants to get at THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, everyone else wants to get at William. And it’s only the third edition…
In this and indeed other lives there are givers and takers. It’s safe to say that vampires are very much in the latter camp. They don’t have much time for the givers of this world – except perhaps mealtimes – and even less for priests. Mightily Oats has not picked a good time to be a priest. Lancre’s newest residents are a thoroughly modern, sophisticated vampire family. They’ve got style and fancy waistcoats. They’re out of the casket and want a bite of the future. But they haven’t met the neighbours yet: between them and Lancre stand Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. And Magrat, who is trying to combine witchcraft and nappies. And young Agnes, although she is really in two minds about everything. Mightily Oats knows he has a prayer, but he wishes he had an axe.
‘Anything you do in the past changes the future. The tiniest little actions have huge consequences. You might tread on an ant now and it might entirely prevent someone from being born in the future.’ There’s nothing like the issue of evolution to get under the skin of academics. Even if their field of expertise is magic rather than biology. With the best and most interfering minds of Unseen University somehow left in charge at a critical evolutionary turning point, the Discworld’s last continent needs a saviour…Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Sheep shearer, beer drinker, bush ranger, and someone who’ll even eat a Meat Pie Floater when he’s sober. In fact, it’s Rincewind, a wizard so inept he can’t even spell wizard. He’s the only hero left. Still…no worries, eh?
Susan had never hung up a stocking . She’d never put a tooth under her pillow in the serious expectation that a dentally inclined fairy would turn up. It wasn’t that her parents didn’t believe in such things. They didn’t need to believe in them. They know they existed. They just wished they didn’t. It’s the night before Hogswatch. And it’s too quiet. Where is the big jolly fat man? There are those who believe and those who don’t, but either way it’s not right to find Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho. Superstition makes things work in Discworld, and undermining it can have Consequences, particularly on the last night of the year when the time is turning. Susan the gothic governess has got to sort everything out by morning, otherwise there won’t be a morning. Ever again… The 20th Discworld novel is a festive feast of darkness and Death (but with jolly robins and tinsel too). As they say: ‘You’d better watch out…’
£18.00 - £20.00
Last chance to buy
“Who are you, anyway?” he said.
Vimes drew himself up. “Captain Vimes, City Watch,” he said.
This met with almost complete silence. The exception was the cheerful voice, somewhere in the back of the crowd, which said: “Night shift, is it?”
A silhouette image of one of the most popular Discworld characters, in striking green from a design by Paper Panda.