A Blink of the Screen: Collected Short Fiction

By Terry Pratchett

Rating: 4 stars

Terry Pratchett isn’t really known for his short fiction, so it was interesting to find a collection of shorts that spans his career, from the very first story that he sold (at the tender age of thirteen) to the latest from the Discworld.

I found the non-Discworld stories almost more interesting than the DW stuff. The first story here is the first one he sold, as a teenager, and while it’s obviously juvenalia, it’s much better than anything I could have written at thirteen! There are stories written for children, stories that were the basis for other things (including Rincemangle, which made its way into Truckers and The High Meggas, which became The Long Earth) and stories written while he was working for a local newspaper and just needed to let off steam. My favourite of the non-Discworld stories is probably Once and Future, which is a fun take on the Arthurian legends.

There are some lovely Discworld stories here as well. Troll Bridge is a lovely story about change, Progress and the end of things, while the Granny Weatherwax story The Sea and Little Fishes shows Granny at her headological best. There’s also the Ankh-Morpork national anthem (which you can find performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra here) and a story of Death coming for a philosopher who tries to argue with him, which goes about as well as you’d expect.

All in all there were several gems in this collection and for any fan of Pratchett, it’s a great set of stories to see his style develop and mature over time.

Book details

ISBN: 9780552163330
Publisher: Corgi
Year of publication: 2012

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