Monday, May 12, 2008

Terry Pratchett

Below, Terry Pratchett on his newest book Making Money, which I quite liked. (It's not a financial self help book, it's a satirical fantasy novel about a mint.)
(His books sell 2.5 million copies per year! Holy mama.)

In it is one of the best lines I've ever seen quoted:

"Ingenuity gets you through times of no money better than money gets you through times of no ingenuity." - Terry Pratchett

(Beth informs me it is derived from "Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope." — Freewheelin' Franklin of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Although I suspect that may have come from something even earlier.)


It's quite interesting to me (as exemplified in this other Pratchett interview) that while Science Fiction and Fantasy now have the best selling films and books everywhere, the genre is still marginalized by the broad public. How does this work exactly? Very weird.
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By the way, isn't the play head on the YouTube videos awful? It's got "play" in it like a loose steering wheel, and you can't control it exactly in case you miss a few words or such. Is it the Mac or is it like that on Windoze too?

8 comments:

Bert said...

"[...]Science Fiction and Fantasy now have the best selling films and books everywhere, the genre is still marginalized by the broad public. How does this work exactly? Very weird."

Is it weird? I don't think so, since the vast majority of the population never opens a book. Well, maybe the occasional cookbook, but hardly anything else. They do watch TV, though, and that's mostly where their "disdain" of SF is expressed.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have avid readers, those who dare go beyond best-seller lists. They are the ones responsible for the bulk of book sales, yet are hardly representative of the general public.

beth said...

The line you like best is a parody of the one by The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers of the late '60's, scroll down to catchphrases

eolake said...

Aha! Thank you.

Alex said...

I would have to say the "play" probably comes from

1) buffering and key/i frame in the video stream.
2) 3 inches representing 5 minutes of video, bit dodgy eh, especially of an actual drag has to be seen of a few pixels before the seek works.

I believe XP behaves as you describe for the Mac. Mind you my DVD player is almost as bad at home, the FFWD/RWD buttons are shared with chapter seek, on badly debounced dome buttons.

Alex said...

Apart from "1984" and "Brave New World", where is the accepted area of "literary SF"? There is so much SF out there, and so little of it is regarded as literature. Is this just an illusion based on the shelving at the bookstore? I am sure I have seen detective and horror stories in the "literature" section, but I don't recall any SF there.

Maybe if some of the better written and more thoughtful works were re-branded to "isolate" them from the pulpy, space hookers and bug eyed monster, penny dreadfuls then a better regard of such works would exist in the broader world.

eolake said...

I think there is a general fear of even *thinking* about something which "isn't real", so it's shunted out of the way.

Alex said...

Pamela Anderson's breasts aren't real, but people still think about them.

Besides most good SF is about things that exist, like political situations, moral dilemmas, and social interaction. The willing suspension of disbelief, and stylized caricatures, and locations are only there to frame the image to be portrayed.

Also most people seem to read magazines and newspapers, they are full of unreal representation too.

eolake said...

Oh, people loooove *fake* things, they just fear flights of fancy.