No one feared my inner nerd’s wrath because he possessed no nerd-smiting powers like DDOS attacks or Tesla coils. However, had my inner nerd such powers at his disposal – or had he even mild irritation – he would have come across Terry Pratchett’s supreme geek satire and laughed instead.
My first introduction to Pratchett – Thief of Time – reminded me just how much scifi-fantasy and video game lore rests inside my subconscious. Terry made jokes about things I didn’t even know I found funny, smashing up humor from seemingly unrelated fields in an amusing amalgamation of dork. Examples? The Igor with a lisp. The Yeti who can save his life if he senses danger (think Super Mario) and continue onward; if he dies, he can always start over from where he saved, but with the advantage of a memory of the future. DEATH’s complete misunderstanding of jokes. The Monks of History who use martial arts like okie-dokie and deja-fu (time as a weapon). There’s auditors – grey, shapeless beings who assign metrics to everything in the universe and explode if they taste chocolate. There’s procrastinators – tools the Monks of History use to borrow wasted time from one place and insert it where time flies. There’s even a fifth horseman of the apocalypse. The original four are DEATH, FAMINE, WAR, PESTILENCE. The fifth’s name?
Ronnie’s a dairy man and outside of the otherworldy-red horse that pulls his dairy cart, he runs a normal business of shipping milk and cheese around the city.
I could go on, but the experience is somewhere between reading Vonnugut and Douglas Adams with bits of Rothfuss’s blog sprinkled about. Pratchett managed to delight while pulling me on the edge of my seat. He made me laugh, but the laughter worked in tandem and harmony with the tale he told.
I will return to Discworld soon…