I don't know about you, but I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. If you've not been exposed to these little scamps you are missing a real treat. They are based on an imaginary world in the shape of a disc that rides on the back of four humongous elephants. In turn, the elephants stand on the back of a gynormous turtle who is swimming through space for purposes of his (or her) own.
Terry's writing is absolutely fantastic. He has a really clever turn of phrase that I envy and I often find myself laughing out loud. I also often find myself recommending these books to friends, but therein lies the problem... in which order should one read these little rascals?
This is actually non-trivial, because the chronological order (the sequence in which Terry produced the books) may not actually be the best way to go about things. This is because Terry has multiple groups of characters and story threads on the go. Sometimes the various characters run into each other ... and sometimes they don't. For example, one novel might be about the witches, such as Granny Weatherwax (witches don't have leaders, so Granny Weatherwax is the leader they don't have)... and the next might be about the folks on the night guard like Corporal Carrot (a tall, muscular human who was brought up as a dwarf)... and the next might be about an ancient civilization, or a continent at the other side of the disc, or...
So, you can only imagine my surprise and delight to discover the most amazingly clever, simple, and understandable Discworld Reading Order Guides.
Created by a Polish guy called Krzysztof Kietzman, these guides are available in a number of formats (PowerPoint, PDF...) and a variety of languages, including Bulgarian, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Italian, Polish... the list goes on.
This is such a simple idea ... but those are often the ones that most of us never think of. This one would never have struck me, but now I see it I really wish that I had conceived of doing this myself...
As an aside... if you are a follower of the Discworld series, you will note that this guide doesn't include Terry's most recent Discworld novel "Making Money". The problem is that novels are not added to the guide until Kris has had the opportunity to read them. As he lives in Poland, this means waiting until the relevant book reaches him, but I'm sure he will update the Guide as soon as he can. In the meantime, in my humble opinion "Making Money" should be placed to the right of "Going Postal" on Kris's chart and connected to "Going Postal" with a solid line.
As another aside, I see that there's a new Discworld novel called Unseen Academicals that is scheduled to come out later this year (I will be the first in line at my local bookstore). Since this appears to be a "Wizard" book, maybe this should come to the right of "The Last Hero" on Kris's chart.
Moving on.... did you see the news that a 15-year old girl won $50,000 in a texting competition? Give me strength! I obviously wasted my time going to college (grin).
Have you ever wondered why the battery on your laptop computer doesn't seem to last as long as the manufacturer claims it will? If so, check out this article titled Why Laptop Battery Claims Are So Useless, And Why That Won't Soon Change.
Now I'm sure you've heard of Second Life. Thus far I've managed to avoid being sucked in to this, but it is becoming rather ubiquitous (for example, did you know that there's a Second Life for Dummies book out there?). Anyway, I just ran across a somewhat related site called IMVU (I'm guessing this stands for something like "Instant Messaging Virtual Universe").
The idea behind IMVU is that you create an avatar which you then use to chat with other folks' avatars in animated 3D scenes. This may sound a little strange to the uninitiated ... but just a few moments ago as I pen these words I visited this site again (to check out my link) and saw that 69,000+ users are currently online ... that is a heck of a lot of chatting!!!
Ah... I have so many other diverting sites to tell you about... but as always there's too much to do and to little time to do it all in (as I may have mentioned in the past, my personal theory is that everyone is presented with a certain number of "time particles" each day, and some callous swine is stealing half of mine!) So, until next time... have a good one!
2009 New Year Resolution (Goal: Walk 1000 miles at ~3 miles a day)
[A=Actual, C=Current, P=Plan-to-Date, R=Remaining, T=Total]
|Days:|| T=365, C=175, R=190|
|Miles:|| T=1000, P=525.00, A=507.15, Δ=–17.15, R=492.85|
|Note:|| Eeek! I took a break and fell behind...|
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org).