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Pratchett anger at Rowling's rise

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  • Pratchett anger at Rowling's rise

    Worth reading for Time Magazine's hilarious description of the fantasy genre and Rowling's influence on it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertain...ts/4732385.stm

  • #2
    I was just about to post that as well - you pipped me to it T_M. :)

    But here's PTerry's letter in full anyway:

    Fantasy’s darkest arts make for a bestseller

    WHY IS it felt that the continued elevation of J K Rowling can only be achieved at the expense of other writers (Mistress of magic, News Review, last week)? Now we learn that prior to Harry Potter the world of fantasy was plagued with “knights and ladies morris-dancing to Greensleeves.�

    In fact the best of it has always been edgy and inventive, with “the dark heart of the real world� being exactly what, underneath the top dressing, it is all about. Ever since The Lord of the Rings revitalised the genre, writers have played with it, reinvented it, subverted it and bent it to the times. It has also contained some of the very best, most accessible writing for children, by writers who seldom get the acknowledgement they deserve.

    Rowling says that she didn’t realise that the first Potter book was fantasy until after it was published. I’m not the world’s greatest expert, but I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?

    Terry Pratchett
    Salisbury, Wiltshire
    It does seem to me that Rowling has no real idea of what Fantasy novels were like before HP took center stage. :roll:
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

    Comment


    • #3
      Hes a jealous loser. He whined when he fell in popularity. He whined when other writers took centre stage. He whines when hes not in the limelight.

      Pratchett is rubbish and makes a mockery of everything he does. The *artist* who scrawled those hideous pictures needs shooting.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by yolanda
        Hes a jealous loser. He whined when he fell in popularity. He whined when other writers took centre stage. He whines when hes not in the limelight.

        Pratchett is rubbish and makes a mockery of everything he does. The *artist* who scrawled those hideous pictures needs shooting.
        But you respect Rowling as a literary genius?
        The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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        • #5
          Originally posted by yolanda
          Hes a jealous loser. He whined when he fell in popularity.
          I must have missed that.

          Originally posted by www.ansible.co.uk
          Terry Pratchett's vital statistics are provided by the indefatigable Colin Smythe, who's been obsessively studying the 2005 Bookseller's Pocket Yearbook with UK data for 2003. `Of the Top Fiction Authors in hardback, Terry came second with 3.4% of the sales and 3.8% of the value, after J.K. Rowling (6% and 5.6% respectively). In paperbacks, Terry came fifth (after James Patterson, Alexander McCall Smith, John Grisham and J.R.R. Tolkien -- in that order) with 1.2% and 1.3% -- Patterson got 1.9% and 1.7%. Terry was therefore ahead of Stephen King in both hardcover (by quite a lot) and paperback sales (just)....'
          Anyone that can claim to have outsold Stephen King doesn't need to worry too much about his popularity.

          Originally posted by yolanda
          Pratchett is rubbish and makes a mockery of everything he does. The *artist* who scrawled those hideous pictures needs shooting.
          Regardless of your opinion of Pratchett's work, he does make a valid point about the article in question. Suggesting that she singlehandedly reinvented the fantasy genre is nonsense.

          Comment


          • #6
            Before Mike's work, the only Fantasy-style fiction I read was Pratchett's, and I loved it... I would much rather see children being encouraged to read his stuff, because of the satirical edge his work has, but that's just my humble opinion.

            Either way, the title of this thread made me laugh for no apparent reason, so I'm just glad it's here.

            Also, of course, Terry wears much cooler hats than Rowling. Fact.
            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

            Comment


            • #7
              Oddly enough, I've never read Terry Pratchett, or JK Rowling. It's that same perverse part of my character that leads to me not having a mobile phone, not watching 'Big Brother' and never having bought a lottery ticket.

              However, without having anything against them as people, I get the distinct impression that neither of them have ever reinvented anything.

              'Tush' and 'Gadzooks' to Time magazine. Truly, they deserveth slaying...
              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by yolanda
                Hes a jealous loser. He whined when he fell in popularity. He whined when other writers took centre stage. He whines when hes not in the limelight.
                I think it's just swings and roundabouts. Between 1986 and 1996 Terry Pratchett was practically the UK media's favourite fantasy author and his books were all over the newspapers and their review columns like flies on a turd. But like Mike says, up until the 1980s the fantasy genre was virtually him and JRR. Then authors like David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Raymond E. Fiest - even PTerry - came on the scene and as Mike started producing less and less fantasy novels (in preference for Pyat, Mother London, and the Second Ether, etc.) his fantasy profile arguably fell some. Heck, even old JRR wasn't top of the bestseller lists until Peter Jackson came along and made a small film called The Lord of the Rings! :) (Now that those films are finished would you even know that 2005 is the 50th Anniversary of 'The Return of the King' unless someone told you?)

                Currently it's Rowling's turn to be the media darling of the fantasy genre and it's all part of the propaganda machine to spew out the idea that she has single-handedly reinvented and revitalised the genre because it helps to bolster the image of Rowling as this great auteur who bows down to no one. In five years time when the seventh and last HP novel is a distant memory in the minds of children the world over, there will be some new exponent of the fantasy world that the press will drool over.

                Originally posted by yolanda
                Pratchett is rubbish and makes a mockery of everything he does.
                Matter of opinion. Pratchett's early novels were extremely good debunkings of the the sort of po-faced fantasy novels that were being vomited out by the American publishing novels as the D&D boom waxed and waned. Later novels explored some quite big themes fairly subtly while disguising them within a satirical fantasy veneer - at least I thought so. There was usually a gradual sense as the book developed of something like a snowball effect, where the tiny germ of an idea early on in the book would slowly gather mass and momentum until towards the end of the novel there'd be a POW! moment as everything came together and Pratchett hurled that snowball at you right between the eyes. To be fair I've not now read anything by PTerry since I got a third of the way through Jingo and then gave up, so I don't know what his later stuff is like (or the books for children).

                Originally posted by yolanda
                The *artist* who scrawled those hideous pictures needs shooting.
                Erm, who're we talking about here? :?
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by demos99
                  Between 1986 and 1996 Terry Pratchett was practically the UK media's favourite fantasy author and his books were all over the newspapers and their review columns like flies on a turd... Currently it's Rowling's turn to be the media darling of the fantasy genre.
                  I was going to post the very same thing demos99 has here, he just beat me to it. :P

                  Originally posted by demos99
                  Originally posted by yolanda
                  Pratchett is rubbish and makes a mockery of everything he does.
                  Matter of opinion.
                  Yeah, tastes vary. I personally like Pratchett, but I can understand how others might not.

                  Originally posted by demos99
                  Originally posted by yolanda
                  The *artist* who scrawled those hideous pictures needs shooting.
                  Erm, who're we talking about here? :?
                  My guess would be that she's talking about the art for the Harry Potter covers, which you have to admit do kinda suck. [broken link]
                  Last edited by Rothgo; 04-24-2010, 05:56 AM.
                  "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                  --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's the original article in TIME.

                    Originally posted by Jo Rowling
                    You know, the unicorns were in there. There was the castle, God knows. But I really had not thought that [writing a fantasy novel was] what I was doing. And I think maybe the reason that it didn't occur to me is that I'm not a huge fan of fantasy.

                    ...

                    I was trying to subvert the genre.
                    Surely some inconsistency in these statements?

                    Cheers,
                    Ant

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, non-sequitirical. I've read some Pratchett and some Rowling (I'm rarely completist, by author) but the sophistication of the former is vastly greater; Rowling's a top story-teller. Nice ideas, if undoubtedly derivative [Black Dogs, Giant Spiders, cliched wizardry) (God almighty - everyone's derivative; derivation at some level is integral to any work of fiction). She always makes me feel uncomfortable when I see her interviewed, though; can't quite put me finger on it. I would be very interested to see her come up with something different after the finitude of HP: tough act for her to follow, hopefully she'll be able to 'relax' into something more experimental...? I'm afraid I lost interest in the undoubtedly enjoyable HP after they started to make films of it. Almost always frigs it up for me.
                      TP never struck me as a whinger, Yolanda - or as someone lacking popularity. I don't like all his stuff, but then, I don't like all my stuff, so that's OK. He explores more deeply than the big R, I feel. Different market.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I remember about 10 years walking through Commercial Road at around 8pm on a Friday evening, I think it was, and there was a huge line of people stretching out across the pedestrian precinct and into WH Smith. It was a Terry Pratchett book signing.
                        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mikey_C
                          It was a Terry Pratchett book signing.
                          Pratchett was huge at one time - perhaps he still is, I don't know - and the thing that everyone kept going on about was how his audience was 8 - 108 and pretty evenly mixed between male and female, when at the time your average fantasy reader was still male, 15-45, single and had a less than fastidious approach to personal hygiene. :)

                          There's probably an argument to be made somewhere that Pratchett's success helped fantasy novels to get serious reviews in the broadsheet press/media and thus paved the way for Rowling's beatification by them some years later.

                          Mind you, my all time favourite critique of PTerry is still Tom Paulin's "A complete amateur - he doesn't even write in chapters". :lol:
                          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I still think Terry Pratchett is quite popular. Last time I checked he was still releasing two books per year (although I'm not sure how much he's done in the past couple of years). I myself used to be quite a fan of his work in my early teens.

                            His comments do sugest an awful lot of jealousy on his part. I don't know why he would begrudge someone else's success. I think Rowling may have done Pratchett a favour. Harry Potter is, after all, a children's book. Once the Potter craze dies down, the kids may want to check out some other fantasy authors. And who has the most books in the fantasy section in most book shops... Terry Pratchett! (Or at least he does here in the UK.) :)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think the Potter books are indeed a valuable preparation of sorts to get children to read longer works and series at all! They are 10000 times more valuable than the short concentration-killing video-clips and they are demanding in a positive way: the language is not for dummies, there is dramatic and character development in the books that they learn to discover and a general acceptation of "Fantasy" comes with these books.
                              I don't care what petite grievances these authors have amongst themselves I will go on recommending books Rowling, and the same with Pratchett whom I missed so far to read.
                              Google ergo sum

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