Cover Art! ‘Raising Steam’ – Terry Pratchett (Doubleday)
It has been literally years since I’ve read a Terry Prachett book; partly because I stopped laughing at the jokes but also because I wasn’t one for the whole ‘using the Discworld to reflect the real world’ approach that was starting to become more and more apparent. I always preferred it when Pratchett was gently lampooning Fantasy and all the things that are quite funny when you think about it. Another, slightly silly, reason that I stopped reading the Discworld novels was that Josh Kirby stopped providing the cover art (for very obvious reasons). Kirby’s art and Pratchett’s words went together so well that it just didn’t feel like I had the complete package anymore and (apart from a couple of false starts) I never really went back.
There will never be another Josh Kirby but the cover art for the US edition of ‘Raising Steam’ is the closest I’ve seen (it has a similar kind of energy to the old covers that I still love) and, funnily enough, has piqued my interest in reading about the Discworld again. No promises, we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, have some blurb,
Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man with a flat cap and a sliding rule. He has produced a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and it’s soon drawing astonished crowds. To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vetinari, no one is in charge of this new invention. This needs to be rectified, and who better than the man he has already appointed master of the Post Office, the Mint, and the Royal Bank: Moist von Lipwig. Moist is not a man who enjoys hard work—unless it is dependent on words, which are not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. He does enjoy being alive, however, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all from going off the rails...
What really got me about this book was the press release that came with it, basically saying that Doubleday are really going to be pushing Pratchett in the US. I thought he was a big deal there already and didn’t need pushing? Or is that just over here?