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For the last few days ... - The Bibliophile
Too busy reading most likely ...
For the last few days ...
... part of me has had the urge to re-read all the Pratchett things. And another part just isn't ready to (there would be tears). So, ignoring the ever-present to-read pile, I reached into the appropriate bookcase and hauled out a book at random by the sole surviving member of what I've always considered the Holy Trinity of fantastical British humourists ... what Terry Pratchett did to fantasy and Douglas Adams did to science fiction, Tom Holt has always done to mythology, legend, folklore, and sometimes history. And, like them, done it brilliantly.

The random Holt book turned out to be "Djinn Rummy":
Jane stared. "Are you serious?" she demanded.
"No," Kiss said, pointedly not looking at the picture of the three kittens. "Most of the time I'm aggravatingly frivolous. If you mean am I telling the truth, the answer is yes."
"A friend of yours was trying to destroy the planet?"
"Well, sort of," Kiss yawned, and stretched. "Actually, he's just this bloke I've known for, oh, donkey's years; and he wasn't planning on destroying the Earth, just all non-vegetable life forms. Or at least I assume that was what he had in mind. My split-second spectroscopic analysis of the plant seeds leads me to believe that that would have been the inevitable result. Bloody great primroses," he added with a grin. "With teeth."
"Hadn't you better tell me what's going on?"
Kiss shook his head. "Tricky," he said. "You remember what I told you about being limited to the possible? However; to start with the primary question, Is there a God? we really have to address the ..."
Jane asked him to be more specific.
"Guesswork, largely," Kiss replied, materialising an apple and peeling it with his claws. "My guess is that somebody hired my old chum to destroy the human race. Somebody a bit funny in the head, I shouldn't be surprised."
"This chum of yours--"
"A genie," Kiss explained. "A Force Twelve, like me. That's pretty hot stuff, actually, though normally I wouldn't dream of saying so. We rank equal and above the Nine Dragon Kings, just below the Great Sage, Equal of Heaven. We get fuel allowance but no pension."
"And this particular ..."
"He goes by the name," Kiss said, straight-faced by sheer effort of will, "of Philadelphia Machine and Tool Corporation the Ninth, or Philly Nine for short. Remarkable chiefly for how little time he's had to spend in bottles. He's a shrewd cookie, Philly Nine, always was. Mad as a hatter, too, of course."
"I see." Jane sat down on a desperately fragile Tang-dynasty vase, the molecular structure of which Kiss was able to beef up just in the nick of time. "So he's dangerous."
"You might say that," Kiss responded, spitting out apple pips, "if you were prone to ludicrous understatements. If midwinter at the South Pole is a bit nippy and the Third Reich was, on balance, not a terribly good idea, then yes, Philly Nine is dangerous. Apart from that, a more charming fellow you couldn't hope to meet. Plays the harpsichord."


2 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts
sealwhiskers From: sealwhiskers Date: 18th March 2015 19:01 (UTC) (Other places)
I can fully understand your mindset. For me, there are still so many Pratchett books I haven't read, and I feel this year will have them sprinkled around my piles generously.

Man...first Nimoy and now Pratchett, it feels rough.
jlsjlsjls From: jlsjlsjls Date: 18th March 2015 22:38 (UTC) (Other places)
It is rough. And it's only March. As far as I know Holt is in good health (and he's a decade younger than the other two, not that that counts for much). Cherryh is in her seventies and one can only hope she'll carry on for a while despite her frequent tendencies to trip over stuff and eat things she's allergic to ... (including today, according to her blog ***le sigh***)

Am jealous that you have unread Pratchett to look forward to ... first reading has always been such a joy with him. I discovered him back in the mid-eighties so have read pretty much everything as it was published and all of that more than once ... just have the fourth Long Earth book to look forward to later this year.
2 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts