Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Strata by Terry Pratchett

Strata Strata by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What I learned from this book is... that even an author you love and think is a literary genius started from humbler beginnings. I've been devouring Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels faster than any other series to date. That even includes the Harry Potter books which I devoured rather quickly. So as a scholarly pursuit, I decided to read one of his pre-discworld novels.

Strata is a pure science fiction novel, which I've come to discover I don't have much taste for. The whole travel to some strange place for the purpose of describing a strange place doesn't always enthrall me. Strata has a similar taste for me, but the wit and humor of Pratchett still peaks through.

This book isn't as silly, but it was fun to see how some of the ideas in this book were used in the creation of the Discworld. This book tries to describe in science fiction terms of advanced technology how a flat world could work... the Discworld skates around such frivolities by having "magic" to take care of them. While in Strata you think about how a system could work with vast machines and the meaning of it all... when the Discworld comes on to the scene riding on the back of the World Turtle you just take the details and grand meaning for granted.

So, to sum up... I like the Discworld better than the flat Earth of Strata... BUT, the ending of Strata is a hoot. The ending was a great payoff for finally finishing. It made me smile and that's what it's all about after all.

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