Reviews & Overviews by Rod Cameron

Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature - Foundation Studies in Science Fiction No 2
Edited by Andrew M. Butler, Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn
Terry Pratchett is a publishing phenomenon. Every new book becomes a best-seller, and every new book gains him more fans. Despite this - or perhaps because of it - he has not been taken seriously by critics, even though some reviewers have, as he has said, "accused him of literature". This collection of studies covers the whole range of Pratchett's writings, from The Carpet People to Fifth Elephant, and includes essays by critics such as John Clute and Andu Sawyer and children's author Cherith Baldry. The contents of the book are :
- Introduction - David Langford
- Coming of Age - John Clute (on TP's adolescent hero(ine)s)
- The Children's Books - Cherith Baldry
- Theories of Humour - Andew M. Butler (as relating to Mort)
- Unseen University - Penelope Hill (and it's inhabitants)
- The Librarian and his Domain - Andy Sawyer
- The Witches - Karen Sayer
- Death - Nickianne Moody
- The City Watch - Edward James
- Mapping Narrative Spaces - Matthew Hills
- Faith and Ethics - Farah Mendlesohn
The book also contains detailed bibliographies, notes on the contributors and a very detailed index. Sadly, there is no chapter on Rincewind or C.M.O.T Dibbler. Volunteer anyone?
I believe this to be the first critical work on Terry. Being serious critical essays, analysing a number of themes in his books, it has to be said that they can be heavy going - only to be recommended for the Pratchett 'completist' or someone who really wants to get under the skin of a particular theme. It should be noted that any profits from the sale of the books will be divided between two charities - the Science Fiction Foundation and the Orangutan Foundation. So if you are not a big enough fan to want your own copy, why not get your local library to order it for you?
Publisher: The Science Fiction Foundation*
Date: 2000
Pages: 183 pages
Price: 10
Format: A5 paperback 
Reviewed by: Rod Cameron
Date Reviewed: December 2000
* The Science Fiction Foundation (SFF) The SFF was created in 1970 with the aims of promoting a discriminating understanding of the nature of science fiction; of disseminating information about science fiction; of providing research facilities for anyone wishing to understand science fiction; and of investigating the usefulness of science fiction in education. The SFF publishes a journal three times a year (Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction). It publishes articles on all aspects of science fiction. Membership for the year is 16.50 (uk). They can be contacted at (and the TP book ordered from) 22 Addington Road, Reading, RG1 5PT. For more information, see

The SFF has also built up one of the finest libraries of science fiction in the world, and the largest in Europe. It contains books, magazines, journals, fanzines, manuscripts, and audio & video material. The collection is now curated by the University of Liverpool, and is open to anyone with an interest in science fiction. For more information, see


Copyright : Roderick Alasdair Cameron 2001 - 2012