Mar. 15th, 2015 11:27 pm
I keep remembering that Terry Pratchett died and feeling disconnected from reality. This is how a lot of negative events hit me. I go "I must be in a bad AU, I need to go back to the source material." The time before death always feels like a place which can be returned to.

Unhealthy! Probably something for which there is a medical term?

(Okay this post maybe isn't really completely about Terry Pratchett.)
I haven't read much recently. Busy working, panicking, dreaming about airplanes.

The Truth, by Terry Pratchett

I'd read this before, but I didn't remember much of it. William de Worde encounters some dwarves with a printing press and accidentally invents the newspaper, just in time for a secret conspiracy to frame the Patrician for a crime. William does not especially like the Patrician, and is not even on very good terms with truth all of the time, but nonetheless feels he'd better start investigating. It will fill some space, anyway.

I mostly enjoyed it - I mean, it's by Terry Pratchett - but this book has a lot of callbacks to earlier books. (I don't even recognize all of them! I'm a bad Discworld fan.) Also, Pratchett's usage of nonhumans-as-representatives-of-minorities is, um, pretty awkward, particularly in that it gets into What These People Need Is A Honky territory.

Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo, volumes 1-8, by Akino Matsuri

Sequel to Petshop of Horrors. Count D has moved the titular supernatural petshop to Shinjuku, where he proceeds to dispense pets and poetic justice to the people of Tokyo.

The original series was tightly episodic - with the exception of a short wrap-up arc at the end, each chapter was a self-contained story about Count D, a customer with a dark secret, a monstrous pet that the customer perceives as human, an exasperated police detective named Leon Orcot, and Orcot's grade-school-age brother Chris. Each time the pet restores some sort of karmic balance, generally violently, and each time Orcot is left confused as to exactly where that guy's torso went. There was an overarching story of sorts, but it was developed intermittently and without much special emphasis throughout the series; Orcot at one point goes through a major personal change in one line of dialog, without noticing that he's done it.

That hasn't changed in the new series, but the justice D dispenses has gotten a lot milder. In the first series, roughly half of the pets he sold destroyed their owners. That percentage is much lower in the new series - it's like he's turning into a hero-of-justice-slash-therapist-slash-confessor. There's also more comedy, and it's gotten a lot sillier. I did not much like the Santa Claus chapter.

The character dynamics are pretty much the same - Detective Orcot's role as D's frenemy is taken by an ambitious Chinese businessman named Wu Fei, who owns the building that houses D's new shop. Chris's role as peacemaker between the two is played by Wu Fei's meek assistant Chin. (Because Chin's in his fifties or sixties, a shapeshifting kitten is brought in to be the Cute Kid Who Gets In Trouble. I hate that kitten.)

Unfortunately, Wu Fei does not work as well as Orcot as a foil. He's sneaky, secretive, and cruel, which is, you know, a bit similar to D? And he's not very sympathetic, partly because he's a jerk, and partly because his motives are pretty opaque. Orcot begrudgingly liked D - possibly not entirely platonically - but understandably disapproved of the whole "serial killer" thing. Anyway, it was pretty clear why he was always hanging out at the evil pet shop.

Wu Fei doesn't like anyone, and doesn't actually mind too much about all the murders. It bugs him more that D closes early to go to bakeries. Lots of jokes about this.

So our secondary protagonist is kind of unpleasant, and it's a problem. There have been hints dropped that his grandfather had some sort of deal with D's grandfather, but it's hard to care about that? Which is also a problem, given that this storyline appears destined to become the series' main plot.

In short: I like it about half the time, and I hope that Wu Fei turns out to be a magical capybara that thinks it's human or some shit.

City of Diamond, by Jane Emerson/Doris Egan

Reread this again. Ending still unresolved cliffhanger.

Bless me, Count D, for I have sinned: Sometimes I wish Doris Egan's screenwriting career would implode so she'd write the sequel.
It appears that no one has ever written a Discworld/Petshop of Horrors crossover in which Count D sets up shop in Ankh-Morpok, becomes buddies with Sybil, and gets her to introduce him to individuals who might be interested in acquiring pets, while Vimes desperately attempts to connect him to the mysterious crimewave taking place.

Vetinari is unsupportive due to D's entirely appropriate admiration of Wuffles, and also probably because he once had some alarming arrangement with D's father. Everyone else in the Guard has, separately, been at some point seen to have brought D sweets at tea-time. Only a nonexistent talking dog is willing to help Vimes bring the Count to justice!

(For some reason I haven't figured out yet. Susan might be better, but I'm not immediately seeing how you'd get her into the shop. She's arguing with the Death of Rats while he's on his way over there, maybe.)

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