Fantasy

Terry Pratchett in 2012 (photo ©Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons)

Terence David John Pratchett was born on April 28, 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. Almost accidentally, during an interview with a publisher, Terry Pratchett said he had written a novel and in 1971 it was published as “The Carpet People”. It’s a comic fantasy novel that contains some elements that later became typical of the author’s works. The novel was substantially revised and published in a new edition in 1992.

In 1983 he published the first Discworld novel, “The Color of Magic”, whose fame was increased by a radio adaptation broadcast by the BBC. Pratchett wrote more novels set in the same fictional universe and after a few years decided to pursue a career as a full-time writer.

Writing Discworld novels became Terry Pratchett’s main occupation. That fictional universe is common to all the books and various characters appear in several novels in a series that can be divided into several cycles: Rincewind, Death, Witches, City Watch, Wizards, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig. Some other novels in the series are not included in any particular cycle.

Terry Pratchett’s work continued almost to the end of his life, dictating texts to his assistant or using a speech recognition system. In recent years he returned to science fiction in a collaboration with Stephen Baxter in the Long Earth series, which began with “The Long Earth”, the first of five novels of which two were published after Pratchett’s death, which occurred March 12, 2015. The writer had a humanist funeral.

Dr. Stephan Stanley (Alistair Petrie) in A Mercy (Image courtesy AMC Studios / Amazon. All rights reserved)

“A Mercy” is the sixth episode of the TV show “The Terror”, an adapatation of a novel by Dan Simmons with the same title, and follows “First Shot a Winner, Lads”.

Note. This article contains spoilers about “A Mercy”.

Captain James Fitzjames (Tobias Menzies) wants to abandon the Erebus and Terror with all the survivors to try to walk to safety. To try to improve the men’s morale, he decides to have a masked party on ice. Dr. Henry Goodsir (Paul Ready) finds further evidence that they all risk lead poisoning but Dr. Stephan Stanley (Alistair Petrie) doesn’t seem to pay any attention to him.

Dr. Henry Goodsir (Paul Ready) in First Shot a Winner, Lads (Image courtesy AMC Studios / Amazon. All rights reserved)

“First Shot a Winner, Lads” is the fifth episode of the TV show “The Terror”, an adapatation of a novel by Dan Simmons with the same title, and follows “Punished, as a Boy”.

Note. This article contains spoilers about “First Shot a Winner, Lads”.

Dr. Henry Goodsir (Paul Ready) tries to learn the Inuit language from Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen) to get information about the creature that is slowly killing the crew but eventually he and some officers only manage to get a name, Tuunbaq. Captain Francis Crozier (Jared Harris) seems more interested in how much whiskey is left to drink.

Cornelius Hickey (Adam Nagaitis) in Punished, as a Boy (Image courtesy AMC Studios / Amazon. All rights reserved)

“Punished, as a Boy” is the fourth episode of the TV show “The Terror”, an adapatation of a novel by Dan Simmons with the same title, and follows “The Ladder”.

Note. This article contains spoilers about “Punished, as a Boy”.

In 1848, Lady Jane Franklin (Greta Scacchi) and Sophia Cracroft (Sian Brooke) appeal to the Admiralty to start a new rescue expedition to the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, of which there is no news. Their crews must survive frozen in the ice and now face a new, intelligent, threat.

Dan Simmons was born on April 4, 1948 in Peoria, Illinois, USA. Since the beginning of his career, Dan Simmons has written works of various literary genres, mixing their elements. Strong links with classical literature are present in his science fiction novel “Hyperion” (1989), the first of the Hyperion Cantos also composed of the novels “The Fall of Hyperion” (1990), “Endymion” (1996) and “The Rise of Endymion” (1997) and the novella “Orphans of the Helix” (1999).

During his career Dan Simmons had great success with a number of works of different literary genres. The mix of genres often makes it difficult and restrictive to label Dan Simmons’ works. “The Terror” (2007) is a historical drama based on real events but the author adds fantasy / horror elements. A few weeks ago a TV show that adapted the novel started.