Tag Archives: pratchett

Neil Gaiman to adapt TV version of ‘Good Omens’

imageExciting news! The other day at a memorial event for Terry Pratchett, Gaiman confirmed that he would be personally adapting the Good Omens novel, which he co-wrote in collaboration with Pratchett. Initially, he always said that he wouldn’t produce anything Good Omens related unless his long time friend Pratchett was involved – for example there was a recent radio adaptation featuring cameos from Gaiman and Pratchett.

But then, and this is really bloody touching, Terry Pratchett wrote a letter to be opened after his death, which asked Gaiman to personally write an adaptation for TV. At which point he agreed. Or as Gaiman said at the memorial event – “At that point, I think I said, ‘You bastard, yes.'” He also revealed that the Good Omens TV show would be a six parter.

By the way, if you haven’t read the book, you should. It’s brilliant. It’s about the end of the world and a demon and an angel team up to deal with the anti-christ. Who happens to be an English school-kid.

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Good Omens has long been the subject of attempts to bring it to the screen, big or small, but it finally looks like it might happen. In other purely Pratchett news, there may well be a film based on Mort – which is also superb and is basically a story about Death taking on an apprentice. Even more exciting and more vague and unlikely to happen, is a TV show based on the Watch. Which would be absolutely brilliant.

I love Gaiman and Pratchett and am very excited about seeing Good Omens. I have been putting it off but am finally reading ‘Raising Steam’. I feel sad to be reading one of the last Pratchett books ever and had been delaying it for weird psychological reasons. I have read every one of his books since his first book came out and it has been a yearly treat. Having said that, it has been 30 years since I started reading him, so maybe I have forgotten enough to go through them all again.

If you haven’t read Gaiman or Pratchett or Good Omens – you are in for a treat.

For more info on this awesome fantastic news, read a more informed Guardian article here.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter


I am a huge fan of both Sir Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. So imagine my excitement when I first heard about this book. Here is the premise.

A mad scientist / quirky genius posts the blueprints for a really simple device on the internet. This device, powered by a potato, allows people to step into a parallel world. It turns out there are millions of parallel worlds – possibly even an infinite number. They are all slightly different. Some have other human or apelike lifeforms, some have dinosaurs, some don’t have a moon, and so on. You know the idea.

This immediately changes humanity. Suddenly we are a pioneering species again with unlimited land. There are no longer any worries about natural resources. Humans quickly spread across the parallel Earths. Or the Long Earths as they come to be known.

Into this setting we are introduced to two main characters. One is an Artificial Intelligence called Lobsang, who is the reincarnation of a Tibetan motorcycle repairman. The other is a slightly strange fellow called Joshua Valiente who doesn’t need a device to ‘step’ between the parallel worlds, he is a natural. They also have a cool robotic cat.  These three set off on an epic journey across the parallel worlds (or long Earths).

So it sounds pretty cool right? Like Sliders but written by Pratchett and Baxter!

I should stress that this is only part one of a trilogy. So don’t be too put off when I say that sadly, this didn’t fully do it for me. It is different from the stuff either author writes and in some ways that is good. This is a ‘bigger’ story than Pratchett usually writes – he tends to focus on characters and situations. Conversely the characters are a bit more memorable and likeable than Baxter normally goes for.

But it just didn’t quite work. Why? The characters were good but you never feel like you fully know them and they are consequently hard to relate to or care about. My favorite character was the robot cat (definitely a touch of Pratchett humour there).

I know this is part of a trilogy but about halfway through the book I was quite looking forward to something happening. There are too many Earths that are the same. Hundreds of thousands are just ‘forest-like’. I was not necessarily hoping for Sliders or Heinlein’s Job or similar, but a bit more variety would have been fun. There are some more interesting worlds, with dinosaurs or covered in water or whatever, but they are so far apart the rest is a bit slow. Then, when they are found, not much happens.

So, sorry to say, The Long Earth didn’t grip me the way I hoped given Pratchett and Baxter being the writers. There were some great moments and some funny scenes (thanks Mr Pratchett) and there is a superb science fiction premise whose ramifications are really well explored (thanks Mr Baxter), but the characters and action left me underwhelmed.

But still, give it a go. You might like it. I have sounded quite negative in this review but keep one thing in mind: I will definitely be reading the rest of the series. So it can’t be all bad. This is Pratchett and Baxter for Christ’s sake!

To buy in the US: The Long Earth Paperback

To buy in the UK: The Long Earth Paperback