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I am so glad that, when I was introduced to Terry Pratchett, the book I was given was the Colour of Magic and not thie one.If this had been my first exposure to Pratchett, I doubt I would ever have bothered to read anything of his ever again.Now that I know Pratchett s work better, I can look back with interest and observe the development of a best selling author from this to hiscelebrated works.If you are new to Pratchett and are reading this, my recommendation would be to start with some I am so glad that, when I was introduced to Terry Pratchett, the book I was given was the Colour of Magic and not thie one.If this had been my first exposure to Pratchett, I doubt I would ever have bothered to read anything of his ever again.Now that I know Pratchett s work better, I can look back with interest and observe the development of a best selling author from this to hiscelebrated works.If you are new to Pratchett and are reading this, my recommendation would be to start with somethingmature anything with the witches in, for example.The problem with this book is it is very much like those dreadful B list movies which were rushed out in a great hurry once CGI became a feasible technology Just as those film were all about huge explosions, terrifying plunges, massed ranks of monsters and other spectacular effects but no real story or characters about which the viewer could be bothered to give a damn, so Strata concentrates on all the sci fi elements at the expense of a good story.The characterisation is poor and two dimensional Characters mainly exist as plot devices to drive the story to its conclusion Scenes are rushed as Pratchett tries to manipulate his actors into the right places on stage before the next piece of business This book reminded me very much of a school play at primary school where the children learn their lines and movements by rote and then stiffly deliver said lines before evenstiffly getting themselves into position for whatever comes next.Pratchett is at his best when he lets his characters live their lives on the page and you have a sense that life really is being lived rather than that some unseen hand is pushing them hither and thither Of course, I immediately have to qualify that last statement there are times on Discworld when the gods themselves or Lady Fortune who may or may not belong to the order of gods take a direct and highly personal interest in the lives of the little people and they really are pushed into situations in order to see how they react but I digress.This is an immature work You should read it but only after you have immersed yourself in Pratchett s later works where he has learned the importance of and necessity for strong characters If nothing else, aspiring writers can draw inspiration from this book to see how even the most unpromising start to a novelist s career may still lead to great things While this may not have been his best work or best writing, I can definitely see the humor and beginnings of his slightly subversive wit and worldview peaking out It s not near as polished as his later work, but I liked this crazy story about the origins of the universe, our inability to not create, and the importance of diversity, as much as is physically possible being the key to the future Plus I forgot how fun the kooky 70 s 80 s sci fi could be. It s NOT a Discworld novel It ISN T What did you say Well, yes, the action does take place on a world that s disc shaped, but look, will you listen Will you listen a moment Thank you There are no elephants And there s no turtle NOW do you see Well, of course it s important Duh Vital, even I keep telling you this is not part of the series, it s a parody of Ringworld What Now that is just beneath you Geekily obsessed Take that back No, I am NOT a Pratchett fan, I ve read, wha It s NOT a Discworld novel It ISN T What did you say Well, yes, the action does take place on a world that s disc shaped, but look, will you listen Will you listen a moment Thank you There are no elephants And there s no turtle NOW do you see Well, of course it s important Duh Vital, even I keep telling you this is not part of the series, it s a parody of Ringworld What Now that is just beneath you Geekily obsessed Take that back No, I am NOT a Pratchett fan, I ve read, what, maybe half a dozen of them OK, seven or eight That doesn t make me a Pratchett fancontinued until closing time Despite reading Pratchett since I was twelve, I ve never picked up Strata Why It s just not particularly good.That s a hard thing for a massive Pratchett fan to say, but my favourite thing about this book is that I ve finished it.It s episodic to a fairly ridiculous degree So this happened Then this happened Then they kept walking and this happened Then they flew for a while and this happened None of the happening are in any way influenced by the previous happenings It s just a long chain Despite reading Pratchett since I was twelve, I ve never picked up Strata Why It s just not particularly good.That s a hard thing for a massive Pratchett fan to say, but my favourite thing about this book is that I ve finished it.It s episodic to a fairly ridiculous degree So this happened Then this happened Then they kept walking and this happened Then they flew for a while and this happened None of the happening are in any way influenced by the previous happenings It s just a long chain of stuff that happened after each other Each happening has a clever idea, but they all stand in isolation, there s no cohesive plot And then the end happened.Yes, it s always fun to see the early scribblings of a genius but to me, this islike the early stumblings of a brilliant distance runner He soon got into his stride and pulled away from the pack but at this stage he s all gangly knees and elbows flying sidewaysAfter this I read Brothers In Arms This book is not very interesting but very encouraging I am making myself finish it not because I care much about what happens to the characters but rather because I care about what happened to the author, for this humble book appears to be the first iteration of Pratchett s Discworld.As a writer I find it very exciting to note that the Discworld concept that works so brilliantly as a humorous fantasy really stinks as a straight forward Science Fiction piece I am relieved to be reminded again This book is not very interesting but very encouraging I am making myself finish it not because I care much about what happens to the characters but rather because I care about what happened to the author, for this humble book appears to be the first iteration of Pratchett s Discworld.As a writer I find it very exciting to note that the Discworld concept that works so brilliantly as a humorous fantasy really stinks as a straight forward Science Fiction piece I am relieved to be reminded again that greatness doesn t happen automatically but as the result of years of persistence.Update This book does pick up speed and interest after the halfway point It also get somewhat humorous A lesson to not give up Another early Pratchett, brimming with promise, full of creativity and ideas, haphazardly and incompletely realized For the Pratchett aficionado, however, witnessing the birth of Discworld is priceless As the story moves from sci fi to fantasy, Pratchett obviously hadfun with the fantasy parts And the rest is history My 1989 notes say A on reread, near perfect SF Pre DIscworld, pretty much straight space opera, by memory anyway I should dig it out for a third read. I m glad I had a headache the other night I wanted to read something light and that I knew I would enjoy and this early gem from Sir Terry just sat on my shelf asking to be read.I d read it before, probably twice, but as it turns out I seem to have remembered precisely 1% of this novel so this first re read since This was Pratchett s third published novel, and one of the few Sci fi books he s written I feel odd giving it four stars, because honestly, I enjoyed it on a five star level But the truth is, a lot of the reasons I enjoyed it because in this early book, you get a glimpse of books he was going to write in the future, including discworld, and his upcoming Long Earth series with Steven Baxter That said, it was an early novel of his, and his craft is a little shaky compared to what it would becom This was Pratchett s third published novel, and one of the few Sci fi books he s written I feel odd giving it four stars, because honestly, I enjoyed it on a five star level But the truth is, a lot of the reasons I enjoyed it because in this early book, you get a glimpse of books he was going to write in the future, including discworld, and his upcoming Long Earth series with Steven Baxter That said, it was an early novel of his, and his craft is a little shaky compared to what it would become in his later books But on the other hand, even early Pratchet with some shaky craft is better than a lot of the books out there these days. ^FREE PDF ⇲ Strata ↞ The excavation showed that the fossilized plesiosaur had been holding a placard which read, End Nuclear Testing NowThat was nothing unusualBut then came a discovery of something which did intrigue Kin AradA flat earth was something new