I just had the immense pleasure of reading the latest Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, Making Money, the sequel to one of my favorite books in the series, Going Postal.
Making Money is the continued adventures of Moist von Lipwig, the con-artist who was bullied into going straight and re-establishing the Ankh-Morpork post office in Going Postal. The post office is now running like clockwork, and Moist is growing bored, doing stupid, dangerous things with lockpicks and climbing-gear just to convince himself that he's still bent.
But all that changes when he is put in charge of Ankh-Morpork's major bank, in charge of the city's thoroughly disordered monetary supply. Like The Truth, which recapitulates much of the true history of the early days of newspaper publishing as a comic fantasy novel, Making Money tells the tale of the difficult transition from the gold standard to an economy based on fiat currency. And, like The Truth, Making Money manages to extract an enormous amount of humor, pathos, and keen insight from the subject, especially through its use of well-drawn and well-realized characters (the secret to good comedy).
There are 33 Discworld novels out there, and I imagine that being confronted with that many books would be a little daunting (on the other hand, Vernor Vinge told me that when he finally started reading Pratchett, a couple summers back, it was like being 10 and discovering a writer like Baum or Howard with a huge corpus of works, something that hadn't happened since he'd caught up with all those writers, decades before). Luckily, the books largely stand alone. You can probably enjoy Making Money without reading any other Discworld novel, and you can definitely enjoy Making Money if you read Going Postal first.
Moist von Lipwig is fast becoming my favorite Discworld character, a flawed, likable, canny comic hero who manages to surprise and delight with each volume. And Pratchett remains one of my favorite writers in the world, a man who is clearly having so much fun, he must be breaking some law, somewhere.
Link to US edition, Link to UK edition, Link to UK audiobook
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]