For our eleventh episode we welcome Pratchett fan Sarah Pearson to the mic to discuss a Discworld novel of two halves: Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man! The eleventh Discworld novel, published in 1991, Reaper Man is the second book to focus on Death and the newly stable faculty of Unseen University.
The faceless bureaucrats of the multiverse have decided Death is sentimental and inefficient, and he’s been fired! While he heads off to live among humans for his remaining time – until his replacement comes to claim him – his absence means those who die sort of…don’t. That includes Windle Poons, 130-year-old wizard of Unseen University, whose return as a zombie gives him a new lease on life – much to the horror of his fellow faculty members. But Death’s absence is having other weird consequences: objects spring to life, non-human species spawn their own Deaths, and strangest of all, a warehouse in Ankh-Morpork mysteriously fills with small glass orbs…
Reaper Man‘s two mostly separate plots – Death’s forced retirement, and the wizards’ investigation of the alien lifeforms – bring back not only Death but also Windle Poons and the faculty of Unseen University, both introduced in Moving Pictures, alongside cameos by familiar faces like CMOT Dibbler and Fred Colon. Plus we meet a bunch of new and memorable characters: the Death of Rats, the Auditors of Reality, Mrs Cake and her daughter Ludmilla, and undead activist Reg Shoe and his friends from the Fresh Start Club. It’s a big cast, but then with two separate plots there’s plenty for them to do! We’d love to hear what you thought of Reaper Man; use the hashtag #Pratchat11 on social media to join the conversation.
Sarah Pearson appeared on the ABC quiz show Hard Quiz, and works as a captioner for television.
In our next episode we’ll be joined by editor Jackie Tang as we power on to the next Discworld novel and travel far from the lands we know in Witches Abroad! We’re recording only a week after this episode is released, so to have us answer them on the podcast, get your questions via social media before September 15, 2018 using the hashtag #Pratchat12.
You’ll find the full notes and errata for this episode on our web site.
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