Monday, August 01, 2005

Angry Fantasy Author: Terry Pratchett

"Author Terry Pratchett has complained that the status of Harry Potter author JK Rowling is being elevated "at the expense of other writers".

"Pratchett, one of the UK's most successful novelists with 40 million books sold, said the media ignores the achievements of other fantasy authors.

"He also took a sideswipe at Rowling for saying she did not realise Harry Potter was fantasy until it was published."

"He also expressed surprise at Rowling's comments that she only realised Harry Potter was fantasy after the first book was published.

"I'm not the world's greatest expert," he wrote. "But I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?"

Here's the Time magazine article on Rowling that Pratchett reacted to. Choice snippets:
The most popular living fantasy writer in the world doesn't even especially like fantasy novels. It wasn't until after Sorcerer's Stone was published that it even occurred to her that she had written one. "That's the honest truth," she says. "You know, the unicorns were in there. There was the castle, God knows. But I really had not thought that that's what I was doing. And I think maybe the reason that it didn't occur to me is that I'm not a huge fan of fantasy."

"I was trying to subvert the genre," Rowling explains bluntly. "Harry goes off into this magical world, and is it any better than the world he's left? Only because he meets nicer people. Magic does not make his world better significantly. The relationships make his world better. Magic in many ways complicates his life."

Mr Pratchett does have good reason to be angry. Let's face it, after writing 65+ books, wouldn't you be a little pissed when someone says that before Rowling came along fantasy was stuffy and boring, and that nobody has done cutting edge fantasy?

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