Series: Discworld #10.5
on Published 2002
Death and What Comes Next is a Discworld short story by Terry Pratchett. It tells the story of a discussion between Death and a philosopher, in which the philosopher attempts to use the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics to argue death is not a certainty.
In the four decades since his first book appeared in print, Terry Pratchett has become one of the world's best-selling and best-loved authors. Here for the first time are his short stories and other short form fiction collected into one volume. A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press,; to the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People; and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series.
Here are characters both familiar and yet to be discovered; abandoned worlds and others still expanding; adventure, chickens, death, disco and, actually, some quite disturbing ideas about Christmas,all of it shot through with his inimitable brand of humour.
With an introduction by Booker Prize-winning author A.S. Byatt, illustrations by the late Josh Kirby and drawings by the author himself, this is a book to treasure.
Here is one that I have never read! Since I am reading this in order and this is a very short five pages, I figured I would throw a review together really quick.
It starts with Terry Pratchett saying:
This was written for the online game TimeHunt, in which each story incorporated a hidden phrase.
It’s relevant to the story, it’s still in there, you need the mind of a fan to find it, and I bend the rules a little – or, rather, there are exceptions to the rule.
I rather liked the idea of Heaven being a logical certainty…
Straight out of the gate, he alludes to Schrödinger as the philosopher is philosophizing with Death. It shows Pratchett’s wit right away. What’s special about this is that it is not technically a part of his Discworld series, as a normal set, as he mentioned above. And yet, it has DEATH in it, which is probably obvious by the title. DEATH (in all caps because he’s amazing and that is how he talks, in big bold sounds), is a character all his own and has grown as the world of the Discworld has grown. It’s so fun to see him randomly show up in a book that has nothing to do with him, but then everything has to do with him, so he’s everywhere!
The philosopher feels like DEATH has met his match. Of course, everyone tries to cheat death, or in the Discworld, play a game of chess or Cripple Mr. Onion, to out wit DEATH and hopefully avoid his inevitable demise.
But DEATH has dealt with these kinds of people often. He always sighs and then figures out a way to outwit them. This particular exchange in up on the internet, and even if you have not delved into Discworld, it’s a five minute, fun read!
I purchased this in his collected shorter fiction, A Blink of the Screen! So excited to finally get another look at new and old characters.