A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Adams and Pratchett

Post 1

Snafu

I'm a great fan of both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett (Pratchett does to Fantasy what Adams does to Science Fiction and v.v.).

Wouldn't it be great if they worked together? I know they both have different subjects (HHGTTG and Discworld are literally worlds apart), but what would happen if these two minds got together?
Mind-melt or chain reaction (KABOOM! in layman terms)?

Snafu.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 2

SuperSillyOus

I've been reading quite a bit about Discworld myself of late, it's my latest series of interest, and I generally tend to stick to one series at a time until I'm through. At any rate, I also considered Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams in the same class, certainly. I can't think of one without thinking of the other, but I must honestly say that the thought of them working together on one novel never struck me. I still can't see it. Their styles are somewhat similar, and I've no doubt they are both very entertaining on their own, or even when collaborating with other writers, I just can't see them working together. Perhaps they are too similar.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 3

dasilva

I remember many people not being overly impressed with Pratchett and Neil Gaimen's collaberation on "Good Omens" - it was good, sure, but the different bits stood out like a handful of sore thumbs, too sore, about as sore as when my dad chopped his off building the conservatory...

I think the senses of humour would conflict, in a DNA/TP collaboration...


Adams and Pratchett

Post 4

26199

"Good Omens" is actually one of my favourite books... I suppose it's a matter of taste. Whatever else can be said about it, it's an interesting variation on Pratchett's normal fare... and I would love to see a book written by DNA/TP.

I do agree, though, that there's a good chance it wouldn't work...


Adams and Pratchett

Post 5

dasilva

For one, TP tends to go for more slapstic humour, where as DNA's is a much drier, more acerbic observationally based humour...

...and the way each includes various ways of current thinking are vastly different too...

...personally I'd find switching between the 2 styles of reading very tiring, which is probably due to the intense way I read (I can't just scan a page quickly and follow the story - I've got to get into it deeply and picture the damned thing in my head - but that's just me) smiley - winkeye


Adams and Pratchett

Post 6

Spirit of Olias (occasional spectre)

I too enjoy both authors and although it would be fun seeing what they could come up with together i believe there would be an awful clash of styles. I find that Good Omens is my favourite Pratchett book these days though, the Discworld is starting to become a bit tiring - not that i wont still read all of the books mind!


Adams and Pratchett

Post 7

Barton Fink

I used to like Pratchett a lot, but recently this "publishing phenomenon" has gone too far. The discworld series has become this great Cash Cow for Pratchett to milk four times a year. You can't move in most bookshops without knocking over piles of TP books. I think he is merely going over the same ground again and again now, and really should try harder to do something else.

To his credit, DNA had the good sense to move on from the HGTTG series, but I suspect if he had churned out thirty odd books in this theme at a rate of knots, then they would probably not be as highly regarded as they are now.

Good Omens was okay- but I did see the clash of styles mentioned and didn't feel that Neil Gaiman added much of value to it. Grant and Naylor with Adams might be a better collaboration.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 8

26199

Douglas, Naylor and Grant?

Whatever else happened, it would almost certainly achieve new records for weirdness... why not let Robert Rankin lend a hand, whilst you're at it?

BTW, for those who haven't a clue who we're on about... Rob Grant and Doug Naylor wrote the Red Dwarf books, some of them in collaboration and some of them individually. They also are resposible for the TV series. The books are unusual in that they were written *after* the TV series, but typical in that they're in many ways better than it.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 9

Snafu


Okay, I see all your points here.

I guess there would be a clash of styles, but maybe DNA's dry observational style would mix well with TP's deep 'link the past to the now' kind of humor?

Ah well, I guess we'll never know...

Snafu.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 10

Demon Drawer

Knowing DNA'S reknowned disregard or forgetfulness of deadlines and TP's hard working approach I don't see how a colaboration would work cause by the time Douglas got around to writing anything Terry would have writen about four new books.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 11

26199

smiley - smiley


Adams and Pratchett

Post 12

Hoovooloo

Looking back at this I can only say much as I like Pratchett and love Adams, I can't see them ever working together in any sense.

Obviously not now, because twenty years on they're both not likely to be producing much in the way of new work. What I mean is, I can't see it ever being a goer.

For starters, Terry Pratchett was not what you'd call privileged. He passed his eleven plus and went to grammar school, but left before getting his A levels to take up an apprenticeship (albeit in journalism). An affinity and admiration for the working man shines through in much of his work.

Adams, on the other hand, went to Brentwood School (a private school that also educated, among others, Robin Day and the High Court judge Sir David Eady), and St. Johns Cambridge. His idea of an everyman is someone who works as a producer for BBC radio and can afford to live alone in a nice large house in the countryside while attending trendy media parties in Islington.

The only reason, I think, that anyone thinks of them as remotely similar is because at very roughly the same sort of time they took two geek genres known for taking themselves too seriously and shook them up by injecting them with humour. In almost every other respect they're completely different.

Pratchett had a work ethic that you can't fault from day one to the day he couldn't work any more. Adams did more work than one human should have been capable of for about two years in the late 70s and basically spent the rest of his life kicking back and playing and riding on the success of what he wrote in those years.

Pratchett had a deep understanding of structure and plot and character and humour, Adams did good jokes. (Seriously - the only one of his books that has anything approaching a coherent plot is "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", and that is a barely-disguised reheat of a plot he'd come up with in collaboration with David Fisher and Graham Williams years before. (Notable also is the fact that when Target books approached him to write the novelisation of the original story, "City of Death", he turned them down because they offered him the same money as any other Target author, with the words "I don't want to be embarrassing but I do have a tendency to be a best-selling author" - well you failed there, that is embarrassing. And it's embarrassing that he also blocked anyone else from writing it. The snotty privilege that comes across is disappointing from someone whose work I worshipped for years. I do wonder now whether he didn't write it - and blocked it from being written - in case anyone noticed how similar it was to DGHDA)

Apart from anything else, it strongly came across the Pratchett actually LIKED writing, whereas it is abundantly clear that Adams bloody hated it. Pratchett did go on to collaborate with Stephen Baxter on the Long Earth series, which is excellent. As far as I know Adams never collaborated on anything substantial with anyone. There were sketches and "edited by"s and the computer game and the Meaning of Liff, but nothing long-form.

In retrospect, I'm really glad they never tried. I can't imagine they'd have got on.


Adams and Pratchett

Post 13

Orcus

I recall Jim Lynn (one of the original team who ran this site at the beginning) - a guy who actually knew DNA - talking about this to someone here.

His comments were right along the lines of work ethic - DNA was a notorious procrastinator, Pratchett a workaholic- plus they only ever met maybe once apparently.
Just from the work ethic point of view - never a goer this one.


Key: Complain about this post

Adams and Pratchett

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more