As I mentioned yesterday, I got to meet Terry Prachett today! I’d seen him up in Seattle before, but this was the first time I’d seen him down here and the first time I’d seen him since his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
He was a pretty engaging speaker! He talked a bit about the process of writing and hinted at what was coming up for Discworld. He told us about “the Fred Factor” in any complex organizational thingy (basically it stipulates that no matter how complex something is, some guy named Fred will always come along and find a way to screw up it). He talked about mudlarks and about the horrible conditions of London in the early Victorian Era.
He also talked a bit about World War One and the Pal’s Battalions (groups of boys from the same street who would enlist together, train together, and fight together. Basically it meant that one well-placed shell would result in a whole street getting telegrams that began with “we regret to inform you…”), as well as talking about Tommy Atkins. He also told us about a midwife he’d talked to who had worked in England during the Inter War Years and how one of the most interesting things about her stories were that she emphasized the need for midwifes then to carry shoeboxes (lots of babies died in birth, you see).
Anyhow, it was a good time. I got my book autographed and had lots of fun, at least until this one douche came wandering in about fifteen minutes before the end. He was like Comic Book Guy, only without the charisma. Otherwise, it was a great meet ‘n’ greet!