Episodes


Hello and welcome to the Truth Shall Make Ye Fret, a podcast in which we read and discuss every book from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (and a few more besides) in chronological order.

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Episodes

The Carpet People: Pratchett’s first novel celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Original

16 November 1971: The Carpet People hits the shelves. Written by shiny new author Terry Pratchett.

Pratchett was just 17 (or thereabouts) when he wrote the first draft, and 23 when the novel was published by Peter Bander and Colin Smythe. L-Space has a page showing photos from the launch party. My favourite is this one, of Terry and Colin. That’s an impressive beard for a man in his early 20s.

Terry illustrated the book, too. He drew the cover art and studded the pages with black-and-white illustrations. In a very few, he coloured them by hand, with watercolours. You can see those colour illustrations on L-Space. I particularly like the hyometers.

The book was given an initial print run of 3,000 – not bad for a first-time author in a niche genre, but not a sensation. Unsurprisingly, The Carpet People Mk I* didn’t have the satirical flair of Pratchett’s later works – but it sounds like it was a good story, well-written and broadly well-received. This line made me chuckle, though:

One need not worry too much about the allegory; which is about human rifts in the larger world: it rises up from time to time, but only when the action clears sufficiently. 

Times Literary Supplement, 28/4/1972 (found on Colin Smythe’s page)

Marc Burrows notes, in his excellent biography The Magic of Terry Pratchett, that Tolkien’s influence was particularly obvious in this first iteration:

The Carpet People was . . . written in the shadow of Tolkien by an unabashed fanboy and The Lord of the Rings is coded into its DNA.

– The Magic of Terry Pratchett

I’ve only read the later, heavily edited version, and even there Tolkien’s influence is obvious – but it clearly benefited from older Pratchett’s experienced editing, coming across more like winking references than accidental parallels.


The Reboot

30 June 1992: The Carpet People hits the shelves. Written by wildly popular author Terry Pratchett… and his teenage self.

Terry Pratchett revisited his first novel nearly 30 years after it was originally published. He seemed rather pleased with the concept of co-authoring The Carpet People with himself, writing about it in the author’s note and expanding on the topic elsewhere.

He talked about teenage Terry quite frankly, and without undue self-deprecation.

From a 2013 interview with BoingBoing:

CoryDo you feel like seventeen-year-old Terry had much to say?

Terry: . . . he had a go, and it wasn’t bad. And then he was clever enough to read a hell of a lot of books and every bound volume of Punch. But when I was younger, I didn’t have the anger. I think you have to have the anger. It gives an outlook. And a place from which to stand. When you get out of the teens, well out of the teens, you begin to have some kind of understanding, you’ve met so many people, heard so many things, all the bits that growing up means. And out of that lot comes wisdom—it might not be very good wisdom to start with, but it will be a certain kind of wisdom. It leads to better books.

Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing 

The Carpet People 2.0 benefited hugely from elder Pratchett’s affectionate-yet-extensive edits. Back to Marc Burrows, who reviews books rather more eloquently than I can:

He added an abstract inner world to the characters, and deepened the mysticism that underpins any fantasy story worth its salt . . . He skips through the book pruning excitable adjectives, unnecessary exclamation points and generic fantasy clichés from the dialogue.

– The Magic of Terry Pratchett

By 1992, of course, Pratchett had a fanbase ready to catch whatever he released. Small Gods had come out the previous month, and Reaper Man was not long out in paperback. These are big titles – we’re already through the Early Pratchett Era and into Discworld Mania.

The Carpet People had a 1992 hardback print run of 18,000, followed by 115,000 paperbacks. Obviously, these kinds of numbers are dwarfed by the success of the Discworld books, but it’s not bad going.

Pratchett commented on a fan forum the next month:

Officially, [The Carpet People is] No.6 in the bestsellers this week, but the Sunday Times are snotty about it and won’t acknowledge it because they say it’s really a children’s book even if adults are buying it.

– Terry Pratchett, alt.fan.pratchett, Jul 13 1992

As it happens, in June 1992 he had topped both the hardcover (Small Gods) and paperback (Reaper Man) fiction best-seller lists. He would go on to be the UK’s best-selling author of the whole decade.

A chunk of the critical sector kept loudly dismissing Pratchett – and speculative fiction as a whole – for years, but they were fighting a losing battle and they must have known it.

The re-worked novel isn’t just a novelty artifact for die-hard fans, by the way. It’s not merely ‘better than the original’ – it’s a good book. I’ve read it many times. It was one of the first Pratchett books I got my paws on, way back when I was 10 or 11, and I’ve just reread it yet again at 30. It’s funny, decently paced, and beautifully imaginative. As a child, I was delighted to close the pages and spend a while imagining tiny worlds in the carpet. To be honest, I still am.

More on The Carpet People

I co-host a Discworld recap podcast called The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret, and we’ve just finished a two-parter on The Carpet People (which is why I’ve got all this to hand!). You can find those episodes here and here, or wherever you normally find podcasts.

Plus,

Extra, Extra – a fun side-note on another, very limited edition:

Some years back Transworld experimented with a carpet-bound edition for the 25th anniversary of The Carpet People. They couldn’t see how to make it a profitable project, so I have the original. Limited edition, 1 of 1, signed by the author… – Pratchett in 2001 on alt.books.pratchett

* It’s not exactly Mk I, actually… the very first incarnation of The Carpet People was a short story in the Bucks Free Press. You can read a version of that in Dragons of Crumbling Castle.

[Edit: This article originally said that The Carpet People was released on 15 November, which is incorrect ]

67: The Carpet People Pt 2 (Apocalypse Brackets Roundworld)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, usually read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, our Proto-Pratchett season concludes with part 2 of our recap of “The Carpet People”. 

Empire? I Hardly Know Her!

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

Malaphors.com

How to Avoid Mixing Your Metaphors – Brian Bilston

Battalia pie – Wikipedia

Miriam Margolyes Out To Lunch with Jay Rayner – Apple Podcasts

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Poetry Foundation

Till Eulenspiegel – Wikipedia

The Crystal Palace – Wikipedia

At Home: A Short History of Private Life, by Bill Bryson – Goodreads

Nice Try! – Vox Media: Podcast Network

The Unthinkable – Amanda Ripley 

Stories by /u/Admiral_Cloudberg – Reddit

Place of Protection – TV Tropes

The Cavalry – TV Tropes

Sunanda Kumariratana – Wikipedia

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

66: The Carpet People Pt 1 (F5 To Pay Respects)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, usually read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, we continue our Proto-Pratchett season with part 1 of The Carpet People. 

Snargs! Suspense! Oh-so-small!

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

What is Cuil Theory?

Good Omens season 2 shares promising update with first look pics – Digital Spy

Dogma: Metatron (Alan Rickman) – YouTube

Mark Beech – NB Illustration

The Magic of Terry Pratchett – Pen and Sword Books

The Carpet People Book Covers – L-Space

The Carpet People – Colin Smythe

The Carpet People – Art (& photos) – L-Space

The Carpet People – TV Tropes

Wainscot Society – TV Tropes

Always Chaotic Evil – TV Tropes

Brian Greene: An Unexpected Guest – The Friendship Onion – YouTube

Pismire – Wiktionary

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

65: Feet of Clay Pt. 3 (The Inherent Comedy of Towels)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, Part 3 of our recap of “Feet of Clay”. 

Robots! Artificial Intelligence! A Whole New Existential Crisis!

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

Grace Petrie – Black Tie – Youtube

Joanna and Francine at a gig(!)

s0nderv0gel’s tangent follow-up – reddit

Pune – Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki

Natural Language Processing (NLP) – IBM

Tay (bot) – Wikipedia 

“I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison.(PDF)

/r/HobbyDrama [Search: Neopets] – reddit

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Goodreads

Joanna’s Inktober (Day 15) – Twitter

Jaclyn Moriarty Books

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret (Podcast) – Tumblr

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

64: Feet of Clay Pt 2 (Affable Tyrant)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, Part 2 of our recap of “Feet Of Clay”. 

Cobblestones! Clues! Pigeons!

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

Feet of Clay – The Annotated Pratchett File

Feet of Clay – Discworld Wiki

Joanna’s Inktober thread – Twitter

Andrew O'Neill – Occult Comedian

Grace Petrie | Connectivity

Sexy Death and Cowgirls | The Wilsons – Bandcamp

Are Sherlock Holmes and Spock Related? – FIlm School Rejects

Kumbali and Kago, Cheetah Cub & Puppy Friendship – YouTube

Grammelot (not Gabblegot!) – Wiki

Who Is the Bad Art Friend? – NYT

Games Played By Girls In Plymouth – 1960 

Golem – Britannica 

Golem – Wiki

Remember That We Suffered – YouTube

Origin and meaning of undead – Online Etymology Dictionary

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

63: Feet of Clay Pt. 1 (I Think It’s The Bones)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, Part 1 of our recap of “Feet of Clay”. 

Couchant! Not Rampant! Couchant! 

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

Feet of Clay – Annotated Pratchett File

The Fast Show – Ted & Ralph – Episode1 – New Shoes – YouTube

Are veterinarians deemed more likely to survive the apocalypse? – Tumblr

Noble Blood | A history podcast by Dana Schwartz

Neil Gaiman – Jump – YouTube

Royal College of Arms – Wiki

Joanna Hagan Inktober thread – Twitter

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

62: Maskerade Pt. 3 (Climbing Into Box 8)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, Part 3 of our recap of “Maskerade”. 

Foreshadowing! Pays! Off!

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

“While Terry was programing his ZX81 to Inform him of the high and low greenhouse temperatures overnight . . .” – Twitter (@terryandrob)

Tree Swing – Business Balls [erm]

The Masochism Tango (Tom Lehrer) – harpmolly’s rendition – YouTube

Fish Fall Archives – The Fortean

Bouncing Tosca – Opera Anecdotes

Grey Reads “The Masque of the Red Death” for Pandemicween – YouTube

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

61: Maskerade Pt. 2 (As The Actress Said To The Bishop)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, Part 2 of our recap of “Maskerade”. 

Plinges! Popping Corks! Mrs Palm! 

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

Maskerade – The Annotated Pratchett File

Lindsay Ellis on Phantom of the Opera:

Joel Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera: A Video Essay 

The Most Whitewashed Character In Literary History 

Loose Canon: Phantom of the Opera (Part 1) – Before Broadway  

Loose Canon: Phantom of the Opera (Part 2): After Lord Andy 

The Curse of The Yellow Clarinet – Jenny Clarinet

I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General – YouTube

Tom Lehrer – The Elements – LIVE FILM From Copenhagen in 1967 – YouTube

The Holy Anorankh – The AFP Timelines

Insights Into Couture Sewing Part 1 – Time To Sew

On the Origin of Really Shiny Species – National Geographic

Mogadored – World Wide Words

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

60: Maskerade Pt. 1 (Chekhov’s Chandelier)

Open Episode Transcript

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, Part 1 of our recap of “Maskerade”. 

Interrobang! Ampersand! Exclamation Points!!!!!

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Things we blathered on about:

Maskerade – Colin Smythe 

Maskerade – The Annotated Pratchett File

@divamarisa on TikTok (Wagner content)

For the Time Being by Annie Dillard – Goodreads

Breakfast Island – The British Library

The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps, by Edward Brooke-Hitching – Goodreads

Does the Dog Die? (“Crowdsourced emotional spoilers for movies, tv, books and more.”)

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (2011) – IMDb

What’s Opera, Doc? (1957) – IMDb

Who is Frank Spencer? – Radio Times

Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook | Sir Terry Pratchett

An Investigation Of Professional Ballet Dancers’ Pre-performance Routines and Superstitious Behaviours (PDF link)

Last plays of Molière – Britannica

Catastrophe theory – Britannica

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

Bonus: Down The Rabbit Hole (Compilation)

The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is a podcast in which your hosts, Joanna Hagan and Francine Carrel, usually read and recap every book from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in chronological order. 

This week, a special bonus episode! Enjoy this compilation of clips from our patreon-only podcast: “Down The Rabbit Hole”. Check out our patron here, and remember that if you sign up you get access to all past bonus content, as well as monthly rabbit holes, extended video episodes of the main podcast and whatever nonsense we decide to throw at you!*

*Not literal, and so far no listeners have been harmed in the making of said nonsense. 

Find us on the internet:

Twitter: @MakeYeFretPod

Instagram: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Facebook: @TheTruthShallMakeYeFret

Email: thetruthshallmakeyefretpod@gmail.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thetruthshallmakeyefret

Want to follow your hosts and their internet doings? Follow Joanna on twitter @joannahagan and follow Francine @francibambi 

Music: Chris Collins, indiemusicbox.com

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