Fourteen rollicking tales, most of which were written when the author was a teenager and published over 40 years ago in his local newspaper.
Pratchett fans will particularly welcome first introductions to the town of Blackbury, which became the setting for several later novels, and intrepid Snibril, who, with his diminutive folk, went on to be cast in The Carpet People. The author admits to some minor editorial massaging, but these and all the rest feature characters heroic or hiss-worthy, pranks and battles aplenty, sly twists on familiar tropes and his trademark mix of silly humor and acute moral commentary. In the title tale, a lad makes peace between a town and a family of displaced dragons, and in another, rival rulers even smaller than Carpet People squabble over a newly discovered dust speck. Mishaps ensue when “Father Christmas Goes to Work” between holidays. All the stories come with sheaves of new illustrations depicting wide-eyed caricatures in comically stagey poses, drawn Quentin Blake–style in quick, sketchy pen strokes against swabs of monochrome wash.
Juvenilia from a genius, showing bright signs of future masterworks. (introduction) (Short stories. 10-12)