More free-range juvenilia from the much-missed creator of Discworld.
Following up on The Dragons at Crumbling Castle, and Other Stories (2015), these 14 tales were likewise originally published in the 1960s and ’70s in the Bucks Free Press and reappear here with fresh titles and, as Pratchett puts it in his posthumous introduction, a few added “bits and bobs.” Mostly set in either the contemporary town of Blackbury or the “Wild West” (i.e., Welsh) hamlet of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo, the tales tend toward silly upsets. These range from the mysterious transformation of local residents into Elizabethans to the exploits of Police Constable Bryn Bunyan, “fastest truncheon west of the River Severn,” at the O.K. Sheep Dip and elsewhere. In several episodes, adventurers, usually diminutive, intrepidly set out in such odd vehicles as a passing airship, a walnut submarine, or a human-sized lorry (this last forming the kernel of a later novel, Truckers). Aside from “An Ant Called 4179003” who settles in with an errant bee (both males, read into that what you will), the casts are all filled with standard, mundane or magical white, British types.
Bravery shows up almost as often as buffoonery in these satiric bits and bobs. (Fantasy/short stories. 10-12)