Terry Pratchett

Crivens! It was “Wintersmith” what done it!

Wintersmith
Photograph of the cover of Terry Pratchett’s “Wintersmith”. Illustration by Paul Kidby copyright 2006.

As I’ve stated elsewhere, I’m late to the joyous party that is the writings of Terry Pratchett. I’ve just completed reading his third Tiffany Aching novel and he has leapt into  the distinguished company that is my favourite authors. Notably, he is the first male author I have included. He sits with Rosemary Sutcliff, Philipa Pearce, Joan Aiken and Ursula K Le Guin (as I said – ‘distinguished company‘).

Like Le Guin, Pratchett is able to stage epic battles that are fought and won without bloodshed or with very little bloodshed (the way that Tiffany Aching deals with the Wintersmith is a fine example) and he writes about the finiteness of human existence with rare beauty and a certain kind of poetry (the passing of Granny Weatherwax in “The Shepherd’s Crown” is beyond simply moving). And he loves people but hates injustice, that is crystal clear.

Tiffany Aching is a heroine very much in the mould of Joan Aiken’s Dido Twite though far more introspective with her first, second and third thoughts to guide how she acts and reacts. As a Pratchett witch, she constantly puts the welfare of others before her own and strives to learn from each action she takes, often putting aside a response until she has considered alternatives . My kind of protagonist!

Of course, TP spins the narrative with many puns asides and much social commentary. I love the way has footnotes augment the main text.- my particular favourite is *’Werk’… (page 340 of my edition). He has the uncommon ability to create characters that are engaging and complex and this is true equally of ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

I’m continually struck by the cinematic and visual quality of Pratchett’s storytelling. He must have imagined these novels as moving pictures, surely!

I have two more Tiffany Aching novels to read – the second and the fourth and then it’s back to the main Discworld novels for me!

But first… I shall treat myself to a reread of “Wee free Men” and “Wintersmith”… you can’t have too much of a good thing.

 

 

 

LuxRender versus iRay (again)

Have been experimenting further with Daz studio and rendering simultaneously with both iRay and LuxRender (via the Reality plug-in).

I thought I’d share my two most recent renders:

lake lady with dragon 03iray
Picture of Daz Studio composition rendered with iray. Copyright (c) Dale Warner 2017
lake_lady_with_dragon_03lux
Picture of Daz Studio composition rendered with LuxRender via Reality. Copyright (c) Dale Warner 2017

It’s difficult to say which is better as both have their strengths. I think another composite is in order!

Later… and here it is:

lake_lady_with_dragon_03comp
Picture of Daz Studio composite render. Copyright (c) Dale Warner 2017

Conclusion: The composite lightened the Lux image and softened off some of the sharpness of the iRay render (difficult to see at this small scale I know – the originals are 2500 x 1406 pixels at 300 dpi).

First time I’ve ever rendered a dragon as it’s a bit of a cliche but the Daz Millennium Dragon has such nice texturing (needs a sharper bump map and less glossiness though!).

Charity shop bargain books

I managed to buy some fantastic books from charity shops in Swansea today:

  • A hardback version of Michael Morpurgo’s “Arthur High King of Britain” with illustrations by Michael Foreman
  • “The Fantastic Kingdom” a collection of illustrations from the golden days of storytelling
  • A hard cover first edition of Ian Serraillier’s “The Challenge of the Green Knight” with illustrations by Victor G. Ambrus
  • A hard cover copy of Rosemary Sutcliff’s “Sword at Sunset”

Perhaps a bit too much Arthur in one day for me but what a wealth of great story tellers and illustrators!

Looking forward to reading.

I’m also currently reading and thoroughly enjoying Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio”