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Pratchett to unveil Dodger in packed 2012
23.04.12 | Charlotte Williams
Transworld is pulling out all the stops for one of its biggest stars, Terry Pratchett, as a busy year kicks off with the re-publication of his Discworld series in June. There will also be two new hardbacks from the author in 2012, including his take on Charles Dickens' Artful Dodger, plus publication of the first winners of the Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhere But Now prize.
The first five Discworld titles—The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort and Sourcery—will all be published as £7.99 paperbacks on 21st June with stripped-down covers, each focusing on one element from the original cover's illustration. Also in June comes the hardback release of the first novel in Pratchett's collaboration with sci-fi author Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth (21st, £18.99), set in 1915 and 2015.
The paperback of the last year's bestselling Snuff will also be published on 7th June, priced £7.99, as will The World of Poo (£12.99, hardback), a spin-off title from Snuff penned by Discworld's premier children's author, Miss Felicity Beedle. It features line-drawings, and is produced in the style of a Victorian children's book as a gift-sized hardback.
In the autumn comes Dodger (13th September, hb, £18.99), a new Pratchett title published by Random House Children's Books, and inspired by Dickens' Artful Dodger character in Oliver Twist. Set in Victorian London, it features characters including Dickens, Disraeli and Queen Victoria.
Publishing director Marianne Velmans said the packed publishing schedule was a result of "it all coming together—things that we had been working on for years. Plus [Terry] has been particularly energetic and creative for the past year." She said the aim behind rejacketing the Discworld novels was to "refresh the backlist; all the other brand authors have B-format paperbacks, not A-format, so this was an excuse to go back and refresh and clean them up a bit." She added that Pratchett has a large, loyal following, "but we feel that with Snuff he reached out to a new readership. Since he was knighted, since he has done these very visible documentaries, he has been regarded in a different way." On the publicity side, Velmans said Pratchett would do "a few select things, but big things".
However, Velmans said she did not think the current surge in the popularity of fantasy was boosting Pratchett: "He's always been a genre of his own; it looks like fantasy, but what he is really doing is satirising our recognisable world. There is a loyal readership who are not that affected by fashion."
Meanwhile, the two winners of the Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhere But Now prize will see their novels published as £14.99 hardbacks on 10th May. Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan follows three unlikely heroes—a teenage vegan, an abattoir worker and an inept journalist—as they try to save Britain and uncover a government plot. Half-Sick of Shadows by David Logan follows Edward after he is visited by a time-machine in his grandmother's garden, and is described by the publisher as a "tragi-comic tale of childhood wonder, time-travelling poets and theoretical physics".