Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
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(For the uninitiated, Pratchett's 'Discworld' is a comic fantasy setting of a flat world carried on the backs of three elephants, who in turn are carried on the back of a giant turtle swimming through space. It is a world where magic works, but in the course of forty novels over something like thirty years, Pratchett has raised his game from writing a pastiche - and a very good one at that - of heroic fantasy set in what looks like an identikit 'Medieval World (TM)' to writing comic novels of some considerable depth and wit. Over the same period, he has advanced the Discworld from the afore-mentioned medieval setting into a sort of 19th-century setting with a level of industrialisation and technological advance alongside the magical characters.)
There was a rather clever model railway based on this novel on show at the World Science Fiction Convention in London this August; the layout is on the UK exhibition circuit, and the modeller has indulged themselves, not only with detail from the novel but also as an excuse to bring together some fairly exotic locomotives that wouldn't normally be seen together.
Terry Pratchett is suffering from early-onset dementia and recently announced that he was giving up writing because, even with the help of an amanuensis, the task is now getting beyond him. There is the possibility that his daughter - herself a talented computer games designer - will be continuing his writing work where he has had to leave off.
Yes, I also appreciated these little details.
I also loved the sense he gives that the steam engine is alive and needs to be understood and cossetted, which is very much my own experience working on the footplate, although I haven't yet seen one come quite as consciously alive as his does...