Another place, another time... in an age of wander

  • Senior librarians are also taught how to deal with the dangers of navigating L-space, such as the "harmless kickstool crabs, large and heavy wandering thesauri, the .303 bookworm and the dreaded clichés, which must be avoided at all costs."
  • The name L-space is based on use of E-space (Exo-space) and N-space
    (Normal space) used by Doctor Who.
  • L-space, short for library-space, is the ultimate portrayal of Pratchett's concept that the written word has powerful magical properties on the Discworld, and that in large quantities all books warp space and time around them. The principle of L-space revolves around a seemingly logical equation; it is an extension of the aphorism 'Knowledge is Power'
  • {Books} = {Knowledge} = {Power} = {{Mass} x {Distance}2} x {{Time}3}.
  • Large quantities of magical and mundane books create portals into L-space that can be accessed using innate powers of librarianship that are taught by the Librarians of Time and Space to those deemed worthy across the multiverse.
  • Libraries with enough books to open a portal are often large and sprawling; those venturing into L-space may not necessarily know that they have arrived.
  • The floor and ceiling of L-space follow the floor and ceiling of the library used to access it; the best example of this is that the central dome of Unseen University's library is "always overhead".
  • In every direction and as far as the eye can see bookshelves stretch off, meaning the nature of any walls are unknown.
  • Essentially, all bookstores are potentially infinite in extent; gateways into literary hyperspace: "a good bookshop is just a genteel blackhole that knows how to read."
  • Because L-space links every library, (and also possibly Death's Autobiography Library), it is possible to reach any one of these throughout space, time and the multiverse. This means that there are potentially other forms of data storage other than books as it represents every library anywhere.
  • One can read any book ever written, any book that will be written at some point and books that were planned for writing that were not, as well as any book that could possibly be written.
  • Adventurers may find markings and scribbled notes on the shelves to help them navigate.
  • Opening Ceremony: 7pm Friday July 5

  • Closing Ceremony: 3pm Monday July 8

Colin Smythe

Colin Smythe was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1942, and was educated at Bradfield College (1955-59), graduating in 1963 from Trinity College Dublin. He started his publishing company, Colin Smythe Ltd, in 1966, moving from London to Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire in 1967, and has lived and worked there ever since. In 1968, he met Terry Pratchett, then a young reporter with a local paper, The Bucks Free Press, and published his first five books, The Carpet People (1971), The Dark Side of the Sun (1976), Strata (1981), The Colour of Magic (1983), and The Light Fantastic (1986), before coming to a co-publishing arrangement with Victor Gollancz. That did not work out and he became Terry's agent the following year. He has also published fantasy works by William Barnwell and Hugh Cook.

His publishing activities do not now feature very prominently in his life, being crowded out by the busy-ness of acting as Terry’s literary agent, but they have involved works of Irish literature and criticism, Irish epic myths, fairy and folklore, heraldry, orders of knighthood, diplomacy, politics, trout fishing, and parapsychology (one of his publications, Konstantin Raudive's Breakthrough (1971), having been the inspiration for the film White Noise.)  He also acts for the literary estates of a number of Irish authors.

Colin was a visiting professor in the English Department of the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, from 1993 to 2002. For his services to Irish literature he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) in 1998. He has edited and written various books relating to Lady Gregory and her family, and is working on a bibliography of the writings of  the Nobel laureate W.B.Yeats (380,000 words and growing). He is a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Some more information about Colin Smythe can be found at his company website.. www.colinsmythe.co.uk, which also holds his checklist of Terry’s publications in 38 languages, a short biography, and his articles for all the past Discworld Convention programs - www.colinsmythe.co.uk/terrypages/tpindex.htm