Honored Guests

Sir Terry Pratchett:
Sir Terry's world of late has been as busy as ever, with the premiere of the film adaptation of Going Postal and the publication of the latest Tiffany Aching young adult novel, I Shall Wear Midnight, both taking place in 2010. In 2009, the newest adult Discworld novel, Unseen Academicals, was published, and Sir Terry was made a knight in the 2009 New Year's Honors list (announced on December 31) for Services to Literature.Also in 2009, Nation won the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Young Adult Literature), the 2009 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Fiction and Poetry category), and was named a 2009 Printz Honor book.

At last count, Terry has sold over 65 million copies of his books, including over 38 Discworld novels (and he’ll probably have written  another by the time you finish reading this). Translated into at least 37 languages, Terry’s witty and insightful writing for adults and  children of all ages has inspired a bona-fide publishing phenomenon,  featuring tie-in books, plays, radio adaptations, telefilms, games, art, stamps, signing sessions lasting longer than the complete Wagnerian ring cycle, and worldwide conventions. Despite all this, the US used to  be a place where Terry’s satirical fantasies were not released so much  as allowed to escape, as he once wryly observed. However, with the  support of a new publisher, HarperCollins, recent years have seen Thud! and Making Money placing fourth on the New York Times bestseller list; the BAFTA-award winning Hogfather and star-studded Colour of Magic miniseries reaching US as well as UK audiences; director Sam Raimi optioning The Wee Free Men; and the launch of the first North American Discworld Convention. America has finally discovered Terry. Increasingly, so have the critics. Lauded as everything from "one of the more significant contemporary English satirists" to "a modern-day Chaucer", Terry has racked up an impressive list of awards. Along with those listed above, Terry has been awarded a Carnegie medal and an appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature (which he categorically denies writing, but he accepted the honor anyway because  it would make mum proud). More populist accolades include the W.H. Smith People's Choice Book Award, multiple Locus Awards, WorldCon Guest of  Honor, being the most shoplifted author in UK bookshops, becoming an  honorary Brownie Scout, and a shared spot with Dickens as the most-nominated author on the BBC’s Big Read Top 100 list (although he  has the unarguable advantage of being less dead than Dickens, as his infamous T-shirt proclaims).

Born April 28, 1948  outside rural Beaconsfield as the only child of David, an engineer, and Eileen, a secretary, Terence David John Pratchett sold his first short story at age 13. Working first as a journalist and then as a publicity officer for three nuclear power stations before becoming a full-time  writer in 1987, he recalls seeing a dead body on his first newspaper  assignment at age 17, much to his interest. He now lives with his wife Lyn in a Wiltshire “Domesday manorette” with a private astronomical  observatory and a herd of cats. In December of 2007, Terry was diagnosed with early-onset PCA, a rare variant of Alzheimer's disease; since then, he has become an influential advocate for the cause of increased  funding in the field of Alzheimer's research, and has donated a million dollars to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. Terry is an orangutan  activist, avid gardener, accomplished cheesemaker, compulsive reader and researcher, library advocate, inventor of the Author Hat, father of  computer game writer Rhianna, and eminently approachable, fan-friendly  veteran of innumerable conventions.

But you probably knew all that already, except, perhaps, the bit about the cheese.

What you may not know is that Terry is rumored to have an evil twin named Silas T Firefly. If sighted, this reclusive doppelganger is best left undisturbed. His signature's worthless anyway.



Bernard Pearson:
How can we describe the stout party who sits at the helm of The Discworld Emporium like an overlarge figurehead? Well in fact the figurehead analogy is quite a good one, if you can imagine a figurehead that is  slightly too large and cumbersome for the vessel it is nailed to. And  if anything, it does tend to make the boat oversteer, and dip alarmingly towards the bottom in anything but a gentle swell. But like any  figurehead it is he who braves the storms, points the way ahead, and  rides the waves.

Well he would if he wasn’t so bloody heavy.

But enough of this nautical analogy, what does he do? Actually, not very much, but he does have the talent for making even that look frightfully busy, and almost important. He is very good with tobacco however. The mountains of ash, the holes in his clothes, the myriad of pipes testify to this, as does the constant cloud of tobacco smoke he is perpetually hidden behind. If truth were to tell, it really is impossible to give any accurate description of the fellow, apart from, "he’s in there somewhere, don’t  startle him, or he’ll cover us with ash."

He is blamed for starting many things, the stamp thing amongst them, but he will own up  to nothing, save an undying love for his Lady, his children, and the  persons he was born to dote on, his grandchildren. Occasionally he has ideas and cunning plans, but thanks to years of careful management by Isobel nothing much ever comes of them, and in any case he is easily  distracted by the offer of a pint from a collector, or more likely the  laughter of his grandchildren.



Ian Mitchell :
Ian has learnt an awful lot over the past years working with Bernard and Isobel Pearson at the Discworld Emporium, perhaps most notably a cruel and unusual new vocabulary. He accidentally became a Fine Arts graduate which may some day come in useful; in the meantime he continues to make silly things in the name of Discworld. He enjoys his continuing involvement in Discworld Stamps, sculpture, and artwork, and is currently helping to illustrate Ankh-Morpork, a new Discworld board game from Treefrog Games.

Reb Voyce :
Reb, once introduced by Terry as his hairdresser, has had her life hi-jacked and couldn't be happier! A 'grade-1 grown-up', she does her best to keep Ian and Bernard’s noses to the grindstone and fingers out of the till. The pair were recently made partners at the Discworld Emporium, so there's no escape. 


Photo by Angela Caudill

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. Apart from acting for Sir Terry, the company specialises in publishing 19th and 20th century Irish literature, the Irish epic myths, the fairy faith, ghosts, folklore, heraldry, orders of knighthood, diplomacy, politics, trout fishing, and parapsychology (one of his publications, Konstantin Raudive's Breakthrough (1971), having been the first book in the English language on the Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) and Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) that was the inspiration for the film White Noise.)

Colin was a visiting professor in the English Department of the University of Ulster at Coleraine from 1993 to 2002, and remains one still, for reasons unclear to him, at the Universidade Moderna in Lisbon. For his services to Irish literature he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from the University of Dublin in 1998. He has edited and written various books, chiefly by or about Lady Gregory and her family, and is working on a bibliography of the writings of W.B.Yeats (350,000 words and growing). He also is agent for the literary estates of a number of Irish authors, including George Moore, Lady Gregory, and Oliver St John Gogarty.
Colin met Terry Pratchett in 1968 and published Terry's first book, The Carpet People, in 1971, to be followed by his next four books, The Dark Side of the Sun, Strata, The Colour of Magic, and The Light Fantastic, before coming to a co-publishing arrangement with Victor Gollancz. That did not work out and he became Terry's agent in 1987. Colin has also published fantasy works by William Barnwell and Hugh Cook.

More information about Colin Smythe can be found at his company website.

Visit Colin's Website

Rob Wilkins:
Rob is only Terry Pratchett's PA because over the past decade they have been unable to come up with a better way of describing what it is they actually do.
The writing of books was always the Number One activity of their office, but this is now nothing more than a distant memory as the tending of the goats on the north face of the mail mountain takes up most of their time.



Jennifer Brehl:
Jennifer Brehl is an editor at HarperCollins Publishers in New York where she has worked with Terry Pratchett for the past twelve years.

Visit the HarperCollins Website


Anne Hoppe:
Anne Hoppe joined HarperCollins Children’s Books in 1994 and discovered her life’s true purpose when she started with working Terry in 2001. She has been the U.S. editor for all of the original and reissued Pratchett children’s books published by Harper.

Visit the HarperCollins Website


Stephen Baxter:
Born in Liverpool, England,  Stephen Baxter has degrees in mathematics and engineering, has worked as a teacher in mathematics and physics, and since 1987 has published over forty books, mostly science fiction novels, which have been published internationally and have received many awards. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, President of the British Science Fiction Association, and Vice-President of the HG Wells Society. He is also involved with advisory groups for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Stephen Baxter is currently collaborating with Sir Terry Pratchett on developing the "Long Earth" series.


Esther M. Friesner:
Esther M. Friesner happily served as M.C. at the First North American Discworld Convention in 2009. That she has been asked to return as a guest of the 2011 NADWCon is gratifying and proof that All is Forgiven! and/or Some People Never Learn.

She traces her association with Sir Terry to London’s 1988 World Fantasy Convention. They met in the hotel bar. On the floor. The bar room floor. Yes, really. There were no more chairs and it was all perfectly respectable and British. That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.

When not salvaging her reputation (See above: “The bar room floor”) she writes novels, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction works such as the introduction to Sir Terry’s own Once More with Footnotes. She created and edited the Chicks in Chainmail series, among other anthologies. Of late she has turned her hand to Young Adult novels such as Nobody’s Princess and Nobody’s Prize (about young Helen of Troy), Sphinx’s Princess and Sphinx’s Queen (Nefertiti’s story), and is pleased to announce that Queen Himiko of 3rd century Japan is next. She won two Nebula awards, one of which—“Death and the Librarian”—was inspired by a pair of pewter miniatures given to her by Sir Terry at the 1993 WorldCon in San Francisco. In the hotel bar. No, not on the floor, this time. (Oh, grow up!)

She lives in suburban Connecticut with her husband, is the mother of two, and harbors cats.



Stephen Player:
Stephen Player was born in Herford, England in 1965. He has been illustrating professionally since 1987. He relocated to California in 2000. His work has been used for advertising, television, promotion and over 100 books. He works mostly in the sci-fi, fantasy, horror and children’s genres as well as graphic novels. Stephen also teaches several illustration, drawing and painting courses at the
Academy of Art University San Francisco.

Collaborations with Terry Pratchett include the award-winning map The Streets of Ankh Morpork, The Discworld Mapp, The UK play covers. character and set designs for Sky One's Hogfather, The Illustrated Wee Free Men and The 25th Anniversary Illustrated editions of Color of magic and Light Fantastic.

The longer I spend on the disc the more I don't know. I'm looking forward to widening my knowledge at the Convention.

Stephen's latest Discworld art can be found in the upcoming "Guards! Guards! A Discworld Boardgame" which will be released from Z-Man Games in the summer of 2011

All guest appearances are subject to availability and professional commitments.