Bell Night is back from the dead!

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After a long period of no blogging, Bell Night is back up and running. Due to a number of personal reasons the site hasn’t been operating for a while. I hope that you will forgive me for being absent! I am truly sorry.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I will see a lot of old faces and hopefully some new ones. Stay posted and watch this space because there will be a new author review up in a few days! Looking forward to hearing form everyone and writing some new articles!

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Poe – Writer and Poet

Edgar Poe

I thought it was about time I did an article on Edgar Allan Poe. He has influenced many great writers and without him literature as we know it today would not be the same.

Edgar Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 19 1809. His parents were only around for a year or two after he was born. His father left and his mother died a year later, making Edgar an orphan. He was taken in by a Frances and John Allan, but never formally adopted, his name became Edgar Allan Poe. In young adult-hood Edgar became more and more interested in writing. Poetry was the form of writing that Edgar seemed to be most fond of before he decided to try his hand at stories. Much of Edgar’s work has a dark romanticism about it. Edgar Allan Poe died October 7th, 1849 under mysterious circumstances.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not of known about Edgar Allan Poe:

The first thing Edgar published was in 1827, a pamphlet of poems, most of which were written when he was 14.

Edgar was poor majority of his life.

The Raven was Edgar’s most successful poem. The Raven came about when he was trying to set himself a personal challenge of writing a 100 line poem. He in fact wrote 108 lines.

The creation of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by a french detective that Edgar wrote about.

Edgar married his cousin Virginia when she was 13 and he was about 26 or 27. The marriage lasted 11 years until she died.

He joined that army at one stage under the false name of Edgar. A. Perry

Edgar Allan Poe was actually considered quite handsome by many people, only in his final years did he grow more facial hair and have a permanently brooding look about him.

Edgar Allan Poe had a rival and his name was Rufus Griswold. Edgar didn’t have a very high opinion of Rufus and questioned his literary integrity.  Rufus managed to succeed Edgar by becoming the editor of Graham’s magazine. After Edgar’s death, Griswold decided to write an obituary and also a false biography depicting Edgar to be a raving drunk mad-man.

Many theories exist on why Edgar died. He was discovered on a Baltimore street wearing someone else’s clothes October 3rd. Edgar woke days later at the Washington Medical College where his final words were: “Lord, help my poor soul.” Some of the theories surrounding his death include: Alcoholism, heart disease, drugs, rabies, suicide, murder and a brain tumor.

Edgar Allan Poe loved cats and they loved him. Supposedly he had a tortoiseshell cat named Caterina that died two weeks after he did.

Edgar was buried in an un-marked grave. Rumours and gossip started to spread and finally a tombstone was ordered, strangely enough though it was destroyed in a train accident.

Some writing by Edgar Allan Poe that you should check out:

Poems

The Raven                A Dream Within a Dream          The Bells               Lenore

The City in the Sea           Tamerlane          Eulalie                 To Helen                 

The Conqueror Worm            The Haunted Palace        

   Ulalume          Annabel Lee                     Eldorado                 Al Aaraaf

Stories

The Murders in the Rue Morgue             The Oval Portrait             The Tell-Tale Heart

The Black Cat               Morella              The Premature Burial                           Ligeia                    

The Purloined Letter              The Gold-Bug               The Imp of the Perverse

The Fall of the House of Usher             The Pit and the Pendulum          

The Masque of the Red Death

The Cask of Amontillado             Hop-Frog         

The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

A Descent into the Maelstrom              

The Facts in the Case of M. Vlademar                         

Bell Night

More of Departure in the Night

Here is more of Departure in the Night. Let me know what you guys think.

A looming resonance thickens as the wooden hands meet, as if pressing the colder frost, like minuscule spider webs on the not so familiar glass. Twelve chimes mark the opening of a door and a departure in the night. For beyond the sight of the soft candle light where imp shadows play with the imagined un-night, lays deeper murks with a thousand eyes.

From vast realms and dim night places do they speak their horrid language, as a queer song whispered from some dark corner or half imagined nightmare. From those dark portals of abbadon, beneath and behind do they appear, drawing the eye and vanishing as soon as a sentient gaze fixes upon them.

A cloak of dark dressed those macabre creatures; those that hide in travellers peripheries, in the echoes of their footsteps upon the damp stone sidewalks, and most of all in the street lamps that fail within solitary proximity.

A mesmeric tone of deep greys and brown black pursue and corrode my quiet mind. Drawing in the lost wisdom and memories of some yester life once lived, before my only known incarnation. Like one breathes in poppy smoke from the air.  The imaginary tendrils of night lurking somewhere unseen.

 Instinct and reason deviate as the rhythmic footsteps hasten. Only a small and fleeting sanctuary can be found in the night, that of the gas lamps cold light that spot this slumbering city swallowed by fog. Beyond my temporary flickering halo the impossibly black backdrop can only be infinitely vast.

 Not until sanctuary of a familiar door and behind it the hearth, do my invented watchers withdraw.

Mykh Wulves

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Departure in the Night

I thought I would put up something slightly different up for a change. Here is something a friend of mine wrote. He would really like some honest feedback. Let me know what you think.

A looming resonance thickens as the wooden hands meet, as if pressing the colder frost, like tiny spiders webs on the not so familiar glass. Twelve chimes mark the opening of a door and a departure in the night. For Beyond the sight of the soft candle light where imp shadows play with the imagined un-night, lays deeper murks with a thousand eyes.

A cloak of dark dressed those macabre creatures; those that hide in travelers peripheries, in the echoes of their footsteps upon the damp stone sidewalks, and most of all in the street lamps that fail with solitary proximity. The imaginary tendrils of night lurking somewhere unseen. Instinct and reason deviate as the rhythmic footsteps hasten. Not until sanctuary of a familiar door and behind it the hearth, do my invented watchers withdraw.

Mykh Wulves

 

 

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Virginia Andrews: Gothic Fiction Writer

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Cleo Virginia Andrews was born in Portsmouth Virginia on June 6th, 1923 and died of breast cancer December 19th, 1986. She was 63 years old. Virginia’s area of writing was mainly in Gothic romance and family sagas. The novel that she is most known for is Flowers in the Attic. Virginia was the youngest child of her family with two older brothers. Her mother Lillian Andrews was a telephone operator and her father William Andrews was a tool and die maker.

As a teenager Virginia was in an accident at her high school. She fell down some stairs and sustained severe back injuries. For the rest of her life due to arthritis and a failed spinal surgical procedure Virginia had to rely on crutches and wheel chairs. After graduation Virginia completed a four year correspondence course art course while living at home. During this time she went through several more surgical attempts to fix the damage to her back and hips.

Later on after her father died, Virginia turned to writing feeling that art wasn’t giving her the creative satisfaction that she sought. The first manuscript that she wrote was too autobiographical; she ended up destroying it to protect her privacy.

In 1978 submitted her 98 page Flowers in the Attic manuscript to literary agent Anita Diamant. This novel reached the best-seller lists in two weeks. From this point forward Virginia had great success with her writing. By the time she died in 1986, Virginia had over 24 million books in print and a film version of her first novel Flowers in the Attic.

Here are some interesting facts that you might not have known:

The first novel that Virginia wrote was Gods of Green Mountain. It was never published during her lifetime, but was released as an e-book in 2004.

Virginia has also gone under the pen names of V.C. Andrews and Virginia C. Andrews.

Most of Virginia’s stories are based around a particular family.

There are many biographies and articles written claiming that Flowers in the Attic was originally a story called The Obsessed and that Virginia was told by publishers that it needed to be cut down and have a bit more excitement to it. This is untrue according to an interview with her Ann Patty. The Obsessed was a different novel altogether. “The two have nothing to do with one another.”

Supposedly she had written three Gothic romances under another pen name before she submitted Flowers in the Attic.

At one point Virginia had a disappointing interview with people magazine and was from then on reluctant to partake in interviews and other such publicity.

Virginia’s family decided to have a ghost writer take on her work after she died. The identity of the ghost writer was kept secret for many years until it was revealed that it was horror novelist Andrew Neiderman.

There have been many rumours about Flowers in the Attic being based on a true story.

Here are some of Virginia Andrew’s books that you should check out:

(Please note some are completely written, or in part written by ghost writer Andrew Neiderman.)

The Dollanganger series

Flowers in the Attic             Petals on the Wind             If There Be Thorns    

Seeds of Yesterday             Garden of Shadows

The Casteel Series

Heaven              Dark Angel             Fallen Hearts             Gates of Paradise

Web of Dreams

The Cutler Series

Dawn              Secrets of the Morning               Twilight’s Child              

  Midnight Whispers                   Darkest Hour

The Landry Series

Ruby                  Pearl in the Mist              All that Glitters          Hidden Jewel

Tarnished Gold

The Logan Series

Melody                   Heart Song                 Unfinished Symphony            

Music in the Night                 Olivia         

The Orphans Series

Butterfly               Crystal                Brooke              Raven             Runaways

The Wildflowers series

Misty                   Star                Jade                  Cat                 Into the Garden

The Hudson Series

Rain                           Lightening Strikes              Eye of the Storm

The End of the Rainbow                        Gathering Clouds

The Shooting Star Series

Cinnamon                 Ice                 Rose              Honey                   Falling Stars

The DeBeers Series

Willow               Wicked Forest               Twisted Roots          Into the Woods

Hidden Leaves                 Dark Seed

The Broken Wings Series

Broken Wings                 Midnight Flight

The Gemini Series

Celeste                         Black Cat                           Child of Darkness

The Shadow Series

April Shadows                        Girl in the Shadows

The Early Spring Series

Broken Flower                   Scattered Leaves

Secrets Series

Secrets in the Attic                      Secrets in the Shadows

The Delia Series

Delia’s Crossing                           Delia’s Heart                        Delia’s Gift

The Heavenstone Series

Heavenstone Secrets                                    Secret Whispers

The Kindred Series

Daughter of Darkness                        Daughter of Light

The March Family Series

Family Storms                              Cloudburst

The Forbidden Series

The Forbidden Sister                 The Forbidden Heart                    Roxy’s Story

Stand alone novels

Gods of Green Mountain             My Sweet Audrina                     Into the Darkness

Capturing Angels               The Unwelcomed Child

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George R R Martin: The Master of Character Writing

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George Raymond Richard Martin was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, USA on September 20th 1948. He is a fantasy, sci-fi and horror writer most recognised for his books A Song of Ice and Fire. These books became an epic fantasy series which is also now a television show called Game of Thrones.

George developed an early appreciation for stories and story writing. As a child he would sell his writing to other children of his neighbourhood. George also liked to watch television shows such as The Twilight Zone and Thriller. In his teenage years George had an avid interest in comic books and enjoyed creating new superheroes of his own.  George went on after high school to the Northwestern University, Evanston, Illionois to earn his degree in Journalism. During this time he sold his first professional story to Galaxy. This story was called The Hero.

George met his first wife Gale Burnick while at a science fiction convention. They became divorced in 1979 and had no children. In February 2011, George married his second wife Parris McBride.

Here are some interesting facts about George R R Martin that you may not have known:

George is against fan fiction and believes that it is stealing someone else’s work and that it is not something that aspiring writers should get into.

George likes to collect little medieval figurines.

He has read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and enjoyed it.

George has a deep affection for wolves. He is a supporter of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico. If you have read some of his books, you will also notice a large presence of wolves throughout them.

George during the Vietnam War was drafted but instead of going to war opted to do alternative service work for two years.

George is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

George has made sure over the years to make a regular appearance at conventions for his fans.

Supposedly George has told the producers of Game of Thrones all the plots and twists coming up in case he dies before he finishes the books.

One of the many reasons George R R Martins books have become so popular is because of his complex characters and in-depth story lines. Unlike many other writers his characters are not black and white, straight good vs. evil. He has managed to let the very essence of humanity shine through in his character descriptions.

Some of George R R Martins writing that you should check out:

Fevre Dream               Windhaven           Dying of the Light                 A Song for Lya 

Hunter’s Run                Sandkings                    Songs the Dead Men Sing          Nightflyers

Tuf Voyaging              Portraits of His Children                The Hedge Knight            

The Sworn Sword          The Mystery Knight                 Quartet                   

 Songs of Stars and Shadows       The Armeggedon Rag                 

A Game of Thrones                  A Clash of Kings              

A Storm of Swords               A Feast for Crows                   A Dance with Dragons           

The Winds of Winter                A Dream of Spring                        Dream Songs

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Richard Matheson – We Will Remember You!

 

Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson passed away June 23 this year (2013) at the age of 87. It is always sad to hear when a great author dies. For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing much about Richard Matheson here is an article dedicated to him:

Richard Burton Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey, USA on February 20th 1926. He was a writer best known in the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction. His most well-known novels also turned into films would be I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone, The Shrinking Man and Hell House.

Richard was the third child of Norwegian immigrants of Bertolf Matheson and Fanny Matheson. Richard published his first short story in The Brooklyn Eagle when he was 8 years old. After graduating high school in 1943, Richard went on to join the military. He served as an infantry soldier during World War II. Then he studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Missouri University. The first story he made money from was Born of Man and Woman. This was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Richard then went on in the years after to write many popular novels and screenplays.

“He is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century” – Ray Bradbury

Here are some facts that you may not have known about Richard Matheson:

His novel The Beardless Warriors described some of his experiences from war.

Something that Richard said in an interview about George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead: “… I watched it one night on television and thought to myself, gee, that’s awfully close to I am Legend. He I guess prefers to believe that it’s just derivation, but it seems pretty close to me.”

He married his wife Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952

The story Duel was inspired from an incident in 1963 after Richard was tailgated by a truck. It started when he was playing a game of golf and heard the news of President J.F.Kennedy being assassinated. He stopped playing his game and began to return home. On his journey home a truck tailgated him for a long period of time. Duel was then later adapted for a television-movie by Spielberg. This was the beginning of Spielberg’s career.

He nearly wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Richard didn’t agree with Hitchcock about the actual birds. Richard believed that the audience shouldn’t see the birds very often. Where as Hitchcock wanted them seen a lot.

Richard came up with the idea for I Am Legend when he was 16 after seeing Dracula. He didn’t write the book until 1952.

Something that Richard said about screen-writing once: “One of my pet peeves is the fact that when people win awards – Academy Awards, notably – if it’s based on a novel, they never mention it. It’s as if the novel never existed. The screenwriter acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. Sometimes even the director acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. It’s an ego problem, of course, but it’s tremendously unfair as well.

Richard had four children and three of them have become writers.

Richard Matheson has left a great mark on the world. He will always be remembered.

Some of Richard Matheson’s writing that you should check out:

Novels

I Am Legend                               A Stir of Echoes                     Someone is Bleeding                    Fury on Sunday             7 Steps to Midnight

The Shrinking Man              Hell House                    Hunger and Thirst                              The Gunfight                   What Dreams May Come

The Beardless Warriors               Earthbound                Woman                Shadow on the Sun              Passion Play            Camp Pleasant     

Other Kingdoms                 Generations               Hunted Past Reason               Now You See It…          Abu and the 7 Marvels         

Come Fygures Come Shadowes

 

Short Stories

Born of Man and Woman                   The Test                   Blood Son                 Miss Stardust               Interest                  The Thing      

The Last Day              Deadline                Slaughter House              Wet Straw                Death Ship               The Edge            A Drink of Water

One for the Books            Pattern for Survival               The Holiday Man               The Doll                Getting Together         Shoo Fly

 

Films

Tales of Terror                 The Box               Real Steel               The Devil Rides Out            The Incredible Shrinking Man             House of Usher

The Young Warriors           Master of the World                 The Raven                   The Last Man on Earth               The Pit and the Pendulum

De Sade              Loose Cannons                 Fanatic            The Legend of Hell House             What Dreams May Come          Burn Witch Burn

The Comedy of Terrors       

 

Bell Night

 

The Shine on Award… Thank you Serenity!

I have just recently been awarded the Shine on Award by a great friend of mine Serenity! 

I was really flattered.

shine on award

Here are 7 random questions that I am suppose to answer that come with this award:

1.  Rank these kinds of weather from best to worst: Sunny and hot, misty and cold, rain and cool, snow, ice, windy.

Misty and cool, rain and cool, sunny and hot, windy, snow, ice. – I haven’t seen snow before.

2.  Do you like outdoor music festivals?

Depends what it is. I would like a book festival more!

3.  Do you like drinking water?

Yes I love water!

4.  My favorite alcoholic beverage.

Hmm. It has changed a few times over the years, but I seem to like Cider at the moment.

5.  Best drug experience.

I really can’t say that I have had a best drug experience to tell.

6.  Most fun when not taking anything?

Reading! Of course.

7.  Greatest sorrow

The death of loved ones is always sad.

As for giving this award to someone I choose Kelli Beck

There are many that deserve the award, but I am only going to give it one person. Kelli Beck writes a blog called Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy – This is an amazing blog with regularly updated posts. Covered on this blog are book releases, books, book trailers, writing, daily prompts and much much more! All writers and readers should definitely check out this blog!!!

Thank you again Serenity for giving me this great award! Happy blogging everyone!

Peter Straub: An author to add to your horror collection!

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Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 2nd 1943. He is an author and poet, best known for his work in the genre of horror. He was the eldest of three sons, his mother was a nurse and his father was a salesman. Straub began his writing career by publishing two small books of poetry and by writing two novels in the 1970’s. These novels were called Marriages and Under Venus. These two novels were not very successful, but in spite of that Straub continued writing. A lot of Stephen King fans will recognise the name Peter Straub because of his collaboration with him on the novels The Talisman and Black House.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Peter Straub:

Fans will be excited to hear that there are rumours of Straub and King doing a third Talisman book.

Straub’s parents had higher ambitions for their son other than becoming a writer. Straub’s father wanted him to become a professional athlete.

Straub is a great fan of Jazz, Opera and other kinds of classical music.

His wife’s name is Susan.

When Straub was seven years old his was temporarily paralysed after being hit by a car. He was in a wheelchair for a little and had to re-learn how to walk. He early on became aware of his own mortality.

In 1981 his novel Ghost Story was loosely adapted into a film. One of the main actors in this film was Fred Astaire.

To name just some of Straub’s favourite authors: Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Muriel Spark, Donald Harington and John Crowley.

Straub has had his novels translated into more than twenty languages.

Something wise that Straub once said: “I wish I’d known at the beginning that all I really had to do is trust myself. Everything would work out as if by magic once I actually leaned back into my imagination and just let it work, and not question it and not fret about it.”

If you are a horror fiction fan and need something new to read, pick up a book by Peter Straub. Well worth the read!

Novels to read:

Koko       

Ghost Story                

If You Could See Me Now                

Mystery

Shadowland          

Julia                   

The Throat               

The Hellfire Club        

Mr X.                 

Under Venus             

Marriages             

Floating Dragon      

Lost Boy, Lost Girl                

In the Night Room             

A Dark Matter

Peter Straub and Stephen King:

The Talisman                  

Black House

Poems:

Open Air                      

My Life in Pictures

Ishmael

Lesson Park and Belsize Square: Poems 1970 – 1975              

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Terry Pratchett – The Creator of Discworld

Pratchett, Terry

Sir Terence David John Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, England. He is mostly known for a series of fantasy novels about a place called ‘Discworld.’ The Discworld itself is described as a large disc resting on the backs of four giant elephants, all supported by the giant turtle Great A’Tuin as it swims its way through space. The books are basically in chronological order. He has sold more than 55 million books worldwide and had his books translated into 33 different languages. Terry Pratchett went to John Hampden Grammar School, but claims that his education came from the local library. His first short story was published at the age of 13 in the school magazine Technical Cygnet. This short story was called The Hades Business. When he was 15 it was then published commercially in Science Fantasy. With the money earned from this published short story, he bought his first typewriter.

After finishing school Terry began a career in journalism. It was during this time he wrote his first novel ‘The Carpet People.’ This novel marked the beginning of his writing career. From this point on he wrote many other stories and his first ‘Discworld’ novel in 1983. This was called ‘The Colour of Magic.’ In 1968 he was married to his wife Lyn and then in 1976, he had a daughter named Rhianna. Rhianna went on to follow in her father’s footsteps as a writer. Rhianna Pratchett’s main area of writing is with video games. In November 2012 Terry Pratchett announced that he would leave the intellectual rights for theDiscworld’ novels to Rhianna, who could continue writing for it if she chose to do so.

In 2007 Terry Pratchett discovered that he had a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He donated a one million dollars Alzheimer’s Research Trust after finding out that the funding for Alzheimer’s research was small. In 2008 Terry began working with BBC on a documentary series based on his illness.

Here are some things that you may not have known about Terry Pratchett:

Terry was one of the first authors to use the internet to communicate with fans. Terry has always had a great interest in computers. His first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. When he travels, he always takes a laptop with him to write. He also enjoys playing computer games and has also helped out in creating a lot of game adaptations of his novels.

Terry is a great supporter and trustee of the Orangutan foundation in the UK. One of his most popular fictional characters is the librarian in the ‘Unseen University’s’ library. The librarian is an Orangutan.

He owns a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants. Some of these plants have been used in his novels.

He is the most shop-lifted author in Britain.

His fans do not seem to be restricted by age or genre.

Terry is known to have a great sense of humour as shown in an interview. He was asked if he has noticed any affect from Alzheimers happening and he replied “Yes. Bits drop out. The short-term memory has gone and so has the short-term memory. The short-term memory – OK, little jokes won’t be so funny in the fullness of time, but laughter is the best medicine.”

Terry writes an average of 2 books a year.

As he was growing up he considered Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows his favourite book.

Terry has said that ‘…To write, you must read extensively, both inside and outside your chosen genre…’

Here is a list of novels and stories by Terry Pratchett that you should check out:

Discworld Series:

1. The Colour of Magic         2. The Light Fantastic        3. Equal Rites      4. Mort            5. Sourcery               6. Wyrd Sisters

7. Pyramids          8. Guards! Guards!        9.Eric            10. Moving Pictures       11. Reaper Men               12. Witches Abroad                13. Small Gods

14. Lords and Ladies       15. Men at Arms     16. Soul Music       17. Interesting Times        18. Maskerade         19. Feet of Clay

20. Hogfather          21. Jingo         22. The Last Continent       23. Carpe Jugulum      24. The Fifth Elephant       25. The Truth

26. Theif of Time       27. The Last Hero        28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents          29. Night Watch

30. The Wee Free Men      31. Monstrous Regiment        32. A Hat Full of Sky        33. Going Postal         34. Thud!

35. Wintersmith      36. Making Money     37. Unseen Academicals     38. I Shall Wear Midnight      39. Snuff       40. Raising Steam

Discworld Short Stories:
(Most of these are available online.)

Turntables of the Night               Troll Bridge            Theatre of Cruelty            The Sea and Little Fishes

Death and What Comes Next           A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices

Science Books:

The Science of Discworld             The Science of Discworld II: The Globe              The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch

The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day

Mapps:

The Streets of Ankh-Morpork           The Discworld Mapp           A Tourist Guide to Lancre                Death’s Domain

Other works by Terry Pratchett:

The Dark Side of the Sun                   Strata                 Good Omens              Nation                A Blink of the Screen                 A Slip of the Keyboard

The Carpet People         Johnny and the Bomb                       Johnny and the Dead            Dodger               The Nome Triliogy

Bell Night