I am looking for the name of a book I saw in my local bookshop in the early 90s. It was, I believe, a newly published paperback containing either interviews with or descriptions of interviews with various sci-fi (and maybe fantasy) authors.

The only two things I can remember about the book are Terry Pratchett talking about how jokes in his Discworld novels are translated into the non-English language versions and the challenges this presents to the translators, and also that he talks about how hard it was to make sure that he wrote enough words in the right places in the hardback version of Reaper Man so that Azrael's giant "YES" appears on its own even-numbered page, so that you get the surprise when you turn the preceding page over.

Does this ring any bells for anyone who could tell me what the book is?

1 Answer 1


The book you're recalling is probably Stan Nicholls' Wordsmiths of Wonder (1993), which contains an interview with Pratchett titled "Terry Pratchett: Leaves the Furniture Alone."

Cover of "Wordsmiths of Wonder" captioned "Fifty Interviews with Writers of the Fantastic" and listing all the author names against a background of planets, moons and stars framed in a black triangle with blue lightning.

I don't actually have this book, but it contains the only interview with Pratchett that was published in a non-Discworld book in the 1990s, after 1991 when Reaper Man was released. (There were numerous interviews in various magazines as well as the Discworld Companion books, but those don't fit what you're looking for.) It also fits the description as a book of interviews with SF and fantasy authors.

  • 6
    The title of Pratchett's interview seems to allude to a quotable line of his: "Most modern fantasy just rearranges the furniture in Tolkien's attic" which appears to originate in this interview.
    – DavidW
    Nov 24, 2023 at 15:36
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    Hello, thank you so much for this reply. I think this is exactly it! Fabulous. I should have bought a copy in '93 but for some silly reason I put it off and then forgot what it was called.
    – JohnFrum
    Nov 27, 2023 at 13:08

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