Fans of Terry Pratchett received a bit of happy news today with the cover reveal of Dragons at Crumbling Castle, a collection of never-before published short stories by “Terry the fantastically funny Pratchett.” Though the book will be shelved in the children’s section, it’s a given that adult fans will be devouring it, as well. The volume’s U.K. cover is illustrated by Mark Beech and features an adorable dragon reading in the bathtub.
In an interview with The Guardian, Pratchett explained that he’d begun writing the stories in this volume at age 17, when he was working at his first job as a reporter. “When I was in school I wanted to be, among other things, a writer … I learned that the chances of making any kind of living writing fantasy and science fiction is remote … but if I got a job on a newspaper they’d have to pay me every week … When you are a journalist, you see the world, the nasty bits and the good things … You learn about people and get into people’s worlds, which you’d never get into otherwise. It turns a boy into a man, and it grew me up.”
Dragons at Crumbling Castle includes 101 black-and-white illustrations and 14 short stories about dragons and dinosaurs, wizards and cavemen. The publicity release promises, “time travel and tortoises, monsters and mayhem,” and summarizes the volume’s title story, “Dragons have invaded Crumbling Castle, and all of King Arthur’s knights are either on holiday or visiting their grannies. It’s a disaster! Luckily, there’s a spare suit of armour and a very small boy called Ralph who’s willing to fill it. Together with Fortnight the Friday knight and Fossfiddle the wizard, Ralph sets out to defeat the fearsome fire-breathers. But there’s a teeny weeny surprise in store!”
The U.K. edition of Dragons at Crumbling Castle is available for pre-order now, and will be released on September 11, 2014. The U.S. edition is scheduled for release on February 3, 2015.
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