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    Review of THE BROMELIAD TRILOGY: TRUCKERS, DIGGERS, WINGS by Terry Pratchett (see his website)

    HarperCollins, 2003 (U.S.) Individual novels are copyright 1989-1990

    The Nomes are dying out. Foxes, trucks, and cold have wittled their numbers down to a small group of mostly older nomes. Hunter Masklin isn't the nome leader, but he is the only nome with a plan, and his plan is to get them on a truck and take them to wherever the humans keep their food and warmth. What he finds is a store--a store full of nomes who think the store is the universe and that Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) created this universe specifically for them. The store nomes don't have any use for outsiders--they simply don't fit in their theology, but the nome 'thing' that Masklin brought suddenly comes to life. It's an artificial intelligence autopilot that is a part of the ship that originally brought them to Earth and it's learned that the store is about to be demolished. Instead of a couple of dozen nomes, Masklin finds himself responsible for thousands.

    Nomes are about as smart as humans which, unfortunately, means that they jump to a lot of false conclusions. But Masklin knows he needs to get the entire group out of the store before it's too late--and they can't do it on foot. The result is a progressive technology escalation as the nomes try to establish a new home for themselves.

    Author Terry Pratchett (see more reviews of novels by Pratchett) leaves his much-loved Discworld to set a fantasy on human-dominated Earth. Like Swift's Gulliver's Travels (often referred to by the nomes), Pratchett uses the device of small and large people to poke fun at many human preconceptions. Fortunately, Pratchett is a terrific author, which means that he can make philosophical statements in the context of an exciting story that will keep you laughing out loud. Masklin, Grimma, Angalo, and especially Gurder are well developed and sympathetic characters.

    These 1989/1990 works by Pratchett lack a bit of the depth that some of his latest novels deliver, but that doesn't keep THE BROMELIAD TRILOGY from being a fun and enjoyable read. If you're a Pratchett fan (like myself), you owe this one to yourself.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 12/06/03

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