The comic techniques of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett: a comparative study of selected works and an illustration of the role of comedy in science fiction/fantasy
After a brief introduction to the genres that are to be discussed (Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction), this study aims in the following chapters to discuss works by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett and consider how they have incorporated these genres into their works. In the first three chapters comedy in their works is discussed - what these authors use as subject for their comedy, how they use stylistic elements in order to achieve comedy, and which techniques they use in order to make the reader laugh. In chapter four and five themes and characteristics of science fiction and fantasy are discussed in relation to the works of Adams and Pratchett. I also attempt to show how the works of each author relate to the different genres. Chapter six compares the works, ideas, and methods of the two authors discussed, followed by a conclusion to the dissertation. From Douglas Adams the Hitchhiker trilogy is discussed, and from Terry Pratchett four Discworld novels, and one non-Discworld novel have been selected (see Bibliography for details). This dissertation aims to demonstrate the comic techniques used by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. It also shows how these authors use established techniques in a way that gives their writing fresh perspective. Events in the world are seen in a new light through their writing. I have discussed the role of an established mode such as comedy when incorporated in the unconventional works of Adams and Pratchett. Thus I have attempted to demonstrate the merit of studying the genres science fiction and fantasy. To conclude, the authors are compared in terms of techniques, style and subject matter, further demonstrating the unique way in' which each uses comic techniques in order to suit his particular style.