Illustrated by Omar Rayyan
What happens to gods when their believers stop believing? Published in series with Mort, this edition of one of the most celebrated Discworld novels features brilliant illustrations by Omar Rayyan.
‘Belief itself is the food of the gods.’ Unassuming novice Brutha has been chosen to hear the word of the Great God Om. However, Om – more usually known for appearing as a monstrous bull or a majestic swan – has fallen on hard times. It turns out that commanding unwavering respect is rather more difficult from the body of a small, scrawny tortoise. Still, Brutha might be the lowest rung in the Omnian church, but he is a true believer – surely that will be enough to dismantle hundreds of years of torture-fuelled corruption and avoid a holy war? Otherwise, Om will face the fate of all small gods, in which case even an endless diet of lettuce will start to look attractive
‘He would be amusing in any form and his spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction’
The Discworld is ripe with gods – from the impressive inhabitants of Cori Celesti to P’tang-P’tang the newt god, worshipped by a grand total of 51 believers – and all of them need belief to exist. Without a single honestly meant prayer, the gods of the Discworld waste away to nothing, becoming half-heard whispers of temptation in the desert, while humans move on to the next big omniscient deity. It was always Terry Pratchett’s approach to examine human nature through the lens of fantasy fiction, and Small Gods, taking on the thorny subjects of organised religion, power and philosophy, is no small triumph. Searing in its satire but always deeply humane, it is packed with Pratchett’s familiar humour and witty footnotes. In her introduction to The Folio Society’s edition of Mort, A. S. Byatt describes the author as not only ‘splendidly inventive’, but also ‘wise and morally complicated’.
Omar Rayyan has once again provided a series of sensitive illustrations which depict the inhabitants of the Disc, including Didactylos and his barrel, and the sinister Exquisitor Vorbis. The cover image depicts Brutha in the style of religious iconography, complete with a somewhat irate tortoise tucked under his arm. This edition has been published in series with the enormously popular Mort, and includes printed endpapers, a spectacular illustrated slipcase and an image of Great A’Tuin the turtle on the spine.
Terry Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. After leaving school he worked as a journalist and as a press officer before becoming a full-time writer in 1987. He is the author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series, which has been published in translation worldwide. His other titles include The Carpet People (1971), published when he was just twenty-three years old; Good Omens (1990), a collaboration with Neil Gaiman; Nation (2008); Dodger (2012); and The Long Earth series (2012–15), a collaboration with Stephen Baxter. In 1998 he was appointed OBE and in 2009 he was knighted for services to literature. Pratchett died in March 2015.
Omar Rayyan is a US-based artist whose illustrations are featured in various games, children’s publications, magazines and illustrated books, including The Brown Fairy Book (2010) and A Traveller in Time (2012) for The Folio Society. His work has garnered many awards, including the Spectrum Fantastic Art Silver and Gold Awards, and the Chesley’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the US and Europe, and grace the walls of many art collectors worldwide. Omar currently resides on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.
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Review by Immergruen on 12th Jan 2017
"Small Gods is my favourite Discworld novel and this is the best of all possible editions. Not even the cunning artificers in Ankh-Morpork could create anything more beautiful. "
Review by sirdavid on 2nd Oct 2016
"I loved reading Small Gods, perhaps even more than I did Mort. It's an enjoyable, humorous, and in places thought-provoking story. The paper and typesetting are, of course, of the highest quality. The..." [read more]
Review by Daniel Lin on 28th Sep 2016
"Like Mort, Small Gods is a wonderful addition to Folio Society's Discworld series. The book's quality is top notch, with beautiful illustrations accompanying the text. The slip case is superb. I ea..." [read more]