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TERRY PRATCHETT – TRUCKERS 1989 / DIGGERS 1989 / WINGS 1990 (THE BROMELIAD TRIILOGY) 

 

Ever since Jonathon Swift’s invention of Liliputt, fantasy writers have told us about tiny little insect sized people. The Borrowers books are one example. Prattchett’s first delightful contribution to the sub-genre is a far cry from his better-known Discworld books. The Bromeliad (mostly referred to, as ‘Nomes’, not Gnomes, are a race of tiny creatures descended from space explorers. They have largely forgotten their origins, and now reside in a large Harrods like department store. They have come to interpret the store signage as a religious message from the owner, who they see as their God. They compete with rats and mice for food, but generally have a relatively idyllic existence. Then one day they see an ominous new sign that indicates a closing down sale, and that everything must go. The store is to shut. The Bromeliad decides to make a dangerous journey through the store looking for advise on what to do next. Some of the Nomes die in the course of the journey. They eventually find the loading bays and decide to steal a truck (hence the first book title) and seek a new home. They operate the truck by operating an s a small army. Nomes watch through the windows for oncoming traffic, using flags to signal the Nomes steering by pulling the steering wheel on ropes, and operating weights on the pedals. They somehow negotiate their way through the city traffic and end up in a ditch beside a large construction site.  

 

Book Two, Diggers is a little disappointing in that it really just repeats the formula of the first one. The Nomes are forced to move on from the building site and do so by stealing themselves a JCB bulldozer. They end up at an airport where they see the planes and develop even more ambitious ideas. 

 

In Book Three, Wings,  the formula is repeated yet again up to the Nomes stealing a US Space Shuttle, which takes them to a rendezvous with their own people out in space, and a chance to go home.  A touching and fun trilogy, though a little formulaic if the books are read back to back.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld

 

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