The tenth novel in the Discworld Series
UK hbk: Victor Gollancz, 18,200 copies on 1 November 1990 (0-575-04763-1) reprinted three times, twice in November, once in December.
(At some time, a further printing of the jacket was ordered, a new design being wanted by someone in the publisher’s art department, so the jacket was modified. The title on the front cover was changed from blue/red to black/red, the author’s name was printed in a sans serif type in black on front cover and spine, perhaps to match the title, the spine background colour was changed from orange to pink, and the publisher’s ‘Gollancz SF’ logo moved from the head to the tail of the spine (a position it kept on all future titles, though changed to a simple VG design in black, still used today). As the jackets on the third reprint were the original version, perhaps after that reprint had sold out it was found that there were sufficient jacketless copies of the book to justify the printing of a quantity to cover them, and they were used to rejacket copies of all four printings.)
Reissued, with the Kirby picture in a ‘letter-box’ in the centre of the cover: 3,400 copies on 22 May 1997 (0-575-06486-2)
Book proof: c.100 copies
Discworld Collector’s Library: The Unseen University Collection (hbk, cover engraving by Joe McLaren): Gollancz, 15 May 2014 (978-1-473-20023-4)
Pbk: Corgi, 150,000 copies on 14 November 1991 (0-552-13463-5), reprinted 1991, 1993 (twice), 1994, 1995 (twice), 1997, 1998 etc
New issue, with black/gold photographic design cover, on sale at same time as Kirby edition, April 2005 (0-552-15294-3)
Reissued B-format with modified Kirby cover: Corgi, October 2012 (978-0-552-16667-6)
Book club: [BCA] Guild Publishing, 11,000 copies, 1990 (CN 2915)
BCA’s Unseen Library: c.4,000 copies in 2004 (CN133989)
USA pbk: 1) Roc (NAL) (cover illus. Darrell K.Sweet), 50,000 copies in January 1992 (0-451-45131-7)
2) Harper Torch (cover illus. by ???? ) 40,000 copies in February 2002 (0-06-102063-X)
Premium pbk: Harper Premium, 30 July 2013 (978-0-06-223734-7)
Copies were also bound up in a library binding and sold by Turtleback Books. ?1 February 2002 (0-417-70237-4) and Paw Prints April 2008 (978-1-4352-7474-7)
US book club: Science Fiction Book Club Selection, April 1992 (jacket art by Peter Scanlan), ?March 1992 (ref. 19653)
Brazilian: A Magia de Holy Wood, trs. Ludimila Hashimoto, Conrad, 2006 (978-85-7616-149-4)
Bulgarian: Подвижни образи, trs. Vladimir Zarkov, Vuzev/Ahont-V, 2002 (954-422-074-7)
Czech: Pohyblivé Obrázky, trs. Jan Kantörek, Talpress, 9,000 copies in 5/96 (80-7197-004-2)
Double volume with Eric (unillustrated): with pencil illustrations by Paul Kidby, Talpress, 2010 (978-80-7197-404-8)
Dutch: Rollende Prenten, trs. Venugopalan Ittekot (pseud. of Ruurd Groot), Het Spectrum, 6,000 copies in 1994 (90-274-4020-4)
Reissue: Mynx, 2008 (978-90-225-5122-6)
Schijfwereldomnibus nr.4 (omnibus edition with Reaper Man and Witches Abroad), Het Spectrum, ?5,000 copies, August 2000 (90-274-6995-4)
Estonian: Liikuvad Pildid, trs. Avo Reinvald, jacket illus. Hillar Mets, Varrak, ?December 2002 (9985-3-0583-3)
Finnish: Elävät Kuvat, trs. Mika Kivimäki, Karisto, December 2002 (951-23-4434-3)
Pbk: Karisto, February 2007 (978-951-23-4852-7)
French: Les Zinzins d’Olive-Oued, trs. Patrick Couton, L’Atalante, October 1997 (2-84172-061-6)
Reissue, with new introduction by Terry Pratchett (dated September 2014), 22 October 2015 (978-2-841721-738-4)
Pbk: Pocket October 2001 (2-266-11196-5)
Pbk with Marc Simonetti cover: Pocket, 2012 (978-2-266-11196-6)
German 1. trade pbk: Voll im Bilde, trs. Andreas Brandhorst, Goldmann, 18,000 copies on 1 September 1993 (3-442-41543-8)
Mass market pbk: Goldmann, 30,000 copies on 1 May 1998 (3-442-42129-2)
Double volume: Voll im Bilde; Alles Sense!, Goldmann, August 2001 (3-442-45068-3)
Uses the first Kirby picture for Moving Pictures, not previously used on a cover.
Reissue: Goldmann, July 2005 (3-442-13372-6) Uses detail of Reaper Man cover.
2. trs. Gerald Jung, Manhattan, ?May 2011 (978-3-442-54690-9)
Pbk, with new cover design: Goldmann, 11/15 (978-3-442-48370-9)
Hebrew: דאי ־ נוע, trs. Ori Balsam, Kinneret, ?November 1999 (965-286-866-3)
Hungarian: Mozgó képek, trs. Anikó Sohár, Cherubion Könyvkiadó, c.4,000 copies in 2001 (963-9346-27-6)
Italian: Stelle cadenti, trs. Serena & Valentina Daniele, Salani, October 2007 (978-88-8451-830-9)
Black/gold cover: TEA, March 2010 (978-88-502-2143-1)
Norwegian: Levende Bilder, trs. Torleif Sjøgren-Erichsen, Tiden Norsk, ?May 2003 (82-10-04753-1)
Polish: Ruchome Obrazki, trs. Piotr W.Cholewa, Prószyński i S-ka, May 2000 (83-7255-511-7)
Due to an error in the design department, the first printing has Josh Kirby’s picture for Truckers on the cover – to some people there is evidently a certain similarity when the two versions are side by side… About 11,000 were sold before the cover was corrected.
Romanian: Imagini Mişcătoare, trs. Cezar Octavian Tabarcea, Rao. March 2009 (978-973-103-843-8)
Russian: Движущиеся Картинки, trs. V. Volfson, Eksmo, 10,100 copies on 27 March 2001 (5-04-007151-5)
New edition: Eksmo, 2006 (5-699-17427-3)
Serbian/Yugoslav: Pokretne Slike, trs. Dejan Papi*, Laguna, 1,000 copies in January 2001 (86-7436-007-6)
Slovak: Pohyblivé Obrázky, trs. Vladislav Gális, Talpress, 2011 (978-80-7197-379-9)
Spanish: Imágenes en Acción, trs. Cristina Macía, Martínez Roca, 1993 (84-270-1794-4)
Pbk: Debols!llo/Plaza y Janés, July 2003 (84-9759-763-X; vol.342/11)
5th printing March 2011 (978-84-9793-763-4)
Issued with new cover March 2015
Kiosk edition: Altaya, 2008 (987-84-487-2607-2)
Swedish: Rörliga Bilder, trs. Peter Lindforss, Wahlströms, 1996 (91-32-31989-4)
Pbk: Wahlströms, ?August 1999 (91-32-43200-3)
Turkish: 1. Hareketli Resimler, trs Niram Elçi, Ithaki, 2004 (975-8725-91-2)
2. Delidolu/Tudem [contracted, but not yet published]
If Eric is something of a bonbon, Moving Pictures is a banquet, featuring mostly new characters and an entirely different spin on that adaptable Disc: an outbreak of movie madness.
… The most appealing thing about Pratchett’s humour is its humane intelligence, capable of finding more than two dimensions in characters and concepts alike. The movies (or “clicks”) are a dangerous, snowballing form of insanity inspired by creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions – but they offer a means of freedom and fulfilment to ex-milkmaid Ginger (née Theda) and perennial-undergraduate wizard Victor (a master at scoring 84% when the passing grade is 87). Once they’re taken in hand – or paw – by scruffy but articulate Gaspode the Wonder Dog, it’s clear they’re bound for filmic glory. If only they could remember what happens when outside power takes over and acts through them, and the golden stars glitter in their eyes…
From primitive slapstick to the re-enacted Burning of Ankh-Morpork in the Civil War epic Blown Away, the filmmakers of Holy Wood manage to recapture decades of cinematic history, cliché, and legend in a few short months. It’s mad, it’s glorious, it’s (need I say?) hilarious, and it’s putting a terrible strain on Discworld’s already fragile fabric of reality.
The little world that stands on the backs of those four giant elephants, in their turn supported by star-turtle Great A’Tuin, has always seethed with myths and the stuff of fantasy. Now the citizens of Discworld encounter a force greater than any of them, a power capable of reconciling dwarf with troll, making senior wizards play hookey, and setting ten thousand elephants on the march. It’s very modern magic, and we’ve all felt its touch. Did you think the age of miracles was gone? Locus
In Moving Pictures, the tenth Discworld book, Terry Pratchett has turned his eyes and wit to the movie business and Hollywood with uproarious consequences. The book starts with a bang as the alchemists of Ankh-Morpork discover ‘octo-cellulose’, which unveils the secrets of the film industry and changes the lives of many people from all over the disc. The alchemists take this secret to Holy Wood (away from the eyes of prying wizards) where they are followed by thousands of starry-eyed people all hoping for a job in ‘moving pictures’.
Victor Tugelbend, a student wizard and Theda Withel (stage name; Dolores De Syn) are lucky. They manage to become stars in films such as Cohen the Barbarian and Blown Away. But then they discover the secrets of a long dead civilisation and are the only ones who can save the world.
If you like light-hearted irreverent parodies, the Discworld books are for you – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Eric Brown in New Scientist
Discworld comes to Holy Wood and would appeal to anyone with a grain of humour.
Maureen Owen in Daily Mail
Moving Pictures is the latest of Terry Pratchett’s spoof fantasy novels and while it might not be the very best, it is hilariously entertaining.
Readers will chuckle at the trolls who play the bit parts, marvel at the talking dog, and boggle at the accuracy with which Pratchett makes mock of the film industry’s razzamatazz.
The climax is, of course, a real blockbuster. A gigantic girl carries a screaming ape to the top of a tall building. I think Pratchett wrote the whole thing so he could include that scene.
John Hewitt in the Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
Moving Pictures is not really like the other Discworld novels. It is set in the same universe, and has some of the characters from previous books (Dibbler and the Librarian of the Unseen University to name a couple) but it can far more accurately be described as Pratchett meets Hollywood meets H.P.Lovecraft. The overall tone is far darker than before, and Pratchett shows he can write scenes of serious unease as well as bringing us a shapeshifting elder god which Rob Bottin would be proud of.
It seems that with this book, Pratchett is feeling the need to break the mould and to strike in new directions. I certainly felt the ‘traditional’ Discworld trappings were extra to requirement here, particularly all the material involving wizards. However this does not detract. Pratchett has written yet another highly enjoyable, original and quirky novel. Shame about the elephants though… David Howe in Starburst
Discworld is the setting for one of the most successful fantasy series of all time…. There’s a lot of badly written fantasy around, and a lot of unfunny fantasy humour. Luckily, there are also writers like Terry Pratchett to remind us how well these things can be done. Buy these books, and laugh at all the worlds that might be.
Greg Wilson in The Independent
Volume nine-and-a-half in the seemingly unending Discworld series (Eric hardly counts as a full novel) sees fantasy’s foremost satirist grab a phenomenon peculiar to the Real World – the motion picture industry – and bung it into his fantasy landscape to see what happens. Sneer at the apparent lack of inspiration if you will, but only a terminal misanthrope could put down this book without having wrung several dozen chuckles and a good few belly laughs from its contents.
The Discworld’s alchemists, whose only notable previous achievement was to ‘to turn gold into less gold’ have discovered the magic of the movies. Except that in the Discworld matters thaumaturgical are very real commodities, so when the magic of Holy Wood draws a bunch of characters to it the results are likely to have far-reaching implications.
Moving Pictures affords Pratchett the opportunity to have a lot of fun with the business of cinematography. In the Discworld, ‘moving picture boxes’ are staffed by teams of little demons who frantically paint what they see on fast-moving sheets of film, while screen star Victor Tugelbend is told solemnly that acting is the art of ‘moving about and pretending to do things’.
Good jokes include the ‘self-serf’ fast-food joint, an hilarious bunch of animals who find they can suddenly communicate and ‘conceptualise’ (Pratchett’s a master of talking animals: he does great duck), some fine adages (‘Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened’) and a terrific climax in which a giant woman carries a small screaming ape up the side of a tall building.
But what would a humourless analyst make of all this? Could Pratchett be the ultimate reductionist? Examine the evidence: in the Discworld all things are tangible. Creativity is a substance that ‘sloshes about’, unstable words in magical tomes threaten the reader, a thin layer of reality covers the land and instability is sparked by ‘a dangerous build-up of un-reality’. Somewhere in the USA, a postgraduate student may already be working on the thesis: ‘Terry Pratchett and the Search for Order’.
Robin Askew in Venue (Bristol)
Pratchett rightly deserves the onslaught of praise and admiration he is bombarded with. The novels he has been repeatedly mugging the sci-fi world with are fast, clever and imbued with jokes that have a curious relevance to our present reality. Andy Hitchen in Up Town Magazine (Manchester)
There is little that can be said about the Discworld or Terry Pratchett that has not been said before. He has a unique talent of taking a simple idea, twisting it through 720 degrees, standing it on its head and convincing his audience that nothing like it has ever been created before. This time he, literally, has a wild idea. It escapes. Mayhem ensues…. This is a marvellous send-up of the Moving Picture industry with some of the classic images from old movies, such as the highly intelligent Lassie (here a very thick Lassie, failing) saving the world, and King Kong, climbing the highest tower (here a giant woman clutching the ape-shaped librarian). Great stuff. Pauline Morgan
Moving Pictures may be wobbly by Pratchett’s extraordinarily high standards but it is still the funniest book I have read for some time. Brendan Wignall in The Oxford Times
Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti