Author: Terry Pratchett
Title: Night Watch
Date: November 2002 (Hardback)
ISBN: 0 385 60264 2
Date: October 2003 (Paperback)
ISBN: 0 552 14899 7
Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back inhis own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck.
Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. There's a problem: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future.
A Discworld Tale of One City, with a chorus full of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution.
Truth! Justice! Freedom!
And a Hard-boiled Egg!
This morning, Commander Vimes of the City Watch had it all. He was a Duke. He was rich. He was respected. He had a silver cigar case. He was about to become a father.
This morning he thought longingly about the good old days.
Tonight, he's in them.
Flung back in time by a mysterious accident, Sam Vimes has to start all over again. He must get a new name and a job, and there's only one job he's good at: cop in the Watch. He must track down a brutal murderer. He must find his younger self and teach him everything he knows. He must whip the cowardly, despised Night Watch into a crack fighting force - fast. Because Sam Vimes knows what's going to happen. He remembers it. He was there. It's part of history. And you can't change history...
But Sam is going to. He has no choice. Otherwise, a bloody revolution will start, and good men will die. Sam saw their names on old headstones just this morning - but tonight they're young men who think they have a future. And rather than let them die, Sam will do anything - turn traitor, burn buildings, take over a revolt, anything - to snatch them from the jaws of history. He will do it even if victory will mean giving up the only future he knows.
For if he succeeds, he's got no wife, no child, no riches, no fame - all that will simply vanish. But if he doesn't try, he wouldn't be Sam Vimes.
And so the battle is on. He knows how it's going to end; after all, he was there. His name is on one of those headstones. But that's just a minor detail...
The working title for this book was The Nature of the Beast, but this was discarded when Frances Fyfield published a book with exactly that title in the UK in late 2001.
Comments by Terry:
"The current book (technically a Watch book) will be, like T5E, light on the jokes in order to give Sam Vimes room to fight..."
- -- Terry on alt.fan.pratchett, 5 Sep 2001
It's been established in the Assassins Guild diary that there are female Assassins, and I'll give nothing away in saying that Vimes meets one in the next book. Others might turn up. It depends on the plot.
- -- Terry on alt.fan.pratchett, 5 Nov 2001
All I'll say is that it concerns the City Watch and the action takes place on the day Lady Sybil's baby is born -- and that the preceding statement, while technically accurate, is entirely misleading!
- -- Terry as quoted by Colin Smythe in email, 12 Apr 2002
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