APF Chapter 6: Editorial Comments [Prev Page] [Index] [Next Page]

The Origin of the APF

The first person ever to publicly suggest the concept of collecting annotations for Terry's books was Tor Iver Wilhelmsen, a Usenet poster from Norway. On 2 February 1992 (this was all of three days after alt.fan.pratchett was created!), he wrote in a message to the newsgroup:

"Does anyone feel up to compiling a list of the various references to other works that crops up in Pratchett's works, such as the Lovecraftian inspirations (Bel-Shammaroth, the Dungeon Dimensions, The Place The Dragons Dwell etc.), more like an 'annotations' collection??"

There was no immediate response, but Nathan Torkington started maintaining a broader FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) for the newsgroup soon after that, and included a couple of explanations of references that were cropping up often.

People continued asking for explanations and discovering new references, however, and on 29 July 1992 I posted the following message (in a discussion about Small Gods, which had just been released):

"It's difficult to come up with more Small Gods gags from memory, though. There were so many I'm sure I did not get all of the references.

Which brings me to the fact that I more and more wish that there was an "Annotated Pratchett" file somewhere. The FAQ makes a good start, but it could be a whole project in its own right.

Tell you what; if people are interested in this, I'm willing to start the Annotated Pratchett Project right here and now."

The reaction to this proposal was overwhelming (well, Nathan thought it was a good idea -- turns out I didn't need any more encouragement than that), and eventually the first publicly released version of the APF (v1.4) was posted to alt.fan.pratchett on 12 August 1992. This time there really was a large and enthusiastic response on the newsgroup, and from then on the APF was a going concern.

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