I have been a fan of Terry Pratchett for a while now.
Initially, I was a bit unsure about him, but my respect has grown steadily (Rincewind excepted) and, I think, so has the quality of his work.
I am two thirds of the way through Thud! at the moment, and I really like Sam Vimes,* though I like Moist better, even though I've only read the one - Going Postal - which features him. Maybe that says more about Pratchett's style, and the growing maturity of the Discworld** than it does about me. Or maybe it doesn't.
I am intrigued about the theme of racism in Thud! and wonder whether TP had some Earth equivalents in mind when he was writing it. Is it just me, or do the Trolls seem just a little like Afro-Caribbeans - specifically as imagined by a man who spends most of his life in faery land in a garden shed? I'm thinking in particular of Mr Shine. And the dwarfs... Are they Israelites?
We are dealing in broad strokes here, but I certainly feel that there's another ahem dimension to his work these days. Fewer gags, though... Clearly, I should be logged on to the forums over at TP's domain, but they're so... lame. Sorry.***
* I've never found a reasonable likeness of Vimes. He is not a stringy-necked long-hair with a cheroot. Sorry. Again.***
** I may be stealing bandwidth, but anyone who spends so much time folding paper to make a REPLICA of the Discworld surely wants other people to see it?