First Published in 1991 in After the King: Stories in Honour of J.R.R. Tolkien
“Troll Bridge” marks the return of Cohen the Barbarian as he sets out to kill a troll in single combat. But the Disc is no longer the wild, lawless world of story and song, and both Cohen and the troll, Mica, find themselves ruminating on their place in a world that seems to have passed them by.
Ryan: Hey! This series has short stories, too? I’m a fan of short-form writing, and I’m a causal fan of Tolkien (“casual” here defined as able to name the haven to which badass warrior woman Haleth the Hunter led her people [answer: the Forest of Brethil], but having only read the deleted original ending to The Lord of the Rings twice. I have a problem). I thought Cohen was all right but somewhat nebulous as a character when we met him in The Light Fantastic, so I’m curious to see what ground Pratchett covers with his character in short-story form.
Anne: Aw yeah, I am super pumped for this. Short stories are my jam, and one by one of my favorite authors? NICE. Something I love about Pratchett is the way he builds on multiple themes within a novel–I’m excited to see what he can do in fewer pages.
“You don’t get proper darksome any more. You really knew what terror was, in a forest like that.”
“I always thought there’d be some more edges.”
Ryan: The Ultimate Guide to Trolling Trolls
Anne: Most Nostalgia in Fewest Pages
PRETENTIOUS ACADEMIC SUBTITLES:
Ryan: “Troll Bridge”: A Cautionary Tale of Frontier Biopolitics and its Environmental Impacts
Anne: “Troll Bridge”: Crossing Cultural Borders through Generational Disappointment
Want to read along? Bring your local librarian a banana and ask him/her/it if “Troll Bridge” is available in your library’s catalog.
Otherwise, go to your favorite Internet Search Machine, type in “TROLL BRIDGE + PLEASE HELP BUY” and go from there.