Terry Pratchett is coming to visit Second Life. Go back and read that again. Yes, it's true.
While Pratchett's Discworld series alone has sold 55 million globally in 35 countries, you'll probably not find a single, larger concentration of fans of his work than in Linden Lab's Second Life. Indeed, the virtual environment already has cadres of role-players, recreations of various Discworld settings, and Discworld-themed merchandise.
Sometime on Thursday 11 September (UK time) an island called "The Nation" (not yet visible within Second Life -- though heaven knows, we looked for it) is supposed to open for one month, until Friday 10 October.
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The Nation will be a Second Life sim version of a South Pacific tropical island, modeled on the island Nation which features in Terry's new novel, simply titled 'NATION', will be created complete with scenes and locations from the book. A treasure hunt will lead users through a series of clues to find virtual books and treasure as well as physical-world prizes.
In a unique opportunity for Discworld fans across the globe, Terry will appear on The Nation and take part in a live question and answer session with fans, on 9th October at 8pm (BST).
Each week during the month long Second Life promotion which runs from 11th September to 10th October, visitors will be able to take part in themed quiz nights, special events and fancy dress competitions.
An exhibition will be organized in Second Life to promote the new book, and free e-book samplers will be available in Random House UK's own bookshop on the Elysian Isle.
The novel itself will be published in the UK on 11th September by Doubleday, price £16.99 and in the US on 30th September by HarperCollins.