Portal:Discworld

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The Discworld Portal

Discworld is a comic fantasy book series by the British author Sir Terry Pratchett (1948 — 2015) set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which are in turn standing on the back of a giant turtle, the Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody or at least borrow ideas from J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and William Shakespeare, as well as myth, folklore and fairy tales, often using them for satirical parallels with current cultural, technological and scientific issues.

Since the first novel, The Colour of Magic (1983), the series has expanded, spawning several related books and maps, five short stories, cartoon and theatre adaptations and even music inspired by the series. The first live action screen adaptation for television (Hogfather) was broadcast over Christmas 2006. Another one for the cinema (The Wee Free Men) is currently in development.

Newly released Discworld books regularly top The Sunday Times bestsellers list, making Pratchett the UK's best-selling author in the 1990s. He has since been overtaken by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, but still holds the record for the most shoplifted books. Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal. In the BBC's Big Read, four Discworld books were in the top 100, and a total of fourteen in the top 200.

Character of the day

The Librarian of Unseen University is one of the most popular characters in the Discworld series to the extent where pin badges bearing the legend Librarians rule Ook are now available. The character appears or is mentioned in most books in the series.

The Librarian first appeared in the second novel of the series, The Light Fantastic, in which he was transformed into an orangutan as a side effect of a powerful magic spell. Discovering that being an orangutan has certain advantages for a librarian, he refused to be transformed back into a human, and has remained an orangutan ever since. Most of the grimoires are highly dangerous to people, and sometimes the books even consume them, but the Librarian is no person, and he no longer requires a ladder to reach those tricky high-up shelves. He retained his position as librarian despite his condition because "he's the only one who knows where all the books are" and the fact that he could screw a man's head off with his feet. The other wizards have gradually become used to the situation, to the extent that "if someone ever reported that there was an orangutan in the Library, the wizards would probably go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it." (Night Watch).

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Article of the day

Discworld Noir is a computer game based on the Discworld series, and is both an example and parody of the noir genre. The game was developed by Perfect Entertainment and released for Microsoft Windows and the Sony PlayStation in 1999. The game utilizes a 2D game engine using pre-rendered characters displayed against pre-rendered backgrounds. Only the main character Lewton is using a polygonal model while residing in a walking or standing pose.

The main character is Lewton, the Discworld's first and only private investigator, and former member of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. His investigation of a brutal murder gets him involved in a sinister plot. The game's story line is a completely original creation, unlike the previous Discworld games, two of which were based on particular novels, and one of which was a mixture of elements from several. It is set in Ankh-Morpork, the largest city on the Discworld. Pratchett was consulted on the story and wrote some of the dialogue; he was credited in-game for causing "far too much interference." As it is a film noir parody, the game's protagonist Lewton frequently engages in hard-boiled soliloquy, or monologue.

The game features many new characters and locales, which do not appear in the Discworld books. However, as the game is set in Ankh-Morpork, characters and locales from the books also appear, such as the Unseen University, the Dysk Theatre, Pseudopolis Yard, the City Watch and eccentric inventor Leonard da Quirm. The game's manual includes an introduction written by Discworld creator Terry Pratchett.

None of the characters created for the game have explicitly been introduced into the Discworld novels, although Neoldian, the blacksmith of the gods and forger of the Golden Falchion (a major plot element in the game) may be the unnamed blacksmith god who appears in The Last Hero.

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Quotes

Did you know...
  • 'Dead?' said Rincewind, In the debating chamber of his mind a dozen emotions got to their feet and started shouting. Relief was in full spate when Shock cut in on a point of order and then Bewilderment, Terror and Loss started a fight which was ended only when Shame slunk in from next door to see what all the row was about.
    -- The Light Fantastic
  • It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.
    -- Equal Rites
  • He saw his life stretching out in front of him like a nasty black tunnel with no light at the end of it.
    ...He'd been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a flamethrower.
    -- Mort
  • The Hashishim, who derived their name from the vast quantities of hashish they consumed, were unique among vicious killers in being both deadly and, at the same time, inclined to giggle, groove to interesting patterns of light and shade on their terrible knife blades and, in extreme cases, fall over.
    -- Sourcery
  • Greebo's grin gradually faded, until there was nothing left but the cat. This was nearly as spooky as the other way round.
    -- Wyrd Sisters

                             

Showing 5 items out of 36 More Discworld quotes Wikiquote

Book of the day

The Truth is the twenty-fifth Discworld novel, published in 2000. The book features the coming of movable type to Ankh-Morpork, and the founding of the Discworld's first newspaper by William de Worde, as he invents investigative journalism with the help of his reporter Sacharissa Cripslock. The two investigate the charges of murder against Havelock Vetinari and help vindicate him. The Ankh-Morpork City Watch characters also appear in this novel, but have limited roles and are seen mainly from de Worde's perspective - not a flattering one. C.M.O.T. Dibbler also puts in an appearance.

Preceded by
Small Gods
5th Individual Story
Published in 2000
Succeeded by
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Discworld reading order Full article

Deity of the minute

Bast: Cat-Headed God of Things Left on the Doorstep or Half-Digested Under the Bed

Did you know...

From the Discworld's craziest paragraphs:

Death

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Topics

People:

Terry PratchettStephen BriggsPaul KidbyJosh KirbyIan Stewart and Jack Cohen

Characters:

Tiffany AchingAlbert (Discworld)|AlbertAngua • The Auditors of RealityThe BursarCarrot IronfounderssonCohen the BarbarianFred ColonDeathDetritusCut-Me-Own-Throat DibblerGaspodeGranny WeatherwaxGreeboHexIgorBloody Stupid JohnsonLeonard of QuirmThe LibrarianLu-TzeThe LuggageMagpyr familyMort and YsabellNanny OggC.W. St J. NobbsMoist von LipwigMr PinMr TulipMustrum RidcullyThe Great God OmRincewindSusan Sto HelitPonder StibbonsGeneral TacticusTwoflowerVerence II of LancreHavelock VetinariSam VimesLady Sybil VimesThe WitchesDiscworld godsmore...

Locations:

Discworld (world)Ankh-MorporkAgatean EmpireDeath's DomainDjelibeybiDungeon DimensionsEphebeGenuaKlatchLancrePseudopolisQuirmSto LatÜberwaldUnseen Universitymore...

Concepts:

City WatchThieves' GuildAssassins' GuildBeggars' GuildFools' GuildClacksGuildsMagicPost OfficeStealth Chess

Novels:

The Colour of MagicThe Light FantasticEqual Rites Mort Sourcery Wyrd Sisters Pyramids Guards! Guards! Eric Moving Pictures Reaper Man Witches Abroad Small Gods Lords and Ladies Men at Arms Soul Music Interesting Times Maskerade Feet of Clay Hogfather Jingo The Last Continent Carpe Jugulum The Fifth Elephant The Truth Thief of Time The Last Hero The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents Night Watch The Wee Free Men Monstrous Regiment A Hat Full of Sky Going Postal Thud! Wintersmith Making Money Unseen Academicals I Shall Wear Midnight Raising Taxes

Short Stories:

Troll BridgeTheatre of Cruelty The Sea and Little Fishes Death and What Comes Next

Other books:

The Discworld CompanionThe Science of Discworld The Science of Discworld II: The Globe The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch The Pratchett Portfolio The Art of Discworld The Unseen University Challenge The Wyrdest Link The Streets of Ankh-Morpork The Discworld Mapp A Tourist Guide to Lancre Death's Domain Nanny Ogg's Cookbook The Discworld Almanak Where's My Cow? The Unseen University Cut Out Book The Discworld Diaries Once More* With Footnotes A Blink of the Screen

Games:

The Colour of MagicCripple Mr Onion Discworld Discworld 2 Discworld MUD Discworld Noir GURPS Discworld Stealth Chess Thud

Films and TV series:

Welcome to the DiscworldSoul Music Wyrd Sisters Hogfather The Colour of Magic Going Postal Troll Bridge

Categories: DiscworldNovelsCharactersGamesLocationsPeoplesShort storiesFilms and TV series

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