Portal:Discworld

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The Discworld Portal

Discworld is a comic fantasy book series written by the English author Terry Pratchett (1948–2015), set on the fictional Discworld, a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody or take inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, as well as mythology, folklore and fairy tales, often using them for satirical parallels with current cultural, political and scientific issues. The series is popular, with more than 80 million books sold in 37 languages.

Forty-one Discworld novels have been published. After Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, he said that he would be happy for his daughter Rhianna to continue the series when he could no longer do so. However, Rhianna has stated she will only be involved in spin-offs, adaptations and tie-ins, and that there will be no more novels. The original British editions of the first 26 novels, up to Thief of Time (2001), had distinctive cover art by Josh Kirby. The American editions, published by Harper Collins, used their own cover art. Since Kirby's death in October 2001, the covers have been designed by Paul Kidby. Companion publications include eleven short stories (some only loosely related to the Discworld), four popular science books, and a number of supplementary books and reference guides. In addition, the series has been adapted for graphic novels, theatre, computer and board games, and television.

Newly released Discworld books regularly topped The Sunday Times best-sellers list, making Pratchett the UK's best-selling author in the 1990s. Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal. In the BBC's Big Read, four Discworld novels were in the top 100, and a total of fourteen in the top 200.

Character of the day

Mustrum Ridcully was introduced in Moving Pictures as the latest Archchancellor of the Unseen University. He is also known as Ridcully the Brown, possibly as a parody of J. R. R. Tolkien's Radagast the Brown. His personality seems deliberately designed to be as opposite to Radagast's as possible.

At the time he became Archchancellor, he had not been seen at the University for forty years, having become a Seventh Level Wizard (there are, naturally, eight levels of wizardry on the Discworld) at the exceptionally young age of twenty-seven, before leaving the university to look after his family's land. The wizards, knowing he lived in the country, assumed he would be a "roams the forests with every beast his brother" type and easy to deal with. In fact, Ridcully turned out to be more like a typically bluff country squire, fond of huntin', shootin' and fishin'. He owns several hunting crossbows and is much given to using the corridors of Unseen University as a shooting range.

He is not stupid, and in fact has a mind like a freight train, but finds it very difficult to deal with unexpected information, and generally ignores it until it goes away or becomes someone else's problem. He holds the view that if someone is still trying to explain something to him after about 2 minutes, it must be worth listening to, and if they give up earlier, it was not worth bothering him with in the first place. Usually, the person doing the explaining is Ponder Stibbons.

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Article of the day

The Science of Discworld is a 1999 book written by novelist Terry Pratchett and popular science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. Two sequels, The Science of Discworld II: The Globe and The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch, have been written by the same authors.

The book alternates between a typical absurdistic Discworld story and serious scientific exposition. The science centers on the origins of the universe, earth and the beginnings of life, the fiction on the creation of a world (the Earth) in a jar. One of the themes is that most scientific explanations are in reality a good deal more complicated than most of us realize. It is explained that this is because their teachers use Lies-To-Children or, in Ponder Stibbons' case, Lies-To-Wizards.

The purpose of the book is both to entertain and educate. In having fictional sections in which observers from a very different world with a very different set of rules look with confused eyes upon the Earth, the authors are able to expand upon things we take for granted, such as planets being round and stars being far away, in a manner which is free of a line of thinking which states "But that's obvious".

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Quotes

Did you know...
  • William barely had time to undress and lie down before it was time to get up again.
    -- The Truth
  • A chocolate you did not want to eat does not count as chocolate. This discovery is from the same branch of culinary physics that determined that food eaten while walking along contains no calories.
    -- Thief of Time
  • This man was so absent-mindedly clever that he could paint pictures that didn't just follow you around the room but went home with you and did the washing-up.
    -- The Last Hero
  • 'Listen, Peaches, trickery is what humans are all about,' said the voice of Maurice. 'They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.'
    -- 'The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
  • His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things.
    -- Night Watch

                             

Showing 5 items out of 36 More Discworld quotes Wikiquote

Book of the day

A Hat Full of Sky is the 32nd Discworld novel, and was written with younger readers in mind. It is set two years after The Wee Free Men, and features an 11-year old Tiffany Aching. The book is also a sequel to the Discworld short story "The Sea and Little Fishes", which introduced the Witch Trials and Mrs Earwig.

Preceded by
The Wee Free Men
2nd Tiffany Aching Story
Published in 2003
Succeeded by
Wintersmith
Discworld reading order Full article

Deity of the minute

Steikhegel: God of Isolated Cow Byres

Did you know...

From the Discworld's craziest paragraphs:

Death

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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 Luggage • Magpyr family • Mort 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 Fantastic Equal 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 Bridge Theatre of Cruelty The Sea and Little Fishes Death and What Comes Next

Other books:

The Discworld Companion The 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 Magic Cripple Mr Onion Discworld Discworld 2 Discworld MUD Discworld Noir GURPS Discworld Stealth Chess Thud

Films and TV series:

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

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