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

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 clacks in the Discworld novels are a network of semaphore towers stretching along the Sto Plains, into the Ramtops and across the Unnamed Continent to Genua. It was introduced in The Fifth Elephant and has become the Discworld's first telecommunications network. While the system structure is that of a telegraph, elements of it are often described as similar to the Internet; for example, it threatens to make the Post Office obsolete in Going Postal and is sometimes described as 'c-mail' (a clear reference to e-mail).

A possible influence for the clacks system is the similar semaphore network in the Keith Roberts novel Pavane. Both are based on the real-world optical telegraphs used in the early 19th century before electrical telegraphy made them obsolete. The name itself may have been inspired by 'clackers', the term for operators of mechanical computers in William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's steampunk novel The Difference Engine.

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Quotes

Did you know...
  • Just erotic, nothing kinky. It's the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.
    -- Eric
  • Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be.
    -- Small Gods
  • 'Magrat says a broomstick is one of them sexual metaphor things.'[*]
    [*] Although this is a phallusy.
    -- Lords and Ladies
  • The Ramkins were more highly bred than a hilltop bakery, whereas Corporal Nobbs had been disqualified from the human race for shoving.
    -- Men at Arms
  • Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.
    -- Soul Music

                             

Showing 5 items out of 36 More Discworld quotes Wikiquote

Book of the day

Feet of Clay is the nineteenth Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, published in 1996. The story follows the members of the City Watch, as they attempt to solve murders apparently committed by a golem, as well as the unusual poisoning of the Patrician, Lord Vetinari.

The title is a figure of speech from Hebrew scripture (see feet of clay) and the script used in the book to represent Morporkian being written by a golem resembles the Hebrew alphabet,[1] a reference to golems' origins in Jewish folktales.

Preceded by
Men at Arms
4th City Watch Story
Published in 1996
Succeeded by
Jingo
Discworld reading order Full article

Deity of the minute

Urika: The Goddess of Snow, Saunas and Theatrical Performances for Fewer than 120 People

Did you know...

From the Discworld's craziest paragraphs:

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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 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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  1. ^ Feet of Clay The Annotated Pratchett File
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