The Great Discworld Thread

Discussion in 'Book Club' started by Silvion Night, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    True that reading them back to back will alter your perceptions. From that perspective, a potential re-read of Maskerade will be interesting, as that seemed to hit you when you had real Discworld fatigue. Guessing that's a fair bit down the line though :) I hope you do revisit this thread when you re-read though!

    I think Pratchett junior is right to say that the end is the end, at least at this juncture. Part of me hopes she revisits the decision in 10-15 years. I think it would be cool if she were not to revisit Sir Pterry's stuff, but create a new generation of Discworld. But... also maybe a bad idea.

    I think I'm going to have to become a professor of fantasy literature simply to get access to the last drafts though!
     
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  2. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I just finished the Science of Discworld: book 1. I really liked this book. The book alternates between chapters that focus on the Discworld and chapters that focus on Roundworld (our world). The wizards of Unseen University have accidentally created Roundworld in one of their experiments. The wizards decide to study their fledgling universe. What unfolds is a scientific dissertation, written in a funny and understandable way, on physics, chemistry, cosmology and many other scientific disciplines. Roundworld (earth) which is governed by the rules of physics is compared with the Discworld (which is ruled by the rules of narativium).

    Above all it is a book about the creation and the history of earth through the aeons. It deals with asteroid and meteor impacts, the origin of life, evolution, extinctions, plate-tectonics, weather, climate, etc.

    It's a fun read, whether or not you know anything about Discworld or have read any books in the main series. I think the enjoyment will be higher if you did though (there are some recurring themes). I rate this book 9.0/10 (*****5 GoodReads Stars).
     
  3. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I just wrapped up The Science of Discworld: book 2 by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. The book basically picks up where the first book left. There is a new story involving elves that skip from Discworld to Roundworld to mess with human development. The wizards follow to try and stop the elves from doing mischief. Interspersed are again chapters on science that range from psychology, physics, evolution, religion and art. This time it mainly revolves around human development. The heaviest theme, once again, is that of the 'Story'. The authors argue that rather than Homo Sapiens our species should be more appropriately named Homo Narrans or Pan Narrans (the story-telling man or story-telling ape). The authors state an interesting (and I think correct) case that the thing that separates us from animals is stories. These were instrumental in our evolution as a species. And the interplay between intelligence and extelligence (culture) has boosted us to where we are now. At the end of the book Richard Dawkins and his theory on memes and memeplexes as ways of transmitting ideas and stories was discussed quite extensively, which was nice.

    The Terry Pratchett chapters (the one with the actual story about the fight between the wizards and the elves) were fun. The science chapters were partly interesting, but also partly a snooze-fest. And the authors keep on repeating themselves. Halfway through the book I really really understood the point about how important stories are in human personal and cultural development. I don't have to have the same concept explained to me 20 times before I get it.

    Also, the book could have done with more actual examples of the concepts explained, rather than a description of the concepts. You know, it would have been cool if a Science of Discworld book had more actual... science.

    This book is by no means bad, and it is fun if you are scientifically inclined, but it didn't blow me away, I rate it with 6.8/10 (***3 GoodReads Stars).
     

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