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Discworld

Discworld is a comedic fantasy book series by the British author Terry Pratchett, set on the Discworld, a flat world 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 at least take inspiration from, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and William Shakespeare, as well as mythology, 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, four short stories, cartoon, theatre adaptations, computer games, and music inspired by the series. The first live-action screen adaptation for television (Terry Pratchett's Hogfather) was broadcast over Christmas 2006. A second, two-part TV adaptation of The Colour of Magic was broadcast in March 2008 in the UK.

Newly released Discworld books regularly top The Sunday Times best-sellers list, making Pratchett the UK's best-selling author in the 1990s, although he has since been overtaken by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal. In the BBC's Big Read, five Discworld books were in the top 100, and a total of fifteen in the top 200.

As of 2008, there have been 36 Discworld novels published, four of which are marketed as children's or "young adult" (YA) books. 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 HarperCollins, used their own cover art. Since Kirby's death in October 2001, the covers have been designed by Paul Kidby. Recent British editions of Pratchett's older novels no longer reuse Kirby's art. There have also been six short stories (some only loosely related to the Discworld), three popular science books, and a number of supplementary books and reference guides.

Very few of the Discworld novels have chapter divisions, instead featuring interweaving story-lines. Pratchett is quoted as saying that he "just never got into the habit of chapters", later adding that "I have to shove them in the putative YA books because my editor screams until I do". However, the first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was divided into "books", as is Pyramids. Additionally, Going Postal and Making Money do indeed have chapters, prologue, epilogue, and brief teasers of what is to come in each chapter, in the style of A. A. Milne, Jules Verne and Jerome K. Jerome.

Storylines

To a greater or lesser degree, Discworld stories stand alone as independent works set in the same fantasy universe. However, a number of novels and stories can be grouped together into grand story arcs dealing with a set number of characters and events. The main threads within the Discworld series are:

Rincewind

Rincewind was the first protagonist of Discworld; a wizard with no skill, no wizardly qualifications and no interest in heroics. He is the archetypal coward who 'runs away that he may live to run away again another day'. Nonetheless, he is constantly thrust into adventures that take him from one side of the Discworld to the other, much against his will. His stories mainly serve to reveal the geography of the Disc to the reader, since Rincewind's stories take him into far and exotic locations. Other characters in the Rincewind story arc include: Cohen the Barbarian, an aging hero of the old fantasy tradition, out of touch with the modern world and still fighting despite his advanced age; Twoflower, a naive tourist from the Agatean Empire (the Discworld's equivalent of China); and The Luggage, a magical, semi-sentient and exceptionally vicious multi-legged travelling accessory. Rincewind has appeared in six Discworld novels as well as the three Science of Discworld supplementary books. Cohen the Barbarian also appears in the short story Troll Bridge.

Death

Death is the closest thing the Discworld series has to a main character (in that he appears in nearly every book; however, sometimes he has no more than a few lines). He has appeared in every novel except The Wee Free Men, sometimes in a cameo, sometimes as the main protagonist. As dictated by tradition, he is a seven-foot-tall skeleton with a black robe and a scythe who sits astride a pale horse (called Binky). The anthropomorphic personification of death, his job is to guide souls onward from this world into the next. Over millennia in the role, Death has developed a fascination with humanity, even going so far as to create a house for himself in his personal pocket dimension. Characters that often appear with Death include his "butler" Albert; his "granddaughter" Susan Sto Helit; the Death of Rats, a mini-version of Death in charge of gathering the souls of rodents; Quoth, a talking raven (a parody of The Raven); and the Auditors of Reality, personifications of the orderly laws of nature, who have declared war on life itself, believing that it is "messy". Since Death cannot exist without life, he finds himself taking its side against the machinations of the Auditors. Death or Susan appear as the main characters in five Discworld novels. He also appears in the short stories Death and What Comes Next, Theatre of Cruelty and Turntables of the Night.

The Witches

Witches in Pratchett's universe are largely stripped of their modern occultist, Wiccan associations (though Pratchett does frequently use his stories to lampoon such naive conceptions of witchcraft), and act more in their traditional role as herbalists, adjudicators and wise women. That is not to say that witches on the Disc cannot use magic; they simply prefer not to, finding simple psychology is often far more effective. The principal witch in the series is Granny Weatherwax, who at first glance seems to be a taciturn, bitter old crone, from the small mountain country of Lancre. She largely despises people but takes on the role of their healer and protector because no one else can do the job as well as she can. Her closest friend is Nanny Ogg, a jolly, personable witch with the "common touch" who enjoys a smoke and a pint of beer. The two take on apprentice witches, initially Magrat Garlick, then Agnes Nitt, and then Tiffany Aching, who in turn grow on to become accomplished witches in their own right, or, in Magrat's case, Queen of Lancre. Other characters in the Witches series include: King Verence II of Lancre, a onetime jester who as a result takes his job as king very seriously; Jason Ogg, Nanny Ogg's eldest son and local blacksmith (and also, like the smiths of old, something of a magician himself); Shawn Ogg, Nanny's youngest son who serves as his country's entire army; and Nanny's murderous cat Greebo. The witches have appeared in numerous Discworld books, but have featured as main protagonists in seven. They have also appeared in the short story The Sea and Little Fishes. Their stories frequently draw on ancient European folklore and fairy tales, and also parody famous works of literature, particularly by Shakespeare.

The City Watch

The stories featuring the Ankh-Morpork City Watch are urban-set, and frequently show the clashes that result when a traditional, magically run fantasy world such as the Disc comes into contact with modern technology and civilization. They centre around the growth of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch from a hopeless gang of three to a modern, fully equipped and efficient police force. The stories are largely police procedurals, featuring a mystery that frequently has political or societal overtones. The main character is Sam Vimes (later His Grace, Sir Samuel Vimes), a haggard, cynical street copper who finds himself swept up in history as his inept cadre of law enforcement officials (comprising nominally human - with papers to prove it - petty thief Nobby Nobbs and perennially lazy Sergeant Colon) grows and takes on new recruits, particularly from the Disc's "minority groups", such as dwarfs, trolls, and the undead. Other main characters include Carrot Ironfoundersson, (possibly) the rightful heir to the redundant throne of Ankh-Morpork, who thus has a traditional hero's destiny thrust upon him but chooses to ignore it; his girlfriend Angua, a werewolf; Detritus, a troll who in himself represents an entire army; Golem Constable Dorfl, the brute strength of the watch; Cheery Littlebottom, the Watch's forensics expert, who is one of the first dwarfs to be openly female; Sam's wife, Lady Sybil Vimes; and his boss, Havelock Vetinari, the alternately Machiavellian/benevolent Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. The City Watch have starred in eight Discworld stories, and have cameoed in a number of others, including the children's book, Where's My Cow? and the short story Theatre of Cruelty.

The Wizards

The Wizards of the Unseen University have represented a strong thread through many of the Discworld novels, although the only books that they star in exclusively are the "Science of the Discworld" series. In the early books, the faculty of the UU changed frequently, as rising to the top usually involved assassination. However, with the ascension of the bombastic Mustrum Ridcully to the position of Archchancellor, the hierarchy has settled and characters have been given the chance to develop. The earlier books featuring the wizards also frequently dealt with the possible invasion of the Discworld by the creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions, Lovecraftian monsters that hunger for the magic and potential of the Discworld. The wizards of the UU employ the traditional "whizz-bang" type of magic seen in Dungeons & Dragons games, but also investigate the rules and structure of magic in terms highly reminiscent of particle physics. Prominent members include Ponder Stibbons, a geeky young wizard who, unlike the more orthodox members of the staff, actually wants to learn about the universe; Hex, the Disc's first computer; the Librarian, who was turned into an orangutan by magical accident early in the series and has skilfully resisted all attempts to be turned back; and the Bursar, the clinically insane savant who crunches the UU's numbers and subsists on a diet of his own nerves and dried frog pills. In later novels, Rincewind also joins their group. The Wizards have featured prominently in eight Discworld books and have also starred in the Science of Discworld series and the short story A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices.

Tiffany Aching

Tiffany Aching is a young apprentice witch and star of a series of Discworld books aimed at young adults. Her stories often parallel mythic heroes' quests, but also deal with Tiffany's difficulties as a young girl maturing into a responsible woman. She is aided in her task by the Nac Mac Feegle, a gang of hard-drinking, loudmouthed pictsie creatures who serve as her guardians. Both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have also appeared in her stories. She has to date appeared in three novels.

Moist von Lipwig

Moist von Lipwig is a professional criminal and con man to whom Havelock Vetinari gives a "second chance" after staging his execution, recognising the advantages his jack-of-all-trades abilities would have to the development of the city. After setting him in charge of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office in Going Postal, to good result, Vetinari ordered him to clear up the city's corrupt financial sector in Making Money, to which he rather ironically acquitted himself well. A third book, in which Lipwig is ordered to organise the city's taxation system, is planned. Other characters in this series include Adora Belle Dearheart, Lipwig's acerbic, chain-smoking lover, Gladys, a golem who develops a strange crush on Lipwig, and Stanley Howler, a mildly autistic young man who was raised by peas (by, not on) and becomes the Disc's first stamp collector.

The History Monks

The History Monks are a group of vaguely Buddhist-like monks who have taken on the job of ensuring that history passes smoothly. In that sense, as Pratchett says, they straddle the boundary between human beings and personifications. They perform their task in two ways: first, their monastery is home to the History Books; 20,000 ten-foot long, lead-bound volumes that record every event of historical relevance as it occurs. Second, they manage and control the flow of time, much like a public utility. Whenever the orderly flow of time gets disrupted (if, say someone is sent back into the past), the History Monks send agents into the field to repair the damage as far as possible. The principal History Monk in the novels is Lu-Tze, nominally the monastery's sweeper but in fact one of the highest ranking monks in the establishment. The History Monks have appeared in three Discworld novels to date.

Themes

Villains

Discworld has a relative lack of recurring or overarching villains. Many of Pratchett's potential villains, such as Lord Vetinari and Lord Downey, are too complex or multifaceted to be simplistically characterised as "evil", while other more standard villains, such as Lord Rust, are depicted merely as egocentric dullards. Principal villains in Discworld novels tend to die or be put similarly out of action by the story's end. The Lovecraftian creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions cannot be considered evil in the traditional sense, since they are utterly amoral.

Elves and auditors

There are, however, two groups of villains that feature prominently in many of the stories and have, in their own ways, come to represent the force of 'wrongness' in the Discworld: the Auditors of Reality and the Elves.

The Auditors, cosmic bureaucrats who prefer a universe where electrons spin, rocks float in space and imagination is dead, represent the perils of handing yourself over to a completely materialist and deterministic vision of reality, devoid of the myths and stories that make us human. The Elves, innately psychopathic beings who seek to dominate people by usurping their free will with glamour and false magic, represent the dangers of giving yourself over completely to stories and superstition.

Together they appear to reflect the philosophy Pratchett expresses in Hogfather and is a recurring theme throughout the series: that while the stories we weave may not be true, we still need them to continue our existence. However, it would be wrong to categorise the Auditors or Elves simply as 'evil'. While their actions cause misery, it is merely incidental. Elves do not understand the suffering they cause as they have no empathy, while the Auditors are simply a form of supernatural bureaucrat who think humans cause too much inefficiency.

Humans

His good witch, Granny Weatherwax, takes the form of an archetypal evil crone:

Mrs Earwig would definitely have objected to the cottage. It was out of storybook. The walls leaned against one another for support, the thatched roof was slipping off like a bad wig, and the chimneys were corkscrewed. If you thought a gingerbread house would be too fattening, this was the next worst thing.
"In a cottage deep in the forest lived the wicked old witch ..."
It was a cottage out of the nastier kind of fairytale.
A Hat Full of Sky

His good public servant, Lord Havelock Vetinari, is an assassin and a tyrant, but acting in his city's best interests as a benevolent dictator nonetheless. It is speculated that he is based on one of the Medici rulers of Renaissance Florence, or perhaps Machiavelli.

In general, Pratchett presents the notion that to be good quite often results in being perceived as bad or evil by the very people you're doing good for, and in many of his stories image is eventually overcome, without fanfare, by substance.

, said Death.
Hogfather

In the Elf books, as elsewhere, he presents the notion that our "world" is subjective, and is constructed internally. In particular, that it is constructed out of stories. Related to this is the idea that most of our experience is filtered out before it reaches consciousness:

You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your mind and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!
A Hat Full of Sky

"All right," said Susan, "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need ... fantasies to make life bearable."
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers?"
"So we can believe the big ones?"
"They're not the same at all!"
"Yes. But people have got to believe that or what's the point — "
Hogfather

Also in the Elf books, Pratchett presents elves as nasty, evil creatures. This follows original English and Scottish folk songs and stories e.g. Tam Lin, quite in contrast with how they were portrayed by Tolkien which is more commonly known these days.

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
Nobody said elves were nice.
Elves are bad.
Lords and Ladies

A large portion of Carpe Jugulum is about "internal struggles", and how pieces of our mind do not always agree with other pieces of our mind (and how some of us feel we have "Darker" selves within us, that we keep deep, deep down). Aside from the obviously "split" mind character (Perdita and Agnes, Good Oats and Bad Oats), it is shown that even characters as decisive as Granny Weatherwax have inner "selves" with whom they struggle.

While central human villains do not recur from novel to novel, the individuals often share certain personality traits. The most prominent of these traits is the lack of the aforementioned "internal struggle". They are villains not because their bad self has won the struggle, but because they never had a conception of good and bad in the first place. This results in a person who is completely dispassionate, egocentric, and lacking most recognizable human emotions. This is very similar to the character of the elves, but portrayed in a more negative light, since such characteristics are inherent in elves as a species, while the reason for a human to act in such a manner is less clear cut. These amoral human villains are often highly intelligent and develop schemes to shape society or the world to conform to their views of how things should work. While the description may not apply to every central villain, many of them could be described as sociopaths. Examples include Mr. Pin, Vorbis (Small Gods) and Mr Teatime (Hogfather). In the book "Night Watch" Commander Vimes considers that the book's villain, Carcer, is not a madman but is actually dangerously sane, having realised that the laws and conventions most people follow don't have to apply to him if he doesn't want them to.

The concept of racial hatred is touched upon often when Trolls and Dwarfs are present and forms a significant plot pillar in Thud!, in which the most ardent proponents of racial hatred are the clear villains. The problems of racial integration, multiculturalism, and racial hatred are also a topic of "Jingo", which also echoes the long held divisions and superstitions between rival great powers in this world, such as U.S. and USSR, using the metaphor of "two big men in a small room".

Heroes

In several books, characters or narration bring up the question of precisely what constitutes a "hero" and whether there's anything really "heroic" about gung-ho violence.

This is generally the basis for Cohen the Barbarian and the actions of his Silver Horde, as shown in The Last Hero, in which the Patrician points out that when people say that heroes defeat tyrants, steal things from the gods, seduce women and kill monsters, they are, in fact, saying, that heroes murder, steal, rape, and wipe out endangered species. Lord Vetinari also asks the question, "When a tyrant is defeated or a monster killed, who is the person defining the monstrousness of the monster, or the tyranny of the tyrant? The hero. In fact, when a hero kills someone, he is in fact saying that, if you have been killed by a hero, then you are a person who is suitable to be killed by a hero."

Many Discworld stories feature Rincewind, a dour and ill-fated wizard who specialises in the art of the escape. Any 'heroic' actions on Rincewind's part are, for the most part, caused by accident or sheer bad luck, which often puts him straight back into the very situation he was running from in the first place. Rincewind is categorically not a 'hero' in the traditional sense, since he merely wants to be left alone and worships the state of boredom above all others. Many Discworld protagonists share this trait, such as Moving Pictures' Victor Tugelbend and The Truth's William de Worde.

In particular, The Fifth Elephant raises the point of view that if someone can kill a villain and then joke about it, they are no less a murderer than the villain himself. This thought is had by Commander Vimes, who actually considers several possible "quips" after tricking the villain to his death, but declines to say them out loud, raising the prospect (dealt with at greater length in Night Watch, among many other books) that the most effective heroes are natural villains who choose to act in accordance with a particular system of ethics.

Society

Many concepts of government and types of social systems appear in Discworld:

Bibliography

Novels

Name Published Group Notes Motifs
1 The Colour of Magic 1983 Rincewind Came 93rd in the Big Read. Fantasy clichés, H. P. Lovecraft, tourism, insurance, Dungeons & Dragons
2 The Light Fantastic 1986 Rincewind Tourism, apocalypse, Conan the Barbarian
3 Equal Rites 1987 The Witches, The Wizards Gender equality, Quantum Physics
4 Mort 1987 Death Came 65th in the Big Read Death and its personification, apprenticeship
5 Sourcery 1988 Rincewind, The Wizards Apocalypse, Kubla Khan, Aladdin, Arabian Nights
6 Wyrd Sisters 1988 The Witches Came 135th in the Big Read Shakespeare (especially Macbeth and Hamlet), the Globe Theatre, Sleeping Beauty
7 Pyramids 1989 Miscellaneous Egyptian mythology, quantum physics, Greek philosophy (including Zeno's paradoxes), United Kingdom driving test
8 Guards! Guards! 1989 The City Watch Came 69th in the Big Read Cop novels, show dogs, dragons, fraternal organisations, aristocracy, secret societies
9 Faust Eric 1990 Rincewind First published 1990 in a larger format, fully illustrated by Josh Kirby; reissued as a paperback without illustrations. Faust, Dante's Inferno, Homer's Iliad
10 Moving Pictures 1990 Media, The Wizards Hollywood (especially silent movies and the early years of the studio system), the Cthulhu Mythos, celebrities, King Kong, Gone with the Wind and many other films
11 Reaper Man 1991 Death, The Wizards Came 126th in the Big Read Death and its personification, Alien invasion SF, "Man with No Name" westerns, Minority rights movements, Consumerism
12 Witches Abroad 1991 The Witches Came 197th in the Big Read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, fairy tales (especially fairy godmothers),The Hobbit, Voodoo, tourism
13 Small Gods 1992 Miscellaneous, the History Monks Came 102nd in the Big Read Abrahamic religions, the Spanish Inquisition (with thematic references to Nietzsche), ancient philosophy
14 Lords and Ladies 1992 The Witches, The Wizards Shakespeare (especially A Midsummer Night's Dream), UFOs, fairy lore, the mythopoetic men's movement
15 Men at Arms 1993 The City Watch Came 148th in the Big Read Cop novels, gun politics, racism, "kings in hiding"
16 Soul Music 1994 Media, Death, The Wizards Came 151st in the Big Read Rock music, Beatlemania, punk subculture, Woodstock Festival , Welsh language, The Blues Brothers
17 Interesting Times 1994 Rincewind, the Wizards Imperial China, Maoism, Lemmings
18 Maskerade 1995 The Witches Opera, The Phantom of the Opera
19 Feet of Clay 1996 The City Watch Cop novels, I Robot, robots, golem mythology, atheism, race relations, heraldry, slavery and serfdom
20 Hogfather 1996 Death, The Wizards Came 137th in the Big Read Christmas, mythology, Mary Poppins
21 Jingo 1997 The City Watch War, diplomacy, imperialism, xenophobia, multiculturalism, Lawrence of Arabia, jingoism, Captain Nemo, the Cthulhu Mythos, the John F. Kennedy assassination
22 The Last Continent 1998 Rincewind, The Wizards Australia (Mad Max, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Aborigines, Dreamtime), evolution, creation
23 Carpe Jugulum 1998 The Witches Vampires, existentialism
24 The Fifth Elephant 1999 The City Watch Came 153rd in the Big Read Diplomacy, Eastern European folklore and literature, Political-conspiracy novels, global economy, national myths, homophobia, The Fifth Element
25 The Truth 2000 Media, The City Watch Came 193rd in the Big Read Watergate scandal, newspapers, organized crime, yellow journalism, oligarchy, Pulp Fiction
26 Thief of Time 2001 Death, the History Monks Came 152nd in the Big Read Martial arts, Eastern monastic mysticism, quantum physics, teaching, the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (& the Beatles), chocolate lovers
27 The Last Hero 2001 Rincewind Published in a larger format and fully illustrated by Paul Kidby Legends, Prometheus, Dungeons & Dragons, Apollo program
28 The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents 2001 Miscellaneous A YA (young adult or children's) Discworld book; winner of the 2001 Carnegie Medal The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Beatrix Potter
29 Night Watch 2002 The City Watch, the History Monks Received the Prometheus Award in 2003; came 73rd in the Big Read Cop novels, Les Misérables, time travel, revolutions
30 The Wee Free Men 2003 Tiffany Aching The second YA Discworld book Folklore, mythic Scotland (e.g. Braveheart), The Smurfs
31 Monstrous Regiment 2003 Miscellaneous, the City Watch The title is a reference to The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women Folk songs, Joan of Arc, crossdressing during wartime, the Napoleonic and other wars, single mothers, Taliban, feminism, pacifism
32 A Hat Full of Sky 2004 Tiffany Aching, Witches The third YA Discworld book The history and folklore of witches in Britain, mind controlling aliens in science fiction
33 Going Postal 2004 Moist von Lipwig Politics, cons, corporate crime and business practices, monopolies, libertarianism, the postal system and stamp collecting, the Internet, cracking and phreaking, fraternal organizations, alternative medicine, golems
34 Thud! 2005 The City Watch Cop novels, politics, affirmative action, race relations, chess and tafl games, The Davinci Code
35 Wintersmith 2006 Tiffany Aching, Witches The fourth YA book. The Snow Queen, Orpheus, Persephone, Sleeping Beauty, The Snow Maiden
36 Making Money 2007 Moist von Lipwig gold standard vs. fiat currency, computer simulation, fraud, golems
Possible future novels Pratchett has occasionally hinted at other possible future Discworld novels. These include

  • Unseen Academicals about football at Unseen University. On December 11, 2007, Pratchett stated that he started to compile basic notes for this book, as the book Nation nears completion. An article in The Bookseller indicated that Pratchett had begun the writing process of Unseen Academicals, and that future Discworld novels would have to be dictated. An interview in SFX magazine's SF and Fantasy Books Special confirms that he has begun work on this book, and says that it includes many details about life "below stairs" at UU, as well as Ridcully's formation of the football team.
  • I Shall Wear Midnight a possible future Tiffany Aching novel confirmed by the author at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 6, 2007
  • Raising Taxes The third book in Moist's series, announced on 21 September 2007 at the book signing in Torrance, CA.
  • Scouting for Trolls the title of which would parody Scouting for Boys.

Short stories

There are five short stories by Pratchett based in the Discworld, and an additional short story (Turntables of the Night), that is based in the United Kingdom and Death has a featured role:

Four of the short stories along with Discworld miscellany (e.g. the history of Thud and the Ankh-Morpork national anthem) have been collected in a compilation of the majority of Pratchett's known short work named Once More* With Footnotes.

The Mapps

Furthermore, there are four "Mapps":

The first two were drawn by Stephen Player, based on plans by Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, the third is a collaboration between Briggs and Kidby, and the last is by Paul Kidby. All also contain booklets written by Pratchett and Briggs.

Terry Pratchett also admitted: "There are no maps. You can't map a sense of humour."

Science books

Pratchett has also collaborated with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen on three books using the Discworld to illuminate popular science topics. Each book alternates chapters of a Discworld story and notes on real science related to it. The books are:

Quiz books

Two Discworld Quiz books have been compiled by David Langford:

Diaries

Most years see the release of a Discworld Diary and Calendar, both usually following a particular theme.

The diaries feature background information about their themes. Some topics are later used in the series; the concept of female assassins and the character of Miss Alice Band were two notable ideas that first appeared in the Assassins' Guild Yearbook.

The Discworld Almanak - The Year of The Prawn has a similar format and general contents to the diaries.

Other books

Other Discworld publications include:

Reading orders

Reading order is not restricted to publication order; however, each arc may be best read chronologically. Some main characters may make cameo appearances in other books where they are not the primary focus; for example, Carrot Ironfoundersson and Angua von Überwald appear briefly in Going Postal. The books take place roughly in real-time and the characters' ages change to reflect the passing of years. No distinction will ever be clear-cut. Many stories (such as The Truth and Monstrous Regiment) nominally stand alone but, nonetheless, tie in heavily with main story-lines. A number of characters, such as members of staff of the Unseen University, Lord Vetinari and the Elves, appear prominently in many different story-lines without having titles of their own. As it is, many of these "standalone" stories deal with the development of the city of Ankh-Morpork into a technologically and magically advanced metropolis that readers will find analogous to real-world cities: for example, The Truth catalogues the rise of a newspaper service for the city, the Ankh-Morpork Times, and Going Postal similarly deals with the development of a postal service and the rise of the Discworld's telecommunications system, called "the clacks".

Adaptations

Stage Stage adaptations of 15 Discworld novels have been published. The adaptations are by Stephen Briggs (apart from Lords and Ladies by Irana Brown), and were first produced by the Studio Theatre Club in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. They include adaptations of The Truth, Maskerade, Mort, Wyrd Sisters and Guards! Guards! Stage adaptations of Discworld novels have been performed on every continent in the world, including Antarctica.Film & Television Due in part to the complexity of the novels, Discworld has been difficult to adapt to film – Pratchett is fond of an anecdote of a producer attempting to pitch an adaptation of Mort in early 1990s but told to "lose the Death angle" by US backers.
A list of completed adaptations include:

A list of adaptations in pre-production include:

There have been several BBC radio adaptations of Discworld stories, including Wyrd Sisters, Guards! Guards! (narrated by Martin Jarvis), The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Mort and Small Gods. On 27 February 2008, BBC Radio 4 aired the first of a five-part, weekly adaptation of Night Watch.Audio books Most of Pratchett's novels have been released as audio books. For the unabridged recordings, books 1-23 in the above list, except for books 3, 6 and 9, are read by Nigel Planer. Books 3 and 6 are read by Celia Imrie. Book 9 and most of the books from 24 onward are read by Stephen Briggs. Abridged versions are read by Tony Robinson.Comic books The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Mort and Guards! Guards! have been adapted into graphic novels.

Merchandise

Various other types of related merchandise have been produced by cottage industries with an interest in the books, including Stephen Briggs, Bernard Pearson, Bonsai Trading and Clarecraft.

Music

  • Dave Greenslade: Terry Pratchett's From the Discworld, 1994 (Virgin CDV 2738.7243 8 39512 2 2).
  • Keith Hopwood: Soul Music - Terry Pratchett's Discworld, 1998 (Proper Music Distribution / Pluto Music TH 030746), soundtrack to the animated adaptation of Soul Music.

Games

Pratchett co-authored with Phil Masters two role-playing game supplements for Discworld, utilising the GURPS system:

Video games:

The board game, Thud was created by puzzle compiler Trevor Truran. The card game Cripple Mr Onion is adapted from the novels.

See also

References

External links

Portals

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