Portal:Discworld

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The Discworld Portal

Discworld is a comic fantasy book series by the British author Sir Terry Pratchett 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

Gytha Ogg (usually called Nanny Ogg) is a witch and member of the Lancre coven. The character of Nanny Ogg is based on the Mother stereotype of the Triple Goddess myth, and probably influenced by the character Nannie Slag in the Gormenghast series. She's had 5 husbands and been married to three of them and has fifteen children who survived their early childhood (one was born some ten years after the death of her last husband). She has as well innumerable grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but that's incidental; what makes her the Mother is her mentality. People go to Granny Weatherwax for help when they have no choice, but they go to Nanny for advice all the time. Granny is respected, but Nanny is actually liked.

Nanny Ogg has a talent for getting along with people and fitting in. As described in Maskerade, people, after knowing her for fifteen minutes, feel like they have known her all of their lives. Granny Weatherwax knows about this ability, and recognizes its use, and wonders sometimes if it would have been worth acquiring it. Nanny is a lot wiser than Esme (Weatherwax) in some ways, and certainly wise enough not to show it. Gytha Ogg is seen as "one of the people" in a way that Esme isn't. While Granny thinks there's no point in competing if you aren't going to win, Nanny reckons the sympathy you get for being a good runner-up is much better. Granny comes across as judgemental, whereas Nanny has a mind so broad she could tie it under her chin. She appears to be kinder than Granny, but is equally prepared to make tough decisions if necessary.

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Article of the day

Death's Domain is a dimension in the Discworld novels, shaped by human expectation and Death's own attempts to have a life beyond his allotted task. It gave rise to a Discworld Mapp of thesame name, drawn by Paul Kidby, with additional material by Pratchett and Stephen Briggs.

The first thing visitors notice is that the Domain is black. Everything in it is black (or different colours and shades of black), except the things that are bone-white. The exceptions are purple mountains in the distance and, since Reaper Man, golden cornfields between the mountains and the Domain proper. Very few living people have entered the Domain, but among the notable exceptions are Albert, Ysabell, Mort, Rincewind, Susan, Twoflower (and, arguably, the Luggage).

Things that are black include all the plants in the garden, the house, the peacocks (although they have white skull-shaped "eyes" on their tails), the cats (Death likes cats) and the bees (Death also likes bees, possibly because a hive mind has no fear of him). Things that are bone-white (and indeed skeletal) include the trout in the pond, some of the birds and the garden gnomes. Death cannot create, he can only copy things. The items in the garden are things he has seen elsewhere, including the fish pond, and presumably the fish inside it.

Although nearly everything in the Domain is black, it is not all the same colour. On the Discworld, and congruent dimensions, splitting darkness with an eight-sided prism produces different colours of black.

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Quotes

Did you know...
  • ' Witches usually wear black, but as far as she could tell the only reason that witches wore black because they'd always worn black. This did not seem a good enough reason, so she tended to wear blue or green. '
    -- Wintersmith
  • 'Taxation, gentlemen, is very much like dairy farming. The task is to extract the maximum amount of milk with the minimum amount of moo.'
    -- Lord Vetinari, Jingo
  • It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the Disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going round to atheists' houses and smashing their windows.
    -- The Colour of Magic
  • '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

                             

Showing 5 items out of 36 More Discworld quotes Wikiquote

Book of the day

Thief of Time is the twenty-sixth Discworld novel, published in 2001. The Auditors convince a young clock maker, Jeremy Clockson (Possibly a pun on Jeremy Clarkson), in Ankh-Morpork to build a perfect glass clock. They do not reveal that this will imprison Time (the anthropomorphic personification) and thereby freeze time (the physical quantity) on the Discworld. By freezing time, the Auditors intend to eliminate the unpredictability that humans were causing through their everyday actions. Death discovers their plans, but is unable to act directly because of previous agreements with the Auditors. Death sends his granddaughter Susan to stop them.

Meanwhile, in a distant valley, a young apprentice of the History Monks, Lobsang Ludd, and his old teacher, Lu-Tze, called 'The Sweeper', hear that a glass clock is being built. Lu-Tze knows of such a clock's side-effects, since he was sent to prevent a previous clock from being built. He and Lobsang head for Ankh-Morpork to stop Jeremy from building it.

Preceded by
Hogfather
5th Death Story
Published in 2001
Succeeded by
Death and What Comes Next
Discworld reading order Full article

Deity of the minute

Jimi: The God of Beggars

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 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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