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

The Librarian of Unseen University is one of the most popular characters in the Discworld series to the extent where pin badges bearing the legend Librarians rule Ook are now available. The character appears or is mentioned in most books in the series.

The Librarian first appeared in the second novel of the series, The Light Fantastic, in which he was transformed into an orangutan as a side effect of a powerful magic spell. Discovering that being an orangutan has certain advantages for a librarian, he refused to be transformed back into a human, and has remained an orangutan ever since. Most of the grimoires are highly dangerous to people, and sometimes the books even consume them, but the Librarian is no person, and he no longer requires a ladder to reach those tricky high-up shelves. He retained his position as librarian despite his condition because "he's the only one who knows where all the books are" and the fact that he could screw a man's head off with his feet. The other wizards have gradually become used to the situation, to the extent that "if someone ever reported that there was an orangutan in the Library, the wizards would probably go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it." (Night Watch).

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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...
  • His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things.
    -- Night Watch
  • '"You take the high road an' I'll take your wallet!"'
    -- Wee Free Men
  • 'I've starved a few times. There's no future in it. Ate a man's leg when we were snowed up in the Ibblestarn campaign but, fair's fair, he ate mine.' He looked at their faces. 'Well, it's not on, is it, eating your own leg? You'd probably go blind.'
    -- Monstrous Regiment
  • The beef stew tasted, indeed, just like beef stew and not, just to take an example completely and totally at random, stew made out of the last poor girl who'd worked here.
    -- A Hat Full of Sky
  • 'They say that the prospect of being hanged in the morning concentrates a man's mind wonderfully; unfortunately what the mind inevitably concentrates on is that it is in a body, that, in the morning, is going to be hanged.'
    -- Going Postal

                             

Showing 5 items out of 36 More Discworld quotes Wikiquote

Book of the day

The Light Fantastic is the second Discworld novel, published in 1986. The title is a quote from a poem by John Milton and in the original context referred to dancing lightly with extravagance. The events of the novel are a direct continuation of those in the preceding Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic.

After the wizard Rincewind has fallen from the edge of the Discworld, his life is mysteriously saved as he lands back on it. Meanwhile, the wizards of Ankh-Morpork discover that the Discworld will soon be destroyed unless the eight spells of the Octavo are read: the most powerful spells in existence, one of which hides in Rincewind's head. Consequently, several orders of wizards try to find Rincewind and kill him, led by Trymon, a former classmate of Rincewind's, who wishes to obtain the power of the spells for himself.

Preceded by
The Colour of Magic
2nd Rincewind Story
Published in 1986
Succeeded by
Sourcery


Deity of the minute

Errata: The Goddess of Misunderstandings and Libertina

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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