The science of Discworld

Terry Pratchett

Book - 2014

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Fantasy fiction
New York : Anchor Books, a division of Random House LLC 2014.
Main Author
Terry Pratchett (-)
Other Authors
Ian Stewart, 1945- (-), Jack Cohen
First Anchor Books edition
Physical Description
414 pages ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Since Pratchett began writing about Discworld in 1983, his ideas involving the fanciful flat landscape, which rests on four gargantuan elephants and a turtle, have stretched across 40 novels, multiple stories, and several reference guides. This first of four Science of Discworld companion volumes, originally published in 1999, has now been reissued with updated scientific research that brings the series into the twenty-first century. In alternating chapters, the book adds another whimsical episode to Discworld lore and contrasts the magical rules of Pratchett's realm with the human world's more logic-oriented science. In the Discworld sections, an experiment at Unseen University goes awry, forcing its wizards to create a new universe where planets, including Roundworld (aka Earth), form into balls instead of discs. The nonfiction science chapters explore such themes as the origin of the universe, tectonic plates, and the evolution of mankind. For Pratchett and Discworld devotees the volume is, of course, compulsory reading, but even science buffs who would normally eschew anything resembling fantasy will find much here to pique their interests.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Acclaimed fantasy writer Pratchett and mathematicians Stewart and Cohen deliver a unique and outrageously funny look at the history of our world through the eyes of the wizards of Discworld's Unseen University. When Chief Research Wizard Ponder Stibbons splits the thaum (a unit of magic, much as the atom is a unit of matter) in a makeshift lab in the university squash court, he creates "Roundworld." Discworld runs on narrativium, the power of story, but Roundworld has no narrativium. Instead, it runs on rules based on science. The story of the wizards' befuddled investigation of Roundworld is interwoven with chapters on various science topics: how did the universe begin? Where did the chemical elements come from? How did the solar system form? How did life evolve on Earth? Could there be life on other planets? The science in this revised edition of a U.K. title originally published in 1999 isn't completely up to date (Pluto is still a planet here, and the search for exoplanets has barely begun), but the writing is as entertaining as it is accessible. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved