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  • gilwilson 2:55 PM on September 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: discworld, , , terry pratchett,   

    The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel 

    The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel
    By: Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen
    Narrated by: Steven Briggs, Michael Fenton Stevens
    Series: Science of Discworld, Book 2
    Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
    Release date: 01-20-15

    I dabbled in fantasy fiction back in the 80s and part of the 90s. I became curious about the genre after getting addicted to playing the RPG “Dungeons & Dragons.” It seemed I should study the characters in the game, so a friend recommended to me the Discworld books by Sir Terry Pratchett. I immediately was sucked into this humorous romp through the fantasy genre that all happened on disc world which was sitting on top of 4 elephants which were forever fixed upon a turtle flying through space. Weird but fun.

    A few college degrees later I felt as if I grew out of the fantasy genre and became more interested in biographies and sci-fi. Well, the sci-fi was my return to fun and I remembered the Discworld. I thought, well, that’s sci-fi mixed with fantasy. So after a little justification I looked to see what I missed. I then found these Science of Discworld, in which Pratchett and friends started explaining science not just of Discworld but the real world. The lessons in physics and science from these books seemed to soak into my brain better than most of my college classes.

    In this book we return to to the library of the wizards in which they have “created” Roundworld, or rather Earth. This time the elves have discovered the roundworld and wish to make it their own. While the wizards were only interested in the science of such a world they forgot about the inhabitants (humans especially). The elves, not so much. The elves quickly learned how to take advantage of the superstitious creatures of Roundworld.

    The wizards soon have to travel through time to fix and get humans back on track. In doing so this book soon gives the reader an interesting insight to evolution, creativity and language development.

    It’s funny that a book such as this can entertain and educate in such a manner that makes learning fun and really, accidental.

    The audiobook performers are such great comedic actors that you forget your listening to an audiobook but rather travelling to discworld with the wizards. They make the book so much fun to hear.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Roundworld, aka Earth, is under siege. Are three wizards and an orangutan Librarian enough to thwart the Elvish threat?
    When the wizards of Unseen University first created Roundworld, they were so concerned with discovering the rules of this new universe that they overlooked its inhabitants entirely. Now, they have noticed humanity. And humanity has company. Arriving in Roundworld, the wizards find the situation is even worse than they’d expected. Under the elves’ influence, humans are superstitious, fearful, and fruitlessly trying to work magic in a world ruled by logic. Ridcully, Rincewind, Ponder Stibbons, and the orangutan Librarian must travel through time to get humanity back on track and out of the dark ages.
    The Globe goes beyond science to explore the development of the human mind. Terry Pratchett and his acclaimed co-authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen combine the tale of the wizards rewriting human history with discussions of the origins and evolution of culture, language, art, and science, offering a fascinating and brilliantly original view of the world we live in.

    ©2015 Terry Pratchett (P)2014 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 6:07 PM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: discworld   

    A Blink of the Screen, Collected Shorter Fiction By: Terry Pratchett 

    22669809A Blink of the Screen, Collected Shorter Fiction
    By: Terry Pratchett A. S. Byatt – foreword,
    Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens, Stephen Briggs
    Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
    Release date: 03-17-15
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    Many years ago, while I was in the Navy, a friend gave me a Discworld book to read. Being a sci-fi/fantasy fan I couldn’t resist. I mean, really, a turtle flying through space with elephants on its back holding up Discworld. Who can say no to that? So jump ahead many years to now, and recently I’ve been rediscovering books based on Discworld and Terry Pratchett’s writings. All the Discworld books have great characters, fun stories, and some really nice humor.

    This book is a collection of Short Stories written by Pratchett over the years finally available. The subject matter is diverse but still fun.

    Before I summarize each story I have to say that Michael Fenton Stevens and Steven Briggs do a great job sharing the narration and bringing the stories to life.

    The stories you can look forward to hearing (or reading if you prefer the physical book):

    • “The Hades Business” (1963)
      Pratchett wrote this when he was 13. He calls it “juvenile” but it’s not. Not many 13-years-olds write like this. The story is that Hell isn’t too popular lately, and the Devil needs some good PR.
    • “Solution” (1964)
      An inspector badly botches a smuggling investigation.
    • “The Picture” (1965)
      A man in an institution is obsessed with the disturbing picture on his wall. It has a great twist ending that reminds me of some of the old pulp sci-fi stories.
    • “The Prince and the Partridge” (1968)
      The story behind the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song?
    • “Rincemangle, The Gnome of Even Moor” (1973)
      Gnomes and Grand Theft Auto, that pretty much sums it up.
    • “Kindly Breathe in Short, Thick Pants” (1976)
      A satire concerning the rights of citizens to natural resources.
    • “The Glastonbury Tales” (1977)
      A poem based on Pratchett’s one-time experience of picking up hitchhikers on the way to Glastonbury Festival.
    • “There’s No Fool Like an Old Fool Found in an English Queue” (1978)
      Terry Pratchett vents in a way only he can about people ahead of you in line.
    • “Coo, They’ve Given Me the Bird” (1978)
      Working with pigeons in Russia.
    • “And Mind the Monoliths” (1978)
      The secret lives of employees at historical-reenactment villages.
    • “The High Meggas” (1986)
    • A non-humorous science-fiction story involving parallel Earths, and the murderous plots of agents jumping between universes.
    • “Twenty Pence, with Envelope and Seasonal Greeting” (1987)
      Getting stuck inside a variety of Christmas cards.
    • “Incubust” (1988)
      Super-short joke piece about a magical spell… with limitations.
    • “Final Reward” (1988)
      An author kills off his most popular character and, is shocked when said character shows up at his doorstep to “meet his maker.” The fact that said character is a 7-foot-tall barbarian with a soul-drinking sword doesn’t make things easy.
    • “Turntables of the Night” (1989)
      Record collecting nerd meets Death (also a keen collector):


    • Have you got the complete Beatles?
    • NOT YET.
  • “#ifdefDEBUG + `world/enough’ + `time'” (1990)
    A cyberpunk story concerning virtual reality, viruses, and possibly, a murder.
  • “Hollywood Chickens” (1990)
    Maybe the question isn’t ‘WHY did the chicken cross the road’ – but HOW.
  • “The Secret Book of the Dead” (1991)
    A poem about the disturbing trauma of childhood pet ownership.
  • “Once and Future” (1995)
    Arthurian legend meets travel.
  • “FTB” (1996)
    A computer writes a letter to Santa. Kids these days might be too savvy to believe, but perhaps a computer has no choice.
  • “Sir Joshua Easement: A Biographical Note” (2010)
    This bio certainly doesn’t flatter the anonymous sitter, but it might have given him a good laugh.Discworld Shorter Writings
  • “Troll Bridge” (1992)
    Fairy tales of trolls under bridges, and acommentary on nostalgia.
  • “Theatre of Cruelty” (1993)
    The humor of Punch and Judy shows isn’t always ‘nice.’ But have you ever considered how the ‘puppets’ might feel, forced to act out such nasty and dehumanizing roles?
  • “The Sea and Little Fishes” (1998)
    By far, the longest piece in the book. A Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax tale. Asked not to compete in an annual witchery contest [which she always wins], Granny Weatherwax decides to ‘be nice about’ the hurtful slight. The problem is, her neighbors aren’t used to her being nice.
  • “The Ankh-Morpork National Anthem” (1999)
    As the title states. Apparently, a recorded version exists, somewhere.
  • “Medical Notes” (2002)
    A few satirical entries on medical ailments commonly found in Ankh-Morpork.
  • “Thud: A Historical Perspective” (2002)
    The ‘history’ of a popular game in Discworld, played between dwarves and trolls.
  • “A Few Words from Lord Havelock Vetinari” (2002)
    A speech written upon an occasion naming a British town a ‘sister-city’ to Ankh-Morpork.
  • “Death and What Comes Next” (2004)
    Philosophers apparently frequently think they can argue with Death. However, Death can apply some philosophical logic, too.
  • “A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices” (2005)
    Brilliantly skewers academic bureaucracy.
  • “Minutes of the Meeting to Form the Proposed Ankh-Morpork Federation of Scouts” (2007)
    As the title indicates… the is, exactly, the minutes from a meeting where an Ankh-Morpork committee decides to form Boy and Girl Scout troops.
  • “The Ankh-Morpork Football Association Hall of Fame playing cards” (2009)
    Baseball-card-style bios of a variety of Pratchett’s Discworld characters.Appendix
  • Deleted extract from “The Sea and Little Fishes” (1998)
    This excised chapter has Granny Weather wax being rather introspective, thinking of the past, and philosophizing on the topic of ‘being nice.’

Publisher’s Summary

A collection of short fiction from Terry Pratchett, spanning the whole of his writing career from schooldays to Discworld and the present day.

In the four decades since his first book appeared in print, Terry Pratchett has become one of the world’s best-selling and best-loved authors. Here for the first time are his short stories and other short-form fiction collected into one volume. A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett’s long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press and the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People, and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series.

Here are characters both familiar and yet to be discovered; abandoned worlds and others still expanding; and adventure, chickens, death, disco and, actually, some quite disturbing ideas about Christmas, all of it shot through with Terry’s inimitable brand of humour. With an introduction by Booker Prize-winning author A.S. Byatt, this is an audiobook to treasure.

©2013 Terry Pratchett (P)2015 Random House Audio

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