Encyclopedia > Discworld

  Article Content


The Discworld is the creation of Terry Pratchett. It is an imaginary location that appears in most of his books. (Strata[?], a novel Pratchett wrote some years before creating the Discworld, also features a disc-shaped world, but a different one.)

It consists of (as the name suggests) a flat disc (complete with end-of-the-world drop-off and consequent waterfall) resting on the backs of four huge elephants (Great T'phon, Tubul, Berilia, and Jerakeen) which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle (Great A'Tuin) as it slowly swims through space.

The sex of the Turtle is something of a mystery to the inhabitants of the disc, being not able to peer underneath the turtle themselves. This leads to some great debate and argument as to what position the turtle would assume should there be another cosmic big bang.

Directions within the discworld are not given as north south east and west, but rather as directions relating to the disc itself, eg hubward (towards the centre), rimward (away from the centre) and to a lesser extent, turnwise and widdershins (relation to the direction of the disc's spin).

The most famous city on the Disc is Ankh-Morpork, site of the Unseen University and setting of many Discworld novels.

At the hub of the disc are some incredibly high mountains, the largest of which is Cori Celeste, upon the peak of which rests "Dunmanifestin", home of the Discworld's gods.

Chief among the Gods, by reason of having more worshippers than any of the others, is Blind Io. He is a thunder god: in fact, he is every thunder god worshipped on the disc, appearing under different guises and answering different names in various places, so as to ensure the largest possible number of worshippers. (He nevertheless comes by his position of leadership relatively fairly, since all his rivals use similar dodges.)

The world has been chronicled through at least 29 novels so far and several short stories. The novels prior to The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents[?] (and almost all Pratchett books to date) had cover art done by Josh Kirby (who died in October 2001), but only in the original British editions. The American editions, published by HarperCollins, do not feature Kirby's cover art.

The novels can be grouped into five categories:

  • The Rincewind stories - These stories centre around a wizard (of sorts) called Rincewind[?]. The 'of sorts' is because Rincewind is a complete failure at magic, but through a series of events is recognised as a wizard. The other wizards at the Unseen University are sometimes seen in these stories.
  • The Witches stories - These stories centre around the witches of Lancre[?], particularly Granny Weatherwax[?], Nanny Ogg[?], Magrat Garlick[?], and later Agnes Nitt[?].
  • The Death stories - These stories centre around Death in his usual personification of a skeleton in black robes with a scythe. Death's companions are his granddaughter Susan[?], his butler Albert[?] and the Death of Rats[?], the rat equivalent of the human Death. In later novels Susan takes centre stage, although Death is still a key player.
  • The City Watch stories - These stories centre around Ankh-Morpork's equivalent of a police force, the City Watch. Samuel Vimes[?] leads the city watch, and among his officers are Carrot Ironfoundersson[?], Angua[?], Fred Colon[?], Detritus[?] and "Nobby" Nobbs[?].
  • The Miscellaneous stories - where none of the above four applies, or the main characters from them only appear briefly, or at least not as the main characters of the story in question.

The Discworld novels are as follows:

Name Group ISBN Notes
The Colour of Magic[?] Rincewind Paperback: ISBN 0552124753  
The Light Fantastic[?] Rincewind Paperback: ISBN 0552128481  
Equal Rites[?] The Witches Paperback: ISBN 0552131059  
Mort Death Paperback: ISBN 0552131067  
Sourcery Rincewind Paperback: ISBN 0552131075  
Wyrd Sisters[?] The Witches Paperback: ISBN 0552134600  
Pyramids[?] Miscellaneous Paperback: ISBN 0552134619  
Guards! Guards![?] The City Watch Paperback: ISBN 0552134627  
Eric[?] Rincewind Paperback: ISBN 0575600012 Originally published as a 'Discworld story': larger format and fully illustrated by Josh Kirby; more recently reissued as a normal paperback with no illustrations.
Moving Pictures[?] Miscellaneous Paperback: ISBN 0552134635  
Reaper Man[?] Death Paperback: ISBN 0552134643  
Witches Abroad[?] The Witches Paperback: ISBN 0552134651  
Small Gods Miscellaneous Paperback: ISBN 0552138908  
Lords and Ladies[?] The Witches Paperback: ISBN 0552138916  
Men at Arms[?] The City Watch    
Soul Music[?] Death Paperback: ISBN 0552140295  
Interesting Times[?] Rincewind Paperback: ISBN 0552142352  
Maskerade[?] The Witches Paperback: ISBN 0552142360  
Feet of Clay[?] The City Watch Paperback: ISBN 0552142379  
Hogfather[?] Death Paperback: ISBN 0552145424  
Jingo The City Watch Hardback: ISBN 0575065400  
The Last Continent Rincewind Hardback: ISBN 0385409893  
Carpe Jugulum[?] The Witches Hardback: ISBN 0385409923  
The Fifth Elephant[?] The City Watch Hardback: ISBN 0385409958  
The Truth[?] Miscellaneous Hardback: ISBN 0385601026  
Thief of Time[?] Death Hardback: ISBN 0385601883  
The Last Hero[?] Miscellaneous   Published in a larger format, fully illustrated by Paul Kidby[?].
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents[?] Miscellaneous   A children's Discworld book.
Night Watch[?] The City Watch Hardback: ISBN 0385602642  
The Wee Free Men[?] Miscellaneous   Another children's Discworld book.

There are also three short stories by Pratchett based in the Discworld: Troll Bridge[?], Theatre of Cruelty[?], and The Sea and Little Fishes[?]. All are available online.

In addition Terry Pratchett co-authored with Phil Masters[?] two role-playing game supplements for Discworld:

It is even possible to get a character in one of the future Discworld books named after yourself. Usually people appear in the books by bidding for the privilege in charity auctions.

Animated adaptations of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters were produced by Cosgrove-Hall Productions for Channel 4 in 1996.

Related topics

External link

  • The L-Space Web (http://www.lspace.org/), possibly the definitive Discworld web site
  • Discworld Monthly (http://www.discworldmonthly.co.uk) (free monthly newsletter about Terry Pratchett OBE and his Discworld and other novels.)
  • Discworld.Com (http://www.discworld.com/) The official Discworld website. Still under constuction.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... start precessing around. (The precessing motion is perpendicular to the torque trying to make the gyro fall over.) The axis of the gyroscope in the Dynabee is fixed to ...

This page was created in 23 ms