Friday, December 09, 2005


This is space. It's sometimes called the final frontier. (Except that of course you can't have a final frontier, because there'ld be nothing for it to be a frontier to, but as frontiers go, it's pretty penultimate...)
...Great A'Tuin, star turtle, swims onward through the void.
On its back, four giant elephants. On their shoulders, rimmed with water, glittering under its tiny orbiting sunlet, spinning majestically around the mountains at its frozen Hub, lies the Discworld, world and mirror of worlds.

Welcome to Discworld. That is my favourite opening paragraph out of Terry Pratchett's masterpiece(s). No, it’s not a preview or a review. It’s a shameless plug for one of my favourite series. I guess now is when I warn you that you are entering fan territory.

For the uninitiated, DiscWorld is a series of 35 (at last count online count, 23 according the last book I possess) novels by Terry Pratchett.
They are all placed on this world that is shaped like a disc – unsurprisingly called Discworld. It has a tiny sun orbiting it, its single polar icecap is called the Hub and the sea is incessantly throwing itself off the Rim of the World. But greater wonder awaits those who look over and below the Rim of the World (which I think only Rincewind, an inept wizard and his company have seen. Rincewind, by the way, is an absolutely unbelievably inept wizard who misses dying by a hair’s width several times – and literally).
Now, as I was telling you, this world rests on the shoulder of four giant elephants (which I always imagined were white) and which in turn stand upon the broad back of a Giant Turtle (sex unknown) which is swimming through space with its beady eye fixed on the destination - a point only it knows. The Gods, definitely, do not have a clue, being too busy playing (ahem, gambling) to know things like that.

As you can imagine, magical things happen on this world, although most stories are about ordinary people (read wizards, witches, trolls, dwarfs, zombies, werewolves, vampires) doing ordinary things on an extraordinary world…
It started out as a parody of the fantasy that surged in the 1980s (The Colour of Magic was published in 1983, I think, and since then Pratchett’s life has been made.) So, you safely expect satire. There are “themes” running in the series, but if you pick up any random book, you ought to be able to make sense of it. For instance, my favourite are the stories that revolve around Death or Magic. Death is the skeleton with the scythe and the black robes – riding a white horse called Binky because a horse made of skeletons is quite uncomfortable...

Carpe Jugulum is a latin phrase that means seize the throat. It's about a bunch of 'modernised' vampyres who decide to take over the world as they have grown "smart". Expect different humour here, and the strangest thing I have noticed is that while Terry Pratchett has one of the highest number of laughs per page his jokes are rarely repeated.

If you liked the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll love this. If you ahve a taste fro Wodehouse, you'll probably enjoy it too. Like fantasy, can enjoy.

If you are about to begin now, go for "Mort". Mort is the assistant that Death hires.
Equal Rites
The Colour of Magic
Small Gods
are also highly recommended. Look for a witch or Death in blurb, becuase frankly, those are the best.

For old fans - have you seen the annotated pratchett file? The jokes fans spotted have been compiled and explained. :D


Blogger Incognito said...

Hope to join you soon :)

8:19 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

Oh, I hope so. :D It's an awesome world!

8:28 am GMT-8  
Blogger Abhi! said...

My name is Abhishek. PERIOD.

11:33 am GMT-8  
Blogger Arz000n said...

I got few of Terry's work downloaded few weeks back..

DS9 Companion Season 1.lit
Carpe Jugulum v1.0.lit
Hogfather v1.0.lit
Jingo v1.0.lit
Moving Pictures v1.0.lit
Soul Music v1.0.lit
Turntables Of The Night.lit

I think afta reading this post Im eager to put ma hands on these ones

Thanks Camphor!!!

1:07 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Hellbrandt Grimm said...

Hmm..heard plenty about Pratchett. I needed that one read to sell the idea to me, and this might be the one.

Hmm...*contemplates* Just going by the lines you quoted, I could not help but have a hitch-hikerish deja-vu there, but that could only make me keener on checking it out :)

Then there's the word "void"....

8:23 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

Abhishek PERIOD ~ right. :P

Arz000n ~ Start with Hogfather, Move to Sould Music. Carpe Jugulum is one of my favs, but it slows down in patches.

zydar ~ *Sells idea* Get it, :D and if you want, I'll even email an eBook or two to you. Such a pity the best aren't there on my harddrive...

8:54 pm GMT-8  
Blogger the Monk said...

I have the ebook...will check it out..sounds great...

12:02 am GMT-8  
Blogger Leon said...

Will check Pratchett out in the vacation..

Btw, all that talk about frontiers reminded me.. Check out "The Last Frontier" by Alistair Maclean. A classy thriller.. :-)

Hey Monk,

Can you paste a link to the ebook?

2:52 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

Monk ~ eBooks to the rescue, eh?

Leon ~ Will check it out in the vacation. Am back in college now, and I'm not sure if the smiley here should be :( or :)

9:13 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Leon said...

Great.. but your next vacation is six months from now?.. :p

9:35 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Apoorv Gawde said...

Oh DiscWorld, I have read all the books except one(Feet of Clay). It is wonderful and my personal favorite is "Pyramids".
Like I have mentioned before, I find him to be a better author. Unfortunately not as many ardent fans.
DiscWorld Rocks!!

11:19 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Navin said...

I am an illiterate when it come to books...and want to remain this way...let me know when the movies of this series the way what happened to tintin?

11:03 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

leon ~ Drat. Don't remind me! I'm tired of life here after one day.

apoorv ~ Yup. :D

navin ~ I sent it. *sigh* Obviously you didn't get it, or you wouldn't be asking. I'll re-send this evening.

9:22 pm GMT-8  
Blogger SC said...

Pratchett's great! i started with Mort too! The comic?

4:15 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

sc ~ I started with 'Small Gods'... Mort was the fourth I read, and I started with teh novels... I am yet to read the comic(s), :D maybe I will sometime later...

6:14 am GMT-8  
Blogger >|' ; '| said...

small gods ....
wasnt tht the one in which theres a lil one eyed turtle god, the great one Om and his prophet Brutha?

1:38 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

-poison- indeed, it is that one. :) the lil one eyed turtle is the Great God Om, reduced to turtle form becuase he has only one sincere worshipper (the prophet Brutha)

4:34 am GMT-8  
Blogger Ashmi said...

its a dream world out there!...and i love to be a part of it too...yes i still love every essence of living or atleast dreaming of a magic world...stay happy in that beautiful world of yours :-)

9:48 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

ashmi ~ That is why we go to it... because it makes us happy, or moves us or makes us forget. :)

11:18 am GMT-8  
Blogger Aravind.V said...

Hmm. I too like Pratchett but only mainly Death's and Rincewinds Character.

11:41 am GMT-8  

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