The only place in the multiverse where an elephant has to cock a leg to let the sun go by. The Discworld is the fictional creation of Terry Pratchett (who lives in Wiltshire in the UK). It is a planet (well, the creator was just making a pizza but carried away as you do) which is flat and revolves on the backs of four giant elephants who in turn stand of the back of the Star Turtle.

It is also the title of a hugely popular series of books (the 25th in the series is due out near the end of 2000AD) including the Colour of Magic and Mort (which is reputed to be better in the German translation).

A new book in the series is almost guaranteed to rocket straight to number one in the book charts.
This is the current listing of Discworld books, as of July 11, 2000. I will try to keep this list current, as new books come out.

Novels by Terry Pratchett
The Colour of Magic
The Light Fantastic
Equal 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 - Thanks Heisenberg & Great Neb
Monstrous Regiment
Going Postal

Discworld books by other authors
The Discworld Companion by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
The Science of the Discworld by Ian Stewart
The Science of the Discworld 2 by Ian Stewart thanks Zerotime
The Streets of Ankh-Morpork by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
The Discworld Mapp by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
A Tourist Guide to Lancre by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
Death's Domain by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs

The same as most everyone else who have written on the Pratchett nodes, I think that the Discworld books are incredibly funny and yet also thoughtful. I encourage everyone to give them a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Note: This list is by no means complete. If you have any suggestions for additions, please msg me.

It should be noted that other people have done a much better job than me at this... If you can't find your favourite character here, try http://www.extenuation.net/disc/charamain.html

Ankh-Morpork:

Wizards:

The Watch:

  • Commander Sir Samuel Vimes - Recently married to Lady Sybil Ramkin, Sam is the Commander of the Watch and a true policeman who can feel the road through his boots.
  • Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson - Rightful heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork, Carrot was raised by dwarves. Romantically involved with Lance-Constable Angua.
  • Corporal Nobby Nobbs (C.W. St. John Nobbs) - Technically human. Spends most his time "patrolling" bars.
  • Sergeant (Once acting-captain) Fred Colon - An officer of the old school, sgt. Colon prefers to "stand and watch and sort out what's left once it's over".
  • Lance-Constable Angua (Delphine von Uberwald) - A werewolf from Uberwald. Romantically involved with Captain Carrot.
  • Sergeant Detritus - A handy troll with an arquebus, Detritus prefers a direct approach to questioning. 'It was you what done it, so own up.'
  • Corporal Cheery Littlebottom - Dwarven forensics officer, recently out of the closet as a female.
  • Corporal Visit.
  • Dorfl - A golem with free will.
  • Reg Shoe - Keeping up with tolerance of the different, Reg is the Watch's zombie. Before joining the Watch, he was leader of the Fresh Start Club.
  • Buggy Swires - Ferocious small person (no, really small), Buggy is head of the Flying Squad of the watch, usually found riding his favorite turkey buzzard.

Others:

Lancre:

Witches:

Others:

  • Esk - A girl who wants to become a wizard.
  • King Verence of Lancre - Married to the Queen (duh).
  • Greebo - Nanny's infamous cat.
  • Jason Ogg - One of Nanny's many children.
  • Shawn Ogg - Ditto.
  • Hodgesaaargh - A keeper of birds of prey. Named so because that is how he usually introduces himself.
  • Diamanda

Uberwald

Werewolves:

Dwarves:

Vampires:

Other places:

Anthropomorphic Personifications:

Deities:

  • The Creator - Generally believed to have created the Discworld because he was tired of more "normal" universes.
  • Great A'Tuin - The world turtle, on whose back stands four enormous elephants. On top of the elephants are the Discworld, as a giant geological pizza (but without the anchovies).
  • Om - The Great God Om
  • Offler - The Crocodile God.
  • The Lady - Never called by her real name, as this is thought to make her go away...
  • Blind Io
  • Petulia - Goddess of Negotiable Affection.
  • Zephyrus - The god of slight breezes.
  • Hoki
  • Herne the Hunted - The terrified and apprehensive deity of all small furry creatures.
  • Anoia - Minor goddess of Things That Stick In Drawers.

Miscellaneous characters:

The Discworld books by Terry Pratchett have also been turned into three major CD-ROM and Playstation games. The first two games featured the voice of Eric Idle as the inept Wizzard (deliberately bad spelling), Rincewind. Rincewind used his many-legged (fairly intelligent) Luggage to store items for puzzle-solving. These are excellent, humourous, point-and-click adventures in the vein of the Monkey Island games. Knowledge of the earlier Discworld novels would probably be helpful in playing the games, although not essential.

The last official game was Discworld Noir and is a Pratchett-esque spin on a film noir. Also a point-and-click adventure it seems to be the game that has least relation to the stories of the novels.

The games were published in the following years:

There seems to be a great deal of writing here on the mechanics of Discworld; its inhabitants, its creator, its lore. I was somewhat shocked, then, to find a dearth of scholarship on what the place actually is.

I'm hampered, here, in my usual style of finding Clever and Funny Quotes By Other People and putting them up to introduce the subject. Not because they're hard to find, but because there are so damn many, it's impossible to choose among them. With thirty-seven full books set in Discworld by Mr. Pratchett at the time of this writing, it is certainly one of the most well-chronicled worlds out there whether of the fantasy genre or general literature.

Discworld, at base, is fantasy. Although it contains liberal saltings of other genres, it is incontrovertibly a place where the world is flat, contains magic, and rides on the backs of four enormous elephants who in turn ride on the back of an enormous turtle which swims the stars. As another commenter has said, truly, the only place where an enormous elephant has to cock a leg to let the sun go by.

So, fantasy. All the ingredients are there, from heroes and princesses to wizards and tyrants and Assassins and dragons (of all types, it must be admitted). The problem with calling it straight fantasy is that there are also coppers, Postmasters General, newspapermen, bankers, tourists, and more. Oh, dozens more. And you know what? While the traditional fantasy types are present in every story, the stories all, eventually, seem to revolve around these uncomfortably recognizable normals.

And that's not all. Other elements creep into the story. Futuristic weapons. Time travel. Even space travel, right at the beginning. There are tales of international intrigue and war, tales of women's suffrage, tales of the tooth fairy and of The Phantom of the Opera! Tales of daring exploration and even exile and return.

In sum, the thing that makes Discworld so damn irresistable is that it...is a world. A big one, for all that Sir Pratchett tells us it's a couple thousand miles across. Of course, it helps that light only travels a few miles a second here, I suppose.

In this unbelievable playground, Pratchett treats his creations as props in a magic sandbox to tell us truths about our own world. Not sappy truths about love and life and happiness and evil (although those are there too!) but about things that we would, until a hot second ago, have sworn were indelibly parts of our own modern and sensible world, thank you very much.

Modern theories of money, along with corrupt financiers and corporate raiders. Ethnic strife. Prejudice of all sorts. Addiction. Diplomacy, and in a manner probably rather closer to the truth than its real practitioners would like. Good heavens, they've even got the movie industry and the great steaming primal beast that is Rock and Roll, and all of these change worlds. There are entirely fanciful but deeply chilling theories about Cities and their gestation, as well as the beast that is an aroused populace. Why we have death even comes into play. The futility of war. Even, in the most recent installment, the true nature of Sport.

Discworld is a place where, should you wake up and find yourself there, you might panic for all of ten minutes before realizing that it's just like home.

And that's the most impressive kind of fantasy I've ever seen.

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