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The science of Discworld II : the Globe by…
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The science of Discworld II : the Globe (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack S. Cohen, Paul Kidby

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Member:mrund
Title:The science of Discworld II : the Globe
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Other authors:Ian Stewart, Jack S. Cohen, Paul Kidby
Info:London : Ebury, 2002.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Science of Discworld II: The Globe by Terry Pratchett (Author) (2002)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
What a sad thing to review this book right after Sir Terry has passed away; sadder still that I have to say that I didn’t really like the book. It was okay; I read the whole thing without finding it a chore, but it wasn’t what I expected. I thought it might be a humorous book on how *Discworld* works, rather than our own.

There are four books in the Science of Discworld series; this is the only one I’ve read. The books are written in an alternating chapter format: Sir Terry writes the short, fiction, chapters and Stewart and Cohen write the longer, nonfiction, ones. The fiction portion tells a tale of the wizards of Discworld and a misadventure while doing a team building exercise in the forest. They find themselves interacting with Roundworld, a globular world where magic doesn’t exist, but elves do. Thinking this situation is unfair to the humans, they first eliminate the elves from Roundworld. Then they discover that this was a horrible mistake, as humans need to believe in magic in order to thrive and progress- even though the magic is imaginary. They have to go through great effort to correct their meddling.

The science part of the book covers a lot of different subjects; quantum physics, evolution, psychology, religion, time, multiverses, culture, and philosophy. It’s all in terms that most will find accessible, but there is some repetition.

It’s an attempt to get lovers of fantasy to read science-y stuff and sneak some education down our throats, sort of like a grown up version of Mickey Mouse teaching kids about math or something. It works, but not terribly well. The wizard story is just barely held together; the wizards do something, and then they stop and what just happened is explained to us. By the end of the book, I remembered a lot of the science but little of the story. While Cohen and Stewart wrote the science sections, I swear I see Sir Terry’s hand in that; the footnotes are some of the funniest stuff in the book.

Final verdict? Certainly not my favorite Pratchett, but if I see the other three in the series I’ll probably read them. Just not that eagerly. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Mar 15, 2015 |
I do enjoy the Discworld books... especially stories pertaining to the wizards so that was a thumbs-up for this book. The other half of the book... the sciency stuff was hard going at times. I can deal with topics involving biology, evolution & human ideology, however, quantum physics & other similar topics leave my head reeling a bit. Because of this I did tend to skim over the more physics-based chapters.

Apart from the occasional lapses into dreaded physics this 2nd book gets to grips with human "narrativium" & the development of stories within our species pretty well & is, overall, an enjoyable read. ( )
  K.Llewellin | Jul 7, 2013 |
I have a catagory here on library thing, which is the opposite of my library, which is called "read but not owned" these are books that Have passed trough my hands but I have not actually aquired, Many of these are listed in seperate catagoties to show where I borrowed them from, but most importantly I have read them cover to cover. this book is the exception to that rule. It has been several years since I last had to admit that I have not actually managed to complete a book.
There is a bit of a story - some of which assumes that you have read a precious book (which I had not). This story appeared to consist of a couple of paragraophs interspered amound musings on the functioning of the Disc world, history of this world and some other frankly bazar theories.
As normal the wizards of the disc world are interfearing, this time it is with our world (this is apparently contained in a paperweight or something and might just have been created by them in the previous book.
The two parts of this book simply did not melt for me, I would just be getting into the story line when it would transform in to a discussion on the definition of science and who in history was a scientist, (even though the word scientist is quite a new one)bang the plot flies from my head as this topic begins to interest me. When the story continues, I have forgotten what was happening, and would like more information on the subject they were discussing.
It feels like badly written psudo science (though the science is actually disc world science not this world, I think)mixed with bady executed narrative.
I will not be seeing out any more of these ( )
  jessicariddoch | May 17, 2010 |
I read 80% of the book, for some reason I didn't finish it.It is full of trivia and data, and the bits on "Narrative Reality" and Narrativium are worth their weight in gold, to me. ( )
  tundranocaps | Feb 3, 2009 |
Some heavy science, but interesting. Not the best Pratchett story ( )
  steevc | May 19, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, TerryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cohen, JackAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Stewart, IanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brandhorst, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simon, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the airy, crowded silence of the forest, magic was hunting magic on silent feet.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0091888050, Paperback)

The acclaimed Science of Discworld centred around an original Pratchett story about the Wizards of Discworld. In it they accidentally witnessed the creation and evolution of our universe, a plot which was interleaved with a Cohen & Stewart non-fiction narrative about Big Science. In The Science of Discworld II our authors join forces again to see just what happens when the wizards meddle with history in a battle against the elves for the future of humanity on Earth. London is replaced by a dozy Neanderthal village. The Renaissance is given a push. The role of fat women in art is developed. And one very famous playwright gets born and writes The Play. Weaving together a fast-paced Discworld novelette with cutting-edge scientific commentary on the evolution and development of the human mind, culture, language, art, and science, this is a book in which 'the hard science is as gripping as the fiction'. (The Times)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

NOVELS, OTHER PROSE & WRITERS. The acclaimed Science of Discworld centred around an original Pratchett story about the Wizards of Discworld. In it they accidentally witnessed the creation and evolution of our universe, a plot which was interleaved with a Cohen & Stewart non-fiction narrative about Big Science.In The Science of Discworld II our authors join forces again to see just what happens when the wizards meddle with history in a battle against the elves for the future of humanity on Earth. London is replaced by a dozy Neanderthal village. The Renaissance is given a push. The role of fat women in art is developed. And one very famous playwright gets born and writes The Play.Weaving together a fast-paced Discworld novelette with cutting-edge scientific commentary on the evolution and development of the human mind, culture, language, art, and science, The Globe presents a fascinating and brilliantly original view of the world we live in.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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