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The Discworld is the creation of Terry Pratchett. It is an imaginary location that appears in most of his books. (One of Pratchett's earlier novels, Strata, also features a disc-shaped world, but a different one.)

It consists of (as the name suggests) a flat disc (complete with edge-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 gender 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). It relies on magic.

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 30 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.

Almost all of the Discworld novels are notable for having no chapter divisions. Instead most of the time there are different storylines interwoven with each other. The biggest advantage of not having chapters is: you can stop reading on nearly every page... if you are able to. Or you can just go through it non-stop, as some do.

The novels can be grouped into five categories:

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 Hardback: ISBN 0385605331 Another children's Discworld book.
Monstrous Regiment Miscellaneous    
A Hat Full of Sky A second Tiffany Aching novel    

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.

Thus far, there are also two Discworld Quizbooks:

Furthermore, there are four Mapps:

Pratchett has also collaborated with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen on two books using the Discworld to illuminate popular science topics:

Other Discworldesque publications include:

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

Available Discworld computer games are:

Most years there is also a Discworld Diary and Calendar out, as well. The Diaries particularly are themed.

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

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