I was incredibly saddened to hear of the grim reaping of Terry Pratchett yesterday and in acknowledgement of his work, which has given me great pleasure over the years, I’d like to share with you my 10 favourite things about the Discworld:
1. The Discworld.
The idea that the world is flat, circular and carried on the back of four giant elephants, which are standing on the back of an enormous space turtle is, quite simply, pure genius.
2. That magic is a real thing.
Because we all want magic to be real and for it to still work even if you know how or when it’s just headology.
3. The concept of Headology.
4. That nothing is sacred and anything can be parodied, skilfully and with gentle humour. From religion to the Industrial Revolution, from Ancient Egypt to Rock music, Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and even the Apocalypse, it’s all in the Dicworld ready to have fun poked at it.
5. The superb parody of several Shakespeare plays in Wyrd Sisters.
As the cauldron bubbled an archaic voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?!!”
There was a pause.
Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: “Well I can do next Tuesday.”
6. Trying the work out how the various countries and continents on the Discworld relate to the real world. (Fourecks is an easy one).
7. That Death speaks in capitals and has a horse called Binky.
8. The name Moist von Lipwig, which is just, simply funny.
9. In fact, it is mostly the characters that I love:
- Sam Vimes, incorruptible Commander of the Watch
- Lord Vetinari, assassin and benevolent tyrant of Ankh Morpork
- Gaspode, the dog who says “Bark”
- Foul Ole Ron, whose smell is a separate entity. (Buggrit! Millennium Hand and Shrimp!)
- The Luggage
- Carrot, the 6’6″ dwarf (adopted)
- Ronnie Soak, the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse (left before they became famous)
- You Bastard, the camel, greatest mathematician on the Discworld
- the History Monks and Lu-Tze, the Sweeper
- the Witches, maiden, mother and crone in the form of Magrat (whose mother couldn’t spell Margaret), Nanny Ogg (midwife, mother of 15 and fond of a bawdy ballad) and Granny Weatherwax (austere, a bit scary and master of headology)
- The Pictsies, tiny, blue, kilted…umm…Scotsmen, essentially
- Casanunda, dwarf and the world’s second greatest lover
- Cohen the Barbarian, octogenarian leader of the silver horde
- The Death of Rats
- Cut-My-Own-Throat (CMOT) Dibbler, dubious purveyor of the even more dubious Sausage inna bun and anything else he can get his hands on.
10. That his books are unfailingly amusing and never fail to lift me on some level. If you haven’t ventured into the Discworld yet, you really should 🙂
As my own personal tribute to the great man, I will be making a Death of Rats this week. Click on the picture at the top for a link to the pattern if you’d like to join me 🙂
Wherever you are, Sir Terry, be it playing chess with Death or scattering your light among the stars with Grand A’Tuin, I tip my Fedora to you and wish you a very happy afterlife.