Best and Worst Discworld

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Okita » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:59 pm UTC

Lu-Tze needs another series. He's just so much fun.

But I think Pratchett more or less used up all he could with the character in Thief of Time and Night Watch so the History Monks are probably going to just be relegated to very very small side characters.

And I think he's having fun with Moist Von Lipwig too. Indicates that he's moved on to more fun characters.

Dunno where that llama quote is from though.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Decker » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:44 pm UTC

Okita wrote:And I think he's having fun with Moist Von Lipwig too.


Remember, it's pronounced Lipvig. Just giving you a hard time :P

I particularly like how Moist interacts with the Patrician.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby protocoach » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

Decker wrote:
Okita wrote:And I think he's having fun with Moist Von Lipwig too.


Remember, it's pronounced Lipvig. Just giving you a hard time :P

I particularly like how Moist interacts with the Patrician.

Vetinari wrote:"Behind that door is freedom." Moist walked over and opened the door. Beyond the doorway was darkness. He took the spoon out of his pocket , held it out, and dropped it. It seemed to be quite a long time before he heard it hit bottom.

Goddamn I love Vetinari.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Decker » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:19 pm UTC

Although I don't have the book with me, my favorite quote is something like

Moist: You want me to run a bank? I ROB banks!
Vetinari: Capital! Reverse your thinking. The money stays on the inside.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby quintopia » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:49 am UTC

I believe Mort has the highest ranking according to The Big Read.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby CVSoul » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:30 am UTC

hmmm... Best, I would say is actually the Light Fantastic. The books with Rincewind as a main character are typically very entertaining, although when he makes a cameo in the others it's moderately annoying. Also, I believe the Luggage the best non-human character ever made, the only one that even comes close is Half-Life's DOG.

As for the worst Discworld, I definitely did not enjoy reading Moving Pictures. if you're read it, I need not explain further.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Sandry » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:13 am UTC

Decker wrote:I particularly like how Moist interacts with the Patrician.

I agree, but then I sort of stumbled into this Moist/Vetinari fanfic, and now I'm pretty sure I can never think about it again with out my brain burning.

Also, yeah, I just read Wintersmith yesterday, and I guess the plot wasn't a swiftly running river or whatnot, but I wasn't bored by any means. I just like his writing well enough that I'm not really waiting for things to get interesting.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Moo » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:07 am UTC

Sandry wrote:Moist/Vetinari fanfic
*desparately washes brain*

Actually I thought Moving Pictures was fair enough.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Charley » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

I'm still working my way through them, having read (or listened to) 10 or 12.

Of the ones I've read so far, I think that I liked Mort the best, and Pyramids the least.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:37 am UTC

CVSoul wrote:As for the worst Discworld, I definitely did not enjoy reading Moving Pictures. if you're read it, I need not explain further.

Er, no.. you will have to explain further as while I understand the individual words in "I definitely did not enjoy reading Moving Pictures", you've got a "Not" in there that makes the whole sentence complete nonsense.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby MShades » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:45 am UTC

Pratchett is like popcorn for me - if I read one, I really can't stop.... He's one of the very few authors whose books I will buy automatically, without any consideration as to whether or not it is good. In fact, it amazes me that he's written so many books in a thirty year timespan and so many of them are actually good, if not great. How many other authors can claim that?

Anyway, at the top of my list is Small Gods, followed by Feet of Clay, Lords and Ladies, and Reaper Man. At the bottom, the dark and musty bottom, is Eric and the last two of the Science of Discworld books. The first one is pretty entertaining, but it plummets downhill after that.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby nysha » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:00 pm UTC

I started with Guards! Guards! and worked my way through the Nightwatch books before moving on. That series is my favorite, with Thud leading and Nightwatch being my least favorite.

Eric and Mort are the only two I've actively disliked and refuse to reread.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Decker » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:19 pm UTC

I just read Pyramids recently...I'd give it a 6 out of 10.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby dustundersofa » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:54 am UTC

I don't think either the earlier books or the later are the worst. I loved Light Fantastic (and all the Rincewind books), but Equal Rites wasn't that great. Going Postal was amazing; Making Money, not so. The Tiffany books generally annoy me, but I have no idea why.
I can't decide on a "best book," though. Every single one is way better than most fantasy.

Just to think that a year ago I decided to read a Discworld book just to be able to argue with the people who say they're better than Hitchhiker. I'm completely obsessed with both series now :D

Sandry wrote:
Decker wrote:I particularly like how Moist interacts with the Patrician.

I agree, but then I sort of stumbled into this Moist/Vetinari fanfic, and now I'm pretty sure I can never think about it again with out my brain burning.

Ouch.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby mikhail » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

Night Watch and Thief of Time are my favourites. As a bonus, the Rembrandt parody that is the cover of Night Watch is just awesome.

I think I latch onto characters more than books though. I love Vimes, Vetinari, Lu Tze, The Librarian, Death and Cohen the Barbarian just a little more than any other bunch of characters ever.

I've slightly overdosed on Pratchett, I think. I don't find the books as good as I used, and I think it's just because there's a novelty factor wearing off. I still kill one every time I use an aeroplane though.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby CVSoul » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:03 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
CVSoul wrote:As for the worst Discworld, I definitely did not enjoy reading Moving Pictures. if you're read it, I need not explain further.

Er, no.. you will have to explain further as while I understand the individual words in "I definitely did not enjoy reading Moving Pictures", you've got a "Not" in there that makes the whole sentence complete nonsense.


oho, disagreement.
Moving Pictures seemed a bit schizo-lieterary for me. It had lame characters, and moved from a relatively discworld-y plot to an LSD trip. You may disagree, but I don't care.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Stereo » Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:32 pm UTC

I think my favourite is Feet of Clay, with least favourite being Reaper Man. It's not that any of them were written badly, I just don't really want to read Reaper Man again.

Still need to get my hands on Making Money though, I was still waiting for a paperback edition when my birthday came and passed. More a weight/space consideration than price, the shelf my Discworld books are on is already dangerously full and I need to conserve what is left :mrgreen:


edit: Oops, already responded. Well, that time I didn't mention my favourite so it's all good.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Clockwork_Golem » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:06 pm UTC

The first few books are probably my least favourite in the Discworld series, mainly because I think the later books are better rather than there being anything wrong with them. The Death books are probably the ones I've enjoyed the most, I love the mythology Pratchett has built up around Death and the character himself. I found Reaper Man to be particularly good, especially the scene where
Spoiler:
Death fights his replacement.


I like the newer books as well, the style might have changed a bit but I still enjoy them just as much.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Brother Maynard » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:26 pm UTC

I've read every book but three: Witches Abroad, Reaper Man, and Interesting Times.

Up till recently, it was four books I hadn't read, and by chance I ran across Soul Music in a library I hadn't been to before. I was badly disappointed by it. It seemed like it depended on a stream of band name puns and an absurd (not in the good Pratchett-esque sense) plot that really just acted as a rewrite of Moving Pictures. (Giant disembodied forces relating to things annoy me, especially when he took the same idea for the letters in Going Postal)

I also disliked Eric a lot, and Maskerade and Monstrous Regiment were fair at best.

That said, my top five (in no particular order):

1: Lords and Ladies (I thought the concept of evil elves was both original and well-executed)
2: Thief of Time (Not so much the actual plot, but the side story concerning the lone Auditor)
3: Wyrd Sisters (As opposed to Maskerade/Eric, I actually enjoyed this rewrite, especially the conclusion)
4: Night Watch
5: Making Money

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Angua » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:07 pm UTC

I think I've read all the books by Terry Pratchett, Discworld or not, and loved them all. If I had to choose favourites, Jingo, Small Gods and Lords and Ladies would probably be on the top, with Eric and Equal Rites on the bottom. I especially love the fact that I get a new thing out of them each time, especially as I grow older (I started reading them before I was 10 and am now 18) and can get the innuendos, or now know more about Rock music and get the other references he makes. I especially love when I hear about something and then think "So that's where that idea came from." To be perfectly honest, it's pretty amazing the number of things that Pratchett doesn't think up, he must have a fantastic memory for trivia, which makes him having Alzheimer's even more of a tragedy. eg, Did you know that they actually had semaphore towers in France at one time? Or that there is a floating island somewhere in the Mediterranean (I think that it's off Italy) that rises every 200 years or so? In my opinion, I think that is what makes his books so cool, the fact that a lot of the stuff is REAL, and shows how cool the world is, if you notice all the details.

BTW, what did anyone think of Dark Side of the Sun?
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Mercurius » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:16 pm UTC

Worst would be Equal Rites for the reasons most people have already said...the best probably Night Guard. Vimes has really come along as a character, and it was fascinating to get that sort of insight into him.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

Angua wrote:he must have a fantastic memory for trivia, which makes him having Alzheimer's even more of a tragedy.

From some of his comments in interviews (most recently on Radio 4's Front Row a few weeks ago), it seems that his Alzheimer's is a fairly rare kind that affects motor skills more than memory. Obviously I have no idea how that might change in ther future, but certainly he's mainly been saying in interviews that so far it's only really affected his typing.

He also said that he's tried dictating a few thousand words to his PA as an experiment, but concluded that he'd prefer to continue to work on the keyboard for as long as he can. Here's a quote from an interview conducted by one Neil Gaiman(!):

In December 2007, at the age of 59, Terry announced that he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. I was concerned that I'd find myself talking to a Terry who was less sharp, less smart, than the friend I'd known for quarter of a century, and was relieved to find him as bright as ever. I asked about the Alzheimer's. 'If I look at the table to see if my mobile is there, the chances are I won't see it even if it is actually there. But if I know it is there, I will see it. Sometimes the brain will overrule the eye and say that something isn't there, even though it is. And because that something could be the little girl in the pink dress on the zebra crossing, I don't drive a car any more.

'I type badly, worse than I ever did, and that's a big drawback, as you and many journalists will appreciate, because the process of typing is the process of thinking: one activity drives the other, so I find myself hunting and pecking and that makes the thinking and the flow jerky.

'Beyond that, I'm at a loss to know what other effects there are. I was upfront about this right at the start because I could see no reason on God's earth why I should be anything else. Let's put it this way, I've never been 60 before so I don't know if some of the problems I have are Alzheimer's problems or "being 60 years old" problems. I have the suspicion that if you put me in the airport and I had to make a quick change of planes, I might get to the point when I would just sit down and wait until someone helpful tells me where to go. But frankly, I've always tended to feel like that, especially in American airports and when I've got a particularly serious change to make. It's all a bit of a puzzle.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Angua » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

Thanks for that, I feel much better now. If I had to choose between my motor skills and my mind, I would definitely choose my mind.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Moo » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

Indeed; he spoke about his illness at the Discworld Convention and it doesn't affect his memory at all; but he says sometimes he looks at the keyboard and the a key just *isn't there*. As I understand it, it affects the brain's ability to recognize objects.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby sleepygamer » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Angua wrote:BTW, what did anyone think of Dark Side of the Sun?

One of my favourite books. Ever.

I thought the ending was a little rushed, however. He could have expanded a little, but it was a very early book.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

sleepygamer wrote:
Angua wrote:BTW, what did anyone think of Dark Side of the Sun?

One of my favourite books. Ever.

I thought the ending was a little rushed, however. He could have expanded a little, but it was a very early book.


Yeah, I felt like that at the end, but hey, it was a great book up 'til then.
Spoiler:
I loved the idea of a race basically realising that they could never completely understand the universe as there are so many ways you can look at it and then decided to seed the universe for other races so that they could try and get different perspectives on the universe to understand it more completely. So cool...


For those of you just reading the Discworld series, Strata, Dark Side of the Sun and the Carpet People are great stand alone books that while aren't Discworld, are all great reads in a very similar style.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby icanus » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

Favourite: Night Watch - Vimes, Vetinari, time travel, copious amounts of cynicism. What's not to like.

Least favourite: probably Moving Pictures. It's still an entertaining read, but it's the only Discworld book that I was able to read over the course of a week. All the others, I've picked the book up, and that's me gone for six hours. Possibly I'm just not enough of a film buff to get all the references, since Soul Music is pretty similar in tone, and one of my favourites (calling a band The Surreptitious Fabric is just brilliant).

While not Discworld, I've just finished Nation. I really wasn't getting into it for about the first 25% of the book. I suspect it was just the difference in tone from Discworld which threw me. Having read the whole thing, I really can't wait to reread (I have a self imposed 3 month minimum for re-reading to avoid over saturation).

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby romanov99 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

Feet of Clay

Vimes is such a grizzled, misanthropic, cynical character. He's seen it all, and he's seen too many people acting badly to not have prejudices against everyone from dwarves to golems. But his burning overriding hatred of privilege and those that assume they are entitled to treat others badly transforms him into a champion worthy of any fairy tale. He ends up being the only man with enough courage and stubbornness to give voices even to those who were built to be slaves.

From Feet of Clay:
"We can rebuild him." Carrot said hoarsely. "We have the pottery."
Vimes stared at the words, and then at what remained of Dorfl.
"Mister Vimes?" said Carrot.
"Do it." said Vimes.
Carrot blinked.
"Right now," Vimes said. He looked back at the scrawl in his book.
WORDS IN THE HEART CAN NOT BE TAKEN
"And when you rebuild him," he said "when you rebuild him... give him a voice. Understand? And get someone to look at your hand."
"A voice Sir?"
"Do it!"

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby icanus » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:24 am UTC

Even his own younger self isn't safe from a fairly scathing Vimes internal monologue (one of my favourite passages from NW):

He wondered if it was at all possible to give this idiot some lessons in basic politics. That was always the dream, wasn't it? 'I wish I knew then what I know now'? But when you got older, you found out that You Now wasn't You Then. You Then was a twerp. You Then was what you had to be to start out on the rocky road of becoming You Now, and one of the rocky patches on that road was being a twerp. A much better dream, one that'd ensure sounder sleep, was not to know now what you didn't know then.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Moo » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:18 am UTC

romanov99 wrote:From Feet of Clay:
"We can rebuild him." Carrot said hoarsely. "We have the pottery."
Wow I never caught this reference before :D
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby zacpol » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:18 am UTC

My favorites are the ones that take an idea or invention from our world and put it in discworld terms, like newspapers in The Truth, movies in Moving Pictures, the phantom of the opera story in Masquerade, etc. But my overall favorite is definitely Interesting Times, only because the Silver Horde has to be the funniest cast of characters Pratchett has ever come up with.

My least favorite are the original two. They go against so much from the later books that it's almost hard to read. Also, at the end of the second they make Rincewind seem like he's the most important guy in Ankh-Morpork, but by his next book he's a nobody. I understand that it would ruin his character, but come on. Don't make the statement in the first place if you're going to retract it later.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Monty40xi » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:24 pm UTC

So far I've read Colour of Magic and Light Fantastic in graphic novel form, Reaper Man, Fifth Elephant, and Guards! Guards! in that order. I just started on Men At arms, and after that will be Night Watch. I definitely latched onto the characters of the Watch in Fifth Elephant, as you can tell (although the Death of Rats is still one of my favorite characters ever. SQUEAK.)

I loved how the dwarves in Fifth Elephant were so ridiculously dwarfish. Romantic relationships that start with trying to figure out the other dwarf's gender, epic operas about inedible baked goods, endless debates on just what amount of gold the truth is actually more precious than, all of it.

And Detritus in the cold... awesome. "Detritus, you can't fire that here! We're indoors!" "Not after I shoot, we won't be."

Sybil makes me laugh constantly. I wish she got even more time in that book, like in Guards! Guards!.

Carrot. Ahh, Carrot. There's so much more to him than just the Clark Kent he seems to be. It's hard to imagine him ever topping the act of arresting a dragon, but I'm sure he will and don't you dare tell me how.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:So far I've read Colour of Magic and Light Fantastic in graphic novel form, Reaper Man, Fifth Elephant, and Guards! Guards! in that order. I just started on Men At arms, and after that will be Night Watch.

No, no! Feet of Clay and Jingo before Night Watch! It doesn't make a massive difference, and you've already found out the biggest spoiler - Angua - by reading T5E before MAA. But the more time you spend with Vimes and Reg Shoe and Colon and Vetinari before reading Night Watch, the more impact that book will have.

Unless of course you've already bought your copy of Night Watch. In which case by all means read it next.

But otherwise, now you've read a few assorted books from throughout the series, you might want to read the rest of the novels in publication order (time for you to get started on the Witches books, I think!)

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Monty40xi » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:12 pm UTC

I do already have Night Watch at home waiting to be read, but I'd have no problem delaying it for another few books in between. The book store across the street from where I work has 2 or 3 shelves of nothing but Discworld, so it'll be easy to pick up the others. I've gathered that Feet of Clay is about golems. What's Jingo about? And when should I read whichever book had "THIS IS NOT MY COW!"?

Another question - should I expect the rules for the different races to keep being rewritten? Dwarves had definite genders in Guards! Guards! but in later books that was thrown out the window. Werewolves went from being monthly shifters to at-will shifters. Should I just get used to that and roll with it?
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:03 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:I do already have Night Watch at home waiting to be read, but I'd have no problem delaying it for another few books in between. The book store across the street from where I work has 2 or 3 shelves of nothing but Discworld, so it'll be easy to pick up the others. I've gathered that Feet of Clay is about golems. What's Jingo about? And when should I read whichever book had "THIS IS NOT MY COW!"?

Another question - should I expect the rules for the different races to keep being rewritten? Dwarves had definite genders in Guards! Guards! but in later books that was thrown out the window. Werewolves went from being monthly shifters to at-will shifters. Should I just get used to that and roll with it?


Jingo is about war (or the threat of it) between two of the Discworld's major powers, Ankh-Morpork and Klatch, again it features Vimes and the City Watch characters. That plotline runs through the series (along with books about Death, about the Witches, about Rincewind amongst others), so probably best to read the books involving the City Watch characters in this order:
Guards Guards, Men At Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud! (the last of those is the one with 'That is not my cow!' in it)

The portrayal of the different species and races on the Disc does tend to change as the series goes on, it's hard to say how exactly but you do see differences.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby kfish » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:53 am UTC

Monty40xi wrote:And Detritus in the cold... awesome.
Yes! I liked Detritus even more once he was fleshed out a bit with a little more intelligence.

Monty40xi wrote: Another question - should I expect the rules for the different races to keep being rewritten? Dwarves had definite genders in Guards! Guards! but in later books that was thrown out the window. Werewolves went from being monthly shifters to at-will shifters. Should I just get used to that and roll with it?
I hadn't actually noticed before this point, though it's been a really long time since I read the earlier watch books. Sounds like a good excuse to go flesh out my collection a little more :)

icanus wrote:Least favourite: probably Moving Pictures. It's still an entertaining read, but it's the only Discworld book that I was able to read over the course of a week. All the others, I've picked the book up, and that's me gone for six hours. Possibly I'm just not enough of a film buff to get all the references, since Soul Music is pretty similar in tone, and one of my favourites (calling a band The Surreptitious Fabric is just brilliant).
Could be - I recently reread Soul Music, and have a much wider exposure to music since the first time I enjoyed it a lot more when I was getting more of the references. I might have to try Moving Pictures again.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Angua » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:57 am UTC

Monty40xi wrote:Another question - should I expect the rules for the different races to keep being rewritten? Dwarves had definite genders in Guards! Guards! but in later books that was thrown out the window. Werewolves went from being monthly shifters to at-will shifters. Should I just get used to that and roll with it?


I don't know about the dwarves, but the full werewolves (ones that turn all the way, not into a wolfman/woman sort of thing) were always at will shifters, but they couldn't stay human at the full moon, so had to change then.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Moo » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:58 am UTC

^ And she should know! :)
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Angua » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:32 pm UTC

Oh yeah.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:56 pm UTC

I don't recall the Dwarves in Guards! Guards! having .. well, genders in the same way humans have genders. Obviously Carrot has a mother, and his speech to the Dwarven Bar was in how their mothers would think of them carrying on like that, but I don't recall any dwarves actually described as not looking like a walking stereotype - 200 pounds of dwarf, 300 pounds of metal, axes everywhere, helmets with horns, long long beards, etc. It was more of an implied thing of "You're here, obviously you have a mother and a father, and we'll end it at that"

That's how I read it, at least.

*edit* apparently it had the line of "All dwarfs have beards and wear up to twelve layers of clothing. Gender is more or less optional." in it. Which still isn't quite the same as having Human-style obvious societal genders, but does imply that it's okay for a female dwarf to be a female.

Still, some things are inconsistent and I'm fine with that - evolution of the world and all. I think Pratchett just changes things based on what would be funnier at the time of writing without out-and-out contradicting what he said earlier - trolls will never become hunky-dory with Dwarves, but they do get to be smarter in the cold and not walking idiot boxes.

I also don't recall the sunlight thing being much of an issue anymore (trolls turning to stone in it), but I may be mistaken.
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