220

Terry Pratchett addressed this precise issue in The Discworld Mapp (1997), simply describing it as one of the 'great unanswered questions of our time'. Exactly how this molten state [which powers the volcanoes and allows the continental plates to move] is maintained, and how the water that pours ceaselessly over the rim from the Circle Sea is replaced,...


119

The word is "echo-gnomics" ("economics") An echo is a reflected sound; gnomes live underground. Etymologically, "gnomes" [mythology] are described as "a legendary race of human-like beings, usually imagined as short and possibly bearded males, who inhabit the inner parts of the earth and act as guardians of mines, mineral treasure, etc." (Source: ...


84

In the real world, there is or was a belief, brought on by the Egyptomania of the early 20th century, that pyramids had special powers—including, specifically, the power to sharpen or maintain the sharpness of razor blades. Pyramid power refers to the belief that the ancient Egyptian pyramids and objects of similar shape can confer a variety of benefits. ...


82

You're referring to the quote below from Small Gods between the Great God Om (presently in the form of a small turtle) and his acolyte Brother Brutha (presently in the form of a slightly befuddled young man) on the relative worth of philosophers to society. “The reason why Omnia hasn’t got much of a fleet any more,” said Om. “That’s why it’s always worth ...


77

Rincewind tries his hand at a better translation later in the book (emphasis added): Bloody hell, he thought. He’s alive! Me too. Who’d have thought it? Perhaps there is something in this reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits? It was a cumbersome phrase. Rincewind tried to get his tongue around the thick syllables that were the word in Twoflower’s own ...


71

I think you might be referring to this one: Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote. Terry Pratchett - Mort Or alternatively, this one: Technically, the city of Ankh-Morpork is a Tyranny, which is not always the same ...


65

The best explanation is that the first two Discworld aren't really "Discworld" books as much as they are "Rincewind" books. They're much more aimed at being parody of a large number of fantasy genres than they are designed to be a unique work that starts a brand new franchise. There's tons of inconsistencies between the early books and the later. In the ...


54

Moist understands how Reacher Gilt thinks (because it's the same way he himself thinks). He knows that Gilt will expect Moist to have a cunning plan to win by cheating. So Moist obliges him with a fake method of cheating for Gilt to discover and foil. But because they are both not just clever but superlatively clever, Gilt will suspect that any ploy that ...


50

This is indeed Death and Albert, from Mort (bolding mine) Death strode into the stable, stooping a little to clear the ceiling. Albert nodded, not in any subservient way, Mort noticed, but simply out of form. Mort had met one or two servants, on the rare occasions he’d been taken into town, and Albert wasn’t like any of them. He seemed to act as ...


49

This is a reference to the popular myth that placing a razor blade inside a pyramid shape somehow confers magical powers on it, keeping it sharp, something that that inspired multiple patents in the 1950s. Interestingly, this does actually work in the world of the Discworld, but not for the reasons you might think. Pyramids cause a slowing (and in extreme ...


48

This refers to The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit. This famous early 20th-century English children's novel has a passage where the main characters (3 children, the oldest being a girl) block a railway after a landslide, waving their red petticoats to make the train stop. From Chapter VI, "Saviours of the Train" (the whole book is on Project Gutenberg): ...


47

Pratchett himself always claimed that all consistencies in his work were accidental so there almost certainly is an inconsistency. That's the first point. Secondly Rincewind is a special case, he has a very nasty spell in his head that chases other spells away so what he says is probably his exact experience of trying to learn other magicks. Thirdly Esk is ...


46

Ankh Morpork is a city state and therefore regarded as a country in its own right. According to the Discworld Mapp, published by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs and subtitled "Being the Onlie True & Mostlie Accurate Mappe of the Fantastyk & Magical Dyscworlde", the city is bordered on the hubward side by Quirm and Sto Lat, with the Sto Plains ...


46

This is from Maskerade, in relation to Greebo the cat's transformation into a human. The allusion is that it's very hard to do something once (e.g. turn a cat into a man) but that once it had happened, it was infinitely easier to accomplish again. But magic is never as simple as people think. It has to obey certain universal laws. And one is that, no ...


43

The Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki has the full and, I believe, original image of the one in your question on the page Unseen University. It is captioned thusly: Left to right: The Lecturer in Recent Runes, The Dean, The Librarian, The Archchancellor, The Senior Wrangler, The Bursar, Ponder Stibbons, The Chair of Indefinite Studies and Rincew.... oh ...


38

Replace the dragon with a toad, and you get "The Wee Free Men", the first of Pratchett's Tiffany Aching cycle. The protagonist is Tiffany Aching, a 9 year old girl who lives on a sheep farm. The sheep are not a major plot point, but a lot of Tiffany's life revolves around them. Thinking about the rest of Pratchett's works, I don't recall any books with a ...


34

The word Cohen is trying to say is "Silicate;" a common mineral in many forms of rock. Common silicates include quartz (silicon dioxide) and granite (a combination of 3 different types of silicates: feldspar, quartz and mica). Most of Earth's crust is composed of silicates. (He then tries to say "silicateous" - made of silicates - which is a step too far,...


33

The very short answer is that he was already sharing his timer between himself and the little girl. He wasn't sure how much time he had left, courtesy of Miss Flitcroft's timer (possibly only seconds) and grabbed for the first weapon he could reach. Renata Flitcroft was able to give Bill Door some of her time, but given that she was also almost dead (of a ...


33

As far as I can tell, they're not directly analogous. Many of the things that are "abominations" to Nuggan are explictly allowed under Scientology (see below). If anything, Nugganism appears to be a reflection of the state of Turkmenistan, where their eccentric ruler; Saparmurat Niyazov banned beards, gold teeth, the keeping of dogs and cats, lip-syncing, ...


33

It's mentioned on several occasions earlier in the book that Wen froze the valley's garden into what he considers to be a single perfect moment: A few cherry blossom petals drifted down onto Wen's head from one of the trees that grew wild along the streamlets. “And this perfect day will last for ever,” he said. “The air is crisp, the sun is bright, ...


32

There's a discussion of this in The Annotated Pratchett. Terry has said that the name 'Ankh-Morpork' was inspired neither by the ankh (the Egyptian cross with the closed loop on top), nor by the Australian or New Zealand species of bird (frogmouths and small owls, respectively) that go by the name of 'Morepork'. And apparently when somebody suggested ...


30

Cuddy made him a clockwork cooling helmet during Men at Arms which, along with the barrier cream mentioned in Moving Pictures will keep him more active in the heat. However, (spoiler) (It gets a bit awkward to lose recurring characters for half the active period of any story unless it's convenient to the plot as per Light Fantastic/Jingo. Pratchett had a ...


29

Short answer: No. In the early books they were more parodies of the Welsh. With names like Blodwen Footcracker and Berwyn. The English often caricature the Welsh as short, coal mining, singing chapel goers. (I hasten to add that, like most caricatures, it is not an accurate description of the people) Indeed Rhys Rhysson (The Fifth Elephant) is described ...


28

Although his obsession with sugar is a symptom of his greater mental collapse (as well as a fairly obvious homage to Captain Queeg) the implication is that he was, initially, simply miscounting them. If Visit had been suicidal and honest, he had said: Well, Captain, while of course I think you have many worthy qualities, I have known you to count ...


27

I've yet to find any specific attribution, but presumably the name "Maurice the Cat" is a play on the famous ... "Morris the Cat" ... the official 'spokescat' for a popular brand of catfood in Britain (and the colonies) and a household name in the 1970s. It's inconceivable that a notorious cat-lover like Pratchett would have been unaware of this famous ...


26

I have only found two quotes for now (source) : In Interesting Times Many things went on at Unseen University and, regrettably, teaching had to be one of them. The faculty had long ago confronted this fact and had perfected various devices for avoiding it. But this was perfectly all right because, to be fair, so had the students. In Moving Pictures "...


26

Recently there was a reading guide released for Discworld. note: the website seems to regularly be inaccessible, and there are some noticeable typos in the infographic as of January 2016 (see second answer for a semi regularly updated/corrected fan alternative) For order of publication start at the triangle point leading to "The Color of Magic." For topic ...


26

You are probably thinking of Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. in Jingo, the 21st Discworld book. With the opening of the novel, the island of Leshp, which had been submerged under the Circle Sea for centuries, rises to the surface. Its position, exactly halfway between Ankh-Morpork and Al Khali (the capital of Klatch), makes the ...


24

1940: The earliest source I know of for the "Gods Require Belief" idea is Lester del Rey's short story "The Pipes of Pan", first published in the Unknown Fantasy Fiction, May 1940, available at the Internet Archive. Pan burying his last worshiper: Pan's great shoulders drooped as he wiped the last of the earth from his hands. Experimentally, he chirped ...


24

This blog post says the original line, in Pratchett's Mort, is He remembered being summoned into reluctant existence at the moment the first creature lived, in the certain knowledge he would outlive life until the last being in the universe passed to its reward, when it would then be his job, figuratively speaking, to put the chairs on the tables and ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible