The Science of Discworld : Science of Discworld

  • by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen
  • Narrated by Michael Fenton Stevens, Stephen Briggs
  • Series: Science of Discworld
  • 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Not just another science audiobook and not just another Discworld novella, The Science of Discworld is a creative, mind-bending mash-up of fiction and fact, that offers a wizard’s-eye view of our world that will forever change how you look at the universe.
Can Unseen University’s eccentric wizards and orangutan Librarian possibly shed any useful light on hard, rational Earthly science?
In the course of an exciting experiment, the wizards of Discworld have accidentally created a new universe. Within this universe is a planet that they name Roundworld. Roundworld is, of course, Earth, and the universe is our own. As the wizards watch their creation grow, Terry Pratchett and acclaimed science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen use Discworld to examine science from the outside. Interwoven with the Pratchett’s original story are entertaining, enlightening chapters which explain key scientific principles such as the Big Bang theory and the evolution of life on Earth, as well as great moments in the history of science.


What the Critics Say

"For Pratchett and Discworld devotees the volume is, of course, compulsory reading, but even science buffs who would normally eschew anything resembling fantasy will find much here to pique their interests.... The book adds another whimsical episode to Discworld lore and contrasts the magical 'rules' of Pratchett’s realm with the human world’s more logic-oriented science." (Booklist)
"The hard science is as gripping as the fiction." (The Times of London)
"An irreverent but genuinely profound romp through the history and philosophy of science, cunningly disguised as a collection of funny stories about wizards and mobile luggage." (Frontiers)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not the best Pratchett, but gets there in the end

As other reviewers have said, this is really two books, a non-fiction brief history of time/evolution kind of thing with sarcastic jokes thrown in every so often and a mini disc world novella featuring the wizards of Unseen University.

It took me a while to get into this book, for two reasons which may relate more to me than to other potential readers: First, while I enjoy learning (and re-learning) about evolution and science fiction and extinctions, I really dislike learning or thinking about deep space and vast time. It gives me the heebie jeebies and makes my tummy hurt. If it doesn't do that to you, potential reader, you'll enjoy the first part of the non-fiction-y part of this book better than I did.

Second, I don't particularly like the Unseen University professors. I'd always rather read about the witches, the watch or, Vetinari. Especially Rincewind bugs me. Though he wasn't so bad in this one.

That being said, I pretty much enjoyed the second half of this book and got used to the interweaving of the two books. I was looking for the sequel but it looks like Audible doesn't have it. Shame--it sounded like there would be less deep time/space stuff.

One last suggestion: if there are any regular disc world books (besides color of magic) you haven't yet read, do those first. If you are through the whole set and need a Pratchett fix, read the Tiffany Aching books first. Still need more funny Pratchett? This one is it, I guess. (of course the less funny Long Earth books and his earlier stuff and YA is still out there for your enjoyment too).
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- Rachel "I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio."

Not a Discworld Novel

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Science of Discworld?

I would cut all references to the Discworld because they have no relevance.

Any additional comments?

This book has no relation to Discworld. It very lightly touches on a variety of scientific topics. It would be better suited as a NOVA television program. Bill Bryson’s book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, is a much better choice.

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- Bill

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio