Thursday, January 14, 2010

Discworld Is Good Stuff

So yesterday, I picked up three Discworld books at the nearest book store. (Finished two, working on the third, which I hadn't quite realized I had read before.)

What I find engaging about Pratchett's writing, aside from the humor and vague British charm, is that within its own context, Discworld is frighteningly plausible. Of course, I consider Hitchhiker's Guide to be frighteningly plausible, albeit hopelessly bleak at times. Discworld, despite all the magic bits, is more plausible.

I mean, we're talking first-rate worldbuilding things.

Take trolls.

Discworld trolls are big, rocky creatures, who don't do well in heat for the same reason a computer needs cooling fans-the heat slows down their brains. This informs a tremendous amount of their behavior: They're dumber in summer (cough), and so they tend to prefer mountainous environments. They actually completely freeze up on really hot days, and this is thought to contribute to their enmity with dwarfs, who are avid miners of all things rocky. Since they naturally mimic local rocks, it was somewhat inevitable that there should be a diamond troll, and this troll turned out to be very important. (In case you don't know, not only is diamond very hard, but it also is the best conductor of heat among natural substances, and probably artificial substances, too.)

Or take the oddball entities, such as the Luggage. The Luggage borders on Eldritch Abomination, only it's on a leash of sorts and does your laundry very nicely too. It's like a juggernaut dog travel bag.

Then, there's the fact that the pyramids in the land of Djelibeybi... well, let's just say that they are sort of responsible for the nation being static for seven thousand years, and leave it at that. (Read the book [Pyramids, or if you're lazy, I suppose you could peruse the wiki I've been linking to] if you want to know more than that.)

My point is, well, good stuff. Not that this is news, or anything.

-Signing off.

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