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    Default Discworld discussion thread

    I couldn't find any discworld threads here so I decided to create one. Suggestions for a better title are welcome.

    I just finished reading Jared Von Hindmans very funny review of Blood Dolls (you should totally check out the site by the way. It is full of gutbustingly hilarious stuff) and I was thinking that Mr.Mascaro would be a great discworld villain (heck, the whole cast would be great) . To me at least he has this very "discworldy" feel to him. Plus the contrast with him and how fools are usually potrayed in the discworld novels would be pretty cool. I think he would work best in a Sam Vimes novel because of the contrast between him and Willikins.

    Thoughts?

    Also, I noticed that there aren't many female villains in the series besides the queen of elves and Myria LeJean (who turned good in the end anyway). Am I missing anyone?
    Last edited by 123456789blaaa; 2012-10-06 at 06:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Females villains? There's probably quite a few in the Witches books. Witches Abroad had the Good Bad Other Godmother, in Wyrd Sisters the Queen is worse than the King.

    You could also say that the biggest bad in Men At Arms was a woman, or a female at least.

    That's not very much, considering the number of books. I never noticed that myself.
    Last edited by endoperez; 2012-10-06 at 04:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    I'd forgotten about the other godmother (already mentioned the queen of elves though :smalltongue: sorry endoperez ). I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the biggest baddie of Men at arms was female though. Dr.Cruces and Edward were male and the gonne doesn't have a gender.

    Another female baddie would be the mother of Angua (since it's implied that she was the one who was actually behind the evil plan in the book she appeared in). So that brings the total up to 4 if you count Myria
    Last edited by 123456789blaaa; 2012-10-07 at 05:33 AM.

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    I for one would like to see another Rincewind adventure. I think that would be a good way to close out the series, sort of bookending it with The Color of Magic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    (already mentioned the queen of elves though )
    They mean the Duchess (a Lady Macbeth pastiche) from Wyrd Sisters, not the Queen of the Elves, although it's true that there is a surprising dearth.

    Another female baddie would be the mother of Angua (since it's implied that she was the one who was actually behind the evil plan in the book she appeared in). So that brings the total up to 4 if you count Myria
    Fifth Elephant
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    Dee was female too

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallbot View Post
    They mean the Duchess (a Lady Macbeth pastiche) from Wyrd Sisters, not the Queen of the Elves, although it's true that there is a surprising dearth.



    Fifth Elephant
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    Dee was female too
    *smacks forehead* well there goes my discworld fan cred. So that's 6 (counting myria and the one you put in the spoiler).
    Last edited by 123456789blaaa; 2012-10-07 at 05:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    I'd not say that there is a lack of female villains in Discworld... also, considering quite a few villains like... oh god, now I forgot what they were called... the creatures from the Dungeon dimensions. Heck, it's been way too long since they have appeared... Those, or the auditors who often are used lack a gender. And apart from that we did gather quite a few female villains. Maybe we do have a slight lack of female protagonists who aren't witches but even then, it's be kind of nitpicking, I think...


    To talk about something else, I have some minor issues with the Snuff novel so I guess as good a place as any.
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    I'm disappointed how straight Pratchett played the goblins. The "very primitive people but with a special gift for art/craft/???" story is so overused...
    Couldn't he have simply made the point: Yes, they are more simple than us and they might collect their snot but even if they got nothing special about them they ARE sentient, intelligent beings and thus deserve to be treated like that." Do we only need to respect other races if they have some special gift? Just kind of bugged me.
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    I had exactly the same problem with the story's message, and I'm glad I'm not the only one. It would have been fine if it had been made clear that it was only the characters acted like that, but the narrative itself seemed to feel the same way.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the biggest baddie of Men at arms was female though. Dr.Cruces and Edward were male and the gonne doesn't have a gender.
    I misremembered the book's name. Would Guards! Guards! make more sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    I'd not say that there is a lack of female villains in Discworld... also, considering quite a few villains like... oh god, now I forgot what they were called... the creatures from the Dungeon dimensions. Heck, it's been way too long since they have appeared... Those, or the auditors who often are used lack a gender. And apart from that we did gather quite a few female villains. Maybe we do have a slight lack of female protagonists who aren't witches but even then, it's be kind of nitpicking, I think...


    To talk about something else, I have some minor issues with the Snuff novel so I guess as good a place as any.
    Spoiler
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    I'm disappointed how straight Pratchett played the goblins. The "very primitive people but with a special gift for art/craft/???" story is so overused...
    Couldn't he have simply made the point: Yes, they are more simple than us and they might collect their snot but even if they got nothing special about them they ARE sentient, intelligent beings and thus deserve to be treated like that." Do we only need to respect other races if they have some special gift? Just kind of bugged me.
    Oh I wasn't asking about the (percieved) lack of female villans in the series because I thought it detracted from the enjoyment of the books or anything. It was just something interesting that I found and wanted to share.

    On Snuff:
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    I completely agree with every word you said.

    Also, is it just me or was Snuff of markedly worse quality than many of the preceding books? There weren't many jokes at all and the aesop seemed to take center stage. Vimes also seemed a lot more arrogent than previous books (and this isn't even mentioning Willikins) plus young Sam was grating (at least to me). I wonder if maybe it's time for Terry Pratchett to stop writing Vimes novels. He's now happily married and extremely rich, A knight, a Duke, and a blackboard monitor. If he goes any higher he might ascend to godhood.


    Quote Originally Posted by endoperez View Post
    I misremembered the book's name. Would Guards! Guards! make more sense?
    Yup . So that's 7.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by endoperez View Post
    I misremembered the book's name. Would Guards! Guards! make more sense?
    Yeah, that makes more sense. I wouldn't say that she was the biggest bad in terms of evilness, but in terms of sheer size, most certainly.

    With regard to Snuff, I agree that it wasn't as good, mostly for the reasons mentioned above. The plot was less well developed, and Vimes just felt a little off. I wasn't a huge fan of Unseen Acedemicals either. With that said, they are still good books, just not the great quality I've come to expect. And I'll cut Pratchett some slack. The man can't even type anymore, and he is still churning out books for us.
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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    On Snuff:
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    I completely agree with every word you said.

    Also, is it just me or was Snuff of markedly worse quality than many of the preceding books? There weren't many jokes at all and the aesop seemed to take center stage. Vimes also seemed a lot more arrogent than previous books (and this isn't even mentioning Willikins) plus young Sam was grating (at least to me). I wonder if maybe it's time for Terry Pratchett to stop writing Vimes novels. He's now happily married and extremely rich, A knight, a Duke, and a blackboard monitor. If he goes any higher he might ascend to godhood.
    Well, I wouldn't agree with everything you said but yes, the overall quality was lower than the earlier books and Wilikins seemed to take a lot more spotlight than usually.

    With Unseen Academicals it is about the same... Overall it was still a great book but not quite Discworld level and Nutts' plot was played much too straight with really hardly any twist at all. It was still a good book but it felt very little like a Discworld book, or what I'm used to from one...


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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Oh yipee! A Discworld thingy!

    On snuff:

    Also it was a bit too linear. All the other Vimes stories feel like they flow and wobble around. Things change and twist. This went' very linearly: Find goblins, save goblins, beat up bad-guy.


    Whilst I like all Pratchets books in general, I don't like some of the characters.

    Susan Sto Helit was especially grating. I tried reading Hogfather and wanted to punch her in her stupid smug jaw.

    I didn't like the Witches either for being smug Hypokritical jerks (I can relate more to the guy who misses his plan because some jackass held up the bus rather then to the jackass holding up the bus), and I didn't like William de Worde for being an idiot.

    Overall my fave is probably Feet of Clay.

    Also his books seem to mess with my head. After reading Small Gods in 1 sitting, I had about 5 minutes of natural high. Everything around me looked so beautiful and ever thing around me felt like a miracle. Like walking up the stairs.

    But yeah. I like Discworld.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Today I found a Discworld trivia question book in one of my favorite used bookstores.

    Pretty snazzy questions, most of them I would never know off-hand, all divided up by academic subject (being Unseen University themed).


    Here are some random ones:

    What is the Discworld connection (or plausible morphic resonance) of:
    -Cleopatra
    -Light-bulb jokes
    -Trivial Pursuit
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    -Queen Ezeriel of Klatch (Mort)
    -Lamp-wick jokes (Sourcery)
    -Significant Quest (Sourcery)


    Who did the fallowing Last Words* belong to?
    -More than 1300, I'm afraid.
    -But I don't believe in reincarnation!
    -Are there going to be... choirs and things?
    (*Here, 'Last Words referring to last words spoken in the book as a whole and not simply last words spoken alive)
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    -The massed mummies of Djelibeybi (Pyramids)
    -Mr. Pounder (Maskerade)
    -Dr Undershaft (Maskerade)


    Continue or complete the fallowing:
    -2, 2, 58%, 94%, ---
    -8, 8, 8, 8th, 8th, ---, 8th
    -Up, down, sideways, sex appeal, ---
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    -00.00 ( Lords and Ladies; Magrat's personal stocktaking of arms, legs, existential dread, randomized guilt, and witchcraft level.
    -7 (opening paragraphs of Sourcery)
    -Peppermint (Lords and Ladies; the five 'flavors' of reasons or reality fragments into which the thaum (once thought the ultimate, indivisible unit of magic) has been split by High Energy Magic experiments.)
    Last edited by BiblioRook; 2012-10-09 at 07:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    Susan Sto Helit was especially grating. I tried reading Hogfather and wanted to punch her in her stupid smug jaw.

    I didn't like the Witches either for being smug Hypokritical jerks (I can relate more to the guy who misses his plan because some jackass held up the bus rather then to the jackass holding up the bus), and I didn't like William de Worde for being an idiot.
    Well, people can be smug but still good people... not saying you can't dislike them just people can still like them.

    My Sister is reading the Hunger games at age 11 (Makes me weep). Would giving her the Tiffany series interest her?
    Meh, could be worse, could be Twilight. I don't think we can properly judge based on her age alone but... the Tiffany series is good, in general and 11 is not too young or anything like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Well, people can be smug but still good people... not saying you can't dislike them just people can still like them.
    Im not saying she isn't good. Thats probably the worst part!

    Its like: "I just saved a bunch of young children! Why don't you like me you inbacelic ponce!"

    I hate her for being smug and wrong (Giving Children complicated books to read =/= them instantly knowing how to read).

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents might be an easier suggestion for an 11-year-old.

    Tiffany books are part of a series, AND link directly to earlier, larger world of a long series.

    Amazing Maurice, on the other hand, is a stand-alone that links directly to real-world myths and stories about talking animals and such. Personally, I liked it more than any of the Tiffany books. Well, Wintersmith did have that awesome litany of magic words... "This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. I choose..."

    Man, picking a favourite from all of Pratchett's books is really hard. I mean, everyone has some books they like more, but then picking the best among the 5-25 "really good" ones...

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    Soooo many, but I would probably choose:
    1. Men at Arms
    2. Guards! Guards!
    3. Mort
    4. Reaper Man
    5. The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic (I have always seen them one story with parts 1 and 2)
    6. Moving Pictures
    7. Hogfather
    8. Small Gods
    9. Night Watch/Jingo
    10. Theif of Time/The Truth

    Honestly, at 11 any of them should be good. The Rincewind series seems to appeal more to my younger (pre-teen and teen) relatives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Well, I wouldn't agree with everything you said but yes, the overall quality was lower than the earlier books and Wilikins seemed to take a lot more spotlight than usually.

    <snip>
    Could you be more specific in what you didn't agree with please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    Oh yipee! A Discworld thingy!
    <snip>
    Whilst I like all Pratchets books in general, I don't like some of the characters.

    Susan Sto Helit was especially grating. I tried reading Hogfather and wanted to punch her in her stupid smug jaw.

    I didn't like the Witches either for being smug Hypokritical jerks (I can relate more to the guy who misses his plan because some jackass held up the bus rather then to the jackass holding up the bus), and I didn't like William de Worde for being an idiot.
    <snip>
    I agree. In soul music it was a feature (although wierdly I actually experienced a reverse effect because of almost everyone else in the book demeaning logic and reason.) but in Hogfather she's supposed to have matured. It shows the strength of pratchetts writing that I can still enjoy the book so much even when I dislike the main character.

    I don't recall the witches being hypocritical, could you elaborate?

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    They demand authority whilst not caring about anybody elses authority. They hate to be used whilst using everybody around them without a second thought.

    And the satire of what people think witches are doesn't even work! Where does the stereotype originate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by endoperez View Post
    ,
    Tiffany books are part of a series, AND link directly to earlier, larger world of a long series.

    Amazing Maurice, on the other hand, is a stand-alone that links directly to real-world myths and stories about talking animals and such. Personally, I liked it more than any of the Tiffany books. Well, Wintersmith did have that awesome litany of magic words... "This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. I choose..."
    Yeah, Maurice works better as a standalone. But Wee-Free Men is also good enough on its own. And I'd say the Tiffany books are still good enough for a young person growing up to learn about responsibility and such.
    In... I think it was in I Shall Wear Midnight were there was this paragraph about Tiff's responsibility about dealing with the dead which really got to me much more than I thought it would or should... somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    Could you be more specific in what you didn't agree with please?
    Hm... I can't recall too many instances of Vimes coming of as very arrogant. Also, he's always been aware of his own capabilities and never made little of himself. He knows he can beat a smith because he knows how to fight dirty. No shame in that.
    And I can't recall Sam being grating... but that's maybe because I have little recollection of him doing much in the book. It's been a while, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Hm... I can't recall too many instances of Vimes coming of as very arrogant. Also, he's always been aware of his own capabilities and never made little of himself. He knows he can beat a smith because he knows how to fight dirty. No shame in that.
    And I can't recall Sam being grating... but that's maybe because I have little recollection of him doing much in the book. It's been a while, though.
    My problem was less with Vimes' attitude, and more the situation he's in. In all the other Watch books, Vimes is in completely over his head but through guile, street smarts and sheer bloody-mindedness he pulls through. In Snuff, Vimes holds all the cards right from the beginning and it never feels like he's in any danger up until the climax. I vaguely remember some plan to ruin him somehow, but it never really went anywhere, and the villain seemed like a poor man's Carcer.

    Snuff and Nightwatch
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    After everything Vimes went through in Nightwatch to bring Carcer back and see him tried and hung fairly, Wilikins going round tying up loose ends so Vimes can keep his hands clean felt unnecessary and slightly icky.

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    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Noe that I think about, yeah. But I'd not claim every book has to have the same tone as Nightwatch, good s it is. Snuff isn't about a plot to bring Vimes down, so why would he be in constant danger? It's more the classic crime novel where he just tries to solve a case without being like the center of the universe. The other Guard books didn't have him in constant peril either. It works once in a while but it's not necessary for a good book.

    And I think I agreed earlier that, yeah, Willikins kind of overstepped his usual purpose in the plot.
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    I think there are plenty of female antagonists in Discworld.

    I do think it's interesting that there don't seem to be any weak female characters, though.

    There are plenty of strong females. There are many strong men. There are weak men (a few of the wizards, Rincewind in some books, Nobby Nobbs and Colon, etc). I am having an extremely tough time of thinking of a "weak" (as in, cowardly, maybe dumb) female character.

    Magrat comes closest, but she has so many "oh no deep inside she is tough" moments.


    It's not a problem, I just think it's interesting.
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    Hm... I'd say there are still female characters who are not especially strong but as with most beings on the disc they have some redeeming value about them. It's just that they are mostly support or even one shot characters.
    Of course, the strong women are all the time flawed as well, but so are the men.
    But over all, yes, there is kind of a lack of prominent female weak people. Huh..
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    Dammit as a weak female person (No Im not) I demand that Discworld has more female weak people! I demand it!
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    This seems like a good time to give my opinion about Snuff.
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    It's a mixed bag of a book. On one hand, it challenges a fantasy convention I absolutely loathe - sentient species being labeled as "evil" and "monsters", which makes it perfectly okay to regard them as inferior. So that's good.

    However, the message is sort of heavy-handed. All "good guys" see goblins as people immediately. Those who don't are stupid specieists who quickly get their just desserts. And in the end, all nations of the Plains simultaneously pass laws to make goblins people instead of vermin? It just feels at odds with the traditional cynicism of the Discworld novels.

    Apart from that, I'm not sure how much I like the Summoning Dark helping Vimes. It really feels like a departure from the old Commander Vimes who relied on his wits, street smarts and loyal guardsmen.


    With that in mind... Pratchett still writes those books while suffering from Alzheimer's. If that's not badass, I don't know what is.

    As for other Discworld books, I admit to having a soft spot for the old ones, especially the old Rincewind books. While Pratchett's writing improves over time, I like straight-up fantasy parody as much as real-world satire, if not more.

    And I think Pratchett actually admits to not being able to write "soft" female characters very well.
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    I have almost read through Snuff, and I must confess that Willikens is a favorite character of mine. his sense of humor is so dry it draws moisture from the sahara desert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    This seems like a good time to give my opinion about Snuff.
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    However, the message is sort of heavy-handed. All "good guys" see goblins as people immediately. Those who don't are stupid specieists who quickly get their just desserts. And in the end, all nations of the Plains simultaneously pass laws to make goblins people instead of vermin? It just feels at odds with the traditional cynicism of the Discworld novels.
    I have to agree with that; it was so different from what I was expecting (and in a way, so stereotypical) that it broke my suspension of disbelief.

    There's always at least one part of pretty much every Discworld book that gets to me. For example, in Night Watch, it was the last scene in the graveyard. In Snuff, I'd have to say it was when

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    the Watch is going down to the tenements where the goblins live, and they talk to a old goblin and her grandson. While the grandmother thinks and talks in terms of pure goblin culture, her grandson says that his Goblin name is stupid and that he'd prefer to be called Billy. And than Angua (I think) says, "We all turn towards human in the end."
    That just stuck with me.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Scowling Dragon's Avatar

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    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Discworld discussion thread

    Pratchet has a tendency to aflict his populations with...."Bumkinism" is what I call it.

    Masses can be simple, but they are usually not dumb.

    But pratchet cranks it up to 22, afflicting them with such a level of stupid that it just is too much.

    He also has a tendency to ignore real fantastic race issues in favor of "RACISM IS BAAAAAAAAAAD"

    Seriously, Im still spooked by golems. Give them a book to read and suddenly their opinion is quickly changed. "Just like humans Har har har"

    Would be said inbook but means much more to near indestructible, super strong mega beings.
    Last edited by Scowling Dragon; 2012-11-05 at 04:20 PM.

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