Mark Reads ‘The Last Continent’: Part 1

In the first part of The Last Continent, I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

What.

It is the general test of the omnipotence of a god that they can see the fall of a tiny bird. But only one god makes notes, and a few adjustments, so that next time it can fall faster and further.

We may find out why.

WHAT WHY. See, I came into The Last Continent thinking that maybe this was a novel about the gods. We hadn’t had one in a bit! It’s a fair guess. Then, Pratchett narrows in the focus of the book – from the multiverse to this universe, then down to the Disc, then to the gods, then to Unseen University, where I get to experience the Ceremony of the Keys, a fairly pointless tradition (well, relative to me, of course!) in which the bledlows deliver the Archchancellor’s keys to another bledlow. Now, Pratchett doesn’t really do pointless things. If I’ve learned anything from the twenty-one Discworld books I’ve read so far (!!!!!!), it’s that he’s got a plan. He’s like the Vetinari of… well, this metaphor is escaping me already. The Vetinari of the series? This is too meta now.

Let’s try this again. Pratchett puts things in his books for a reason, and it seems important that the bledlows are introduced alongside the Ceremony. Of course, maybe this is time for randomness! I don’t know, I just don’t see this all as a way for him to introduce the first conflict of the book. Plus, I am trying to be prepared for what is to come, I DON’T THINK THAT’S UNREASONABLE.

Except I can’t be ready for it when the first five pages of this book tells me that The Librarian is sick and dangerously so. With each sneeze, his morphic field is disrupted, and he changes. From a table back to an orangutan, then to a chair, then back to his original state… which makes me wonder if he’ll change back to a human at some point. It’s possible, isn’t it?

And I guess it’s possible that The Librarian could die. More so than perhaps any series I’ve read for this site, the Discworld series has allowed me a safety I just don’t have: most of these characters don’t die. They just don’t! It’s not Terry Pratchett’s thing, and I suppose I’m thankful for that. I can get attached to characters; I can generally enjoy the books without the fear that death for the main group is a reality. As soon as I read that the Librarian was sick and no one knew how treat him, I realized how much I’ve taken this for granted. The Librarian would just always be around, right?

What if I’m wrong? What if this is it? WHY AM I EVEN THINKING ABOUT THIS??? Oh, this is all your fault, damn it!

So, with the Librarian sick, I’m hoping that the appearance of a pointy hat with the remnants of WIZZARD on it is a sign: this must be a Rincewind book, set in XXXX, the continent based on Australia. (I think? Oh god, Interesting Times was so long ago!) My brain then thought this: Maybe Rincewind will find something to help the Librarian. Then: Mark, he is so far from home, how is he even gonna know the Librarian is sick? Then: Wait, where IS Rincewind?

Because he’s not yet in these pages, assuming that the person inside that weird gem thing is not him. (IT’S A CRYSTAL GEM.) What the hell is that thing??? A transportation tube? Something else??? I have no idea! Surprise, y’all: I have no idea what I’m doing at the start of Discworld novel.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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