Mark Reads ‘The Science of Discworld’: Epigraph/Chapter 1

In the first chapter of The Science of Discworld, HERE WE GO. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

This is going to be very strange, isn’t it? I do enjoy a good challenge, and I’ve been lucky enough over the past eight years of Mark Does Stuff (HOW HAS IT BEEN EIGHT YEARS) that I’ve gotten to review things that challenged me. Like, I remember how hard it was to write about Band of Brothers, or the weird thing I did for The Princess Bride. I realized pretty quickly into the introduction for this book that I’m going to have to try something different in terms of how I think about reviewing this. I’m not used to a book addressing the reader or… well, outright telling me what it’s going to do. IT’S WEIRD. DID THIS BOOK SPOIL ME.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding! But there’s a level of meta required of me because The Science of Discworld is framed in a way that acknowledges that it is a story. And books don’t usually do that, right? They don’t start with, “So here’s a story about these things, and here’s how it’s gonna go. While it was easy to immerse myself in the actual first chapter, that was mostly because it was familiar. I knew these characters, I knew this world, but I was not used to the… science? Sort of?

What I think will be fun about this is the blurring of the lines between the two ideas, especially since that’s something Pratchett has been great at throughout these books anyway. Parody and social commentary sit alongside one another; satire of fantasy and actually good fantasy stories exist in the same book. So why can’t there be a “science” within the Discworld? And as much as I find the wizards a bit stale these days, I actually think that this group of argumentative weirdos is well-suited for an exploration of scientific principals through the lens of Pratchett’s sense of humor. Look at what little we get here, y’all, and I just… maybe it’s my love for The Princess Bride and the way the film entertained me when I was younger. I find interruptions to be, like, the pinnacle of comedy. I REALLY DO. I love it when a person can’t tell a story or get to the point because someone else is asking the worst (or best???) questions imaginable, and if that’s this entire book? COUNT ME THE FUCK IN. And these characters are designed for that because THEY’VE BEEN LIVING THAT EXACT DYNAMIC SINCE THE START OF THE SERIES.

What I am unprepared for the most, however, will be… well, whatever the science parts are? COSMIC DISASTERS AND DINOSAURS, Y’ALL. Am I gonna learn things in front of y’all??? GIVE ME ALL THE KNOWLEDGE. It’s such a cool idea because I have literally no idea what the “science” chapters will be like outside of the hints the authors gave me. So… geography maybe? Travel? Will they be analyzing the possibility of certain things that have happened in Discworld? Or telling tangential stories?

This is gonna be real weird. I’m glad each of you get to join me on this journey.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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