Mark Reads ‘The Science of Discworld’: Chapter 17

In the seventeenth chapter of The Science of Discworld, the wizards retain the abilities of a familiar face for exploration of their Project. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Oh, the joys of discovery.

I’d argue that the events of this book are pretty much a direct follow-up to The Last Continent. While there is nothing here to suggest any sort of timeline – this could very well happen within weeks of that book! – I love the idea that Rincewind got back to Unseen University and then just napped. He napped and did nothing else. Wouldn’t you do the same??? It might be the only way for him to stay safe.

Unfortunately, if there aren’t portals to other worlds opening up, and even if Rincewind wasn’t accidentally sent to another continent, it seems this poor wizard can’t just be left in peace. From the perspective of the OTHER wizards, it makes sense they’d choose Rincewind to explore the Project. He does have a preternatural ability to survive literally everything that’s thrown at him.

This time around, though, Hex and Ponder Stibbons have given Rincewind an advantage he’s never had. (Of course, he must acknowledge the obvious: that “suit of spells” referenced in the chapter title might not work at all, so WHOOPS???) Hex has managed to combine multiple spells into a “suit” that will allow Rincewind to observe the worlds of the Project while only experiencing a fraction of the effects on his own body. As Ponder puts it:

“Absolutely nothing will hurt you because HEX will buffer all extreme sensations and you’ll simply receive a gentle analogue of them. If it’s freezing you’ll feel rather chilly, if it’s boiling you’ll feel a little hot. If a mountain falls on you it’ll be a bit of a knock.”

It’s not a bad idea, is it? By making everything an analogue to the real thing, they can listen to Rincewind’s observations and learn things about the Project! Again, if the suit works, this is perhaps one of the smartest things that the wizards have ever done. It’s not surprising that they never even offered to use it themselves because… well, they’re all cowards in some way, aren’t they? I am excited to see what Rincewind will observe, though, and I am hoping that this next double batch of chapters means that I’ll get a Discworld chapter. I ACTUALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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