In the first chapter of Darwin’s Watch, the wizards realize something is wrong again. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Science of Discworld III.
Hello again, Discworld friends! Today, I start reading my third Science of Discworld book, and lord, this already ruined me BEFORE THE FIRST CHAPTER. I am not entirely sure what the intent is with the six quotes in the epigraph; clearly, they’re real ones, then… evolved ones? Or ones from glimpses of other worlds? Given that the Roundworld can deviate in these books (and always does), perhaps there’s a world where Dawkins is a reverend and… not an asshole? Also, I’m so MAD at that Watches Abroad pun. UGH!!! It’s so good and it was just sitting there, waiting for me to discover it!!!
Anyway, after the epigraph, I loved that I got to be gently led back into the world of the Science of Discworld books with the whole “Concerning Roundworld” introduction. I’m reminded of bits of the past two books, from the creation of the Roundworld to the nightmare with the elves in The Science of Discworld II. But I feel like it’s also an acknowledgment that this book in particular is more or less going to follow the same structure. And I don’t just mean the alternating chapters, but the framing device. I’m guessing that the wizards are going to do something fucked up to Roundworld and have to get everything back on track by the end of the novel. See, as the authors point out, “The wizards think they have sorted it all out.” And once that has happened, “it” is going to turn into a disaster. That’s narrativium for you.
Which is a perfect set-up for the start of this book. We get a brief glimpse at Charles Darwin, who is just minding his business while a “glowing cloud” grows into an unspecified shape in the room he’s in. From there, we move to… the wizards bickering. I commented on video that it was inevitable that they’d start doing it and THEY TOTALLY DO. Because they start arguing about whether or not Braseneck has a Quite Big Thing or Very Big Thing or if an Even Bigger Thing is even… a thing. (Wow, that sentence is a lot, but it’s also very true.) The wizards are the wizards, y’all. They never really change. Well, at least now Rincewind is professor Rincewind! And he’s learned to adapt to a life at the University. Look at his heating method! Which is absurd, yes, but it seems like he’s had more time “off” from some disastrous adventure than usual. That’s an improvement, right? Good for Rincewind!
Unfortunately, he’s also the wizard who notices that something is wrong with the Roundworld, and it is practically inevitable at this point that he’ll be asked to be the wizard who fixes it. They’re gonna send him into it, right? POOR RINCEWIND. Please give him a long, long vacation that is actually a vacation!!!
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