Science, fantasy and everything in between – A Terry Pratchett world

Discworld on the back of elephants standing on a turtle in space science communication

As timing would have it, I had just finished the Science of Discworld II when I heard that Terry Pratchett had passed away. Pratchett gave us the fantasy series Discworld, a science fantasy world based on quantum theory in Long Earth and Good Omens, a memorable novel written in collaboration with Neil Gaiman.

If that weren’t enough to keep generations entertained, Pratchett (along with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen) wrote the Science of Discworld series – a quartet of books that alternate between Discworld stories and scientific exposition. I have never experienced a book that both confounded and captured me. Pratchett, Stewart and Cohen explain the science of Roundworld (or Earth) in a way that makes you step aside and, perhaps for the first time, think “that makes sense!”.

With Pratchett gone, we are left with a library of books for consolation, which naturally means that he was quite correct when he wrote, “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away” (Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett).


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