Review of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

Disc WorldIf you’re looking for insights into the evolutionary spirit, then this series of 41 fantasy novels provides them. Set on an imaginary, flat, world resting on the back of a giant turtle (what else!) each story describes a development on the world, from the Post Office (Going Postal) to the Railways (Raising Steam) or life’s trials and tribulations for its inhabitants including, for example, the City Watch (e.g. Guards! Guards!).

With witches (e.g. Equal Rites) and wizards (e.g. the first book The Colour of Magic) ever present, there is a constant balance of mundane (dealing with waste, for example) and the magical, always cleverly interwoven in a well-paced, easy and enjoyable read. The mixing of ideas with which we are familiar (such as commemorative stamps or dictatorial leaders, for example) with those we may not be (such as controlling time: Thief of TimeI) means that the unusual becomes normal and the normal seems absurd. This merging or switching of what’s ordinary and what isn’t very much mirrors some of our lessons (at Conscious Evolution Today) on the nature of conscious evolution . . .

I find that there are many ideas and themes in all of the books that deserve some deep reflection: they highlight mankind’s idiosyncrasies and thus, if we’re open enough to listen and take note, can help us move on from those that are damaging to ourselves or to our society. And yet it doesn’t seem like being educated or learning because the stories are so well written.

For example, as the series progresses, so the ‘human’ inhabitants are joined not just by witches and wizards but by dwarfs, trolls, vampires and even goblins (for example), each bringing their unique traits and challenges. If you need some insights into how to handle migrants, here’s a wonderful place to start!

Over and above all of these wonderful features, the Discworld books bring hope. Whilst each one presents impending doom in its own unique way, the main characters, through courage, caring and ingenuity, always pull through in the end. Given the challenges facing Earth, itself once thought to be a mere disc, these novels provide positive insights even as they give just the escape from reality we may read them to obtain!

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