The Rincewind Arc: This is where it all began. The first two books are written in quite a different style, and it’s not for everyone. However for those that stick it out you will uncover a highly satirical version of London from both the eyes of a tourist and a local.
In the beginning there was…a turtle.
Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Particularly as it’s carried though space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown). It plays by different rules.
But then, some things are the same everywhere. The Disc’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the world’s first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land. Unfortunately, the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard…
'What shall we do?' said Twoflower.
'Panic?' said Rincewind hopefully. He always held that panic was the best means of survival.
As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld could do with a hero. What it doesn’t need is a singularly inept and cowardly wizard, still recovering from the trauma of falling off the edge of the world, or a well-meaning tourist and his luggage which has a mind (and legs) of its own. Which is a shame because that's all there is...
All this books and stuff, that isn't what it should all be about. What we need is real wizardry.
There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we'd better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son... a wizard squared...a source of magic...a Sourcerer.
Unseen University has finally got what it wished for: the most powerful wizard on the disc. Which, unfortunately, could mean that the death of all wizardry is at hand. And that the world is going to end, depending on whom you listen to. Unless of course one inept wizard can take the University's most precious artefact, the very embodiment of magic itself, and deliver it halfway across the disc to safety...
Eric calls up a demon to grant him three wishes - but what he gets is the Discworld's most incompetent wizard...
Eric is the Discworld's only demonology hacker. The trouble is, he's not very good at it. All he wants is the usual three wishes: to be immortal, rule the world and have the most beautiful woman fall madly in love with him. The usual stuff.
But what he gets is Rincewind, the Disc's most incompetent wizard, and Rincewind's Luggage (the world's most dangerous travel accessory) into the bargain.
Terry Pratchett's hilarious take on the Faust legend stars many of the Discworld's most popular characters in an outrageous adventure that will leave Eric wishing once more - this time, quite fervently, that he'd never been born.
'A foot on the neck is nine points of the law'
There are many who say that the art of diplomacy is an intricate and complex dance. There are others who maintain that it's merely a matter of who carries the biggest stick. The oldest and most inscrutable (not to mention heavily fortified) empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes; warlords are struggling for power - and what the nation wants, to avoid terrible doom for everyone, is a wizard. Rincewind is not the Disc’s premier wizard – in fact, he can’t even spell ‘wizard’ – but no-one specified whether competence was an issue. And they do have a very big stick…
Mighty Battles! Revolution! Death! War! (And his sons Terror and Panic and daughter Clancy).
'Anything you do in the past changes the future. The tiniest little actions have huge consequences. You might tread on an ant now and it might entirely prevent someone from being born in the future.'
There's nothing like the issue of evolution to get under the skin of academics. Even if their field of expertise is magic rather than biology. With the best and most interfering minds of Unseen University somehow left in charge at a critical evolutionary turning point, the Discworld’s last continent needs a saviour…
Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Sheep shearer, beer drinker, bush ranger, and someone who'll even eat a Meat Pie Floater when he's sober.
In fact, it's Rincewind, a wizard so inept he can't even spell wizard. He's the only hero left.
Still...no worries, eh?
He's been a legend in his own lifetime. He can remember the great days of high adventure. He can remember when people didn't tell you off for killing dragons. But he can't always remember, these days, where he put his teeth.
Now, Cohen the Barbarian is going on one final quest. He's going to climb the highest mountain in the Discworld and meet his gods. He doesn't like the way they let men grow old and die. The last hero in the world is going to return what the first hero stole. With a vengeance.
That'll mean the end of world, if no one stops him in time. Someone is going to try. So who knows who the last hero really is?
Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else. This is not going to be a gentleman’s game.
The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt (and no one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt). As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed for ever.
Because the thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.
Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!