THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD III - Darwin's Watch, Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Not so long ago a past Prime Minister of ours declared that History teaching in schools should be more about learning dates and less about interpretation and analysis. Or something like that. I wasn't listening after the first bit about dates - I was curled up in a foetal position, fingers in ears, chanting "Make it Stop" "Make it Stop".

Much like most of my, thankfully short, school years.

THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD, might be fictional wrapped up with some science commentary, but to be frank - there were some explanations of scientific theory in this book - that a lot of years later, suddenly made some of the stuff they banged on about at school make sense.

Made me realise if they had given learning some narrative, actually chucked in a bit of fun, gave things some context and some interest ... I might have spent a lot less time fighting unconsciousness and a little more time actually learning something.

PS - himself who is a science nerd of the first order read the book at the same time as me and was equally impressed. They took some very complex scientific concepts and made them very accessible. (I think that's what he said... I've got my fingers in my ears chanting....)

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

The wizards discover to their cost that it’s no easy task to change history.

Roundworld is in trouble again, and this time it looks fatal. Having created it in the first place, the wizards of Unseen University feel vaguely responsible for its safety. They know the creatures that lived there escaped the impending Big Freeze by inventing the space elevator — they even intervened to rid the planet of a plague of elves, who attempted to divert humanity onto a different time track. But now it’s all gone wrong — Victorian England has stagnated and the pace of progress would embarrass a limping snail. Unless something drastic is done, there won’t be time for anyone to invent space flight, and the human race will be turned into ice-pops.

Why, though, did history come adrift? Was it Sir Arthur Nightingale’s dismal book about natural selection? Or was it the devastating response by an obscure country vicar called Charles Darwin whose bestselling Theology of Species made it impossible to refute the divine design of living creatures?

Can the God of Evolution come to humanity’s aid and ensure Darwin writes a very different book? And who stopped him writing it in the first place?

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