The acclaimed Science of Discworld centred around an original Pratchett story about the Wizards of Discworld. In it they accidentally witnessed the creation and evolution of our universe, a plot which was interleaved with a Cohen & Stewart non-fiction narrative about Big Science. In The Science of Discworld II our authors join forces again to see just what happens when the wizards meddle with history in a battle against the elves for the future of humanity on Earth. London is replaced by a dozy Neanderthal village. The Renaissance is given a push. The role of fat women in art is developed. And one very famous playwright gets born and writes The Play. Weaving together a fast-paced Discworld novelette with cutting-edge scientific commentary on the evolution and development of the human mind, culture, language, art, and science, The Globe presents a fascinating and brilliantly original view of the world we live in. The scene of the final epic battle is the first production of A Midsummer's Night Dream at the Globe Theatre...
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Like its predecessor, The Science of Discworld II contains a short Discworld fantasy by Terry Pratchett whose chapters alternate with popular science commentary from Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen.
In the Discworld strand, the bickering Unseen University wizards revisit their accidental creation Roundworld--that astonishing place where there's no magic. Our world, in fact. But it's being influenced by elves (bad news in the Pratchett cosmos), who bring superstition and irrational terrors to evolving humanity. They feed on fear.
This is the cue for Stewart and Cohen to develop their ideas of stories as a shaping power in the evolution of human intelligence. Whether they're called spells, memes, creeds, theorems, artworks or lies, satisfying stories are Roundworld's equivalent of Discworld magic. It's just that it all happens in our heads: "headology" as top witch Granny Weatherwax puts it.
Struggling to make Roundworld history come out right despite elvish interference, the wizards entangle themselves in complications of time travel and must eventually beg advice from Granny. To encourage a rational attitude to facts, it seems, Roundworld needs transcendent fictions--represented, in narrative shorthand, by the works of one William Shakespeare. The trick is to make sure he gets born...
The racy exposition of the non-fiction chapters covers plenty of ground, including astrology, cargo cults, phase spaces, information theory, and the evolution of species, art, science and religion, all reflecting the human tendency not to let facts spoil a good story. Meanwhile the Discworld chapters--though sometimes disappointingly short--are fast and funny, climaxing with much unscripted action at the first night of a famous play. The Science of Discworld II is ultimately entertaining and genuinely thought-provoking, as expected from this team. Laugh and learn! --David LangfordReview:
'A book in which the hard science is as gripping as the fictioní -- The Times
'Entertaining, instructive and illuminating' -- The New Scientist
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091882737
Book Description EBURY PRESS, LONDON, UK, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. A SUPERB NEW CLEAN AND TIGHT UK FIRST EDITION FIRST PRINT COPY OF THE GLOBE THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD II BY TERRY PRATCHETT IAN STEWART AND JACK COHEN, WHICH TERRY,IAN AND JACK HAVE ALL VERY KINDLY SIGNED TO THE TITLE PAGE, SADLY TERRY HAS GONE AND ALL THATS LEFT IS FOND MEMORIES AND HIS GREAT BOOKS, SO NOW IS THE TIME TO GET SIGNED COPIES OF HIS BOOKS BEFORE THE PRICES GO THROUGH THE ROOF AND THEY BECOME RARER THEN HENS TEETH. THIS BOOK IS IN A PROTECTIVE CLEAR ACETATE COVER, ALL BOOKS DESPATCHED WRAPPED IN BUBBLE WRAP AND A STRONG CARDBOARD BOX. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 001298