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The Discworld (Engl. Discworld ) is a fictional world and the scene of numerous bizarre, humorous novels of British writer Terry Pratchett .

The Discworld

The Disc World is a flat, disc-shaped world about 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) in diameter. Its circumference is thus a little over 30,000 mi (corresponding to a little over 50,000 km), the surface therefore just under 80 million mi² (just over 200 million km²), which corresponds to a little less than half the surface of the earth.

The world rests on the back of four elephants ( Berilia , Tubul , Great-T'Phon and Jerakeen ), who in turn stand on the back of the star tortoise, Great-A'Tuin . The turtle “swimming” through space is a world view inspired by Indian mythology .

At first glance, the Discworld and its inhabitants appear like normal, average fantasy interiors: witches, wizards, trolls, dwarves and magicians. In fact, however, the stories satirize both classic fantasy and science fiction motifs as well as many topics from our world, which Pratchett calls the " round world ".

Our way of narrative thinking is always a topic . The Discworld is a place where stories, allegories and metaphors are real . There is a tooth fairy , a Santa Claus , the "snow father" and, above all, hundreds of gods. Discworld makes things real if you believe in them enough. Classic humor clichés, such as the smoking boots that stop when an explosion tears up a person, or the burning wheel that inevitably rolls out of the rubble in a carriage explosion, are also addressed, as is the famous chance of one in a million, the must of course be a must.

Everyday round-world phenomena such as rock 'n' roll , cinema and film , the free press , religion , philosophy or the money economy are ironically broken and reflected back to the reader. Historical clichés about Chinese or Egyptian history, different forms of government, from despotism to democracy , causes for the development of war, hardly a topic that is not seen on Discworld from its own, new perspective. Computers ( HEX ) are just as important as the fast digital transmission of messages via clack towers . Terry Pratchett's relationship with PDAs , their purpose and their conditions of use is a whole of its own . On the Discworld, there are boxes in which a caged goblin does his job. Commander Mumm is continuously supplied with the latest versions of these devices by his wife, Lady Sybil.

Pratchett parodies the fantasy genre and at the same time creates his own entirely believable world in which extremely serious topics are discussed with cryptic humor. The entire staff of popular fantasy is used. Wizards, constantly smoking and eating and therefore fat and short of breath, fight ghastly, nameless things from the dungeon dimensions that are constantly trying to shift into the "real" dimension - alluding to the work of Lovecraft . There are female dwarfs who are discriminated against by the traditional dwarfs who insist that there are only male dwarfs - feminism does not stop at Discworld either. There are heroes of retirement age, abstinent vampires , a multi-ethnic police force, as well as witches , goblins , trolls , golems , elves and banshees . In the latest novels ( Club of Invisible Scholars and Stiff Prize ) Pratchett increasingly used elements from the work of JRR Tolkien , e.g. B. by introducing new races such as orcs and goblins.

Some characters serve as prototypes for certain generalizable phenomena and therefore appear in almost all Discworld novels. The anthropomorphic personification of death is always present, as in the round world, and when it is not, its presence is unmistakably implied. About the fact that a minor character in the crush of the city Ankh-Morpork bumps into someone apologizes, and Angerempelte in the typical for the voice of death capitals responds and indicates that they would surely meet again soon professionally. This permanent presence of death, however, is not fraught with fear, but leaves a lot of scope for humor - in many cases, gallows humor .

The global presence of trade and business represents the figure of the tragically failing businessman TMSIDR Schnapper . His basic business is the sale of ghastly sausages or - depending on the part of the world in which he appears - another local “specialty”.

Finally, the Invisible University librarian , a magician turned into an orangutan by a magical accident . He represents the wild, irrepressible power of transformation that education can bring into the world if you let it. But there is also space in his figure for the strange that can be triggered by knowledge. Although it only speaks one syllable, "Ugh", it will be understood by anyone who takes the trouble to listen carefully. As the ruler of the so-called B-space (in the English original: L-space ), a multidimensional construct that connects all libraries with one another through space and time, the librarian also represents the many cross-connections between the various novels.

The ethno-specific language errors (the sentence structure of the trolls, the lisp of the Igors) or very specific expressions of individual actors can be viewed as a kind of running gag . They consistently run through all books and characterize some groups better than a description could.

For more information on people and places, see: Characters and locations from the Discworld novels .

Printed works


All 41 novels published so far about the Disc World have been translated into German. The individual novels sometimes tell related stories, but can be read in any order. Some stories, people and places are much easier to understand and classify if you have already read other novels.

Many books are available as audio book, comic or film adaptations.

The scholars of the Discworld

Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen explain the history of the earth and the problems of modern science and its didactics within a framework by Terry Pratchett . This tetralogy is often wrongly not included in the structure of the Discworld. In reality, the band influences the magician series because u. a. Rincewind is promoted from Assistant Librarian to "Professor of Unusual and Cruel Geography" in Discworld Scholars mentioned in True Heroes .

  • The Science of Discworld ( The Science of Discworld ). (With Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen) Heyne, 2000 ISBN 3-453-17330-9 ; New edition: Piper, 2004 ISBN 3-492-28521-X
  • Save the round world! - More of the Science of Discworld ( The Science of Discworld II: The Globe ). (With Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen) Heyne, 2003 ISBN 3-453-86174-4 ; New edition under the title The Philosophers of the Round World . Piper, 2004 ISBN 3-492-28522-8
  • Darwin and the Gods of Discworld ( The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch ). (With Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen) Piper, 2006 ISBN 3-492-26593-6
  • The Last Judgment: The Science of Discworld 4 ( The Science of Discworld IV: Judgment Day (Science of Discworld 4) ). (With Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen) Piper, 2013 ISBN 3-492-26946-X

Discworld maps

  • The streets of Ankh-Morpork. A Discworld Map ( The Streets of Ankh – Morpork. A Discworld Map ). Goldmann, 1996 ISBN 3-442-24719-5
  • The Discworld Mapp (with Stephen Briggs, English only) Corgi, 1995
  • A Tourist Guide to Lancre. A Discworld Mapp (with Stephen Briggs, Paul Kidby, English only) Corgi, 1998
  • Death's Domain. A Discworld Mapp (with Paul Kidby, English only) Corgi, 1999

Quiz books


Stephen Briggs and others also implemented various books as scripts for plays, which were published in various sizes (between 10 and 28,800 copies) by various publishers, mainly in English.


  • The Discworld from A to Z. ( The Discworld Companion. ) Goldmann, 1996 ISBN 3-442-43263-4
  • Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion ... so far. Gollancz, London 2012 - Updated edition of the Discworld Companion (English)
  • Nanny Oggs cookbook. ( Nanny Ogg's Cookbook ) (with Tina Hannan, Stephen Briggs, Paul Kidby) Goldmann, 2001 ISBN 3-442-45050-0
  • The Discworld Portfolio. - A collection of Paul Kidby's drawings, with comments from Terry Pratchett.
  • The Art of Discworld. - Another collection of Paul Kidby's drawings.
  • Where's My Cow? A Discworld picture book for people of all sizes. Doubleday, 2005 ISBN 0-385-60937-X ( English ) - A children's book with illustrations by Melvyn Grant .
  • Myths and Legends of Discworld ( The Folklore of Discworld ) (with Jacqueline Simpson) Manhattan, 2009 ISBN 978-3-442-54662-6

Discworld by-products

Computer games

  • The Color of Magic (1986) - text-based adventure
  • Discworld (1995) - first graphic Discworld adventure, main character Rincewind (Playstation, Sega Saturn, PC)
  • Discworld II - Probably missing ... !? (1996, original title: Missing Presumed… !? ; US title: Mortality Bites ) (Playstation, Sega Saturn, PC)
  • Discworld Noir (July 1999) (Playstation, PC)

Role play

Other games

  • Thud, the discworld game
  • Put Mr. Onion in there
  • Discworld - Ankh-Morpork, a board game from Kosmos-Verlag
  • Discworld - The Witches, a board game by Asmodee


Keyboardist Dave Greenslade released the Discworld concept album From the Discworld in 1994 , which, together with the cover design by Josh Kirby and booklet comments by Pratchett himself, gave the impression of an "official" product. In addition to mostly instrumental pieces, the song Des Zauberers Stab hat ein Knauf (English: The Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End ), which is often mentioned in the novels, as well as the music for the stick-and-bucket dance could be heard.

Film adaptations

Of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters , there are animated television adaptations. There is also an eight-minute trailer, the scenes of which are taken from the book Alles Sense (Reaper Man) . The trailer was only released in English and is called Welcome to the Discworld . Furthermore, Wyrd Sisters and Lords and Ladies were filmed by No Budget Productions .

The book Hogfather was made into a film for the British television station Sky One at Christmas 2006, directed by Vadim Jean . A German dubbed version has also been available on DVD since December 2007; Both parts were broadcast on German television for the first time on December 25, 2007 on ProSieben .

In addition, Pratchett's first two Discworld novels The Color of Magic and The Light of Fantasy were filmed together by the "Hogfather" team under the title The Color of Magic and premiered in two parts on March 23 and 24, 2008; In Germany, the 190-minute film has been available on DVD since October 9, 2008 and was shown on German television for the first time on July 11, 2009 by RTL (under the title The Color of Magic - Die Reise des Zauberers ).

Going Postal (German title Ab die Post ) was filmed by director Jon Jones and was released in two parts on May 30 and 31, 2010 on Sky One and in Germany on November 15, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray. On May 19, 2013, RTL brought the film under the title Terry Pratchett - Ab die Post for the first time on German television. Terry Pratchett has a cameo here as a mail carrier.

More fan articles

The Clarecraft company has released a large number of Discworld miniatures . They are usually 5 to 20 cm tall and each represent one, sometimes several, of the characters appearing in the novels. In addition, tin miniatures of the Discworld figures were offered by the same company. However, these figures are no longer produced, so that they are difficult to obtain.

In 2008 the Polish company Micro Art Studio took over the rights for Discworld miniatures and produces pewter figures for the various figures on a 30 mm scale.

The British company The Cunning Artificer produces miniatures of buildings and terrain in the Discworld. It also makes a number of Discworld postage stamps.

There is a wide range of Discworld-themed products.

German translation

The German translations are by Andreas Brandhorst (exceptions: Schöne Scheine , translated by Bernhard Kempen and The Club of Invisible Scholars and Steife Prize , both translated by Gerald Jung ) and are controversial among some readers.

In the German text is inevitably not only much of Pratchett's direct pun lost, but in the translation must also entire word game systems that run through one or more volumes, reformulated and usually less (or not) comical analogies to be adjusted.

Individual evidence

  1. Discworld Plays. Collin Smythe, archived from the original on November 21, 2008 ; accessed on March 2, 2016 .
  2. IMDb: The Color of Magic , July 12, 2009
  3. Announcement by Micro Arts Studio ( Memento of the original from August 31, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.microartstudio.com

Web links

Commons : Discworld  - collection of images, videos and audio files