|Submitted by Julianag |
(Aug 28, 2005)
The third in the Science of Discworld series that explains (or tries to) the rules of Roundworld a.k.a. Earth. After the wizards, (well, the Dean actually), have created Roundworld, they feel somewhat responsible for it's inhabitants' fate. So when strange forces conspire to prevent Charles Darwin from writing his famous book thus effectively resulting in humankind building the space ladder 3 years too late, it is the wizards, who with the aid of supercomputer, Hex, rush (or in case of Rincewind dragged)to the rescue and at some great sacrifices (second breakfast is ignored)too.
The book masterfully weaves together the fiction chapters, which start each discussion of the non-fiction chapters. The discussions cover various topics from the higher-level mathematics to the DNA significance to the nature of invention.
The best feature of course, is the lack of condescension from the authors; they do not assume that you know what a googolplex is, nor the fact that the concept of an umptyplexplex may seem hard to understand.
The book also touches on different societies and the nature of scientific discovery, which is a nice novelty for the series.
The fiction and the non-fiction weave a powerful and knowledgeable story where a group of wizards try to save Earth's humanity but they do not answer if humanity can save itself, which in retrospect, is probably for the best.