Title: The Colour of Magic.
Author: Sir Terry Pratchett.
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, humour, adventure, satire.
Publication Date: November 24th 1983.
Summary: On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them. This is where it all begins.
My rating: 8.5/10.
♥ Precisely why all of the above should be so is not clear, but goes some way to explain why, on the disc, the Gods are not so much worshipped as blamed.
♥ Withel said nothing. Being Ymor’s right-hand man was like being gently flogged to death with scented bootlaces.
♥ In desperation he tried heathen Trob, and the little man’s face split into a delighted grin.
“At last!” he said. “My good sir! This is remarkable!” Although in Trob the last word in fact became ‘a thing which may happen but once in the usable lifetime of a canoe hollowed diligently by axe and fire from the tallest diamondwood tree that grows in the noted diamondwood forests on the lower slopes of Mount Awayawa, home of the firegods or so it is said.’)
♥ “Ah,” he said. “You’ve come to hire mercenaries (‘warriors who fight for the tribe with most milknut-meal’)?”
“Oh no. I just want to meet them. So that when I get home I can say I did it.”
Rincewind thought that a meeting with most of the Drum’s clientele would mean that Twoflower never went home again, unless he lived downriver and happened to float past.
♥ No, what he didn’t like about heroes was that they were usually suicidally gloomy when sober and homicidally insane when drunk.
♥ Rincewind often suspected that there was something, somewhere, that was better than magic. He was usually disappointed.
♥ Behind him now, in addition to more trolls, were several humans that Ymor vaguely recognized. He had seen them, maybe, behind counters and bars. Shadowy figures, usually - easily ignored, easily forgotten. At the back of his mind a bad feeling began to grow. He thought about how it might be to be, say, a fox confronted with an angry sheep. A sheep, moreover, that could afford to hire wolves.
♥ Picturesque. That was a new word to Rincewind the wizard (BMgc, Unseen University [failed]). It was one of a number he had picked up since leaving the charred ruins of Ankh-Morpork. Quaint was another one. Picturesque meant - he decided after careful observation of the scenery that inspired Twoflower to use the word - that the landscape was horrible precipitous. Quaint, when used to describe the occasional village through which they passed, meant fever-ridden and tumbledown.
Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant ‘idiot’.
♥ Rincewind sighed again. It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going round to atheists’ houses and smashing their windows.
♥ “It’s the tree,” said the dryad shortly.
“What’s it doing?” said Rincewind.
“I wondered about that. I mean, are we really in a tree? Have I been reduced in size? From outside it looked narrow enough for me to put my arms around.”
“Um, but here I am inside it?”
“Um,” said Rincewind.
“I can see into your mind, false wizard! Am I not a dryad? Do you not know that what you belittle by the name tree is but the mere four-dimensional analogue of a whole multidimensional universe which-- no, I can see you do not.”
♥ Magic never dies. It merely fades away.
♥ Rincewind looked down at him and grinned slowly. It was a wide, manic and utterly humourless rictus. It was the sort of grin that is normally accompanied by small riverside birds wandering in and out, picking scraps out of the teeth.
♥ “We've strayed into a zone with a high magical index,” he said. “Don't ask me how. Once upon a time a really powerful magic field must have been generated here, and we're feeling the after-effects.”
“Precisely,” said a passing bush.
♥ Ripples of paradox spread out across the sea of causality.
Possibly the most important point that would have to be borne in mind outside the sum totality of the multiverse was that although the wizard and the tourist had indeed recently appeared in an aircraft in mid-air, they had also at one and the same time been riding in that aeroplane in the normal course of things. That is to say: while it was true that they had been living in them all along. It is at this point that normal language gives up, and goes and has a drink.
The point is that several quintillion atoms had just materialized (however, they had not. See below) in a universe where they should not strictly have been. The usual upshot of this sort of thing is a vast explosion but, since universes are fairly resilient things, this particular universe had saved itself by instantaneously unravelling its space-time continuum back to a point where the surplus atoms could safely be accommodated and then rapidly rewinding back to that circle of firelight which for want of a better term its inhabitants were wont to call The Present. This had of course changed history - there had been a few less wars, a few extra dinosaurs and so on - but on the whole the episode passed remarkably quietly.
Outside of this particular universe, however, the repercussions of the sudden double-take bounced to and fro across the face of The Sum of Things, bending whole dimensions and sinking galaxies without a trace.
...There was a sudden darkness.
There was a brilliant flash.
The sudden departure of several quintillion atoms from the universe that they had no right to be in anyway caused a wild imbalance in the harmony of the Sum Totality which it tried frantically to retrieve, wiping out a number of sub-realities in the process. Huge surges of raw magic boiled uncontrolled around the very foundations of the multiverse itself, welling up through every crevice into hitherto peaceful dimensions and causing novas, supernovas, stellar collisions, wild flights of geese and drowning of imaginary continents. Worlds as far away as the other end of time experienced brilliant sunsets of coruscating octarine as highly-charged magical particles roared through the atmosphere. In the cometary halo around the fabled Icy System if Zeret a noble comet died as a prince flamed across the sky.
♥ “We’re totally lost in a palace on an island we haven’t a hope of leaving,” he panted. “And what’s more we--hey!” he finished, as the sight of the contents of the room filtered up his deranged optic nerves.
Twoflower was already staring at the walls.
Because what was so odd about the room was, it contained the whole Universe.