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The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch | [Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen]

The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch

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 who 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 who 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 spaceflight 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? Either way, it's no easy task to change history, as the wizards discover to their cost. 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?

©2012 Terry and Lyn Pratchett, Joat Enterprises and Jack Cohen (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

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  •  
    Jarno Helsinki, Finland 01-09-13
    Jarno Helsinki, Finland 01-09-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "A good popular science book, paired with fantasy"

    This book is pretty difficult to classify - as a popular science book, it touches on subjects ranging from cosmology to evolution, with history of science and the history of societies that allowed science to blossom weaved in.

    Most of the science was already familiar to me, though it was a pleasure to listen to so well presented. The insight into how the society has to be ready for a development, to provide fertile ground for new things to "take off", was one that I hadn't given much thought to before.

    The book is perhaps 80% science, 20% ficition - with the story of the Wizards trying to make things right on roundworld being told in separate, shorter chapters, in between longer chapters on science and history. I quite liked this approach.

    The narrator was very good, with the exception of quite annoyingly misspronouncing a couple of words. The narrator clearly didn't pay attention in biology class, because one would think that most people would know how to pronounce "allele". And "meme" in the word "meme-plex" rhymes with "gene". The "me-me-plex" pronounciation really grated on my nerves. A tip for any narrators: if a word is new to you, and you haven't heard it spoken out loud before, look up the pronounciation, don't just guess.

    That's a rather minor complaint though, in a generally good reading of a very good book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • wendy
    tamworth, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Science as seen through the eyes of the wizards!"

    Having read this in paperback I leapt at the chance of listening to it via my mp3 player. The book comes alive and I understood so much more of the science it contained. The alternate chapters are written by Terry Pratchett and put the context of the science from the other chapters into perspective on the discworld. I am now looking forward to the next installment of The Science of Discworld.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • annette
    hampshire, United Kingdom
    7/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "misleading description"
    Would you try another book written by the authors or narrated by Stephen Briggs and Michael Fenton Stevens ?

    definitely not from this mix of authors working together.


    What was most disappointing about the authors’s story?

    Feedback Offered:
    The description is so misleading. The book is one eight story and seven eights school level science (albeit interestingly delievered), but the description leads the reader to believe it is a regular Discworld story, with the regular characters involved elsewhere.

    Of course, it’s up to the writers what they put in books, but it is disingenuous to sneak in a science lesson into a few Prachett chapters without giving the customer the choice of accepting or rejecting that format.

    I accept that Audible probably relies on the publisher’s description, but fell irritated enough to want to moan at someone! I read loads of science stuff for work, the last thing I want is a Janet and John history when I should be away in the magic of Discworld!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Briggs and Michael Fenton Stevens ’s performances?

    Stephen Briggs yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    see above, Irritation. I enjoy Discworld series very much as it is pure escapism. I would not have brought this book had I understood the format from the description.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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