- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Press (11 April 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091949793
- ISBN-13: 978-0091949792
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day: 4 Hardcover – 11 Apr 2013
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A brilliant new Discworld story from Terry Pratchett combined with cutting-edge science and philosophy from Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. This time the trio take on THE REALLY BIG QUESTIONS – God, the Universe and, frankly, Everything Else.
From the Inside Flap
Order in Court!
On Discworld an almighty row is brewing…
The Omnians want control of Roundworld – its very existence makes a mockery of their religion. The wizards of Unseen University, however, are extremely reluctant to part with it. After all, they created it!
Enter Roundworld librarian, Marjorie Daw (accidentally, through L-space). Perhaps, with her Jimmy Choos and her enquiring and logical mind, she can help? Especially as she’s the sort of librarian who thinks that the Bible should be filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Lord Vetinari presides over the tribunal. People on both sides are getting extremely angry, There are some very big questions being asked – and someone’s got some explaining to do…
The fourth in the Science of Discworld series, JUDGEMENT DAY sees Terry Pratchett, Professor Ian Stewart and Doctor Jack Cohen create a mind-mangling mix of fiction, cutting-edge science and philosophy in an attempt to answer the REALLY big questions – this time taking on God, the Universe and, frankly, Everything Else.
Proceed with caution, you may never look at your universe(s) in the same way again.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not bad, just disappointing. I expect a smorgasbord of science, wit and humour in these books and number 4 felt lacking in all three.
This is one of the best science books I've read. It deals with some of the more controversial topics - the origins of the universe in particular - but in way that doesn't lecture and doesn't condescend. The writers also take the time to examine the current leading theories in a critical manner, unlike most books which can present the flavour of the month as hard and fast fact with only a small nod to future research. Here Cohen and Stewart don't shy away from acknowledging holes in our knowledge, and that only helps to emphasise one of their core messages: that science is all about doubting and testing your ideas.
Like the previous books, the chapters alternate between fiction and fact, and the Discworld story contained the usual wit and charm, although the individual chapters and the story as a whole are all too short. In contrast, the science chapters in several places are too long, and I found my attention drifting.
In combination, a welcome taste of the Discworld universe between the main novels, and an in-depth and fascinating insight into the real world of science and where it might be heading in the next few decades. I thoroughly recommend this as a great read which both educated and entertained.
This is another workmanlike effort - not his best, but still a good read.
Except... it's supposed to be a book by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. And sadly, their voices were almost completely absent.
The first two Science of Discworld books were elegant blends of fact and fiction - alternating chapters of approximately equal length. In this one, the Discworld chapters are incredibly brief. And even then they read like Ian Stewart fiction (compare with Flatterland) with a few Discworld character names and back stories pasted on. Vetinari bothering to get involved in an inconsequential wrangle between wizards and clerics? Hardly! Ridcully coherently explaining vast tracts of hard science? I don't think so!
If you want to buy this Ian Stewart book on science, go right ahead. But don't buy this Terry Pratchett novel.
Another thing that irritates me in a more controversial sense is that I found the book very preachy about atheism. It's almost as though the authors had an axe to grind this time round, where before they contented themselves with the nobler pursuits of entertainment and education. And their views on agnosticism (a subject dear to my heart) are... eccentric.
Assuming, as I've said, that you're in the market for an Ian Stewart book. Assuming, furthermore, that you can overlook the bouts of didacticism (or at least read some Karen Armstrong for balance) this is still an interesting and up-to-date work, full of discussion of the origins of the universe, the history of science, world religion and more besides. Despite my reservations, I'm glad I bought it.
The science is good but a bit too wordy and self indulgent.
The accompanying story is to little and too thin to lighten the heavy dough of the 'Science'
Just because the man is a genius does not mean that his and allied works should not be fully read and shortened and/or modifying suggestions made to improve the readers experience.
Yes we WILL read all his works and addenda but it would be nice if it were overseen and revised/made tighter and edited for the sake of the reader.
Even Milche Cows should produce quality product not milked to death just for profit.
Sorry not up to Terry's high standard.
Said in sadness not malice.
Lots of ranting about the stupidity and intolerance of religion, along with an overview of the currently-under-discussion reasons for why supposedly-rational people believe such claptrap and poppycock.
Another blow-by-blow account of Why We Are Here, leavened with what stupid religiots think the answer is.
An interesting digression at the end into why the fine structure constants aren't that fine after all, which (for me) was worth the value of the book itself.
And interleaved like strips of tasty salami between many tedious slices of slimming-bread, we find a Pratchett Discworld novella, detailing how a librarian (appropriately Pratchettianly rationalistic, sensible and unflappable) arrives in Discworld through L-space to witness Vetinaru presiding over a court case as to whether Roundworld should be in the custodianship of Unseen University or the Omnians.
Every book by Pratchett seems like an ever-dwindling sequence of poignant goodbyes, and this is a rather sweet little coda in a world we Discworld fans know and love better than our own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Science of the Discworld is always fascinating and funny. This fourth volume is no exception - perhaps a little better.Published 2 months ago by Dr. Isobel Ann Dunbar
A very deep and thought provoking book on Science and a bit on religion.
I read a lot of the reviews about how this was an atheist rant and thought oh well they have... Read more
I love Terry Pratchett books and have enjoyed the 3 previous Science of Discworld books but for me this was a colossal disappointment, not enough Sir Terry and far too much Ian... Read morePublished 5 months ago by thegrumpybadger