discworld kidbyI started reading Terry Pratchett when I was about twelve years old; I think I’d finished most of his enormous Discworld series by the time I was fourteen or fifteen. Two months ago, after coping with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease for several years, Pratchett passed away at the age of 66 – far, far too young for one of the greatest writers of our time. I wrote a short piece after his death about how much his books influenced me, both as a writer and a person: how much they shaped my understanding of human nature, of how people work, of how society ticks along. The Discworld books were fundamentally a humorous fantasy series, but they were really so much more than that – smart, funny satires about every element of human behaviour, and all the ridiculous orthodoxies and contradictions that make up society.

I’ve been meaning to reread the Discworld series for a long time, and with Pratchett having passed away now seems like an appropriate time to do it. I’ll begin with The Colour of Magic, and keep this post up as a running index.

Part of the trouble with the Discworld series, for the uninitiated, is that it’s sort of complicated to figure out where to start. I’ll be discussing that as I go along – it’s partly a matter of opinion – but meanwhile, if you’re thinking of trying the series for the first time, this diagram is very helpful.

1. The Colour of Magic
2. The Light Fantastic
3. Equal Rites
4. Mort
5. Sourcery
6. Wyrd Sisters
7. Pyramids
8. Guards! Guards!
9. Faust Eric
10. Moving Pictures
11. Reaper Man
12. Witches Abroad
13. Small Gods
14. Lords and Ladies
15. Men at Arms
16. Soul Music
17. Interesting Times
18. Maskerade
19. Feet of Clay
20. Hogfather
21. Jingo
22. The Last Continent
23. Carpe Jugulum
24. The Fifth Elephant
25. The Truth
26. Thief of Time
27. The Last Hero
28. The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents
29. Night Watch
30. The Wee Free Men
31. Monstrous Regiment
32. A Hat Full of Sky
33. Going Postal
34. Thud!
35. Wintersmith
36. Making Money
37. Unseen Academicals
38. I Shall Wear Midnight
39. Snuff
40. Raising Steam
41. The Shepherd’s Crown