Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
The Turtle Moves!: Discworld's Story So Far
Lawrence Watt-Evans
BenBella Books, 285 pages

The Turtle Moves!: Discworld's Story So Far
Lawrence Watt-Evans
Lawrence Watt-Evans is the author of The Lords of Dus series (The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu and The Book of Silence), as well as The Rebirth of Wonder (Wildside Press/Tor 1992), Split Heirs (with Esther Friesner), and the Three Worlds trilogy, among many others.

Lawrence Watt-Evans Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Wizard Lord
SF Site Review: Touched By The Gods

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

With nearly four dozen volumes, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series can be somewhat daunting to new readers, especially since the series is not as linear as most fantasy series. While books such as The Discworld Companion are aimed at readers who are already familiar with the series, Lawrence Watt-Evans has created something else in The Turtle Moves!: Discworld's Story So Far.

Watt-Evans has provided a brief synopsis of each Discworld work Pratchett has written, not plotting it out, but giving an idea of the themes, characters, and continuity of each book, along with noting where the novels belong in the greater series. In order to do this, Watt-Evans has identified eight sub-series, which invite argument from fans of the series. These synopses are done in a brief and entertaining manner, often reminiscent of Pratchett's own style. More importantly, Watt-Evans doesn't give away the jokes that are in the series.

Of course, the Discworld series has fewer jokes and puns than one might think and Watt-Evans points out the different types of humor used in the series. Perhaps most important, and often overlooked, is that while the series begins with The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic as parodies of fantasy and science fiction, Pratchett, early on, repositioned the series as a satirical look at life in general. He never fully leaves parody and farce behind, but they do not form the majority of the humor in the series, which may also explain the Discworld's popularity.

My wife, who has read perhaps part of Reaper Man and seen a portion of the Wyrd Sisters animated series, read through the book and reported that Watt-Evans writing pulled her in and his descriptions of the books caught her attention and imagination, although she felt a little confused near the beginning of the book.

The Turtle Moves! is not just aimed at those who haven't yet discovered the joys of Discworld, but also those who have read all of the novels and short stories. For those readers, Watt-Evans has provided not only brief reminders of which books are which, but also offers thematic links between the books, and not just the books within any given sub-series, but any books which share those themes.

The Turtle Moves! can be read multiple times. Readers who have yet to enjoy all of Pratchett's own works will take away completely different things than they will if they re-read Watt-Evans's book after familiarizing themselves with Pratchett's own prose. And that is a key point. For all that Watt-Evans is able to write a book about Pratchett's that is as enjoyable as Pratchett's books, it is not, nor is it meant to be, a substitute for the original Discworld books.

Watt-Evans has created a highly readable, and more importantly, enjoyable and informative, book about Terry Pratchett's massive Discworld series. The Turtle Moves! works as either an introduction to Pratchett's works or as a reminder of the wonderful satire, humor, and insight which Pratchett has provided over the past twenty-five years.

Copyright © 2008 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a seven-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings. He is the publisher of ISFiC Press. In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide