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The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day
Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen
Ebury Press, 352 pages

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett lives in Somerset, England, where he spends all his time, and more, writing his rigorously naturalistic, curiously entertaining, shamelessly popular Discworld novels which have earned him extravagant acclaim and puzzled stares from millions of readers around the world.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo
SF Site Review: Snuff
SF Site Review: The Wit & Wisdom of Discworld
SF Site Review: Terry Pratchett's Hogfather: The Illustrated Screenplay
SF Site Review: Going Postal
SF Site Review: The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch
SF Site Review: The Art of Discworld
SF Site Review: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2005
SF Site Review: Going Postal
SF Site Review: Monstrous Regiment
SF Site Review: The Wee Free Men
SF Site Review: The New Discworld Companion
SF Site Review: Night Watch
SF Site Review: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
SF Site Review: Thief of Time
SF Site Review: Nanny Ogg's Cookbook
SF Site Reading List: Terry Pratchett
SF Site Review: The Truth
SF Site Review: City Watch Trilogy
SF Site Review: The Fifth Elephant
SF Site Review: The Discworld Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2000
SF Site Review: The Science of Discworld
SF Site Review: The Last Continent
SF Site Review: Hogfather
SF Site Review: Jingo
SF Site Review: Feet of Clay
SF Site Review: Maskerade

Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen
Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick, Coventry, England. In 1995, he was awarded the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Medal for outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science. He continues to be an active research mathematician, working now on the effects of symmetry on dynamics, with applications to pattern formation and chaos theory.

Currently at the University of Warwick, Dr Jack Cohen is an internationally renowned reproductive biologist, having published nearly 100 research papers. He also acts as a consultant to top science fiction writers, such as Terry Pratchett, designing credible creatures and ecologies.

ISFDB Bibliography: Ian Stewart
ISFDB Bibliography: Jack Cohen
SF Site Review: Heaven
SF Site Review: Wheelers
SF Site Review: The Science of Discworld

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

Advertisement
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day It's time to get your comic head on for the fourth book in the Science of Discworld series, Judgement Day. Terry Pratchett, Professor Ian Stewart and Dr. Jack Cohen answer the toughest questions in life, the universe and everything in a comedic, tongue-in-cheek way. Known for his novels set in Discworld, Snuff, The Colour of Magic, Lords and Ladies and Reaper, but in this one, Terry Pratchett tells us the Omnians want to take control of Roundworld (Earth) as their religion is not compatible with others. The wizards of Unseen University however don't like the idea of their interfering in their world. Roundworld Librarian Marjorie Daw is catapulted into the argument with the Omnians, though she isn't the best person to debate with others on the subject of religion, god and other things, as her opinion is that they should be filed under fantasy and science fiction.

Lord Vetinari is the referee, and he sees the two sides exchanging insults, waiting for the insults to slowly turn into fights. Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen meanwhile get to grip with the real questions that have been baffling the theologians, the scientists and the philosophers for centuries -- how the world was created, where did humans come from, what shape is the universe and can religious folk and scientists become friends? Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen have a lot on their hands, and plenty of explaining to do, if they can actually explain world-bearing elephants, particle physics, evolutionary design, eternal inflation, dark matter and disbelief system.

The three other Science of Discworld novels have been a roaring success with fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels and become Sunday Times top ten bestsellers. Sir Terry Pratchett started out with his first in the Discworld series; The Colour of Magic back in 1983 and since then his work has spanned fifty bestselling books. His novels have been adapted for stage and screen and have won prizes like The Carnegie Medal and a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide book sales are now at 70 million and they have been translated into 37 different languages.

Professor Ian Stewart is the author of many science books, blogs and magazine articles. He is on radio and podcasts, and is a professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick. He was awarded the Michael Faraday Prize for enabling the public understanding of science and, in 2001, became a fellow of the Royal Society.

Dr. Jack Cohen is a reproductive biologist. He has a lab in his shed and helps couples get pregnant (by referring them to erstwhile colleagues now) and invents biologically real aliens for science fiction writers and likes to throw boomerangs. He is retired and lives in Dorset, and promotes public awareness of science and biology.

The book reads like a Pratchett novel, it's full of well written humour and hilarious footnotes and there are references to Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen in the book, but essentially it is just a chapter driven comedy which has science revealed in it about the nature of Physical Law and the Higgs boson. For anyone into science fiction and science in general, this is the sort of light-hearted book to pick up as it asks (nearly) all of the questions that many want to have answered.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has been reviewing for a long time now and has her favourite genre, but she doesn’t like to tell anyone in case they laugh! So far she writes for the British Fantasy Society, Fantasy Book Critic, Fantasy Book Review and Quail Bell Magazine.


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