Last modified on 28 February 2012, at 20:53

Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Colour of Magic (1983) by Terry Pratchett is the first of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel, featuring the major characters of Rincewind and Twoflower.

  • There was, for example, the theory that A’Tuin had come from nowhere and would continue at a uniform crawl, or steady gait, into nowhere, for all time. This theory was popular among academics.
An alternative, favoured by those of a religious persuasion, was that A’Tuin was crawling from the Birthplace to the Time of Mating, as were all the stars in the sky which were, obviously, also carried by giant turtles. When they arrived they would briefly and passionately mate, for the first and only time, and from that fiery union new turtles would be born to carry a new pattern of worlds. This was known as the Big Bang hypothesis.
  • By now the whole of downtown Morpork was alight, and the richer and worthier citizens of Ankh on the far bank were bravely responding to the situation by feverishly demolishing the bridges.
  • ...on the disc, the Gods are not so much worshipped as blamed.
  • There are said to be some mystic rivers one drop of which can steal a man’s life away. After its turbid passage through the twin cities the Ankh could have been one of them.
  • ‘That’s what’s so stupid about the whole magic thing, you know. You spend twenty years learning the spell that makes nude virgins appear in your bedroom, and then you’re so poisoned by quicksilver fumes and half-blind from reading old grimoires that you can’t remember what happens next.’
  • Picturesque meant – he decided after careful observation of the scenery that inspired Twoflower to use the word – that the landscape was horribly precipitous. Quaint, when used to describe the occasional village through which they passed, meant fever-ridden and tumbledown.
Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant ‘idiot’.
  • …magic had indeed once been wild and lawless, but had been tamed back in the mists of time by the Olden Ones, who had bound it to obey among other things the Law of Conservation of Reality; this demanded that the effort needed to achieve a goal should be the same regardless of the means used. In practical terms this meant that, say, creating the illusion of a glass of wine was relatively easy, since it involved merely the subtle shifting of light patterns. On the other hand, lifting a genuine wineglass a few feet in the air by sheer mental energy required several hours of systematic preparation if the wizard wished to prevent the simple principle of leverage flicking his brain out through his ears.
  • [Hrun] spent a great deal of time in similar situations, seeking gold or demons or distressed virgins and relieving them respectively of their owners, their lives, and at least one cause of their distress.
  • Magic never dies. It merely fades away.
  • Oh, you know how it is with wizards. Half an hour afterwards you could do with another one, the dragon grumbles.
  • ‘You’re a defeatist.’
‘Defeatist! That’s because I’m going to be defeated.’
‘You’re your own worst enemy, Rincewind,’ said the sword.
Rincewind looked up at the grinning men.
‘Bet?’ he said wearily.
  • ‘We fight to the death,’ he said. ‘Yours.’
  • Hrun shrugged. ‘Sure,’ he said, ‘the only reason for walking into the jaws of Death is so’s you can steal His gold teeth.’
  • Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.
  • ‘You mean they hate water?’ said Twoflower.
‘No, that wouldn’t work,’ said Rincewind. ‘Hate is an attracting force, just like love. They really loathe it, the very idea of it revolts them.’
  • 'But what do you want to sacrifice us for?’ asked Twoflower. ‘You hardly know us!’
‘That’s rather the point isn’t it? It’s not very good manners to sacrifice a friend.'

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The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett

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