41 books. 32 years. 1 world resting on 4 elephants, carried through the cosmos on the back of 1 enormous turtle.
Welcome to Hubward Ho!, the project dedicated to reading, discussing, sharing, and exploring Sir Terry Pratchett’s masterful Discworld, story arc by story arc and book by book. For the next two years, we will be on a journey from the Library of Unseen University to the Dungeon Dimensions, from the high, frosted Ramtops to the deserts of Klatch, from the crowded turnback alleys of the Shades to the emptiness at the end of the universe.
We can’t go on this journey alone—as the saying goes, “It takes all sorts.” Whether you’re picking up Discworld for the first time or you’re a long-time fan returning to the series, we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate this improbably wonderful and wonderfully improbable world.
Q: How does this work?
A: At first, we were going back and forth between reading by publication order or reading by story arc. We arrived at, if we may say so, an elegant solution—we’re going to read through one story arc at a time, starting with the ones that Pratchett introduced first and ending with the later stories of this particular world. As much as possible, we want to experience the character and world developments—so Small Gods and the Ancient Civilizations duology necessarily comes before Carpe Jugulum, for instance.
TL;DR—we’re going Wizards, Death, Ancient Civilizations, Witches, the City Watch, the Industrial Revolution, and Tiffany Aching.
We plan to tackle each book over a two-week period, with new content—including an introductory post for each book, mini-essays by each of us, and a 1-2 hour podcast discussion—to be posted every Tuesday and Friday.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: There are a few reasons why we’ve developed Hubward Ho!. First, and perhaps most basically, this is a passion project. We love these books and we love talking about them and sharing them with others. It’s also our hope that we can give readers a place to think and respond, both to us and to one another. Collectively, we hope to make new discoveries about the Disc.
Q: Yes, alright, but why Discworld?
A: First, we hold the opinion that Pratchett’s books, in addition to being enjoyably well-written, have a weight and a substance to them that both merits and rewards critical discussion. Ryan coined the phrase “satirical humanism,” which we feel best describes Pratchett’s approach to Discworld: using satire and humor to approach the worst, and honor the best, of humanity. Discworld books act as a focusing lens through which we can better understand ourselves.
Also, there are jokes, and jokes are funny.
Q: Why now?
A: This is an idea we have kicked back and forth for a year or so. With Pratchett’s death and the publication of the final Discworld book, launching this tribute is our way to express our appreciation of, and gratitude for, both the series and its remarkable architect. As Pratchett once wrote, “A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.” We intend to continue speaking it.
Q: Who is this project for?
A: While this project is theoretically accessible to anyone with an internet connection, we do have a few audiences in mind when we speak and write. While we would love for people to take this project as an opportunity to read along with us, our goal is to be accessible to people who haven’t recently read the book under discussion.
- If you’ve read 0 books—First of all, how did you find us? But second of all, welcome to Discworld! We hope that Hubward Ho! piques your interest and helps you take the plunge into the series.
- If you’ve read 1-3 books—There’s nothing quite like discovering a new favorite author—we want to share in your excitement and give you a sense of which books you would like to read next.
- If you’ve read 4-10 books—You may have found a story arc that really appeals to you, or you may be reading books at random. Feel free to pop in as we talk about the specific books you’ve read, or figure out where to head next in the series.
- If you’ve read 11-41 books—You’ve got the Ankh in your blood! Metaphorically, at least! Join us as we trace the gradual development of your favorite stories and characters.
No matter who you are or where you’re at in the series, Hubward Ho! is a place to share our experiences and discuss books that we care about.
Q: Who are you?
A: We’re two friends who met while we were working on our MAs in Literature and Rhetoric. We both enjoy media in the same way—by discussing and critiquing the hell out of it. ALSO our dads think we’re pretty cool. Check out our About page for more info!
Q: Oh gods, are you a couple of pedants?
A: That depends on your definition of “pedant”? But seriously, our goal is not to force our “expert opinions” down your throat. Our day jobs may be academic, but we’re approaching this project as fans first. We want to cultivate discussion, not provide some kind of ultimate interpretation.
Q: Where do I start?
A: Well, that depends. If you’re reading this on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 CE or thereabouts, you’re starting this journey with us! We’re beginning with the Wizards’ story arc, so get out your pointy bedazzled and be-laced hat and check in every Tuesday and Friday. If you’re reading this months or years later, check out our archive! Start with your favorite book, the beginning of an interesting story arc, or all the way back at The Colour of Magic.
No matter what day or timeline you are currently experiencing, leave us a comment! Are you excited for the project? Doubtful? What was/is your first Discworld book? How did you first discover the series?