Title: The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch
Author: Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen
Page Count/Review Word Count: 346
I loved, loved, loved this book. I mean, I’ve read the first two books in the Science of Discworld series and I enjoyed them both a lot, but nowhere near as much as this one. I’m not sure if that’s because this book was better than the others or because it came along at just the right time.
Here, we have the usual mixture of fiction and non-fiction in the form of a Discworld story from Terry Pratchett that’s offset by chapters from Stewart and Cohen that delve into the science of both the Discworld and Roundworld, where we live. The title itself references The Blind Watchmaker, a Richard Dawkins book, and there are plenty of references to both Dawkins and Charles Darwin, who appears as a character in Pratchett’s sections.
What surprised me here was that I actually enjoyed the non-fiction parts more than the Discworld story that accompanied it. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Pratchett’s contribution, though. It was all fantastic, which is why I didn’t hesitate to give the book a 5/5. I put off reading it for a while purely because it’s a thick old hardback, but in hindsight I think that was a mistake. It’s worth reading whether you’re a Pratchett fan or not, although there are plenty of in-jokes for seasoned fans to enjoy, too.
The best thing of all is the fact that you don’t have to read the Science of Discworld books in order. Sure, they reference each other, but they’re more like little self-contained releases that act as a beautiful add-on to the Discworld series. I have a horrible feeling that they get overlooked when compared to the rest of Pratchett’s releases, which is a shame. I could name at least a half-dozen Discworld books that weren’t as good as this. So go out and buy it – you won’t regret it.