Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel” as Want to Read:
The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel

(Science of Discworld #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  5,665 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Roundworld, aka Earth, is under siege. Are three wizards and an orangutan Librarian enough to thwart the Elvish threat?
When the wizards of Unseen University first created Roundworld, they were so concerned with discovering the rules of this new universe that they overlooked its inhabitants entirely. Now, they have noticed humanity. And humanity has company. Arriving in Ro
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Anchor Books (first published January 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Globe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Globe

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,665 ratings  ·  169 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Science of Discworld II: The Globe (Science of Discworld #2), Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen

The Science of Discworld II: The Globe is a 2002 book written by British novelist Terry Pratchett and science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. It is a sequel to The Science of Discworld, and is followed by The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch.

The acclaimed Science of Discworld centred around an original Pratchett story about the Wizards of Discworld.

In it they accidentally witne
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Science of Discworld II: The Globe is a 2003 companion book to Terry Pratchett’s wildly successful and entertaining fantasy series.

Describing a story where Rincewind and the wizards go to Round world (Earth) in some time travel magic and make observations about how our societies and cultures have evolved, Pratchett also chronicles how Earth’s cultures have developed with and without the influence of the elves, who have strayed from their dimension to Discworld and then also to Round World.

My reaction to the second Science of Discworld book is similar to my reaction to the first. As before, the book alternates between short, fictional chapters that tell a Discworld story and longer chapters that discuss real-world (mostly) science.

I enjoyed the fictional chapters. The story was pretty entertaining, but it made up the smaller portion of the book. The science parts, as with the first book, focus heavily on theory and origin topics whereas I would have preferred a heavier emphasis o
Serge Boucher
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Science of Discworld may be my favorite book series ever, and this book is probably my favorite in the series. Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen write about science, philosophy, the future of humanity, while Terry Pratchett tells us about wizards trying to make William Shakespeare write A Midsummer Night's Dream. The result manages to be hysterically funny while teaching a serious lesson about what makes us humans. I don't have the words to do this book half the honor it deserves. ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one alternates back and forth between a Discworld story, written by Mr. Pratchett himself, and then a sciency-based chapter, written by the scientists Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart.

I remember liking the first Science of Discworld novel, but the first sequel felt... off? I kept wishing I was reading either a real Discworld book or a real science book.

The Discworld story seems pretty tired and cliche and phoned-in per Mr. Pratchett's standards, re-hashing a lot of ideas from previous novels. I
I think I'll keep this at three stars. Maybe it's because, unlike the first one in this series, it touches on the mind, and hence the brain, and hence what I spend 12 hours a day thinking about. (Well, 12 hours of quite a lot - yeah, okay, some - of my days. Damn you, internet, and your possibilities for procrastination), and because I know a bit more of it, I'm less convinced by some of the arguments.

It could also be because this second installment of the Science of the Discworld series focuse
Tim Eby-mckenzie
Nov 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have LOVED Terry Pratchett's work - thus far. However, upon reading Book #2 of the Science of Discworld series - The Science of Discworld II :), I found myself sorely disappointed. What a snore of a book. I am a bit of a science nerd, so delving into astrophysics or a nice neuroscience book doesn't bother me, but that level of (okay, sometimes mind-numbing) detail doesn't bother me, if it is tied to actual research and practical, real-non-disc-world stuff. But this puppy goes beyond Silmarilli ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Again, Pratchett chapters are strong, science a bit dated (and this time oddly focused on proving the "bean counters" wrong). Very Euro-centric. ...more
The rise of the storytelling ape: Try enlivening a party with this question: "What's on your mind?" When the babble has become truly raucous, ask another: "How did it get in there?" This book is about those questions, how we came to consider them, and how we've tried to learn to understand them. Interleaving a fantasy story with analyses of scientific thinking about thinking carries certain risks. In the hands of this trio, however, the balance is successfully achieved. Don't be deceived by the ...more
Drew Perron
So, first of all, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen are awful at communicating the philosophy of science. When you keep them on hard facts, they do pretty well, but let them go even a hair into the why of science and how people think (and how people should think, hoo boy) and they rapidly get smug and passive-aggressive at anyone who doesn't have what they think is The Scientific Viewpoint (occasionally throwing odd shade on other scientists in the process). It's not super useful as a way to get people ...more
Quirky little read, rather a philosophical jaunt without much of a point or a plot, other than to amuse.
Oh, a confusing reading experience, this one. On the one hand, I had not realised just how MUCH of my mental framework for thinking about, well, the build-a-human-kit is drawn from, or crystalised in, this book. I read it in late high school, and re-read it a few times during undergrad, and while I can express the concepts about the role and use of stories in much fancier lit-wank language now... here it is.

On the other hand, now I have degrees in premodern history and I want to set their rigid
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, pratchett
I liked this book it contained an interesting story. Unfortunately at times the "science" portion of the book fell into the same trap that all philosophy of science books and articles fall (heck the same trap all philosophy falls into this trap). It took itself way to seriously and talk (well wrote) way to much in relation to the actual fiction it was commenting upon. I really would have liked to read a slightly more fleshed out version of the story that followed the usual suspects from Discworl ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While still filled with scientific facts, I've felt that this one is a lot more subjective than the first. Probably because it deals with culture, philosophy and religion, instead of astronomy and evolution. Most of it hit home, but I did find myself disagreeing on a few topics. Still, that did not, in any way, stop me from enjoying the book. ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What made humans so? Why do we believe that our religion/ideology/nationalism is the only right one among so many silly ones? Are we Homo sapiens (wise) or Homo narrans (story-teller)? ...
These questions and many others are discussed in the book, along a Discworld story, where the UU wizards try to mend their Roundworld experiment.
D.L. Morrese
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just reread this (because the fourth science of Discworld book should be released in the U.S. next month). While I found this second book a bit more of a slog than the first, it is an insightful commentary on how fiction can help create an environment where science can take hold.
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good and interesting, altho the atheist agenda was starting to bug me at the end. The science was explained well, but there were lots of opinions instead of hard science.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biology
Also loved this one. Great combination of useful reading and fantasy. Really learning something from this series!
Dan'l Danehy-oakes
Having done a bang-up job on cosmology in the first volume, Messrs. PS&C decide, in this volume, to talk about the evolution of the human mind as we sort-of know it.

One of their most basic tools in this discussion is what they call "extelligence," the information and such _outside_ our brains that is accessible _to_ the brains. This includes social knowledge, knowledge stored in books and other such formats, knowledge available on the Intartoobz, and much more.

Their other primary tool is the co
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
When I read the first Science of Discworld novel, I wasn't too impressed with the bits that Terry Pratchett wrote, but I enjoyed the format of the book, where Pratchett would write a chapter and then the science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen would expound on some scientific topic that was related to the previous chapter's narrative. In this way, Stewart and Cohen basically ran the gamut of scientific topics in physics, chemistry, biology, etc and were able to discuss these topics in the ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few years back I set out to read all forty-five extant Discworld books, plus the short stories and a selection of supplementary media. I got most of the way fairly quickly, but ground to a halt halfway through book forty-three on my list, SD 2: The Globe. My interest was waning for various external reasons, but the book itself wasn't doing much to keep me - the content was interesting, but it didn't hang together the way SD 1 had done, sad irony for a book about the vital power of narrative. A ...more
The "Science of Discworld" series can be a very challenging read. However it is easy to skip through, with every odd chapter here being part of a Discworld story and every even chapter being a further exploration of real world science, myth, religion, history and cultural theories that effect the interpretation of that story context.
Hence a reader can enjoy just the storyline, or the deeper philosophical discussion, or both at once. The full benefit is gained by endeavouring through both parts
Peter Dunn
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite being in my to be read piles for some considerable time I hadn’t got around to reading Science of Discworld 4 until nowish. Before I did so I thought I better take the very unusual step (for me) of rereading a book or two at very least Science of Discworld 2 and 3 both of which had become rather sketchy in my mind.

“Science of Discworld 2 The Globe” is the very peak of the four book Science of Discworld sequence. Packed full with wizards, elves, and Shakespeare- the play a Midsummer’s Ni
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant in typical Terry Pratchett prose. He argues that man should not have been named Homo Sapien (wise man) and should have been called San Narrans (storytelling chimpanzee).
With alternating chapters, a story of the Wizards of Discworld followed by philosophy and science, he lays out the case for his hypothesis.
I would normally post my favorite quotation but there are far too many from which to choose. Everything from,

"Ships would be bound to be attracted to another ship, or else how did y
Peter Lind
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I was a little disappointed by the first in the series - mostly because a lot of it was known stuff (to me), I really wanted to learn.
And in this second part, I certainly did.

It goes much deeper in the "narrativium"-talk, and makes a great point of showing how we humans make everything make sense, even when it doesn't - as most of the natural world doesn't actually make sense. Why science can sometimes be hard to accept, and why religion and science fiction sometimes seem "better" explan
Sam Wescott
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
My review for this one is pretty much the same as the first Science of Discworld book. The science chapters are.. a bit much sometimes, but the Discworld fiction in between is hilarious. I love the connection between "Roundworld" and Discworld and the difficulties the wizards face navigating a world sans "narrative imperative". It's delightful.

As far as the science chapters go, it really depends on where your interests lie. I love origins of humans and evolutionary science (because I was raised
Robert Hepple
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 2002, The Science of Discworld II: The Globe continues in the style of the first in the series in which a Pratchett novella shares the book with alternate chapters of a non-fiction type. The fiction and non-fiction sections are blended together as different aspects of a common theme. In the process, various swipes are made at science, history, art, religion and many other areas, but the main theme throughout is the importance of storytelling - and by implication lying - has be ...more
Fun and enlightening. The wizards of Unseen University get stuck on roundworld, a non-magical world they created in the first The science of discworld, but they aren't alone. Elves have invaded roundworld and the wizards decide to stay to save roundworld from the evil elves. As with the first book the story is used to further explain scientific topics, with each story chapter followed by a science chapter.
Both are highly enjoyable, though naturally the wizards are funnier. The balance between st
Another quick fun adventure with the UU wizards on Roundworld, this time influencing human history so that science and imagination overtake superstition (and thus, defeat the elves who've invaded Roundworld). Mostly it focuses on making the world a place where Shakespeare exists and writes A Midsummer's Night Dream - but in order to get there, the wizards have to introduce art to humanity from its earliest days. (Once again, we skipped the science chapters on this read-through, so I can't commen ...more
Anne Omynous
This one did not have the appeal for me of the first Science of Discworld. The alternating chapters of philosophic musings on how human minds work were either very dull or went over my head.
The chapters with the wizards were not compelling enough to make up for it. If I had it to do over again, I would start reading only the wizard chapters at the beginning.
The only interesting idea I ran into was the aquatic ape and some of the discussion about humans believing a story against evidence was wort
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add audio editions 4 20 Jun 19, 2013 09:01AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Renaissance (The Story of Civilization, #5)
  • Glory Road
  • The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2)
  • Familiar Roads: Familiar Tales Book Eight
  • Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection (Rivers of London #1.5, 1.6, 4.6, 5.65, 6.5)
  • Now, Then, and Everywhen (Chronos Origins #1)
  • Mountain of Mars (Starship's Mage, #8)
  • The Firebrand
  • The Shape-Changer's Wife
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
  • Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)
  • Galactic Patrol (Lensman, #3)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5)
  • Race of Thieves (Artifact Hunters #1)
  • Into the Void
  • Reign of Monsters (Artifact Hunters, #2)
  • The Krytos Trap (Star Wars: X-Wing, #3)
See similar books…
Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i

Other books in the series

Science of Discworld (4 books)
  • The Science of Discworld (The Science of Discworld, #1)
  • Darwin's Watch (The Science of Discworld, #3)
  • Judgement Day (The Science of Discworld, #4)

Related Articles

  A comforting balm. A much-needed diversion. Time spent with an old friend. Childhood memories and annual traditions. We asked the...
49 likes · 23 comments
“The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” 169 likes
“Think critically about what you are told. Do not accept the word of authority unthinkingly. Science is not a belief system: no belief system instructs you to question the system itself. Science does. (There are many scientists, however, who treat it as a belief system. Be wary of them.)” 16 likes
More quotes…