A talk by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart

As we all know, the Discworld runs parallel to our own spherical and quite boring world. It exists in that niggling little space between reality and chaos, dementia and dried frog pills - similar to the gap between the settee and the wall1. It sits there like a bit of fluff and glares at you, daring you to move that heavy table and risk knocking over the lamp to get to it2.

Such is the Discworld, and, as someone once said, it's a place where magic is present. Indeed it suffuses everything and anything, imbuing even your bedpan with a faint glow. Lucky for us we have someone to explain the subtle intricacies of this and other startling fenon... phemone... weird stuff to us.

That's right! The wisdom and wit of the Discworld - the magic, the mystery and possibly even some of the more obscure jokes - will be revealed to YOU, the reader and Convention-goer, when you attend the talk given by Dr. Jack Cohen and Professor Ian Stewart of Warwick University, UK, Earth.

These two learned persons have spent years researching the arcane arts of chaos theory in areas such as fluid dynamics3, chemical reactions4, and some might say more significantly in the fields of reproductive biology5 and ecosystems analysis6. We therefore hope that any information they pass on will be both enlightening and humorous as well as being quite useful in a number of areas over the Convention weekend.

The Discworld, whilst being generally known as a place of raining frogs, mysterious beautiful strangers with more bare skin than a bald panda and talking rocks (THUMP), sorry, Trolls, also has more real science than you might expect, even though it runs on magic. Ian and Jack hope that their talk may open some of your eyes to the surprising realities behind the fantastic world perched on four elephants atop a turtle.

Join them, joining us, talking to you, in a room at the Convention, soon.

Ben Argyle

  1. You know, the bit you can never get at with the hoover.
  2. When you've got a good analogy, milk it.
  3. How you drink
  4. What happens when you drink
  5. What you want to do after drinking
  6. What you actually end up doing in the gutter at two in the morning

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November 1998