The Quotable Pratchett: The Color of Magic

 No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away

With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, I embarked on an epic re-reading of all 41 official Discworld novels, with the goal of finishing by 31 December, 2016.

Famous for its wit and wisdom, the series offers countless quotable quotes on a variety of subjects. The quotes I share should not be considered the whole of Sir Terry’s excellent prose; indeed, there are the tasty appetizers to a succulent, nourishing meal.

About The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic Goodreads coverThis is the first published Discworld novel; it is also the first in the Rincewind Cycle – the series of books that follow the misadventures of the “WIZZARD” Rincewind.

In this novel, Pratchett introduces us to the workings of the Disc – its mechanics, metaphysics, morality, etc – through the eyes of the Disc’s first Tourist, Twoflower.

If you’ve seen the film The Color of Magic, this book contains the first half of the film [of course there’s more in the book than in the film; there always is] while The Light Fantastic relates the events from the second-half of the film.

The Goodreads Blurb:

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

And Now: On to the Quotes!

Discworld Librarian

The Librarian as he appears in The Discworld Companion, illustrated by Paul Kidby

Magic never dies. It merely fades away.

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.

Being Ymor’s right-hand man was like being gently flogged to death with scented bootlaces.

Promotion in the Assassin’s Guild was by competitive examination, the Practical being the most – indeed, the only – part.

Let’s just say if complete and utter chaos were lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armor and shouting “All gods are bastards.”

Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant “idiot”.

You’re just as dead if you fall from forty feet as you are from four thousand fathoms, that’s what I say.

When one’s foot is stuck in the Grey Miasma of H’Rull it is much easier to step right in and sink rather than prolong the struggle.

Rincewind often suspected that there was something, somewhere, that was better than magic. He was usually disappointed.

Lightning is the spears hurled by the thunder giants when they fight. Established meteorological fact. You can’t harness it . . . and even if you could get a harness on it, how could you get it to pull a cart?

It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going around to atheists’ houses and smashing their windows.

[Octarine] is said to be a sort of fluorescent greenish yellow purple.

A man who owned a needle made of octiron would never lose his way, since it always pointed to the Hub of the Discworld, being acutely sensitive to the Disc’s magical field; it would also miraculously darn his socks.

Everyone has gods. You just don’t think they’re gods.

The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork smiled, but with his mouth only.

I assure you the though never even crossed my mind, Lord.

Indeed? Then if I were you I’d sue my face for slander.

 . . .

Next: The Light Fantastic

The Complete List


2 thoughts on “The Quotable Pratchett: The Color of Magic

  1. I loved The Colour of Magic – I think I need to dig out my Discworld novels and reread as well (I don’t have all of them though, so I’ll have to stick with what I have). My special favourite is Hogfather – it wasn’t the first Discworld novel I read, but it was the first one I owned, as I borrowed the others from a friend. I fell head over heels for Death when I read it (and for the Death of Rats).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hogfather was my first Discworld novel, and I collected most of them over the years. I found a copy of Last Hero online this summer and pre-ordered Shepherd’s Crown, the first book I’d ever pre-ordered.

      I’m doing my best to savor the journey!

      Liked by 1 person

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