Dr. B Asks, “What are you reading?”

“Octarine is my new favourite colour!”

Article by Dr. Erika Behrisch Elce

I was at the Education Fair at CFB Edmonton this week, so I interviewed… myself! Terry Pratchett’s first instalment of his Discworld Series, The Colour of Magic, was my companion on the trip, and what better book to take on a voyage than one about a happy, curious tourist, a reluctantly heroic wizard, and a sentient piece of Luggage that never gets lost? We should all be so lucky!

The book, which is charming, would be classified as high fantasy – the world is a flat disc balanced on elephants that ride on a turtle, mountains are inverted, and dragons are conjured simply by believing in them. Through the cynical eyes of Rincewind the wizard, life can be hardscrabble, people inevitably give in to greed and ambition, and danger lurks in the unknown. In contrast, when we see the Discworld through the eyes of Twoflower the tourist, wonder abounds: in fact, he longs to see and experience the chaotic everyday that Rincewind takes for granted. The collision of their two perspectives is my favourite part of the book: Twoflower becomes more than just a passive observer, and, forced to accommodate his companion’s optimism, Rincewind eventually comes out of his shell and drops, literally, into the boundless universe.