Quotes from “Light Fantastic” by Terry David John Pratchett

“He’sh mad?”
“Sort of mad. But mad with lots of money.”
“Ah, then he can’t be mad. I’ve been around; if a man hash lotsh of money he’sh just ecshentric.”
When the first explorers from the warm lands around the Circle Sea traveled into the chilly hinterland they filled in the blank spaces on their maps by grabbing the nearest native, pointing at some distant landmark, speaking very clearly in a loud voice, and writing down whatever the bemused man told them. Thus were immortalized in generations of atlases such geographical oddities as Just a Mountain, I Don’t Know, What? and, of course, Your Finger You Fool.
The Disc, being flat, has no real horizon. Any adventurous sailors who got funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges for too long and set out for the antipodes soon learned that the reason why distant ships sometimes looked as though they were disappearing over the edge of the world was that they were disappearing over the edge of the world.
In fact most people on the Disc were currently in a state of mind normally achievable only by a lifetime of dedicated meditation or about thirty seconds of illegal herbage.
‘What funny writing,’ she said. ‘It keeps changing. What’s that crocodile thing doing to the octopus?’
he flung blow after blow to save the world of men, to preserve the little circle of firelight in the dark night of chaos and to lose the gap through which the nightmare was advancing. But mainly he hit it to stop it hitting back.
darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it is simply its absence, and what was radiating from the book was the light that lies on the far side of darkness, the light fantastic.

It was a rather disappointing purple colour.
That’s right. Mind you, there is a saving on the rates.’


‘Yes, they’re—’ the shopkeeper paused, and wrinkled his forehead. ‘I can’t quite remember, it was such a long time ago. Rates, rates —’

‘Very large mice?’

‘That’s probably it.’
They stood locked there for some time, tendon versus hinge.
What it showed would have been quite horrible even in broad daylight. By freezing starlight, tinted red with the fires of the evil new star, it was a lot worse.

‘No,’ said Rincewind softly. ‘No, it wasn’t like that, there was a house, and this girl, and...’
leather. But not black.

Riding with her were a number of swarthy men that will certainly be killed before too long anyway, so a description is probably not essential. There was absolutely nothing pert about any of them.
The point that must be made is that although Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan would look quite stunning after a good bath, a heavy-duty manicure, and the pick of the leather racks in Woo Hun Ling’s Oriental Exotica and Martial Aids on Heroes Street, she was currently quite sensibly dressed in light chain mail, soft boots, and a short sword.

All right, maybe the boots were
Every wizard considered himself a fairly hot property, wisewise; it went with the job.
The universe, they said, depended for its operation on the balance of four forces which they identified as charm, persuasion, uncertainty and bloody-mindedness.
In short, he was the sort of man who could use the word ‘personnel’ and mean it.
Thus, if a legend said of a notable hero that ‘all men spoke of his prowess’ any bard who valued his life would add hastily ‘except for a couple of people in his home village who thought he was a liar, and quite a lot of other people who had never really heard of him.’
all mere pamphlets when compared with the Octavo, which the Creator of the Universe reputedly left behind
Actually, the philosophers have got it all wrong. Great A’Tuin is in fact having a great time.

Great A’Tuin is the only creature in the entire universe that knows exactly where it is going.
, but where are we?’ said Twoflower. The shopkeeper, hunched over his table, just shrugged.
‘I don’t think we’re anywhere,’ he said. ‘We’re in a cotangent incongruity, I believe. I could be wrong. The shop generally knows what it’s doing.’
‘You mean you don’t?’
‘I pick a bit up, here and there.’ The shopkeeper blew his nose. ‘Sometimes I land on a world where they understand these things.’ He turned a pair of small, sad eyes on Twoflower. ‘You’ve got a kind face, sir. I don’t mind telling you.’
There have been three general theories put forward to explain the phenomenon of the wandering shops or, as they are generically known, tabernae vagantes.
The first postulates that many thousands of years ago there evolved somewhere in the multiverse a race whose single talent was to buy cheap and sell dear. Soon they controlled a vast galactic empire or, as they put it, Emporium, and the more advanced members of the species found a way to equip their very shops with unique propulsion units that could break the dark walls of space itself and open up vast new markets. And long after the worlds of the Emporium perished in the heat death of their particular universe, after one last defiant fire sale, the wandering starshops still ply their trade, eating their way through the pages of spacetime like a worm through a three-volume novel.
The second is that they are the creation of a sympathetic Fate, charged with the role of supplying exactly the right thing at the right time.
The third is that they are simply a very clever way of getting around the various Sunday Closing acts.
All these theories, diverse as they are, have two things in common. They explain the observed facts, and they are completely and utterly wrong.
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