The Last Continent Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:09 pm

inca wrote:The book made me realize how little I know about Australia. There's about two books I've read that take place there, and I have seen the odd spot of Neighbours and Flying Doctors. Oh, and McCleod's daughters... but that's it! So most of the jokes went right over my head. (The ever more manic 'no worries' though... that one I got :) )

I even missed vegemite since I don't know the stuff. Can't say that it sounds like much to miss, but I was reading it and knowing there's some joke to be made, and I had no clue. (Althoug, reading it that way, it gives you a perfect idea about how ridiculous our actual world is. Nobody would fall for such an improbable thing in a story - it's only funny because it's real :) )
Inca, I don't know all the references either. That's one of the reasons for this discussion. :D

For those of you who don't know about the Man From Snowy River - which is referenced a fair bit in this book - here's the poem. :D
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Postby poohcarrot » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:17 am

It's ironic that the plants on Mono Island know what the wizards want, evolve as quickly as possible in the hope they'll be taken off Mono Island, but once they get far away from Mono Island, they stop trying. :P

It's a bit like the evolution of writing. Things get better and better, then along comes Twilight. :lol:
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Postby raisindot » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:51 am

poohcarrot wrote:It's ironic that the plants on Mono Island know what the wizards want, evolve as quickly as possible in the hope they'll be taken off Mono Island, but once they get far away from Mono Island, they stop trying. :P

It's a bit like the evolution of writing. Things get better and better, then along comes Twilight. :lol:


Better and better, you say? Let's take a look at the "evolution" of English-writing fiction authors over the centuries.

1200s: Chaucher
1500s-1600s: Bacon, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton
1700s: Swift, Fielding
1800s: Austen, Twain, Eliot, Bronte, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Poe
1900s-1930s: Faulkner, Wodehouse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Shaw, Joyce
1940s-1950s: Waugh, Amis, Salinger, Kerouac, Nabokov
1960s: Pynchon, Burroughs
1970s: Jacqueline Susanne, Harold Robbins
1980s: Stephen King, Brett Eaton Ellis, Jay McIninerney
1990s: James Patterson, Tom Clancy, Anne Rice
2000s: JK Rowling, Dan Brown, James Frey, Mitch Albom

With a few exceptions (such as Pterry), English-language writing has been in decline for decades, keeping pace with the declining literary IQ of readers in general.

:)
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Postby Quatermass » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:57 am

raisindot wrote:
poohcarrot wrote:It's ironic that the plants on Mono Island know what the wizards want, evolve as quickly as possible in the hope they'll be taken off Mono Island, but once they get far away from Mono Island, they stop trying. :P

It's a bit like the evolution of writing. Things get better and better, then along comes Twilight. :lol:


Better and better, you say? Let's take a look at the "evolution" of English-writing non-fiction authors over the centuries.

1200s: Chaucher
1500s-1600s: Bacon, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton
1700s: Swift, Fielding
1800s: Austen, Twain, Eliot, Bronte, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Poe
1900s-1930s: Faulkner, Wodehouse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Shaw, Joyce
1940s-1950s: Waugh, Amis, Salinger, Kerouac, Nabokov
1960s: Pynchon, Burroughs
1970s: Jacqueline Susanne, Harold Robbins
1980s: Stephen King, Brett Eaton Ellis, Jay McIninerney
1990s: James Patterson, Tom Clancy, Anne Rice
2000s: JK Rowling, Dan Brown, James Frey, Mitch Albom

With a few exceptions (such as Pterry), English-language writing has been in decline for decades, keeping pace with the declining literary IQ of readers in general.

:)


For one thing, I noticed an omission of Dickens in the 1800s section. And for another, JK Rowling is a brilliant writer!

I will agree, though, that, regardless of the decline in actual quality of English-language writing (I think it's more about the commercialisation of the excremental works like Twilight), there is a certain amount of decline in literary IQ. I shuddered when I heard about the amount of people in Australia who were illiterate (can't remember the figure, but it still made me shudder).
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:05 pm

poohcarrot wrote:It's a bit like the evolution of writing. Things get better and better, then along comes Twilight. :lol:

Unless its the Twilight of the Gods of course.

As we're back on Mono Island did anyone else think of it as parodying bits of The Admirable Crichton aka Paradise Lagoon (sorry for the clunky hispanic vid but it was all I could find) and/or Blue Lagoon - particularly the bit where Mrs. Whitlow puts on her sarong :lol:

Sorry if someone's already mentioned it but I've not been paying attention to this at all :P
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:34 pm

I have split some posts from here to a thread of their own - here: Standing the Test of Time

I think it's a topic worth pursuing - which of Terry's works, if any, will still be relevant in years to come.

Tony.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Curse you Terry Pratchett and doublr curse you Slim Dusty! :evil:

I've had and still have that bloody 'Duncan' song lodged in my brain ever since I looked it up for this thread.

Stupid bloody song!!!!! :x
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Postby pandasthumb » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:47 am

I sympathise - I had a Rolf Harris song revolving!

To continue with the musical theme, Rincewind tells Mad that he is As Mental As Anything, which was a band from the 80s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H905Z3Nj334.

At one point Scrappy talks about a big snake underground which could be a nod to a Rainbow Serpent legend.

(The groups of Aboriginal peoples are not homogenous, one group will share some language characteristics and mythology with the ones nearest to them but the people of Arnhem Land (the Yolgnu) would not necessarily understand peoples from around Stradbroke island (the Nunukal). The point I am making here, at length, is that there are many variations of the Rainbow Serpent legend but not all groups had one).

Scrappy also says that he is going to sing Rincewind into a hero, Aboriginal mythology is part of an oral tradition, or a lyrical one as the stories are performed and sung. Some stories talk about the ancestoral being 'singing' the country into existence. So it doesn't matter that Rincewind isn't a 'hero' as Scrappy will turn him into one. Which he does.

I read the comments about evolution vs creationism with interest as I saw it as Pratchett was having a go at evolutuinists. (In fact I gave a copy to friend who had majored in genetics because there's nothing like having a go at your mates. ) The point is made in the book that there is a creator and that people make gods. The creator here creates organisms and they have the evolution built in. Which, incidentally, is what many Christians believe. Many don't of course and they would probably beat the first lot up if they got the chance.
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Postby high eight » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:21 pm

Quatermass wrote:JK Rowling is a brilliant writer!


Matter of opinion. Certainly not mine. A sentence including the phrase "out of a paper bag" springs to mind........ :evil:
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Postby LilMaibe » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:41 pm

high eight wrote:
Quatermass wrote:JK Rowling is a brilliant writer!


Matter of opinion. Certainly not mine. A sentence including the phrase "out of a paper bag" springs to mind........ :evil:


HP is nicely written and pretty enjoyabe, but it is a dead world
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:26 am

You now have two weeks to read or reread The Truth for the discussion starting on Monday 2nd May. :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:41 am

You now have one week to read or reread The Truth for the discussion starting Monday 2nd May. :)
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Postby deldaisy » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:17 pm

What Panda said. See.. taking things for granted again.... yes the rainbow serpent comes up a bit in different areas here. The Dreamtime is the "creation" time in aboriginal culture. many many different stories of how the emu or the kookaburra or what ever... came to be.

Something else I forgot to mention about LC... they talk about the huge caves behind the wall in the brewery... I thought that was a nod to the vast caves under the Nullabour Plains. Some of the biggest cave systems in the world under the desert, and vast underground lakes, and I had a few stories from sci-fi writers who did stories based on them from the 50's and 60's.

The caves aren't promoted tourist wise.... not like anyone will ever find you on top of the desert let alone under it. :D
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Postby ChristianBecker » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:16 pm

I must say I quite enjoyed this book. Even though most of the aussie references went right over my head (but that's what the afp is for), it was a very entertaining read.

The Mono island plot was very entertaining and well thought out, imo. A god of evolution who doesn't really get it is just great.
His obsession with beetles obviously reflects that on Roundworld there's no order of animals more numerous (see Wikipedia:"Coleoptera , an order commonly called Beetles, is an order of insects; from Greek κολεός, koleos, "sheath"; and πτερόν, pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing", which contains more species than any other order in the animal kingdom, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms."). That the ultimate achievement of this god is the creation of the cockroach also sounds sound, as others already said, since roaches are a very tough species that'll survive nearly anything. Of course, this is not very flattering for a human, but there's no helping that.

All in all one of the books I very much enjoyed reading. Perhaps not as deep on a social level as the later ones, but surely a great book.
Being a Rincewind fan helps, of course.
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:42 pm

There's a quote by J.B.S. Haldane that goes:
The Creator, if He exists, has "an inordinate fondness for beetles".


I'm pretty sure that Terry is referring to this in The Last Continent. :D
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