->''This is the Discworld's last continent, a completely separate creation. It's hot. It's dry... very dry. There was this thing once called The Wet, which no one now believes in. Practically everything that's not poisonous is venomous. But it's the best bloody place in the world, all right? And it'll die in a few days. Except...Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Champion sheep shearer, horse rider, road warrior, beer drinker, bush ranger and someone who'll even eat a Meat Pie Floater when he's sober? A man in a hat, whose Luggage follows him on little legs, who's about to change history by preventing a swagman stealing a jumbuck by a billabong? Yes... all this place has between itself and wind-blown doom is Rincewind, the inept wizard who can't even spell wizard. He's the only hero left. Still... no worries, eh?''

The 22nd ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel and the sixth in the Rincewind theme. Was written at the same time as ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld'' and there is some obvious relationship, such as the mention of Slood and the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet.

At Unseen University, the wizards are concerned as the Librarian has contracted a form of magical flu which interferes with his morphic field, turning him into random beings and objects every time he sneezes. In order to cure him of these transformations, [[IKnowYourTrueName they need to know his real name]], but he refuses to tell them as he's afraid someone will use it to turn him back into a human. The wizards realize that beside the Librarian, only Rincewind (who was Assistant Librarian for a time) could potentially remember this name.

Unfortunately, the events of ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' have left Rincewind stranded in the outback of Xxxx, the [[TitleDrop Last Continent]], and he's still there, somehow surviving on the burning desert. This is because, as a {{Trickster}} posing as a kangaroo named Scrappy tells him, he's been kept for a ''purpose'': he has to bring rain back to the arid continent. Rincewind [[RefusedTheCall immediately runs away]], of course, but these quests have a way of [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive sneaking up on you regardless]].

Back in Ankh-Morpork, the wizards, looking for the JustForFun/{{Egregious}} Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography to help them navigate to Xxxx, discover that he's missing and his office conceals a portal to a nice sunny island. They, and housekeeper Mrs Whitlow, all end up trapped there.

Meanwhile, Rincewind travels haphazardly across Xxxx, meeting (and running away from) strange people and having (and running away from) adventures.

Will Rincewind bring back the rain? Will the wizards find their way back home? Will Ponder Stibbons discover the truth about evolution on the Discworld? And what's up with that weird kangaroo guy?

Preceded by ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', followed by ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum''. Preceded in the Rincewind/Wizards series by ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', followed by ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals''.

!! This book contains examples of:

* AirportNovel: Referenced/parodied when it's stated that any novel taken to a beach will spontaneously turn into a DoorStopper conspiracy thriller with [[MadLibThrillerTitle at least one Greek letter in the title]]. The Lecturer in Recent Runes' book turns into ''The Omega Conspiracy''.
* AllBeerIsAle: The book notes that "Ankh-Morpork beer was technically ale, that is to say, gravy made from hops", in the context of explaining why Rincewind doesn't take the light, fizzy stuff they have in Fourecks seriously at first... until he wakes up with little memory of the previous evening.
* AssShove: Why drop bears shouldn't employ their traditional attack strategy against someone wearing a pointy hat.
* AuthorFilibuster: There's a brief one (also referenced in ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld'') where it talks of a famously stupid race somewhere in the cosmos that watched a world-shattering comet strike a neighbouring planet - ''and then did nothing about it'' "because that sort of thing only happens in Outer Space". This is a reference to the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet and the bit about outer space is in fact a real TooDumbToLive quote from some woman on the news. SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped, evidently.
* BattleBoomerang: The XXXX Creator's boomerang is described as one that does not return to whoever threw it, generally because it's lodged in the ribcage of whatever he threw it at. TruthInTelevision: Hunting boomerangs are designed to be thrown accurately at an animal, not to return to the thrower.
* BiggerOnTheInside: The Bugarup University tower is about twenty feet high from the outside, and about twenty feet high when you're climbing it. When you look out from the top, however, you're half a mile above ground. And, yet, it seems to be every bit as hard to climb up to the top as it looks like it should have once you're there.
* BreakTheHaughty: Ponder Stibbons' penultimate BreakTheHaughty crossed with BreakTheCutie comes in this book, courtesy of A) being stranded on an island which has some very strange ideas about evolutionary process, and B) being stranded on aforementioned island with [[DrivenToMadness Ridcully and the UU faculty]].
-->'''Dean:''' Is there any breakfast?\\
'''Senior Wrangler:''' Stibbons found some soft-boiled eggs.\\
'''Dean:''' What a useful young man he is. Where did he find them?\\
'''Senior Wrangler:''' On a tree.\\
'''Dean:''' A soft-boiled-egg tree? You'll be telling me next he found a spoon tree...\\
'''Senior Wrangler:''' [[ExactWords Of course not]].\\
'''Dean:''' Good.\\
'''Senior Wrangler:''' It's a bush.\\
'''Dean:''' A bush that fruits spoons...\\
'''Senior Wrangler:''' Young Stibbons said it makes perfect sense, Dean. After all, he said, [[SanitySlippage we'd picked them because they're useful, and then spoons are always getting lost.]] [[GivingUpOnLogic Then he burst into tears.]]
** Of course, it gets worse (resulting in perhaps the only time when a wizard goes into a serious HeroicBSOD).
* BrickJoke: While trying to explain to the faculty why the plants on Mono Island don't make any sense, Ponder gets sidetracked into talking about his uncle who runs an orchard. Later, when they're trying to explain the concept of sexual reproduction to the God of Mono, one of the wizards makes a sarcastic remark about it all being down to Ponder's uncle.
* ButterflyOfDoom: The wizards have a long discussion about the risks of altering the past after realizing that they have been stranded in the past. Ponder tries to use an [[ButterflyOfDoom ant]] as an example to warn them about [[TemporalParadox temporal paradoxes]], without much success as Ridcully himself is a believer in a StableTimeLoop.
* CanisLatinicus: ''Nullae Sheilae Sanginae" and "Nullus Anxietas", the BU mottoes. For those whose Latin is a bit rusty, those translate to "No Bloody [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus Sheilas]]" and "[[UsefulNotes/AustralianSlang No Worries]]" respectively.
* CartoonPhysics: Snowy the "horse" seems to operate under this trope, unhesitatingly trotting up and down vertical cliffs and even [[CeilingCling standing on the underside of an overhanging ledge]] as if they're level ground.
* ContinuityNod: The wizards notice the stars over Mono Island are unfamiliar and at first think they are on another world. Ponder figures out that it's actually the past (the stars on Discworld change as Great A'tuin swims through space) by noting that a much larger nebula in the sky is, in their time, known as the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars. This was mentioned way back in ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'' as Rincewind's zodiacal sign.
* ConvenientlyInterruptedDocument: The Librarian has caught a magical disease, and in order to cure him, the other wizards need to know his true name. Thing is, no one in Unseen University remembers what the Librarian was like before becoming an orangutan, and the Librarian himself isn't telling, as he's afraid someone will turn him back. Ridcully suggests looking the name up in the yearbook for the year the Librarian graduated, but according to the Dean, all copies suffered the same mishap. That mishap, as the Archchancellor guesses, is that a certain page being torn out, leaving only a bananary aroma in its wake.
* CorruptPolitician: The residents of Fourecks always throw their politicians in prison immediately after they're elected, to save time.
* CovertPervert: The prim and proper Mrs. Whitlow pulls the God of Evolution aside for a brief explanation of sexual reproduction. With ''hand gestures''.
* DeathFromAbove: Don't make camp under a eucalyptus tree in Fourecks, or the Drop-Bears will attack you. [[spoiler:But if you're a wizard, you're probably safe, on account of your pointy hat.]]
* DeathWorld: where spiders use their web as trampolines to jump on your face and have venom capable of making wood smolder. Also, see EverythingTryingToKillYou below.
* {{Doorstopper}}: Dangerous Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Fish, Jellyfish, Insects, Spiders, Crustaceans, Grasses, Trees, Mosses, and Lichens of Terror Incognita, Volume 29c, Part Three.
* EskimosArentReal: There's been a millennia-long drought in [=FourEcks=]. Some of the settlers have grandparents who say that in TheOldCountry water used to fall out of the sky, but everyone who grew up there thinks that's ridiculous.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The wizards can't use magic on the Librarian, because for that, they should know his real name. They don't know each other's names either:
-->'''Ridcully:''' One of us must know his name, surely? Good grief, I should hope we at least know our colleagues' names. Isn't that so... Dean?
* EverythingsBetterWithRainbows: After the Wet, the Australian Creator throws his multicoloured boomerang into the sky, where it sticks.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Non-deadly creatures of Xxxx are... um... some of the sheep. This applies to non-people as well. XXXX has only a few venomous snakes... because [[WorryingForTheWrongReason most of them have been eaten by the spiders.]]
* ExactWords: Well, of ''course'' there isn't a spoon tree... it's a spoon ''bush''.
* {{Expy}}: The god of evolution is pretty good ringer for Darwin.
* FakeUltimateHero: Rincewind the CosmicPlaything is built up into a legendary figure by his supernatural 'helper.'
* FantasticFruitsAndVegetables: Mono Island's plants frantically evolve into forms that the wizards mention a need for -- handkerchiefs, tinned cakes, a giant gourd/boat -- so their seeds can come along and be spread elsewhere.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: According to the preface, Xxxx is ''not'' Australia, it just happens to be, here and there, "vaguely Australian".
* FlatEarthAtheist: The God of Evolution is an atheist. But also a god.
* ForbiddenFruit: Wizards are invariably attracted to it.
--> "Any wizard on finding a door with a sign on it saying 'Do not open this door. Really. We mean this. Opening this door will cause the end of the universe' would ''automatically'' open the door, just to see what all the fuss was about."
** Subverted in that they actually manage to resist this time, at least for a while. Their ''housekeeper,'' on the other hand...
* {{Foreshadowing}}: A footnote mentions the role of the "temporal gland" early in the novel. Fast-forward a bunch of pages, and...
* FountainOfYouth[=/=]RapidAging: When the wizards arrive at pre-XXXX, the ambient magic starts playing havoc on their temporal glands. The result is while the senior faculty become toddlers and tweens, and Mrs. Whitlow returning to her prime, Ponder Stibbons turns into an old man.
* FunnyAnimal: Crocodile Crocodile and some of his customers.
* FurryConfusion: In the bar in Dijabringabeeralong.
* GirlsWithMoustaches: Rincewind (who grew up in Ankh-Morpork and HATES being anywhere else) certainly believes this is common in some rural districts. This led to him thinking that certain mustachioed people wearing dresses in a city on XXXX were women who happened to have mustaches, instead of cross-dressed men.
* GoalOrientedEvolution: The plants' goal is to evolve into something the wizards will take with them, and away from Mono Island.
* GoodOldWays:
** Ponder's inner monologue claims the faculty have a collective MadLibsCatchPhrase: "You don't get proper fill-in-nouns these days--remember old "nickname" ancient-wizard-who-died-fifty-years-ago-who-Ponder-wouldn't-possibly-be-able-to-remember? Now ''there'' was a wizard who knew his fill-in-nouns." He starts [[HypocriticalHumour quoting it himself]] when the randomised magic field of Xxxx's creation temporarily causes him to rapidly age up to the other wizards' age.
** Also, Ridcully disparages Ponder's use of a thaumometer by saying "Licking your finger and holding it up was always good enough in my day". Initially this is a surreal gag because magic measurement systems on Discworld are a parody of temperature measurement systems on Roundworld, and this would work with temperature measurement but not magic. Then it's DoubleSubverted when Ridcully actually does this on Xxxx and his licked finger glows with an aura of purple and octarine light that lets him judge the strength of the magic field.
* GuileHero: Tinhead Ned's message, read by Rincewind in the jail cell, strongly suggests that Ned is one, at least in part.
* HigherUnderstandingThroughDrugs: Around the end of the book, Rincewind drinks a lot of beer so that he can think better and guess what he has to do.
* HollywoodEvolution: Invoked and deconstructed. At one point, a rampaging theropod dinosaur spontaneously transforms into a chicken.
* IncrediblyLamePun: The Dean keeps making these. And then [[DontExplainTheJoke explaining them]].
* IndianBurialGround: Subverted; Rincewind's guess that the beer factory got cursed this way was mistaken, as the natives didn't want the site and were happy to hand it over.
* InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals: The series-wide RunningGag about foreign versions of CMOT Dibbler continues with Rincewind encountering one in Bugarup, selling meat pie floaters.
* InVinoVeritas: Rincewind's personality almost inverts when he drinks enough of the local beer, and at one point has to remain sufficiently drunk to figure what he needs to do.
* InvoluntaryShapeshifter: The Librarian's illness causes him to transform into whatever shape seems appropriate to his surroundings whenever he sneezes. He does retain his red fur.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Some temporal wonkiness briefly regresses Mrs. Whitlow to a young woman, and the wizards discover that, though she now has a 'face made of chins', once upon a time she was a drop-dead gorgeous redhead.
* LandDownunder: [[BlatantLies Although the author claims it is not]]. It isn't from the LiteralMinded point of view: on the Disc there is no "under" (at least, not for walking-about-on-the-ground-type species). It is more the Land Over Rimward. (One of Scrappy's comments implies the explanation that Australia and Xxxx are different places but were designed and constructed by the same Creator.)
* TheLastTitle: The title.
* LevelAte: Mono Island features not only soft-boiled egg trees, chocolate-filled coconuts, and nuts full of runny cheese, but also cigar and spoon bushes.
* LightningCanDoAnything: It cures the Librarian's flu.
* LostColony: XXXX is believed to be one for the former Morporkian Empire (a combination of Rome and Britannia), thus allowing an almost-modern Australia to coexist with the the nigh- MedievalStasis of Discworld.
* TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody: When XXXX's ancient magic starts changing the wizards' ages, they briefly find themselves acting as if they are that old. Or young. Ridcully says that fighting it is a good way to restore yourself.
* MsFanservice: Mrs. Whitlow (according to the Senior Wrangler, at least).
* MyopicArchitecture: While the door, walls, and bars of Rincewind's prison cell are thick and sturdy, and the lock was also very tough, the hinges on the door were half-pin, meaning the door could simply be ''lifted off its hinges''. Small wonder the previous occupant kept escaping.
* MistakenForRacist: Rincewind mistakes ''himself'' for a racist, because he [[ComicallyMissingThePoint erroneously believes the word means someone who is good at running]]. Once he finds out what it actually means, he is surprised but realizes he isn't one after all -- he only categorizes the world into "people who are trying to kill him" and "people who are not."
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness:
** The word "monkey" is the Librarian's BerserkButton. When the Senior Wrangler accidentally says it near the ill Librarian and he does nothing, the wizards become convinced that the Librarian's not long for this world.
** Also, the Dean being nice in the midst of the magic storm.
* PerpetualStorm: The continent is surrounded by a perpetual cyclone that not only prevents people from sailing away (new arrivals are mostly shipwrecked people), but also rainfall (the natives get confused and angry when people tell ''obvious'' lies about 'water coming from the sky').
* PettingZooPeople: Many of the bar patrons in Didjabringabeeralong appear to be this trope. Rincewind never quite works up the nerve to confirm this with the bartender, as it seemed too awkward to ask a crocodile why there are sheep, kangaroos, and a wombat among his customers.
* PhysicalGod: The God of Evolution, who interestingly enough considers himself an atheist and takes a very dim view of religion. He starts out as an incorporeal god, until he needs to take a form that the wizards can interact with.
* PublicExecution: Rincewind escapes a public execution. There's a lot made of the execution as entertainment, and pieces of the rope are highly prized souvenirs, although [[HonestJohnsDealership Fair Go Dibbler]] is somehow able to sell them ''before'' the hanging. ("It's still rope, right? Genuine rope.") We're also told of the humanitarian tradition that if the gibbet sticks three times... the prisoner will be given breakfast while someone fixes it.
* PunBasedTitle: On ''The Lost Continent''.
* ReadingsBlewUpTheScale: Ponder's magic-measuring thaumometer melts when the magic field used to create XXXX exceeds its limit of one million thaums.
* RecursiveCrossdressing: One of the transvestites Rincewind encounters actually is female, and laments "Being a female impersonator is no job for a woman."
* RegionalSpeciality: Rincewind is offered a "Meat Pie Floater", a meat pie suspended in thick pea soup with tomato ketchup according to taste (no honestly, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_floater it's real!]] ) as an Ecksian regional delicacy. Rincewind ponders that all of the "Regional Delicacies" that he's been offered in his travels seem to be the kind of disgusting and inexplicable dishes that someone would only concoct while drunk which are then foisted upon unsuspecting tourists. It's a regional delicacy because no-one else in the world would be crazy enough to eat it.
* ShoutOut:
** Rincewind encounters [[Film/MadMax a mad dwarf in a heavily armed and armored cart]] and [[Film/TheAdventuresOfPriscillaQueenOfTheDesert a trio of travelling transvestites]], inspires a folk song similar to "Waltzing Matilda"[[note]]Once a moderately jolly wizard camped by a dried-up waterhole under the shade of a tree he was completely unable to identify. And he swore as he hacked and hacked at a can of beer, saying, "What kind of idiots put beer in tins?"[[/note]], and invents a dessert called "Peach Nellie" in honor of an opera singer (much like Peach Melba in the real world).
** Rincewind also invents a black, tar-like substance that tastes foul and smells faintly of vegetables (in an attempt to drunkenly make vegetable soup with a tin of beer that he leaves on the fire as he falls asleep), which nobody is able to actually stop eating, very much like Vegemite. (Or, to some readers, Marmite, which is a similar-but-not-identical product.)
** Two in the fight scene between [[Film/MadMax Mad]] and a random Ecksian bar-goer. "You call that a knife? ''[[Film/CrocodileDundee This]]'' [[Film/CrocodileDundee is what I call's a knife.]]" "No worries. ''This'' is what I call [[Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk a crossbow]]."
** And another with [[Series/SkippyTheBushKangaroo Scrappy the Bush Kangaroo]].
** The drunken Rincewind drawing a picture of the Faculty: "[[Music/RolfHarris Can you tell what it is yet?]]"
** He also apparently drunkenly sings "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" while at the bar in Didjabringabeeralong.
** The very name of the continent itself refers to Castlemaine XXXX beer, a brand that is genuinely popular in Australia, but was the subject of a long and famous series of TV advertisements in Britain playing on all manner of Australian stereotypes echoed in the novel, with the tagline "Australians wouldn't give a... [[SymbolSwearing Castlemaine four-X]] for anything else".
** Rincewind's chase after the mob of wild horses, astride a nondescript mount named Snowy. "The Man from Snowy River" should be playing in your head about now.
** Tinhead Ned is an {{Expy}} of famed Australian outlaw UsefulNotes/NedKelly.
** "Can you hear that thunder? ... We'd better take cover..." are from the song ''Down Under'' by Men at Work.
** Another musical reference when Rincewind describes himself as 'Mental as anything', which is the name of a popular Aussie band.
** The idea that Xxxx was made ''after'' the rest of the Discworld, by a separate Creator, and differently, is a reference to the fact that when Australia was discovered, some European naturalists found its flora and fauna so alien and bizarre that they joked that had obviously had a Creation separate from that of the rest of the world.
** Likewise, the God of Evolution really ''does'' have "an inordinate fondness for beetles", a reference to a J.B.S. Haldane quote.
** In our world, the platypus has been jokingly referred to as "a duck designed by committee". In Discworld, ''it was''.
** Ridcully mentions the spell "Maxwell's Impressive Separator", which uses tiny demons to separate a mixture of two substances. This is a reference to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_demon Maxwell's demon]] thought experiment.
** The Librarian's book-form is referred to as ''[[Literature/TheStoryOfO The Story of Ook]]'' by one of the wizards.
** A playful jab is made at Creator/MichaelMoorcock and his Eternal Champion, and Joseph Campbell's theory of Literature/TheHeroWithAThousandFaces. Death muses that Rincewind is the opposite, 'the Eternal Coward... with a thousand retreating backs.'
** Mono Island itself is a comedic take on Stanley G. Weinbaun's 1936 ''Astounding Stories'' tale, "Proteus Island".
** When the Bursar is talking about the figurehead on the boat that the God of Evolution made, he describes it as [[Music/BarenakedLadies a bare naked lady.]]
* StableTimeLoop: A very complicated one, but a stable time loop all the same. Yes, turns out Mustrum Ridcully was right.
* TalkAboutTheWeather: Rincewind's default topic of conversation with the natives of Fourecks. And he doesn't understand why people keep getting angry and chasing him with weapons when he makes inconsequential comments like, "Bit dry, eh? When was the last time it rained around here?"
* TalkingAnimal: Rincewind's TricksterMentor, Scrappy the Bush Kangaroo.
* ThrowTheDogABone: After five books of constant peril, Rincewind finally finishes his adventure without getting immediately sucked into another one. He even has time to say goodbye to everyone he met before heading home.
* TimeyWimeyBall: Xxxx's spacetime is so convoluted that, for example, it's implied that the modern Ecksian wizards may be the descendants of the stranded UU faculty, but the UU wizards being brought to the present does not cause them to cease to exist.
-->'''Scrappy:''' [Those hills] were made thirty thousand years ago.\\
'''Rincewind:''' Oh come on, they look ''millions'' of years old!\\
'''Scrappy:''' Yeah. Thirty thousand years ago, they were made a million years ago.
** This is a reference to the Aboriginal concept of the Dreaming, which works in a similar way.
* TitleDrop: "This is the last continent. It was made... later, and... ''differently''."
* TooManyCooksSpoilTheSoup: How the wizards end up creating the Platypus. They were trying to draw a duck. (This is a reference to an old saying that a platypus is like a duck designed by a committee.) The Creator (who was sitting right there) is highly confused by this. However, he allows it, apparently because it amuses him. The Creator never notices that the image the UU Wizards drew came alive like his did, as he was busy drawing the UU Wizards into the rock. He also didn't notice that one of them had taken [[spoiler:the bullroarer]].
* TreeVessel: Done with a tree that's been made into a boat by the local god of evolution. The leaf is a sail, the hull is a floating seed, etc.
* TheTrickster: Scrappy, who is explicitly introduced this way, and the narration notes that the term 'trickster' is rather inappropriately jollier than what such beings generally get up to in mythology.
* VetinariJobSecurity: With the Librarian ill, the wizards don't even dare open the Library door without protective gear, as nobody else is competent to handle its aggressive books.
* WhamLine:
** Parodied. The narration says Ponder's "There's only one of everything" ''should'' be one of these, with the others having horrified looks and saying things like "By George, he's right!" but... well, these are wizards, and their response is to argue about it.
** They also immediately take the news that they are in the past in stride. These are men who will argue for hours about how it can't possibly be Thursday, but accept that it's thousands of years ago without question.
* WhenItRainsItPours: But it was a lot of pent-up rain. (And that is how rain works in monsoons.)
* WhoWouldBeStupidEnough:
** Knowing what wizards are like, Ridcully attaches a note to the prop keeping the portal open: "Do not remove this prop. Not even to see what it does." The good news is it wasn't a ''wizard'' who moved it in the end.
** Also, "What kind of ''idiots'' put beer in ''tins''?"
* WorldHealingWave: The Wet can be seen this way. There's also a bit of an InferredHolocaust though, since it's replacing 30,000 years of water all in one go, and some people -- certainly, many sheep -- must have been unable to get to high ground.
* WorryingForTheWrongReason: There are very few poisonous snakes in [[LandDownUnder XXXX]]... because most of them have been eaten by the spiders.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: Rincewind used to call himself a racist, before he learned it didn't mean "someone who will run in any race".
* YowiesAndBunyipsAndDropBearsOhMy: On Roundworld, a Drop Bear is a malicious koala variant made up by Australians to frighten tourists. On Discworld, a Drop Bear is a malicious koala variant that ''actually exists.'' Although if you tell the locals about it they'll laugh at you, because they know it was made up to frighten tourists.