Shout Out / Nature Studies
: it is said that if a work has so many ShoutOuts
that it needs a whole new page to contain them, then it's Reference Overdosed. In his defence, the author would like to point out that the whole of the Discworld
is one immense reference overdose: the Pratchett Universe runs
on the things.
- The leaders of the Guilds of Farmers and Drovers, who look after securing the bewilderbeeste, have the suspiciously familiar names of Dan Archer and Walter Gabriel.
- Johanna is referenced as having raised a rejected lion cub. She names it Klarenz after an uncle back home in Howondaland who is cross-eyed. Klarenz The Cross-Eyed Lion - a homage to African-set drama series Daktari.
- The horse-drawn cart requisitioned by the Igors as a mobile first-aid post and field hospital has the registration number MAS 4077 H painted on its roof.
- The Reverend Clement and the Watch Igor respond to a bright red fireball from Ponder Stibbons' broomstick, an agreed sign that a casualty is being flown in. On approaching the stick as it hovers off the ground, both duck their heads, as if avoiding something rotating very rapidly at head-height. Ponder suspects some sort of Narrativium magic is applying.
- The Reverend Clement is affably called "Padre" by those around him.
- With suspicious synchronicity, Nobby Nobbs arrives, having responded to an All Watchmen call, coming straight from a decoy operation where a member of the Watch dresses as an old lady so as to catch unlicenced thieves. It was meant to have been Sally von Humpeding who acted as the decoy. But both agreed it would be better if Corporal Nobby dragged up. This provokes Mustrum Ridcully to goggle and ask:
What's this, then, Sam? Fella trying to get his ticket out on insanity grounds?
- It is revealed that Madame Emmanuelle Lapoignard les Deux-Epées, who had to do a little field nursing to a casualty, has the nickname Hotlips conferred by her braver students.
- Matron Igorina compliments the Watch Igor on his being, er, hawk-eyed.
You've noticed? Only partially!
- One of the chimps is heard asking the Librarian about the possibility of a beverage.
I could kill for a cup of tea, me. I'm parched!
Pay no attention to him, Mr Orang-Utan. He used to be in showbusiness.
A reference to PG Tips adverts featuring chimpanzees dressed as humans, who find tea irresistible.
- The whole idea of CMOT Dibbler setting up a safari park is a Shout Out to places like Longleat and Knowsley in Great Britain.
- It has been suggested to the author that the whole idea of two intellectually very gifted people, whose busy academic lives has so far left no room to explore the possibility of romance, being brought together via the subtle nudges of others who privately suspect they're otherwise a bit too unworldly and geeky to do it for themselves...... this echoes the central pairings of The Big Bang Theory. Johanna and Ponder's relationship has very distinct overtones, to some eyes, of Amy Farrah-Fowler and Sheldon Cooper. Observers taking this position point to Ponder's being as near as dammit to a research physicist, and Amy F-F being more at home with monkeys/apes than with people. Word of God is that the author didn't consciously intend this, but is amused by the notion. He has suggested Ponder Stibbons' Roundworld archetype might be more of a Leonard Hofstadter - a geek, but one capable of functioning in the real world and the academic hierarchy. Does this make Johanna into a Penny? Possibly a more lethal one, although unlike Penny, she is almost certainly still a virgin at nearly thirty and in her backstory has only ever twice been even near a physical relationship. (Once in a way that echoes Amy F-F's latent bisexuality.)
- Johanna possibly has much in common with Bernadette: quirkily pretty, petite, competitive, devoted to her man, and short-tempered when provoked. She is also exploring the possibility of biological weapons as part of the Assassin armoury.
- In fact, reader speculation on this point indirectly sparked off a whole new fic: The Many Worlds Interpretation, where Ponder and Johanna travel to Roundworld and meet the cast of The Big Bang Theory. where they discover they have much in common. Never feed the fanfic writers.