The Unseen University Challenge

Reviews below

Orion/Gollancz reverted rights to this title in April 2023. An ebook reissue from Ansible Editions is under consideration.

Unseen University Challenge -- 1st ed cover

The Unseen University Challenge by David Langford is the first official Discworld quizbook, based on the well-known comic fantasy series by Terry Pratchett. There is an introduction by Terry himself.

This new edition corrects a few known errors in the 1996 original -- including a few cases where questions with formerly unique answers were made ambiguous by later Discworld stories -- and has a much improved layout. That is, there are no longer any answer sections on pages facing the questions.... Yes, the publication date really is 2005 although the copyright page still says 1996 (see below).

The follow-up quizbook is The Wyrdest Link.

  • Publication Date (Second Edition): July 2005
  • Publisher: Victor Gollancz Ltd, London
  • Format: small-format hardback
  • ISBN: 0575077034
  • Page Count: 250
  • Cover Artist: David Wyatt
  • Cover Price: £6.99
  • Availability:
  • Reviews

For this first edition of The Unseen University Challenge, Josh Kirby painted quiz teams of favourite Discworld characters: above, Detritus the troll, Nanny Ogg the witch, Nobby of the City Watch, and Rincewind the inept wizard; below, Death, Angua of the Watch, Carrot of the Watch, and Granny Weatherwax. There is an introduction by Terry Pratchett.

Unfortunately, the metallic gold-effect TERRY PRATCHETT'S DISCWORLD QUIZBOOK at the top of the cover hasn't scanned too well.

  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Publisher: Vista, a paperback imprint of Victor Gollancz Ltd, London
  • Format: A-format paperback
  • ISBN: 0575600004
  • Page Count: 224
  • Cover Artist: Josh Kirby
  • Availability:
  • Reviews
Unseen University Challenge -- 1st ed cover


Eric Thursley, SFX 14, July 1996

What makes the book a joy is that it covers not just the fictional world created by Terry Pratchett, but also the real world in which his books are published, and the historical, literary, televisual and cinematic worlds to which he subtly (and occasionally not so subtly) alludes. [...] The final product makes for an incredibly satisfying browse, because it enables you to show off about the obscure jokes you understand in Terry's books and to delight in the discovery of the ones you missed.

Dave Langford has created a quizbook which rewards general knowledge and Pratchettian lateral thinking, rather than a parrot-fashion learning of the texts.

Stan Nicholls, Time Out, 1996

David Langford's Discworld quiz book The Unseen University Challenge (Vista £3.99), claims that "Mastermind" contestants are not allowed to take Discworld as a subject. This tome stands as a solid substitute. More for dedicated Discographers than casual readers, it's written with enough enthusiasm and wit to be fun in itself. (Sample: Which character was killed by high-velocity tortoise impact?)