Neil Gaiman on the quiet rage of Terry Pratchett

Originally published at:


I often decide I like someone, when I see them get angry for a good reason.


At a signing for Terry’s “Where’s My Cow” book, I made some stupid, snarky remark beginning with “If you were (somebody, can’t remember who, that’s how stupid the remark was)…” and Sir Terry looked up and responded with “And if were Harlan Ellison, I’d punch you through that wall back there.”

Weak smile, mumble, mumble apology from me.

Did sign my book, though.


Great piece. Hard to talk about somebody who’s slowly dying – I don’t even know Pratchett and it’s a tough subject to face.

I would never have thought about it that way without prompting, but yeah, there is definitely rage behind Discworld. Sam Vines, Granny Weatherwax, even ■■■■■ von Lipwig - there’s a lot of discontent about the ridiculousness of the world they live in, which is in many ways a caricature of our own world’s past and present. All the major story arcs (except maybe the Rincewind books?) have serious themes and messages behind the humor (most good fantasy does, IMHO).

1 Like

I’ve read Pratchett since the early days of the Discworld. He is probably the single most influential author on my life and while the rage is not surprising I have to admit I had never thought of it before. It does go a long way explaining my own quiet rage at many things.

How can there be anyone who has not have noticed this before? Surely it’s obvious, at least it has always seemed that to me. Almost all of the Discworld books are fuelled by anger at unfairness, at people who take advantage, at people who don’t give back. Look at Sam Vimes, Carrot, Adora Belle Dearhart, Granny Weatherwax, Pteppic and Ptraci, and so on.

Statements like Vimes’ saying that it is expensive to be poor with reference to how he can now afford to buy good boots but that poor person would spend more on boots because they always had to buy cheap ones.

And what about Monstrous Regiment?

I’m not knocking Neil Gaiman, after all what he is doing is celebrating a friend while he is able to appreciate the gesture, but really this should be obvious to anyone who has read any of the books.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.