Terry Pratchett’s Ethical Worlds

Essays on Identity and Narrative in Discworld and Beyond

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About the Book

Terry Pratchett’s writing celebrates the possibilities opened up by inventiveness and imagination. It constructs an ethical stance that values informed and self-aware choices, knowledge of the world in which one makes those choices, the importance of play and humor in crafting a compassionate worldview, and acts of continuous self-examination and creation. This collection of essays uses inventiveness and creation as a thematic core to combine normally disparate themes, such as science fiction studies, the effect of collaborative writing and shared authorship, steampunk aesthetics, productive modes of “ownership,” intertextuality, neomedievalism and colonialism, adaptations into other media, linguistics and rhetorics, and coming of age as an act of free will.

In all Pratchett’s constructed worlds and narratives—from Discworld, to the science-fictional flat planet of Strata, from a parody of Conan the Barbarian’s Cimmeria to the comedically apocalyptic Good Omens—questions of identity, community, and the relations between self and other are constantly examined, debated, and reshaped. Pratchett’s worlds thus become ethical worlds: fantasies in which language always matters, stories resonate with the past and the future, and choices emphasize the importance of compassion and creation.

About the Author(s)

Kristin Noone is an English instructor and Writing Center faculty at Irvine Valley College in Southern California. Her research explores medievalism, adaptation, fantasy, and romance. She has published on subjects from Neil Gaiman’s many Beowulfs to depictions of witchcraft in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to Arthurian references in World of Warcraft. She is also a published author of romance and fantasy fiction.

Emily Lavin Leverett is a professor of English at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. With her primary focus as Medieval English Romance—tales of adventure, magic, chivalry, faith, and fantasy, she also studies medievalism, the ways that the romances of medieval Britain have made their way into contemporary arts, specifically English author Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kristin Noone and Emily Lavin Leverett

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7449-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3803-4
Imprint: McFarland