T H E S C I E N T I S T S ’ P E R S P E C T I V E

SFX - - Terry Pratchett -

Math­e­ma­ti­cian and co- au­thor of


Equal Rites ( 1987)

“It’s one of the early books by Terry where he’s get­ting se­ri­ously into so­cial com­men­tary. It’s about fe­male equal­ity on the Disc and the way he ex­plores this is a lovely ex­am­ple of nar­ra­tive im­per­a­tive, the power of story, or in this case the power of magic, the way things hap­pen be­cause the magic wants them to. He has this nice set- up where the eighth son of an eighth son al­ways has to go off to be a wiz­ard and train at Un­seen Univer­sity. Af­ter a mag­i­cal staff has been pre­sented to the child, which turns him into a wiz­ard, the mid­wife points out that ac­tu­ally it’s a girl. By the very straight­for­ward logic of Dis­c­world, clearly the girl has to be­come a wiz­ard.”

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