The late Terry Pratchett enjoyed a great reputation as a fan-friendly pro who sometimes drew inspiration from those he talked to at cons, while Tuckerizing others for charity.
Tuckerization — using a person’s real name in a science fiction story as an in-joke – is derived from Wilson Tucker, the author who made the practice famous.
Tom Meserole recalls, “My wife was Tuckerized in the novel Night Watch as ‘Lady Roberta Meserole, international woman of mystery, but her friends call her Bobbi.’ I also got a passing mention in the same novel.” Tom’s name was given to her cat.
Tom won the Tuckerization rights at a charity auction during a St. Louis convention where Pratchett was a guest of honor. People like to joke that the auction was for one Tuckerization but Terry threw in the cat for free….
Pratchett fans have spotted these other Tuckerizations:
- Colette, after Colette Reap
- Dr Follett, after author Kenneth Follett
- Hodgesaargh, after falconer Dave Hodges
- Marco Soto, after games editor, artist and writer Marco Soto.
- Doctor Christopher Pagel and his wife Julia, real-life animal experts and owners of a large feral cat sanctuary, appear as themselves in The Long War
Follett paid £2,200 to charity for his Discworld appearance in Night Watch, although as Dave Langford writes in Starcombing —
He publicly expressed hopes that he’d appear as a giant. Instead, Terry Pratchett introduced the sinister Doctor Follett, past head of the Assassins’ Guild (‘Is that his own hair?’). Type-casting, no doubt.
Other fans are certain (with good reason) they made anonymous appearances in Pratchett’s work.
“Magrat Garlick wears my jewelry,” says Sue Mason. “Terry was impressed at breakfast at some convention when I turned up with full silver jewelry, no makeup, no hair do, but full jewelry and he dragged me the length of an Eastercon dealer room to show me the Clarecraft Perdita Nit, as apparently he had described me to the sculptor and they had done a splendid job.”
“Some of the antics by the post grads in the high energy magic department are apparently based on a late night slightly alcohol fueled discussion Terry, I and a couple if others had about games we played with radars, missile systems and other electronics,” says Mike Rennie. “Terry used to make toast on resistor arrays for example.”