I once read a funny quote from Terry Pratchett about authors (maybe fantasy authors specifically?) and their appearance, which I'm trying to find again. It was something like:

Most authors look very serious and conservative, so I crack jokes and wear a funny hat instead.

Heavily paraphrased, and I don't know if any of these particular words actually appeared. If I recall correctly, he listed three attributes of authors which made them sound dull and boring, and then contrasted himself with the rest by applying the opposites of those three attributes to himself.

After a lot of internet searching, I've failed to find this quote. Does anyone else have better Google-fu than me or remember the quote more precisely?

  • 5
    "O: What’s with the big-ass hat? Pratchett: Ah… That’s the hat I wear. I don’t know, it… It… That hat, or types like it, I’ve worn for years and years. Because I bought one, and I liked it. And then people started taking photographs of me in it, and now, certainly in the UK, it’s almost a case of if I don’t turn up in my hat people don’t know who I am. So maybe I could just send this hat to signings. I just like hats. I like Australian book tours, because Australians are really, I mean that is the big hat country, Australia."
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 18:10
  • 5
    Same interview; "Let’s go back to the hat… Everybody needs an edge, and if the hat gives you an edge, why not wear a hat? When you get started writing, you’re one of the crowd. If the hat helps, I’ll wear a hat— I’ll wear two hats! In fact, I’m definitely going to buy a cheese hat before I leave here. We’ve never heard of them in the UK, and I can see it as being the latest thing in fashion." - blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2015/08/thoughts-on-pratchett
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 18:11
  • @Valorum Not what I'm looking for, sorry. The hat wasn't the main focus of the quote, just one of a few things he mentioned.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 18:12
  • @Randal'Thor You may have my nunchaku,nunchuks, num-chuk, danger sticks, juan-tuo or chuka sticks.... I have failed! :'(
    – Rincewind
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 19:16
  • Thanks for the acceptance. Now is it OK if I add the Lafferty tag to the question?
    – user14111
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


You may be thinking of this R. A. Lafferty quote (which you might have seen on my profile page or in the Lafferty tag wiki) from the editorial introduction to his short story "Junkyard Thoughts" on p. 88 of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, February 1986 which is available at the Luminist archive. Copying from Wikiquotes:

Mr. Lafferty says, "I'm the fellow who, for more than a quarter century, has faithfully maintained the thesis that all writers should be funny-looking and all stories should be funny. Almost all of the evil in the world is brought about by handsome writers doing pompous pieces. But sometimes readers tell me that such a story of mine is not funny at all. 'Wait, wait,' I tell them. 'You're holding it upside-down. Now try it.' And sure enough, it is funny if they get ahold of it right. This caution is especially applicable to the story 'Junkyard Thoughts.' Be sure you're not holding it upside-down or it will be merely bewildering."


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