Anti-trans campaigners have previously used dead authors to try and promote their cause, including Daphne du Maurier and Emily Dickinson
The beloved writer of the Discworld series was known for his fantasy books that celebrated acceptance and inclusivity.
However, a debate was sparked during an exchange between Pratchett’s Good Omens co-writer Neil Gaiman – who has tweeted several times in support of trans rights – and journalist and author Laurie Penny, about transmisogyny (prejudice aimed towards trans women).
One Twitter user commented to Gaiman: “I thought the fact that [you] write good fantasy meant that [you] were acquainted with reality. After learning this about you, it seems however more likely that was Pratchett’s contribution to your partnership.”
Penny replied, referring to one of Prachett’s characters: “I’m pretty sure that Granny Weatherwax would take a dim view of what’s going on right now.”
Another person then replied: “Honestly have no idea how anyone can read Pratchett, [especially] The Witches, and think he didn’t know what ‘female’ is and means in the world.”
Rhianna, a video game writer and journalist, was then alerted to these claims by a fan who said: “The GCs are trying to recruit Terry Pratchett posthumously presumably because he knows they can’t contradict them.”
“This is horrifying,” Rhianna tweeted. “My father would most definitely not be a GC if he was still alive. Read. The. Books.”
She added in a reply to a fan: “If you’re desperately trying to recruit the dead to your cause then you should probably have a big think about just what you’re supporting.”
She then proceeded to retweet a number of fans who pointed out how her father had been “a fierce defender of individuals staying true to themselves, regardless of the roles the world had in mind for them”.
Pratchett died in 2015, aged 66, from Alzheimer’s.
Anti-trans campaigners have previously attempted to use dead authors to promote their cause.
In April this year, a women’s writing club shared an open letter attacking the Women’s Prize for Fiction over its inclusion of a trans woman, Torrey Peters, on the longlist. The group included several dead authors – including Daphne du Maurier and Emily Dickinson – among its signatories.
The letter was branded a “disgrace” by authors including Elif Shafak and Naoise Dolan.