First Published in 1996 • #20 in the series • #4 in the Death story arc
In their ongoing effort to make a more orderly universe, the Auditors of Reality have contracted an assassin, Mr. Teatime, to inhume one of the greatest sources of human belief…the Hogfather. As Hogswatch day draws near, Death must take up the delivery duties of the jolly tusked man in the red suit while his granddaughter, Susan Sto Helit, must piece together his disappearance. Susan is abetted by the the Oh God of Hangovers and the wizards of Unseen University, who are trying to solve their own Hogwatch night mystery: the manifestation of a host of unusual beings in the University. Is there a connection between the Hogfather’s disappearance and the manifestations? Death, Susan, and the Wizards must find out, or the sun may not rise tomorrow.
Anne: I remember enjoying Hogfather. I grew up watching The Nightmare Before Christmas two holidays a year, and I was initially worried that another “creepy skeleton takes over Christmas-equivalent” narrative wouldn’t bring anything new to the table, but Hogfather is a completely different story and a completely unique take on belief and the stories we tell ourselves.
Ryan: Well, Hogfather is one of my favorite Pratchett books. It’s full of fun and lunacy but also a dose of mythos, questions about class and wealth, and the nature of justice. It also has one of my all-time favorite exchanges in it. Am I looking forward to reading Hogfather again? I am indeed.
“STARS EXPLODE, WORLDS COLLIDE, THERE’S HARDLY ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE WHERE HUMANS CAN LIVE WITHOUT BEING FROZEN OR FRIED, AND YET YOU BELIEVE THAT A… A BED IS A NORMAL THING. IT IS THE MOST AMAZING TALENT.”
“The Hogfather reached into his sack and produced…a sword. It was four feet long and glinted along the blade.
The mother took a deep breath.
‘You can’t give her that!’ she screamed. ‘It’s not safe!’
IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.
‘She’s a child!’ shouted Crumley.
‘What if she cuts herself?’
THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.”
Anne: Best Fictional Winter Solstice Celebratory Tradition
Ryan: Best Name for a God Ever
Pretentious Academic Subtitles:
Anne: Suns that are not Suns: Belief and Humanity in Hogfather
Ryan: Hogfather: Being a Consideration of Humanity from Primal Scream to Tooth-fairy
Want to read along? Bring your local librarian a banana and ask if Hogfather is available in your library’s catalog.
Otherwise, go to your favorite Internet Search Machine, type in “HOGFATHER” + PLEASE HELP BUY” and go from there.