In honour of Sir Terry Pratchett
No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
It’s strange that an author can write for a hundred, thousand readers, and yet the connection between reader and author is a truly intimate and personal one.
I read my first book by Terry Pratchett, The Carpet People, aged ten. I’d picked it up by chance. By the time I was fifteen I had read almost every book he’d published to-date. I was implacable, because I felt like I’d found an author who was a friend, who explained the world to me unflinchingly in a way which most adults could not. He had a beautiful message to convey, and his work could be accessed and enjoyed by everybody – even young teenagers very far from home. Sure he told Dad jokes and his characters, at times, seemed impossibly British, but reading every single one of those books was, for me, like a great, big hug. I would frequently get to the end, turn the book around, and read straight through again. Those books got me through a lot of difficult times.
I guess it’s fair to say that I grew up with Pratchett; his quirky humour, his innate sense of justice, and his unique take on the world had a massive impact on my own outlook. Without him, I doubt I’d have found my way to the Sci Fi/Fantasy section of the bookstore, and there would be no Lost Kingdom today. A lot of other things would also be different in my life, big and little. In that particular bifurcation of the Trousers of Time, I’m glad I got to be me.
So thank you, Sir Terry Pratchett for all those lessons about people and the world, which you (probably accidentally) taught me. You made a big difference to this little person. I’m certain I’m not the only one. And give Granny Weatherwax a wink from me.
True to his magnificent style, his death was announced in a series of tweets:
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
It continued: “Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”
The posts finished with “The End.”
You can read more about Sir Terry Pratchett’s passing on the BBC website here.