It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Sir Terry Pratchett, 66, passed away today. He was my all-time favorite author, writing over 70 books. He was famous for writing the Discworld series as well as a number of other books, the most recent being a sci-fi trilogy co-authored with Stephen Baxter. He was the second best-selling British author, beaten only by JK Rowling (with the Harry Potter series). He had been battling Alzheimer’s since 2007, but it still came as a shock to hear he had passed. Especially as he completed a novel as late as last year.
I still remember the first time I was introduced to the realm of Discworld. My best friend bought me one of the books (“The Hogfather”) as a Christmas gift. I was instantly hooked – the writing was funny, wry and full of social and political observation. I went back to the first book in the series and started to read through them in order, all x of them. The stories fill my mind with vivid images of a distant land where magic replaces technology, story-lines than both thrill and entertain, delving into the nature of existence, human nature, belief, psychology and many other topics. He parallels the world we know with a flourish that I aspire to having. I cannot overstate how much this series of books means to me, they have been a constant companion with me since the 90s, through highs and lows, migrating to another continent, dealing with loss & depression, and an myriad of other life events in between.
Death was a recurring character in the Discworld books, and his speech was always characterized by ALL CAPS. I mention this because the announcement about his passing was in a moving series of Tweets:-
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
There is a quote from one of his Discworld books (“Going Postal”) which states “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” Well, Sir Pratchett, may your name forever be spoken by those whom you brought so much joy.