Into the black desert…

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.

The End.

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.

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