I awoke this morning (like many others I suspect) to the news that Terry Pratchett had passed away.
|My first Terry Pratchett novel..|
I would consider myself a big fan, although not a 'fanboy' i.e. I don't own all the Discworld novels or many of his other publications, apart from a signed copy of Johnny and the Bomb... and of course the EXCELLENT Good Omens co-written with Neil Gaiman, nor do I own many supplemental publications except The Science of the Discworld and A Blink of the Screen.
I was introduced to his writing in about 1988/89, when a mate of mine at school pressed his copies of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic into my hand and told me I had to read them. We were all playing a bit of Truncheons and Flagons* in our spare time so the parallels and general amusements were many. I was hooked. A few years later I was drawn into the grimdark of 40k, which is quite the polar opposite.
* +1 Internet if you get the reference
My response this morning to Terry's passing was one of extraordinary deep sorrow and grief. Perplexed at why it has really affected me - I never did much analysis on why I enjoyed the books so much other than they were excellent sources of light hearted yet quite biting satirical commentary on all sorts of things we as a society display - I have come up with a couple of personal reasons.
- The Discworld series was a balance to my love of the 40k universe - the light and wit of the characters and stories (although Lords and Ladies is a bit dark...) vs the dark and hopelessness of the 41st Millenium
- My father passed away last year - he also was possessed of a keen wit, had a white beard for a long time (although not as nicely trimmed), and ultimately suffered from dementia, so there are some vague parallels there
- While the 40k Universe and Black Library publications continue to roll on, the Discworld series will be no more - it is the end. It has ended without an End Times of any sort.
Sadly I noticed that my copy of The Colour of Magic has disappeared from my collection :( , which shall have to be replaced (unless I can remember who I lent it to).
Terry's publications brought laughter and happiness to many people.
Let the Bell of Lost Souls in the Tower of Heroes toll.