Farewell, Sir Terry

I lost my hero today.

At the age of 66, the literary world has lost one of its best and brightest, Sir Terry Pratchett, to the “embuggerance” of Posterior Cortical Atrophy.  He was not only one of my favourite writers, but one of those who inspired me to write and to become the best I could be.  Discworld was my crash-course in fantasy literature and the influence, not just on my reading preferences but on my writing, has been enormous.

Screenshot from https://twitter.com/terryandrob

The link above goes to the Penguin Random House announcement on PJSMprints.com

I was nine or ten when I read my first Discworld book (Wyrd Sisters) and while some of the humour was entirely lost on me, I was instantly hooked.  I devoured every Discworld book on my mother’s bookcase (and those that she didn’t have, I found on my dad’s bookcase), then tracked down copies of The Carpet People, Truckers, Diggers and Wings at the local library.  In 1999, my mum and I queued for what felt like an eon or two with my four-year-old brother at a Waterstones book signing for copies of The Last Continent and Carpe Jugulum.  I was more excited to meet Terry Pratchett than I would have been to meet a movie star and the brief moment to talk to him and the effort he made to write something unique for each of us, was well worth the queue.,/span>

Like many fans, although I was saddened by the Alzheimer’s announcement, I also felt that the way Sir Terry dealt with his diagnosis and his resulting documentaries, Living with Alzheimer’s and Choosing to Die, were not only very brave but brought topics that are often considered taboo into public discussion.

As the man himself said in Going Postal: “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”  In that sense, Terry Pratchett will live on in his writing for generations to come.

Farewell, Sir Terry. It was an honour to have the chance to meet you, to talk to you and to read about the wonderful worlds that lived in your imagination.