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Goodbye, Sir Terry Pratchett

Pratchett

I don’t normally do stuff like this, especially since this is a gaming website.

Sir Terry Pratchett has died. Outside of family and friends he has arguably had the most impact on my life, his many, many wonderful books shaping by sarcastic, often cynical yet oddly cheerful sense of humour and teaching me to look at the world and its myriad of strange inhabitants from many different angles, some of which may even exist in science. I have read every book he has written, and enjoyed them all. They are witty and insightful, playful yet serious.

So many amazing characters. Rincewind remains my favorite, the wimpy wizzard who still somehow saves the world many, many times. But then there’s hard-boiled Vimes, star of the many Watch books, which stand second only to the Tiffany Aching books as my favorite of the Discworld sub-series. As a young lad I remember listening to Terry Pratchett’s work on audio cassette and CD while lying in bed, drifting off to sleep with thoughts of crazy worlds and even crazier characters floating through my mind.

I won’t sugarcoat the fact that his books did get slowly worse over the years, understandable given his fight with alzheimer’s, a disease which he described as an embuggerance. Yet even when not at his best Terry Pratchatt was vastly better than anyone else, delivering clever lines and commentary.

He also fought hard for assisted dying to be allowed in the UK, a fight for which I have full support. It’s no secret that I have Cystic Fibrosis, and the time may come when the disease has caught up with me, and I’d like to make the decision.

Despite having never met the man, nor had any true contact with him, he has had immeasurable impact on my life, and has helped mold who I am today. This in no way should be held against him.

I wish I could explain how sad this makes me better than I’m doing. Sadly a freaking horrible cold is stopping me from thinking too clearly. I can’t express how it feels to know that there will never be another Discworld book, or at least one written by its very creator. I can’t tell you how sad I am to know that such a great writer has left this world. And I can’t tell you how glad I am to have grown up with his work, and that he lived a damn good life. So I leave with this:

Terry opened his eyes, and witnessed Death in all of his robed glory.
“THE TIME HAS COME” The leaden tones of Death causing nearby air molecules to shiver in fear and hastily get out of the way.
“Are you absolutely sure?” Asked Terry, surveying the strange desert around him. Nearby a book mysteriously popped into existence.
“I AM ALWAYS SURE.”
“But I wrote you…” He glanced at the book, seeing the very novel he had been working on when he had gone to…sleep?
“WHAT ARE WE, IF NOT WHAT WE CREATE?”
“That’s very sensible, I suppose.”
“DO YOU NOT FEEL AS THOUGH YOU HAVE MORE TO DO? MOST DO.” Death asked, laying a hand on Terry’s shoulder.
“There are things, yes, but I rather feel that it’s up to somebody else now.”
Death nodded. “NOW YOU MUST WALK THE DESERT THAT ALL MORTALS WALK”
Sir Terry looked around. In the distance a thin man with a pointy hat ran across the horizon screaming, followed by a box on legs. Terry smiled at the sight, as if seeing an old friend.
With that Terry politely hit Death with the rather hefty book that had somehow made the journey, and watched the skeleton crumple to the ground.
“But since I wrote this place, I think I’ll do what I bloody please.”
And with that Sir Terry Pratchett strolled into the desert, whistling a tune under his breath. In the distance, as if by magic, or more accurately sheer force of will, a bright light appeared. If you squint hard enough, it could almost be mistake for a tunnel.
From under his robe Death said, “BASTARD.”

The End.

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