Please allow me to take a moment to mark the passing of someone who has had a tremendous impact upon my life.
When I think of all the creators in life I’ve spent time with, be it watching their movies, listening to their music or reading their writing, I’ve spent nowhere near as much time with anyone but Terry Pratchett. He was my favourite living author, and has now pushed Douglas Adams into second place as my favourite who is no longer with us. Thank you, sir, for the hours, days, weeks, months, probably even years of time I’ve spent gleefully absorbing your work, the most recent of which (Raising Steam) I finished a mere few days ago, and loved like all the rest, and not just because it’s about engineers. Had I known it would have been one of the last occasions I’d have been reading your words for the first time, I feel I’d have savoured them more, and not speed-read those last few pages so I could pack the book into a suitcase before getting on a plane.
I’m gutted that I’ll never get to meet the great man, nor experience the further adventures of Sam Vimes, The Librarian, Rincewind, Moist von Lipwig, Nobby Nobbs, The Patrician, Agnes Nitt, Lu-Tze, Leonard of Quirm, Otto Chriek, Great A’Tuin or anyone else of the Discworld, but it will always be a comfort that those wonderful stories will be there to comfort me when needed.
Thank you, Terry Pratchett, for showing me what books could do. Thank you Paul Stevens, who modelled himself upon The Librarian, for introducing me to Pratchett. And if anyone out there has yet to travel from The Colour of Magic onwards, I urge you to begin now, and I envy you for the journeys you are about to take.
R.I.P. Terry Pratchett. The world is a sadder, more spherical place without you.