So. . . what can I add to all that’s been said and written about Terry Pratchett since his death last Thursday? I honestly didn’t expect him to die quite so soon, Alzheimer’s or no. I’ve known people with the same disease last many more years, dwindling away until all that’s left of them is their malfunctioning body, while their mind – their essence, if you like – left a long time ago. While I am sad that he’s gone, I wouldn’t have wanted that for him, and I’m sure there are few of his fans who would. The man himself would have sorted out his own passing long before that point came, I’m sure. And while it’s heartbreaking that we’ve lost him at a relatively young age, the alternative would have been agony for him and his family, so I can’t really wish that he were still with us.
I don’t have the full collection of Pratchett books. But I do have an Amazon wishlist which is now rather Pratchett-heavy! And I’ve gone back to the Discworld novels (which my flobby fingers keep wanting to type as “Discoworld” – I think he may have missed a trick there. . .) for comfort reading. As many other fans have said, he aten’t dead while we still have his books, and given how many copies have sold over the years, and how many millions of fans he has, I don’t think he’s going to be really dead for a long while yet. This is one of those moments where I genuinely regret not having children – think of the fun I could have had, introducing them to Rincewind, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Sam Vimes, Death et al. et al.! I’ve read so many posts on sites in the last few days from people who came to Pratchett via their parents, or who have introduced him to their children. It’s wonderful to have that shared love of an author. I know we shouldn’t judge each other (unless we happen to be sitting in a big chair in a big room wearing a robe and a wig, but that’s another matter), but I doubt I’m the only reader who judges other people by what they read, or who their favourite author is, and a love of Pratchett can go a long way towards cancelling out other annoyances I might notice in someone :-)
Self-hosted blogs on WordPress can add a “GNU Terry Pratchett” banner to their sites, but for us minnows swimming in the shallows of wordpress.com it may be a while before the good people at WP HQ make it available to us as a plug-in. In the meantime, I will continue to read, appreciate and love my Discworld novels, and give thanks for the life and work of Terry Pratchett. RIP.