Farewell to a world-builder

By now I’m sure most of you who read this blog will have heard of the death of Sir Terry Pratchett on March 12th.

David and I were in Sudbury that day, taking in Science North and Dynamic Earth. Before going for supper, we popped in to Chapters. Every computer in the store had the same wallpaper; a picture of Terry Pratchett and the dates 1948-2015.

It took me a few seconds to comprehend what I was reading. Now, although I never met him, I feel as though I’ve lost someone personally important to me. A bit silly, really. Everything that I knew of him is still there – all the books he wrote, his cameo in the movie “Hogfather”, all of that is exactly the same. It’s doubtful I ever would have met him. I wished him well in his struggle with Alzheimer’s, and marvelled at each new book, still full of the trenchant satire and laugh-out-loud humour we know and love.

I am amazed at the generosity of his wife and daughter, who kept his many fans in touch with what could – and perhaps should – have been a very private time for them. Bless their hearts for that. The final tweet, with Death saying: “AT LAST, SIR TERRY…” was inspired and touching.

There are many, many memorable quotations in his books. One of my favourites is the Rules of the Librarians of Space and Time. Here are those rules.

1 – Silence.
2 – Books must be returned by the last date stamped.
3 – Do not interfere with the nature of causality.

Terry Pratchett left a rich legacy – a whole world on the back of a turtle, and others in carpets and, yes, our own here-and-now. My favourite of his books is “Hogfather”. It belongs in a category I call “fruitcake books” – rich, dark, and studded with delightful and surprising treats. I’d be interested to hear what your favourite Pratchett book is.

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