Yesterday I cried...for a man I never met...Sir Terry Pratchett was one of my heroes who was taken too soon. His Twitter said it perfectly:
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night. The End.
I have been following Terry Pratchett for probably 25 years now originally stumbling upon The Carpet People and then reading everything he produced thereafter, waiting (im)patiently for each book to be written and published.
Once I was well into the title of 'geek fan' I would purchase the hardback book as soon as it came out but not read it (I know...such patience) but add the book to my collection to keep pristine and special, then I would devour the paperback as soon as it came out. Consquently I now have a very large collection of beautiful sparkly hardbacks and a box of very well thumbed and incredibly loved paperbacks which I have read countless times.
I love the Bromeliad and Johnny Maxwell series and also the novels (Nation and Dodger being particular favourites) but my real love is for the Discworld series, such a wonderfully clear way of looking at the world we live in and creating a comparative fantasy world...oh and such amazing characters. I can and do read and re read the Discworld books over and over, they are my 'go to comfort' books.
I have to admit when the TV adaptations came out I wasn't sure, I love David Jason as pixie Albert in Hogfather but am not sure about him as Rincewind, for me the wayward wizard is more of a Nigel Planer character, surprisingly I love Going Postal best of all the TV films.
Years ago when the wonderful creative company Clarecraft was in existence I dutifully collected all of the character ornaments that they created, we had shelves full of them. But as life and priorities (and space) changes I gradually parted with them...all except one...the figure of Granny Weatherwax always stands on my altar, she symbolises to me the characteristics of a witch, real old school. Using headology instead of magic wherever possible, commanding respect from everyone and not standing any nonsense. I have an old Discworld sweatshirt that no longer fits, but I keep it just the same and a worn and well used mug that looks black until you add hot liquid upon which the image of the Great A'Tuin appears resting on the back of four elephants...
I was dismayed to hear of the news that Terry had Alzheimers a few years ago, having had three of my grandparents suffer the same, it is a horrible disease especially for a wordsmith. So I guess we were all expecting the news yesterday but it was a shock just the same, heartbreaking - my thoughts go out to Terry's wife Lyn, daughter Rhiannon and his friend Rob.
The world has become a slightly smaller place...although I like to think that Terry and DEATH are sitting have a good ole chin wag right now...and I hope he enjoyed his ride upon Binky. The turtle moves...
A good bibliography of his works http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/p/terry-pratchett/
http://www.discworldemporium.com/ for Discworld merchandise