Terry Pratchett

I was saddened to hear that Death had finally caught up to the great Sir Terry Pratchett.  It was only last week that I finished his collection of essays and writing – A Slip of the Keyboard in which he wrote passionately at length about, among other things, Alzheimers and assisted dying.  Reading about his condition and his thoughts about how he wanted to go, there is some relief in knowing that he was spared many of the things he most feared.  But the world has still lost a great man and a great writer and it sucks.

It’s hard for me to put into words how much of an influence he has had on me as a writer, and a person.  His books were the first I ever came across where the humour wasn’t just a garnish, but the main meal.  And what a meal!  I remember being amazed at how there seemed to be a joke in every other sentence.  And I remember being suspicious that there may have been jokes in every sentence, but that I was only getting half of them.  He wrote the kind of books I wanted to write.  Not necessarily fantasy, but funny.  Unrelentingly funny.

I was definitely jealous.  The Discworld was such a perfect idea, unlimited in it’s possibilities, that I wished it had been mine.  Like a lot of good ideas it seemed to me like anyone could have had it.  It seems mad to think that way now.  No one could have had that idea, and even if they did, no one could have produced the results he did.Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike HackRoblox Free Unlimited Robux and Tix

As it happens, I haven’t read that many of the Discworld books.  I’ve read most of the early Rincewind books and I believe all the Death/Susan books.  If it were any other author, I’ve read enough to be considered a huge fan, but for Discworld, I’ve barely scratched the surface.  My favourite Pratchett books remain the Bromeliad Trilogy – Truckers, Diggers and Wings.

Truckers aired as a stop-motion animated series by Cosgrove-Hall on CITV in the early nineties.  I found it again recently on youtube but at the time of writing it’s been taken down by the company that owns it (which unless they’re planning on releasing it any time soon, some twenty odd years later, seems a pointless move but nevermind).  Anyway, I enjoyed this show so much that when I found the book in my local library, I read the thing as fast as I could in an attempt to find out what happens before the TV show.  Basically like what people do now with Game of Thrones.  And of course, when the TV show ended, my head exploded when I learned that there were two other books in the series, Diggers and Wings, that never made it to TV because even in those days TV people were idiots.

I reread the books last year.  They were even better than I remember.  Ostensibly it’s about Nomes who live in a department store and then have to find their spaceship to get back to their home planet, but it’s also about religion and people and seeing the world from different points of view and not letting tradition stop progress.

‘You’d think one world would be big enough for all of us,’ said Grimma.

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ said Masklin.  ‘Maybe one world isn’t big enough for anyone.’

If you haven’t read it, you should.  Well, if you like, I’m not the boss of you.  Reading it again, and rediscovering the themes it tackles, got me wondering what affect it might have had on me at that age, especially in regards to religion.  And it was interesting reading Pratchett’s views on the subject in A Slip of the Keyboard.  For me he sums it all up perfectly in one line:

I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.

R.I.P.

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