I really want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, and something I have been thinking about a lot lately, Terry Pratchett. For those of you who don’t know the name, he is a British Fantasy author and creator of the Discworld series. His is also one of my favorite authors of all time.
The Discworld series is his great work and is a prolific fantasy/comedy series. The series contains 40 books so far with the 41st, and sadly final book by Terry Pratchett, to be published sometime later this year. The series takes place on the Discworld, a flat disc of a planet that sits on the back of 4 giant elephants who stand on the back of the world turtle, the Great A’Tuin. This is a world of magic and evil and laws of physics that are meant to be broken. It’s sword and sorcery social commentary with books touching on topics like the rise and corruption of Hollywood, books on taxes, banking and the need for music. Every book in the series is a work in brilliant satire that can also be touching.
Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. An aggressive type called posterior cortical atrophy. He seemed fairly at piece with this and rather than bemoaning his fate, he put out several more fantastic books out and donated to organizations researching the disease that afflicted him. He overcame it and expanded his book series into a series of films and his own production company.
Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors and is my go to author for comfort. He has been with me through all of the hardest times of my life. I read Monstrous Regiment while I was bored to death in classes that were mandatory for my degree; Small Gods was there for me at a huge medical crossroads and Thief of Time when I needed comfort from a world changing heartbreak. Terry Pratchett has been there with his world of magic and mayhem.
I started reading Discworld when I started working for a used bookstore. I remember my first one and I remember my favorite one. The very first Discworld book I ever read was called Making Money. It was the story of Moist VonLipwig and his trials of trying to fix the banking system. I fell in love form the first page. I bought it because it was cheap and my boss wanted to get rid of it and I was blinded by my newly discovered staff discount. I was glad I worked at a used bookstore and that I read comics as it was easy to find all the ones I was missing, buying them either from comic shops or from work.
My favorite book is Small Gods. I read it at a medical crossroads and a personal crossroads. It’s send up of the Church and how it treats heretics and different thinkers was fantastic for a young man just starting his University career as well. It spoke to me on several levels, as all of his books did.
He passed away recently. It was expected ne his fans were prepared for the worst for years. But it still hurt. The loss of Terry Pratchett affected me much more than a celebrity death usually does. I was depressed for days and still get sad thinking about it now. His was a great voice in the darkness, and I will forever miss him.