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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Terri Pratchett: In Memoriam

Early today the news began to break across my Facebook that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. I am almost embarrassed to say, I've never read much beyond Good Omens. I've tried three different times with three different Diskworld books and they never grabbed me. I am assured that I simply need to read the right one. Maybe now, for the sake of sentimentality, I will try again in earnest. I'm always up for good "cherry popping" recommendations.  

I can't provide a good send off to an author I'm not familiar with, but I know many of you dearly loved Pratchett. That sound I heard was millions of readers' hearts breaking. So consider this an open invitation to share in comments personal thoughts, links you feel did him justice, great book recommendations, or just commiserate with others.

[This news is going to mean I have two posts today. Apologies in advance to folks on e-mail notification or feeds. Our new poll will go up tomorrow.]


  1. Terry Pratchett was the first smart satirist I ever read, and I grew up on his books. My first online handle was SusanDeath, after a character of his. He unquestionably influenced my approach to culture as a whole, and particularly to faith, humanity, and self. I didn't love every one of his books, and I didn't always agree with him, but his style always made an impression* and his humor was challenging and comforting at once.

    I am particularly grateful for the witches and the watch, and for his commitment to writing female characters as capable, interesting people, never props. I look forward to sharing the Tiffany Aching books with my small humans when they're a bit older, and later the series as a whole. I'm going to go cry a little more now.

    *I am, to this day, an avid footnoter.

    1. Trying to explain to my kids why I am so sad, I said that a teacher of mine had died. I think that's pretty accurate.

  2. My students told me dozens of times -- maybe a hundred times -- to read Pratchett, and I never did. Then I picked up Nightwatch, and I was an instant fan. He really is brilliant. I will always be a fan of the Sam Vines books, since they got me into Pratchett; but the Tiffany Aching / Granny Weatherall cycle is probably my real favorite. And The Truth is probably is best book.

    Though who doesn't love The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents -- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM written for the real world!

  3. And I see I forgot to mention DEATH.

    You must read Pratchett for DEATH alone.

  4. If Discworld doesn't do it for you, maybe try with some of his non-Discworld novels. "Only You Can Save Mankind" is a huge favourite of mine: a grown-up book for kids that really prompted thought when I read it aged 14, and still does now I'm over twice that age.

    That said, my sister expressed very similar sentiments to yours to me today, so I guess it takes all sorts

    (Also, seconding delegar's emotion re: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents)

  5. http://aceofgeeks.blogspot.com/2015/03/terry-pratchett-golem-dwarf-and-me.html?m=1

    The Ace of Geeks sendoff.

  6. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/12/terry-pratchett

    I liked the Guardian's obituary.

    I can't think of the last month that went by that I didn't start or finish a Pratchett book somewhere in there. I'm crying a lot today.

  7. I grew up reading the Bromeliad (Truckers, Diggers, Wings) and Only You Can Save Mankind. When my parents were still reading me bedside stories, we read Men at Arms, and I tried to listen to Equal Rites on tape, but it scared me and I didn't understand it. I loved The Hogfather, The Truth, Men at Arms, Thief of Time, more than I can name. I would recommend the Hogfather to you, given that it is about narratives, and you are a writer.