Books · Reading · Writing

Farewell, Sir Terry.

2015-03-13 19.39.28Yesterday Terry Pratchett, author of the brilliant Discworld series, passed away at the age of 66. To say I wasn’t shocked by the news would be a lie. Even though I knew he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and could no longer write his books without the help of his assistant, I still couldn’t accept that his death was imminent. Like… I don’t think anyone could even accept the possibility that J. K. Rowling would cease to exist one day, or even Stephen King. These authors have become so ingrained in the literary world that it would be impossible to imagine it without them. Though… I guess if you think about it, authors are forever immortal. As long as you always see their names on the shelves, they’re never really dead, are they? I’m comforted by the fact that later this year one last Discworld book will be published, one that Sir Terry finished writing a few months ago.

At times like this, I feel the best way to remember these authors is to share some of their best quotes. Here are some of my favourites.

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.

If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you.

“No! Please! I’ll tell you whatever you want to know!” the man yelled.
“Really?” said Vimes. “What’s the orbital velocity of the moon?”
“Oh, you’d like something simpler?”

The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.

There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.
The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who’s been pinching my beer?
And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman’s eye.

Have you read any of Terry Pratchett’s books before? What’s your favourite (mine is I Shall Wear Midnight)? How do you feel when a favourite author of yours passes away?

I will now leave you with the final tweets from Sir Terry’s feed.

terry pratchett

14 thoughts on “Farewell, Sir Terry.

  1. I’ve never read any of his books, but my son likes them. Sixty-six is young to die. Such a shame. But you’re right–for authors particularly, they never really die. Not as long as their books remain out there.

    1. It is a shame, isn’t it? =[ And yes – thankfully these days, with everything being released on the internet, nothing can ever truly be lost.

      Also, you should definitely check out some of his books! I’m sure your son will warn you against starting out with the first book in the series.

        1. Haha, thought so. The thing about him, he really improved as the series went on, so new readers are always advised to start with later books, especially since they can be read as standalones!

  2. I was so sad to hear this news too. The weird thing is, I’ve never read a single one of his books and it still feels like a huge loss. Like you’ve said, he’s an author so engrained in the book world and popular culture that I still feel like I, and the rest of the world, have lost a truly wonderful mind.

    He always looks so cheery and full of life in his photos as well, so that every time I see them it makes me smile too. 🙂

    RIP master of fantasy!

    1. Master of Fantasy indeed. His books are actually just like him; quite cheery. I have such fun reading them. He’s brought so much laughter to his readers, and he will be really missed.

      If you ever consider reading any of his books, whatever you do, don’t start with the first two books!

      1. Hahaa, funny enough I do own his first book, and your not the first to tell me not to start with it! Where would you suggest? I also have his first children’s/young adult book Maurice and his Educated Rodents…or something like that. 😛 It’s funny though because even though I know you don’t have to read all of his book in order, it goes against every grain in my body!

        1. Haha, I understand what you mean, though this is recommended for new readers so they’re not turned off by the not-so-great quality of the first one. My favourite arc is the Tiffany Aching arc, and even there I didn’t begin from the first book – “I Shall Wear Midnight” is a fantastic book. I’ve also heard a lot of people recommending “Guards! Guards!” as a first read, but I have yet to pick it up!

  3. “If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you” That’s a great line! What a wonderful way to pay respect to an author, to use his own words. Lovely post, Zen.

  4. “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”

    Brilliant words from a brilliant man. Thank you for such a lovely tribute, Zen.

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