I had a more lighthearted post in mind today, but then this came across my desk. Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the much-loved Discworld series, passed away a few hours ago.
This does make me a little sad.
I discovered Pratchett’s works a bit later than most, well after I’d devoured almost everything else in my local library. I was browsing through the shelves when I stumbled across Jingo, and the madcap description was more than enough give me a little curiosity about reading through it. I checked it out, took it home … and the next day was back for another, a gleeful grin on my face.
Pratchett had a gift for writing. Obviously, since he was knighted for it. But he truly did. Pratchett knew how to take one of the most difficult prospects of writing—humor—and weave it into a tale that could be both sidesplitting, thoughtful, and on occasion, poignant. His books were littered with laughs and jokes of all kinds from simple plays on words to pop culture references to more dramatic moments and life lessons. He had a way of approaching any real life scenario with a sense of glee that left you laughing at how ridiculous it was … even when you saw the parallels in your own life.
He didn’t just write Discworld, either. Prachett could bring a sense of humor and comedy to anything he wanted. Even when he began to struggle against Alzheimers late in his life, he kept going and wrote several more books. After he was knighted, he tracked down a meteor and forged his own sword in his backyard (which hopefully ends up were it belongs, in a museum!). The man had a style, a characteristic.
I never met him in person, but you do usually get a feel for people based on their works. Sir Terry Pratchett was a pretty amazing writer, and an all-around pretty awesome individual. The world of written humor has just lost one of its greats today. I know I’ll miss him.
I hope Death found him the way he wanted to … possibly waiting for him with a kitten.
So long, Sir Terry Pratchett.