I usually don’t write more than one post per day but there are days and events that call for an exception. Today, on the 12th of March 2015 in the afternoon Sir Terence David John Pratchett passed away. Which is definitely not okay, but it might be better than Alzheimer’s after all.
My relationship with Terry – actually, with his works – began a little more than eleven years ago in a stuffy town library on the third floor somewhere between the fantasy/sci-fi/horror/mystery shelves. I picked a book up because of the intricate cover artwork which was highly unusual for a paperback in this section of the building I spent good parts of my free time in. It was The Science of Discworld, and the cover was illustrated by Paul Kidby (to whom I owe credit for the picture above and another ongoing love story). The Science of Discworld is probably not the ideal book to hook a thirteen or fourteen year old on Pratchett but it worked its magic nevertheless. I read a lot back then, but this was special.
I’m not even sure what came next, but I know that the first novel I bought for myself was Night Watch. I took it with me on vacation to Hungary and read it on the way in the back of the van. During the holidays I met people who knew Pratchett, too, for the first time. I’m still happy when I spot a new disciple in my sports class with a Ankh-Morpork City Watch t-shirt on, as it happened this semester. Another novel I bought (the library was well supplied though, luckily) was Maskerade, still a favourite of mine. I read it so many times it fell apart when I was in 11th grade and I rebound it, with a dark red spine and packing paper hard covers. I lent it to someone, she moved away and I never got it back. I’m still a bit angry, because buying a new one would never be the same.
My favourites are the Moist von Lipwig books, and I haven’t even read Raising Steam yet. I love all the hints and references and the world building that happen in these books.
In other Terry-related things I went on the nerves of bookstore clerks to order the Discworld planners for me, brought home the Kidby artbook from Ireland when it wasnt available in Germany yet, participated in two Discworld craft swaps (and still own a beautiful bag with Greebo Noir in linoleum print), drew Greebo for drooling fangirls, planned to cosplay Nanny Ogg, tried out stuff from the Nanny Ogg Cookbook and survived, played a with in the tabletop RPG, annoyed my mother with everything Discworld, looked up everything in Folklore of Discworld and then read through it again, moved to a rather Ankh-Morpork-ish town, have been likened to Tiffany Aching more than once, made copious amounts of “Where is my cow?!” references with my study colleagues (we also translated the phrase into Irish, but I can’t remember, sadly), sewed a wee free man covered in blue tattoos and gnawed off my fingernails more than once while following one of those wonderful plots.
Right now there’s a digital wake for Terry on facebook with people from all over the world participating, called “Toast for Terry”. I hope he would have appreciated that. I raise my bottle of rose lemonade to a man who created a world so rich and terrifying and wonderful that no other can ever match him.
My lemonade is empty, and there’s only one little thing left to say right now: