Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ptoday Pterry Died...

Terry Pratchett (Pterry) , author of the Discworld series and other books including, with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, died today, March 12, 2015.

I read the news while I was on break from work and spent the last two hours of work wondering if I was going to cry. I sniffled and my eyes burned but I haven't. I don't know if I will or not but I want to.

I discovered Terry Pratchett at the recommendation of a friend of mine over 20 years ago when he introduced me to Rincewind and the Wizard books. (The Discworld books are often broken up into various subsets, The Wizards, The Witches, and The Watch with some others like the Death books that mix with the various streams that form the river that is Discworld.) I was immediately in love with them. Pterry's writing only got better and more complex and enjoyable as the years went on.

Samuel Vimes is a real person in my head. Captain Carrot is just as real to me and Granny Weatherwax feels like family. All characters, all real, and all, now, passed away with their author, their creator. That's the thing about an author dying. Their world dies with them and that hurts.

I'm a Reader. I have been for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is learning to read from big, over-sized flash cards with the letters in the shape of people. Since then I've read in good times and in bad times. Books are escape and they're relaxation. The characters in the books, the really good books, become as real to me as people I've known but don't see any more. They're all real aren't they? They're people whose actions you remember but that you don't see any more. How is that less real than a person you've met in the flesh? Some are more real sometimes, or they feel that way. You get inside the head of a  protagonist. You hear their thoughts, their dreams, their fears, and their desires. I've bought very few authors' books in hardcover. Pterry is one of those authors... He was. And now he, and his world, his characters... all gone.

I still have his books. I have them all in paper, on my kindle a lot of them, and in audiobook, also a lot of them. But listening to them now, reading them now will be a bittersweet reminder of what was... the quiet delight of waiting for a new story is over. The excitement of seeing what happens next is gone. The light's gone out in the Discworld and this world, this round blob of dirt, suddenly seems a little darker and a little colder with him gone from it and that sucks.

"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…"
–Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man


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