It’s not even been a month since we lost Leonard Nimoy, and today we lose another luminary. Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series and much else, passed away today at the age of 66. He had been suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease for many years, and his death, though tragic, was not entirely unexpected.
I bought my first book by Terry Pratchett in the mid 90s. I came in late to the series, but there were more than a dozen books for me to read from day one. I was hooked immediately, Rincewind was such a compelling character to me, having grown accustomed to larger-than-life heroes out of high fantasy and epic fantasy. The characters that welcomed me as I read Terry Pratchett’s novels, however, were simply … human.
And I suppose this is the word for all of Pratchett’s life. So many authors and celebrities appear bigger than life, more magnificent than any of us could ever hope to be, but in Terry we all saw a man like the rest of us. Friends of mine who were fortunate enough to have met him all say he was a great man to drink with, a great man to laugh with and a great man to talk with.
Why Terry had to leave us so soon, with so many books still within him, remains a mystery. He did, however, leave us with many memories, even more laughter, and – occasionally – tears of joy as we wallowed in the humanity of it all. He was taken from us before we were ready to lose him, and I’m sure there’s some reason he had to leave us behind.
No one knows the reason for all this, but it is probably quantum.