Terry Pratchett, the creator and author of the Discworld Universe has moved past this physical realm.
I loved the Discworld series, and with it – Pratchett’s anthropomorphic representation of Death, The Witches (Granny Weatherwax, Tiffany Aching), The Patrician, Commander Vimes – and so much more. The way he spoke about magic, its shifting nature, its beauty, its dangers – I find – constitutes one of the best written accounts of what it looks and feels like in practice.
He de-mystified a lot of stereotypes and got people to look at the same, old, same old – in new ways. His death has moved many – fans have even begun a petition to (his character of) Death to return Him. Writing in, Iain Sutherland wrote: “Terry Pratchett turned Death from a figure of hate into a much loved and sometimes welcomed character. No-one else cared about you Death. You owe him!”
Yes, Terry Pratchett managed to make Death a friend.
But more than all of that Terry Pratchett’s books made me feel at home in the world of his making, able to put a name, even a shifting one, to things that didn’t make sense – and the ones that hopelessly did. In retrospect, his books moulded me in ways I don’t yet know how to articulate and inspired me in ways I hadn’t imagined were possible. I don’t know how many times I’ve read Small Gods, Soul Music, The Wee Free Men, and others ..
Oh gods… It’s just sinking in.
His books transformed the fantasy genre as we know it, and brought to it a characteristic style, wit and imaginative flair that will be so so badly missed.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Terry Pratchett was also a powerful campaigner for dementia awareness and for euthanasia (the right to end one’s own life). He didn’t do that though, but passed away peacefully in his sleep.
His death was announced on Twitter in the characteristic style of his ‘Death’ character:
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
Petition article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/31867210…
Text © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015