R.I.P. Terry Pratchett


One of the first books I remember reading was Truckers. It was the first experience I had of getting wrapped up in a story, the fear and joy and anticipation and ecstasy of the world create in my mind. It was one of the first times my imagination was set free to run loose and animate the written word and was the beginning of a life-long relationship with Terry Pratchett.

RIP Terry Pratchett

It’s hard to overstate the love, bordering on obsession, I have for Pratchett’s novels. I began with Truckers and then every morning from the age of four to eight, on the 30 minute journey to school, my brother and I would listen to Tony Robinson narrating The Bromeliad Trilogy, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. Pretty much every night since then, to this day, I read a Pratchett novel as I’m going to sleep.

There’s humanity and sorrow and joy in his writing. They forced me to think about the way that I want to live and the person I want to be. And have had a massive impact on the way I relate to people and the lense through which I view the world. It’s hard to quantify or even conceptualise how much of an effect Pratchett has had on me. His work have been an almost constant since that first experience Truckers and it was with much sadness that I learned of his passing this week.

My relationship to Pratchett has been through his writing and, it may sound strange, but I wasn’t even aware of him as a person until his final years. He was always this black clad be-hatted figure gazing out from the inlay of the books, accompanied by a short biography strewn with the Pratchett witticisms that made him so endearing. To me he always seemed more like a fixture of the world than a person and it’s been strange to only develop a relationship with Terry Pratchett as a person as his life was ending.

I take tremendous solace in the fact that there was no one who prepared me more to deal with death than Pratchett himself. Death was a major player on the Pratchett stage and, particularly as an young atheist, it was a relief to be given some sense of perspective on the inevitable. Even in the last few years as he’s campaigned for Right to Die I learned so much about how someone can approach life’s ultimate passage with dignity and zeal. And even though I never had the privilege of meeting him I’ll be forever grateful to Terry Pratchett for helping me become the person I am today. I wish him a safe onward journey on the black desert under the endless night and leave you with one of my favourite Pratchett quotes:

You get a wonderful view from the point of no return.

RIP Terry Pratchett.

RIP Terry Pratchett Death