Thursday, March 12th of the year 2015. It was nearly 4pm and an early Spring sun was blazing through the window of my office. In an hour I would have a nice and long weekend and to ease myself into it, I started browsing the internet while the printer was contently humming in the background, printing out some workstuff. Lazily I went on Facebook, not even vaguely interested in the happenstance that would fill my feed. But there it was, a dark cloud looming over the sun. Terry Pratchett. Sir Terry Pratchett had passed away.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful friday in Spring, 2009. I wasn’t quite ready to return home after a week of Uni in Ghent, so the boyfriend and I took a stroll through the city. One of the larger bookshops was advertising their bargain basement, so of course we had to go and take a look. There was little Fantasy to be found, but in a little corner, I found three little books by Terry Pratchett – The Truth, Thief Of Time and A Hat Full Of Sky. I had it on good account that he was a brilliant author, so I took those poor souls with me.
Fast forward to September and our first trip abroad together. Destination Ireland, a.k.a. The Country Where We Contributed Heavily To The Survival Of Bookshops. Whereas the purchasing of books is never really off my mind, it wasn’t until that trip that my focus was on Sir Terry Pratchett once again, for one beautiful bookshop displayed a whole range of Discworld novels and more. Their bright colours and ludicrous covers caught my attention and out went the wallet. I would have paid some good money to see the face of our B&B owner when she came to clean our room every day, for as the days progressed, so did my collection Pratchett-novels on the nightstand.
Cue November 2012 and a trip to London with two out of our three best friends. We stayed at a youth hostel with bunk beds who were far from comfortable, but enough to crash at night after a day out and about. One of our friends had recently bought The Long Earth and had it with her to read at night. I hadn’t heard of his most recent collaboration with Stephen Baxter and I’m not that into Sci-Fi, but Terry’s name was enough to spark interest. What really makes this memory stand out, is that she was reading the book at night, as we all did except the other friend who was sleeping. Or at least trying to, cause the morning after she complained that the turning of the pages of The Long Earth was so loud it had kept her awake.
Since that Spring day in 2009, I’ve collected them all and I still have my eyes on the goodies, such as the maps etc. Have I read them all? Far from… I still have a long way to go till I know my way around Discworld and the far outer reaches of his imagination. What I have read, though, I have enjoyed. The crazy, the wicked, the absurd and the beautiful. All packed between the covers of those little novels. In my own time, I’ll travel A’Tuin and wander the reflections of a great mind. It won’t be the same, though..
Never again will I laugh at a jest of his without a tinge of sadness.
Never again will there be an author capable of what he did.
Not in this lifetime..
DEATH, take care of Terry Pratchett. Sir Terry Pratchett.
“Despite rumor, Death isn’t cruel–merely terribly, terribly good at his job.” (PRATCHETT, Terry – Sourcery)
But perhaps he’s a little too good at it?