Tuesday, March 17, 2015

+ 365 Day 76

Today I would like to pay homage to my favourite author who sadly lost his battle with Alzheimer's on 12th March - I am talking about Sir Terry Pratchett who left this world aged 66.

I have to admit I was saddened by his death. I had met him a few times at book signings and also heard him speak at a pagan/new age meet. He came across as an interesting man who was interested in the world around him.

I first found my way into his books aged 13 when I was given a copy of only you can save mankind - a book about a strange boy called Johnny who confuses reality with fantasy and saves the world. There are 3 books in the Johnny series - only you can save mankind, johnny and the dead and johnny and the bomb. All are excellent and easy to read but do have some scary parts.

Following from this I saw another book with his name on it in the library - Mort - my first discworld book. Following on from Mort I read all the discworld books in the library in order and I was hooked. Ever since each year my request for birthday/christmas has always been I want the new Terry Pratchett book.

When I heard he had been diagnosed with alzheimer's back at the beginning of 2008 after he first put out the announcement, my first thought was he will be fine.
I then watched the documentaries he did on it and read about him donating to the alzheimer's society and working to raise its profile in the uk. Back late last year I read the post that Neil Gaimon did about him and the alzheimers. 

But seriously through all this I didn't think he was that bad - even when I read about him missing a discworld convention which he has never done before I didn't really get that he was getting worse. I was shocked to see the announcement of his death on facebook of all places - I thought it was one of those dead celebrity hoaxes until I checked it out on reliable news sources and found out it was real.

I couldn't then and still can't believe that he has died and with him all the stories he hasn't told, I have so many questions about the discworld and it's inhabitants - what happened with carrot and angua? did they have kids? were they werewolves? did little sam become a copper too? do the goblins take over the world with their superior and almost instant grasp of technology? are orcs coming back? will cut my own throat dibbler ever strike it lucky?

Such was his story telling ability that each of his characters I felt like I knew them, they were part of my growing up, I used to geek out with his books, collect clarecraft figures and chat about the books on mirc chat back in the days of dial up.

So how does this fit with positivity?Well - I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet him briefly, I am thankful that my local library stocked his books and that I got to read them and I am positive his legacy will live on through his books and his passionate belief in pushing for alzheimer's research and funding.

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett - may your walk with death be short and your after life be incredible

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