Very sad about the news of Terry Pratchett today. Out of curiosity, does anyone know if it was euthanasia or natural causes? I've not been able to find anything definitive. (That feels horribly gauche to just ask, but I'm considering pitching a blog piece over at ThinkChristian, and knowing would be helpful.)
I wrote the following over at Tumblr and thought some of you might find it interesting. I'm serious about looking for good places to start reading him, if anyone has any suggestions.
I’m a bit shamed to say I’ve never actually read anything by Terry Pratchett by himself. Good Omens was delicious, the half of it I finished before leaving it on the subway. Probably time to buy an ebook version or a new copy and finish it. I’d also welcome recommendations for a Pratchett virgin on the best books to start with.
That said, if I made poor life choices regarding his books, other people are much more familiar. The quotes being shared are beautiful, really, in many ways the human spirit at its finest, or at least a large part of what I think of when I imagine what humanity is actually good at. One favorite bit, taken from all over but including here:
All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They’re not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—"
MY POINT EXACTLY.
If you want to honor the man by engaging in a bit of story, here are the AO3 pages for Discworld, Good Omens, and all Terry Pratchett fanfic. Also of note: his Amazon page, his Twitter account, and the Tumblr tag where people are remembering him. neil-gaiman‘s page has also had some heartwarming items.
Godspeed, sir, and may the wind be always at your back (and your stories in our ear).
PS - vulgarweed's Tumblr is in full-on Pratchett mode, for those of you looking for gentle remembrances today. Check it out.