As a would-be humorist/comedy writer, a rabid comedy fan, and a lover of fantasy novels, I was very deeply saddened to learn today of Sir Terry Pratchett’s death. I can honestly say that this had hit home as hard as Robin William’s death, if not more. He was something of an idol of mine, a constant landmark on my personal horizon, giving me hope that attempting to make a career out of writing comedy novels is not a complete waste of time. I would never claim to even have a fraction of his talent or his wit, and the depth and breadth of my imagination would scarcely equal a thimble of water taken from the ocean of his imagination, but he was a beacon of hope to me nevertheless. The world has lost yet one more great mind to the ravages of a terrible, terrible disease.
With that said, I must admit, I am somewhat glad that he didn’t linger on forever, slowly forgetting everything that made him who he was. I don’t know how far gone he was at the end, but I’d like to think that he beat Alzheimer’s to the punch; I also like to imagine that Death was waiting for him, like an old friend… certainly Terry’s hourglass would be among the most large and ornate in Death’s collection.
His daughter Rhianna Pratchett now holds the keys to the castle, and it would seem she intends to merely keep the grounds lush and fertile, without writing any new novels. I can’t say I disapprove. Everything must come to an end, and I’d rather the Discworld series rest easily than be kept on life-support in some well-meaning but pointless display of fan service. It’s my fond hope that films and other adaptations will continue to be made from his existing body work – there’s certainly plenty of it to choose from – so that future generations will be able to embrace his work.
If you are as affected by this news as I was, please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.