Oh, Terry Pratchett. I’ve never instantly burst into ugly-crying over the death of persons who, while admired, are still remote strangers. But I’m going to spend a long time wiping the salt crystals out of my glasses after today. I have no words.
But this was how it started: I was 14, and I read proper books, but my newfound friends all had homes stocked with these other books, and most of them had a shelf full of these colourful paperbacks, and one day I woke up early on someone’s couch and reached for The colour of magic.
I’d like to say there were fireworks and sparkles, but I didn’t care all that much for that first book about a hapless wizard and a strange luggage. But there was something. Enough that I picked up the next book. And the next.
And suddenly these books had taught me things. Important things, basic things, about people and complexity and cruelty and, most of all, kindness. More than I ever learned from school, parents, or, indeed, proper books.
All those times I got to experience going to the geek-store to grin widely upon discovering a new Discworld title having arrived on the shelves. (They were pre-digital times!) I have clearer memories of that than I have of any christmas ever.
There’s no way to really end this text. I could paste that bit where Death talks about how cats make living worthwhile. Or any other Death quote. Or something profound by Granny Weatherwax or Tiffany Aching or any of the other voices of Terry Pratchett. I just, um, I just need to go over there and cry a bit more.