Terry Pratchett, 66. He aten't dead, in our hearts.
March 12, 2015 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Terry Pratchett, best known for the Discworld series consisting of about 40 books, died today after a long, well publicized battle with Alzheimer's in which he's also been outspoken on right to die issues.
posted by dmd (632 comments total) 92 users marked this as a favorite
 
“DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING," said Death. "JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2015 [162 favorites]


_/\_
posted by dmd at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


“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.

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posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2015 [211 favorites]


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posted by lepus at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2015


Biggest . ever.
posted by jeffkramer at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2015


'You're not going to die, are you sir?' he said.
'Of course I am. Everyone is. That's what being alive is all about.'
~ Terry Pratchett
~~(__^·>

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posted by Fizz at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


I keep posting that the loss of Pterry feels like a beloved uncle has died. Also, I can't believe he was only 66. RIP.

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posted by pxe2000 at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by eclectist at 8:45 AM on March 12, 2015


How do I write an uppercase "."?

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posted by ChrisR at 8:45 AM on March 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


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The last few tweets on his twitter timeline are funny and touching at the same time
posted by motdiem2 at 8:45 AM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


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Well this is shitty :(
posted by Carillon at 8:45 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd been dreading the day this post would come.

RIP, and thank you for all the laughs.

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posted by TwoStride at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noli Timere Messorem
posted by Damienmce at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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Damn it.

I thought we had a few more years.
posted by suelac at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2015


A few Discworld quotes. I could post hundreds.
--
[About magic armor] Many an ancient lord's last words had been, "You can't kill me because I've got magic aaargh"
--
The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.
--
"The truth has got its boots on. It's about to start kicking."
--
"In Om we have no word for slave," said Vorbis. "So I understand," said the Tyrant. "I imagine that fish have no word for water."
--
DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.
--
"Sodomy non sapiens," said Albert under his breath.
"What does that mean?"
"Means I'm buggered if I know."
--
Sam Vimes could parallel process. Most husbands can. They learn to follow their own line of thought while at the same time listening to what their wives say. And the listening is important, because at any time they could be challenged and must be ready to quote the last sentence in full. A vital additional skill is being able to scan the dialogue for telltale phrases such as "and they can deliver it tomorrow" or "so I've invited them for dinner?" or "they can do it in blue, really quite cheaply."
--
Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known.
--
That was an important part of any game: always make it easy for people to give you money.
--
"Why's it called Ming?" said the Archchancellor, on cue. The Bursar tapped the pot. It went *ming*.
--
A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.
--
YOU HAVE PERHAPS HEARD THE PHRASE THAT HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE?
"Yes. Yes, of course."
Death nodded. IN TIME, he said, YOU WILL LEARN THAT IT IS WRONG.
--
He says the gods like to see an atheist around. Gives them something to aim at.
--
The Librarian dropped on him like the Descent of Man.
--
Murder was in fact, a fairly uncommon event in Ankh-Morpok, but there were a lot of suicides. Walking in the night time alleyways of The Shades was suicide, asking for a short in a dwarf bar was suicide, you could commit suicide very easily if you weren't careful.
--
One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.
--
The shortest unit of time in the multiverse is the New York Second, defined as the period of time between the traffic lights turning green and the cab behind you honking.
--
Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum
---------------------

For Pterry: .
This is heartbreaking. :(
posted by zarq at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2015 [47 favorites]


Someone years ago asked, "What Terry Pratchett book should I read first?" in case if this is the first time you've heard of him. (cstross mentions that he's got a few percentage points of the UK market for books, so this may not be common).
posted by curuinor at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


This man wrote me a world where I spent a tremendous amount of happy hours and got me through some rough times, for which I will always be grateful. He went out with his family and his cats by his side. I don't think he could have asked for much more.
posted by Bibliogeek at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2015 [35 favorites]


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posted by custardfairy at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015


My partner and I met because we were working on the same Pratchett game. Terry Pratchett is a core reason why I live in Europe and not Canada. A chunk of Pratchett fandom was my online community before Metafilter. My username on Metafilter is taken from there. I know at least one Mefite from there.

I'm not even a Pratchett superfan, and haven't read any of his books in the last 5 years, but I literally could not imagine my life at the moment without his influence. Where I live, where I work and even, to some extent, who I know, are all tied back to the community of people who loved his work.

Pratchett dying is no surprise, but even leaving aside any influence on me from his writing, no one with whom I've never interacted has had more of an effect on my life.
posted by frimble at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


“What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?”

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posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


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posted by thewalledcity at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Embugger it.

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posted by HandfulOfDust at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015


Good Omens remains possibly as one of my favourite books ever, certainly one that made a massive impact on me as a teenager. I've told the story of how Neil signed my falling-to-bits copy a couple of years ago and remarked that it would be nice to have Terry sign it one day too. But that day wasn't likely to ever happen and now it never will.

I knew this would make me sad when it happened, but even I'm surprised at the level of sadness I feel. The world is much poorer for his absence.

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posted by Kitteh at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I am reminded of:

"LORD, WE KNOW THERE IS NO GOOD ORDER EXCEPT THAT WHICH WE CREATE...
THERE IS NO HOPE BUT US. THERE IS NO MERCY BUT US. THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS JUST US.
ALL THINGS THAT ARE, ARE OURS. BUT WE MUST CARE. FOR IF WE DO NOT CARE, WE DO NOT EXIST. IF WE DO NOT EXIST, THEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT BLIND OBLIVION.
AND EVEN OBLIVION MUST END ONE DAY. LORD, WILL YOU GRANT ME JUST A LITTLE TIME? FOR THE PROPER BALANCE OF THINGS. TO RETURN WHAT WAS GIVEN. FOR THE SAKE OF PRISONERS AND THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS.
LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?"

posted by curuinor at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [40 favorites]


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posted by cjelli at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by jeribus at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015


He has returned to the land of the living, for while he walked among us this was a kind heaven.
posted by humanfont at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


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posted by X-Himy at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by sfred at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015


I'm sat here at work trying valiantly not to cry at my desk, and I think I'm losing the fight. I've read and loved PTerry's work for so much of my life and I hope he had a sweet, gentle death and I hope he knew exactly how many people loved him and his creations.
posted by kalimac at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


I know now why we have the dot here on Metafilter. Because right now--and for a while--I won't be able to find the words.

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posted by Inkslinger at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


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posted by ocular shenanigans at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015


But what it is is the phoenix dancing.
posted by aihal at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]



posted by KMB at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...” ― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
posted by edgeways at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [37 favorites]


I was working on an obit post. More than one obvious site I was looking at to link is melting down.

Me, too.
posted by Zed at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by Anne Neville at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2015


ook
posted by adept256 at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


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I will assume he's doing the same thing however he exists now, just as Brutha did: bringing joy and awareness. Small Gods is still my favorite book after a decade.
posted by halifix at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


I first heard about Terry Pratchett via alt.usage.english; he'll always be pterry to me. I don't usually get upset about the deaths of strangers, and I'm sitting here at my computer crying.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


The author of more than 70 books passed away at his home “with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family” earlier on Thursday.
"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said finally. CATS ARE NICE.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2015 [124 favorites]


rips up I ATEN'T DEAD sign

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posted by Halloween Jack at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by deadtrouble at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by stoneweaver at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Going To Maine at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Eideteker at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015


"Death isn't cruel - merely terribly, terribly good at his Job"

This is not unexpected but the blow is not lessened. RIP you glorious bastard.
posted by Ber at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, if you're wondering where to begin in Discworld, here is a handy guide.
posted by Fizz at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


Damn it. This one hurts.

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posted by figurant at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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Having a hard time not crying at work. Mr. Pratchett's wit and wisdom carried me through some of the darkest parts of my (not so long) life thus far. I am literally not sure where I'd be without him.
posted by Polyhymnia at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


'Born of the sun, we travel a little way towards the sun'

my heart is breaking.
posted by boo_radley at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by k_nemesis at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Eideteker at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2015


Fuck.

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posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2015


welp. crying in the library. thank you sir.

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posted by DGStieber at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2015


Hoping that if he finds anything, it's the peace he deserves.

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posted by delfin at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2015


My first Pratchett was Small Gods, received from a friend for my 10th or 11th birthday. It was amazing, the first proper "grown up" book I'd read, but I was slightly embarrassed to lend it to my parents because it had the word "bugger" in it and it was awkward, for some reason, for my parents to know I'd read a swear.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


wow

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posted by evilDoug at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by ssmith at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015


Those books were a perfect and unexpected blend of meaningfulness and buttery smooth consumability. Easier than watching TV while also being unbelievably clever. Excellent craft as well as art. For one author to walk that line so many times was astounding.

RIP, Mr. Pratchett. You did great.
posted by ignignokt at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


I hope this post stays. I think we need a space to gather, to praise, to mourn.

Thank you, Pterry. I found your work much later than I should have done and I will always regret that you weren't there to light the dark corners of my childhood. But thank you for the light, anyway. Goodbye, you brave old sod.

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posted by fight or flight at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alzheimer's disease is a dirty, stinking, sewer-dwelling, flea-bitten, fevered rat (or gerbil).

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posted by Sophie1 at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


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posted by fermion at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by condour75 at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015


Also, remember that his sword is probably still hidden, somewhere in England.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think we set a new Metafilter record for "most & quickest deleted obit posts."

"Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tendency to bend at the knees."

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posted by Lemurrhea at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


All the little angels rise up, rise up...

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posted by WidgetAlley at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by sperose at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2015


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No more words.
posted by gaspode at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by porpoise at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015


John Scalzi (Mefi's Own) shares a lovely story.
posted by zarq at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by shortland at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Small Dollar at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015


So much sadness that he's gone from us. But that is selfish. Wherever he is his mind is clear, his body is strong, and he writes yet still.
posted by by3170 at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by Eideteker at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by bardophile at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015


Oh god, gaspode, you set me off crying and laughing all over again.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Etrigan at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2015


I was okay until I read those last few tweets.


posted by Lyn Never at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


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posted by RainyJay at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2015


1988. I'm doing a term abroad in England, and have arrived two days before the British students arrive. I cannot stand any of the other American students, and so walk down to the local bookshop and pick up some random paperback novels at the Blackwells on Broad St, which I then completely devour in the next 24 hours.

Those books were the first four Discworld books, and the first two are signed.

Oh, Sir Terry. I hope Death was kind to you. Or at least polite. Thank you, for everything.

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posted by anastasiav at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


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posted by Virtblue at 8:55 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by dubitable at 8:55 AM on March 12, 2015


Millennium hand and shrimp.

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posted by Faint of Butt at 8:55 AM on March 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


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posted by dominik at 8:55 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by cjorgensen at 8:55 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by longdaysjourney at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015


I had a post ready, but I was without words. This post is so much better than what I had ready, I am glad I didn't miss a chance to shut up.

Thank you, Sir Terry. I will miss you.
posted by DreamerFi at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by frodisaur at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015


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I started reading Discworld when I was recovering from surgery and all through chemo. When I couldn't sleep because it hurt so much, I read. When I was sitting in that chair, instead of watching the drip, I read. When my wife and I both lost a parent within the span of 5 months, I read. Those books kept me going, kept my spirits up, helped me face what I hope will be the worst period of my life.

I'm so glad the world had a chance to love him.
posted by zrail at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015 [42 favorites]


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posted by Eideteker at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by postcommunism at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015


His coat of arms
Noli Timere Messorem (Don't fear the reaper)
posted by edgeways at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm very sad he had to end, but I'm also very glad he was able to choose his end.
posted by bonehead at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by belarius at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015


oh no!

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posted by valdesm at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:57 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Caduceus at 8:57 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:57 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by raeka at 8:57 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by we are the music makers at 8:58 AM on March 12, 2015


That sucks. I didn't realize the disease was progressing that fast.
posted by smackfu at 8:58 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by drezdn at 8:58 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by LSK at 8:58 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Pendragon at 8:58 AM on March 12, 2015


Buggrit
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posted by sarcas at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


˙
posted by Eideteker at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by lalochezia at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2015


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(if only there was a way for . to be appropriately all caps)
posted by adamsc at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rhianna Pratchett, on Twitter: "To dad's fans - Cherish what he gave us, every book. They are marvellous gifts of laughter, wisdom and empathy. Through them he is immortal."
posted by zarq at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [24 favorites]


When these things happen, I often like to make lists of the surprising things about the person who has passed, because we are all larger than we seem to be to the outside world. Joan Rivers started her college newspaper. Paul Walker was obsessed with sea life.

I suppose what I didn't know about Pratchett is that he loved orangutans and fought for their survival (although was pessimistic about the subject), but I think that was well-known among his fans. Indeed, its hard to imagine there is anything about his life, unless it was very very private, that his fans did not know, because his fans loved him.

We should all go out buoyed by such love, carried away with the well-wishes of millions of strangers. I am so very sorry that his last years were spent battling the worst disease I can imagine for a person of quick, sharp wit and dazzling imagination, but he was always public about it, and knew that he had the support of this group of strangers who loved him, and I hope, at the end, that he knew those invisible hands were still there, still wanting to offer him support, still hoping for another day of wellness, and still wanting to see his passing be easy.
posted by maxsparber at 9:00 AM on March 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by Eideteker at 9:00 AM on March 12, 2015




Ach crivens.
posted by Foosnark at 9:01 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by Lowwen at 9:01 AM on March 12, 2015


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I got to see him at WorldCon Boston in 2004, but alas, I had not fully immersed myself in the Discworld novels by then. So, he was a friendly presence, but I squandered the chance to attend any of his panels or events in favor of other things I was more cognizant of. Alas.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:01 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Cpt. The Mango at 9:01 AM on March 12, 2015


Terry Pratchett on death and deciding:
"I believe everyone should have a good death," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "You know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. Because after all, tears are appropriate on a death bed. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop."
Laurie Penny interviews Terry Pratchett:
So the possibility of young readers seeing their favourite author on television talking frankly about his own death worries him not a whit. “Scaring the kids is a fine and noble thing to do,” he says. “I’m happy to tell kids to prepare for a short life. But it works like this – you can take them through the dark forest, but you must bring them out into the light.”
Terry Pratchett: Shaking Hands With Death: Pratchett's Richard Dimbleby lecture, read by Tony Robinson.
posted by zamboni at 9:02 AM on March 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:02 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Eideteker at 9:02 AM on March 12, 2015


█████
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posted by Happy Dave at 9:02 AM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


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My introduction to his work was waiting in line for something with friends, taking turns reading aloud from Wyrd Sisters. It made the wait so much better, just as his books have made so many other things better for me over the years.
posted by Akhu at 9:02 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by th3ph17 at 9:02 AM on March 12, 2015


The last couple of years have been pretty rough; my mother began to decline, my job situation became shaky, then my mother took a sharp turn downward, I got laid off, and then Mom died (probably of dementia) a week after I was laid off.

One of the things that got me through was listening to a lot of audiobooks, and so I worked through all of Discworld over the course of about a year. It helped a lot, and I think I need to go back now and listen to Stephen Briggs bring Om and Brutha and Vimes and Granny Weatherwax to life again.

Thank you, Sir Pterry. You made a difference.
posted by suelac at 9:03 AM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]



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posted by ubiquity at 9:03 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by tychotesla at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Prunesquallor at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2015


(that was supposed to be a disc)
posted by ubiquity at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I still haven't read his books but have been meaning to because of reading about him on Metafilter. I never read his books and you people have me almost-blubbering here at work.

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posted by marxchivist at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Gilgongo at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Janta at 9:05 AM on March 12, 2015


15:44  ◉ Irssi: Topic: -: RIP Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015
15:44  ◉ Irssi: Topic: +: RIP Terry Pratchett 1948-2015
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posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 9:05 AM on March 12, 2015


“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.”
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posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 9:05 AM on March 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


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posted by Thorzdad at 9:05 AM on March 12, 2015


"And which one is this?" he said. "The truth that is so precious it must be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies? The truth that is stranger than fiction? Or the truth that's still putting on its boots when a lie is running round the world?"..

He stopped, red-faced and panting. "The truth has got its boots on," he said. "It's going to start kicking."

posted by mightygodking at 9:06 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by idb at 9:06 AM on March 12, 2015


> I still haven't read his books but have been meaning to because of reading about him on Metafilter.

I suggest Guards! Guards! as a good place to begin.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 AM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm sure I'm not the only librarian fighting back tears at their desk today.
I discovered him via The Wee Free Men and then devoured everything else. I introduced my son to Discworld and it's been something in common for us even when other issues divided us.
Ook.
posted by Biblio at 9:06 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


The 'previous post' link to "Let's go exploring!" feels like a damn fine epitaph in its own right.
posted by ChrisR at 9:06 AM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


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posted by leslies at 9:07 AM on March 12, 2015


Vimes died.

The sun dropped out of the sky, giant lizards took over the world, and the stars exploded and went out and all hope vanished and gurgled into the sinktrap of oblivion. And gas filled the firmament and combusted and behold! There was a new heaven - or possibly not. And Disc and Io and and possibly verily life crawled out of the sea - or possibly didn't because it had been made by the gods, and lizards turned to less scaly lizards - or possibly did not. And lizards turned into birds and bugs turned into butterflies and a species of apple turned into banana and a kind of monkey fell out of a tree and realised life was better when you didn't have to spend your time hanging onto something. And in only a few billion years evolved trousers and ornamental stripey hats. Lastly the game of Crocket. And there, magically reincarnated, was Vimes, a little dizzy, standing on the village green looking into the smiling countenance of an enthusiast.

- Snuff
posted by Virtblue at 9:07 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by vibrotronica at 9:07 AM on March 12, 2015


THUD

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posted by byanyothername at 9:08 AM on March 12, 2015


¨
posted by Eideteker at 9:08 AM on March 12, 2015


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

Bye Terry, thanks for the cake and all the great books.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:08 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by dogheart at 9:08 AM on March 12, 2015


No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no
posted by tzikeh at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by chaosys at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by jcreigh at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by blurker at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Eideteker at 9:10 AM on March 12, 2015


So many recent deaths and so much sad news among my community lately, this is a hard one to add to the tally. Mort, you're working too hard: you need to take a day off, OK?


(It's a Disc, of course.)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:11 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by Logophiliac at 9:12 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 9:12 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Darken Skye at 9:12 AM on March 12, 2015


And one of my favorites, gnats philosophizing on death, from Reaper Man:

"It must be really good there," said the youngest.
"Oh? Why?"
"'Cos no-one ever wants to come back."

posted by byanyothername at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]



posted by Eideteker at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2015


I've lost the "don't cry at desk" battle.

He made scales fall from my eyes, influenced me in a way so few people has (or can).

I feel like I've just heard a favorite teacher has died.


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posted by seyirci at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by skycrashesdown at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Myca at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by ultranos at 9:14 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:14 AM on March 12, 2015


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What can the harvest hope for, if not the care of the reaper man?
posted by domo at 9:15 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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another small stone for Sir Terry's cairn.
posted by Soliloquy at 9:15 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by SpannerX at 9:15 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Gelatin at 9:15 AM on March 12, 2015


Oooook!
posted by monotreme at 9:16 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by PussKillian at 9:16 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:16 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by hades at 9:17 AM on March 12, 2015


"And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with death."

Terribly, terribly sad news.

I'm still looking forward to reading the whole catalogue to my daughter, and then again to my son. And a few more times, just for me.

Goodbye, Pterry.

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posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 9:17 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
Bugger'm, bugger'm, bugger'm, millennium hand and shrimp.
posted by dannyboybell at 9:17 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


In addition to all of the joys that Pratchett brought his fans, he also gave the world the Boots Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness.

I use the Boots Theory at least once a month, and use it with people who have no interest in fantasy or fiction, who have no idea who Pratchett was, and sometimes who would be repelled by the idea of reading, let alone reading a novel, let alone reading a fantasy novel, let alone reading a comedy fantasy novel.

The Boots Theory is such a perfect descriptor of what it is, that I suspect it may be the longest-lasting bit of Pratchettania.

It is an ongoing gift to me, and hopefully through me to others.

Thank you for everything, Terry Pratchett, but thank you especially for that.
posted by Shepherd at 9:17 AM on March 12, 2015 [75 favorites]


Nice work Terry, you had a good heart.

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posted by asok at 9:18 AM on March 12, 2015


:-(

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posted by zuhl at 9:18 AM on March 12, 2015


         
(_________________________________________________)     
               .'`    `';--.___.-.
              /        /       \  \
             /|         )     oo|  (
             " \         '--' \  |--'
                \     |       /\=\
                 |   /__.|  ||  '.`-,
                 |__|_|  |__||    `'`
                _,.---.---.---.--.._ 
            _.-' `--.`---.`---'-. _,`--.._
           /`--._ .'.     `.     `,`-.`-._\
          ||   \  `.`---.__`__..-`. ,'`-._/
     _  ,`\ `-._\   \    `.    `_.-`-._,``-.
  ,`   `-_ \/ `-.`--.\    _\_.-'\__.-`-.`-._`.
 (_.o> ,--. `._/'--.-`,--`  \_.-'       \`-._ \
  `---'    `._ `---._/__,----`           `-. `-\
            /_, ,  _..-'                    `-._\
            \_, \/ ._(
             \_, \/ ._\
              `._,\/ ._\
                `._// ./`-._
                  `-._-_-_.-'
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:19 AM on March 12, 2015 [122 favorites]


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posted by Otto the Magnificent at 9:19 AM on March 12, 2015


Too many damn dots lately.

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posted by jabo at 9:19 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by evilDoug at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2015



posted by Eideteker at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2015


Ooooooooook.

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posted by hearthpig at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by corvine at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2015


BUGGER.
posted by ocschwar at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2015


Requiscat in pace, Sir Terry Pratchett. I will continue to believe in things that aren't true; how else can they become?

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posted by CancerMan at 9:21 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ook.

He died on his own terms, before the Alzheimer's ate too much of his brain. That's not a bad death. I'd say that he's doing well in the afterlife, but since he was an atheist and didn't have truck with such things I'll just say I'll miss him and his writing.
posted by sotonohito at 9:21 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


The only time I ever "abused" my power as editor at a knitting magazine was to score an interview with him about the Pratchgan. Please ignore that I sound like a nervous ass (I was). I found our initial full transcript, not the edited down version. here you go. We talk about knitting...a lot.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:21 AM on March 12, 2015 [30 favorites]


A friend loaned me some of his books when I was going through a rough patch. Then I found out about the BBC Radio adaptations. Then I watched the TV adaptations. And I kept reading. They all helped so much. I wish there was a phrase bigger than thank you.

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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:21 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


DEATH'S A FUNNY OLD BUSINESS, ISN'T IT?

.

(Laugh! There are infinite universes in which Terry Pratchett didn't exist, and at least seven where he was a milkman, but we got the one where he was a writer. Think of the poor souls who have to drink black coffee tomorrow morning!)
posted by Thing at 9:22 AM on March 12, 2015 [59 favorites]


For Reaper Man alone, thanks Terry.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 9:22 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I read "Eric" when I was 15 and it was a bright spot in an otherwise hellish summer.

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posted by chainsofreedom at 9:23 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by crepesofwrath at 9:23 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Numenius at 9:24 AM on March 12, 2015


It has come to my attention that some people didn't recognize that

_/\_

is a wizard hat, not praying hands.
posted by dmd at 9:25 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by whistle pig at 9:26 AM on March 12, 2015


Rise up, Sir Terry. Rise into the enduring spirits of Granny Weatherwax, and Sam Vimes, and Moist von Lipwig; rise among our thoughts, which are with you and your family; rise in our hearts, in this hour of sadness and in the years to come. Thank you and godspeed.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:26 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by cirhosis at 9:27 AM on March 12, 2015


RIP Terry. I'll sing the hedgehog song for you tonight with a shot.
posted by triage_lazarus at 9:27 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by Jane the Brown at 9:27 AM on March 12, 2015


WORDS IN THE HEART CANNOT BE TAKEN

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posted by C^3 at 9:28 AM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


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posted by Xeiliex at 9:28 AM on March 12, 2015


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Damnit.

I was just thinking that it might be time to start reading "The Wee Free Men" to my daughter.
posted by mogget at 9:28 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


dmd - you're just fortunate you didn't do an ascii wizard's staff, really.
posted by BinaryApe at 9:28 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Farewell. If we shed a tear for each moment of joy you gave us, there would be a bloody deluge.

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posted by hat_eater at 9:28 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I never liked the same Discworld books everyone else does, but I did like them. He was a fine writer, and apparently a fine person, as well. He will be missed.

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posted by Chrysostom at 9:28 AM on March 12, 2015


Death came for him in person, as He does for all wizards. And it sounds like he went on his own terms, which is what he wanted.

Goodbye, Terry, and thanks for so much.

.


On what feels like a really related tangent, I just started working for my local Alzheimer's Society. I'll put a picture of Terry up on the memory wall.
posted by nubs at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by Eideteker at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2015


Ah, man. He brought me some measure of joy. His books made him seem kind, clever, and focused on making life better.
posted by OmieWise at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Schlimmbesserung at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2015


Thank you thank you thank you Sir Terry. I'm crying at my desk at work and I don't know what else to say. I don't think I'll ever be able to bear reading a Last Terry Pratchett book, but I am so incredibly grateful for the ones he gave us.

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posted by yasaman at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by pan at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Mblue at 9:31 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Iridic at 9:31 AM on March 12, 2015


My heart hurts so much. Goodbye and thank you, Terry.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:32 AM on March 12, 2015


I never cry in public. Ever. The one time I did, it was at a party less than two weeks after my mother died and I'd drunk most of my hosts' liquor cabinet.

I am currently standing completely sober on the corner of Electric Avenue in the middle of Brixton, trying my goddamnedest not to start sobbing in front of thousands of people.

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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:32 AM on March 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


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posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:33 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by ChuraChura at 9:33 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by joedan at 9:34 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by dlugoczaj at 9:34 AM on March 12, 2015


"Ye know full well that the meaning of life is to find your gift. To find your gift is happiness. Never tae find it is misery." The Kelda, I Shall Wear Midnight

Thank you for sharing your gift, Sir Pterry.

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posted by cooker girl at 9:34 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by wanderingmind at 9:35 AM on March 12, 2015


.

I haven't read many Terry Pratchett books; I am lucky in that the entirety of the discworld series lies in front of me. But one of his books that spoke a lot to me -- a book I have barely seen mentioned-- was Strata. In it, there are these "Great Spindle Kings, a race of acutely claustrophobic telepaths, who could live only a few hundred per planet and therefore built entire worlds from scratch to accommodate their population." They travelled in enormous single occupant spaceships to avoid telepathic contact. I was quite young when I read this; but it made so much sense to me and made me understand why I felt so peaceful when I came home to an empty house (I grew up in India -- this is harder than it seems). I always thought I could detect other minds. Somehow.
posted by dhruva at 9:35 AM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I spent this whole winter wrapped up in Hogfather and any other Discworld movie I could find as an antidote to a stressful school year. Godspeed Sir Terry, you will be missed.
posted by tatiana131 at 9:35 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ambient Echo at 9:35 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Elmore at 9:36 AM on March 12, 2015


Saw the news when logging into Fallen London. Their banner: "A man's not dead while his name is still spoken." TERRY PRATCHETT, 1948-2015.

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posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:37 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Oh, crap.

I had a stroke this Jan 31. On Feb 1, I woke up, and I had lost all my words. It's been a frightening road to navigate, but I've been re-reading all my well-thumbed Pratchett books, and Terry has been giving me my words back.

I owe him so much.

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I ATEN'T DEAD, and Terry Pratchett will always be in my heart until they put up the sign I ARE DEAD.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:37 AM on March 12, 2015 [91 favorites]


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posted by FireSpy at 9:39 AM on March 12, 2015


Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I don't want him to be gone.

He was my favorite.

Those books have been an enormous comfort to me, at many different times.

.

SQUEAK
posted by ocherdraco at 9:39 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


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posted by darksasami at 9:39 AM on March 12, 2015


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Thanks, Terry.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:40 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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The end of cake indeed.
posted by xorry at 9:41 AM on March 12, 2015


"If you trust in yourself. . .
and believe in your dreams. . .
and follow your star. . .
you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.”

There's gotta be a special reward for people who can make cynicism funny. The world is just so grinding without them.

I thought we'd have more time. I hoped there would be a cure. Scientists, work harder.

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posted by Mchelly at 9:42 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by debgpi at 9:42 AM on March 12, 2015


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Discworld has meant so much to me over the years. It has shaped me into the person I am today. Heartbroken.
posted by cosmic owl at 9:45 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by oulipian at 9:45 AM on March 12, 2015


For some reason I didn't discover Sir Terry until I was almost 50 (the first, Maskerade). Now, 37 books later, I can say this news hits me harder than any ‘celebrity‘ death in years. Speaking of DEATH, it's hard to imagine a more powerful and moving portrayal than Bergman's in The Seventh Seal, but Pratchett did it.

He did prosper, but it would have been nice if he had lived long(er) as well.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:46 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by supermassive at 9:46 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by cimton at 9:46 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by sharp pointy objects at 9:47 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by davros42 at 9:47 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 9:48 AM on March 12, 2015


In high school I was a pretty huge Douglas Adams fan. Read the Hitchhiker's series, loved the TV show, tracked down the original radio dramas, etc. and a friend told me that I would love Terry Pratchett - so, I pick up a copy of The Colour of Magic. And...I just didn't see the appeal. It wasn't until years and years later when Good Omens arrived that my same friend was finally able to break through my idiotic prejudices and get me to completely fall in love with his work.

One of my greatest joys as a father has been sitting down with the boy and reading the Guards and Death series with him. Spending night after night with Commander Vimes, Carrot, Colon, Angua and the rest of them...it's opened up so many discussions about right and wrong, fairness and how to treat people (dwarves, werewolves, sentient rocks, golems, orangutans, whatever Nobby is, dragons, zombies, etc.) right.

Whoa, I've definitely got some waterworks flowing here. You'll be missed Mr. Pratchett.
posted by ssmith at 9:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


He threw his cigar stub over the fence. He heard it land on gravel, which moved a little.

And then he went home. And the world turned towards morning.

-- Night Watch
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


She snatched off the hat with stars on it. It wasn’t a bad hat, for show, although the stars made it look like a toy. But it was never her hat. It couldn’t be. The only hat worth wearing was the one you made for yourself, not one you bought, not one you were given. Your own hat, for your own head. Your own future, not someone else’s.

She hurled the starry hat up as high as she could. The wind there caught it neatly. It tumbled for a moment and then was lifted by a gust and, swooping and spinning, sailed away across the downs and vanished forever.

Then Tiffany made a hat out of the sky and sat on the old potbellied stove, listening to the wind around the horizons while the sun went down.

As the shadows lengthened, many small shapes crept out of the nearby mound and joined her in the sacred place, to watch.

The sun set, which is everyday magic, and warm night came.

The hat filled up with stars….
posted by hades at 9:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


I am sad beyond measure.
posted by dotgirl at 9:49 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Annabelle74 at 9:49 AM on March 12, 2015


For someone who so warmly accepted his own mortality, with such open arms, such to make his life that much more of a celebration, I can only offer celebration of his life in return.

That and an unbearable about of admiration.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:50 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aw dangit. Too soon. A brilliant mind, an incomparable wit.
posted by Wretch729 at 9:50 AM on March 12, 2015


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I am glad I work from home. I was able to get a hug and cry on my spouse.
posted by bleary at 9:51 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I was younger, my parents would use the local library as a babysitter. This was fine by me. It's where I felt most comfortable, with other books. I recall a particular summer when I returned home from the local library with a few books. One of them was Mort by Terry Pratchett. Sadly, I didn't read it or finish it. I think I was more in love with the cover than the words itself.

I returned the book a few days later and I didn't enter into Discworld until my thirties, with The Colour of Magic, which I loved. I kept on putting off Discworld. Not for any kind of dislike. I loved what little I've read. It just felt too big, there's so much of it out there waiting for me. But I think I will pick up Mort this afternoon. It feels like the right time.

I look forward to your words Sir. You will be missed.
posted by Fizz at 9:51 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was probably 12 when I took the heavily battered copy of The Colour Of Magic out of the school library. That means when I read Raising Steam, that's 25 years of Discworld.

It's a thing now that those first books are a bit shaky, but they made me howl and hooked me for life. There's very little else that connects me back to when I was 12, but Pterry was definitely one of them.

Good night, and gods bless.
posted by Hartster at 9:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have had perhaps the most stressful two weeks of my life. Through all the awkward meetings. and phone calls and conversations and arguments and quiet moments, I haven't cried once. I've just been holding it together with a big grey silence. But when I saw is I knew that at last I'd be able to cry, and I am crying ugly sobs. So thank you one last time Mr. Pratchett, you've helped me yet again.

I don't see if anyone else has posted the Agnostic's Prayer, but I will:

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.
posted by bq at 9:53 AM on March 12, 2015 [40 favorites]


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posted by gauche at 9:54 AM on March 12, 2015


I can't rationally explain this but I'm really glad his cat was there and that the cat was mentioned in the reports.

I'm still unable to put my sad feelings into words.

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posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:54 AM on March 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


I don't know how to process this. I mean, we knew it was coming. Many of us hoped that he would get to choose how and when he went (I hope he did). I just can't allow myself to feel what I know I'm going to feel when I have a moment to my self today, and that's a fucking weird feeling. Everyone here is already saying the things I would have said about him (not the specifics, certainly, but in general), and now I'm just rambling, and I'm going to be so sad today and probably for a while to come. How do we do this?

I'm glad his cat was with him. Cats are nice.
posted by tzikeh at 9:55 AM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


This is a weird thread for me because I'm smiling at the quotes and the anecdotes while feeling so sad, like literally a personal level of sad for a man I only met once, at a book signing many years ago.

Here's to you, Mr Pratchett. Your books, I am not kidding, rescued me during my first real serious bout with depression when I was a teenager. Thank you.

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posted by Ziggy500 at 9:55 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


this feeling is too large, i have no words adequate enough for it.

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posted by cendawanita at 9:56 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


WHAT
THE
FUCK
DEATH

posted by tzikeh at 9:56 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've never really mourned over the death of a stranger before, but somehow today I can't help but feel like an old friend has died.

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posted by firechicago at 9:56 AM on March 12, 2015


Oh geez. I'll miss you, Terry. No other author has brought me so much joy for so long. So very very great.

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posted by Jimbob at 9:57 AM on March 12, 2015


I came here as soon as I found out, because I knew I'd be in good company.

I'm a writer, and Pratchett is my biggest influence. His characters are wonderful people, and if I could characters half as well as him, I'd be happy. I could point to so many places in my writing where Pratchett influenced me.

Honestly, there's more to say but I'm at a loss at the moment.

Thank you, Terry. Thank you for all the joy you've brought me.

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posted by gc at 9:57 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


"You know," said Windle, "it's a wonderful afterlife."

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posted by delfin at 9:57 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by JiBB at 9:59 AM on March 12, 2015


I started with "Truth" and then, of course, it was all downhill from there.

"Small Gods" is the one I return to most often, but usually for the last five pages. The last gesture made in that book fills this old agnostic with so much Christian love and charity that I can barely stand it. Thank you, Terry, for so many many things, but a special thanks for bringing Brutha into this cruel world of ours.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


YOU SEE, YOU ARE HAVING A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE, WHICH INESCAPABLY MEANS THAT I MUST UNDERGO A NEAR VIMES EXPERIENCE. DON’T MIND ME. CARRY ON WITH WHATEVER YOU WERE DOING. I HAVE A BOOK.

I am always grateful that I work from home. Today, I am ever moreso, because no one can see me crying except the dogs.

Death's near Vimes experience always cracks me up, though. Thank you, Sir Terry, for everything.

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posted by MissySedai at 9:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


How can I ever thank him for the hours of enjoyment I derived from his writing? I am tearing up
just typing this. Too damn much loss right now and Sir Terry's passing is just the horrible icing
atop an awful sadcake. He was much loved and will be much missed.
posted by Lynsey at 9:59 AM on March 12, 2015


pages and pages and pages of QFT
There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is."

"It's a lot more complicated than that--"

"No it ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts."

"Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-"

"But they Starts with thinking about people as things…"

posted by fullerine at 9:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [31 favorites]




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posted by pemberkins at 10:01 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Leon at 10:02 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by PearlRose at 10:02 AM on March 12, 2015


How do I write an uppercase "."?

:
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:03 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


So long, dear Terry. I fondly remember reading The Color of Magic (Which is not so bad as they say, in my opinion) in the back of my parents' van during a visit to my friend AJ when he lived in Michigan. It remains my most vivid memory of Michigan. I'm glad I got to know your work prior to your demise, even if I never got to know your person.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:03 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


My husband loved him and has read, I believe, everything he ever wrote. His comment:

I'm really sorry to hear this, although not surprised. This world suddenly got a lot less funny. I hope he suddenly materialized in Ankh-Morpork and is eating a questionable meat pie at this very moment
posted by bearwife at 10:03 AM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


anastasiav: BBC: "Despite campaigning for assisted suicide after his diagnosis, Sir Terry's publishers said he did not take his own life." Hmmm.
That has me scratching my head as well. "He did not take his own life" can be interpreted in different ways (e.g., could still be physician assisted). As far as I know people don't exactly die of Alzheimers, they die of things like infected bedsores or pneumonia in the late stages of Alzheimers where they are can't take care of themselves at all. Given he just wrote a book, it doesn't seem like Pterry was that far along.
posted by Emanuel at 10:08 AM on March 12, 2015


As Sir Terry would have said, how a man dies is his own bloody business.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:11 AM on March 12, 2015 [54 favorites]


I'm fairly well read, but I only started to read Pratchett this past year. (I've read five of his since and I am reading one now.)

I thought, where were you my whole life?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:11 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thank you, Pterry, for building a world so full of compassion and joy that some of it leaked over into ours. You will be missed.
posted by tautological at 10:12 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by greenish at 10:12 AM on March 12, 2015


.

Gratias Autem Inridebit
posted by rudhraigh at 10:14 AM on March 12, 2015


Neil Gaiman wrote what was pretty much a goodbye piece not long ago. I think they knew this was coming, whether it was the disease weakening him or just him getting closer to making the choice. But also I think he was diagnosed with something slightly different from Alzheimer's, so it might have had different physical effects.

This news is very sad, but oddly I'm buoyed by his attitude toward this whole thing. We need role models for dying, because it's part of life and it's pointless to flinch from or oversentimentalize it, and it's beautiful that he was willing/able to be that for us.

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posted by LobsterMitten at 10:14 AM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


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posted by lord_wolf at 10:14 AM on March 12, 2015


.

Serious question: Has his Discworld series reached a conclusion? I don't want to start reading a series of books regarding a saga that is destined to remain unfinished because the author died. [Hint, hint GRRM]
posted by Renoroc at 10:15 AM on March 12, 2015


Thank you, Sir Terry. And many thanks to my MF friends for sharing their love of the man with me.

I still think about the bookmark in Banjo's children's book. And why, when I think of all of the characters on the Discworld, can I not escape the idea that I'm the Bursar?
posted by maxwelton at 10:15 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The audiobook versions of Discworld have been my commute soundtrack for years. They were and are a delightful escape from traffic and a tedious job. Thank you, Sir Terry. Sending good thoughts to his wife and daughter. I'm sure they weren't done with him yet but I hope they feel some bit of peace at not having to watch him linger and dwindle, all of them suffering together.

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posted by Beti at 10:17 AM on March 12, 2015


Renoroc: they're not cliff-hangers; each book can stand on its own, although they're best read together.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:17 AM on March 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


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posted by talitha_kumi at 10:17 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by snuffleupagus at 10:18 AM on March 12, 2015


Renoroc, Discworld isn't really a series of books or a saga. Most or all books are self-contained, set in the same world and with shared effects (so like if in one book someone becomes the captain of the Watch, in a new book about a different topic, that person would be the captain). Feel free to read without concern.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:18 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Has his Discworld series reached a conclusion? I don't want to start reading a series of books regarding a saga that is destined to remain unfinished because the author died.

It's not really that sort of series. Each book is its own self-contained story; while there's character development and continuity between books, there's no cliffhangers or anything that needs resolution.
posted by lwb at 10:18 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Has his Discworld series reached a conclusion?

It's not that kind of series. Each book is self-contained, even the ones which are clearly part of a three- or four-book arc. And the last book, Raising Steam, was a kind of farewell tour itself, so I think you could reasonably say that to the extent that the series could ever end, it has.
posted by hades at 10:19 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


She reached the place where four rusty iron wheels were half buried in the turf and a pot-bellied stove stood up from the grass. It made a useful seat.

Silence spread out around Tiffany, a living silence, while the sheep danced with the lambs and the world turned.

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

The words ran through TIffany’s mind as she watched the sheep, and she found herself fill up with joy — at the new lambs, at life, at everything. Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. It’s a feeling inside that can hardly be contained. It came out as laughter.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:20 AM on March 12, 2015 [36 favorites]


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:21 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by quinndexter at 10:23 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Splunge at 10:23 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by BlueDuke at 10:23 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by emilypdx at 10:23 AM on March 12, 2015


"Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you."

Anyone who has read my comments and posts knows that I am a Pratchett fan. I'll happily admit that he is my favorite author, and as I've said before, I hope one day to put together a book derived from the moral philosophies that thread through his books. I believe that there is a cohesive structure that, if distilled, would make an excellent guide to living well.

I haven't because I've always been afraid that people would turn it into a religion.

“Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.”

My most favorite thing about him is his clear love of language. The subtle ways he manipulates it and pulls humor and pathos out of a normally common expression is nothing short of genius. He really was a master of the pune, or play on words.

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”

The first books of his that I read were like an inspirational bomb going off in my brain. Every word of his was better than any word I might have used, but written in such a way that I could see the shape of it. To say that his work has influenced my own writing would be an understatement.

“Tragic heroes always moan when the gods take an interest in them, but it's the people the gods ignore who get the really tough deals”

They say to never meet your heroes because inevitably you discover that those people are really just people and not the perfect beings you have constructed them to be in your mind. I never met Pratchett, but I have read every interview, listened to people who worked with him, and seen his actions, and I am perfectly comfortable continuing to call him my hero. He seemed to be a man who inspired people to do good things, and gods know the world needs more people like this.

"Morituri Nolumus Mori"

I've been dreading this day for years, because I knew it was coming sooner than later. But after eight years, and a clear voice telling the world that when the time came, it would be on his terms, I'm happy to see that he went out with a cat nearby and friends surrounding him.

The Universe: "everything and nothing. And there was very little everything and more nothing than anyone could imagine."

Today is going to be a tough one for a lot of people. But remember, the universe is a big and old place. We are lucky to have been fortunate enough to have been right here, right now, to have experienced this man's amazing work. I am going to grieve, but I will also be grateful for his influence in my life.

"All the little angels rise up, rise up.."

INDEED.

SQUEEK!


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posted by quin at 10:23 AM on March 12, 2015 [35 favorites]


I already have to raise a glass tonight in honor of the anniversary of the death of a family member, so I suppose I'll do it while re-reading The Wee Free Men (and eventually all the Tiffany books). And probably crying.

I'm so glad I have this place, where we can all post quotes and remember him and comfort each other.
posted by kalimac at 10:24 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


An anecdote from happier times: I once met Terry Pratchett at a book signing in Denver. When my turn came to get my book signed, I told him how much I'd enjoyed Wyrd Sisters, especially for the Macbeth pastiche bits, and asked him if he were working on anything else with a Shakespearean theme.

He said he wasn't, but that "...two of the most prominent families in Ankh-Morpork, as you may know, are the Selachii and the Venturi. Well, very loosely translated, they're the Sharks and the Jets..."

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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:28 AM on March 12, 2015 [35 favorites]


Like the wizard wizard he was, he was able to know the time of his passing.

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posted by Muttoneer at 10:28 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by my-username at 10:29 AM on March 12, 2015


God, we knew it was coming, but biggest . ever. :-(
posted by Huck500 at 10:30 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Spatch at 10:31 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Rangi at 10:35 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Ravneson at 10:36 AM on March 12, 2015


My coworker came up to me today and said "I think you're the only one in this office who will appreciate this....Terry Pratchett died." She then proceeded to send out the wrong schedule about four times in a row.

We're all messed up today.

But I'm glad he went quietly--and that he didn't have to figure out exactly when to pull the plug, because god knows that's a horrible/awkward decision to have to make. So good for him on that score.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:36 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jo Walton: Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015, a Reminiscence:
"He was the opposite of the Romantic model of the tortured artist, happy in his personal life, close to his family, and always concerned about the world. He was Guest of Honour at the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon, and he turned down a Hugo nomination at that same con—he’d almost certainly have won, as he was a superstar by then—saying that it wouldn’t make any difference to his career or his life, but it would be a huge thing for everyone else who would be nominated. That kind of unselfish consideration is rare these days, but from Terry it was always natural. At the dead dog party at that con, he spent some time flirting decorously with my aunt, charming her completely. (She had no idea who he was until afterwards, but she congratulated me on what wonderful friends I have. She was right.) He always made time for people, he genuinely cared about humanity collectively and individually."

posted by zarq at 10:37 AM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


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posted by YAMWAK at 10:43 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by joannemerriam at 10:50 AM on March 12, 2015


I happened to be on Twitter when the announcement landed, so I saw that first message from @terryandrob, took a few seconds to process it, and then got a sharp sinking feeling as I realized that yes, it was what it looked like. What a perfectly apt final missive.

I'm sad he's gone - more than I can say - but I'm so glad he went on his terms.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:51 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, a great writer is someone who makes you laugh, cry and think. Pratchett was all that in a bundle that was non-threatening and non-pretentious. You got a clear sense that he appreciated being human and other beings, sentient or otherwise, no matter how oddball or deemed unworthy by others. Very difficult things are easier to read if pterry was on it: economics, history, bureaucracy, religious belief, ethics, pricing and an an insane range of other topics. A sure hand, a wide ranging mind and an incisive focus fueled a range of books. Man, I am going to miss his writing.

God speed, Terry, though you did not believe. I like to think you were open to it, if necessary.

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posted by jadepearl at 10:51 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Requiescat In Crivens


...also: waily (much)
posted by Namlit at 10:52 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ook.
posted by dazed_one at 10:54 AM on March 12, 2015


That Pratchett took the Discworld from a mediaeval romp, through to the modern age in 'Raising Steam' was satisfying and sad at the same time. You could tell he was rounding off his work.

He was fucking marvellous.
posted by Gratishades at 10:55 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.

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posted by mikurski at 10:58 AM on March 12, 2015


No more of his words for the world. What a loss, what a loss.

Thank you.

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posted by harujion at 10:58 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh for fuck's sake. I saw the number of comments and knew there wouldn't be an I ATEN'T DEAD sign this time.

One day I noticed I had read everything he's written and he fit so much wit and charm, so many humane ideas that even when he was treading familiar paths, he was worth reading. When he was developing a theme new to his oeuvre, he was captivating. He shifted his emphasis as time went by and through great books and less inspired ones, no one would say he didn't care. I should at least mention Night Watch, a book about Vimes revisiting his youth only this time having to mentor himself, which is more funny than a book has the right to be, apart from its other charms. One of his last two Tiffany Aching books was very dark and angry, and it was the kind of anger that comes from a good place, anger about injustice and the way we torture each other.

A big thanks for all the words, Pterry. Not many could boast of such wit and wisdom. I'm off to write something longer about the man.

Goodbye, old master of headology.
posted by ersatz at 10:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]



posted by potch at 11:01 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bibliogeek: He went out with his family and his cats by his side. I don't think he could have asked for much more.

Except a couple of decades more of life. :(

Farewell, to one of the most human and humane authors I can think of.
posted by tavella at 11:02 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:03 AM on March 12, 2015


The first thing I ever bought on the internet, in 1998, was a copy of "Carpe Jugulum", from amazon.co.uk, because the book wasn't out yet in the US. I still remember how magical it felt to receive it. This news, while a long time coming, was very sad to hear.

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posted by puffyn at 11:06 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


"But there's still such a lot to be done..."

YES. THERE ALWAYS IS.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:06 AM on March 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


A nice tribute from Dean Burnett in the Guardian.

it sort of feels like you know Pratchett on some deep intimate level.

Immersing yourself in the Discworld books (and others, Pratchett certainly never seemed to rest on his laurels) was like stepping inside his mind, a veritable Wonka’s factory of unhinged brilliance but with cutting social commentary and a strong sense of morals instead of a reckless policy of child endangerment.

posted by glasseyes at 11:07 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


So deeply sad to hear that. I make a run through is Discworld books every few years - they're like potato chip books, once you pick up one you can't stop until you've read the whole set. I can never decide who is my favorite character, he's written so many strong and memorable ones (though Rincewind probably has a place closest to my heart).

I love how humane he is throughout all his books. Humor that lets people be weak and foolish, that points out the absurdities in life, and yet still underscores the strength and goodness in individuals ... Terry Pratchett had some really amazing universes inside of him, and I'm so glad he chose to share some of them with us.

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posted by DingoMutt at 11:07 AM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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He was one of the greatest humorists as well as a profoundly humanist author.
posted by bouvin at 11:10 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm surprisingly devastated, even though I knew it was coming. The first time I met Terry was the early 90s, at a convention at Texas A&M. I'd subsequently run into him a number of other times at other shows, and he always remembered me and seemed happy to see me. (This may be because of my long standing policy of kidnapping people from shows and taking them to nice restaurants to get away from the fans. Heh.) I love his books more than I love any other author's books. I love his characters, and his worlds, and I can't believe he's gone...because that just seems unfair to the world. And yet, Terry said it best: “What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?” Goodnight, sweet genius. Because of you, I'll always remember that it's turtles all the way down.
posted by dejah420 at 11:10 AM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


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posted by Bistle at 11:13 AM on March 12, 2015


It truly feels like my best friend has just died. Thanks for all the awesome Discworld books and the hours of reading and re-reading them. You really did make the world a better place. Sorry I can't think of a better comment to make - buggerit.

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posted by marienbad at 11:14 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by offalark at 11:14 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Mostly Harmless at 11:16 AM on March 12, 2015


The first time I met Terry Pratchett was in 1988 or so, when he was just becoming established as a professional author and I was a young undergraduate helping run the science fiction club at Imperial College. He came to give us a talk and I had the pleasure of taking him out for lunch.

The last time I met him was in 2005, at the World SF Convention that was held in Glasgow that year, when I was very privileged to be the moderator of a discussion panel he took part in (on nostalgia for the early days of home computing).

Many friends of mine knew him far better than that, and I can see from email, Facebook, LJ and Twitter how devastated they are. Sir Terry was one of the most moral writers I ever read; under the humour of his books there was a strong, often angry humanity.

The last occasion I heard or read something that moved me to tears was Sir Terry's Dimbleby Lecture on assisted dying - which was read for him by Tony Robinson, for his illness already precluded Sir Terry from doing so. The last time, that is, before I saw the final tweets sent on his behalf today.
posted by Major Clanger at 11:18 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Terry Pratchett, for bringing so much joy in my life. Your books were and will always be my favorite means of escape from this world.

They say remembrance is a form of living. By that measure, Sir Terry, you are immortal. I refuse to believe that you can ever be dead.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:18 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by newdaddy at 11:18 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by notbuddha at 11:19 AM on March 12, 2015


I am not going to mark this thread as my favorite but this thread is the longest thread I have read in its entirety.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:19 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ouch. This one hurts.

If I'm halfway fluent in English, it's because back in the 90s I amassed a big pile of Penguin Classics and Discworld books. Thank you, Pterry.
posted by sukeban at 11:20 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by bjrn at 11:21 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by picopebbles at 11:21 AM on March 12, 2015


Just here to . I've read a majority of his books more than once, starting first when I was 8 years old. So 20 years of Pratchett. So very grateful for his life.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:22 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by carrioncomfort at 11:22 AM on March 12, 2015


I love the fact that his three final tweets are a perfect little story within themselves:

AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.

Terry took Death's arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

The End.
posted by quin at 11:23 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've talked so much about his work and my chance encounters with him, that I only have this left to say:

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posted by Countess Elena at 11:23 AM on March 12, 2015


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Night Watch
Good Omens

I will never forget.
posted by dudleian at 11:24 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by eruonna at 11:25 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by mayonnaises at 11:30 AM on March 12, 2015


Buggre alle this for a Larke.

I'd read Good Omens years ago but didn't get into Pratchett's other works until recently - and then in a large part because Metafilter kept recommending them, and the Socioeconomic Boots, which is brilliant.

I am heartened that I still have much of Discworld to explore, new adventures with Granny Weatherwax and Sam Vimes, but damnit, this hurts. I may read them as I do Vonnegut, parceling them out slowly, because I fear the day I'll have read them all.

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posted by cmyk at 11:30 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by stanf at 11:31 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Catblack at 11:31 AM on March 12, 2015


Husband texted me the news, and I cried like a baby in the parking lot while I was running errands. What makes this even more sad for me is that the woman who introduced me to his work died from cancer in 2005 (she was 33) and thinking about his death and how she selflessly loaned her entire collection to me so that I could catch up reminds me of how I felt when she died and now I'm doubly sad.

I'll paraphrase/quote from one of our other Pterry Pthreads:

I interviewed him by email for Sequential Tart in 2003, and when I saw him at the Monstrous Regiment book signing later that year and I reminded him of the interview, he replied that it was the best "interview by email" he'd done to that point. *squee*

And yes, Terry Pratchett did give me suggestions on how to conduct the interview due to him having been a journalist and yes, if Terry Pratchett gives you advice on how you how you should interview him by email, you bloody well do what he says.
posted by TrishaLynn at 11:32 AM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Shit.

Terry Pratchett has been hugely important to my life, not just because of his books, but because of the fandom, which I joined in 1998 when he was in the Netherlands to do a book signing at a Rotterdam bookstore. It's there that I first met many of the people who would become friends over the next few years, all people from alt.fan. pratchett. I started going to their meetings the year after, started following the newsgroup as well as the lspace IRC channel.

It was there that I met Sandra in early 2000, where we hit it off immediately because we both liked teasing each other, started talking more and fell in love. She came over to the Netherlands after Christmas that year and what we had online was only reinforced. Over the next few years we visited each other regularly, until she moved in with me in 2003.

That's already more than enough to thank pTerry for, but there was more. At roughly the same time he learned about his Alzheimers, she learned that her kidneys, which had been marginal ever since she'd recovered from cancer in the eighties, were now completely packed in and she needed dialysis and ultimately, a donor kidney. In one of those strokes of luck that you think are destined, I turned out to have the right kind to donate to her.

Sadly however, the aftermath of a year of dialysis, the operation and complication after complication meant she spent the two years after the operation in hospital, but it was during one of the increasingly rare periods she could come home to try and start living a normal life again that his documentary about the right to die aired on the BBC.

That was a documentary that hit home, that upset us but ultimately also gave Sandra the courage to end treatment when it was clear things wouldn't improve for her, as well as me some measure of comfort and acceptance of her decision not to keep up the struggle.

It's been something I'd been wanting to tell him about, about the comfort we got from his books as well as the strength from his own struggle with mortality, that I couldn't find the words for to put on paper or speak to him personally and now it's too late.

Thank you pTerry; you may not have known what you meant to us but that doesn't make your impact any less real.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:32 AM on March 12, 2015 [55 favorites]


The time has come for closing books
And long last looks must end
And as I leave I know
That I am leaving my best friend

A friend who taught me right from wrong
And weak from strong
That's a lot to learn, what
can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon
I would try to make a star
But I, would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir, with love.
posted by markkraft at 11:33 AM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


One day I'll be dead and THEN you'll all be sorry.

-- (Terry Pratchett, 28 Nov 1992, on alt.fan.pratchett)

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posted by NoiselessPenguin at 11:35 AM on March 12, 2015 [35 favorites]


Fuck you, Alzheimers. I needed that brain.

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posted by w0mbat at 11:35 AM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


I wonder if wearing lilac on 25 May would be appropriate
posted by BinaryApe at 11:37 AM on March 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


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posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:37 AM on March 12, 2015


Farewell, Sir Pterry. Thank you for everything.

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posted by tdismukes at 11:38 AM on March 12, 2015


I wonder if wearing lilac on 25 May would be appropriate

I know that I will be. I'd rather continue to commemorate an important date in his universe than the day of his leaving.

Plus, my lilacs really start coming in in early May, so there's that too.,
posted by quin at 11:44 AM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The lilacs here bloom in April. I wonder if I could have some delivered.
posted by agentofselection at 11:45 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've never had more fun with an author. I doubt I ever will again. Thanks for everything Sir Terry.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:47 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by skye.dancer at 11:47 AM on March 12, 2015


"And in 2008, following Terry Pratchett's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, Match It For Pratchett called on fans to wear lilacs on 25 May (the anniversary of the Glorious Revolution of the Twenty-Fifth of May, from Pratchett's Discworld books). " http://towelday.org/faq/
posted by jeribus at 11:48 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by jferg at 11:48 AM on March 12, 2015


I love the fact that his three final tweets are a perfect little story within themselves

They were all posted within one minute of each other, together with a link to the announcement, so that was intentional. Still a perfect little story, of course.
posted by effbot at 11:51 AM on March 12, 2015


All the little angels rise up, rise up.
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up?
How do they rise up, rise up high?
They rise heads up, heads up, heads up, they rise heads up, heads up high!

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Today, we rise up and wear the lilac. We were all there.
posted by chewbud at 11:54 AM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by talking leaf at 11:54 AM on March 12, 2015


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posted by dismas at 11:54 AM on March 12, 2015


I met him at my first sf con when I was young.

There was networked Doom - he shot me with a plasma gun on spawning despite being on my team.

Later at a LARP I had a ton of elephant dung delivered to his mansion.

Thanks Terry.
posted by xiw at 11:59 AM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


ah buggrit

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posted by lonefrontranger at 11:59 AM on March 12, 2015


“You are very clever," said the old man shyly. "I would like to eat your brains, one day.”

― Nation

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posted by keli at 12:04 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by sammyo at 12:07 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by etchogon at 12:07 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by pjmoy at 12:08 PM on March 12, 2015


I have a duty.
posted by casarkos at 12:14 PM on March 12, 2015


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I am not mourning for Pterry, for he found his talent, he shared his talent and he made the world a better place.

I am selfishly grieving for the never-to-be experience of watching how young Sam Vimes or Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling grows up. I am selfishly grieving the reality of never finding out -- however secondhand -- how Magrat, Agnes and Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are getting on. I am sad that my world no longer contains the prospect of meeting my Discworld friends again. Them I had not thought to say goodbye to.
posted by sobell at 12:14 PM on March 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


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posted by Skybly at 12:16 PM on March 12, 2015


The angels can rise up in far more amusing ways.

And don't get me started about hedgehogs.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


One day I'll be dead and THEN you'll all be sorry.

-- (Terry Pratchett, 28 Nov 1992, on alt.fan.pratchett)


Yup.
posted by zamboni at 12:20 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by moira at 12:22 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by XMLicious at 12:22 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by yeahlikethat at 12:24 PM on March 12, 2015


quin: nyone who has read my comments and posts knows that I am a Pratchett fan. I'll happily admit that he is my favorite author, and as I've said before, I hope one day to put together a book derived from the moral philosophies that thread through his books. I believe that there is a cohesive structure that, if distilled, would make an excellent guide to living well.

Related: Terry Pratchett rethought as a philosopher in new study
In Philosophy and Terry Pratchett thirteen professional philosophers survey such key philosophical issues as personal identity, the nature of destiny, the value of individuality, the meaning of existentialism, the reality of universals and the existence of alternative realities. In considering these and many other equally fascinating themes, close reference is made to more than 35 Discworld novels as well as to the ideas of some of history's greatest philosophers including Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and Rawls.
Here's the list of contents from the Indianapolis Public Library's catalog.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:24 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


::sigh::

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posted by droplet at 12:24 PM on March 12, 2015


A huge part of my formative years and current philosophical outlook.

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posted by Scattercat at 12:25 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


About three messages down from the Usenet post is this:

>One day I'll be dead and THEN you'll all be sorry.

Oh no you won't. Your fans won't allow it.



Indeed.
posted by kalimac at 12:26 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by tickingclock at 12:27 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by pointystick at 12:31 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by BibiRose at 12:32 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Sebmojo at 12:36 PM on March 12, 2015


Also, remember that his sword is probably still hidden, somewhere in England.

So, uh, does anyone know any good deals on flights to the UK?
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:39 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by mikelieman at 12:39 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by radwolf76 at 12:45 PM on March 12, 2015


I'm not actually sad because I truly believe that if pt had known his day of death a long time ago it would have changed how he lived his life not a jot and that death therefore had no dominion over him.

My heart is a little full right now, however.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little lives are rounded with a sleep.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


O|E(O|< .....
posted by Atreides at 12:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on March 12, 2015


So many things I've learnt from Terry's books, not least that the million and one chance always comes off. I could feel his books expanding my brain, especially Lords and Ladies and Night Watch. I thought about adding a deep quotation here but I'm going to go with a silly one.

Vimes has been torturing a witness purely through theatricals ("It's ginger beer time!"). '"No! Please! I'll tell you whatever you want to know!" the man yelled.

"Really?" said Vimes. "What's the orbital velocity of the moon?"'

bitter-girl.com, thanks for the transcript. I remember and enjoyed that article.

I'm going to sit with my own cats now and re-read A Hat Full of Sky.
posted by paduasoy at 12:48 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by retinal at 12:49 PM on March 12, 2015


I found Discworld courtesy of this Science Fiction Book Club edition of _The Colour of Magic_ in the early 80s. Rincewind and I didn't really hit it right off (I didn't particularly enjoy him until _Sourcery_), but I'd nibbled at the hook. I kept reading, every book, as they became available in the States. Nibbling, not biting, enjoying them as light entertainment to take the taste of broodiness from reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant out of my mouth.

And, then... _Mort_ set the hook, deep. I was done for. That book was the one that guaranteed I'd keep reading.

And then _Guards! Guards!_ introduced us to Vimes, and I had a new hero.

I kept reading through the Dark Times (let's not speak again of _Eric_ or _Moving Pictures_)...

And then _Small Gods_ exploded my head. That's the one I still use, 20+ years later, to introduce new people to the fold.

He hit another slow patch (at least, to me; YMMV), and then _Thief of Time_ and _Night Watch_ demonstrated how gods-damned powerful his voice could actually be.

I have been regularly reading _Where's My Cow_ to my now-4-year-old since he was Young Sam's age. It might be time for _The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents_.

(Also, dhruva, I'm glad I'm not the only one who's experienced _Strata_)
posted by hanov3r at 12:51 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by Eideteker at 12:52 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Joey Michaels at 12:52 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Fruny at 12:52 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by HypotheticalWoman at 12:53 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Karmeliet at 12:54 PM on March 12, 2015


I didn't start crying until I read the announcement tweets, a few hours after hearing the news.

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posted by Quasirandom at 12:58 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Law of Demeter at 12:59 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Sing Fool Sing at 1:01 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Peach at 1:04 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by leotrotsky at 1:08 PM on March 12, 2015


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As one who shares Sir Terry's atheistic beliefs, let me just say that on the tiny possibility that there is Life After Death, it must, for Pterry, very closely resemble Discworld, where one of the first people he meets there is Douglas Adams (who will probably be trying to build fjords there) and they will begin collaborating on a book that all of us who follow him into the abyss will get to read, and it will be better than anything any Religion promises in the way of 'Heaven'.

Sir Terry's publishers said he did not take his own life." Hmmm.
There is a phenomenon I witnessed myself. After a very serious accident, my 90-year-old father was advised that he would lose the use of his legs, require dialysis and generally have to give up the independence he had prided himself on for his long retirement. Then we had a little talk where he said "well, I really screwed things up, haven't I?" and he soon after lost consciousness, never to awaken. When he passed a couple days later and I was notified, his attending doctor told me "it was kinda strange - he didn't have a heart attack, his heartbeat just slowed to a stop." If my WWII PTSD poster boy father could peacefully die like that, I am certain that Sir Terry could do the same.

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posted by oneswellfoop at 1:08 PM on March 12, 2015 [26 favorites]


The finest compliment I ever received about my writing, was when a reader commented that I sound a little like Terry Pratchett.

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posted by SPrintF at 1:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


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posted by Cog at 1:12 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Shmuel510 at 1:13 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by wintermind at 1:17 PM on March 12, 2015


I am trying to remember a passage from one of the Discworld books, one of the later ones I think.

One character is expressing disbelief that another character could ever feel safe, given that the vast majority of the universe – – all but a fraction of a percent of it – – would be immediately hostile and fatal to life. That it takes some nerve to lie in bed and feel safe, as that represents perhaps the few only tiny spots in all of existence that you wouldn't find yourself dead immediately.

Can anyone remember which book and source the quote for me?
posted by sourwookie at 1:19 PM on March 12, 2015


He had more characters in a single book than some authors manage to have in a lifetime of work. Thank you for sharing them with us: Vetinari, Rincewind, Twoflower, Teppic, Brutha, Nanny, Magrat, Esme, Vimes, Carrot, Nobby, Gaspode the Wonder Dog, Susan, Death, Death of Rats, Tiffany, the Luggage, C.M.O.T Dibbler, Hex, Moist, Dorfl, Ridcully, the Bursar, the Bursar's dried frog pills, Binky, Om, and and and and...

A . on the back of four elephants on the back of a giant turtle, swimming through space.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:20 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sir Pterry gave me untold hours of joy. I read two of his books just this week. Going Postal, a book about second chances. And I Shall Wear Midnight, a book about time, and love.

He aten't dead. Not while we live, and remember. He was one of the best of us. And he still is.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:22 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by darchildre at 1:23 PM on March 12, 2015


What a lovely man. What lovely gifts he gave us. I'm so happy, for him, that he died reasonably peacefully at home, and so sad, for him, that he was robbed of so many years.

Thanks, everyone for all the quotations and remembrances.

A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”
If it wasn't for the fun and money, I really don't know why I'd bother.
"And what would humans be without love?"
"RARE, said Death.”

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posted by theora55 at 1:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Discworld MUD has disabled playerkilling for one day.
posted by squinty at 1:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Buggrit.



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posted by taff at 1:28 PM on March 12, 2015


From an interview in 2012:
[Rhianna] will be a co-writer on the BBC Discworld series The Watch, news of which has had fans like me chewing their cheeks in excitement. Mine may never recover after hearing some particularly exciting casting details that I'm absolutely not allowed to tell you about.

Run by Pratchett's new production company, Narrativia, The Watch will continue the well-loved City Watch saga where the books left off, and Rhianna will be an important member of the writing team. The author tells me that he will be happy for her to continue writing the Discworld books when he is no longer able to do so. "The Discworld is safe in my daughter's hands," Pratchett assures me.

Rhianna has grown up immersed in her father's universe and knows it inside out. Listening to him talking about his daughter, I realise it is the first time I've heard him acknowledge the possibility of not being able to write any more.


So maybe we haven't seen the last of our friends on the Disc yet.
posted by Beti at 1:31 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by No-sword at 1:31 PM on March 12, 2015


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I discovered his writing through Metafilter, and have read over 25 of his books in the two years or so since...
posted by cell divide at 1:32 PM on March 12, 2015


Terry Pratchett in quotes: 15 of the best. Here they are:

The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues. —from Moving Pictures

Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. —from Hogfather

Terry Pratchett, Discworld series author, dies aged 66

I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel. —from the Guardian Book Club

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it. —from the foreword to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy, by David Pringle

Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.

Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it. – from Monstrous Regiment

It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done. – from A Hat Full of Sky

There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.

Terry Pratchett: share your tributes and memories
Read more

The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story. – from The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

Goodness is about what you do. Not who you pray to. - from Snuff

I have no use for people who have learned the limits of the possible.

So much universe, and so little time.
posted by zarq at 1:34 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


From a post in the reddit megapost on Pratchett. No attribution available:
"I would like my pudding now nurse. And then I think I'd like to... write... something... I don't remember what."

Standing in the corner, he waits. The sand slowly flows, but it nears it's end. The old man still glows, as thousands of threads spread away from him.

SQUEAK.

I AGREE. IT IS A SHAME TO SEE HIM THIS WAY.

SQUEAK.

NO. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN.... BUT I CANNOT WAIT TO ASK HIM HOW IT ALL ENDS.

The old man looks up, through them at first... and then he sees them. For once, the smile on the hooded figure's skull is genuine.

"I... I remember you. The anth... ant..."

ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION.

"Yes, that. We knew each other?"

ONCE. AND WILL AGAIN, SIR.

He so rarely said it, and these feelings... remembering his young aprentice, and beloved daughter. The beautiful child they have.

"There... is a girl, yes?"

SHE IS SPEAKING TO THE AUDITORS, SIR. THEY ARE UNWILLING TO LISTEN.

"Well then. You know what they say, two things you cannot avoid. Taxes and..." He looks into the firey blue eyes, and becomes aware.

SQUEAK.

"Quite right. Is it time already? I have so much left to do."

YOU HAVE GIVEN ALL YOU CAN SIR.

"No, not cancer. Alzheimers."

I AM AWARE.

"So, where is the boy? I remember a boy."

CARRIAGE ACCIDENT.

"Ahh. Never much trusted cars. Or horses."

THEY GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.

"Must I?"

SOON. BUT WE MAY SIT HERE AWHILE.

SQUEAK

DO YOU HAVE ANY BISCUITS?

"No. Shame really."

YES.

"Is it truely turtles?"

ALL THE WAY DOWN. I HAVE SEEN THEM.

"Ahh. I would love to see it. Perhaps a small trip before?"

IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE.

"The light is slower there... and there's a monkey...."

ORANGUTAN. SAME PRINCIPLE.

"Yes... will they remember me?"

SQUEAK.

"What was that? I could not hear you."

HE SAYS WE WILL, SIR.

"I never much liked the trouble people had with you. You seem like a nice fellow."

I HAVE MY DAYS.

"Don't we all?"

SOME LESS THAN OTHERS.

"Is it quick?"

YES. AND I BROUGHT THE SWORD. CEREMONY DICTATES IT.

"Ahh. How about a cup of tea?"

I WOULD ENJOY IT. DO YOU PLAY CHESS?

"No. how about checkers?"

And so they sat, two old friends regaling each other, though the old man could not remember all of the details, the cloaked man and his rat filled him in, when it was needed.

posted by zarq at 1:38 PM on March 12, 2015 [49 favorites]


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I met him as a thoughtless teenager, we were skating when a friend showed up to tell us Terry Pratchett was doing a a signing at the mall. A good third of the skate park left for it. I feel that we were probably dicks in the line but he was very kind and signed a skate board that I managed to hold on to for three years at a point in my life when that was unheard of.
posted by fido~depravo at 1:41 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


zarq, stop making me cry.
posted by gaspode at 1:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


"A man is not dead while his name is still spoken"

.::GNU TERRY PRATCHETT::.
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am selfishly grieving for the never-to-be experience of watching how young Sam Vimes or Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling grows up. I am selfishly grieving the reality of never finding out -- however secondhand -- how Magrat, Agnes and Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are getting on. I am sad that my world no longer contains the prospect of meeting my Discworld friends again. Them I had not thought to say goodbye to.

Hear, hear. And Tiffany Aching.

Oh, hey, Discworld story from me: last year I went to a conference and there was a most heartfelt presentation on the Discworld books by a fellow who dressed up like Mustrum Ridcully. There was also a lady dressed as Nanny Ogg (his co-presenter, I believe) with terribly impressive cleavage, and I think there was also a Granny Weatherwax in attendance. We all sang "A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End" and other things like that.

And at some point someone asked how Pratchett wrote witches so well. And Oberon's answer was that he had asked Pratchett himself and Pratchett said those were the kinds of women he grew up with!
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, from lspace:

July 7th 2014: From Terry's Twitter feed: "Just to let you all know, the book that's on the screen in front of us - and is well underway - will be the 5th Tiffany Aching novel."

I'm gonna go cry softly in a corner now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:48 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


oh, and oneswellfoop, I don't know how you managed to paste in a bunch of little turtles, but now I also want to comb Ravelry for turtle/Discworld projects.

The weird shit I think of today.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:50 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by AD_ at 1:53 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Jacqueline at 1:53 PM on March 12, 2015


And the time came to pass, as all things did. And the creator opened his eyes, and looked around. "oh, its you' he said. YES, confirmed the figure. The creator sighed and nodded, absently poking at his own body, like they all did. "I figured it was coming... I was mostly ready. I forgot the laundry, but I suppose it doesn't matter any more" NO IT DOES NOT, said Death. They stared at each other for a while. Finally "well, what happens now?" Asked the creator. And, astonishingly, Death hesitated. HONESTLY, I'VE NEVER BEEN IN QUITE THIS SITUATION BEFORE, he said. I SUPPOSE IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. The creator pondered this for a good long while, and then smiled "I would like to find new worlds to write about!" Death nodded and held out a bony hand. THAT CAN BE ARRANGED, FATHER.

And so they left.
posted by Jacen at 1:54 PM on March 12, 2015 [19 favorites]


I would have loved to see Vetinari abdicate and have Carrot and Moist run for Patrician. That's my Discworld fanfic.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:57 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by PippinJack at 1:57 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:57 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by sixo33 at 1:58 PM on March 12, 2015


I came here as soon as I found out, because I knew I'd be in good company.

Yes, gc, exactly. Thank heaven for MeFites. I don't think anyone I know IRL is a fan of Pratchett's books--their loss. I can't wait to introduce my granddaughters to TP.

I found about Terry's death this morning when I opened MetaFilter, and I couldn't have have a better bunch to people to be with right now. I would feel so much more alone. Thank you all for allowing me to celebrate his life with you today.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:02 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can't find the stats for last year but apparently 1032 girls born in the UK in 2013 were called Esme, up from 158 in 1997. OK, they can't all be named after Granny Weatherwax but it's nice to think that many of them probably are.
posted by tomcooke at 2:04 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by kmz at 2:07 PM on March 12, 2015


It sounds like he died happily, peacefully, in a manner he wanted, and that's all he ever asked for, anyway.

Was fine til reading this thread.

🐢
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I bought the early Discworld books as a teenager (I can pin it down to this), then read a lot of the series via the local library, still miss the thumbed-to-bits copy of Good Omens that I lent out 20 years ago and was lost somehow before it could be returned.

I suppose I grew out of reading them when my life got stacked up with other books, and even the biggest fans would say that some of the books were a bit thin, perhaps because of two-a-year deadlines, perhaps because that's the nature of writing.

The gratitude I have for Pratchett's work, though, is immense. And the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
posted by holgate at 2:10 PM on March 12, 2015


can't wait to introduce my granddaughters to TP.


Are they old enough to wonder where their cows are?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:11 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by eriko at 2:14 PM on March 12, 2015


Terry Pratchett will always be one of my favorite authors. Whenever I recommend him to others, I find myself trying to explain that while his books are generally classified as fantasy, and I love fantasy books, I don't actually think of his books as fantasy. I think of them as clever yet comforting examinations of literary tropes and human error.

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posted by vegartanipla at 2:14 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by Combat Wombat at 2:17 PM on March 12, 2015


Are they old enough to wonder where their cows are?

The grandkids have been chortling about the hippopotamus from the very first time grandma read them the book!

HRUUUGH!
posted by BlueHorse at 2:17 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by Scienxe at 2:18 PM on March 12, 2015


HRUUGH!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just realized I've been meaning to re-read Good Omens ever since the radio play. So that's this weekend sorted. I'm going to take many lingering looks at the signed title page, too.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Soulfather at 2:23 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by C. K. Dexter Haven at 2:26 PM on March 12, 2015


Oh no no no no come on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:29 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Terry Pratchett's books got me through a terrible teenagerhood and getting run over by a car in my early twenties. I never met the man, but the news of his death hits me in my heart. I have cried today and will cry again probably (definitely). I'm glad he went with his family (and cat) around him.

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posted by clavier at 2:32 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sir Terry was Patron of Alzheimer's Research UK, and he started a fellowship in his name in 2010. I was reminded today that he insisted on a single word to be engraved on the trophy: “strive”. Because, you know - science! Science is it's own kind of magic. Unfortunately we lack a wise tyrant who can throw money (and Moist) at a project until it's a huge success, but it helps a bit to know there are people out there fighting the good fight.

To help them along, they've posted this obituary with links to where you can make a donation in his memory.
posted by harujion at 2:33 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


We all knew it was coming, but too soon.
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posted by librosegretti at 2:36 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Hugh Routley at 2:37 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by MelanieL at 2:38 PM on March 12, 2015


I would have loved to see Vetinari abdicate and have Carrot and Moist run for Patrician.

Against each other? This is clearly a job Moist Von Lipwig is more surely more suited for. He just needs a decade or so in politics first.
posted by sourwookie at 2:38 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by From Bklyn at 2:39 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by NailsTheCat at 2:41 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by wires at 2:41 PM on March 12, 2015


She heard him mutter, 'Can you take away this grief?'
'I'm sorry,' she replied. 'Everyone asks me. And I would not do so even if I knew how. It belongs to you. Only time and tears take away grief; that is what they are for.'
- I Shall Wear Midnight
posted by caphector at 2:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by pt68 at 2:57 PM on March 12, 2015


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I am so very sad about this. The world is a darker place without him in it.
posted by sarcasticah at 2:59 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Kinbote at 3:00 PM on March 12, 2015


sourwookie:

That was also in Hogfather.

STARS EXPLODE, WORLDS COLLIDE, THERE'S HARDLY ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE WHERE HUMANS CAN LIVE WITHOUT BEING FROZEN OR FRIED, AND YET YOU THINK A... A BED IS A NORMAL THING. IT IS THE MOST AMAZING TALENT.

(Obviously Death, speaking to Susan, underlining the extraordinariness of it all that we ever can consider things ordinary, I think right after the bit the man of twists and turns quoted.

I sometimes do calligraphy and illustration and letterwork. I've had a sketch of what I plan to do with that exact quote for some years now; it's in the queue.)
posted by seyirci at 3:00 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's a petition. If you have time, sign it.

Death: Bring Back Terry Pratchett
posted by popcassady at 3:11 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


(I wish I had more than a . to give. But that's all I can muster right now. So glad I stayed home from work today... explaining the sobbing would have been difficult.)
posted by kmz at 3:17 PM on March 12, 2015


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🐘🐘🐘🐘
     🐢
posted by b1tr0t at 3:18 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


The mods were kind enough to do some backtagging today. Here's the 34 TerryPratchett posts on MeFi.
posted by zamboni at 3:18 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Wow. I knew there had a been a few posts on TP, but there's plenty more to read. Thanks mods, you're the best.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:24 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by tilde at 3:27 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Gotanda at 3:29 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by disclaimer at 3:31 PM on March 12, 2015


She put her palms flat on the door again and shut her eyes, tried to think her way out
through the stone, out of the castle, and into the thin, black soil of the mountains, into
the air, into the sunlight . . .

The Fool was merely aware that Magrat was standing very still. Then her hair stood
out from her head, gently, and there was a smell of leafmould.

And then, without warning, the hammer that can drive a marshmallow-soft toadstool
through six inches of solid pavement or an eel across a thousand miles of hostile
ocean to a particular pond in an upland field, struck up through her and into the door.

She stepped back carefully, her mind stunned, fighting against a desperate urge to
bury her toes into the rock and put forth leaves. The Fool caught her, and the shock
nearly knocked him over.

...

Granny glanced at the door. 'Good technique,' she said, 'but it's
old wood. Been in a fire, too, I reckon. Lot of iron nails and stuff in there. Can't see it
working, I'd have tried the stones if it was me, but—'

She was interrupted by a soft 'pop'.

There was another, and then a whole series of them together, like a shower of
meringues.

Behind her, very gently, the door was breaking into leaf.

Granny stared at it for a few seconds, and then met Magrat's terrified gaze.

'Run!' she yelled.


--Wyrd Sisters

So this doesn't seem like it was written to be inspirational, but it's the bit of Pratchett that's done it for me. Something about the power of life to dwindle and dim and bide its time, then wake (or detonate, whichever...) back from hibernation when reminded of what it is.

I'd say something similar happens to books, and their authors, when they're read by the right person, and that's about the best afterlife I've ever heard of. Makes most of the hereafters I've ever come across seem rather tawdry. And I bet there'll be some dry, dusty Discworld books waiting around for their reminder for a great long time. We've still got ancient Egyptian sex romps and Babylonian customer complaints, it's not like anybody ever cleans up around here... Bunch of slobs, really...
posted by crake at 3:40 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Well, looks like I'm rereading Good Omens.

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posted by Gymnopedist at 3:48 PM on March 12, 2015


I held it together until I read his cat was sleeping with him. My much-loved old cat was sitting in my lap at the time.
posted by wintermind at 3:59 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by faethverity at 4:01 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by prentiz at 4:08 PM on March 12, 2015


I'm at home, and ugly-crying hard enough to make the dogs worried about me.

His words, via audiobook, have lulled me to sleep many, many, many nights. Thank goodness I still have them. But dear heavens, how I'll miss the man himself.

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posted by Archer25 at 4:16 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 4:22 PM on March 12, 2015


I started reading Pratchett in junior high or thereabouts, and have kept on from there. I had hoped he would have more time, and more time in good health.

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posted by bile and syntax at 4:26 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I only found out about him when, about ten years ago, I had jury duty, and I asked a friend for some reading that would make the time fly by. She suggested "Going Postal", which I picked up from the library and brought with me.

I was in court for a long time that day, but it didn't feel like it at all. I have jury duty coming up in a little over a week, so I think I'll pick up another of his Discworld stories.

Thanks, Terry.
Therry.
posted by not_on_display at 4:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by smangosbubbles at 4:31 PM on March 12, 2015


I have a whole shelf full of Terry Pratchett hardback books. Not quite all of them - not The Colour of Magic or Wings or Wyrd Sisters or Good Omens or several others that are dotted my flat about in paperback - but an awful lot. About forty. They're all here somewhere, even The Unadulterated Cat. After I discovered Pratchett in 1989 and my father found out, the latest Pratchett book became his Guaranteed Appreciated Present For Birthdays and Christmas, though after I got broadband I fell behind, largely because I wasn't really reading books any more.

(I caught up a bit, but still have five yet unread - Monstrous Regiment, Nation, Dodger, Unseen Academicals and Raising Steam.)

So, very curiously, Terry Pratchett and my father are somehow mingled in my mental map. Indeed, when my father was going through his author-bothering phase in the early 90s, he presented me with a signed copy of (of all things) The Carpet People.

One of the odd thoughts I had when my father died last month was that I'd have to start buying my own Terry Pratchett books. One of the odd thoughts I had today was that that problem had somehow neatly worked itself out. There's no accounting for the peculiar things that brains do under stress, is there?

In my father's case, the dying was considerably more stressful than the being dead. For me, anyway. No unpleasant details but there was a point where I realised that if he did pull through this particular, lingering bout of pneumonia, his destiny was going to be as a little old man in a nursing home incapable of anything at all, a simply horrifying idea. Not glad that he died, but glad that he escaped that fate.

Similarly, very, very sad that there won't be more Discworld books for me to buy for myself. But he went out without needing to make that grim trip to Switzerland; cats and family at hand; his final hurrah a trio of beautifully poised tweets. As deaths go, that's a perfect three-point landing that in a perverse way deserves applause.

And now I'll go and see whether The Shepherd's Crown is available to pre-order. Though I might save it for a few years, I like the idea of having it.
posted by Grangousier at 4:37 PM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]




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posted by Ahab at 4:44 PM on March 12, 2015


I suspect, when it comes down to it, that all we really want is someone to tell us it will all be ok. I mean, we all acknowledge that its not fair and harder than it should be and a struggle and sometimes you have to fight genuine Evil, but... win or lose, it WILL be OK. It will be ok. And I think Sir Terry Pratchett did this, for many many people over many years.

And now he no longer can, except for the works he left that touched us all. So, I think we should all do what we can to tell others that it will all be ok... however we can. So take up your knobbed staffs, your hats, your brooms, your battle bread, your lilacs and spoons and hourglasses and rats, your tin cans and library booksack full of peanuts, our towels and cork hats and go forth.... make the world better.

De chelonian mobile!
posted by Jacen at 4:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


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posted by Kevin Street at 4:50 PM on March 12, 2015


I've spent my commuting/jogging/hiking time over the past two years reading/rereading the Discworld books sequentially, via audiobooks. Encountered that way, slowly, with time giving them a shape and direction, it's even more clear how much Terry deserves to be classed among great comic writers like Dickens and Mark Twain. Like both of them, he moved from the sheer fireworks-brilliant humor of his early work to a far deeper and sometimes painfully thoughtful human comedy as he matured.

I puzzled for a while over a donation in his memory--of course the Alzheimer's charities are the obvious thing--but in the end I decided to honor my favorite of his books (Small Gods), the mythos it sprang from, and the desert places, by donating to a tortoise conservation fund.
posted by Creosote at 5:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


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posted by col_pogo at 5:13 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Maladroid at 5:14 PM on March 12, 2015


Words cannot describe how sad this makes me. So much of who I am, of what I think of as justice, of who the person I try to be, comes from him (via Vimes).

Today I penned the only non-factual article London Reconnections will ever run:

A Summary of the Ankh-Morpork Transport Committee Meeting: March 2015

I was worried that people would object. Turns out the opposite is true and this makes me feel both a bit better, and once again amazed at the variety of people whose lives he touched.

RIP pTerry. You helped make me, me.
posted by garius at 5:16 PM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]




SQUEAK

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posted by garrett at 5:21 PM on March 12, 2015


I don't have the words right now; he always did.

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posted by tarnish at 5:22 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a petition. If you have time, sign it.

I'm not entirely sure that's the wisest thing to do.

I CANNOT BRING HIM BACK FROM WHERE HE IS NOW. I'M NOT ENTIRELY SURE THAT HE WOULD WANT TO RETURN. HOWEVER, I CAN ESCORT YOU TO HIS PRESENT LOCATION SO YOU CAN SEE HOW HE IS DOING.
posted by delfin at 5:36 PM on March 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


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posted by Jubey at 5:39 PM on March 12, 2015


dmd: "It has come to my attention that some people didn't recognize that _/\_ is a wizard hat, not praying hands."

I've heard it helps to write "WIZZARD" on it.
posted by traveler_ at 5:43 PM on March 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


This will probably come out all wrong, but... with his words, he created a world that exists inside all our heads. Now he's gone, but that world is still there, and it will outlive us all. I find it remarkable he could do that, and somehow comforting to know his creation will carry on. But I'm no less sad about his passing.

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posted by FishBike at 5:44 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by clockbound at 5:49 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by Otherwise at 5:52 PM on March 12, 2015


He will be missed. Even though we knew it was coming, it's no easier.

Thank you pterry.
posted by biscotti at 5:57 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Iron enough to make a nail,
Lime enough to paint a wall,
Water enough to drown a dog,
Sulphur enough to stop the fleas,
Potash enough to wash a shirt,
Gold enough to buy a bean,
Silver enough to coat a pin,
Lead enough to ballast a bird,
Phosphor enough to light the town,
Poison enough to kill a cow,

Strength enough to build a home,
Time enough to hold a child,
Love enough to break a heart.

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posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:05 PM on March 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


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posted by misterbee at 6:21 PM on March 12, 2015


“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” - Terry Pratchett (with Neil Gaiman), Good Omens
posted by LynnDee at 6:34 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was lucky enough to see him at a book signing half a lifetime ago. He signed mine "To Rory, Still More Wishes, [TP]". Never truer than today.
posted by rory at 6:42 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by puckish at 7:08 PM on March 12, 2015


From Scott Lynch's lovely tribute to Terry Pratchett:

Terry Pratchett can die, and fuck everything for that sentence. Fuck those four words. I am feeling the cracks starting to appear in me now. I’ve lost the mildness and quiet I had this morning. But here’s the point. Terry Pratchett can die, but he can never go away.

Any hapless twit with sufficient fortitude of ass and typing fingers can leave a pile of books to the world, but too many of those books will be disconnected and unrevealing. Too many of those writers will leave nothing but layers of affect and encipherment between themselves and the reader. Terry didn’t leave us anything (despite the obvious depth and subtlety of his work) that needs Bletchley Park to decode. Terry wrote himself… Terry’s books are Terry. They are full of his everything. All his keen wonderment, all his flaying sarcasm, all his brimming love for the cracked vessels we are as individuals and as a whole.

posted by yasaman at 7:25 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


"'Ah, well, life goes on,' people say when someone dies. But from the point of view of the person who has just died, it doesn't. It's the universe that goes on. Just as the deceased was getting the hang of everything it's all whisked away, by illness or accident or, in one case, a cucumber. Why this has to be is one of the imponderables of life, in the face of which people either start to pray... or become really, really angry."

I'm really, really angry.

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posted by xqwzts at 7:29 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


.

Buggerit all the way down. One of the greats and we are poorer for his loss.
posted by arcticseal at 7:50 PM on March 12, 2015


Mister Vimes'd Go Spare!, a lovely Discworld fanfic from a few years ago, seems appropriate to mention here.
The bad news that was travelling tonight damn near outstripped the people carrying it. It felt to Lance-Constable Mangas as though everyone knew this news before it was spoken. By the time it came through the door of the Peristeri Street Watch House, it was already olds. His Grace, Sir Samuel Vimes of Ankh was dead.
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:11 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I cried when I read this. My four-year-old asked me why I was crying, and I told her that someone who wrote a lot of books that daddy loves very much died. She asked what his name was, and I told her. She recognize the name (I've been reading her Where's My Cow? for a while now) and got very upset. We hugged it out.

Sleep well, Pterry.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:18 PM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Them I had not thought to say goodbye to.

Hear, hear. And Tiffany Aching.


Apparently The Shepherds Crown is coming out in September(ish?). Don't have to say goodbye to Tiff just yet.

The fact that there's one more book (from what is my favourite series of his - The Aching books combine the whimsy of his early stuff with the craft of his later work in ways that I really enjoy) means it's hard to think of today as truly final. Plus, I just discovered pTerry was born in the same town I was! I haven't lived there since I was all of 1.5 years old, and I only vaguely recall visiting it when I was seven but still, that's kinda cool. Beaconsfield represent!
posted by Sparx at 8:22 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


We're always quoting funny Pratchett lines around the house. A singular writer, so entertaining and funny and smart.

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posted by Pocahontas at 8:23 PM on March 12, 2015


He passed away "with his cat sleeping on his bed". I can think of no better way.
posted by Maladroid at 8:32 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I discovered Good Omens at the university library when I was about 20. At that point I had one foot in the world of fundamentalist christianity, and the other in the world of something else entirely. I can't say Good Omens influenced my path, but when I found it I was very ready to enjoy it, and I still remember that delicious excitement of having my mind completely blown. After that I started reading the Discworld books, and have been reading and re-reading his work ever since.

I am so deeply sad that he is gone.

I am so deeply grateful that he was here, and for all that he's left behind.
posted by bunderful at 8:33 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]




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posted by drnick at 8:44 PM on March 12, 2015


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Because of him, I'll always fork out a bit extra for a good pair of shoes.
posted by Xere at 8:52 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I had been avoiding this post today, because I spent a solid 5 minutes sobbing at my desk when the news broke on Twitter this morning. I've now been reading for a bit and crying again from all the nice comments.

His books were funny, made me think, and were comforting all at the same time, and they have helped me through some very tough times. I had the great fortune to meet him and listen to him talk/tell stories at an event in D.C. in 2011, and he was a warm and engaging man that made everyone at ease and had us all smiling the whole time.

The world is a little more drab today with his octarine spark fading away, but we are lucky to have had him for the time we did. While your stories will always be there, Pterry, we'll still miss you terribly. Thank you.
posted by gemmy at 9:02 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I just realized that this week involved a birth, a death, an engagement, and my taxes, all in four consecutive days.

It somehow seems like the universe is conspiring to show me every inevitable human experience, the joys and the sorrows and the maddening absurdities, in Pterry's honor.

*Not mine!
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is something I've been preparing for. I'm glad it was relatively quick and easy. He deserved that, at least.

I think what turns people off the first few books is that they are a parody of traditional fantasy tropes. The later books quit focusing on fantasy and began looking at people and life. That's where his most insightful work is.

And Nation. That one has all the philosophy in one place.

Thank you Mr. Pratchett. Best wishes to your loved ones.

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posted by irisclara at 9:37 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


There have been several bouts of super snot-filled ugly crying about this. This man's writing has simply delighted me. I cannot think of another author I would or could describe as delighting me in the way that this one did/does. Because of chronic depression I just normally experience things pretty flatly and enjoyment is really hard to access/locate for me most of the time - there's not much that delights me, ever. During my worst periods over the past 20 years or so...I could always pick up one of his books and find something to feed my brain that would make it feel and think something.

I am sad about his death but that will pass. I think I will always be pissed that the embuggerance took him much too soon, though.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


and there's a monkey...."

ORANGUTAN. SAME PRINCIPLE.


OOK!!!*
*It most certainly is not!!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


The man was to the genre of fantasy what Douglas Adams was to science fiction, except more so. I'm glad to hear that his death was easy, sad to hear that it was so soon.

Mr. Pratchett has passed on the very day of the publishing of my third book. I feel like there's a message there, and that message is that I have to pick up my game, big time. I'm never going to catch up to him in quantity or quality (and I'm not a fantasy writer either), but yeah... you never have as much time as you think you have, and you always have more energy than you think you have. Pratchett and King show that.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 9:49 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I listen to audiobooks to help me sleep the way some people will use a white noise machine, but instead of drowning out noise in the environment, they drown out the noise inside my head. Whenever my life is especially busy and stressful, I go back to discworld to make sure I get a sound sleep.

this sucks

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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:56 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


And Nation. That one has all the philosophy in one place.

I love Discworld and those books will I think always be the ones that make Pratchett a household name, but good Lord, Nation was fantastic. If you haven't read it yet, you are in for a wonderful treat.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:28 PM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


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posted by rogueepicurean at 10:29 PM on March 12, 2015


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posted by aroweofshale at 10:31 PM on March 12, 2015


For whatever reason, I've never been able to get into Pratchett books, even though many people I respect love them and I like similar books. May be time to give them another shot.

In any case, Sir Terry,

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posted by Alterscape at 10:50 PM on March 12, 2015


I came for the . and the tears.

The lovely woman who introduced me to the Discworld also hosted an online game, the internet incarnation of which gave me someone else who dragged me to Metafilter. So I blame you, Internet.

She passed away just a couple of years ago.
posted by arzakh at 11:11 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Iteki at 11:19 PM on March 12, 2015


Turtles all the way down. (This was a blessing in our house.)

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posted by susiswimmer at 11:50 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is the only obit thread I've cried throughout reading the entire thing. Half of my life was spent in his universe, and I am a better person because of it.

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posted by destrius at 11:56 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by crocomancer at 12:06 AM on March 13, 2015


Late to the thread here because I was falling apart yesterday. Sat in the centre of Manchester and cried my eyes out, and got angry with the world for not *stopping*.

I was introduced to Discworld by my mum when I was about 13. By the time I was 14, I'd lost her to pneumonia, and I've always read the Discworld books at least partly in her voice (which is a large part of my voice). This weekend is UK mother's day… I feel like I've lost my last connection to her in some way.

But still… I PREFER AU REVOIR.

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posted by gmb at 12:31 AM on March 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


And of course, there's an obligatory XKCD.
posted by arzakh at 1:11 AM on March 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


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posted by Coaticass at 1:14 AM on March 13, 2015


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posted by SAnderka at 1:28 AM on March 13, 2015


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posted by wrm at 2:07 AM on March 13, 2015


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posted by monocultured at 2:13 AM on March 13, 2015


Ook.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:39 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm so sad and have been all day. My brother tried to introduce me to Terry Pratchett way back in the 80's but it wasn't until I read "Thud" that everything fell into place. I love the Night Watch, I love the allegories, I love the fact that I laugh out loud every single time I read one and most of all I love how fucking clever it all is without being preachy in any way.

And the introduction of the clacks was inspired. How to represent the early days of the internet in Discworld terms, oh pTerry!

There's a lot of books I've got to read: all of the Tiffany Aching's, most of the witches and a shit load of the wizards and the stand alone books. I'll never get to the end because I'll never stop reading him until I croak.

RIP, Sir Terry.
posted by h00py at 2:43 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by neushoorn at 2:49 AM on March 13, 2015


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posted by monkey closet at 3:22 AM on March 13, 2015


This L.A. Times obituary quotes MeFi's own John Scalzi:
Scalzi said Pratchett's ability to combine the ridiculous, like Satan speaking to his earthly employees through the voice of Freddie Mercury in "Good Omens," and satire was an unparalleled talent.
posted by Gelatin at 5:16 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by mediareport at 5:32 AM on March 13, 2015


I met my best friend as a teenager because a mutual friend realised we both liked Pratchett and introduced us. I knew my boyfriend was a keeper when I gave him Mort to read and he loved it. Pratchett's secular humanist take on life was hugely influential on me at a time when I was unsatisfied with the answers I got from my church about good and evil. And I will always look to Nanny Ogg as my guide for how to live life to the fullest.

The ripples will be spreading out and touching the world for so many years to come. I hope his family and friends can take a small comfort in each other and in the impact his work has had on so many of us.
posted by harriet vane at 5:57 AM on March 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


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posted by RobHoi at 6:04 AM on March 13, 2015


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Ook.
posted by deadwax at 6:05 AM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


*sigh*

Middle-aged IT consultants shouldn't get all sniffly and wet-eyed on coming across this news during lunchtime at a client's offices...

Quite apart from missing his wit and frequent wisdom, I find that my internal feeling about the Discworld is that his books were just reporting on what was happening there, and that now we'll have no way of knowing how the place and the people are getting on.

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posted by 43rdAnd9th at 6:08 AM on March 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by Autumn Leaf at 6:09 AM on March 13, 2015


Well, darn
posted by Karmakaze at 6:31 AM on March 13, 2015


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posted by Shoggoth at 6:32 AM on March 13, 2015


Mefi's own Charlie Stross has a nice remembrance of Sir Terry.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:57 AM on March 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by introp at 6:58 AM on March 13, 2015


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posted by floweringjudas at 6:59 AM on March 13, 2015


I can't imagine who I would have become without his books.

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posted by Jilder at 8:15 AM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm looking at the "I ATEN'T DED" sign from my Granny Weaterwax costume right now. And it's a little blurry.

But mostly I feel relief that his suffering is over.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:51 AM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]




Guardian obit, by fellow UK writer Chris Priest.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:48 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by rawrberry at 12:32 PM on March 13, 2015


Ok, secret shame. I've never read a Pratchett book. Partly because I have no idea where to start, but mostly because I think SF/fantasy is serious business and he always seemed to be having too much fun. I can count the number of comedy SF/F authors I have read on one hand (Adams, Anthony, Foster, Brooks, Watt-Evans), and I regretted a lot of these.

So where would one start? Assume co-written books are out for now.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:40 PM on March 13, 2015


start with small gods, and then go back and read them in the order they were written
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's a good reading order guide. Start with Equal Rites or Mort. They're early in the canon, but you can skip the first couple (Rincewinds) until you're farther along. Move on to the Watch series (starting with Guards! Guards!) after those.
posted by Etrigan at 12:48 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Small Gods was my first as well, and you do get a certain frisson of "there are things going on here that I'm not in on" the story itself is perfectly followable and an excellent introduction of how Pratchett's satire works.

But, you could probably pick any of his late-era Industrial Revolution books - Going Postal, or maybe Making Money, and also get a good taste to start with.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:51 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


You also might consider Nation, which is a non-Discworld self-contained book.
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:56 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think anyone's yet linked this two-part discussion between Pratchett and the folklore expert Jacqueline Simpson. One, two. Fascinating to get a sense of how his mind worked and what his influences were. And I hate using past tense in that sentence.
posted by paduasoy at 1:18 PM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pterry, you will be missed.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:55 PM on March 13, 2015


Sorry, first part is here.
posted by paduasoy at 2:04 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Small Gods was one of the first handful of Pratchett books I read, back when I was 12 or 13. I got them from the library and there was Pyramids and The Colour of Magic along with it, but Small Gods hooked me and remains one of my favourite Discworld books (and one of my favourite books in general). Even though we've been left a huge, rich legacy of work, I stil can't help feeling that my twenty years of Pratchett isn't enough. Millions of words shared between the author and this reader - it feels like I've lost a friend.

I don't know who I'd be if I hadn't read those books. They helped me through some of the bleakest times of my life and gave me a way to spend some time outside of my own confused and broken head; without that I might not be around now to look back on those times. I spent yesterday evening reading some of my favourite lines from the books (many of which have been posted here) and occasionally feeling a tear rolling down my face. There's too many to choose an all-time best, but here's a quote from Feet of Clay that sums up a lot of things about Pratchett's work for me:
…and now the golem was among the universe. It could feel it all around, the purr of it, the busyness, the spinning complexity of it, the roar…
There were no Words between you and It.
You belonged to It, It belonged to you.
You couldn’t turn your back on It because there It was, in front of you.
Dorfl was responsible for every tick and swerve of It.
You couldn’t say, “I had orders.” You couldn’t say, “It’s not fair.” No one was listening. There were no Words. You owned yourself.
Dorfl orbited a pair of glowing suns and hurtled off again.
Not Thou Shalt Not. Say I Will Not.
Dorfl tumbled through the red sky, then saw a dark hole ahead. The golem felt it dragging at him, and streamed down through the glow and the hole grew larger and sped across the edges of Dorfl’s vision…
The golem opened his eyes.
NO MASTER!
Dorfl unfolded in one movement and stood upright. He reached out one arm and extended a finger.
The golem pushed the finger easily into the wall where the argument had taken place, and then dragged it carefully through the splintering brickwork. It took him a couple of minutes but it was something Dorfl felt needed to be said.
Dorfl completed the last letter and poked a row of three dots after it. Then the golem walked away, leaving behind:
NO MASTER…
posted by xchmp at 2:16 PM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by NixonNixonNixonNixon at 2:17 PM on March 13, 2015


xkcd nails it
posted by blurker at 3:25 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've always introduced new readers to his work through Small Gods; it is well into his Discworld groove, where he had found the voice he wanted, it takes place before any of the other books, so the only cross character is Death, it is self contained, but provides a nice introduction to the world, and philosophically, it has a lot of moving parts.

It really is one of the most remarkable things.

After that most people get hooked, and at some point I get them with one of my dog-eared copies of Good Omens, because it is so fantastic.

There are a number of recommended reading orders, but I generally suggest reading them in order after Pyramids, and then working back to the first five or six books after you've spent some time on the Disc. Reading them in order has the benefit of seeing main characters who have grown in one book, as background characters in others, and it's neat to see them progress through the eyes of other characters. Vimes is a really good example of this.

I think he really hit is full stride on Pyramids, and just got better from there. The earlier books are still awesome, but don't quite have the mastery he shows a bit later.
posted by quin at 3:31 PM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I figure you can't go wrong with Guards! Guards!, Small Gods, and Hogfather as a tasting menu.
posted by tzikeh at 5:08 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


And Feet of Clay. Man, there is just something about Feet of Clay for me.
posted by tzikeh at 5:08 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


What a gift that he was in the world. Farewell, good Sir.

"Anyway, if you stop tellin' people it's all sorted out afer they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive." -Terry Pratchett, Good Omens
posted by katherant at 5:47 PM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by stoneegg21 at 5:57 PM on March 13, 2015


I couldn't even post in this thread yesterday, I was so sad. Mr. Ruki, always pragmatic, reminded me that this was how Sir Terry wanted to go. "I'm not sad for him!" I said, a little too loudly at work, "I'm sad for ME. I'm sad for the books that won't be written, and that I won't be able to read them!"

He was one of my favorite authors, and I'm on my fifth copy of Soul Music because that was how I introduced my musician friends to the Discworld, and I never got those books back. That's okay, though, because some books are meant to be set free.

The mister and I are voracious readers, and the kid... isn't. But she loves Tiffany Aching and insisted on keeping those books in her room. There aren't many authors she can name, but Terry Pratchett is one of them.

She just told me that she needs a book to read for school next week. I'm off to buy copy number six of Soul Music.
posted by Ruki at 6:28 PM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


"From the sublime to the ridiculous" runs the cliché. But in Pratchett's writing, the sublime and the ridiculous clasped hands in a perfectly synchronised dance. You could never have either alone. It had to be both.

We now know Rihanna Pratchett wrote the final Tweets, including:
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
With all due deference to Ms Pratchett, I find myself doubting the black desert. I think there is a wheat field. I believe it is stirred to motion by winds that one can see but not always feel. The same wind may, at times, cause the occasional flight of cherry blossom petals to snow lightly down on a hillside by a monastery. They form perfect swirls in midair and land in artful, philosophically significant patterns on the eternal spring grass, until. Until at the end of the book, lessons are learned and summer comes, cherries ripen, and wheat swells golden, awaiting the scythe.

Change, Pratchett taught us, is a happier ending than a stagnating "ever after". And there is no coming to fruition without a harvest, lest the crop be left to wither on the branch and moulder on the stalk. What can the harvest hope for-- you know the rest.

So I don't believe in a black desert, though we may feel left behind in one. But where Pratchett has gone, the desert is soon to grow green, to bear flower and fruit, for wherever he has gone, he has taken the best of life with him.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:57 PM on March 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


I rather liked the way cstross's remembrances highlighted Pratchett's character:

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/03/terry-pratchett.html
posted by adamsc at 7:09 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


With all due deference to yourself, the black desert was mentioned in a half-dozen Discworld novels, and I think using Sir Terry's own creation to honour him is much more reasonable than anything she, or we, might believe in. After all, what are we but that which we create?
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:30 PM on March 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 7:31 PM on March 13, 2015


Without getting into a pedantic derail, it is mentioned numerous times that the black desert is a place of transition to wherever you are going next.

So everyone is right, in that it's perfectly reasonable to think that Terry will walk through the desert to find himself in a beautiful place of wheat and cherry blossoms.

And unlike everyone else, I think Death will probably walk with him a while.

posted by quin at 7:43 PM on March 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


God understandably nervous to meet Terry Pratchett

I know Pterry was an atheist but I still found it amusing.
posted by Beti at 10:06 PM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Anhedonic Donkey at 1:07 AM on March 14, 2015


.
posted by eloeth-starr at 2:58 AM on March 14, 2015


.
posted by Fence at 7:05 AM on March 14, 2015


/r/discworld's GNU Terry Pratchet

They're also encouraging people to add it as a header on their servers, e.g.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:14 AM on March 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I always respected and liked how accessible to his fans he was. A great comment on Ars Technica says it better than I.


MarlorArs Tribunus Militum
jump to post
Terry Pratchett wasn't just a great author, he was one of the pioneers of Internet-driven interaction with fans.

"Pterry" frequented the alt.fan.pratchett usenet group for many, many years, answering fan questions, and generally interacting with the community. It was always a thrill when he replied to one of your posts with a witty quip. His posting on the group was, at times, prolific.

That interaction, dating back to 1992, really is unmatched by any author I'm aware of.

Back when I first got an internet connection, I'd make sure I set aside time at least once a week to dial in, fire up my newsreader, and check if Terry had made any new posts on the group. There was a good chance I'd then spend an hour reading through the threads he was actively posting in.

There is a great collection of his usenet quips and quotes at:
http://www.lspace.org/books/pqf/alt-fan-pratchett.html

He was also active on the Thief gaming groups in the late 90s and early 00s. He was a true internet geek well before most authors had realised it was even possible to connect with fans in that way.
1653 posts | registered Oct 3, 2003


For new readers, there is a wonderful (but unfortunately not up-to-date) Annotated Pratchett File. Very worthwhile read-along with his books.
posted by Beti at 10:17 AM on March 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I started with Wyrd Sisters, looked for the other books featuring the witches,and then branched out from there.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:13 PM on March 14, 2015


This news makes me so sad. I have loved Terry Pratchett's books for a long time, and his humor and wisdom have helped sustain me in many hard times. I came across this poem that a reddit user wrote in tribute and it was the first thing that made me cry over Pratchett, but not the last:

The sun goes down upon the Ankh,
And slowly, softly fades -
Across the Drum; the Royal Bank;
The River-Gate; the Shades.

A stony circle's closed to elves;
And here, where lines are blurred,
Between the stacks of books on shelves,
A quiet 'Ook' is heard.

A copper steps the city-street
On paths he's often passed;
The final march; the final beat;
The time to rest at last.

He gives his badge a final shine,
And sadly shakes his head -
While Granny lies beneath a sign
That says: 'I aten't dead.'

The Luggage shifts in sleep and dreams;
It's now. The time's at hand.
For where it's always night, it seems,
A timer clears of sand.

And so it is that Death arrives,
When all the time has gone...
But dreams endure, and hope survives,
And Discworld carries on.

posted by colfax at 12:19 PM on March 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


They're also encouraging people to add it as a header on their servers

Yeah, this is so getting checked into the docker images...


# pwd
/etc/httpd/conf.modules.d
[root@1330534e6f02 conf.modules.d]# cat 01-headers.conf
Header set X-Clacks-Overhead "GNU Terry Pratchett"
[root@1330534e6f02 conf.modules.d]#




# curl -I http://localhost
HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2015 21:51:40 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.6 (CentOS) OpenSSL/1.0.1e-fips
Last-Modified: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:00:47 GMT
ETag: "1310-4fc0a3f32a9c0"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 4880
X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

posted by mikelieman at 2:54 PM on March 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rather than rebuilding all the Docker containers tonight, I ended up adding the header in the reverse proxy configuration.

haproxy ( frontend configuration section ):

http-response set-header X-Clacks-Overhead GNU\ Terry\ Pratchett
posted by mikelieman at 6:22 PM on March 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


And now there's gnuterrypratchett.com.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:33 PM on March 14, 2015


.
posted by Brian Puccio at 9:10 PM on March 14, 2015


One last laugh that I hadn't seen before.

Terry Pratchett: A collegiate casting-out of devilish devices
In 2005, Terry Pratchett imagined for Times Higher Education supplement what the wizards at his Unseen University might do in the face of targets, inspections and research assessment

“Explain to him that we don’t do things, Stibbons,” said the Lecturer in Recent Runes. “We are academics.”

posted by wenat at 5:04 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


GNU Terry Pratchett
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 7:48 AM on March 16, 2015


I just finished my first read of Nation yesterday. I'm really glad this thread finally pushed me to do it, because damn that is a fine bit of writing.
posted by quin at 9:35 AM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Elyse Martin in The Toast: How To Tell If You Are In A Terry Pratchett Novel

(Not in the same vein as the rest of the "How To Tell..." series.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:59 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


 ˙ 
posted by Eideteker at 5:48 PM on March 17, 2015


You are a member of the Seamstress’s Guild. You don’t know how to sew, but you’re being considered for a leadership role if you know what I mean.
I still can't work on a sewing project without saying, "Hem, hem" to myself and giggling.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:18 PM on March 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


I just found this and don't know if anyone else is interested, but there is an actual asteroid named for Terry Pratchett - through NASA, not through that stupid organization that's always trying to sell you your own asteroid.

Anyway, I've never linked anything, but I'll try.


posted by aryma at 7:35 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, that didn't seem to work -

the website is: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=127005

Guess copy and paste will work if you're interested.

I'm picturing Sir Terry gallivanting all over the universe astride his Asteroid 127005! Yee-Hah!
posted by aryma at 7:39 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


ook?
posted by LMGM at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2015


If you want a roadmap for how to escape from escapism, the evolution of the Discworld provides one....Most petty escapism is an escape from–escaping from the horror of real-life war to a world where warfare is noble and justified, escaping from politics to a world where politics is unnecessary. Discworld is an attempt at an escape to–a world where, with hard work and sacrifice and empathy, war could be avoided, political problems could be solved, progress could happen.
Arthur Chu in Thought Catalog
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:54 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Nauip at 2:17 AM on March 19, 2015


Christopher Livingston (notmydesk) wrote a tribute to Pratchett in PC gamer. The article includes a PDF of an interview with Pratchett that ran in the very first issue of the magazine in 1993.

In related news, Elite: Dangerous added a space station in his honor.

GNU Terry Pratchett
posted by gemmy at 11:01 AM on March 19, 2015


A late tribute here shows it's not Turtles All the Way Down, It's Terry All the Way Down.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:48 AM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been out-of-town and had missed this news, like so many others his passing has hit me like a tonne of bricks. I am so glad he was allowed to pass away with some measure of dignity, but the loss still stings.

The day before we left for our trip I was helping my daughter, the book hoarder, clean out her locker. I told her she could not keep all 11 books, she chose to keep a Jackie Robinson biography and the brand new copy of The Carpet People that her school library just got in, so new the librarian had't had a chance to read it. I was surprised to see it, I hadn't thought to start her with that book, it was one I had read when it was reissued, but it wasn't at the top of my thought list. But there my 9 year old was, with her first Prachett book, excited to read something an author had written when they were 17, and I encouraged her plan of writing a review for the school. I admit I am curios to see what her experience is like with the book, I can see it being very appealing to her personality.
posted by dawg-proud at 4:40 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Economist obit
posted by gaspode at 1:44 PM on March 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Neil Gaiman's journal post about his memories of Terry.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:09 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is a ludicrously inappropriate question, but does the form of the poem he quotes at the end have a name? I rather like it (the form the poem's in as much as the poem itself).
posted by Grangousier at 2:38 PM on March 31, 2015


Grangousier, the first stanza is almost a limerick (where the second line rhymes with the end line), with a couplet in between, while the second one is a looser version of the same.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:12 AM on April 1, 2015


does the form of the poem he quotes at the end have a name?

Not as such. But there's a family resemblance to the four-line In Memoriam stanza form, named for a Tennyson poem, and usually associated with elegies.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:17 PM on April 1, 2015


(Sorry about the derail, but it's late in the thread, isn't it? - He doesn't really stick to the form as I'm seeing it, but in the first verse it's closer - Five lines, the first four have eight syllables, the fifth has ten, with the stress on even syllables; Line one doesn't rhyme with anything, but runs on to the first half of line two, which rhymes with the first four syllables of line five, and the end of lines two and five also rhyme; lines three and four rhyme with each other. It's the sort of form that has an unpronounceable name in Latin or Italian, and I'm sure poetry geeks would know. But as I say, he strays a lot from the ideal. It's driving me mad, I'm going to have to go an look it up, though I no not where.)
posted by Grangousier at 3:26 PM on April 1, 2015


Pratchett graffiti.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:45 PM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


More photos of the graffiti tributes here (Daily Telegraph).
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:21 PM on April 4, 2015




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