Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 3, Post 4)********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works and activities of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Wolfiekins
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)
01) QUOTES, CONTINUED
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) TRIBUTES, CONTINUED
04) ...AND THE REST
05) MORE ON "SENDING HOME"
06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
07) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
09) IMAGES, CONTINUED
01) MORE QUOTES
"I carried my father's sword at his funeral. Not many daughters who can say that."
– Rhianna Pratchett
"I believe everyone should have a good death. 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."
– The Author
"GNU Terry Pratchett is not fan graffiti, plastering the author's name all over the public-facing internet – the tribute is invisible unless you know how to look ('view source' on a browser). For a digital literary monument, it's surely much better to avoid the kitsch of a Facebook memorial page. And millions of RIP tweets will soon be lost, like tears in rain. By contrast, the encoding of Pratchett's name into the fabric of the internet seems a fitting modern homage, as though millions of computers were whispering his name, and chuckling softly to themselves."
– Steven Poole in The Guardian
"Terry was kindly, driven and intolerant of half measures. Last year when he, Neil Gaiman and I collaborated, despite his illness Terry was very lucid about the areas where we should not compromise. It was a glimpse into the acute mental discipline that was the foundation of the worlds he seemed to write about so effortlessly."
– Good Omens radio producer Dirk Maggs
"The most prominent connection, but perhaps hardest to define, is Pratchett's influence over PC gaming as a whole, from the people who make them to those of us who just play them. It wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that most comedic fantasy games have been in some way been influenced and inspired by the Discworld novels."
– Christopher Livingston of PC Gamer
"As an educator, I gave Sir Terry Pratchett the greatest honor I could: I never tried to teach one of his works. They weren't made to be taught. Lord of the Flies is made to be taught. Poor Piggy. The Discworld novels served a higher, more personal purpose, to illuminate our world with high humor, and when you least expected it, rake with some unexpected wisdom or altogether unlooked for insight."
– an uncredited teacher on sociopolitical blog Scholars and Rogues
"As we watch memorial after memorial crop up to Terry Pratchett — obituaries, articles, posts plastered over social media — we should remember him for all that he was. Not just one of the greatest fantasy writers of this generation, but one of its greatest writers."
– Margaret Sessa-Hawkins, on The Millions
"Ever since I discovered Discworld in 1989 at the British Library in Delhi, hardly a day has passed that I didn't explore some part or the other of it. It was a like a walk in the evening to meet old friends and see familiar sights. For a small town boy with a chip on his shoulder, these daily visits proved transformative. I learnt to question my beliefs, to laugh at myself and accept people who looked, sounded or thought different from me. The greatest sin, I learnt, was to treat people as things. Thank you Sir Terry. I only wish, the sand would flow upwards in your hourglass."
– Satrajit Bhattacharya
02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
My apologies go to you, O Readers, as I still haven't found time to gather my own thoughts in the bustle of gathering the thoughts of others. So no personal tribute or reviews from me this issue. But they will come. In the meantime...
As Wincanton has been twinned with Ankh-Morpork since 2002, it's about time that it had a properly Discworld-y pub sign — and now it has. Antony Yateman, landlord of Uncle Tom's Cabin, an old-fashioned, thatch-roofed pub that would not look at all out of place in A-M itself, now sports a beautiful sign that references The Mended Drum. The sign was created by illustrator (and Uncle Tom's regular) Richard Kingston of the Discworld Emporium. Mr Yateman said, "I commissioned the new sign, and was hoping that Sir Terry would unveil it himself. Sadly he died, but the sign is now up and serves as a memorial to a great author and character." The pub is located at 51 High St, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 9JU, if you happen to fancy a pilgrimage. To view an image of the sign, go to http://bit.ly/1xK5KCf
Also on the subject of Discworld pubs in Roundworld, The Broken Drum in Blackfen will open for business next Friday, 3rd April 2015. Landlord and Discworld fan Andy Wheeler jumped through all the necessary hoops to turn a disused nail bar into a licenced "micropub" selling real ale, wine and cider. While a certain Librarian might be disappointed by the lack of anything resembling a Barbarian Invaders machine, Roundworld pubgoers will surely appreciate the deliberate lack of
"electronic games, TV, music and mobile phones", a Mr Wheeler puts it: "I now hope to promote locals to relax and converse in a friendly atmosphere with good ale to drink." To read more about the Drum, go to http://bit.ly/1CRq4ne
Multiple donations of €50,00 and £50.00 lead the list of more than 2,000 donors to the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE), the Bath-based nationwide UK charity of which Sir Terry was both patron and care recipient. RICE provides "services and support for people with Alzheimer's disease and other memory problems", and engages in "vital research to learn more about the ageing process, find new and better treatments, and improve the quality of life for older people". The donations page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett/
and the RICE homepage at http://www.rice.org.uk/
The official statement from RICE this week:
"Many thanks to everyone who has donated to RICE in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett, the total raised is now £50,515. We would also like to thank Sir Terry's publishers for setting up the page and for the £1000 donation from Transworld. "
As a tribute on the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, BBC Radio 4 will repeat its fantastic six-episode radio play of Good Omens. The repeat broadcast dates are 6th through 10th April 2015 at 23.30, and then the final instalment on 11th April at 14.30. Don't forget, listeners all over the world can access this programme. For more information go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h
And the ripples that will not fade continue...
– Annie Mac, Editor
03) EULOGIES, TRIBUTES, OBITUARIES...
In the Irish Times, a tribute from Colin Smythe:
"Terry's love of Trinity came about because of the Library's Long Room: he adored the great barrel-vaulted curve of the wooden ceiling which he first saw when he came to Dublin to receive an honorary doctorate of literature in 2008 (on the same day that Sir David Attenborough received his). Terry thought the library was ideal territory for the Unseen University's orangutan Librarian, one in which that great ape would be entirely at home...
"The Library inspired the idea of the cartoon short, The Duel, a battle between two wizardly professors for the same book that came to fruition in 2013. It was a collaboration between Trinity's Animation Hub, the staff and students of Ballyfermot College, TCD, and animation studio Giant Creative. On October 16th, 2013, Terry, Rob and I flew to Dublin to see its premiere. It could suitably be described as a success. Who noticed that the book on the Librarian's desk had its title on the back cover? It proved to be Terry's last visit to Dublin, as his PCA symptoms made it impossible for him to travel, although he was still slowly working at one final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown, featuring Tiffany Aching, which he completed last year, and will be published this autumn...
"Our working association therefore covered nearly half a century. It is hard to look at a future without Terry, his humour, wicked bubble-pricking comments, his amazing inventiveness, his style, the deftness of his puns, and the deep moral sense that pervaded all of the books, without being obtrusive. Time and again readers of his books have told me how their lives had been shaped by them. And every time I finished reading a new book, I did so with a sense of immense satisfaction at having read yet another work by a master, at the tremendous sense of superb craftsmanship he had brought to the book, this amazing skill that produced books that can be read again and again over the years without ever feeling a loss of admiration, and discovering some historical or literary reference or joke that had passed me by on earlier readings..."
To read Colin's full tribute, go to http://bit.ly/1CnlhXj
[Editor's note: at the top of the piece, the headline reads "A tribute to Terry Pratchett by his agent, the man who first published him in 1971". The correct date was actually 1968]
A tribute from Wincanton Window, a news site of Ankh-Morpork's twin town, by John Smith:
"Terry leaves Wincanton a great legacy that will never be forgotten. He will live forever in the minds and hearts of his fans all over the world, but particularly here in Wincanton, being the only town in the universe twinned with the fictional city of Ankh Morpork. Families today will be able to pass down stories to their children about Terry, his books and the famous Discworld Weekends in Wincanton. Maybe someday people will ask about some of the street names in Wincanton, and why they were given those names. After all Peach Pie Street is a perfectly normal street name..."http://bit.ly/1D9ojjK
A superb tribute – with giggle-inducing opener – by author Nick Harkaway in The Guardian:
"[M]y friend said, 'Terry Pratchett lives just down the road!' We'd been discussing Wiltshire as a place to live – my friend had recently moved there... I had to admit the Pratchett connection was a powerful plus. 'Do you see him a lot?' I asked. 'Almost every day. He walks past the bottom of my garden.' 'What's he like?' I asked. My friend sighed. 'Mostly, he's a hat,' he said. 'The hedge is just a little bit shorter than he is, so I see his hat and occasionally an ear as he goes by.' After that, we sat quietly for a while, until finally my friend said: 'I suppose one day, if the wind's strong enough, it might blow off.'
"The man who died last week was possessed of a talent so magnetic that a perfectly rational person would sit in the garden day in and day out, hoping for a meteorological caprice to reveal the top of his head. I never met him, though I have loved his work since 1983, and now I think that will be my enduring image of him: a peripatetic black hat seen over a hedge, like the tip of a very funny iceberg... Reading the news after his death was announced, you could almost have believed that Pratchett was primarily a commentator on the human heart or a revealer of societal insanity. He was those things, of course, but more: Pratchett was genuinely, reliably funny. Even his less funny books were funny. We should add him to that infamous list – pizza, sex and Terry Pratchett. Even when they're bad, they're still pretty damn good..."http://bit.ly/1G6icNO
A heartbreaking tribute from Paul Kruzycki, the Discworld Ales man:
"When Terry Pratchett first met me he didn't know who I was. The last time I was fortunate to spend time in his company, the same was sadly true. Ravaged by his embuggerance, his brave fight was coming to an end and the vicious bastard that is PCA had finally rendered him silent... I'm just a little younger than Terry was when we first met – when he decided not to snuff out an offer to run a Discworld fan convention. Would I feel the same way now if asked to put my faith in an untested, unknown person? Would I put my faith and trust in them? In honour of my friend and his vision, for what remains of my life I will try. I owe Terry a tremendous debt of gratitude. He gave me a chance to shine...
"Over the years we had our moments – friendships do. We fell out, we disagreed and more than once relations broke down with only essential communication via third parties. During those times I missed being able to seek his counsel. A true friendship survives these trials: his capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation was massive. My temperament when younger didn't help, for sure. More than once he gave a way back, when frankly he didn't need to. The generosity of these actions is what I will remember of him most. He really had no obligation to put his faith in me again and again – looking back now as I reflect on our history I can finally understand just what our friendship was. I know a lot of what he felt for me – and I for him – was unspoken. A very British friendship indeed... A generous friend, he was prepared to let me play in his creation and to create ales based on his characters. Others would not have been so overwhelmingly generous. I've had so much fun in his world..."http://www.discworldales.co.uk/
A tribute, with footnote, by Jonathan O'Brien of UK booksellers (and long-time staunch Pratchett promoters) Waterstones:
"I would have been about eight years old and I'd discovered the Discworld through the old 'point and click' PC game. I played the game for months. I loved the world, the city of Ankh Morpork, the wonderful mix of magic and humour, and when I heard that it was all based on a series of books I asked my mum if I could read them. I didn't understand everything in The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. My dad had to explain what 'In Sewer Ants' was and it was years before I learnt why the iconograph kept running out of pink before all the other colours, but I devoured it over and over again. I remember sitting in the car outside school and talking to my mum about Cohen taking pictures of himself standing over his defeated foes. She, no doubt imagining some terrifying scene, said that maybe I shouldn't be reading these books. I panicked, worried that I'd managed to talk my way out of reading more of something I knew I loved. I explained that it wasn't violent but funny and, after about five minutes of non-stop backtracking, I managed to convince her to let me keep reading them... I begged to go to to the [Hogfather] signing at Hammicks. My grandparents took me out of school for the day and we queued for hours to meet him. He was, of course, lovely. We spoke for a few minutes, he signed my book and I bounced around with excitement for the rest of the day. Whoever said you should never meet your heroes had obviously never met Terry Pratchett... As a bookseller it's always been impossible not to come to work and think in some way of L-Space. Terry Pratchett's words and ideas are locked deep inside me and every other person who has read him over the years. I probably owe far more of my personality than I realise to him and his books..."https://www.waterstones.com/blog/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015
A fine obit/tribute by Giles Hardie in th Sydney Morning Herald:
In many ways, all you need to know about Sir Terry Pratchett is this: When he died, his fans launched an online petition requesting Death to reinstate the author. To the uninitiated it might seem tasteless or a sign of mislaid grief. To those in the know, it was a perfectly logical step. Death is a certainty for all of us, but for fans of the author Death is also an ever-present character. Death is a grandfather, a rider of a horse named Binky, a lover of cats, A TALKER IN ALL CAPS and a beloved friend who would at least be approachable on this topic and give it due consideration. Sadly, he did not. Fittingly though, Pratchett's death was announced by Death himself... Such was the magic of Pratchett. He gave Death life. Though this was only one of this literary magician's many tricks. Here was proof that an author must master drama in order to write the best comedy..."http://bit.ly/1BIAW0L
An interesting remembrance from Zoheb Mashiur & Aadiyat Ahmad in Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star:
"He was an enormously successful writer, Discworld alone having sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. Yet this success was hard-won, and in many respects his reader-base has been a steadily-growing cult. Due to misconceptions about what he wrote, mainstream recognition of his work has been slow in coming, and still insufficient. Pratchett was ostensibly a fantasy satirist, which is one of the worst combinations of labels one can have if they wish to be taken seriously.
"Humour is seen as low and dirty in contemporary culture and not worth proper critical or scholarly attention (as an example from another medium, no one has ever won an Academy Award for comedic work). And fantasy as a genre has for the longest time been seen as niche, which has only recently turned around with the success of The Lord of the Rings films, Harry Potter and HBO's Game of Thrones. Yet few discussions of contemporary authors who are culturally significant – authors with a rich understanding of human nature, authors who wrote cleverly – indeed any discussion of contemporary literature would be unlikely to so much as touch upon Terry Pratchett. It is the price of writing about flat worlds on the backs of cosmic turtles... He was no mere summariser of others' work, of course: his gift for seeing clearly into the truth of things was coupled with a humour that was as biting as it was kind. Pratchett understood. Few writers have written so intelligently and comprehensively on the human condition, and even fewer have done so using wizards and dragons. He has demonstrated fantasy's power as a tool for social criticism, and it's going to be some time before the importance of his work fully sinks in..."http://www.thedailystar.net/shout/remembrance/dont-fear-the-reaper-72123
A loving farewell by William Shaw in the Oxford Student
"Pratchett was an immensely skilled prose stylist, with a knack for the comedic turn of phrase and a great ability at assembling silly, yet deeply thoughtful plots. When it came to satire he could give Douglas Adams a run for his money, and he rivalled P.G. Wodehouse for sheer readability. He was, quite simply, one of Britain's finest comic novelists, and his work ethic was such that, even after his death, he still has two more novels yet to be published, the fourth book in his Long Earth series with Stephen Baxter, and the final Discworld instalment... for all their weirdness, his novels always maintain a solid grounding in the material world. Pratchett places his examination and parody of genre tropes and the conventions alongside observational humour about real-world institutions and phenomena... Pratchett was able to balance these real-world concerns with an extraordinary gift for comedy. His novels are immensely quotable – I had cause to quote him in an article just last month – and that degree of quotability is the mark of a skilled and powerful writer whose works stick with their readers. And Pratchett has undeniably left a mark on those who have read him..."http://oxfordstudent.com/2015/03/22/a-farewell-to-terry-pratchett/
On examiner.com, Sean O'Connor offers an impressively comprehensive four-part series on Pratchett's life, works and publishing history, complete with many links (including, on the fourth page, an embedded link to Sir Pterry's inaugural Trinity lecture, "The Importance of Being Amazed about Absolutely Everything"):
Part I: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-i
Part II: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-ii
Part III: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-iii
Part IV: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-iv
In The Times Higher Education supplement, John Gilbey's remembrance:
"How do you judge the greatness of a writer? By the number of copies sold? Awards received? Translations of works into other media and other languages? Or is greatness more than that: the ability of the writer to get inside the head of the reader and paint enduringly vivid pictures of invented places, people and events that are 'real' in every important sense? By any of these measures, Sir Terry Pratchett was a great writer...
"The Discworld universe is huge, deep and complex, and it seems almost shocking that so much fruitful imagination could have come from a single person. I was eager to know how Pratchett did it, and managed to meet him in the summer of 2010 when he spoke at the University of Winchester's Writers' Conference – a riotously funny and insightful stream-of-consciousness talk that captured and enraptured the audience of wannabe Pratchetts. Pratchett already knew that he was on borrowed time, and my timid request for an interview was based on anxious hope rather than expectation, but he gave up a generous chunk of his day to talk with me in a dank student bar about the art of writing, childhood, sword-making, the dangers of bureaucracy and other important things ('Fantastic voyager', 16 September 2010). Then we had lunch, a cheerful dreamlike event with chilled white wine. I'd long wondered if he conversed in the same genial voice that he wrote with, and was delighted to find that he did..."http://bit.ly/1F2Ldbz
A tribute from PC Gamer, written by Christopher Livingston:
"It goes without saying that many connections can be drawn between Pratchett's writing career and the rise of PC gaming. The most obvious, naturally, are the games themselves: The Colour of Magic, the text adventure from 1986; Discworld, Discworld 2, and Discworld Noir, all point-and-click adventures; and Discworld MUD, a text based role-playing game. In 1993, Pratchett appeared on the cover PC Gamer Magazine — the very first issue of the magazine, in fact. Inside, he was interviewed by Gary Whitta about his books and the upcoming Discworld adventure game.
"Pratchett played plenty of games himself. He loved computers in general, and he told PC Gamer he enjoyed games like Wing Commander, X-Wing, and Prince of Persia. He described the addictive nature of Tetris as 'a computer virus which human beings can catch.'... The most prominent connection, but perhaps hardest to define, is Pratchett's influence over PC gaming as a whole, from the people who make them to those of us who just play them. It wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that most comedic fantasy games have been in some way been influenced and inspired by the Discworld novels. Scroll through any gaming forum and you're likely to find passionate discussions about his books and the fervent hope of there someday being more Discworld games. Stroll through any fantasy MMO and you're bound to spot an avatar named Sam Vimes. Rincewind. Angua. Cheery Littlebottom...
"We've made a PDF of the 1993 PC Gamer interview with Terry Pratchett available [on the web page], which you can pop out and download for easier legibility...."http://www.pcgamer.com/a-tribute-to-terry-pratchett/
A eulogy from noted science fiction author Charles Stross:
"I first met him, incidentally, back in 1984, at a British eastercon in Leeds. It was, I think, my first SF convention. Or my second. I was a spotty 17- or 18-year-old nerd, wandering around with a manuscript in a carrier bag, looking for an editor — this was before the internet made it easy to discover that this was not the done thing, or indeed before word processors made typewritten manuscripts obsolescent... Back then, Terry was not some gigantic landmark of comedy literature, with famous critics in serious newspapers bending over to compare his impact on the world of letters to that of P. G. Wodehouse. Terry was earning his living as a press officer and writing on the side and didn't feel embarrassed about letting other people pay for the drinks. And so over the next few years I bought him a pint or two, and began to read the books. Which is why I only got hooked on Terry's shtick after I'd met him as Terry the convention-going SF fan...
"Terry was not only a very funny man; he was an irascible (and occasionally bad-tempered) guy who did not suffer fools gladly. However, he was also big-hearted enough to forgive the fools around him if they were willing to go halfway to meeting him by ceasing to be foolish at him. He practiced a gracious professionalism in his handling of the general public that spared them the harsh side of his tongue, and he was, above all, humane. As the fame snowballed, he withdrew a bit: appreciating that there was a difference between a sharp retort from your mate Terry at the bar and a put-down from Terry Pratchett, superstar, he stepped lightly and took pains to avoid anything that might cause distress..."http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/03/terry-pratchett.html
A hand-copied salvo from Private Eye magazine, by "Bookworm"
"Absent from the many pages of lamentation following Terry Pratchett's death was any expression of regret over the way the same publications had ignored him until recently, let alone any acknowledgement of snobbery or hypocrisy.
"Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s the broadsheet press rarely reviewed Pratchett's books or interviewed him, and literary and media folk (with the honourable exception of AS Byatt) were happy to leave him to their school-age or student offspring. He won only fantasy or children's awards, TV and radio arts programmes avoided him, and mainstream broadcasters' drama divisions were only interested in his kids' books (though Sky began adapting some adult works a decade ago).
"If asked to explain the neglect, the sniffy cultural gatekeepers involved would probably have dismissed him as someone who wrote genre fiction, churned out two or more books a year and, worst of all, was, oh dear, funny; and, as his publisher was the shamelessly commercial Transworld, he lacked the offsetting attraction of his bestsellers subsidising authors of difficult literary novels, as JK Rowling's did at Bloomsbury. Only after Pratchett announced that he had early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007 (and later began discussing assisted suicide) did everything change: at last he was talking about something serious, not silly Discworld!"
[Editor's note: special thanks to Colin Smythe for this one.]
A very intelligent eulogy by Arthur Chu on Thoughtcatalog:
"Pratchett was a bundle of contradictions in his lifetime. He was 'conventional' and 'commercial' in comparison to China Mieville, certainly – his books were wildly popular, and he was wildly prolific, to a degree normally seen only among writers who are actually pseudonyms for several people. Somehow he pushed out an average of two books a year, and his oeuvre, in the 1990s, made up an astonishing 6.5 percent of all books sold in the UK. In the celestial sphere of UK fantasy authors J.K. Rowling is the sun, Pratchett was the moon, and everyone else merely scattered stars. And yet his books matched or exceeded his more 'experimental' and 'literary' colleagues in terms of subversiveness – both of fantasy genre tropes and overall. Philip Pullman made headlines with The Golden Compass for writing a William Blake-inspired children's series where God is the enemy and must be heroically defeated; three years earlier Pratchett wrote Small Gods, a novel about God being turned into a helpless cranky tortoise who needs to learn to be a better God to be rescued.
[Pratchett was] one of the most 'progressive' writers I can think of, not just in the sense of his political positions matching up with what I'd call progressive but in the sense of believing in the idea of progress, of shattering idols and overturning comforting lies, of subverting tropes at every turn... But all this deconstruction and subversion didn't come across as having to eat your vegetables, the way literary fiction often does. And it didn't come across as a bitter, guilty pleasure either, the way people geek out about the horrifying viciousness of 'low fantasy' worlds like A Song of Ice and Fire's Westeros. Pratchett somehow made his progressive, subversive work as tasty a snack as any of the high fantasy he was subverting. Much of that candy coating was humor – the ability to laugh, as he once argued, being our brain's way of extracting pleasure from the otherwise painful process of recognizing uncomfortable truths..."http://tcat.tc/1BBtljE
A rather marvellous tribute, "How To Tell If You Are In A Terry Pratchett Novel" – complete with footnotes – by Elyse Martin on The Toast. Warning – may cause tearful laughter:
"You are a wizard and practice magic. Even tourists who do not speak your language know how this will end: badly for you [urinating dog] [urinating dog] [urinating dog].... You are a wizard and do not practice magic, which means you're in no danger at all of going Bursar.... No matter what country you find yourself in, someone always offers you a cutthroat deal on very dubious-looking sausages in buns... It is a dark and stormy night. 'Bugger this for a lark,' you grumble. 'I don't see why we have to meet at night, and even less why we should meet in a storm. It'd be much more sensible to just lunch at the Ritz.'... You've sung every verse of 'All the Little Angels,' which at first seems silly, but then gains significance until the very question 'How do they rise up?' makes you unexpectedly weepy. Soldiers' songs are alike that way: sentimental with naughty bits in, and sung by voices you hear only in your memory... You've seen an old man of no discernible race calmly sweeping the street. You think you may have seen him before, but, then again, you could just be peering down the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time... You have a pet that has, at least once, turned into a human being... You are a human being that has, at least once, turned into a pet... You see little blue men. You haven't been drinking. They are happy to change that for you..."http://the-toast.net/2015/03/16/how-to-tell-terry-pratchett-novel/
"It's ironic that I have only a vague mental picture of Pratchett, a real actual human, while I can vividly call up images of many of the characters from his Discworld series... No fantasy author but Pratchett would have written multiple novels starring Rincewind, a failed wizard (his hat says 'Wizzard' in sequins) whose main response to danger is to desperately run the other way, a middle-aged alcoholic Night Watchman named Sam Vimes, a seemingly halfwitted but kind young monk in the midst of a horrifying theocracy, or Death, complete with scythe, white horse, black robe, etc.
"Pratchett's books work first because they are funny. Very funny. Laughing out loud inappropriately while reading them on public transit funny. Gripping you with the desire to read the best bits out loud to anyone who happens to be within earshot funny. They work secondly because they are serious... He dug deep into ridiculous comedic characters and found their hard bedrock beliefs. His characters are the pivot points of his novels. They make choices, take stands, try to do the right thing, and thereby save the world, or at least their little bit of it... And then whenever things seem a little too deep, there'll be a rude song about hedgehogs..."http://bit.ly/1MkSSsC
Obituary/tribute from Gwen Ansell of South Africa's Mail and Guardian:
"Pratchett loved the fantasy genre for its capacity to exercise the 'what if?' mental muscle; he called it 'an exercise bicycle for the mind'. He was also an accomplished wordsmith: his prose was crisp and free from redundancy and the clean lines of his sentences often sang at you from the page. That skill made the comic punch much harder, and made cheeky, challenging ideas – for Pratchett was a lifetime rationalist – accessible to often quite young readers who may have picked up the books initially for their funny covers and intriguing opening lines... Long before JK Rowling (a far less elegant wordsmith) and George RR Martin (a far more conventional world-builder), Pratchett got children – and their parents – across the world reading fantasy without shame and with a great deal of loud laughter..."http://mg.co.za/article/2015-03-19-the-word-is-out-pratchett-lives
A thank-you, posted by physicist Nicole Yunger Halpern on the Caltech physics blog Quantum Frontiers:
"Terry Pratchett continues to influence my trajectory through physics: This cover has a cameo in a seminar I'm presenting in Maryland this March. Pratchett set many novels on the Discworld, a pancake of a land perched atop four elephants, which balance on the shell of a turtle that swims through space. Discworld wizards quantify magic in units called thaums. Units impressed their importance upon me in week one of my first high-school physics class. We define one meter as 'the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.' Wizards define one thaum as 'the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal-sized billiard balls.'... Reading about the Discworld since high school, I've wanted to grasp Pratchett's allusions. I've wanted to do more than laugh at them. In Pyramids, Pratchett describes 'ideas that would make even a quantum mechanic give in and hand back his toolbox.' Pratchett's ideas have given me a hankering for that toolbox. Pratchett nudged me toward training as a quantum mechanic. Pratchett hasn't only piqued my curiosity about his allusions. He's piqued my desire to create as he did, to do physics as he wrote. While reading or writing, we build worlds in our imaginations. We visualize settings; we grow acquainted with characters; we sense a plot's consistency or the consistency of a system of magic. We build worlds in our imaginations also when doing and studying physics and math. The Standard Model is a system that encapsulates the consistency of our knowledge about particles. We tell stories about electrons' behaviors in magnetic fields. Theorems' proofs have logical structures like plots'. Pratchett and other authors trained me to build worlds in my imagination. Little wonder I'm training to build worlds as a physicist..."http://bit.ly/1EmKh4h
In The Guardian, Frank Cottrell Boyce calls Pratchett "the equal of Swift":
"He wasn't imagining an alternative universe; he was reimagining ours. His fantasies sit alongside – and are the equals of – those of Rabelais, Voltaire, Swift, Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams. He's surely our most quotable writer after Shakespeare and Wilde. Granny Weatherwax's definition of sin – 'When you treat people as things' – is all you need to know about ethics. So there will be many commentators today bemoaning his lack of literary prestige, but the fact that he dodged the gongs is part of his power. Whereas all my beloved P G Wodehouses and Philip Pullmans are neatly arranged on the bookshelves, my Pratchetts are strewn under the beds, in the bathrooms, the glove compartments. They have shopping lists, takeaway orders and Scrabble scores scribbled on the fly leaves. They were part of life. You could take a random Discworld to the dentist's knowing that you could open it at any page and be transported. A writer with mere literary prestige would not have inspired my 11-year-old to create a Lego tombstone for him. Rincewind is always looking for something 'better than magic'. Pratchett found something better than literature..."http://bit.ly/1HV7jO0
Art Marmorstein of South Dakota's Aberdeen News's tribute is eloquent if unnecessarily pessimistic:
"Lose a favorite fantasy writer and you lose also the alternative world that writer has created — in Pratchett's case, Discworld, the magical land that drifts though space on the back of four giant elephants who, in their turn, stand on the back of Great A'tuin the turtle. As Pratchett, who died at age 66, struggled with Alzheimer's, the door to Discworld began to close and, with his death, that world is gone altogether. Gone too are all the characters Pratchett fans regard as, in a way, their friends. We'll hear no more about newspaper editor and publisher William de Word and his search for Truth — or what's true enough. No more stories of con-man turned civic hero Moist Von Lipwig. Gone too is Sam Vimes, the policeman's policeman who conquers the darkest of dark forces only because of his commitment to, without fail, read 'Where's My Cow?' to his young son every day at bedtime. Time to say goodbye to Susan Sto Helit, the teacher who can stop time, walk through walls, and turn even the most obnoxious student into an avid learner. And it's time to say goodbye to Susan's grandfather, Death, the anthromorphic personification who, strangely enough, often serves as champion of life and growth, doing everything he can to stop the Auditors, the bureaucratic-minded devotees of a static, changeless world devoid of individual personalities. Now, of course, Pratchett fans can always go back and reread the novels, but it's not quite the same..."http://bit.ly/1bDy7Ig
A long, geekish tribute from Matthew Kelly on NZ site Off the Tracks:
"I spent four years at University studying philosophy. During this time I pondered such concepts as whether an infinite universe meant it was logically necessary that all possibilities existed somewhere, whether time stretched backwards without beginning as it presumably does forwards without end, and if I would ever get laid. I blame Terry Pratchett. Like many teenagers of a nerdier disposition, I loved comedy and I loved fantasy. So when friends started talking about this guy who combined the two with a brilliance hitherto unseen, I took a look at these 'Discworld' books. Soon I was chuckling away... Pratchett, a school leaver at 17, saw deeply into the world. His works are crammed with intellectual nuances, sometimes light, sometimes profound, that seep into your brain, challenging, provoking thought. Small Gods is perhaps the most noted in this respect, but across the novels this occurs – the character of Vimes for example is a longform examination of the conflict between moral relativism and absolutism. You might roll your eyes, but read the Watch books with that in mind and see how you feel after. Politics students could do worse than to study the character of the Patrician, leader of the Discworld's largest city, who is at once cruel and wise. His management of people is fascinating, as Pratchett delves into the complexities of the relationships between what is 'right' and what is pragmatic. And all this without mentioning Pratchett's numerous excellent non-Discworld books; Good Omens, Nation, The Bromeliad and more, all showcasing an author of boundless wit and invention stretching out and taking a fresh angle on things, never settling down into mundanity, age and infirmity be damned. Pratchett is gone now, but his humour and his quest for truth and life-principles based on consideration rather than conceit stays with me...."http://bit.ly/1F7zt7O
A salute from Tallulah Me Grey in the Queensland, Australia-based Morning Bulletin:
"Pratchett's anthropomorphic personification of Death is one of the most human and loveable characters I have read. He loves and feels with more soul than most heroes of literature. He rages with a quiet power rarely seen outside Pratchett's writing... I like to think that Pratchett, like his Cohen the Barbarian, less than politely ignored Death and left to explore the universe. Although, if ever a man could greet Death as an old friend, it would be Sir Terry..."http://bit.ly/1DhGghD
And one from Shannon Anderson, Arts and Culture Editor of The Argus campus newspaper of Canadian university Lakehead:
"My first experience reading Terry Pratchett was at the age of perhaps nine or ten, when I spent an entire afternoon on my grandmother's chesterfield crying with laughter at The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. My father's copy of Good Omens (co-authored with a young Neil Gaiman) found me sometime around grade eight or nine, and I spent many happy afternoons and evenings in later high school and early college taking turns reading the Discworld series aloud with my boyfriend... Terry Pratchett's fiction was an examination of human grace and fallibility wrapped up in neatly absurd packages of story. The cliches of fantasy and the creative freedom of fiction allowed him free reign[sic] in to dabble in interests ranging from natural history and mythology to astronomy and neuroscience..."http://www.theargus.ca/index.php/archives/17805( THE REST OF THIS ISSUE IS UNDER THE CUT. CLICK HERE TO READ )