wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Terence David John Pratchett was born. The world will forever be better for his having been in it.

~ raises a toast~

wossname: cropped photo of Paul Kidby's stunning Pratchett sculpt (Kidby's Pterry bust)
From the BBC:

   "A bronze bust of Sir Terry Pratchett has been unveiled ahead of plans to install a 7ft (2.1m) statue of the author in Salisbury, Wiltshire. It was created by Paul Kidby, who illustrated Sir Terry's Discworld novels, before his death in 2015. The statue of the author, who lived locally, is due to be erected in the marketplace or Elizabeth Gardens. Mr Kidby said getting his expression right so 'he's not unhappy' but 'not smiling too much' was the hardest part. Plans for a larger than life-sized bronze statue of the author were backed by the city council following an online campaign for a permanent "tribute to Sir Terry" in the city.

   "Mr Kidby said it had been 'scary' creating a tribute to Sir Terry that his fans and family would 'be pleased with'. 'You don't want it to be too stuffy or too haughty – you want it to be quite human and, I suppose, approachable and people to be drawn to it,' he said. 'But the feedback's been positive and Terry's family are happy with what I've done so that's wonderful.' The next stage is to make a small maquette or model of the author, with the possible addition of a few 'hidden' extras. 'It would be nice to make it as intriguing as possible, so if you haven't read any of Terry's books it makes you want to know more,' said Mr Kidby. 'And it would be lovely just to sneak a few of his characters in – maybe in his pocket.'..."


wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
On the Overhead. Never forgotten.

Original art for Wossname by Tricia Ave, 2015
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
It's black, not blue, but it is halfway up a wall...

From the official Buckinghamshire website:

"A plaque honouring Sir Terry Pratchett has been unveiled at Beaconsfield Library, where the late author once worked. The plaque, which was commissioned by Beaconsfield Town Council, was unveiled by Sir Terry's daughter Rhianna and Business Manager Rob Wilkins, alongside Mayor Patrick Hogan today (Tuesday, March 7)... Councillor Philip Bastiman, Chairman of the Open Spaces Committee at Beaconsfield Town Council, said: 'It is only right that there is a permanent celebration of Sir Terry in the town where he was born, and what better place than at the library which first sparked his amazing imagination. The town council is proud to have commissioned this plaque commemorating one of Beaconsfield's most famous sons.'..."


From the Bucks Free Press:

"A commemorative plaque, unveiled by Sir Terry’s daughter Rhianna, now sits proudly outside the library where the fantasy writer was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks. Ms Pratchett, who is an award-winning scriptwriter, story designer and narrative paramedic, spoke to the Bucks Free Press about the honour, saying it was “wonderful” to see her dad commemorated at the library where 'the Terry Pratchett was born.' She said: 'He's always loved libraries, and librarians, a lot so it's very, very fitting. It feels like even more significant than having it, say, in the house that he was born in. This is where he got his education, where the ideas, the interest in the world and the love of reading took off.' ... Speaking about growing up with her father, Ms Pratchett, who studied journalism at university, said he instilled a love of books and reading into her from an early age. She said: 'I spent a lot of time in the library reading and I was always reading library books up trees. It's wonderful to see his legacy continuing long after his death. The ripples he left in the world – one of the quotes from his book was "a man is not dead while his name is still spoken", and it feels like he's very much alive and present in the world.'..."

[NOTE: includes a video of the unveiling, plus a gallery of 39 iconographs]


wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Today millions of us are celebrating the birth of the incomparable, irreplaceable Sir Terry Pratchett. Speak his name. Remember him always. Keep him in the Overhead. But please don't wish him a 'happy birthday', because the only person truly qualified to do that is the fellow who TALKS LIKE THIS...

Here be a small selection of some of my favourite Pterry iconographs - some harvested from the Clacks, some sent to me by Newshounds. I think the lovely father-and-daughter one comes from Stephen Briggs' collection. Anyone? Otherwise, provenance given where known.

Thank you Terry Pratchett, for the years you gave to our world – even though they were far too few – and for the world you gave to our world. For your imagination. For your supreme talent as a seamless remixer of 'phrase and fable'. For turning the dreaded-by-all-students footnote into something to love and cherish. For your uncompromising worldview and stealth philosophy. For deathless words, for brave words about dying, and for the words of Death. And most of all, for creating characters who, to paraphrase Mistress Weatherwax, look (and feel) more like real people than real people.

Sir Terence David John Pratchett, 28th April 1948-12th March 2015. Gone but never, ever forgotten.

Professor and Blackboard Monitor!

At Secret Garden animal rescue sanctuary


Knighted by the real Quin

ISWM midnight signing, Waterstones, London

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 3, Post 1)

WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works 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.






"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. AS Byatt said in her tribute that 'No writer in my lifetime has given me as much pleasure and happiness'. I wholeheartedly endorse that."

   – Colin Smythe, in his tribute in the Irish Times, 2015

"Anyone who has read one of Terry's novels will know how he could spin the most beautiful sentences and make his craft look effortless – it was what made him such a huge success. Now he was using that talent not for another piece of fiction, not for his own benefit at all, but to deal with a very real issue that we are all, at some point in our futures, going to have to face."

   – Rob Wilkins, in his introduction to the published transcript of Shaking Hands with Death



   Today marks the first anniversary of the day Sir Terry Pratchett died.

   Some months ago, I said in an editorial here that I refused to mourn his passing, preferring to only celebrate his life and work. That remains true to this day, but I have to admit that in an ideal world I would have wished for a different outcome. I would have wished, in an ideal world, that PCA had never taken my favourite author's brain in its horrible grip. I would have wished, in an ideal world, that he live to a grand old age, a productive old age, such as the ninety-three years achieved by PG Wodehouse, that luminous yet far lesser talent to whom Sir Terry's writing was often compared. I would rather he'd had the opportunity to lead us at a more relaxed pace through the social and technological changes of the Discworld, without the ever-growing spectre of memory and processing loss looming over his shoulder. In an ideal world, he would still be with us, still entertaining and educating us with the magical-in-all-ways worlds he created. But our world is not ideal, and that's not the way it happened.

   It is customary in many parts of our world to mark certain anniversaries with a minute or two of silence, in order to pay respects. For Terry Pratchett, I suggest we show our respect doing the opposite, in ways of which he would have heartily approved. Make two minutes, not of silence, but of joyful noise. Read a Tiffany Aching book aloud in your best Nac Mac Feegle accent. Torment your nearest and dearest with ridiculous pun(n)(e)s***. Consider the wisdom of Granny Weatherwax, Pastor Oats, Lord Vetinari, Solomon Cohen, or Mau of the Nation. Turn a workmate or neighbour on to the works of Pratchett. And most of all, remember that Terence David John Pratchett, like so many of his creations, left the world a better place than he found it.

– Annie Mac, Editor

*** e.g. "What do you call it when two Fools divorce but can't decide who gets the children? A custardy battle!"




...for a new video:

   "We are collecting fan tributes to create a video celebrating what Terry meant to his readers. If you’d like to be included, simply film a short clip of yourself (landscape) holding up, on a piece of plain paper, one or two words that sum up what Terry Pratchett and the Discworld means to you, whilst saying that word or phrase out loud. Send your clips in to discworld@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk by 18th March."



When: 15th - 19th March 2016
Venue: Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, 430 London Road, Southend, Essex, SS0 9LA (phone 01702 351135)
Time: all evening shows 7.30pm. Matinees on Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th March 2.30pm
Tickets: £11.50 and £12.50. A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies capped at six per order. To purchase online, go to http://bit.ly/1nxQ6p8 and click on the Buy button for your chosen date.



When: NOW through 19th March 2016 (daily performances from Wednesdays to Saturdays)
Venue: The Old Court Theatre, 233 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 (phone 01245 606505)
Email boxoffice@chelmsfordbc.gov.uk
Website www.ctw.org.uk
Time: 7.45pm all shows
Tickets: £10.00 (£9.00 for over-60s, Under-16s or Students). A £1.50 fee is applicable per transaction, except for cash and debit card payments made in person and by telephone (01245 606505). To purchase tickets online, go to http://bit.ly/1XiRW9i and click the Buy Tickets button for your desired date.



When: Wed. 16th to Sat. 19th of March 2016
Venue: Witham Public Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 2DY
Time: 7.45 pm all shows
Tickets: £10 advance, £12 on the door (for senior citizens and U16s, £8 in advance but £10 on the door; this discount is not available for the Friday and Saturday shows), available by phone (01621 892404), by emailing Contact@WithamDramatic.co.uk, or online at http://www.withamdramatic.co.uk/boxoffice.html



From the Western Gazette:

   "Wincanton residents are to be given the opportunity to name a new bridge in the town. The bridge will provide access to a new play area in Cale Park, as a project to regenerate the recreation ground moves forward with its first phase. So far some of the suggestions have been inspired by the town's literary connections and its voluntary organisations, with possible names such as the Terry Pratchett memorial bridge or the C.A.T.C.H bridge being put forward. Other monikers being touted include the Queen Elizabeth II bridge, the Gateway bridge or the Troll bridge... A public consultation will be held on Friday, April 8 at the David Sharp Centre to encourage residents to learn more about the plans for the park and to submit their name ideas for the bridge. The consultation will also ask people what they wish the next phase of development at the park to focus on. Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Cale Park group or submitting a suggested name for the new bridge should contact town council clerk Sam Atherton on 01963 31693 or wincantontownclerk@hotmail.co.uk."




   The shortlist of eight books for this year's Carnegie prize has now been announced, and The Shepherd's Crown is on it. This is an appropriate remembrance, but the book deserves to be there anyway for its brilliance.

   You can still apply for a ticket to attend the Terry Pratchett Memorial in April. Go to http://bit.ly/ticket-application any time until 14th March. "You may request a single ticket or a pair. Tickets will be chosen at random and successful applicants will be contacted as soon as possible after the ballot closes. Hope to see you there.

   See you later this month, with the regular March issue. And now and always, GNU Terry Pratchett!

– Annie Mac


The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
First a blue plaque in his local library, now a possible – probable?! – bronze statue in Salisbury!

"Although Salisbury City Council's services committee has backed the plans, money still needs to be raised to build it and planning consent also needs to be obtained... The campaign to build the statue is being led by Mr Kidby with the support of Sir Terry's family... The aim is to pay for the statue through crowd-funding and sponsorship from local companies. A[sic] initial sketch has been made by the artist, but it will take about six months to build the life-size sculpture. 'It would be Terry, life-sized standing on a granite base which will have a depiction of Discworld on it. People would hopefully be able to stand next to Terry and hopefully interact with it,' said Mr Kidby."


And here be a concept sketch from the hand of Mr Kidby himself:

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Here be a still from https://t.co/amBCEZ7bdL - as posted on the @terryandrob Twitter account. Hmm...

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
The Perpetual Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship

A special report by Danny Sag of the Australian Discworld Convention Committee

  As you may have heard, Sir Terry Pratchett has – posthumously – created a perpetual scholarship at the University of South Australia, allowing Masters students to undertake their research at the Hawke Institute at UniSA and the Long Room at Trinity College Dublin.

  On Monday September 28, Rob Wilkins – Terry's long time PA, Business Manager and friend presented the scholarship to UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd. You may have seen some of the news articles, or the official video from UniSA (links below), but I'm here to tell you about a fan's perspective.

  Members of the Australian Discworld Convention committee including myself were fortunate enough to be invited to this event, and so we stood there nervously amongst many other university dignitaries, feeling a little out of place - until Rob came in, recognised us, and gave us all hugs!

  Once the formalities began, Professor Lloyd introduced Rob and the scholarship, Rob spoke for a short while about Terry's life since the embuggerance, and the relationship Terry and Rob had developed with Prof. Lloyd at his time at Trinity College Dublin and later UniSA. Terry was given an honorary doctorate at Trinity College in 2008 and at UniSA in 2014, and for some of the time in between, Terry was a visiting Professor at Trinity College giving some lectures on writing. Rob then told us how last October – on the day after Prof Lloyd had visited to present Terry with his UniSA doctorate (together with a graduate's hat with corks), Terry wrote letters to his family and to Rob, which were not opened until Terry's birthday this year, after his passing.

  The letter to Rob included a phrase similar to "I fancy a memorial scholarship in my name. Speak to David Lloyd and make it so." – and it has now happened! This is special as it's a perpetual scholarship - worth AU$1,000,000 (there or thereabouts) – which should tie the two universities together in Terry's name forever.

  After the speeches, Rob presented Professor Lloyd with a large novelty cheque from the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork, the official documentation was signed (and stamped with Terry's bee), and a few of us had Rob sign our copies of The Shepherd's Crown.

  A fun morning all around, and we were *also* lucky enough to catch up privately with Rob a little later to discuss the 2017 Australian Discworld Convention, which will be held in Adelaide. But we can't possibly tell you about that.... although if you sign up to the mailing list at http://ausdwcon.org you'll find out about Nullus Anxietas VI when we have stuff to announce!

Here be more photos: http://imgur.com/a/MlZfc
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Sir Terry Pratchett's right-hand man Rob Wilkins will be making a brief appearance in Fourecks this coming week. He will be signing copies of his afterword in The Shepherd's Crown, and answering questions about his work with Sir Pterry. Not to be missed!

Adelaide event:
When: Tuesday 29th September 2015
Venue: Dymocks Adelaide, 135 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia (phone 08 8223 5380)
Time: 12:30pm
Tickets: FREE! But must be pre-booked. See below.

Melbourne event:
When: Wednesday 30th September 2015
Venue: Dymocks Melbourne, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
Time: 6.30pm
Tickets: FREE! But must be booked in advance. To book, go to:


Editor's note: Wossname will be there, of course!


And why, do I hear you ask, is Mr Wilkins in Australia? Here's why:

"A unique scholarship for South Australian university students has been funded by the estate of best-selling British author Terry Pratchett. The $100,000 biannual scholarship will support a student studying a Masters by research at UniSA's Hawke Research Institute. In addition, scholarship holders will be given the opportunity to study at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, for up to a year during their two years of study. The estate of the late, and much loved, author announced the endowment of the Sir Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship in Adelaide today. UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the perpetual scholarship, like Pratchett's books, was a gift that would endure for generations. 'This extraordinary gift is the largest student scholarship of its kind in the history of the university,' Lloyd said. 'Terry was someone who was never shy of contributing to the things he believed in and as recipients of this wonderful bequest we are reminded of his commitment to inquiry and to learning.'..."


"In an envelope sealed until after his death in March, best-selling British author Terry Pratchett kept a $1 million secret, honouring a great friendship, a love of science fiction and his respect for higher education. Half a world away, the University of South Australia will now benefit from Pratchett's generosity in perpetuity, thanks to his close relationship with vice-chancellor David Lloyd. 'Last time we saw Terry, we went to his house in the UK last year and the kids were out feeding the sheep,' Professor Lloyd said. 'The next day he gave a letter to (manager) Rob Wilkins and in the letter he said he wanted to give this to the university. It was only opened on his birthday in April this year,' Professor Lloyd told The Australian..."


"The collaborative scholarship builds on a growing relationship between two very different universities in two hemispheres, who share links both through research and their strong associations with Sir Terry Pratchett and is underpinned by an MOU between Trinity College Dublin's Trinity Long Room Hub and UniSA's Hawke Research Institute.

Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, Prof Darryl Jones, says the School of English at Trinity was honoured to have Sir Terry Pratchett as an Adjunct Professor. 'His wit, his warmth, his intelligence and above all else, his humanity made him an unforgettable friend and colleague,' Prof Jones says. 'We miss him dearly, and we're delighted to be part of this joint endeavour with the University of South Australia. The Sir Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship is a fitting tribute to a wonderful writer and a remarkable man.'..."

And there's even some video! This is a four-minute selection of bits from the formal announcement, featuring David Lloyd, Rob Wilkins... and The Hat!



wossname: (Anthill inside)
Fantastic new wall art tribute!

"The 8ft mural honouring the author has appears [sic] on a council-owned wall in Buckley and makes reference to his battle with Alzheimer's. An artist dubbed the 'Flintshire Banksy' has paid tribute to one of the world's best-loved authors. The mysterious person, known as Random, has created a mural honouring the late Sir Terry Pratchett on a council-owned wall between the town council building and baths in Buckley. The 8ft artwork features a life-like head and shoulders portrait of the popular writer, as well as an image of a small dog, inspired by Pratchett’s wonder dog Gaspode who appeared in seven of his novels...."

Read all about it in the Daily Post: http://bit.ly/1QTepai -- and in The Leader, which offers a more in-depth look at Random's Pratchett tributes:

"Speaking to the Leader, Random said: 'I was asked if I would be willing to do another one after the Harry Patch creation last year. I decided to do one of Terry Pratchett, who is a favourite author of mine. I understand it has been received pretty well but because of the nature of the way I work it is difficult to get much one-on-one feedback.' The mural took Random about four-and-a-half hours to produce before it was mounted over the weekend. Having produced a similar Terry Pratchett mural at Europe’s biggest street art festival, 'Upfest' in Bristol, earlier this year, Random opted to use a different quote this time around to signify the author’s own struggle with Alzheimer's..."

wossname: (Anthill inside)
...Terence David John Pratchett was born.

...and this was the schoolboy who grew up to be one of the most talented and beloved writers in the history of writing...

...and this is the grown Author with one of his most, well, appreciated awards...

We can no longer wish him a happy birthday, but we can always celebrate the day of his birth. Let's all raise a glass of scumble (or your poison of choice) to the wonderfulness of Terry Pratchett!
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
In London's Brick Lane, an anonymous artist has painted gorgeous Terry Pratchett and Discworld tribute murals, after the style of the late Josh Kirby – though it could be said that these look far better drawn large on a wall than they ever did as paperback covers. And the portrait of Sir Pterry himself is simply amazing!

A head portrait of The Author, surrounded by some of his Discworld characters

A Josh Kirby-esque Death and Binky cover pastiche

...and the far more stylistically original but no less lovingly rendered wall art tribute – this one is in in Stokes Croft, Bristol:

A large comics-style mural of Death, The Luggage, and Rincewind

And here is the article on it in the London Evening Standard.

...and the story behind the Brick Lane murals, which are the work of artists Jim Vision and "Dr Zadok":

Jim – whose East End firm, End of the Line, paints murals and film scenery full-time – added the work was a tribute not just to Discworld author Pratchett, who died last month after battling Alzheimer's, but also to artist Josh Kirby. Kirby, who died in 2001, designed the book covers for the original Discworld novels.

"It was very inspirational reading [Pratchett's] books growing up," explained Jim. "They present a pretty anarchic world. It's all pretty fantastic – it takes things from our world and twists it into something quite incredible. It's really important to commemorate people's lives, especially somebody who brought so much to UK literature."...

wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 3, Post 3)

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)






Dear Readers,

After almost five days of reading, gathering and compositing to the best of my ability other people's words about the untimely death of Sir Terry Pratchett, I find I am at a loss to add my own yet. There will be a second March issue at the end of the month; but for now, speaking for Wossname, I present the words and thoughts and images of the world's reaction to the passing of one of the greatest writers – and greatest humanists – our roundish world has ever seen.

Here is an image, by Farlander, that perhaps says it best:


Another image, by Sandara, beautiful if more sombre:


Here is the official Terry Pratchett Facebook page, with tributes:


Here is a list of programmes, as BBC Radio 4 remembers the man and author:


Wossname's special thanks go to Lynsey Dalladay (aka Lynsey from Transworld), for organising the Just Giving fundraising page for RICE in Sir Pterry's honour:

https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett/ (see item 7 for more details)

To you, the fans who supported his work and spread his name with so much passion: he belonged to you once. He belongs to the world now. You made that possible.

– Annie Mac, Editor



"Many thanks for all the kind words about my dad. Those last few tweets were sent with shaking hands and tear-filled eyes."
– Rhianna Pratchett

"There was nobody like him. I was fortunate to have written a book with him, when we were younger, which taught me so much."
– Neil Gaiman

"No writer in my lifetime has given me as much pleasure and happiness. He could do knockabout for schoolboys (and girls) but he was also subtle and wise and very funny in the adult world. I loved him because almost all the characters he didn't like slowly grew more real, more interesting, more complicated perhaps to his own surprise. He could write evil if he needed to, but if he didn't his characters surprised us and him. His prose was layered: there was a mischievous surface, and a layer of complicated running jokes, and something steely and uncompromising that turned the reader cold from time to time. He was my unlikely hero, and saved me from disaster more than once by making me laugh and making me think."
– A S Byatt

"It was a lot of fun to be around him. His skewed view of the world was there in everything. He was always looking at things in a different way, like a cracked mirror perspective."
– Stephen Briggs

"His creativity bought so much inspiration and joy to so many of us. It was an honour and privilege to work with him and I owe him a great debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace."
– Paul Kidby

"Terry was a class of his own in so many ways; other people will write about his wisdom and his skills as an author. I remember his kindness to his fans. No letters went unanswered and every person in a bookshop signing queue got his full attention even if he and they had been there for many hours."
– Bernard Pearson

"There is nothing spiteful, nothing bitter or sarcastic in his humour. But he was also very shy, and happiest with his family. Everybody who reads his work would agree Death was one of his finest creations – Terry in some way has now shaken hands with one of his greatest-ever creations."
– Philip Pullman

"Sir Terry's final tweet reads simply: 'The End.' But, undoubtedly, he will live on for a very long time through his writing."
– The Independent

"He took a despised literary form and made it dance. His legions of fans will miss him – but at least they have the Discworld he left behind... By the time he had finished with Discworld, it was clear that a fantasy universe could be used to write with echoing profundity about love, death, religion, duty, opera, politics, and – above all – decency."
– Andrew Brown, in The Guardian

"During the many times Terry supported Alzheimer's Society, publicly and privately, I was struck by his passion, resilience and courage to fight and kill the demon of dementia. When thanked for his work, he'd simply smile and shake his head modestly, insisting it was nothing. Never dwelling on his own dementia, he used his voice to shout out for others when they could not."
– Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK

"When he talked about writing and work he was very lucid but as soon as you mentioned ordinary things like a cup of tea there was confusion. If he talked about writing or developing his characters his brain seemed to go to another place. It was bittersweet but also joyous that we did the Wintersmith album while Terry was cognisant of it."
– Julian Littman of Steeleye Span, who worked with Sir Terry on the Wintersmith album

"He is survived by Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Mort, Death, Death of Rats, Commander Vimes, the Librarian, Cohen the Barbarian, Rincewind the Wizard, the Luggage, and hundreds of other unforgettable characters, whose adventures will continue to delight and surprise readers all over the world for many years to come."
– George RR Martin

"Terry had a tremendous gift of giving life to stories of great wonder, richness, humanity and warmth, for which many people all over the world will remember him. He had a great heart as well. Joy, suffering, happiness, the whole of the human experience: his stories captured all of this and much besides with good humour, and he turned these same talents to providing for a better future for generations to come, through his steadfast work to promote Humanism and a compassionate assisted dying law."
– Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association

"Ostensibly, Pratchett dealt in fantasy, but in the same way that the London Symphony Orchestra could be considered to 'do a bit of music'. His gift was to weave together parody, satire and adventure and reinvent them in sublime ways."
– journalist Kat Brown, in The Telegraph

"I am glad to hear that Terry died peacefully. I do not know if he was listening to Thomas Tallis, as he had so often described as his favoured way to go. However the reality is that without an assisted dying law there is no peace of mind for people when approaching their own death. There is no choice, there is no control and there is no compassion."
– Dignity in Dying patron Lesley Close

"Though he may not release any more novels, nor provide smart quips in interviews and thoughtful banter at conventions, Death cannot truly take Terry Pratchett from the world. His influence has gone too deep, his words have spread too far, and the things he most believed in — laughter, bravery, community — are the very things he's left in our care."
– Jess Waters, a student at Emerson College

"I learnt more from your books than my entire education. Thank you, Sir Terry."
– Tom, donor to RICE on Pterry's memorial Just Giving page, 12th March 2015

"I'm thinking we get some kittens, and then propose Death a trade."
– Ole Ulloriaq Lonberg-Jensen, on the Reinstate Terry Pratchett petition at change.org

...and a few words from The Author himself:

"'I know about Sending Home,' said Princess. 'And I know the souls of dead linesmen stay on the Trunk.'"

"'His name is in the code, in the wind in the rigging and the shutters. Haven't you ever heard the saying "A man's not dead while his name is still spoken"?'"
– Going Postal

"In the Ramtops village where they dance the real Morris dance, for example, no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away – until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence."
– Reaper Man

"'We dinnae mourn like ye do, ye ken. We mourn for them that has tae stay behind.''
–The Wee Free Men

Additionally, BBC America offers a collection of "30 Terry Pratchett quotes to guide you through life". You probably know most (or all) of them, but it's handy to have them in one place: http://bbc.in/1HO1G4d



The announcement on PJSM Prints:

It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66.

"Larry Finlay, MD at Transworld Publishers:

"'I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds. In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention. Terry faced his Alzheimer's disease (an "embuggerance", as he called it) publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come. My sympathies go out to Terry's wife Lyn, their daughter Rhianna, to his close friend Rob Wilkins, and to all closest to him.'

"Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with PCA1 in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.

"We ask that the family are left undisturbed at this distressing time."


...and from Bernard Pearson, the Cunning Artificer:

"Today our deepest sympathy is with Lyn and Rhianna Pratchett and also with Terry's amanuensis and friend Rob Wilkins.
I once said to Terry 'There are no pockets in a shroud'. We had been talking about him buying a new car and I said he could afford a Rolls-Royce if he wanted to but he was never a man for ostentation and thought he might look at a Jag. 'Anyway', he replied 'It depends who your tailor is, I'm having bloody great big ones in mine.' I'm writing this because right now I could find out if that were true.

"I have known Terry since 1990 when we met in a bar in Covent Garden to discuss the idea of me creating small sculptures from the characters in his books. We found common ground in his days as a journalist and my days as a policeman and we became friends. Over the years we spent a lot of time together not just at the many gatherings at the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton and at conventions all over the world but also for family celebrations at Christmas or New Year, birthdays and wedding anniversaries, lunch at the pub or bacon sandwiches round our dining room table. Every occasion enlivened by his quickness of mind, his encyclopaedic knowledge and most of all by his humour.

"He was not always easy to be with; he didn't suffer fools gladly and with his command of the English language a blast from him was something that this 'silly old fool' certainly would remember for quite a while. I have been bollocked by the best in my time but dear old Terry was in a class of his own.

"Terry was a class of his own in so many ways; other people will write about his wisdom and his skills as an author. I remember his kindness to his fans. No letters went unanswered and every person in a bookshop signing queue got his full attention even if he and they had been there for many hours.

"He enjoyed spending time with his readers – he would say they worked hard to earn the money to buy his books and therefore he owed them. He also genuinely enjoyed their company.

"We were privileged to co-author or as he put it 'aid and abet' him in one or two books. It was a revelation the way he could sprinkle stardust on a sentence and make it shine or take the germ of an idea, hold it up to the light, and within minutes polish it into something original, clever and very funny. We shall miss his many phone calls requesting information about police procedure, and latterly the location of a particular town, or the landscape of a train journey.

"We shall miss him.

"Bernard Pearson, on behalf of us all at the Emporium."


On the BBC news website:

"Despite campaigning for assisted suicide after his diagnosis, Sir Terry's publishers said he did not take his own life.
BBC News correspondent Nick Higham said: 'I was told by the publishers his death was entirely natural and unassisted, even though he had said in the past he wanted to go at a time of his own choosing.'..."


...and the BBC's full obituary:

"Terry Pratchett proved that it was possible for a world to be flat. He first created Discworld in 1983 because he wanted to 'have fun with some of the cliches' of fantasy novels. Pratchett's whimsical writings endeared him to millions of avid fans across the world. But in later years he fought a much-publicised battle against Alzheimer's disease...

"His breakthrough came in 1968. While interviewing a publisher, Peter Bander van Duren, he casually mentioned he had been working on a manuscript. Van Duren and his business partner Colin Smythe read the draft and The Carpet People was published in 1971. According to Smythe, the book received few reviews, but they were ecstatic, with one describing it as 'of quite extraordinary quality'. Pratchett followed this up with his only two purely science-fiction novels, The Dark Side of the Sun, published in 1976, and Strata five years later. The latter work introduced the concept of a flat world, something that would surface again in Pratchett's most popular series of novels. 'Nothing in the universe is "natural" in the strict sense of the term,"' Pratchett said of Strata. 'Everything, from planets to stars, is a relic of previous races and civilisations.'

"His style of writing was nothing if not eccentric. He avoided chapters where possible, on the basis that they broke up the narrative, and peppered his text with footnotes. Pratchett also used punctuation as a source of humour. His character Death always conversed in capital letters while the auditors of reality eschewed quotation marks. He drew heavily on real people for many of his characters. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, became the painter and engineer Leonard of Quirm. Many of his works were adapted for the stage and animated versions of some of his children's stories, including Truckers, have appeared on TV. He fought a running battle against critics who said fantasy could never be considered as literature. 'Stories of imagination,' he said witheringly, 'tend to upset those without one.'

"Away from writing he maintained an interest in astronomy and natural history. He became a campaigner to promote the conservation of the orangutan and the librarian in Pratchett's Unseen University found being the shape of an orangutan ideal for his work..."


In The Guardian:

"The announcement of his death unleashed a tide of sympathy from around the world. David Cameron tweeted: 'Sad to hear of Sir Terry Pratchett's death, his books fired the imagination of millions and he fearlessly campaigned for dementia awareness.' The author Neil Gaiman, a friend and collaborator, tweeted: 'I will miss you, Terry, so much.'... The characters of his fantastical creation, Discworld, inhabit a world held up by four elephants balanced on the back of a giant turtle. It is a world peopled by incompetent wizards, upside-down mountains, slow-witted barbarians and a wry incarnation of Death. Begun as a cheerful parody of fantasy authors from JRR Tolkien to Ursula K Le Guin, Pratchett's ambitions gradually expanded to encompass life, death and humanity's place in the universe – though the jokes kept coming..."


...and the Guardian's full obituary, by Christopher Priest:

"BEING DEAD IS NOT COMPULSORY. NOT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. These are the words of Death, one of Terry Pratchett's ingenious comic creations in his Discworld novels. Death has a booming, unamused voice (always in capitals, never in quotation marks), and is the permanent straight man in the comic chaos around him. He goes about his morbid business on a horse called Binky, whose hooves throw up sparks on every street cobble. Death is a skeleton, with eyes like two tiny blue stars set deep within the sockets. He wears a black cloak, carries a scythe and, at the end of a day's work, loves to murder a curry. At the point of contact with his latest client, he usually spends a few moments having a courteous word or two with the recently deceased, until they fade away. Now Death has gained a most illustrious client, for Pratchett himself has died, aged 66, after suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The exchange is no doubt unamused but courteous on one side, amusing but rueful on the other, but of fervent interest to both parties. It's a conversation that millions of Pratchett fans would ache to overhear. Would Death dare to speak in capitals to Sir Terry Pratchett?

"Pratchett was, and will remain, one of the most popular British authors of all time. In the modern age, only the career of JK Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, is comparable. The facts of Pratchett's success are impressive: the sheer number of books he has sold (some 80m copies worldwide), and the number of reprints, translations, dramatisations on television and stage, audio versions and spin-offs, plus awards and honorary doctorates galore. Then there's an inestimable amount of Discworld spinoffery: chess pieces, wizardly hats, cloaks and T-shirts, leathern bags, pottery figurines, fantastic artwork, magic clobber of every kind including dribbly candles – all made by and sold to fans. His signings at bookshops were legendary: a queue stretching down the street was de rigueur, and although Pratchett worked quickly at the signatures, he was unfailingly friendly to everyone who turned up. He was open to readers: he answered emails (or some of them, because the volume of incoming messages was spectacular) and he went to Discworld conventions (almost all of them). He was a nice man, unpretentious and with a wry manner...

"Pratchett's first fantasy book was The Carpet People, written when he was 18; he rewrote it 30 years later, having revised and reversed his ideas about the importance of kings and wars. It was originally published in 1971 by a local publisher, Colin Smythe Ltd, based in Gerrards Cross. Smythe published the next two or three novels, licensing other editions in British paperback and in the US, but as Pratchett's popularity grew it became clear to everyone that a larger publisher would be better equipped to promote his books. Smythe stepped aside as publisher and became Pratchett's agent instead. Thereafter, hardbacks appeared from large publishers, beginning with Gollancz...

"In a publishing world where popular success often equates to ill-written or hackneyed work, Pratchett's novels, although in a racy, readable style, were constantly witty, with many cultural, vernacular and literary references. You never quite knew where the next association was coming from: you would find sideways references to HP Lovecraft, William Shakespeare, Beachcomber, Sellar and Yeatman, Thomas Hughes, Peter Shaffer (a good joke about Salieri), JRR Tolkien, Egyptology, vampirism, dragons... The humour of the novels was likable and liked: most of Pratchett's books sold on word of mouth, and the many conventions thrown in his honour were happy occasions. He gave his readers memorable hours of talks, interviews and jokes... His last years were astonishingly active. He continued to write fiction, learning to dictate rather than type, and a last Discworld novel was completed and delivered last summer..."


In The Independent:

"As soon as news broke of his death broke on Thursday afternoon, his website crashed under the weight of fans wanting to remember the writer... A JustGiving page has been set up in his name, which aims to raise money for the Research Institute for the Care of Older People..."


In The Telegraph:

"The author had succumbed to a chest infection earlier this year, which gradually worsened. He passed away on March 12th.
He finished his final book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014 before entering the final stages of Alzheimer's... Sir Terry, who wrote more than 70 best-selling novels, had waged a very public struggle with Alzheimer's disease in recent years. He was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a progressive degenerative condition involving the loss and dysfunction of brain cells, in 2007 and continued writing, broadcasting and meeting his fans. After losing the ability to touch type in 2012, he used voice-recognition technology to complete his much-loved new works. He went on to become one of the most prominent and influential voices in the campaign for research into the disease, and was a patron of Alzheimers Research UK. When asked about his career in May 2014, he said: 'It is possible to live well with dementia and write best-sellers 'like wot I do.'

"Hilary Evans, director of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: 'The loss of Sir Terry Pratchett will have a profound effect on both literature and the 850,000 people who live with dementia. Sir Terry's uniquely witty and affecting announcement of his diagnosis with Alzheimer's at our 2008 conference will be seen as a watershed moment for all people living with dementia. It engendered huge public awareness of Alzheimer's and issued a call to arms for society to talk about dementia and take steps towards defeating it. We will miss him.'..."


...and the Telegraph's full obituary:

"His appeal was solidly based on well-crafted prose, imaginative situations, economically phrased humour and well-observed characters . With his knack for choice similes – Death himself, a recurring character, speaks with 'a voice like the slamming of coffins' lids', rendered entirely in capital letters – his style appealed equally to young and adult readers; and his use of a fully realised alternative world made it possible for him to tackle a wide range of contemporary topics and issues without forfeiting his essential lightness of touch. Ironically, it was Pratchett's ground-breaking achievement in making comic fantasy acceptable to the mainstream reader that allowed J K Rowling to usurp his place as the most widely read living British writer...

"Terry attended High Wycombe Technical High School, which he chose in preference to the local grammar school because 'woodwork would be more fun than Latin'. He was, by his own admission, a 'nondescript' student; the most significant event in his school career was probably the publication of his short story The Hades Business in the school magazine when he was 13 (two years later he sold it commercially, and used the proceeds to buy his first typewriter)...

"He enjoyed walking; that aside, his activities were mostly connected with or ancillary to his work. He took an interest in computers and played computer games (from which he drew the inspiration for his children's novel, Only You Can Save Mankind); he eagerly participated in many online newsgroups and discussion groups frequented by his fans, to whom he always tried to be as accessible as reasonably possible, for a writer with such a large and often fanatical readership. He also maintained his childhood interest in astronomy, at one point building an observatory in the grounds of his Wiltshire house, and collected carnivorous plants...

"Around the turn of the millennium, Pratchett's work began to display a change of direction. The rate of production dropped from two books a year to one. The books themselves became darker, more thoughtful and more complex. In his earlier work, the plot was often a loose framework for gags and comic set pieces, the characters frequently little more than mouthpieces for the jokes. Nightwatch (2002) and Monstrous Regiment (2003), by contrast, are meticulously structured, with the comedy arising organically out of the interaction of situation and character. This progression was partly a natural consequence of the coral-reef development of the Discworld itself. A minor character in one book would become a central player in another; a passing joke would grow into a substantial theme. In consequence, as the texture of Discworld became richer, it enabled Pratchett to write more ambitiously. The comedy never waned, nor was it ever entirely subordinated to a serious purpose; but the books began to achieve objectives other than the maximum number of jokes per page...

"Pratchett was often compared to Swift, but the comparison does him no favours. He was not a satirist. Closer to Wodehouse than Waugh, he preferred to create a self-contained world in which he could dictate everything from the laws of physics to the number of colours in the spectrum (eight), with human nature the only factor outside his control. Although Discworld served to hold a distorting mirror up to the world in which his readers lived, satire was a by-product and a means to an end, rather than the object of the exercise..."


In the Daily Mail:

"The comic universe he created in Discworld – a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle – made millions laugh and made them think as well. His sense of fun made him stand out in the often po-faced world of fantasy literature - he would turn up at conventions wearing a T-shirt saying: 'Tolkien's dead, JK Rowling said no, Philip Pullman couldn't make it. Hi. I'm Terry Pratchett.' Towards the end of his life, he used his fame and wealth to campaign for a greater awareness of dementia and assisted dying... Hilary Evans, director of Alzheimer's Research UK, said the death of Sir Terry would have 'a profound effect on both literature and the 850,000 people who live with dementia'..."


An obituary by David Colker in the Los Angeles Times:

"Pratchett won a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his young adult novel, "Nation," which takes place on a mythical South Seas island in the 19th century. The plot revolves around an island-born boy and shipwrecked girl, from very different cultures, trying to survive a natural disaster. He accepted the award in a videotaped message from a slightly disheveled, book-filled office with a large cat perched on the desk. 'It was like being shackled by one leg to a bulldozer,' the white-bearded Pratchett said about writing the novel as the scene-stealing cat looked ready to pounce. 'It just bound its way across the landscape, but it was up to me to keep up with it and bang my head on the trees as we rode across.' Though 'Nation' was aimed at young adults, the Guardian in London said the book 'has profound, subtle and original things to say about the interplay between tradition and knowledge, faith and questioning.'

"With his books regularly hitting the top of best-seller lists in England, Pratchett was likely that country's most popular novelist until the arrival of J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' tales in the 1990s. He took Rowling's rise with customary humor, wearing a T-shirt to fan conventions that read, 'Tolkien's Dead, J.K. Rowling said no,' and then in small letters, 'Hi, I'm Terry Pratchett.'...

"In the years after his diagnosis, Pratchett spoke openly of his condition and supported not only Alzheimer's but also right-to-die causes. But his character Death doesn't appear in his last published book, 'Raising Steam.' 'It's not deliberate,' he told the Telegraph in 2013 with a laugh, 'but I don't want to be a death fetishist.'..."


A knowing and loving obituary by Bruce Weber in the New York Times:

"An accomplished satirist with a penchant for sending up cultural and political tomfoolery, Mr. Pratchett created wildly imaginative alternative realities to reflect on a world more familiar to readers as actual reality. Often spiced with shrewd and sometimes wryly stinging references to literary genres, from fairy tales to Elizabethan drama, his books have sold 85 million copies worldwide, according to his publisher. And though Mr. Pratchett may have suffered from the general indifference of literary critics to the fantasy genre, on the occasions when serious minds took his work seriously, they tended to validate his legitimate literary standing... Mr. Pratchett often wrote with eyebrow arched and tongue planted firmly in cheek; in the behavior of his mythical creatures it was hard to miss the barbs being tossed in the direction of humanity..."


From Reuters:

"News about the death of Pratchett – who campaigned during his final illness for legalizing assisted death – came on his Twitter account in a series of tweets written in the style of his Discworld novels, where Death always talks in capital letters. 'AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER,' said the first tweet on @terryandrob. 'Terry took Death's arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night,' said the second, while a third read simply: 'The End'... A unique creation, Discworld is a circular world set on the backs of four elephants standing on the shell of a giant turtle, populated by a vast and colorful cast of characters inspired by the worlds of fantasy, folk tales and mythology. Pratchett used Discworld to parody those genres, but also to send up aspects of modern life by drawing often incongruous connections between his imaginary world and things ordinary people living in 20th century Britain would recognize..."


From the Continent of Fourecks, a combination announcement and obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld series and author of more than 70 books, has died. He was 66.
Pratchett, who suffered from a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease, had earned wide respect in Britain and beyond with his dignified campaign for the right of critically ill patients to choose assisted suicide... Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams, who hosted Pratchett on what would become his last tour of Australia in 2011, remembers him as a likeable and fiercely intelligent man. 'I've been a fan of his for many years and I was lucky enough to interview him. He was very witty and very wise and endlessly curious. The conversation would spark off in a million different directions.' Peter Nicholls, an Australian expert on science fiction, author of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia was a friend of Pratchett. 'It's a difficult think to talk about Terry because he's been a pretty mysterious character,' he said.

"The author disclosed his condition in 2007. His doctors at first believed he had suffered a stroke, but found him to have an unusual form of Alzheimer's disease. He tried to be optimistic with his millions of fans, assuring them on his website that the condition didn't seem to be immediately life-threatening. As he lost the ability to write on a computer, he turned to a dictation system that allowed him to keep producing fictional works, his agent Colin Smythe said. 'It may have changed his prose style slightly,' Smythe said. 'The real problem is the difficulty of revising it.'

"Pratchett didn't shy away from the emotional public debate about assisted suicide. He used the prestigious Richard Dimbleby lecture in February 2010 to argue the logic of allowing people to end their lives at a time they chose. He said assisted suicide should be decriminalised and that suicide panels should be set up to judge cases, and offered his own case as an example. In the lecture, Pratchett said there was no reason to believe a cure for his disease was imminent. He said he could live his remaining years more fully if he knew he would be allowed to end his life before the disease claimed him..."


...and a marvellous obituary-cum-tribute by Kieron Gillen, "Why We Need Terry Pratchett's Brand of Moral Outrage", on Vulture.com:

"As I write this, my brother talks about his dyslexia and how Pratchett made him want to read even when his brain didn't. I think earlier, and think of a teacher friend of mine who talked about the sheer number of children she taught who were brought into books by Pratchett. This reminds me how I was involved in a conversation earlier that compared him to Dickens, which struck me as correct. Massively popular writing powered by a strong sense of the pains of society. And then Pratchett added jokes, which makes him a dream mash-up of Dickens and Wodehouse, with a healthy sprinkling of genre just to ensure he got right up the right noses. ('A complete amateur ... doesn't even write in chapters,' as the Late Review once said, the quote that was proudly printed at the front of a string of Pratchett books. The best revenge is always funny.)...

"The jokes, the wordplay, the sentences were the style. We came to Pratchett for the substance, what he said about people. Pratchett fundamentally understood fantasy as a device for emphasizing humanity rather than escaping from it. You use the fantasy to make the point more precise, more undeniable, easier to digest, and impossible to refute. We can see ourselves more clearly. As core character and general force of nature Granny Weatherwax once put it: 'Sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself.' Despite the core moral compass, a sermon wasn't the point. This is moral rather than moralizing. When your core moral compass, as suggested above, is a militant empathy, then the characters have to embody that, even the villains — especially the villains. The one exception I can think of is his wicked deconstruction of all things elves in Lords and Ladies, and the attacking of the problematic core of the idea of 'higher people' was very much the point. By way of example, despite the fact that Pratchett was an atheist, Small Gods manages to brutally satirize religion while having at its core a sympathetic portrait of a prophet of a god in the body of a tortoise. Pratchett may not have believed, but he understood why people did. Both the practicing Catholic who first read it and the atheist who is writing this think it's his best book, and if you've yet to read any Pratchett, Small Gods is where to begin.

"I made a typo in that last paragraph, writing, 'Pratchett is an atheist.' I moved the cursor back and corrected it to 'was,' and the tears were in the eyes again..."




From Stephen Briggs, via an interview in the Oxford Mail:

"Sir Terry wrote more than 70 novels and Mr Briggs recorded audiobooks as well as bringing dozens of them to the stage, including at the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon. He said: 'For me it's been a wonderful time with Terry over the last 25 years. We became good friends. He was a lovely and supportive man. I saw him two weeks ago. I went down to his house and pottered in to see him, and he wasn't well then. He will leave a large gap in the world.' Mr Briggs, a member of the Headington-based Studio Theatre Club, said: 'I first wrote to him through amdram and asked if we could stage one of his books. We were the first in the world to stage any of his stuff. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. It's a real privilege to be a part of creating even a small part of his wonderful world, and it's something which I never take for granted.'... He added he was planning to carry on adapting Sir Terry's work for future generations to enjoy."


A remembrance from Long Earth series co-author Stephen Baxter:

"Terry Pratchett and I started work on our science fiction series, The Long Earth, in the spring of 2010. It came out of a dinner-party conversation. We'd known each other for nearly 20 years, and talked about shared enthusiasms, the fiction, the science – which Terry called 'the quantum'. Terry had always been a science fiction reader, and had produced two fine SF novels, but abandoned a third. Now he described that shelved idea and I could see why Terry had got stuck; his work was of character and dialogue, whereas this project was about landscapes and exploration. So we decided to try collaborating. We worked up ideas on the phone, and a Discworld convention that year turned into a kind of mass workshop. Terry always enjoyed engaging with the fans. He listened to them.

"In October 2010 we started working sessions at his home in Wiltshire. Terry's study is the chapel of an old monastic house, lined with dusty books and cluttered with Discworld souvenirs. Terry was always prolific, but as we worked he would be deliberate. He would sit in silence, or poke the fire in the stove, and think, and then produce an almost perfect sentence. As he drafted he liked to improvise. He said that if you gave him two characters talking in a room, the story would come. And as we worked we drilled deep into the heads of the characters, especially the young ones. I could see why his Tiffany Aching novels, meant for young adults, are so popular.

"But when we started work it was already a couple of years after his condition had been diagnosed [early-onset Alzheimer's]. His sight was the first to be affected, a cruel affliction for any writer. But Terry found workarounds. He used custom-built voice-recognition software to dictate his drafts, then revised them with the help of his supremely loyal business manager, Rob Wilkins. I read printed manuscripts to him, which we would amend line by line, sitting by the stove. As the core condition began to affect him, he needed more workarounds and assistance, and the work was interrupted by his commitments to the causes of dementia sufferers and right-to-die campaigns. But work was everything to Terry, after his family. If anything, he worked even harder.

"The last time I saw him was a sunny day last summer. We went into Salisbury for an author photograph by the cathedral. Even then he had new ideas for the books. What he liked about science fiction, I think, was the way it addresses the bigger picture. 'By the time we get to Book Five,' he said to me, 'will we find out what it's all about?'"


Cory Doctorow's very personal tribute:

"Terry Pratchett, a treasure of a writer, a gem of a human being, and a credit to our species, has died, far too soon, at the age of 66. Pratchett died at home, in bed, surrounded by his family and with his cat. He was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007, and has since been a tireless advocate for the right to die with dignity, as well as a major donor to Alzheimer's research. Pratchett continued to produce brilliant books after his diagnosis, most recently the important Raising Steam, which, more than any of the other Discworld books, explored the intrinsic "magic" wrought by technology on its advocates, and worked through technology's discontents.

"I'm deeply saddened by Pratchett's death, even though I, like his other fans, had so long to get used to the idea that he would only be with us for a short time. The Discworld books are some of my truest friends. I've read many of them dozens of times, and always find new things to love in them. I interviewed Pratchett last year on the occasion of the reissue of his first novel, The Carpet People, which he wrote at the age of 17. He was gentlemanly and fascinating, something that many of his interlocutors and fans have noted, but as Neil Gaiman reminds us: the thing that kept Terry Pratchett going wasn't his sweet nature, it was his anger:

"There is a fury to Terry Pratchett's writing: it's the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld. It's also the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11-plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think serious is the opposite of funny; anger at his early American publishers who could not bring his books out successfully. The anger is always there, an engine that drives. By the time Terry learned he had a rare, early onset form of Alzheimer's, the targets of his fury changed: he was angry with his brain and his genetics and, more than these, furious at a country that would not permit him (or others in a similarly intolerable situation) to choose the manner and the time of their passing.

"And that anger, it seems to me, is about Terry's underlying sense of what is fair and what is not. It is that sense of fairness that underlies Terry's work and his writing, and it's what drove him from school to journalism to the press office of the SouthWestern Electricity Board to the position of being one of the best-loved and bestselling writers in the world..."


Andrew M Butler, author of the Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett and co-editor of Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature, has written an obituary/appreciation for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

"While each new Pratchett book becomes a bestseller, the literary establishment has been less generous. There is a lazy assumption — most recently characterized by an episode of BBC Radio 4's A Good Read, in which veteran journalist Katherine Whitehorn's 'surprise choice' of reading recommendation was The Colour of Magic. The program's webpage asks, 'if three adult women [will] agree on a novel from a series usually thought of as the preserve of teenage boys.' They do — and positively — against their better judgment. Pratchett's background in fantasy counts against him — Tolkien, after all, is still patronized — and it is assumed that comic novels cannot also be serious. Alongside Pratchett's humor and humanity, there are condemnations of sexism, racism, xenophobia, and the misuse of power.... We are left with memories of his many appearances at conventions, the legendary queues for his autograph, his accumulated wisdom, and shelves full of books that will be read by people of all ages — male and female — for the foreseeable future."


A fine tribute from Guardian columnist Dean Burnett:

"I never got to meet him in person, much to my regret, and it may seem weird to feel strong and profound grief for someone you didn't really know, but it's very common. And it's surely to be more common in this case. Because if you've read all of his books (many repeatedly) it sort of feels like you know Pratchett on some deep intimate level.

"The fact that a brain like Pratchett's could be afflicted with early onset Alzheimer's just seemed too cruel a twist in what is supposedly a random universe. It's bad enough when it happens to anyone of course, but when it's to a mind and brain that I such a bountiful source of joy and entertainment, it was just a bit much to take seriously. It was so like something from one of his books that you may be forgiven for thinking it was an elaborate set up of some sort.

"But as is perhaps to be expected of an individual who made death into a relatable, even likable character in his books, Pratchett faced his condition head-on. He was never one for shying away from expressing his enthusiasm for science, producing several books on the subject where he combined it with his fantasy work with a gleeful disregard for whether or not this was 'the done thing'. This example was one of the things that inspired the comedic science approach adopted in these very blogposts, which is admittedly like a flickering candle next to the Pratchett floodlight, but still. And of course, science ended up taking on a direct relevance to his own life; following his campaigning and outspoken attitude to his condition probably did more for our understanding and study of early onset Alzheimer's disease as a dozen cutting edge studies. But awareness and understanding are only useful to an extent, and they weren't enough this time. Maybe one day they will be, and that day may come sooner thanks to Pratchett, who cheered and inspired so many, all while seemingly having a whale of a time doing what he loved..."


Another in The Guardian, by Andrew Brown:

"To say that a writer is interesting is normally a completely bullshit phrase, there to draw attention to the superior culture of the critic who can form such Parnassian judgments about what matters. But Terry Pratchett, who has died aged 66, was one of the most interesting writers of the past 30 years in an entirely literal sense. He interested readers. He captivated them, in fact. The captives wandered happily for years around Discworld and the other territories of his imagination. He was loved – not at all too strong a word – by his readers. He brought them, us, me, delight... By the time he had finished with Discworld, it was clear that a fantasy universe could be used to write with echoing profundity about love, death, religion, duty, opera, politics, and – above all – decency... I think of Pratchett as the most admirably English writer since Orwell. They make an unlikely pairing, and Orwell is the more sentimental of the two, but in both there is a rooted affection for the goodness of a world that is frequently awful and fundamentally absurd. But, see, Pratchett said, the world can be a wonderful place even if it is only turtles all the way down. Death will come, but he will have things to say, as well..."


And a third in The Guardian, a shortish tribute from fan Helen Lewis:

"No subject was too big for Terry Pratchett, who died on Thursday – once he'd found a way to make it ridiculous. He took on capitalism, religion, sexism, war, death and why you should never buy food from a man with a tray in the street. His books wore their learning lightly, sweeping the reader along on a river of bad puns, self-deprecating footnotes and weird scenarios constructed with impeccable internal logic. Over the course of more than 40 novels, his Discworld series evolved into something much richer and darker than perhaps even he initially expected. Fittingly for someone who spent his final years talking about the need for reform in assisted dying legislation, Pratchett's best-loved character was Death, an imposing skeleton – who rode a white horse called Binky and spoke IN SMALL CAPS... For me, though, the best character in the Discworld is Samuel Vimes, the descendant of a regicidal ancestor, who ends up as commander of the Watch in the chaotic city of Ankh-Morpork. Because Vimes hates authority, the city's Machiavellian ruler, the Patrician, keeps giving him more just to annoy him. At one point, he wades into a war and tries to arrest both sides for 'breach of the peace'. Here was Pratchett's own view of humanity: we are endlessly fallible, but usually worth saving..."


A thought-provoking tribute essay by William Hughes at the A. V. Club:

"The only book my local library had was the 19th, Feet Of Clay. I picked it up and tore through it in a matter of days.
In hindsight, Feet Of Clay might be the worst possible starting point in the entire Discworld series, dense as it is with continuity and a complex plot of political intrigue. So it's a testament to Pratchett's talents that I was still hooked, telling myself I'd understand all of that stuff later and letting myself be sucked in by the jokes and the characters and the footnotes and the tone. Especially the tone... It's easy to use 'funny' as a dismissive adjective, to give in to the knee-jerk reaction to call the Discworld novels 'more' than just funny books. But Discworld is great because it's funny, not in spite of it. Death's deadpan sarcasm, Bloody Stupid Johnson's increasingly improbable inventions, and even poor, cowardly Rincewind — they're all evidence of a world that operates under the auspices of a benevolent, funny god. It's not that the comedy makes the lessons go down easier. The comedy is the lesson. I'm not ashamed to say that my younger self learned many things from reading Sir Terry's work, beliefs that I now prize as some of the best parts of my self. But that idea, that the world really is a good, funny place, is the one I hold closest as I mourn his death..."


A tribute from Telegraph journalist Kat Brown:

"Terry Pratchett, who has died at the frankly absurd age of 66, was an author whose reputation swelled along with his back catalogue. He will be so much missed that the millions of people who read, and loved, his books will struggle to get their heads around it... Each book in his 40-strong Discworld series is like taking a life-changing adventure with a particularly sarcastic guide. Pratchett wrote more than 70 books, of which the Discworld saga was the most famous. He observed the world and turned it inside out until the silly could be found, and laughed at. He had the most formidable of weapons at his disposal: a cocktail shaker of a brain, filled with esoteric knowledge of the sort a crossword compiler would envy. From Ancient Egypt to computers, religious fanaticism, Hollywood, musical theatre and the industrial revolution, Pratchett's references were wide and wonderful... Pratchett's world expanded as your mind did. His writing style was inclusive but never patronising, and there were secret layers of words, references, jokes to appreciate as you grew up and learned more. Thousands of children discovered their love of reading in Pratchett, and now their children do the same..."


A tribute from Petra Mayer on NPR:

"Pratchett was no stranger to death. The big guy with the scythe and the booming voice was a constant and vital presence in the Discworld books and their screen adaptations. "HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING," Death says in Pratchett's 1996 book Hogfather, and while it's Death speaking there in his characteristic capitals, that one sentence sums up what was marvelous about Pratchett: He found human beings so interesting.

"Few writers were as insightful and just plain good as Pratchett was at winkling out all the secret scraps of human nature and then disguising them as broad comic fantasy. 'He really had the gift of making fun of human foolishness without being cruel,' says fantasy author Delia Sherman, who has taught college classes on Pratchett's work. 'He was just so compassionate, even to the most horrible of his characters. He allowed them to be fully human, even if they were rocks who walked.'... After his diagnosis, Pratchett became an inspiration to dementia patients and an advocate for physician-assisted suicide for those suffering terminal illnesses..."


On the occasion of Pratchett's death, a paean to Pratchett's Death, by Matilda Battersby in The Independent:

"If you're going read just one Discworld novel make it Mort. Terry Pratchett, who died today aged 66 after a well-documented battle with Alzheimer's, was poking fun at death long before he began campaigning for assisted suicide. Published in 1987, Mort is the fourth of Pratchett's vividly surreal Discworld novels and the first to feature death as a main character. In the novel the titular protagonist Mort is enlisted as Death's assistant, helping him usher souls into the next world. But unlike the cold, stereotypical hooded figure wielding a scythe, Pratchett's Death is a haphazard figure who we see embarking on the very human experiences of getting drunk, dancing wildly and even hankering after happiness. He likes cats. He enjoys curry. Far be it for Pratchett to stick reverently to the hackneyed image of the Grim Reaper, the novelists' Death dresses up as Father Christmas and displays an endearing fascination for the human lives he is helping to extinguish. He might yell COWER, BRIEF MORTALS but no-one is hiding behind the sofa..."


A lovely tribute from Church Broughton Primary School, which staged the world premiere of Matthew Holmes' superb adaptation of The Amazing Maurice:

"As news spread around the world about the sad death of author Sir Terry Pratchett, there may have been people in South Derbyshire who were particularly moved by his loss. Two schools in the district – Church Broughton Primary School and St Edward's Catholic Primary School, in Swadlincote – were touched by the Discworld writer during his life, meaning their pupils had a special knowledge of who he was and what he did.

"The author died on Thursday at the age of 66, following a long fight with Alzheimer's disease. He had already been diagnosed with the condition when he became involved with St Edward's in 2010 after staff wrote to tell him about their book club. Celia Anderson, literacy co-ordinator at the school, who ran the club, said: 'It started off with the club and we took off from there. We still use the books in school. It struck me as such a nice thing to do for these young children, who may become future readers.' The following year, Church Broughton Primary School staged the world premiere of a musical stage adaptation of his The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodent. The children's book was adapted by Church Broughton musician Matthew Holmes, who had a child at the school at the time. He said at the time: 'I've been really overjoyed to work on it. He has seen the script and the music, but he hasn't seen the final stage production.'..."


On Third Sector, a remembrance from Stephen Cook, who undertook and finished the Lyke Wake Walk 40 years ago with Pterry and also interviewed him in 2011:

"I first met Terry Pratchett in the early 1970s when we completed the Lyke Wake Walk, a 40-mile route over the North York Moors said to cover paths once used to carry coffins to burial. He was a subeditor on the Bath Evening Chronicle, the former workplace of one of the other three of us, all reporters at the Telegraph and Argus in Bradford. The walk has to be completed within 24 hours if you are to become a 'dirger', join the Lyke Wake Club and claim your coffin-embossed tie. We set off from Osmotherley at 3 am, talking shop and setting the world to rights. By noon, a weary silence had descended. Near the surreal white domes of the Fylingdales early warning station, as we rested before the final push, Terry delivered a withering denunciation of all hearty outdoor activities that would have made a good episode in Discworld. When we reached Ravenscar at 1 am we were stumbling and whimpering with fatigue, but Terry folded his arms and puffed out his chest for the commemoration photo, like an aspiring Royal Marine after his first assault course. Only two members of that outing 40 years ago are now still alive. Soon afterwards Terry became a press officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board ('What leak at a nuclear power station? Oh, that leak at a nuclear power station,' as he has joked); and soon after that he was a famous author.

"Our paths never crossed again until three and a half years ago, when the readers of Third Sector voted him Celebrity Charity Champion in the Britain's Most Admired Charity awards. He was already suffering from Alzheimer's and donating significant amounts to medical research and a range of other charities. He was unable to come to the awards because he had a prior date on stage, doing one of his Evenings with Terry Pratchett, so a colleague and I went down to his home near Salisbury to record an interview we could show at the event..."


From Arifa Akbar in The Independent:

"When Pratchett revealed to the world that he had Alzheimer's, he did so in stalwart fashion, talking about the need to be cheerful, and about his own necessity to carry on working as long as he could. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, only last summer. When he could no longer type, he bought voice-sensitive software that did the typing for him – he wasn't precious. 'I don't need a special pen to write', he said, in a jibe to those authors who demand perfect conditions in which to finesse their prose. He had worked as a journalist on the Bucks Free Press, in Buckinghamshire, long enough to know how to write on the go, in all conditions... I met him in 2012, by which time he had lived with Alzheimer's for five years. As someone who lives at close quarters to dementia – my father has suffered from the illness for the past 13 years – I am well-acquainted with the signs. In our conversation, Pratchett was warm, engaging, mischievous and loquacious, only occasionally lapsing into pauses that were a just slightly too long, and stumbling occasional mid-sentence, so that I couldn't be certain he would carry on. But he did carry on, and it was one of my most memorable and enjoyable interviews. He told me stories about his childhood love of science fiction – how he would have to sneak into a local porn shop in High Wycombe because it was only place that sold fantasy books in the late 1950s and early 60s. He said – tantalisingly – that he had an unfinished memoir – half-written then because he kept getting distracted by his fictive universes... We over-ran the hour allotted for our chat. 'Maybe we'll talk again,' he said, referring to the novels he hoped to publish in future. He seemed to be writing voraciously, as if fending off the worst through sheer force of creative spirit..."


From Jennifer Will on Canadian online magazine Macleans:

"I first learned the news through Twitter, with two simple words: The end. It arrived from the account shared by Terry Pratchett and his assistant, Rob Wilkins. I understood immediately that it meant Pratchett, my favourite fantasy author, had died. Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007, called posterior cortical atrophy (PCA). He spoke candidly about his illness, donated money to Alzheimer's research and worked with the BBC on a two-part documentary called Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer's. Pratchett also spoke about wanting to die by assisted suicide before his disease progressed too far and made another documentary with the BBC on this topic, called Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die. As it turned out, complications of his illness took him in the end... Even though he tackled serious issues in his books, he had a wonderful way with words, making even the most dire situation lighter, even funny. More than once I received strange looks on public transit when I laughed out loud while reading one of his books. It was his simple turns of phrase, clever puns and astute observations that made the books so special..."


By Jess Waters in Emertainment Monthly, the online newspaper of Boston-based Emerson College:

"Documented forever in the pages of Pratchett's novels are the wit and whimsy that made the man so beloved. If you've never read a Pratchett novel and aren't sure what all the fuss is about, this is the reason you should pick one up. Even if you feel that fantasy isn't your genre or that young adult fiction is childish, know that there's nothing immature about these books. According to Pratchett in a 2006 interview with Science Fiction Weekly, Discworld originated as a way to 'have fun with some of the cliches.' Its irreverent and satirical nature has tackled everything from war, theocracy, and capitalism, to Conan the Barbarian and opera music. Those who know and love Pratchett's work can find comfort in returning to it again and again. A good book is not a one-use item, and rereading one can be as comforting as visiting an old friend. In the same way, a good author is never truly gone — Pratchett will continue to make his fans laugh, even through the sadness of his loss, for many years to come...

"In summer 2014, for the first time since its inception, Pratchett was unable to attend the biennial International Discworld Convention, a fan-run event celebrating his Discworld series and other works. Pratchett had been the guest-of-honor at the convention (also known as DWcon) since it began in 1996. He has also been the guest-of-honor at a number of conventions around the world, both dedicated to his work and to science fiction and fantasy in general. Pratchett spoke often about his fanbase and his love for book tours and the convention circuit — in a 1997 interview with January Magazine, he declared that his fans were 'everything' to him. Despite his absence, the four day convention sold out with more than a thousand attendees who gathered for panel discussions, craft workshops, gaming, cosplaying and more, all related to Pratchett's Discworld series. According to an announcement on its website, DWcon 2016 is still on and scheduled to be much the same. Eelco Giele, the chairman of the convention, wrote in the announcement that 'although he will not be joining us in person, in his stories he will be with us.' This is exactly the following — those who have devoted their time, energy, passion, and efforts — that will keep Pratchett's memory alive. DWcon will continue, as will many similar conventions around the world, and they will welcome newcomers to share their excitement just as much as they provide old-timers with familiar companionship and nostalgia... People of many different backgrounds have already written dozens of articles and thousands of social media posts have spoken about how Pratchett had touched their lives. In his passing, that touch has not been erased. Though he may not release any more novels, nor provide smart quips in interviews and thoughtful banter at conventions, Death cannot truly take Terry Pratchett from the world. His influence has gone too deep, his words have spread too far, and the things he most believed in — laughter, bravery, community — are the very things he's left in our care."


This moving tribute by Anna Landin on Tumblr made me cry all over again:

"I usually don't get too emotional over the deaths of famous people, but I'm a bit of a wreck over this one. I have been reading the works of Terry Pratchett since I found Interesting Times on a shelf at the back of my local bookstore when I was fourteen. My bookshelf groans under the weight of all the Discworld novels, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, Where's My Cow and the Mappes of Discworld and Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook for the Ankh-Morpork Hygienic Railway. What I've lost now is not just the source of great books and entertainment; it feels almost like I've lost a distant grandfather. So this is for him.

"Thank you, Mr Pratchett, for a flat world on the backs of four elephants, travelling through space on the back of a turtle – a world that was somehow more than the sum of its parts. Thank you for incompetent, potato-obsessed wizzards. Thank you for sentient pear-wood and many-legged Luggages. Thank you for unwilling rightful heirs, for burping swamp dragons, for vicious elves and feet of clay. Thank you for hot-headed dwarfs, for troll-gangsters, for moving pictures and Music With Rocks In. Thank you for witches. Thank you for Magrat Garlick, for Agnes Nitt of the fabulous hair and great personality; for Tiffany Aching and her frying pan and fierce will to save herself; for Nanny Ogg. For Granny Weatherwax.

"Thank you for the Night Watch, for Vetinari, for Rufus Drumknott; for the Truth that Shall Make Me Frep – for Dibbler and Harga's House of Ribs, for secret brotherhoods and snooty Assassins and thieves and ladies of negotiable affection; thank you for Vimes. Thank you for Angua, for Sergeant Colon, for Nobby Nobbs, for Carrot and Rob and A.E Pessimal. Thank you for Ankh-Morpork. Thank you for cross-dressing soldiers. Thank you for Small Gods. Thank you for Anoia, Goddess of Things That Stick In Drawers. Thank you for printing presses, railways, postage stamps, clacks-towers and Royal Mints. Thank you for golems. Thank you for Anghammarad. Thank you for the Silver Horde. Thank you for Cohen the Barbarian, for Old Vincent, for Boy Willie, Mad Hamish and Truckle the Uncivil. Thank you for Binky, for Mort and Ysabell and Albert and for Susan Sto Helit.

"Thank you for the fierce humanity of your writing. Thank you for hiding a voice of social awareness, of reason and compassion beneath the layers of loving parody. Thank you for Vimes' Boots Theory of Socio-Economics.

"Thank you. Morituri Nolumus Mori, but some of us do all the same.

"I may sometimes wonder if what I do – the stories I try to tell – are worth it; if there's any point at all, when there are so many other important things one can do – but then I find myself sitting here crying over a man I have never met, and now never will, simply for the stories he has given me. Words matter, as do the stories they tell."

A heartfelt thank-you tribute from Galenwolf on Reddit:

"I'm dyslexic and grew with a loathing of the English Language, it would never sit still or make any damn sense. I swore off reading unless it was absolutely necessary. One year I saw Soul Music on TV one Christmas and thought it was great, I saw Wyrd Sisters the next year and wondered who this Terry was and if he had any more stories. That was that for a while until one day I was in, I believe, W H Smiths and saw his books. On a whim picked it up Deaths Trilogy an bought it as it had Soul Music in it, the first book I had ever bought. Within months I had devoured more books than I had in my entire life, and more followed soon after. Terry made me love the language I once hated and fired up a passion in me that's lead me to have my own library full of worlds I have come to love. R.I.P Terry, thank you."

Also on Reddit, a deeply respectful bit of fanfiction by dwellerWorcestershireish:

"Death looked, insofar as it was possible for a skeletal figure to look anything, a touch overexcited. 'THIS IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR DEATH. I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SAY THAT.' He added. 'FOR SOME TIME.'

"'Er. Yes. Very nice. Are you just here for me?'


"'Aha. Yes. I liked that one too. Um... so what happens now?'

"Death squirmed. It looked exactly like a human squirm. 'I WONDERED... IF YOU COULD SIGN THIS FOR ME?' White bony fingers held out a fat paperback book. With no surprise at all, the man read the title. Mort. 'Do you have a pen?' Death fumbled in his robes for a moment and with a flourish, drew out a quill, a bead of ink ripening at the end.

"The man took it gingerly, opened the book and, trying not to blot, went about the business of constructing sentences with his old fluid ease. 'To our dear friend Death, for all the times you've showed up, and all the times you didn't. Your pal, humanity.' He swirled off his signature at the end, marvelling at the way it had come with him through the fog. You knew you were you when you signed your name. "'And now...?'

"'ER. THERE MIGHT BE ONE OR TWO MORE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MEET YOU.' Death now managed to look sheepish. It was clever, really, how he'd mastered such complex human emotions as embarrassment. 'THEY ALL KEPT ASKING ME IF I KNEW YOU.' He shuffled, and even managed a small cough. 'ER... YOU'LL BE NEEDING THE QUILL.'"

From Graeme Neill in The Guardian:

"One solace for devotees like me was the multitude of people who came forward and said they loved his Discworld. Even though Pratchett was the bestselling author of the 1990s, it still came as a pleasant surprise that he meant so much to so many... Since October, I have been reading Pratchett almost exclusively, and I have found out that my younger self had decent taste in books. When I first picked them up in the early 90s, I was attracted by the humour, the inspired puns, the fantastical and apocalyptic nature of the books (four of Pratchett's first five Discworld novels have a world-ending threat), and the sense that I was reading something a bit adult... His books are fuelled by a deep-seated moral anger about the stupid things humans do: Pratchett was so furious because he was adamant we are all capable of so much more. His Watch novels deployed trolls and trans dwarves to rail against racism and social constraints, but did so by showing how we all have some degree of prejudice. By placing the tyrannical genius Havelock Vetinari, one part Steve Jobs to two parts Lex Luthor, as head of the city of Ankh-Morpork, Pratchett challenged us to embrace a dictator. And we do, because he makes the city work. Vetinari is my favourite Discworld character. I worry what this says about me...

"Above all, what Pratchett gave us is a 40-book love letter to reading. Stories are what the Discworld were built on, with his characters using them to explain the chaos of the world. While embracing storytelling, he also showed us its limitations. He was critical of characters who don't live in the real world, but also showed how stories help us get one step closer to understanding..."


From Ben Pobjie on junkee.com:

"Being human was a central concern of Pratchett. Has anyone managed to write with such biting humour, such raucous absurdity, while simultaneously infusing every page with a warm, big-hearted humanity that never left any doubt in the reader’s mind that they, the author, and everyone else were together on this weird, tangled journey called life? To be a human being is to be a big awkward mess, and Pratchett made it his mission to get us all to embrace that, to laugh at it, and to love it... Few writers could weave Pythonesque comedy, quicksilver satire and hoary puns together with heartfelt emotion and true dramatic tension so deftly – few would even try. But Terry Pratchett had an astonishing ability to make the story silly and real at the same time. The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork is called Vetinari – named for a throwaway pun and still as indelible and fascinating a character as was ever committed to the annals of fantasy. Never did Pratchett allow himself to believe that fun was incompatible with meaning.

"And meaning he brought to us. It wasn’t necessary to see the response to his passing for me to know I was far from alone in feeling that Terry Pratchett changed my life. As a writer, certainly: his wizardly way with words, his razor-edged yet generous humour, his light, precise touch, all inspired me creatively and pushed me to strive for that rarefied level of expression. Pratchett runs inevitably through everything I write; all that I create carries a little of him with it, and I cannot sufficiently convey how grateful I am to him for that.

"But more: he changed me – and millions of others – as human beings. He was our company when we felt most alone, a comfort in distress, a font of wisdom and laughter at times when we were most desperately in need of both. His characters were friends, his manic Discworld a destination to head for whenever we needed reminding that our own world was stupid, hilarious, frustrating...but also, every now and then glorious – for a world that produced Terry Pratchett must be so. In the sad, often intolerable procession of life, the population of Discworld endured, and found joy, and we knew we could do the same..."


By Jim Cook, columnist for the Dothan Eagle in Alabama:

"One of the worst things about getting older is watching your heroes die. People who inspired you. People who made you think or feel. People who made you want to do something or be something... Like the best humorists, Pratchett taught while he amused. Fantasy and speculative fiction give authors leeway to handle thorny issues of race, religion, class and equality that would trigger Twitter outrage death spirals if broached in conventional fiction. Couching your criticisms of various human foolishness on a flat world held aloft by four giant elephants standing atop of an enormous spacefaring turtle helps to keep the reading public from getting their knickers in a twist. Pratchett was a master of gently pointing out the various foibles and failings of the human condition. While his satire could be sharp, it was always delivered in the tones of a teacher gently correcting his students... It hurts to think of all the stories that will be left untold by Pratchett’s passing, but I’m grateful for the ones he left us."


...and last but certainly not least – in the Bucks Free Press (Sir Pterry's former place of work), a tribute from John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe (formerly Wycombe Technical High School, Pratchett's place of education from 1959 to 1965), which includes a photo of Pratchett as a schoolboy:

A High Wycombe grammar school has paid tribute to 'inspirational' former student Sir Terry Pratchett and announced plans to honour his life by raising money to fund research into Alzheimer's disease... Assistant headteacher Andy Wright said the 66-year-old former Bucks Free Press reporter's legacy will continue to be long-lasting and added that they are currently looking into re-naming their school library after him. Mr Wright said: 'He's one of the most inspirational characters to come from this area and his work has influenced a number of others. Many who knew him or met him in the past have been sharing their stories and memories in the last day. Over the years he was very supportive of the school and has on a number of occasions been back here to look around and talk to students. He's been described a lot as a nondescript student, but I think to say this truly downplays his time at the school where he was a key figure in our debating society and also wrote stories for our school magazine. Our school debating society was even named after him and when we asked for his permission to do this he found it ironic because during his time here, debating was not a subject the headmaster wanted students to take part in.' He added: 'We are hoping to do what we can to honour his life in the right way and are looking at possibly republishing some of his old work and put profits towards research into Alzheimer's disease. We would also like to speak to his estate about renaming our library after him – we have a big section already dedicated to him and his books remain the most borrowed.'..."


Editor's note: I haven't yet looked around the blogosphere for fan tributes. I think it would break me, at the moment. But I will do so soon, for the end of month issue.



An interview The Telegraph, published 15th March 2015:

"One of Rhianna Pratchett's most cherished early memories is of tucking herself 'like a human hot-water bottle' at her father's back in the big chair in his study, 'peering out from behind him' as he played computer games. The year was 1982 and Rhianna was six. Her father, Terry, was a young science-fiction writer who would the following year publish The Colour of Magic, the first in the bestselling Discworld series that would see him become one of Britain's most successful authors, second only to J K Rowling. Those hours spent in front of the computer with her father had a lasting impact on Rhianna, who went on to become a successful writer of video games, known for her work on Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword and Mirror's Edge. 'I was interested in what my dad was interested in – robotics, gadgets and computers,' she says. 'I thought that fighting aliens and robots was something that girls did as well as boys, so I found a way of doing that for a living.'

"And now, following her father's untimely death at the age of 66, she has another role: guardian of Discworld – the fantastical, hilarious, endlessly surprising milieu that Sir Terry devised. It is loved by millions the world over, from children who delight in the daft humour and silly puns to academics who relish the sharp satire and social critiques (there is at least one serious philosophical volume examining the epistemological and existential implications of the novels). Sir Terry announced in 2012 that he would be leaving the intellectual rights for Discworld to Rhianna, and father and daughter launched the multimedia production company Narrativia to retain exclusive rights to his work across all platforms. With sales of tens of millions of books worldwide, it is a massive empire. 'My role will be to protect the brand that Dad has established,' she says. 'I will steer Discworld. I will be a caretaker and look after how it's used and adapted.'

"For Rhianna, who announced Sir Terry's passing on Twitter in the voice of Death, one of his best-loved characters, her father was always a kindred spirit. They shared, she says, the same imagination, a sense of impatience and a fondness for witty sarcasm. 'I just always 'got' Dad,' she says. 'He always had this desire to share experiences; it was the way he was brought up himself, so he would talk to me as if I was on his level and he made a literary confidante of me pretty early on. Dad was like a druid: he taught me how to build watermills in the stream, the names of plants and flowers, and what was edible in nature. It was like growing up in Middle Earth and having a full‑sized hobbit for a father.' She recalls when she was very young being woken by him in the middle of the night, wrapped in a blanket, and taken outside to see the glow-worms in the hedge. 'He felt it was more important that I experienced the wonders of the world than got a good night's sleep,' she says...

"Last week Rhianna tweeted a picture of herself with her father, saying 'Miss you already'. It's a sentiment shared by millions."




Remember the Smoking GNU, the trio of slightly mad tech geniuses who helped Moist in Going Postal? Now our own Roundworld version of the Clacks can contribute to keeping Terry Pratchett's name forever in the Overhead. On the Discworld's Clacks, G stands for a message that goes on, N for not logged, and U means the message is turned around at the end of the line. Cory Doctorow tells us how to "GNU Terry Pratchett" with HTTP headers:

"In Terry Pratchett's novel Going Postal, an allegory about the creation of an Internet-like telegraph system called 'the clacks,' workers who die in the line of duty have their names 'sent home,' by being transmitted up and down the line in the system's signalling layer ('A man is not dead while his name is still spoken'). GNU Terry Pratchett, which works with both Apache and Nginx, causes web-servers to transmit a special 'X-Clacks-Overhead' header, reading, 'GNU Terry Pratchett,' so that Terry's name lives on in the Internet's 'overhead' forever."

For examples of how to do it (if you are already sysadmin-savvy), go to http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/

If "sysadmin-savvy" isn't how you'd describe yourself but you know a friend or relative or co-worker who might be willing to put GNU Terry Pratchett on their Hex, have a word with your local Technomancer. And remember – Sending Home is invisible to us mere mortals, but it will always be there. In the Overhead. Remembering Pterry, forever, so long as our Roundworld Clacks goes on.

Here is the Reddit thread where GNU Terry Pratchett started:


On Wired:

"When Discworld creator Sir Terry Pratchett passed away last week, a tremendous sense of loss rippled through his dedicated fanbase. Now, a group of those fans are turning to code in an effort to keep the author alive. It all started as an endearing tribute, drawing on one of Pratchett's best-loved books, 2004's Going Postal.... But where the book had 'GNU John Dearheart' – the prefix being a basic code to instruct clacksmen to pass on, not file, and return the message – the internet gives us GNU Terry Pratchett... Developers have been coming up with further tweaks, with ways to include the subtle memorial into everything from Java and Wordpress, to invisible Gmail signatures. Reddit user SillySosis even posted a Chrome extension to Github, which displays an icon in the browser's address bar when a site with the code embedded somewhere in its digital nethers is loaded..."


On Gizmodo:

"Modifications to HTTP headers are seeding an unseeable tech memorial to everyone's favourite fantasy author, with the message 'GNU Terry Pratchett' being added to web server headers in memory of the late writer. The idea copies the concept Pratchett introduced in his books, where a message was sent around communication lines as an aid to remember a passed relative... If you have access to the complicated bits that go along with having a web presence outside of a sparsely updated Twitter feed and some dog photos on Facebook, everything you need to add your echo to the chorus can be found on the GNU Terry Pratchett site, with the change as simple as adding a line of code to the .htaccess file if you've got a server that runs on Apache..."


Editor's note: Wossname's own Hex has been modified. So every time you look at the original Wossname site, you are helping Send him Home.



The Research Institute for the Care of Older People

Alison Flood in The Guardian:

"Pratchett died at home on Thursday, aged 66, 'with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family', said his publishers, Transworld. His publicist, Lynsey Dalladay, set up an appeal shortly afterwards, and by lunchtime on Friday more than 1,600 people had donated £28,053 to the charity The Research Institute for the Care of Older People (Rice). The charity was chosen by Pratchett's family and by his long-term assistant, Rob Wilkins...

"Messages from those donating ranged from quotes from Pratchett's more than 40 novels – such as: 'No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away' – to outpourings of gratitude for what the author has meant to his fans. 'Thank you for Tiffany Aching and all the characters that are part of my world. 'Stop stealing the funeral meats right now, you wee scuggers!',' wrote one donor. 'The Night Watch salutes you Sir,' wrote another. 'There will be a little less laughter on the Roundworld without you,' said a third.

"'The outpouring of love for Terry and his books has been completely amazing and we're all overwhelmed,' said Dalladay this morning. 'It is completely heartbreaking to think Terry is no longer here, he was such a force in all our lives.'... Professor Roy Jones, director of Rice, said the charity had been unaware of the JustGiving page until 'money started to appear unexpectedly'. 'Clearly it's a tribute to him,' Jones said this morning. 'People want to donate, and we're getting money in euros and dollars and pounds. Terry and his family knew we were trying to expand our research programme, and that they decided it should be us is very generous.' Jones, who met Pratchett in 2008, said the author was 'a character – not a typical patient in many ways', and paid tribute to the way he managed to change the public conversation about Alzheimer's and dementia more broadly. 'He has really set a marker,' he said. 'He was relatively shy in many ways. He didn't necessarily seek a lot of publicity before his diagnosis, but he faced up to his diagnosis by saying he was going to talk about it openly. He may not have realised how much his message was going to take off; that people would be surprised that someone of his profile would speak out.'

"George RR Martin posted a tribute to the writer on his blog, echoing the feelings of many when he wrote: 'Terry Pratchett is gone, and the world of fantasy is that much poorer this morning.' Martin continued: 'I cannot claim to have known Terry well, but I ran into him at dozens of conventions over the decades, shared a stage with him a few times, and once or twice had the privilege of sharing a pint or a curry. He was always a delight. A bright, funny, insightful, warm, and kindly man, a man of infinite patience, a man who truly knew how to enjoy life ... and books.'..."


Editor's note: as of this afternoon, £38,451.29 has been raised. Do keep the donations going. Consider it a form of thank-you to the man whose words brightened – and often profoundly changed – our lives.



The Ankh-Morpork flag, flying at half-mast from the Wincanton Town Hall:


Paul Kidby's drawing of Sir Pterry accompanied by three of his most cherished creations – Errol, Rob Anybody and Sardines of the Clan:


Randall Munroe's timely tribute on xkcd:


The Independent's gallery, "Terry Pratchett: a career in pictures":




And then there was the petition...

"Thousands of fans of the great fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett have signed a petition to bring him back from the dead. The Discworld author, who died aged 66 after a long battle with early onset Alzheimer's, featured the character 'Death' in almost all of his 40 Discworld novels. Pratchett's Death was not your stereotypical Grim Reaper, but was instead an irreverent portrayal who – featuring heavily in 1987 novel Mort – had a fondness for cats, enjoyed curry and spoke LIKE THIS. A change.org petition has been signed by more than 6,600 supporters since it launched last night. The petition's founder, Tom Pride, set it up 'because Terry Pratchett said 'There are times in life when people must know when not to let go.'...


And to finish, here is the link to an interview with Neil Gaiman talking about the loss of his friend and collaborator – and more importantly, about their friendship and the creative process they shared through the years, told in a delightful way. It's 35 minutes long and every moment is worth it, even his often understandably emotional reading of a long extract from Good Omens. And the anecdote, which starts around the 25 minute mark, about a very funny incident on their Good Omens tour:


...and a final quote for now:

"The ripples continue to spread. I just spoke to a friend of mine, also a fan. She visited Taronga Zoo (Sydney, Australia) on the weekend. Propped up by the Orang Utan enclosure she saw an 'In Sympathy' card. Unable to resist curiosity, she peeked inside. One word: 'ook"'. In her own words, she collapsed into a quivering puddle of tears on the spot."
–Craig Williams, on FacebOook

And the show will go on...

– Annie Mac


The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2015 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)

Let us go then, you and I,
When the Rimfall is spread out against the sky
Like a victim on Quetzovercoatl's altar
Let us go, through certain dark Ankh-Morpork streets,
As Cumbling Michael bleats
Of restless nights in Elm Street's cheap bedsits
And Harga's restaurant with greasy chips
Streets that follow like a Fools' Guild argument
Of a humorous intent
To lead you to an overt wealth of... footnotes!
Oh, do not play Greek Chorus
Let us go and dance Dark Morris.

In the room the wizards come, unseen
Talking of thaumic octarine.

The Morpork smog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The river-fug that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the Bucket,
Lingered upon the gargoyles guarding drains,
Let fall upon its back the black of lithe Assassins,
Slipped by the terrace, writhed round Sator Square,
And seeing that it was a soft Sektober night,
Curled once around the Tump, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be crime
Under Ankh-born fumes that slide down Easy Street,
Rubbing grey-black upon the window-panes; Disc-ing itself
There will be crime, and barely time
To prepare a voucher for the Thieves that you may meet;
There will be time to say the number Eight,
And time for all Devices wrought by dwarfs
That lift this brawling City toward its fate;
Time for Schleppel, time for Reg,
And time yet for an Igor's deft incisions,
And for a Sweeper's history revisions,
Before the taking of meat and two veg.

In the room the wizards come, unseen
Making a joke about the Dean.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, 'Do I dare? Will Vimes go spare?'
Time to turn back Time and deeds repair,
With P.L.T. making horrors of my hair—
[They will say: 'How she stoops, to wear the tin!']
My armoured breasts, my collar fastened firmly 'neath my chin,
My pedigree's the oddest, but blue-blooded via lupine kin—
[They will say: 'But she's a vegetarian!']
Do I dare
Disturb the multiverse?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which the Moon will soon reverse.

For I have known the grags already, known them all—
Have known the meetings, mineshafts, Ankhian ruins,
I have squandered all my gold in greasy spoons;
I know the old life's dying, like an axe's fall
Beneath the bustle under cellar rooms.
So should I mention Koom?

And I have known the toffs already, known them all—
The eyes that damn you with a far too inbred phrase,
And when I am relegated, tossed like Mr Pin,
When I am told 'No comment!' by Lord Rust,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all Spike's butt-ends from the Golem Trust?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the 'girls' already, known them all—
Arms of that painted Guild, pale, white and calm
(But in the lamplight, best of Mrs Palm's!)
Is it scumble from a dish
That makesh me shpeak like thish?
Arms that twine around a client, or cap a maiden's fall.
And should I rent a room?
How soon should I dig in?

. . . . .

Shall I say, I have lurked at dusk in Morpork's streets
And watched the Clacks that clatter from the roofs
Midst lonely geeks with code-books, changing shifts in towers? . . .

I should have been a cruel wild banshee's claws
Scuttling between the Trouserlegs of Time.

. . . . .

And 'til well past noon, Young Sam will sleep so peacefully!
Smooth is his breathing,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or merely teething
Safe in his bed, here beside you and me.
Should I, after teetotal libations,
Have the strength to foil yet more assassinations?
But though I have cursed and shouted, growled and coughed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] fetch ever higher prices
I am no genius — but I'm cool in crisis;
I have seen the sternest of my Watchmen flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Death of Rats go SNH, and snicker,
And in short, I was pissed off.

And would it have been worth it all, and sweet,
After millennium hand and shrimp for tea,
Among the Faculty, among some talk of Sourcery,
Would it have been worth while
To endure Ridcully's hassling with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe's rubber sheet
To roll it toward some thaumic insurrection,
To say: 'We are wizardry's future, come have fun
'Come HEX me up a treat, H.E.M. is neat!'
If one, scoffing a sausage inna bun,
Should say: 'That is not what I meant to eat.
'That is not real named meat.'

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the battles and the broadswords and the trampled thrones,
After the sagas, after the horse cheese, after the skirts I chased
from Rim to Hub—
And dine-chewers for my grub?—
It is 'barbarian' to say just what I mean!
But seen by a magic lantern through a silken Agatean screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, scuttling a Dark Lord or storming Io's gate
To turn larks into legends, should say:
'That's not a hero's fate,
'That's not a deathless hero's fate.'

No! I am not King Verence, nor was meant to be;
I'm just a tender Tomjon, one who'll do
To thrill the punters, steal a scene or two
Advise the prince; he jingles, but he's cool,
Deferential to the senior Ogg
Mildly thick, gracious, and fond of his wife;
Full of high purpose, but a bit agog;
At times, indeed, a cliche brought to life—
Almost a perfect Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall yet wear midnight when the nights are cold.

Shall I shout 'Io's not blind!'? Do I dare to speak of Klatch?
I shall wear black pointy headgear, and fly on brooms of thatch
I have heard the Beggars, canting to the Watch.

I do not think that they will beg from me.

We have seen young vampires gliding past the Moon
Combing the land for humans to attack
Venting their blood-lust stylishly in black.

We have lingered on the shambling Circumfence
By sea-trolls wreathed with foam against the sky
Till Great A'Tuin takes us, and we fly.

(by Weird Alice Lancrevic, with abject apologies to Thomas Stearns Eliot)

[Editor's note: this was originally published in an issue of Wossname several years ago. I can think of no better time to share it with you again.]


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