Sir Terry Pratchett was a force for good in the world. His wrote about 34 books and although it’s hard to tell given the nature of L-space, I believe I have nearly all of them on my bookshelf.
He is the author I return to again and again. Partially because he’s so damn funny. He regularly penned such gems as:
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”Terry Pratchett, Diggers
“He’d been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a flamethrower.”Terry Pratchett, Mort
‘Multiple exclamation marks,’ he went on, shaking his head, ‘are a sure sign of a diseased mind.’Terry Pratchett, Eric
Terry Pratchett Was More than Funny
He was funny, but he was also wise. Wise enough to drive any halfway-sane human to tears:
“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”
MY POINT EXACTLY.”Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
This Author Changed My Life
I don’t know who I would be without Sir Terry. In a contest for person-I-loved-most-without-ever-having-met-them he wins hands down. I cried the day he died as though I’d lost a treasured friend. But Sir Terry was a author of great resource. He found words to comfort us long before his passing.
Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
That last quote is one that drives me. It might not sound like an inspirational quote, but in my mind it is. It means that the people I have loved and lost can live on through me. It means I have a responsibility to speak their names, to write my own books, and to leave a mark on this world. Someday, I too will be dead, but hopefully someone out there will make sure my name is still spoken.