Discussing a phone call with Terry Pratchett. Brings a smile to my face.
A small sample of the tribute from other authors
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.
Thirty years and a month ago, a beginning author met a young journalist in a Chinese Restaurant, and the two men became friends, and they wrote a book, and they managed to stay friends despite everything. Last night, the author died.
There was nobody like him. I was fortunate to have written a book with him, when we were younger, which taught me so much.
I’ll miss you, Terry.
Neil Gaiman (My Note: Good Omens one of my favourites)
Terry was one of our greatest fantasists, and beyond a doubt the funniest. He was as witty as he was prolific, and that’s saying something…A bright, funny, insightful, warm, and kindly man, a man of infinite patience, a man who truly knew how to enjoy life…and books.
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 R. R. Martins
I love the Discworld novels for so many reasons. They satirise our world and its institutions with an unsparing savagery – everything from the coming of the railways to the internet via religious intolerance and radicalisation – but they don’t make us despair because there are always glorious characters with their hearts in the right place who bring us comfort: Sam Vimes, Tiffany Aching, Death, Captain Carrot, Moist von Lipwig, Rincewind and of course, the Patriarch himself, Lord Vetinari…
His Alzheimer’s was the cruellest possible blow to a mind so inventive, so rich and so funny. With his passing, the world is a less fantastic place.
He wasn’t imagining an alternative universe; he was reimagining ours. His fantasies sit alongside – and are the equals of – those of Rabelais, Voltaire, Swift, Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams. He’s surely our most quotable writer after Shakespeare and Wilde. Granny Weatherwax’s definition of sin – “When you treat people as things” – is all you need to know about ethics.
Whereas all my beloved P G Wodehouses and Philip Pullmans are neatly arranged on the bookshelves, my Pratchetts are strewn under the beds, in the bathrooms, the glove compartments. They have shopping lists, takeaway orders and Scrabble scores scribbled on the fly leaves. They were part of life.
Rincewind is always looking for something “better than magic”. Pratchett found something better than literature.
Frank Cottrell Boyce
I ripped off a good 80% of everything I know about writing from him…I can’t imagine a 13 year old alive who wouldn’t be changed a bit, for the better, by reading Terry Pratchett.
It’s a great loss to the surreal, zany and joyful world that the light that is Terry Pratchett has gone to shine elsewhere…Pratchett’s brilliant, quirky meditations on fantasy worlds and his intense humour developed a strain of fiction that was all his own, recognisably his. His courage in facing his deteriorating health shows the wisdom behind the smiling face. I met him briefly at a couple of events and found him completely authentic – without vanity or pretension
Terry Pratchett once gave me 2 pieces of advice.
- Always tour to meet your readers face to face.
- Buy a hat.
Earlier this month, Alzheimer’s Research UK lost its patron and celebrated fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett to Alzheimer’s disease.
Sir Terry was just 66 when he died at home surrounded by his family, with his cat sleeping on his bed, on the 12th of March. The loss of this great man has had – and will continue to have – a profound effect on both literature and the 850,000 people who are living with dementia across the UK today.
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 other forms of dementia and issued a rallying call to arms for society to talk about the disease and take steps towards defeating it.
Sir Terry’s legacy to dementia research is huge, both financially and as an enormous motivation to our supporters and scientists. When he announced the inaugural Terry Pratchett research fellowship in 2010, he insisted on a single word to be engraved on the trophy: “strive”. Our scientists continue to act upon this powerful call, and push forwards with the research that will defeat the condition that took Sir Terry from us.
Earlier this year we launched a network of Drug Discovery Institutes dedicated to bringing treatments sooner. Without question, Sir Terry’s support of Alzheimer’s Research UK has played a crucial role in making this giant leap in drug development happen. He was a remarkable man and will be sorely missed.
Like Sir Terry, each one of you has the ability to help power the research that will provide answers to dementia. Visit http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/parkrun today to join #TeamARUKparkrun and help defeat dementia.
Head of Corporate & Community Partnerships
Alzheimer’s Research UK
Chris Livingston wrote a tribute to the author, his work, and his connection to videogames—in 1993, he appeared on the cover of the very first issue of PC Gamer—which you can (and should) read here.
I had my clacks.org linked to my exchange server for years. When Sir Terry Pratchett past away hit me hard. He was the best fantasy author I have ever read, and when I found out about the GNU Terry Pratchett project. It’s the best tribute I could imagine. Let Sir Terry Pratchett live on in the overhead of the Internet.
The letters GNU were a hack to ensure Dearheart’s name would continue indefinitely. G meant passing on the message, N meant “not logged” and U meant it must be returned on reaching the end of the line.
From the Book “Going Postal”
- “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” #gnuterrypratchett