I couldn’t possibly tell you my favorite movie. I can’t tell you my favorite song or even my favorite band. I can’t tell you my favorite actor, my favorite genre, or even my favorite book. But I can tell you my favorite author: Terry Pratchett.
To me, this is significant.
I was sent a link today by The Giant, prefaced by “Brace yourself.” Seeing it was a Google Plus link, I anticipated it being NSFW and proceeded to switch to my phone and not my work computer. What I was met with was notice of Terry Pratchett’s death. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up at my desk.
The Nerd Community has lost some greats in the last few months, but none have hit me as hard as Terry Pratchett’s death. No other author has repeatedly made me laugh out loud in an empty (or maybe not so empty) room. No other author has compelled me to consume his or her entire collection (save Douglas Adams, another literary life taken from us too soon).
Terry Pratchett was an author I think most writers would kill to be. He was a genius, he was adored, and he was prolific. It constantly astounds me that one man can create an entire universe–hold that universe inside his head, even after being gripped with aggressive Alzheimers–and continue developing, evolving, and calling back to that universe year after year.
I knew this was coming. A few years ago I read about Pratchett’s diagnosis, and I sought out a way to communicate to him how his works touched my life. At the time everything I could say felt silly. And then life got the better of me and I forgot to try. Admittedly, everything I say still feels silly. I truly do not feel like I can adequately do Terry Pratchett or his works justice.
So I will leave with a link to his Twitter account, because I think Pratchett’s family did a beautiful job handling the announcement of his death.
Thank you for all that you gave to me.