Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Personal thoughts on Terry Pratchett

I thought about writing some thoughts on Leonard Nimoy after he died, but I wouldn't have said that much. I was genuinely sad when I heard the news about Terry Pratchett, so I feel I have to write some stuff down.

I met him once. He was patron of the Friends of High Wycombe Library and he gave a talk at their inaugural meeting, at our church as it happened. From the circumstantial evidence I think it was 2003 or 2004. After the talk he was doing signings and I gave him a list of the BBC top 100 books to sign, which he had five books of his in it. He looked bemused at signing this, rather than a book of his. I don't know where that piece of paper is. It isn't lost - it knows where it is.

He was born locally, in Beaconsfield, which is probably why he agreed to be patron. In his talk he said how tolerant librarians would let him take out a couple of hundred library books at a time. I thought I was a prolific reader as a child, but he wins. He also talked about his days as a reporter on the Bucks Free Press.

Some have compared him to Douglas Adams. Some may consider this heretical but (*whispers*) the trouble with Douglas Adams though was that he didn't write much. By the time he got to the fifth book in the Hitchhikers trilogy it was all wearing a bit thin, though the Dirk Gently books were more consistent. Terry Pratchett wrote so many books, with plenty of originality and humour all the way through.

I've got a blog post that I'm gestating about things that you can put into a book or film that will cause me to forgive other faults, like poor plot or character. One of those things is Terry Pratchett. I've just finished The Long Mars and it sort of faded out at the end, but I can forgive that because, well, Terry Pratchett. Or you could blame Stephen Baxter for that bit.

Here are a couple of good articles on the great man:


Have you read any other good articles?

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