yet another RIP

March 13, 2015

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of mourning lately.

I was having a crappy week anyway — various sucker-punchy things happened last week, and I’m still trying to get over them.  And then the news about Sir Terry Pratchett came.  I was already low, and the defenses caved.  I haven’t been able to stop crying.

The odd thing is I haven’t ready very many of his books.  (I need to read more — I know about Angua but I haven’t read any of her books yet and I really really should.)  You see, I’m less a fan of his writing than I am a fan of him as a human being.  I remember one Worldcon seeing him on a panel about traditional fantasy, and he used the phrase “consensus medieval fantasy” — that particular brand of pseudo-historical medievalism that so many fantasy novels seem rooted in.  Isn’t that just brilliant?  And then a few years ago at Capclave, he stopped by to do a sudden unscheduled talk, and I ditched the panel I was supposed to be on to go hear him, which I don’t regret at all.  And toward the end he went on this glorious rant about the word “awesome.”  About how us Americans completely misuse the word.  Awesome ought to be reserved for gods and demons appearing out of the ether with lightning bolts — that’s awesome!  But instead we use it for everything!

It feels like we’ve lost someone really important.  I know he’s been ill for a long time and we knew it was coming.  But it’s still really hard.

The sky where I’m at is very gray and gloomy today.  I hope it rains. I could use a good rain.


6 Responses to “yet another RIP”

  1. Shara Says:

    I love your discussion about his work versus him as a person. I’ve also not read much by him, but everything I read ABOUT him makes me rather fond of the man. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  2. WanabePBWriter Says:

    xkcd is for Terry today.

  3. I haven’t yet read much by him either, apart from Good Omens (though one girl I dated was a huge Discworld fan), but yeah, he always seemed really cool. I’m glad you got to see him in person.

    Also, XKCD did this lovely tribute.

  4. jdtargett Says:

    He mattered to me a lot as a teenager. I grew up at the same kind of pace as the Discworld. As an adult, I’ve lost that fannish need to go out and buy every new book in hardback, but I’ve still managed to keep up with the Disc through the local library and 2nd hand bookshops. (It is stunning to see Pratchett grow in skill as a writer, if you compare something like The Light Fantastic to Night Watch, they are leagues apart in sophistication; and in the last few novels you can see his sentence structure weakening as the Alzheimer’s bites).

    I’m going to miss Vimes and Granny Weatherwax and Vetinari and all of the other heroes and villains. And the bad puns. But somehow, I know that they are living their lives and the Disc i still spinning ,,. and there is a kind of magic in that too.

    Iain Banks this year; Terry now. I know there are new talented writers coming along, but these guys got me when I was young and easily influenced. I read somewhere that people get more attached to music they hear in their late teens and through their twenties, I wonder if that is the same with authors?

  5. winterelf2 Says:

    You hit it on the head. I really couldn’t get into his writing style (and I’ve tried since so many friends LOVE the books, but they are not for me), but as a person – he was amazingly interesting.

    Which reminds me of the actor John Rhys Davies (not that he’s dead), but as an actor, he’s okay, but I don’t search him out. However, I caught a talk he was doing at a con – and I will search him out in the future. Most interesting person I’ve ever heard speak. Really. If you’re at a con he’s at, attend his talk.

  6. carriev Says:

    I think our teenage years are really important for reading as well — the book I reread the most, The Blue Sword, I read for the first time when I was 15. I abandoned a lot of my favorite writers from my teenage years, but I still read everything McKinley puts out.

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