I was disappointed to hear on the Breakfast News this morning of the passing of Sir Terry Prachett. He was one of the best Fantasy writers this side of Ankh-Morpork, and in my estimation, will remain one of the best until the end of time. Clever, articulate and a true wordsmith, his stories have been capturing my imagination since they were first introduced to me as a university student.
The first book I read of his, lent to me by a fellow student with a penchant for this genre, was Mort and remains my favourite to this day. It is funny, engaging and it is where I fell in literary love with the Disc World and all its quirky characters.
I confess I have a little book crush on the character DEATH. His dry wit, sage quips and commanding presence are, for a fictional character, quite attractive. His booming voice (I know this to be so because his 'voice' is always portrayed in capitals, so my imagination conjures up a voice that is part Vin Diesel and part James Earl Jones) is quite captivating. And of course, the fact he rides a white steed called 'Binky' and loves cats simply makes his character all the more endearing.
To think that there will be no more stories where DEATH and all the other characters that fans like myself have come to love, will be appearing, is quite unsettling. I had heard last year that Sir Terry had a form of Alzheimer's, which had manifested itself 7 years earlier, but I had secretly hoped that he would be able to keep it at bay a little longer. Sir Terry had nicknamed his Alzheimer's 'The Embuggerance', and an 'embuggerance' it has been, for it has taken this exceptional story teller away from us before we were prepared to let him go. For me it feels like a cruel twist of fate that such a talented and clever writer, be struck down in this way.
I wish I had met him, and although I had not, I feel as though I knew a part of him through his writing. His stories, his characters and his witty and insightful reflections on our world will live on, and I am grateful for his contribution to my own world view.
Thank you, Sir Terry, for stretching my own imagination, making me laugh out loud (often in a snort of amusement), and for providing me with a creative way to reflect on my own assumptions and ignorances of humanity.
May the afterlife be one where your boots are always clean, your wit forever quick, your clever repartee always on hand, and most importantly, that inconvenient embuggerance forbidden eternal entry!
And, if Death was real, I know what He would say.
"BUGGER THE EMBUGGERANCE!"