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Sir Terry Pratchett OBE

September 13th, 2015 · No Comments

By Lewis P Bear and MEG

 

With the sad loss early this year of Britain’s favourite author Sir Terry Pratchett, the convention committee felt that a man who had touched so many lives should receive some small measure of acknowledgement and thanks. Terry was an essentially shy man who never truly believed in his star status. In the early days when he was a humble convention attendee, his wit and humour impressed many and made him an abundance of friends in science fiction and fantasy circles. He would routinely explain to attendees the plots of his in-progress stories – some of which did not appear in print for many years. Astute readers of his works will notice that characters who become central characters to a later novel were mentioned in passing in earlier books.

Of course it was a two-way street. Like any writer, Terry absorbed ideas from around him. A long discussion with Gytha North (pronounced gee-tha) at one Eastercon led to the division of Witch and Wizard magic in his novels. In other cases, a long rambling late night bar discussion would appear, much improved, as a plot line or sometimes a joke*

These were mere embellishments. The genius was all his own. He could take an un-funny introduction and, by changing only three words, bring the magic to life.

When the suggestion was made that there should be a Discworld Convention, Terry was not, at first, entirely enthusiastic. At that time, conventions were still small fan-run affairs but based around popular media or a particular genre. The idea of an entire weekend event devoted to Discworld and its fans seemed, to him, preposterous. On this subject, he was mistaken.

He was constantly amazed at the positive influence he had on so many lives. This was brought home to him at the first convention when his efforts to cross the foyer to reach the gents were constantly impeded by people thanking him for everything from getting their dyslexic son to read; bringing couples together having seen each other reading his work; accusations of being responsible for the birth of their firstborn; and the simple joy of his remarkable Discworld creation.

He could be witty, charming and acerbic all in the same sentence, but never cruel. Without him, millions of lives would be the poorer and we would like to encourage you to put your thoughts and memories on the tribute board in the foyer to share with your fellow attendees.

This article has been written as a tribute to Terry and his work.
He would’ve written it better.

 

 

 

* In a footnote

Tags: Fandom · Writing