Two weeks after losing one great sci-fi/fantasy icon of our times, we lose another.
I first ran into Terry Pratchett in, of all places, Paris, when my family stopped in a bookstore and I found a copy of Soul Music in their small English-language section. I was immediately stunned by the brilliance and depth and humour and intelligence of the world the author had created. That was good enough, but one thing about Pratchett that has impressed me even more since was how even when he was already good enough a writer, he visibly got even more brilliant as the Discworld series went alone, and after relying on the reset button in his early books, even let his world develop and change, and reflect on our own even when it was absurdly funny. He also created a version of Death that perhaps has transcended the series in how we view the Grim Reaper as a fictional character, especially once he brought him to his and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, the masterpiece where two authors of fantasy humour combined their talents to create a true classic.
And even in departing, we got a final taste of his most famous character via Twitter. He was brave in the end too, keeping the struggle up against Alzheimer’s and even still writing while in the grips of the disease. Even so, he is gone far too soon, and that we have spent years braced for this makes it no easier to face today. RIP.