Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dear Death: You are disallowed from collecting Terry Pratchett. On my orders. Sorry.

Woe as we:--

There is a myriad of work (ranging from pressing to menial) that I have to address, but I can't. Who can work with a heavy heart? Granted part of my work is shredding papersat the office, but even the appeal of getting paid for unskilled labor can't distract me from the pain of Terry Pratchett's onset death.

Two years ago the fans of Terry Pratchett experienced collective nausea and heartburn when he came out to the press about his battle with Alzheimers. Back then he said he was working on finding advanced medicines to if not stop it then at least prolong it enough for him to churn out a few more books. We had a bit of hope back then.

Now he comes out in the Sydney Morning Herald stating that he's going boots up whenever he damn well pleases, which would be ahead of the affects any brain disease can get at him. While I applaud his badassery with regards to a genetic disease, I can't help but despair at the very real prospect of my favorite writer dying. And imminently too.

I was having an awkward time in my preteens (you know, with boys, periods, illegal weapons exchange, etc) when my mum handed me Carpe Jugulum (my first of many Discworld books). Instantaneously the Discworld became my choice escapist fantasy as well as a style of writing I aspired to reach (or at least poorly imitate). The gaps in my general knowledge on pictsies and English country lore were filled out by The Wee Free Men. I passed my Year 9 English lit. SATs by rereading Wyrd Sisters. And what was to become a modest fascination with all things regarding existentialism and the curious nature of time and space were developed by Thief of Time, Nightwatch, and the Reaper Man. I disappeared into those books for days at a time and emerged better for it. There are things in the Discworld you can't learn in the real world, so I duck out once in a while to find what I don't know yet.

I haven't read all the books yet since life and college continue to unrelentingly bog me down, but my post-graduate plans involve a hammock, a cool porch, an awning to keep off the rain, a view of soft rolling hills, and a stack of Discworld books arranged in chronological order. I'll eat and sleep when I've finished.

Terry, I never had a chance to say this to you (reason being that we've never met-- a minor detail really), but I want you to know that you (in no small way) define me through your work. I do hope that the British government rewards your recent endeavors to have euthanasia legalized, but you will be sorely and most ardently missed. I say this on behalf of all your fans, young and old, thank you for sharing your ingenious worlds with us, we love you like the creepy fans that we are.

Cheers Terry.