I first heard of Terry Pratchett back in 2000, when I was stuck for three weeks in Salzburg, attending the EF language school. I’ve always been very shy and introverted so I had a tough time making any new friends at that school and was rather lonely. Instead, I discovered Terry Pratchett in a bookshop there and through his books made plenty of new friends.
Havelock Vetinari, the ruler of Ankh Morpork and the most pragmatic of rulers at that. Sam Vimes, a stubborn and cynical copper, but with a deep belief in justice and a love for his city, Ankh Morpork. Granny Weatherwax, a witch with a firm belief in giving people not what they think they want but what she thinks they should want. Death, fond of cats and curry and very curious about all things human and in general a humorous and sympathetic guy. And there are so many more; Rincewind, The Wizards at the Unseen University, the witches of Lancre, Susan Sto Helit, Moist & co and of course all the members of the Ankh Morpork City Watch and the guilds of Ankh Morpork…
That summer I didn’t learn all that much German, but my English suddenly got a lot better and I hold to this day that reading the works of Terry Pratchett in anything but English is a grave sin. Over the years I’ve always been eager to quickly pick up any of his new books as soon as possible and I’ve even ordered a bunch of them from the UK where I got them signed. I’ve also bought all the Discworld movies; Hogfather was great and the other two rather disappointing, but they’re all sitting in a moving box in our cellar… It goes without saying that his Discworld books were always my favorites, but I did read his other books too, like Nation.
Not really sure what more to write… I’d like to write something profound about a guy who never even knew I existed but still had such a huge impact on my life… but the words elude me. I wish I had attended one of the conventions Terry regularly attended and gotten to shake hands with him and thank him… or if not that, that I’d written him a letter to thank him while I still could… but what is, is.
You made me laugh, Terry, and reading your books always puts a smile on my face. I will read them again and again and again and when my daughter is a bit older I will read them to her and hope she’ll get as much joy from them as I’ve gotten throughout the years.
Thank you Terry, thank you for all the smiles and laughs you’ve given me and I will sorely miss you.
PS. I added this to my blog over a year after having written it on Google+ and Facebook, wanting to have a copy of it here as well.
PPS. While I in hindsight recognise that addressing Sir Terry Pratchett as just Terry in this post might be a bit overly familiar, I’m not gonna change that, because this message was originally written shortly after finding out about his death and I feel like changing it after the fact would detract from it.