Thursday, March 12, 2015

Discworld Shall Float Forever

And Locaha said: I am a part of you, as are all things. So I say to you, Give me the mortal world, and go and make your better one. I will rule here fairly. When a human dies, I will send them to be a dolphin until it is time for them to be born again. But when I find a creature who has striven, who has become more than the mud from which they were made, who has glorified this mean world by being a part of it, then I will open a door for them into your perfect world and they will no longer be creatures of time, for they will wear stars. (Nation, 2008)

Sir Terry Pratchett took Death's hand today. Death, as we Discworld fans know, is quite an amiable fellow, in his own way. A figment of a brilliant imagination, Discworld's Death is an unforgettable character (who also comes in rat form!)

(The quotation above isn't from the Discworld series, but Nation has everything that makes Discworld special.)

Sir Terry wove his insights about human nature into all sorts of whackiness, like a religious tome kept in a three-ring binder (for when the deity added new commandments) and city tensions smoothed over by an interspecies police force consisting of humans, dwarves, trolls, a werewolf, golem, and gnome. Discworld stories were always gently mocking allegories for real-world issues like oppression, slavery, economic instability, religious tensions, drugs, war, and discrimination. Thanks to Sir Terry, the stories were unfailingly hilarious and impressively sharp. 

And the characters! Sir Terry was terrific when it came to creating impressive characters who got even better when they played off each other: Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax; Sam Vimes and Lord Vetinari; Moist von Lipwig and Adora Belle Dearheart; Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men; Gaspode and anyone he talks to...the list goes on. 

A toast the finest comic fantasy author in all the land! The world he created will always be with us, full of gentle laughter and incorrigible nutters. Discworld, carried by four elephants standing on the back of the Great A'Tuin, the space turtle, shall float onto the next generation, because Junior is getting every Discworld novel read to him at night. Every. Single. One. I think we'll finish by the time he goes to college. 

Thank you, Terry Pratchett. You brought joy. You and your works are remembered fondly. 

Here's an article about how nerds are keeping Terry Pratchett alive: Web servers enrolled in Pratchett tribute (BBC).


This post brought to you by a tub of Rocky Road ice cream, because of course I ate my feelings. Bright lights die and it's a damned shame and the world keeps turning and (runs off to find alcohol)

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