Standing in the Scottish Parliament entrance hall today, checking my phone on the way back to the office, I found myself stopped in my tracks and welling up. I’d just seen the news that author and campaigner Sir Terry Pratchett had died at 66, just a year older than my Dad. Pratchett’s work has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and his death feels like that of a dear friend.
Whether it’s Nanny Ogg’s sexual innuendos and narrow avoidance of catching the plague from the horror of a cat that is Greebo, or the fact that the librarian in the Unseen University is an orang-utan, Pratchett’s Discworld is full of characters and places that will live on in the imagination of people around the world.
I realised upon walking through my front door tonight that almost half of all the fiction I own is by him.
For me, Sir Terry just understood people and seemed to get what life was for, how societies worked and how the tiniest of actions fits a much bigger scale of historical and universal significance. I really don’t know how he did it without being somehow omnipotent but I’ll always be immensely grateful for his funny, touching and deeply important works.
Thank you Terry.