Terry Pratchett died last Thursday, 12 March, at the age of 66. I heard the news without surprise but a great deal of sadness. He had been ill for some time.
I’ve been reading his Discworld books ever since 1986 when I stumbled across the second in the series, The Light Fantastic. I was hooked the moment Death, answering a summons by several senior wizards, appeared with a scythe in one hand and with small cubes of cheese and pineapple on a stick in the other.
“I was at a party,” he explained.
Pratchett’s humour, often ironic, frequently hilarious, never cruel, underpinned a fully realised but surreal fantasy universe populated with wizards, giant turtles, vampire soldiers, world-weary assassins, wise witches, evil elves and, of course, Death.
It is sad to think there will be no more Discworld novels. It is even sadder to think the world is now without Terry Pratchett.