‘Compassion’ is one of those words. Terry Pratchett was not a twinkly jolly kindly uncle, nor was he a flaccid liberal. The body count in his books is high. There is retribution. Death comes with a sword as well as a scythe. It’s fantasy, and the heroes kill monsters, but the monsters are not dragons and trolls; they are us. He loathed the idea of meaningless forgiveness and the ‘can’t we all just get along?’ school of argument. […]
Pratchett’s compassion was not sentimental: it was fierce, and angry, and uncompromising. […] He offered a clear-sighted look at humanity, and an intense belief in our capacity for good as well as evil.
–KJ Charles on Terry Pratchett.
I didn’t really post much about Sir Terry’s death, partly because I was moving house that day but mostly because I just… couldn’t.
I don’t cry when celebrities die. I’ve never even understood the compulsion to do so. Until now, that is, and I’m still tearing up as I write this.
Pratchett was an amazing writer, and a massive idol and inspiration of mine. I started reading his books when I was in my early teens, which was, incidentally, about the time he came to visit my city for a book signing. My parents offered to take me. I refused, because I was shy and, well. A teenager. And you know how teenagers are.
I’ll always regret that decision.
Goodbye, Sir Terry. You meant so much to so many. May your legacy teach generations to come about what it means to be human.