sabremeister: (Miniature DW)
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April 2018 would have seen Sir Terry Pratchett's 70th birthday. He had a well-known connection with the theatre, and so to celebrate, why not put on a play? Local theatre companies around the world can use this month to stage any Discworld play, in a great big celebration and commemoration of Sir Terry's life and work.

I discussed the idea with Colin Smythe at the DW Convention 2016, and he said it was a good one, go for it. So here we are, going for it. Let everybody know, and book the performance slot at the next planning meeting at your local theatre group!

Sir PTerry

Mar. 12th, 2015 09:32 pm
sabremeister: (Basset hound)
The first reports of his passing appeared about six hours ago. Since then there have been many many narrative and pictorial tributes, not to mention all the brief one- or two-word items.

I like to think I'm good with words, that they are my playthings. If that's true, it's because Terry Pratchett built the playground. I'm certainly not good at spontaneous outpourings, particularly emotional ones. So I'm not going to try.

The Discworld, and by extension PTerry himself, meant a huge amount to me when I was growing up. I was getting bored re-reading Hitchhikers' again, and Lord of the Rings was heavy, and Tom Holt seemed just a little too needy of suspension of disbelief. So finding the Discworld books in a tiny little bookshop down an alleyway in a small Yorkshire tourist/market town was ... a Godsend. I don't like using the term, because people inevitably assume you're talking about the Abrahamic one, and I don't believe in that one. There is probably a supreme being somewhere that created the universe, but I doubt they enter into this realm, or even really care much about it, so the supernatural entities that control our lives aren't the ones most religions worship. But I digress...

My life was changed. Here was someone who wrote brilliantly, and it seemed they had tailored their writing style specifically to me. I never laughed so much as when I read the next Discworld book. I had never laughed more, as loudly or as long, as when I read the next Discworld book. I remember reading Moving Pictures, and spluttering with laughter for a good five minutes, unable to continue, over a simple paragraph. I remember, not two months later, reading a similarly simple and brief passage in Lords & Ladies, and being utterly incapacitated with mirth.

Thank you, Terry. I was just a random fan at the conventions, yet you were just as tolerant of me rolling up to ask if you minded having a photo taken of you and a couple of my mates who had just got engaged, as you were of those who had actually contributed something to the convention, or had helped you with a bit of trivia for the next book, or who knew by sight.

And yet - you remembered me. You knew who I was at a booksigning in Edinburgh, after you recognised the script for Eric I thrust at you, which I had written some years before and rather foolishly advertised on AFP. I fair near crapped my pants when you asked if I'd managed to get it produced yet.

Your writing was brilliant and personal and detailed, and your personality was just as brilliant and personal and detailed. You must have been a little the worse for wear at the end of each convention, and yet you still had no trouble or hesitation in signing a prop book (a dictionary) that I'd used in the maskerade two nights earlier. I can now never take that ancient, battered, tiny Oxford Pocket Dictionary out of the fake cover proclaiming it to be a guide to becoming a barbarian hero now, or there will be no indication of how and why the great Terry Pratchett signed it.

Jesus fucking H Christ OBE! Alzheimers! Fuck. Fuck it, fuck it completely. It robbed us. It robbed you.

You appealed to almost everyone. Almost everyone who read your work, not just Discworld, for your work was boundless, almost everyone who read your work was affected by it and took some meaning, some hope, some message from it - even if that message was just, "this guy is the funniest person ever." I got much more meaningful messages from it as well.

Fans of yours live in pretty much every country on the planet. We had a drink to remember you by at 8pm GMT this evening - close to a thousand people from all over the world posted to facebook to mark the event. And not just close to a thousand people - a thousand people all within twenty minutes of each other. Fuck. I don't think even Leonard Nimoy's passing was marked that thoroughly.

I only hope there is a life after this one, and you're able to enjoy it. Be a bit of a shame if you came back as a turnip or something. And, of course, that your family and friends are taking solace from this huge outpouring of ... stuff. Commemoration. Condolences. Sorrow. Ye ken well what I mean!

Oh look, another first I can thank you for. Crying now. Again. And that wasn't sarcasm.

RIP, Sir PTerry Pratchett OBE.


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