I don’t remember when I first discovered the work of Terry Pratchett. I’m fairly certain that it was Rincewind I found first; I remember laughing when reading Sourcery — eighth son of an eighth son indeed! And the Luggage! And the Librarian! It didn’t take me too long to find the Witches, but Captain Carrot and the Watch of Ankh-Morpork were later in my reading.
I devoured every Pratchett I came across, and I eagerly anticipated running into old favorites among the characters, especially Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, who could turn up almost anywhere (although not in Ptah). I loved Going Postal, but somehow, Making Money didn’t grab me quite as much. I think, as I got older, the bitter truths that he was satirizing had become too real for me, and I found it harder to laugh at some of the things he depicted.
However, his work for younger readers? Tiffany Aching is amazing! There’s a lot of honesty there, too, and it’s hard, but sweet as well. I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to hand those to.
Naturally, I was heartbroken when he died, although we’d all known it was coming.
This weekend, I’ve been reading some of his earliest work — Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Tales, which is stories he sold to newspapers when he was in his teens. The writing, the voice — unmistakably his, as is the whimsy (the Friday Knight?). It’s a delightful collection, released last year, and if you have fond memories of reading Pratchett’s work, if you long for something new, pick it up. It’s a lot of fun, and it shows that although he honed his writing over the years, his core was always there.
Today’s post was inspired by the topic “In Memoriam” — May’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the next posts in the series, by Sandra Barret and D. M. Bonanno.
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on first stories, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!
I’m going to be sacrilegious and admit I don’t think I’ve ever read Pratchett. When my sister was pushing books on me, I was very resistant to fantasy (though she managed to slip in quite a few somehow), and later I just never had time. Your descriptions make me want to though :).
🙂 There’s always somebody we haven’t read.