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Terry Pratchett

Friendship is context-sensitive.

I wouldn't describe Terry as a friend, but as someone I'd been on a first-name acquaintanceship with since the mid-1980s. If you go to SF conventions (or partake of any subculture which has regular gatherings) you'll know the way it works: there are these people who don't really see outside of this particular social context, but you're never surprised to see them in it, and you know each other's names, and when you meet you chat about stuff and maybe sink a pint together.

I haven't seen Terry since the Glasgow worldcon in 2005. The diagnosis of his illness came in 2007; I'd been spending a chunk of 05-07 out of the country, and after the bad news hit I didn't feel like being part of the throng pestering him (for reasons I'll get to later on in this piece.)

I first met him, incidentally, back in 1984, at a British eastercon in Leeds. It was, I think, my first SF convention. Or my second. I was a spotty 17- or 18-year-old nerd, wandering around with a manuscript in a carrier bag, looking for an editor—this was before the internet made it easy to discover that this was not the done thing, or indeed before word processors made typewritten manuscripts obsolescent. (Let's just say that if in a fit of enthusiasm you borrowed your future self's time machine and went back to that convention in search of me you'd have been disappointed.)

There were plenty of other embryonic personages floating around there, of course. I remember meeting this tall goth dude with shaggy hair, dressed all in black and wearing mirrorshades at midday, who resembled the bassist from the Sisters of Mercy. He was called Neil, he wrote for a comic called 2000AD, and he had an oddly liminal superstar quality even then: everyone just knew he was going to be famous, or in a band.) And there was this thirty-something guy with glasses and a bushy beard propping up the bar. What set him apart from the other guys with beards and glasses was that he had a hat, and he was trying to cadge pints of beer with an interesting chat-up line: "I'm a fantasy writer, you know. My third book just came out—it's called 'The Colour of Magic'." So you'd buy him a drink because, I swear, he had some kind of bibulous mind-control thing going, and he'd tell you about the book, and then you'd end up buying the book because it sounded funny, and then you were trapped in his snare forever.

Back then, Terry was not some gigantic landmark of comedy literature, with famous critics in serious newspapers bending over to compare his impact on the world of letters to that of P. G. Wodehouse. Terry was earning his living as a press officer and writing on the side and didn't feel embarrassed about letting other people pay for the drinks. And so over the next few years I bought him a pint or two, and began to read the books. Which is why I only got hooked on Terry's shtick after I'd met him as Terry the convention-going SF fan.

Some time between about 1989 and 1992, something strange began to happen. I started seeing his name feature more prominently in bookshops, displays of his books planted face-out. He started turning up as guest of honour at more and more SF conventions. When a convention did a signing with Terry, suddenly there was a long queue. And when he walked into a room, heads turned and people began to close in on him. There's a curious phenomenon that goes with being famous in a particular subculture: if everybody knows you, you become a target for their projected fantasy of meeting their star. And they all want to shake your hand and say something, anything, that connects with what your work means to them in their own head. (If you want to see this at work today, just go to any function he's appearing at—other than the Oscars—and watch what happens when Neil Gaiman walks into the room. He is, I swear, the human Katamari.)

Being on the receiving end of this phenomenon is profoundly isolating, especially if you're one of those introverted author types who can emulate an extrovert for a few days at a time before you have to hide under the bed and gibber for a while: you're surrounded by strangers who desperately want to connect with you and after a time it becomes really hard to tell them apart, to remember that they're individuals with their own lives and stories and not just different faces emerging from the surface of a weird shape-shifting fame-tropic amoeboid alien. It's not just authors who get this: if anything we get off very lightly compared to actors, politicians, or rock stars. (For some insight into it, go listen to the lyrics of Pink Floyd's "The Wall".) I should add, this sort of introversion is really common among writers. It's an occupation that demands a certain degree of introspective self-absorption, alongside a constant distance from the people you're observing, who—they mostly don't know this, of course—may provide the raw fuel for your work. So, if you want to hang on to your sanity, eventually you either go and hide for a bit, or you surround yourself with people who aren't faintly threatening strangers who want a piece of your soul. Which is to say, you selectively hang out with your peers, or folks you met before you caught the fame virus.

Terry was not only a very funny man; he was an irrascible (and occasionally bad-tempered) guy who did not suffer fools gladly. However, he was also big-hearted enough to forgive the fools around him if they were willing to go halfway to meeting him by ceasing to be foolish at him. He practiced a gracious professionalism in his handling of the general public that spared them the harsh side of his tongue, and he was, above all, humane. As the fame snowballed, he withdrew a bit: appreciating that there was a difference between a sharp retort from your mate Terry at the bar and a put-down from Terry Pratchett, superstar, he stepped lightly and took pains to avoid anything that might cause distress.

Anyway, this isn't a biography, it's just the convoluted lead-in to an anecdote about the last time I saw him (which was a decade ago, so you'd better believe me when I say our relationship was "situational friend" rather than "personal friend").

On the last day of the worldcon in 2005, I was wandering around feeling extremely frazzled and a bit hunted. I'd just won my first Hugo award, and my right hand was sore from people I didn't know grabbing it. Eventually I realized that I just couldn't cope with the regular convention concourse in the conference centre—I was a walking target of opportunity for people who wanted to shake the hand that held the pen that wrote the ... something, I guess.

At a British worldcon, you can count on there being a really excellent real ale bar tucked away in a corner of one of the hotels or fan areas. I headed for the real ale bar and found a degree of comfort and shelter there, because it was mostly full of familiar faces who didn't need to push into my personal space because I was just some guy they'd been bumping into in convention bars for a decade or two. The rate of hand-grabbing dropped to a survivable level: I began to relax, and found a couple of old friends to hang with. And then I noticed Terry.

Terry had not won a Hugo. He didn't need to. (As he said, "I was in the audience at some literary awards ceremony or other with J. K. Rowling one time, and she was lamenting how they'd never give her one, so I turned to her and I said, Jo, me neither: we'll just have to cry ourselves to sleep on top of our mattresses stuffed with £20 notes." Money being, of course, the most honest token of appreciation a commercial author can receive.) Terry didn't need a shiny new Hugo award to find it nearly impossible to walk around a convention and just be a fan: I was getting my first taste of the downside of fame, but Terry had been living with being Terry Pratchett, OBE, Richest Author in all the Land, for more than a decade. He was looking tired, and morose, and a bit down in the dumps. So we went over to say hi.

At this point, he perked up. Omega, who I'd been chatting to, had first met him in the mid-80s, about the same time as me: Feorag got a pass for being married to one of us. He'd been having a hard time being Terry Pratchett in public for five consecutive days. He wasn't quite ready to go and hide out in his hotel room, but he needed some respite care from being a Boss-level target in every starry-eyed fan's first-person autograph shooter; so, as it was coming up on lunchtime, by mutual agreement we dragged him away from the SECC to Pancho Villa's in Glasgow for lunch. Okay, Glaswegian-Mexican food is not what you'd necessarily call good good. But it filled a corner and, more importantly, it got him far enough away from the convention to decompress a little in company that wasn't going to place any demands on him.

Now, Terry (like the late Iain Banks) seemed to feel a bit of noblesse oblige (or maybe just plain survivor's guilt) over the sheer mind-boggling scale of his success. ("I realized I was rich," he recounted, "when I got a call from my agent one Thursday. That cheque I mailed you—did you get it? He asked. And I realized I couldn't find it: lost down the back of the sofa or something. Can you cancel it and mail me a new one? I said. And he said, yes I can do that, but you realize you won't be able to deposit it before next week and you'll lose the interest on it? And I said sure, just go ahead, cancel it, and send me a new one. Then I put the phone down and realized it was for half a million pounds.") Things had obviously changed since the days when he had to cadge drinks off fans in convention bars: and I realised that I hadn't bought him a pint since about 1989, and this rankled a little bit. Nobody likes to think of themselves as a charity case. Also, I'd just won a Hugo and landed a new three book deal and was beginning to feel a bit of that survivor's guilt myself.

So at the end of the meal, while he went to the toilet, I tried to pick up the bill. But the waitress was slow, he got back to the table before she could make off with my credit card, and when he pulled out his gold visa card, snarled "who's the rich bastard here?!?", and chuckled to himself, I knew I was beat. And I never did get to buy him lunch, in the end.

Anyway, those are some of my memories of Terry Pratchett.

He was generous not just with money, but with his soul. He was irrascible, yes, and did not suffer fools gladly: but he was empatic as well, and willing to forgive. Witty. Angry. Eloquent. A little bit burned by his own fame, and secretly guilty over it, but still human. And the world is smaller and darker without him, and I miss him deeply.



I remember that meal well but as an evening one rather than lunch. What I do remember is Feorag and I concentrating very hard on the remains of desert to stop snigggering at you two arguing over paying the bill.

Mind you, after all that good food, conversation and jugs of frozen margaritas followed by whatever the scandifen and Peter Morwood were passing round at the dead dog it's a wonder I remember anything at all of the end of Interaction.

It was always going to be too soon to lose Pterry, even with all the years of preperation we've had. Thanks for the shared memory.


I knew the people around Terry (Colin and Rob particularly) far better than I knew Terry himself, for similar reasons to the ones you mentioned above - at the Discworld events I helped to run, he was The Guest and had to deal with the fannish hordes all day long.

So although I knew him casually for twenty years, the only times I ever got to talk with him was with the DWCon night owls, when he'd stay up and chat to us over drinks.

I do remember getting trounced at a charity auction by him, though - if I remember correctly, it was a signed first edition of one of his junior books; and the Make A Wish Foundation had one of their kids present as a personal guest of Terry.

So I thought it would be good to buy the book and hand it over as a gift; and started bidding for the book. Someone else bid; I counterbid; they counterbid again.

Then Jen tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out exactly who I was bidding against.

Terry looked at me, grinned and waved his chequebook in my direction.

Needless to say, the child was doubly thrilled to be given a book by Terry.


I first met him back in '88, and it was my second con, my first Eastercon, at the Adelphi. I'd read some of his stuff by that point, but he was 'a writer I liked' rather than the big name superstar. I said hello, and how I'd enjoyed his writing, and we got chatting about this and that in general as we had a drink. (I think I may have bought that one, FWIW.)

He was in the process of writing Pyramids, and he used me as a guinea pig for some of the jokes. I suspect that was the fate of any random fan at that point.

He was also at my third convention, a smallish one called Congregate at Northampton, also in '88 IIRC, where he and Iain Banks were the GoHs. At one point there was a panel on humour. He and Banksie started telling jokes. I think Banksie wavered when he realised just how many Dead Baby jokes Terry was able to tell. Terry had an appreciation for quite dark humour, darker than he usually produced himself.

The next time I met him was a signing queue, at the Forbidden Planet in London, in late '94. Since that was where I physically met my now wife Colette for the first time, it's quite memorable for us. But by then, the fame had started to kick in.

(I need to check how she first met him. She told me, but it's years ago and I've forgotten.)

We as a couple got to know him reasonably well because of the fandom. We invited him to our wedding ("Terry, this is your fault") and he came. A bunch of us went that evening to see Stephen Briggs stage Life Of Brian in Oxford, and Terry of course was going to that (because it's Briggs who made the stage adaptations of the books), so we met Lyn for the first and only time at that. (I think she'd been doing Christmas shopping in town during our actual ceremony - she was always very divorced from the fame, much more than Rhianna who did pop in once or twice.)

And then there were the conventions, which we were involved in running. Terry's stated attitude was that being available for the fans was part of the day job, so he was very visible at those. Our aim was not to crowd him, to treat him almost as if he was a cat. If he was happy to come over and chat to someone, then great. If he wanted to catch up with us, to flirt with Colette (and he did do that, knowing that she knew that he knew that it wasn't serious on either side), then that was lovely. If he wanted to chat to someone else, then let him chat to them. If he was being crowded by someone else and we saw the almost subliminal signs of discomfort (and some DW fans were/are rather intense), we'd slide in to rescue him. But if he was trying to catch up on something, then leave the poor guy be.

(We would make him two badges, one as Terry Pratchett, and one as Silas T Firefly. Instructions were: if you see this Firefly guy, he's tired of being mistaken for the famous writer, so let him alone.)

The last time we saw him? The 2012 Discworld Convention, and that was painful. He was still in there, somewhere, but that spark, that glow, had gone. We hoped there might be some miraculous form of recovery, but in the end, it wasn't to be.

For Colette and me, he brought us together, and he was a friend that we'd catch up with whenever we happened to see him, perhaps at a convention or gathering, or perhaps at a hotel breakfast in Boston. We know people who knew him better, people who would occasionally go and visit him at home, but we were in the circle outside that.

Goodnight Terry. We'll miss you. And why is my keyboard wet again?


Thank you Charlie. From a Pratchett and Stross fan in flyover country.


You lucky, lucky bastards...I mean that sincerely. It's a sad day, but all your life you'll have memories of this great man. And I don't mean great as in famous or even talented. Just off the static print you could tell he had Soul (with rocks in.) So I am sure you appreciate the gift of knowing him. We are cut up as it is without ever having had the pleasure. My condolence to his family and also to the rather large chunk of this spherical object we inhabit that will miss him terribly.

Meanwhile, it reminds me to always carry a sugar lump for the inevitable meeting with Binky.


Thank you. The stories I'm hearing from people who knew him make me realise that Terry-the-real-person was someone I really wish I could have known. But at least I knew Terry the author, from his books. And that's something to rejoice over.


Yes. Yes we will. And I think part of his genius was that there are so many people who can think of him as a friend, to one degree or another. Part of that was the gracious way he treated his fans — as I said above, his attitude was that meeting fans was part of the job, as important as the writing, which is why he would do those punishing signing tours. Most writers are, as Charlie says, not that comfortable doing that.

But Terry was a fan first. Back at that 2005 Worldcon up in Glasgow, Colette and I were manning a con table in the big hall. Because we hadn't managed to get other volunteers to help (the crossover between the DWCon and Worldcon attendees was never huge), we weren't getting to see the convention we were at. At some point, perhaps the Sunday, Terry wandered past the table and stopped to say hello. And as he bubbled about how great the convention was, we were thinking "Yes, yes, we've NOT SEEN IT!".

He nearly died that day.

Oh okay, not really. And he wasn't to know how we'd been stuck behind that table, and it was our issue not his. But yes, he liked going to conventions as a fan. And that helped him keep connecting with his fans.

(I should concede that many writers do that. It's that Terry used to so explicitly budget time for that.)


I am in Canada and had never heard of Terry Pratchett. I did enjoy Xanth type novels though in my teens.

What's the best Diskworld novel an adult might dip his toe into? Good satire is always a welcome find.



That must have been a slow waitress. In my limited experience Scottish restaurant bathrooms tend to be down a flight or two of stairs and down a hall into the next building.

Unfortunately I came to Pratchett late, and have only read a few of his books so far. It's a lousy way to get bumped up the to-be-read list. "The Colour of Magic" is now next. The closest I have to an anecdote is being in a favorite used book store last year, overhearing a couple teen girls, one of them loudly complaining "What kind of fucking bookstore doesn't have any Pratchett!" I felt like going around the shelves and saying "Umm, you know he's kind of popular, right?" But I'm not in the habit of nosing in like that. He's one of those writers whose books I used to see more often used, but in the last decade or so has been rarer. Not necessarily a bad thing, so long as he's being read.


I generally recommend "Small Gods" as one of the most self-contained and with some of the best one-liners. Read it and then read the annotations and see how many references you missed! (Everyone misses some; he drew from so many wells.)

What's the best Diskworld novel an adult might dip his toe into? Good satire is always a welcome find.


Small Gods.
Moving Pictures.
Night Watch.


I was fortunate enough to speak to him, perhaps six times ...
A very good friend of mine is a model for a mythical character in one of his novels ( "Queen Ynci the short-tempered" )
Yes, he was sometimes angry, but never (in my brief experience) AT you ...
[ There's a collection of shorts/essayas of his called: "A slip of the Keyboard", sitting in the unread/t-be-read pile right now. ]

"Small Gods" & "Guards Guards!" are very good, but "Soul Music" is the only book that has ever made me both laugh fir to burst, almost & then cry - in the space of a double-page spread (!)



I remember that I'd seen Terry at JerseyDevilCon 2002 where he was GoH.

But I didn't meet him.

I was in the audience for one of his talks, but afterwards, when the crowd closed in for the kill, I walked away. I don't (normally) do the 'fanboi' thing. After all, I don't want to bore the person with the same thing they've heard thousands of times before!

You're the only author I've met and chatted with (I'm friends with another author in a different field, but I knew him before he was well known). And I'm always worried about boring you, the few times we've met!

My introduction to his books was Colour Of Magic; it was a random pick off the shelves of Forbidden Planet (London). I used to have the habit of heading downstairs and picking up a dozen or so books from my "like to read" authors, and then wander around looking for someone new, to expand my range. I was in the mood for something lightweight, and spotted the Josh Kirby cover art. That looked funky, and the blurb made it seem like a comedy fantasy. That fitted my criteria, so it got added to the pile of books.

I got exactly what I wanted :-)


I only met him once (in one of his infamous book signings - I had not read anything at the time, but a group of friends from the Uni Science Fiction Society were going, so I went along). I just remember him being brief but friendly with us (not surprising given the length of queue), and muching on Kumquats in between people. A few years before I was there, he had come and done a guest talk for the Uni club, and only asked for banana daiquiris beforehand, not a fee.

I started reading the books after that, and generally like most of the later ones best (with the exception of Unseen Academicals - for some reason I could not finish it, possbly because I don't like football).

I have however heard of him from others which support the generosity mentioned elsewhere - tales such as even fairly recently making significant efforts to travel a couple of hours to come and see amateur productions of plays of the books.

I also know someone who knew him in his role as press for the nuclear industry, and describes him as a bit of an eccentric / character then.


There appears to be a petition on, asking DEATH to bring him back. Although it is axiomatic that a million to one shot will work nine times out of ten, I am given to understand that there is no appeal. Never any appeal.


I never really expected I'd get to chat with him, hell, I still get starstruck talking to our lovely host here... but it is nice seeing you lot share your tales of doing so, keep going.

As for stories, it wouldn't be right to suggest Light Fantastic without the first one, but I do so adore Cohen, so I guess Interesting Times if I had to pick one book, all three if giving my pick for a starting point... which is fitting since they're kinda the starting point.


I may be different, but for an adult it honestly depends on your interests.

I enjoy satire, know a bit about newspapers (worked in one in college) and thought The Truth was the bomb.

Then there was Making Money. Which as an MBA that goddamned killed me.

And finally there's the one I've re-read the most after I started getting into Pratchett - Small Gods. That one gives me a lot of comfort, some smiles and made a killer radio play on BBC.


one of his infamous book signings

Ah yes. The queues for those — particularly the ones at Forbidden Planet in London — got ridiculous. We attended quite a few of them on the principle that anyone willing to turn up to a signing was quite likely to be receptive to the idea of coming to one of the Discworld Conventions. Since Terry was writing a couple of books a year, and there would be hardback and paperback releases, he did a lot of signings. And every time, more people would turn up. They went on for hours.

Eventually, in an effort to save his wrists (he was already using bags of frozen peas as wrist wrests), he was persuaded (probably by Rob his PA) to get stamps made up. But then, he ended up stamping the flyleaf, and signing it, and doing a quick squiggle sketch as well, so the stamp didn't save effort.

Colette and I used always to get a signed copy each of the hardbacks, though we stopped in the later years. That was so if we split up, we'd not have a huge row over who got the copies. We did end up somehow with three signed copies of Soul Music (Laura Anne Gilman ended up with the third, years later).

Part of the reason for the length of the signing sessions was he was also pacing himself. Rather than scribble, scribble, scribble, it would be chat, scribble, chat, pose for photo, scribble, and so on.


I do wonder how many books he had to sign for Death before they finally parted ways. It seems he had fans all over, and I wouldn't be surprised if they went past the red dust of this world.

I never met Terry myself, so I'll pass on another anecdote. My graduate advisor suffered dealt with a protracted illness for many years at the end of his life. His wife had never heard of Pratchett's work, and I was lucky enough to introduce them. Her chuckles as she read enlivened the chemo center for many months. Pratchett was good at bringing joy to some dark places, and thankfully, he wrote a lot of books.


He wasn't really a satirist, though there was satire in his
books and characters/incidents like Cohen could be said to
satirise memes. His humour was more like that of Stephen
Leacock or Stella Gibbons than Jonathan Swift or Jaroslav


Thank you veru much for sharing some of your memories of Sir Pratchett.
I never met him as I don't go to SF conventions -they are always very far from home and much to expensive for me- but I know for reading his books that I would have liked him as a person, not only as as a writer.
And if it's time to share personnal memories, just know that if I can read you is because of Sir Pratchett : 20 years ago his books were rarely translated or translated 3 or five years laters so I began to seriously read in english. First with the dictionnary open just beside the book.
By now I realise I don't read much books in french and I don't have to wait for the translations. And this is happy news as your books wait 2 or 3 years -and often more- to be translated ! Just like Pratchett's one used to be.
Ans every day I drink my coffe in a mug with a capitalized quote "THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE IS JUST US".


Funny thing about people hounding celebrities, and the Pratchett fandom as I know it:
I first met Terry when I decided to fly to a Clarecraft event, I think in 2001 or 2003. I seem to distinctly remember that he blithely wandered around the site with hardly any hounding at all, apart from the occasional "Hi Pterry!" from people he happened to pass by.
One evening I was sitting in a large tent or gazebo with a few people, having a drink. Terry wandered by, look in and asked "Might I join you guys for a bit?". I was curious, so at some point during the following conversation I asked him: "How come people here leave you pretty much alone? That's not how I imagined you would be treated at an event specifically created to celebrate your work.".
His answer was: "Well, it seems the people who get attracted by my work consist predominantly of the considerate kind."
And that was that.
(All details and quotations largely inaccurate.)


Clicky. Personally, I'd recommend the Death or City Watch streams to start, with the Witches coming in third - but it's up to you. They're all good; the only thing to be aware of is that The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic were books where he was still finding his feet, to a certain extent; they're good, but I don't think they're the best place to start if you don't already know the Discworld.


Well he was excellent at replying to emails and was very interesting about making Vimes a bit of a darker character.


Photographic note:

I forgot to say that the picture at top is one of PTerry at Interaction, the 2005 worldcon in Glasgow, having the brain-shaped non-euclidean manifold he keeps hidden under his hat devoured by Fluff the Plush Cthulhu (who travels the world, devouring famous SF/F authors' brains). More evidence of Fluff's authorial gastronomy can be found here.


That's great, think of all the insane stories Fluff could write if not for the crippling lack of fingers.


I'm surprised at the suggestion that TCOM+LF is a bad place to start "if you don't already know the Discworld". Were we doing it all wrong?

Something the OP brought back, for me, is just how long it took for Pterry* to become an overnight success. I bought the first four or five Discworld books more or less as they came out - but they went straight into paperback, and I bought them from a secondhand bookshop that had a line in shop returns and remainders. Let that sink in - they were remaindered. I don't think it was until Guards! Guards! that the world really woke up to what it had here.

Recommendations: interesting that other people's recommendations include books I haven't re-read or held on to, and even one I struggled to finish. But my own recommendations would certainly include Small Gods and Guards! Guards!, so we're agreed on that much. I'd add Mort and Wyrd Sisters, and - unlike slamble - I'd strongly recommend anyone who likes the first one they read to double back and start at the beginning. It worked for a lot of us, after all. (No, not Strata. Behave.)

Interactions with pTerry: only a couple, mediated by alt.books.pratchett. (But how amazing was that - a writer who frequents his own Usenet group! Groups plural, in fact, although he eased off on when the traffic started mounting up.) I'd made a heartfelt but perhaps rather ungracious comment about the long wait for the paperback edition of the new book everyone else was shouting about, and I got an email in reply pointing out that the hardback was selling far too well for the publisher to think of a paperback any time soon. He also satisfied my curiosity as to whether Bloody Stupid Johnson - occasionally abbreviated to "B. S." - had any connection to the author B. S. Johnson ("Complete coincidence"). Nothing very remarkable about any of that, except the part about the sender of the emails being a million-selling author who could easily have ignored importunate moaners like me (and probably should have done, all things considered).

The news isn't entirely unexpected, and by now the news from that quarter was always going to be bad in one way or another. But it saddens me more than I'd expected. He wasn't - and didn't claim to be - a Great Novelist or a deep thinker, but he did what he did extraordinarily well. A fairly early appraisal in Interzone described his work as 'comedies', which I think is dead on - comedies with a moral sense, rooted in an unillusioned** sense of what the world is like but bounded with hope. (I think Thud is my very favourite DW book, although obviously it'd be a bad place to start.) There isn't anyone like him, any more.

There's also something about Pterry's imagining of the afterlife - or rather, of the transition - that makes his own leavetaking hugely poignant. Has anyone designed a poster showing Pterry with Death and Binky? If they haven't yet, I'm sure they will.

*Affectation of an old abp reader. It's not as if I'm going to get many more chances to use it.

**Sometimes downright cynical, but not often.


I agree that the first two books are largely fun parodies of existing SFF. Then Equal Rites and Mort came along, and the series started getting interesting. I still deeply love Mort, but there are a lot of them I love.

As another anecdote, I've introduced a number of weapons collectors and martial artists to what I call "Pratchett's Law of Weapon Design" from The Fifth Elephant. This law is encapsulated in the following dialog between Vimes and Inigo:

"'This is not a weapon. This is for killing people,' Vimes said.
'Uh...most weapons are,' said Inigo.
'No they're not. They're so you don't have to kill people. They're for...for having. For being seen. For warning. This isn't one of those. It's for hiding away until you bring it out and kill some people in the dark.'"

If you ever wonder why some weapon looks so bizarre, or why some people own so many pointless weapons, Pratchett's Law of Weapon Design tells you why it works.


He used to worry about the amount of money people bid at Wincanton charity auctions. I used to tell him "they can afford it, they know what they're doing".

There were several events where we wound up in a corner with Terry. Sometimes it was because we were sitting with Alan and Colette, on one occasion it was because Bernard and Colin corralled us in there as we were good blockers for a knackered Terry and we all had a conversation that looked like he was listening very intently while actually getting a few minutes' rest.

He was a former journalist; I'm a sub-editor. We sometimes chatted a little bit about it. I'm sure he'd heard the spike joke before as well as cracking it himself (we had a spike file at work and I sometimes lamented the fact we didn't have a physical spike anymore) but I do wonder if I paritally contributed to that bit in The Truth.

But while I had years to realise that I'd never sit in a corner with Terry worrying that people were over-bidding in a charity auction(1), yesterday slammed it home for me.

(1) One of the last times(2), he was standing and I'd just walked into the room and he just tossed the comment over his shoulder(3). And I said. "We have this conversation every six months" and he turned around, realised who was behind him and he smiled and said "oh yes".

(2) Six months later, I was the one in a bidding war who had the chequebook waved at her over a jar of kimchi.

(3) As Gideon noted to me a while back, you are documented as the first person to have used footnotes on


Thinking back to the first time I met Terry kind of points out the pace with which he produced his books. If Charlie was recalling him waving "The Colour of Magic" around in 1984, by sometime around 1987/88 when I met him at a small con, I had a bag with multiple paperbacks that I managed to waylay him into signing. He did so graciously, and then went on to give a GH talk that had the room enthralled.

If Charlie could avoid walking in front of any Edinburgh trams, I'd be grateful. It seems we've lost too many authors in recent years, and their new replacements never seem to quite measure up. Maybe it's a remembrance of youth thing, or maybe it's a facet of shared culture and experience - but generational focus seems to drift into new patterns that seem weaker.

Hell, I feel old ...


Like many others Kayla and I met thanks to pTerry at DWCon95. Two years later she had moved to the UK with the kids to be with me, and the rest is history. As both kids have said already their lives would have been massively different without Terry. Not only with the move to the UK but also in being exposed to the many and varied people of afp & Lspace who have always treated them (and the other afp kids) as just small people not kids to be talked down to.

We'll miss him but his ripples with live on for a very very long time.


I was halfway through Lords and Ladies when I saw the news.
I grew up with Truckers, Diggers and Wings on cassette from the mobile library. Later I read the Johnny books. Took me a while to get into discworld, think I tried starting on the colour of magic, which would explain it.
For me, some of the best discworld books are the Tiffany Aching ones, mainly for the Feegles.


Nitpick: the 1984 Eastercon was Seacon, in Brighton) - Yorcon III was 1985


I started with Eric (the book not comic/graphic novel), a lovely little story. Moved on to Mort I think, then read the rest from the beginning. If I was going back to the beginning , I'd probably read them by 'stream' - City watch (my favourite by far) , Death , Witches , Wizzards ,the rest. I've not read all of his writings , so still more laughs along the way .

I've always tried not to intrude on famous folk I've been in a room with - which isn't many, to be fair , a nod, raise of the glass and an offer to buy a pint is pretty much my limit.

Acknowledgement and respect (I hope), nothing more. It's their downtime , leave them alone .


Tributes are coming in from all sorts of places.

ThIs one f'rinstance from a blog of transport geeks & professional in London - we discussed this in our monthly meet-up on Thursday evening.

Or THIS, which I must quote in full, since it is from a group e-mail concerning Morris Dancing - & how certain things got started:

Jeremy Kessler posted in The *Other* Morris
Jeremy Kessler 11:48pm Mar 12 [SNIP} them the following ....

I met Terry Pratchett just once, but it was quite memorable -- for both of us, as it turns out. It was memorable enough for Terry that he wrote about it in his author's note, in the American edition of "Wintersmith". Here is what he wrote:

The Morris dance... traditionally danced on May 1, to welcome in the summer. Its history is a bit confused, possibly because it's often danced near pubs, but it is now the English folk dance. The dancers usually wear white, and have bells sewn on their clothes. It is danced by both men and women, and is certainly now danced in the United States, too.

I know this because I saw the Dark Morris danced in a bookshop in Chicago some years ago.

I'd invented the Dark Morris for another book called Reaper Man (at least I think I invented it), and a Morris team (officially known as a side) turned up in all black, just for me. They danced it in perfect silence and perfect time, without the music and bells of the "summer" dance.

It was beautifully done. But it was also a bit creepy. So it might not be a good idea to try it at home...

And here's the story of what happened:

In 1999 I was a morris dancer with "Ravenswood Morris", in Chicago, Illinois. Sometime over that summer, one of the other dancers, Gary Plazyk, sent an email to our team, sharing with us the passage from "Reaper Man" in which the "other dance" is described. The passage explained that morris dance is generally all about noise and spring, but that the only way to do it right is to also dance the dance that is done in the fall. "Because of the balance of things." The passage ends by declaring that you've got to dance both, or you can't dance either.

Well, of course then we *had* to dance it. And it had to be on October 31st at sunset, as the calendrical opposite of May 1st at sunrise. Luckily for us, sunset on October 31st comes at a far more reasonable time of day than sunrise on May 1st! So we worked through the details of what we would do and how we would do it. We decided to dance a couple of our regular dances, but with our musician providing nothing more than a simple drum beat. That took a bit of practice, but we did it. Then we dressed in black instead of white, and added black hankies. Finally, the bellpads. The passage specified octiron bells. That was trickier, but we managed.

So there we were, on Halloween 1999, in a Chicago park, dancing the summer sun down. It was wonderful. We decided to call it "the antimorris" (he was not yet calling it "dark morris", he had so far referred to it only as "the other dance"), and knew that we would be repeating it each year.

Some months later, in spring of 2000, we heard word that Terry Pratchett himself would be coming through Chicago, and would be signing books at "Stars Our Destination", our local SF&F bookstore. Some of us knew the owner, and we got permission from her to do a surprise dance.

I still remember when we all walked into the bookstore, in full kit. Terry was so surprised that he actually fell off of his chair! We danced the antimorris for him, and that remains the only time we have *ever* danced it "out of season". Afterward, we all got into the book signing line. But I didn't ask him to sign a book -- I instead asked him to sign my antimorris bellpad! He was happy to sign it, and then asked me whether I might arrange to get him a set. I happened to have a spare set with me, so I offered him a deal. I told him that he could have a set if he would let us dress him up in our kit, and take pictures. Again, he agreed without hesitation, and soon we were tying bellpads to his legs and handing him hankies. He had a photographer with him, and pictures of this were soon posted on one of his websites.

You can imagine our surprise when, years later, we discovered the author's note to "Wintersmith"! He found us "a bit creepy". I am *immensely* proud both to have made such an impression and to have creeped out Terry Pratchett!

Meanwhile, Ravenswood did dance the antimorris again that fall. Then, in the summer of 2001 three of us moved to Greater Boston. As autumn approached, we began talking about our Halloween tradition, and it was clear that we would have to start doing it in our new home. So we recruited some like-minded individuals from the local morris community, and danced it for a third year. We named our new team "Recently Traditional Fictional Morris", or "RTFM". Now morris teams often have "hobby animals" and we added one for our 2002 dancing. Our hobby dressed as the Death of Deer -- a tall antlered version of Discworld's "Death of Rats", complete with scythe. We have danced the antimorris every year since then.



I met Terry Pratchett twice in Australia.

First time was a roleplaying gaming convention in Canberra, Australia. The con organisers had arranged for hime to give a writing workshop for a small number of preselected writers. When that finished he came into the con entry desk / lounging around area and said that he had an hour before he was leaving, would anyone be interested in a less formal writing talk? I was one of those lucky enough to be there.

Second time was a book signing tour, again in Canberra. He did the usual big chain bookstores. But he also took the time to visit a tiny specialist fantasy/sci-fi/mystery bookshop, tucked away in a distant industrial suburb. (I couldn't decide which of the books was my favourite, so ended up getting my GURPS Discworld book signed.)

Gracious professionalism indeed.


Like Gideon, I probably knew Rob & Colin more than I knew Terry - though I've always blamed Terry for my marriage to Korenwolf. I've always been aware of the irritation that anyone with a degree of fame might feel at being constantly swamped by squeeing fans so I held back unless he came to speak to me first. Being on the Discworld Convention committee for several years necessitated a degree of "professional" contact of course and many cases of "rescuing" a tired man from over-eager fans. But my fondest memories will be of chats on in the 90s (see reason for my marriage) and the very relaxed Clarecraft Discworld Event camping weekends. I cannot beat the words of my son "without him my life would have been immeasurably different".


though I've always blamed Terry for my marriage to Korenwolf

Let's face it, if it hadn't been for afp and the DWCons, you would quite probably still be in Perth, and your children would still have Western Australian accents rather than Somerset ones.

Terry did (unwittingly, perhaps) change a lot of peoples' lives, and mostly in good ways, I reckon.


Like many here, I've read (and reread) all of Pratchett's books, and despite never having met the man in person, felt that I knew him. But Pratchett created so many memorable, distinctive characters, which one was he? (I'm guessing mostly Vimes with a twist of Nanny Ogg.)

Would also recommend Small Gods as the starting point .., although neither Vimes nor Nanny Ogg feature in it. (Don't worry - just read him, you'll understand.)


Like Queen Ynci the short-tempered, "Nanny" Ogg was a real ( as in "Tuckerised") person.
Real name Gytha North, tall, chain-smoked, almost always wore RED ...
Unfortunately, the smoking got to her & she died some years ago.


But Pratchett created so many memorable, distinctive characters, which one was he?

He was all of them and none of them at the same time.

It's funny, but I only ever hear non-writers ask "which of [author X]'s characters is [author X]?"

Because in general authorial insertion in a story is a sign of an incompetent author (unless they're playing self-indulgent metafictional games), and Terry was anything but incompetent.


Then there was the attempt to work out the amber jewelry ratio to calculate how many Magrats there were to the Sue Mason.


Yes, a non-writer who appreciates a good yarn and smooth writing ...

Remember trying to describe Pratchett's writing style to an SF/F fan who hadn't read him yet: Pratchett wrote 'whole-body, whole-person' characters with distinctive voices.

Anticipate online Pratchett 101 English Lit courses being offered soon (Prof. Dibbler, Ph.D., Online [Unseen] Univ.)

Just found this short story ... author-approved to read for free online.

Theatre of Cruelty
A Discworld short story
By Terry Pratchett
Copyright © Terry Pratchett 1993


I've always thought the Discworld character of King Verence fitted Terry more than anything -- a jester who tried to make people laugh but always suspected he wasn't very good at it and then he was pushed into fame and fortune, looked up at and worshiped and that was even worse for him in some ways.

The stories his friends tell of Terry hiding with them at cons to get some downtime from being on show are quite telling in that regard.


The stories his friends tell of Terry hiding with them at cons to get some downtime from being on show are quite telling in that regard.

This behaviour is actually normal for authors -- any who don't do it are a bit unusual, to say the least.

Authors of fiction have to have a vivid interior life or they've got nothing to write about. They're also always observing people around them, because ditto. This makes personal interactions a bit wearying. Introversion goes with the territory: many of us can emulate a party-loving extrovert for a few hours or days, but we've got to hide out in our author-cave and recharge our batteries after a while -- or digest what we've just absorbed.

(You can probably tell tales about me hiding from the crowds at conventions too.)


The one place I've seen Pterry (and his doppelganger Silas T. Firefly) was the North American Discworld Con in Phoenix. He'd introduced himself when he came on stage as "Neil Gaiman" (Neil having been introduced as "Terry Pratchett" at a recent Worldcon.) He gave a brief talk at one point on the usefulness of knighthood - not much, but it does let you bully bureaucrats who would otherwise be bullying you - and the proper form of address "SIR Terry, can I buy you a beer?" (I never saw him near a bar without a beer having already been provided, so didn't get to use that one.)

He was already starting to have trouble, but was mostly in good shape and could cover for it most of the time, but he had Rob do most of the readings.


Ok, I can't remember which one, but the reason for this should be obvious. I first met Pterry at an SF Con in the Glasgow Central hotel, and he was just chilling and chatting with a group of fans in one of the lounge areas on the Hope Street side of the mezzanine (no longer available since PH group did the place up).

In the Q&A after his GoH talk I was that guy who asked him where the idea for L-space had come from, and several people who knew me commented afterwards that you could just tell that he'd enjoyed being asked an actually original question.

Other account about the guy:-
Chatting to Richard and Marion van der Voort when someone asked them if their Discworld quote badges were licenced. Richard replied "Yes, of course they are. Terry saw them at one con, and told us 'Keep selling them, but give me one of each new design. Then, when the Taxman comes calling and asks me to give him 40% of my licence fees, I can produce these and ask him for a hacksaw'!"


You misunderstand me. My fault; I could have been a bit clearer in what I intended to say.

I'm not saying "don't read TCoM or TLF". I'm simply saying "you probably don't want to start there; they aren't his strongest works". There are some people who simply don't have the background necessary to understand the references and jokes in those two books, but who would have a lot of fun reading later books in the series. For them, starting with TCoM would be a mistake; it might turn them off a series they might otherwise enjoy.

The other thing is that the various Discworld streams aren't overly dependent upon each other; you can read, for example, most of the Death books without needing to be familiar with the Rincewind or Witches books (and the same sort of pattern applies to the other streams.) In that sense, starting "later" in the series is not a negative.


I'm not saying "don't read TCoM or TLF". I'm simply saying "you probably don't want to start there; they aren't his strongest works". There are some people who simply don't have the background necessary to understand the references and jokes in those two books, but who would have a lot of fun reading later books in the series. For them, starting with TCoM would be a mistake; it might turn them off a series they might otherwise enjoy.

I agree - TCoM and TLF are not the best places to start, and you can read the streams independently.

A couple of years ago I read all the Discworld books in publication order, and one of the things I clearly saw while doing that was how Pterry learned how to be a better writer. The early books are not bad, but the later ones are much better, even if only for the lack of a need to know the references to earlier works by other authors.


I started with the Light Fantastic and read them all as they came out (having gone back to the Colour of Magic shortly after the LF). I'd never heard of him, in the early months of 1990, but I discovered the Pratchettverse quite inadvertently, stumbling on the LF in the bookshop on Castle street.

No one born after my mum's time could live the Beatles era, but I'm glad that I was at least able to live the Pratchett era.

In the bookshop in Düsseldorf railway station yesterday there were a few examples of both late and early Discworld on sale. I almost considered purchasing one, but then I thought, "let someone else discover these for the first time".

So, yes, thanks for everything Mr. Pratchett.


A greatly under-estimated early PTerry ....
The Dark Side of the Sun


The early books are not bad, but the later ones are much better, even if only for the lack of a need to know the references to earlier works by other authors.


According to APF, there's one chapter in TCOM which riffs on Fritz Leiber & another that pastiches Anne McCaffrey. And in TLF there's a Conan joke, and something people thought was another reference to Fritz Leiber but wasn't. That seems to be pretty much it for specialist background knowledge - and not having it didn't in any way spoil my enjoyment of the books, all those years ago. At no time did I think "huh, this is one for the F/SF fanboys". What I thought was "this is for me". Then, a few pages later, I thought "I don't want to put this book down, I suppose I'll have to buy it".

I had a clearout of Discworld books a few years ago - there were some I was never going to read again, and even a couple I hadn't really liked on first reading. I kept fourteen in the end, including seven of the first eight. There are a couple of the later ones I now wish I'd kept - but then, there are a couple I wonder why I did.


I'm pretty sure TCOM and TLF also included an Elric cameo, and a Lovecraftian horror in the Conan tribute. They were both basically wall-to-wall fan service for the classics of genre fantasy (Tolkein and derivatives aside) ... until the series caught fire and acquired its own identity in book 3.

(If you ever hear me saying that the Laundry Files "went discworld" on me, that's what I'm getting at: they started out as pastiche/tribute to spy thriller authors, then acquired a life of their own.)


The really totally original bit of TCOM was the McGuffin/plot-device of dropping a grockle/emmett into a "standard" heroic-fantasy-world & standing back to watch the results - followed through in TLF.


According to APF

For those following along, that's the Annotated Pratchett File, as to be found at

One of the joys of Terry's work was looking for the deeper references and resonances. Terry was a delightfully well educated man, perhaps because he left school pretty much as soon as he was able and therefore got a head start.


Haven't read 'Dark Side of the Sun', Greg. Or 'Strata'

Might give it a try.

Lots to catch up on.

Always thought that 'Only You Can Save Mankind' and 'Johnny and the Bomb' were underrated reads for adults


Lovecraftian horrors are a gimme, though. You don't need to read Lovecraft to recognise a squamous tentacled horror with insufficient vowels in its name, any more than you need to read Bram Stoker to know who the Count is.

Obviously there's a lot of fantasy-geekery in the humour of TCOM, but it's mostly not specialist - mostly it bounces off fantasy-geekery in the way Greg describes. (Although what TP actually did was to introduce a Schweik and a grockle into the world of high fantasy. (Rincewind : Twoflower :: Vimes : Carrot?)) And in the parts that are specialist, TP is having far too much fun for anyone who misses the references to notice or care. Exhibit A: me. Never once, reading TCOM and TLF 25 years ago, did I stop and think "naah, this is just for the F/SF crowd". What I thought was: "This is for me!" Also, "I've been standing here for five minutes and the stallholder's going to notice me soon, I'd probably better just buy it."

Besides, the later, more worldbuildery DW novels surely require just as much exposure to background fantasy radiation to be palatable. Why should a serio-comic adventure story set in a world of dwarves, trolls and wizards be more digestible than a Wodehousian picaresque set in, etc?


Cohen the (Geriatric) Barbarian and the Silver Horde are actually recurring characters up to "The Last Hero".


TCOM takes off specific books, but they're very influential specific books; they're background radiation in all fantasy. I mean, Bravd and the Weasel are thoroughly and Pratchett-admittedly Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but anyone who doesn't recognise them (such as me at first reading) gets a lot of the joke because Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser have leaked into the general fantasy consciousness by now.


Ah well .. to quote myself: Feels like a friend just died. One you lost sight over the course of the few last years, but always was there, somehow.

Been reading his books since 1991, when, at least in Germany, he wasn't everbody's hyped darling.

That started about 95 or 96. By then I was busy pushing my parents phone bill to unknown heights (or highs, depending on your POV), having just recently found out about BBSing and that nice lil WorldCom modem, which quickly was replaced with the legendary Creatix 14.4 VF .. slowly joining the Usenet waves via FidoNet crosspostings and stuff ..

Ah well, while writing this, I've realized I should jot all of this down as a proper post in my blog .. :D

cu, w0lf.


Here's another tribute to Terry from Boulet, a French cartoonist who does some fantastic fantasy and SF work on occasion:

Don't forget to click on the "React" link.


Under-appreciated at the time, and somewhat eclipsed by the success of the Discworld books. I thought it was a fantastic read, loved it to pieces, and I kinda wished he'd carried on with the SF. Maybe in an adjacent universe....


Well, I didn't read DSotS or Strata until after Mort (or possibly Sourcery) and felt they were comparatively weak (oh and I think Discworld didn't hit full charge until Guards! Guards!).


I found that one of the most moving books was "I Shall Wear Midnight" (ostensibly YA). The closing chapters felt like a farewell...

"The Amazing Maurice" remains a favourite, if only because I read it as a bedtime story to my sons; but my favourite scenes are probably in "Witches Abroad" - riverboat gambling, the running of the bulls, and Transylvanian scenes will never quite be the same again. That, and the summoning dark being set to flight in Thud!


It would seem that the Web has "gone postal" in tribute to Pterry ....
And HERE too


Well done ... apt paraphrasing/memorializing of the author's own idea.


I've yet to read them, but if you're looking for more Pratchett SF he wrote an SF trilogy with Stephen Baxter...


I've read about 1 and a third of them. They seemed to me to be mostly Baxter, with a few Pratchett ideas in them. OK, but not Pratchett.


I may be one of the few who read most of Sir Terry's output in publication order - minus the original "The Carpet People," which I don't recall ever seeing here in XXXX.

I read "The Dark Side of the Sun" when the paperback arrived here, and the author stuck in my mind because of his humour. Then "Strata," and when "The Colour of Magic" arrived I remember thinking, "This bloke's got this fantasy stuff well-sussed."

Sometimes I agree with the "don't start with TCoM" crowd, and sometimes I don't. I think it comes down to how the potential reader appears, if they are the type to appreciate the fantasy tropes being held up and giggled at, then start with TCoM, otherwise head for one of the first book of one of the sequences.


I think it also depends on the reader's experience with fantasy. TCoM is older than me, and I didn't get around to LOTR (or any other high fantasy that wasn't YA) until long after I'd consumed half the Discworld canon. My point being that I didn't get a lot of the references Pratchett was parodying in his early work, and I found the books a lot more enjoyable when he was happy to play around in his own self-realised universe, than when he was making fun of literary tropes that were passé by the time I was on solids.

I do take your point, though. I'll recommend TCoM more strongly to people who grew up with high fantasy than I would most other people.


Also, I seem to recall that the Great Man himself said that TCoM and LF were basically just "gag" books, and that the Discworld books didn't become proper novels with plots and so on until the third book.

The thing is, the series is so diverse that you could find a Discworld book for everyone and anyone somewhere in the series.


It's easy to forget how much backstory there is in the Discworld. I got the DVD movies for "The Color of Magic" and "Hogfather" and thought they were excellent; my wife was mostly lost, even after long explanations of which was what.

Other than reading "Small Gods" not long after it came out, I came to Pratchett only in the last half-dozen years, mostly via the audiobook versions. My work entails long periods of mind-numbing boredom; I have plenty of time for listening, not much for reading nowadays.

One night I was zipping down Interstate 40 at about three in the morning, listening to "Making Money." During one section I laughed so hard I lost control of the company van, going four-wheels-off and down a wet grass embankment at eighty miles per hour. Fortunately there was nothing unfortunate to hit, and I managed to get the van back onto the highway undamaged, other than a layer of fresh mud.

"Then he looked back at what was rising out of the pot ... a sheep's head ... and ... it's wearing sunglasses."


During one section I laughed so hard I lost control of the company van, going four-wheels-off and down a wet grass embankment at eighty miles per hour.

They should add a warning not to use Pratchett while controlling heavy machinery.



Don't ever think of doing that on a British motorway - the parts of I40 that I've driven (twixt Memphis and Nashville) are a heck of a lot more forgiving than our roads, what with those wide lanes and the acres of runoff area. Here you'll probably end up sliding along or bouncing off metal or even concrete the moment you're off the road surface.

And that's assuming you miss all other vehicles, though at 03:00 you've a reasonable chance of some empty tarmac.

You should survive, but your crumple zones will be all used up.


LOL (but only because you weren't hurt).


On picking up the bill: quite often, it can be claimed as a business expenses, and a tax deduction, even for authors (but especially for authors who direct their own companies).

At that point, it's not 'who pays?' but 'who expenses?' -- and that often comes down to simply 'who has the best accountants who can handle the paperwork most easily?'

I suspect that all SF conventions are tax deductible. Which is entirely reasonable; they're work for the authors.


There is that, but I've seen Terry not hesitate for a second even when not even the wiliest accountant could claim something for expenses. For instance a lunch for 6 (I think — I can list 4, and I'm sure I remember at least a couple of others) at a rather nice Japanese restaurant in Ealing. Nothing to do with any form of convention in that case, and we'd expected to split the bill.

I don't know how much he was claiming expenses against anyway — I suspect not a lot. I think he was more of the school of thought that says "I like paying my taxes, they pay for civilisation". Remember that he'd had a perfectly acceptable if unremarkable career before the great breakthrough. It was a lovely bonus, so why not be generous? His attitude seems to have been that money was something nice to have, but that hanging on to it at all costs would have made it toxic.


In reference to "GNU Terry Pratchett" in internet headers:

I say "Internet" because things have gone a bit Quantum and have moved well beyond the realm of merely web headers. As well as instructions for nearly every web server, web proxy, app server, app framework, and CMS known to man, there are also instructions for embedding it in email servers, email clients, and even one or two VOIP servers

I _think_ the reddit comment is still the largest list of instructions (though the website and a reddit wiki are catching up)

There's a couple of addons for Chrome and Firefox that will tell you when a site is sending the header. The most notable sites are I think The Guardian, The Register, and sites running off the News UK platform (which is The Times and The Times Literary Supplement, but also The Sun and Page Three....)


Strongly seconded.


I never met him, and when I heard about his disease I was glad. As it was I cried like a child when I heard of his death, but at least I will always know the man from his best: Granny and her bees, Death flipping burgers, Sam Vimes against the werewolf in an icy stream, Carrot the man who won't be king.

If there is an author who did more to improve my character through the unpreaching example of his own creations, I couldn't name them. The world lost an important voice at a time we need him more than ever. Banks, Pratchett, I shudder to think who might be next.



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