Dear Mr. Pratchett, It seems that it is a season of sad partings. We are remembering that no one lives forever, and we are remembering that we were blessed to have some giants living among us. In my imagination, you are a great giant, one of the most powerful wordsmiths that has been known in these contemporary times. I was introduced to your words by a dear friend, and after that, we fell into easy conversation, didn’t we?
I was amazed at how you could make me laugh, and at the same time, I wondered how a story so boldly told could impact me in such subtle ways. I remember the day that I learned that you were still writing books—it dawned on me that I was living at the same time as an author that I admired so much. That was the day that I hoped that I would meet you sometime in the future, at least to hear what your words sounded like in person. That day never came, but I’ll still hear your voice when I walk through the world that you made. You brightened college days when things seemed grim, and I had the coziest pleasure from being able to buy your last book when it appeared on bookshelves in England. I read it with two of my closest friends on chilly autumn nights, warmed by laughter and the locomotive’s coals in Raising Steam.
Just about a week ago, I finished reading another one of your works, Wintersmith. I wanted to say thank you after I read it. Thank you for writing such treasures for adults and for not sparing any of your talent to write for young adults, too. Thank you for writing in the same style, with the twisting plot lines, hidden puns, clever tricks, thoughtful tangents, and hard-hitting messages. Thank you for knowing that younger readers can handle all of these things in the books they read. Thank you for believing that they will read something that doesn’t include self-degrading romance or soul-dampening darkness. Thank you for showing us that the best kind of magic is not magic at all, but goodness, a tish of cleverness, and a lot of understanding. Your story is now stamped with “The End,” but rest assured that your stories will be told for years to come.
Discworld Illustration by the very talented Paul Kidby