News is breaking that Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66. This is a long expected blow to the science fiction/fantasy community. Terry had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. In typical Pratchett style he referred to the disease as “an embuggerance”. He wrote over 70 books, full of wit, wisdom, and downright whimsical silliness. It is estimated that he sold over forty million copies, which means a lot of people were treated to his deft blend of satire, anger, hilarity, and humanity.
The first Pratchett book I ever read was his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, the insanely good Good Omens. I had delayed entering Pratchett’s Discworld series for a long time, partially because it is a tree with so many branches and hey, I was a little leery of a world that rests on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a turtle. I was so wrong. If you haven’t heard of Terry or have been equally leery of the space turtle, you don’t know what you’re missing. As for me, there’s a half dozen of his books on my iPad and I think sometime today I’m going to retreat into one. RIP you glorious bastard, you will be missed.