Friday, March 13, 2015

Terry Pratchett

I've never been a massive fan of Terry Pratchett. I've read a few of his books, and liked them and found them funny (especially those featuring the Witches), but I was never one of those waiting on the arrival of every Discworld novel.

That does not mean, however, that I don't recognise how important he was, and fully understand why my Facebook feed yesterday and this morning is full of tributes to him. With Douglas Adams, he helped reshape the English comic novel. With Neil Gaiman, he helped reshape the English fantasy novel. And Ankh-Morpork is one of the great Other Londons.

Over a quarter of a century ago, Pratchett, just recently gone full time as a writer, was a guest at Edinburgh University SF Society's Freshercon. For some reason, I ended up on a couple of panels with him, one on writing where he and Graham Dunstan Martin did all the talking, and one in which we were telling a live round robin story - so in a way I've collaborated with Terry Pratchett. I never really spoke to him after that, though saw him on panels a lot. I also have a very vivid memory of Iain Banks doing a note-perfect Pratchett impersonation.

And I always liked the stuff about dwarves.

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