13.3.15

A look back - Sir Terry Pratchett and the Discworld

In 1983 two things happened (well lots of things happened but this blog post is only about two) . Terry Pratchett had a novel published and I bought it. And read it (three, three things happened) I was hooked from the very start. I can’t remember why I chose the book, maybe it was the hilarious cover illustrations, maybe it was because at the time I was 17 and obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons and the fantasy genre, maybe it was on special offer. Whatever God of reading was there he/she/it guided my hand and the rest is … silence, as I read through each book as it was published, there were muffled giggles of course at Terry’s witty jokes. There were gasps of amazement later as the books gained in amazingly satirical insight.



I had (actually still have) a huge crush on Samuel Vimes, it may even be real love as I didn’t feel sad when (spoilers!) he finally met up and settled down with Lady Sybil, I adored her too, with her dragons and sensible shoes, and no nonsense approach to all things.
I love all the books of course but not equally. I favour the Watch series (Nightwatch, of which I have a signed copy is my favourite), tales of daring and adventure with a rag tail band of hapless chaps and a girl or two…and here’s a thing, Terry writes fabulous women characters. They, like all his characters, have complex personas, neither good nor bad, they have secret dreams (Cheery the dwarf for example longs to plait her beard and wear lipstick and maybe a …skirt!) and they have problems to overcome (Angua struggling with a relationship with her ‘monthly troubles’ for example) They are tough, like Lady Sybil and the Witches, forthright and knowledgeable like Susan, frequently busty and lusty too (Do not ask about the tuppeny upright!) They frequently have their own stories, such as Equal Rites, and the Tiffany series for younger readers.

I could write for days about characters, events, jokes and Terry’s genius at combining all of them into a world of pure magic but I don’t need to, you can read them yourself. If you’ve never read one why not use this handy guide to find a starter book and dive in to a new world, a flat one carried on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand atop the great A’tuin the world turtle.

Discworld Reading guide order books sir terry pratchett

I met Terry Pratchett before we had to call him ‘Sir’ though we probably did anyway, at a discworld fan event in 2007 (see if you can spot me) and again at several others. He was always fabulous to his fans. (who it needs to be said are mostly mad – myself included) He put up with us dressing as his characters, being generally drunk and silly, and expecting him to sign things. He never disappointed. We in turn donated to his favourite charities, bought him gin and tonics, arranged events and continued to be silly. I am proud to have shared a sausage supper with him.


I, along with many fans, cried yesterday to hear of his passing. Much excellent fan fiction has been written of his meeting with Death, one of his brilliant Discworld Characters. There has also been some amazing art created. I can’t help but smile through the tears, so thank you to all that took time to create them.

I leave you with the last tweets from Sir Terry’s twitter account. And I shall continue to imagine him sipping gin and writing, in the other trouser leg of time.