Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Terry Pratchett Tribute: Words Can Change Our World

On 18 February 2009, over a year after he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, one of the world's favourite fantasy authors became Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE. On 12 March of this year, Sir Terry (or Pterry, as many of his fans know him) passed away in his home in Broad Chalke (a very Discworldly name), Wiltshire, England.

Sir Terry's coat of arms, from File 770.

Sir Terry inspired a few generations of writers and artists with his fictional universe of Discworld, a planet shaped like a disc carried on the back of four elephants on top of a giant turtle. Far-fetched as the world seems, the people who lived in it were very real, rounded characters who contained whole worlds in themselves.

Art by Paul Kidby, from The Last Hero

Sir Terry created stories that would stay with us our whole lives, and jokes that were so funny we sometimes didn't notice how profound they were. His books were famous for passages that were short, sharp, and full of truth as well as humour. In his memory we include our favourites here, along with illustrations from fantasy masters who also had a great impact on our lives.

Art by Alan Lee

'Geography is just physics slowed down, with a few trees stuck on it.' - Feet of Clay

Art by Donato Giancola

'If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.' - The Wee Free Men

Art by Wayne Anderson

'Apes never admired the sleek of the fur and the burn of the eye, because they were too well aware of the teeth of the mouth.' - Lords and Ladies

Art by James Gurney

'Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.' - A Hat Full of Sky

Art by Brian Froud

'Freedom is like having the top of your head opened up.' - Feet of Clay

Art by Kinuko Y. Craft

'Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.' - Hogfather

Thank you, Sir Terry.

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