Terry Pratchett: A Tribute

My rambling thoughts.

Pratchett Tribute

The truth is, Terry Pratchett never knew me from Adam. Or Eve, for that matter.

The vast majority of readers will be in a similar position. And yet, we mourn over a man who we only knew not only off-handedly, but primarily only through the fiction he crafted and sold. And that’s because in all stories there is power, and Pratchett knew that. Not “power” like the ability to force someone to obey your whims or whathaveyou, which was never anything resembling true power in the first place. But…

Deep down, we are stories. A collection of apes, if even that, on a big clumsy rock, imbued with narrative. It formed our lives, heroes, villains, justice, morality. And now, those stories that made the being known as “Terry Pratchett” are… gone. Is there a divine heaven above, an endless cycle of life, some sort of writer’s Valhalla? Perhaps it doesn’t even matter.

Though we can try to keep him alive through his books, our memories, perhaps the thought of Pratchett is not what is worth keeping. His wit, perhaps, or moreso his charity, his sense of Right and Wrong. These things which made him not just a great man, which are so common throughout these ever-eternal chasms known as history, but a good one.

Which is to not do him a disservice by claiming him perfect, and I can think of few greater and more tempting disservices. He was not, of course. Terry was, in the end, just another person. And there are still so many more left, every individual counting. In fact, remember that truth, if nothing else.

As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn’t measure up.

Remember that, and I can think of no greater tribute.*

*One last footnote…

Guards! Guards!: Analysing Vimesy (pt 1)

Sam Vimes stands in the middle of a foggy street. Looking at the viewer, he points a small dragon at them in a manner akin to a shotgun.

While Sam Vimes later rises to second most important person in Ankh-Morpork, the strength seen here will not be apparent until Guards! Guards! is over.

You don’t need me to tell you Terry Pratchett is a good author: the man’s books not only sell like hotcakes, but he’s near-universally critically acclaimed. And there was the whole knighthood thing, which I’m sure gave him no small amount of glee.

But you might want to know that I am a big fan of the Discworld series, in this case big meaning “my baby toe makes the Great Wall of China look like a half-eaten pea”. And, while I liked the previous books enough to keep reading, it was Guards! that finally hooked me on them. And in Guards! itself, it was a certain Samuel Vimes that intrigued me most.

But what’s so great about Sam Vimes? Or, rather, what’s interesting about him? Guards! Guards! has a lot of themes, such as whether man is truly good, bad, or something more nuanced – how does he relate to them?

While ultimately I don’t think Vimes’s development is the best shown in this novel, he’s one of Discworld‘s more nuanced and complex characters, and a lot of themes he embodies can also be seen in Granny Weatherwax, of the Witches subseries. He is likely more closer to his “real” self in later books, but it’s worth beginning from the start in almost all things. So, let’s… begin. Continue reading