This post is a bit different from the usual, it isn’t about an album or band or show. However, without Terry Pratchett, whose recent death is obviously a massive blow to literature and fastasy, I definitely wouldn’t be sitting doing this, so I thought I should write about what his work did for me.
I got The Colour of Magic when I was much younger, at that time bands like AC/DC were on my peripheral but that was about it. As time passed I became more invested in his books and the ongoing adventures of the City Watch, Death, and my personal favourite, Rincewind the Wizard (spelled Wizzard, of course).
These books opened me up to a world of fantasy I had never known before. Movies and TV shows never allowed me to get “involved” in their worlds, whilst my attempts of reading Tolkien’s books at that age gave me a headache (Tom Bombadil, I’m looking at you). Pratchett’s world was immediately accessible, and somehow plausible, despite it being a flat disc on top of elephants and one large turtle.
The more I read of his fantasy city, Ankh-Morpork, and the surrounding lands, the more interested in fantasy I became. At the same time I was learning to love metal, AC/DC had turned into Iron Maiden and I was busy collecting everything they had to offer in my price range (which wasn’t very much). It was around then that I first found the crossover in power metal. Bands like Blind Guardian who played metal, but sang about quests and strange lands. The more I travelled down the power metal road, usually reading a Discworld book while I listened (this was before broadband, when killing time on the internet meant sitting for half an hour waiting for a page to load), the more I came to love these various worlds.
In the years between then and now, I’ve travelled to different countries in Europe visiting festivals featuring these bands who sing about quests and far off worlds, I spend my free time writing about bands who play this sort of music and time apart from that, writing this sort of music for my own band. I’ve even got a good twenty-thousand words worth of novel which is painfully ripped off from the man in question (a re-write may be necessary before I continue).
I’m not saying without Terry Pratchett I wouldn’t be into metal today, but I can’t see myself loving the overtop, self-deprecating, cheese filled world of power metal as much as I love it now… I really don’t know if I should praise or admonish him that for that.
Either way, I’ll miss his work hugely, and a bit of me hopes the plan to have his daughter continue the Discworld comes to fruition so this implausibly plausible world gets to continue existing.
If there aren’t as many posts in the coming couple of weeks, it’s because now is the time for a marathon of Discworld books. I suggest you do the same!
There’s a JustGiving fundraising page set up in his memory by Transworld Publishers for RICE; The Research Institute for the Care of Older People, click here to learn more and to donate.