THE END OF A LIFE. IN CAPS.

Kage Baker would be very sad today. If she were alive … as she is not, she may be at the wrap party undoubtedly now being held for Sir Terry Pratchett in the Otherworld.  I’d be surprised if she were not.

Sir Terry died today – in England, at home, in his own bed, surrounded by his family. His publisher was at pains to state that he did not take the final measure into his own hands (despite an often-stated intention to do so rather than let Alzheimer’s get him) but died naturally. Because, you know, making your own quietus is, no matter what the Bard says, frowned upon in Britain …

People all over the world will be mourning Sir Terry today. I am. Probably most of you are too, Dear Readers. If anyone takes my advice, they’ve read his amazing work. If you haven’t, I conjure and abjure you to do so. It will be good for your soul, and your vocabulary. It will make you feel real things. It will get you preferred seating in the next life.

He was a good man and a good writer. He worked hard at his craft, achieving art: there’s no higher praise for a maker.  His books were strong and truthful, and based on a solid foundation of morals and ethics. They were also fall-off-your-chair funny, which  combination of virtues is one of the rarest gifts in the world. He’s one of the few writers Kage read for pleasure, and one of the few I keep to hand and re-read again and again. His books were my companions after Kage’s death. I guess they will be now, after his own death, too.

When Sir Terry was knighted, he decided he needed a sword. So he commissioned one – containing, reputedly, meteorite iron. He assisted the smith in its making, christened it in brandy, and then hid it carefully away. Because, you know, wandering around wielding a bare blade is frowned upon in Britain …

I hope they bury him with his sword in his hand.

There really isn’t much else to say, although everyone who loved him will be moved to try. The pain of loss and survival will make us cry out. None of us will be able to say it as well as he would – but, fittingly, his daughter Rhiannon came closest. Her announcement of his death was a work of grace and dignity:

Like his life, really; although to be absolutely word-perfect faithful to his voice, it should probably have included some mild British cursing. Buggrit! Millenium hand and shrimp!

Like that.

Sleep well, Sir.