Before all of my boyfriends (even Robert Gregory, age 10), my heart belonged to Terry Pratchett.
‘It’s good,’ said James McConville, in Year Six, about Diggers. ‘But it’s hard.’
I opened the first page, cautiously, expecting mind-fog and bafflement. Instead, there it was. That warm, funny voice, talking to me. It would talk to me for the next twenty-three years, until Terry died, this time last year.
He gave me some of the best friends I never met, in worlds we made together in my head. He said ‘bugger’. In print! He made me laugh myself sensible. Made me need stories like I needed to breathe. I had to chase Sam Vimes along the streets of Ankh-Morpork, until the words went blurry at 2am. I’d reach for the book as soon as I woke up the next morning.
I’m only sorry that the price of his remarkable mind was that he had to leave far too soon. And now it’s up to the rest of us to be as wise, as gleeful, as fun. Gulp.
My books aren’t in the libraries yet, Terry. But maybe they exist in L-space, home to all the books that were ever written, and all the books that ever will be written. Maybe the Librarian’s handed you one of mine right now, with a gentle Oook.
If so, you have to know one thing. It’s only there because of you.