So long, Sir Terry Pratchett, and thank you for Granny Weatherwax

Today was an odd day to teach Speculative Fiction. Our classes were filled with bright, active debate and laughter, but just this morning I read the news that Sir Terry Pratchett had passed away.


“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…”

Reaper Man


I do believe Sir Terry Pratchett has caused some mighty ripples. I’m glad he’s walked upon our unfortunately round earth and left us with more books than we can count on our shelves. Like all his fans – and there are a multitude – I’ll miss him.

He gave me Granny Weatherwax. I mean that personally. I’ve learned so much from that old witch. I’ve learned how not to care when it’s not important and how to care when it is. I’ve learned to count on her wisdom when the world grows difficult. I’ve learned to shout back at the world when it’s needed a good talking to.

Granny Weatherwax by Paul Kidby

Granny Weatherwax by Paul Kidby

“Granny Weatherwax was often angry. She considered it one of her strong points. Genuine anger was one of the world’s greatest creative forces. But you had to learn how to control it. That didn’t mean you let it trickle away. It meant you dammed it, carefully, let it develop a working head, let it drown whole valleys of the mind and then, just when the whole structure was about to collapse, opened a tiny pipeline at the base and let the iron-hard stream of wrath power the turbines of revenge.”

Wyrd Sisters

Indeed, Neil Gaiman recently wrote about his friend, “Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He’s angry.” So tonight I’m going to curl up with a Granny Weatherwax novel and be grateful once more that one man got angry and started setting the world to rights by writing about witches and magic and DEATH and librarians that go ‘ook’.


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