“…those first pyramids had been built by human beings, little bags of thinking water held up briefly by fragile accumulations of calcium.” Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
As you might expect, I’m not happy today.
In case you hadn’t heard already, Terry Pratchett has died.
I’m not going to eulogize him here; I firmly believe that should be done by those who knew him personally*.
I think Neil Gaiman was on the right track when he said on Twitter, “Donate to Alzheimer’s research and make it so things like this don’t happen.” I’ll just add “And go read one of Pterry’s pyramids.”
It’s been a bad couple of weeks for fans of science fiction and fantasy. We’ve lost two major icons***. Inevitably, many will react with “OMG, who’s going to be next?” comments, based on the superstition that bad news comes in threes. There are certainly any number of major SFF icons whose health is precarious. But let’s face it, Death can tap any one of us on the shoulder at any time.
We’re also going to be multiply reminded of how much Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Pratchett accomplished in their lives. And we’ll think, if only for a second, that it wasn’t enough. We’ll think about the shows and movies that will never be made and the books that will never be written.
In memory of those never-to-be-created works, get out there and do some creating of your own. Write a book, cook a meal, make a movie, plant a tree, compose a tune, vote to recall a corrupt politician. It won’t be enough, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.
* While being fully aware that thousands who knew him only through his writing** will rush to say what they feel.
**Yes, I’m one of the millions who knew him only, etc. I’ve already said most of what I feel about Pterry and his work; I won’t use up too many more electrons talking about what he meant to me.
*** For those of you who aren’t fans, Leonard Nimoy, aka Star Trek’s Spock, died on February 27.
Stanley Kunitz wrote, “What do I want of my life? More! More!” and he lived to 100. Still, the end always does come and maybe best to think of all those books and all those movies that *were* accomplished, and be glad. And yes, then pick up the torch and have at it.
Or, to put it crudely, I’d rather the people at my funeral said “It’s a shame he didn’t do more,” than “It’s a shame he never did anything with his life.”