I loved many of his Discworld series, of course, for many years – a very favourite author of one’s – several – generations. But on hearing of his passing, the first quote that comes to mind is from A Slip of the Keyboard, collected non-fiction, showing a further glimpse of the man behind the books.
People have already asked me if I had the current international situation in mind when I wrote the book. The answer is no. I wouldn’t insult even rats by turning them into handy metaphors. It’s just unfortunate that the current international situation is pretty much the same old dull, stupid international situation, in a world obsessed by the monsters it has made up, dragons that are hard to kill. We look around and see foreign policies that are little more than the taking of revenge for the revenge that was taken in revenge for the revenge last time. It’s a path that leads only downwards, and still the world flocks along it. It makes you want to spit. The dinosaurs were thick as concrete, but they survived for 150 million years and it took a damn great asteroid to knock them out. I find myself wondering now if intelligence comes with its own built-in asteroid. – 2001 Carnegie Medal award speech.
Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with PCA [posterior cortical atrophy] in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.
Today is a good day to listen to some Tallis.