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Posts Tagged ‘Terry Pratchett’

I am still on a bit of a posting holiday, apparently. A lot is happening here at Chez J, but it’s all ruminative on the writing front, nothing to see here… yet. Before you head off to what I hope is a terrific summer day, though, have a slice of on-point social commentary from a master of speculative fiction, in conversation with DEATH (who, perhaps unsurprisingly, has a lot to say about this business of life).

[tl;dr: be excellent to each other, or what’s the point?]

“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

“So we can believe the big ones?”

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

“They’re not the same at all!”

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”

MY POINT EXACTLY.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

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BBC Radio 4 is producing a radio drama of Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. The BBC is known for its adaptations, including Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens last December. I read a lot of Le Guin as a teen but I haven’t revisited this classic novel in a long time, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they do with it.

Adapted for radio by Judith Adams and released one episode per week, the series has just begun. Find it and supporting material, including a documentary with author interview, at BBC Radio 4.

Each episode will be available for 30 days, so if this interests you, don’t wait!

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Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, dies aged 66

The Guardian reports that Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series and many other books, has died at home “with his cat sleeping on his bed” and surrounded by family. His intellect, creative abilities and incisive sense of humor will be sorely missed.

I think I’ll read Good Omens next, to remind myself of Pratchett’s genius, the power of writing (and humor in the face of the apocalypse), and the pearls we can leave behind if we’re willing to keep pushing ahead.

Addendum: A lot of nice tributes are going up online but I thought I’d direct you to one in particular, Jo Walton’s “Reminiscence” at the Tor.com blog. She says it well: “The writing will live on. Death sucks.”

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