or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

What Do To When Authors Die

   March 13th, 2015

Terry Pratchett died this week, and I, like many people, were saddened.

I came to the Discworld books later in my life, sort of by accident (which is the best way to come across books like the Discworld books), and to say I liked them is an understatement. It was more like the worlds and characters had just been waiting for me and were happy to have me turn up.

It wasn't until later that I realized I had already read some Pratchett, without knowing it. His book, Good Omens, co-written with Neil Gaiman, was another I had inadvertently come to on my own, on the shelf in an independent book shop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I can't say it changed my life, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was also introduced to Neil Gaiman that way. I somehow missed the introduction to Terry Pratchett, but since I got there in the end, I suppose it is okay.

Perhaps because of this, but perhaps also just because they are similar and the connection is logical, I have always linked Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in my head.

So when I came across the following line while reading Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning today (specifically in the story, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury), I couldn't help but be reminded of Terry Pratchett's death:

I sometimes imagine I would like my ashes to be scattered in a library. But then the librarians would just have to come in early the next morning to sweep them up again, before the people got there.

Very appropriate on many levels, but it also seems that there is hardly a tribute fitting enough for such a creative and prolific writer as Terry Pratchett.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “What Do To When Authors Die”

  1. Tori Says:

    It took me a long time to appreciate Terry Pratchett. I couldn’t get into Discworld until the Tiffany Aching books, but when I found out last week that he’d passed I was pretty bummed.

    He may not be able to have his ashes scattered in a library, but they are passing his name along the Clacks.


  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Tori: I heard about that, and think it’s a great idea. I guess there’s some controversy over how well what’s been implemented mirrors the activity on the clacks, but that seems silly – the concept is an awesome way to immortalize him.

  3. Alyssa Mandel Says:

    It was Dark Star Books, wasn’t it? With the cat dozing in the window? I’m from Dayton, Ohio, though I’m in Florida now. Yellow Springs was a little piece of pseudoBerkeley not too far from my hometown. I hope you had some HaHa Pizza while you were there.

  4. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Alyssa: I think you are right – and according to Google Maps, it’s still there. Thanks! And yes, I spent a lot of time at HaHa and the Little Art Theater during college. I miss that place.