To remember a great man, his fans came up with a way to seed his memory in the internet in the same way that the fallen operators of his “Clacks” system in the Discworld books were remembered – through the use of a never logged code that flew through the system unnoticed.
In the modern version of the clacks (the internet), this has been achieved through cunning use of response headers on websites and emails. I can’t add the header to my emails yet, but every website I manage (outside of my day job) now has the header secretly being passed along unnoticed by anyone except the people looking for it with keen eyes (and cunning browser extensions).
If we see further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
One of those giants died yesterday, and though his death weighs a heavy toll upon all of us who loved him, his work stands on and will continue to stand for decades still.
In the future, it won’t be unusual for someone to be called a “modern-day Pratchett”, and that may even be the highest accolade in the land. After all, how many of us got our start with his work? How many of us picked up his books in school, or at home at a young age and were immediately enthralled by them? How many of us delved deeper into fantasy works guided by his words having planted the seeds of curiosity in our minds?
“The space between the young readers eyeballs and the printed page is a holy place and officialdom should trample all over it at their peril”
– Terry Pratchett
That is his enduring legacy – the words he has written and the effect they have had on all of us, and the effect they will continue to have on future generations.
“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.”
– Terry Pratchett
He suffered as a result of the Embuggerance, and his views on the right to die were well known. It is because of this that I do not mourn his passing, but I mourn the future that doesn’t have new words from that most excellent of minds.
A giant has fallen, but his works stand tall and mighty.
RIP Terry Pratchett 1948 – 2015