3 years ago, I was at work when the news of Pratchett’s death came across my newsfeed. We’d known for a while, of course, that his health was fading. So I’d had a little time to prepare myself to receive the news.
It still hit me like a body blow.
Then, literally within minutes, and from all around the world and from all time zones, my buddies started checking in with me. ‘Have you heard?’ ‘Are you okay?’ ‘You’re the first one I thought of’.
I honestly hadn’t realised how much of an impact my love for Pratchett had made on those close to me. We started sharing stories – how Jessa and I had the same first Pratchett, how Jessica knew she could always come to me to feed her need for another book, how my randomly generated sig file got people curious enough to try a book, and now they were hooked, how Esther went to her first ever convention – a Disc Con – just so I could live vicariously through her, and she met The Man, and told him all about me, and now that was twice that my name had been in his ear.
I think Pratchett and the Disc was my first community, and it was one I forged hardly noticing it was happening. But it got me through that day, and many days after it too. It still serves me well today. And it’s definitely a million to one chance that it will serve me well tomorrow.
I wish I could think of one pithy quote that sums up everything Pratchett has meant and continues to mean to me. I don’t think even he managed to write that one though.