It is with great sadness that we learn today of the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, well loved author of the Discworld series of fantasy novels. Pratchett, who has been suffering with Alzheimers has finally succumbed to this affliction at age 66. Pratchett has been a huge influence to all of us at Dice of Doom. In particular his characters of The Night Watch have been so memorable and important to us. Many of our roleplaying campaigns have had ‘Pratchettian’ elements to them. It is hard, at times, not to see his great humorous art of story telling shaping the way we around our tables tell our own stories. In a very personal way, he has changed our lives for the better.
While comparisons have been made with Pratchett and Douglas Adams, we have often said that we felt that where Adams was largely pessimistic about the human spirit, Pratchett had a great optimism and belief in the general goodness of people. Sure, humans are portrayed as selfish, greedy and base, and a lot of humour is derived from this (Nobby?), however it is the great personal strengths displayed by characters like Samuel Vimes that truly stand out.
If you have never read any works by Terry Pratchett, the place to start is with the Men-at-Arms trilogy: Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, and Feet of Clay (Amazon links). These books introduce the character of Samuel Vimes, Fred Colon, Cpl Nobby Nobs and Carrot. Set in a fantasy version of the Private Eye/Film Noir trope, these books are where Pratchett truly finds his stride as a comedic author. Vimes would be the lead character in many of his subsequent novels.
Pratchett is survived by his wife Lyn and daughter Rhianna to whom we send our deepest condolences.