Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 7

ly. I wasn’t what you’d call a massive fan, and yet I have one whole bookshelf filled with his books, going back some thirty years. Not a single other author has that much shelf space in our house. That’s one thing. “It’s a million to one chance” in our household means something quite different to when non-Pratchet fans use it – “Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one.But magicians have calculated that millionto-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.” And Pratchett stands next to Douglas Adams (another taken from us too soon) in our hall of ‘comedic literature that makes you think’ fame (admittedly there aren’t many others who can stand with them). Before writing this piece I took down our copy (well actually my SO’s copy) of Colour of Magic and re-read it. This simple, small, book has travelled with her (and us since we started cohabiting) across at least eight house moves. Its yellowing pages actually chewed upon by an honestto-God bookwork (earning the book a stint in the freezer for a few days (apparently the best way to treat bookworms) its spine much creased, its pages well thumbed, it is, in short, a well-loved and well-read book. I was surprised, after not reading it for at least fifteen years, on how well it holds up. On how good, even PAGE 07 with the first of the Discworld books, Pratchett’s writing is. He could certainly turn a phrase: If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting “All gods are bastards!” Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying. Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorizing the other occupants and kicking over the furniture. In fact it’s pretty hard to spot any duff phrases at all. Over the years I got to meet (well be in the same room as really) Pterry on a couple of occasions, the last being when he was at World Fantasy Con in 2013. I couldn’t bring myself to go and see him speak at that one, even though I knew it’d be the last possible chance to. My friend Joanne Hall (who has a story in this very issue, check it out it’s great) said in her tribute (which you can read here: http://bit.ly/1I8uRC3 )