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Sir pTerry

I liked Terry. Not only was he a wonderful writer and a great social commentator -- and one of the most committedly socialist writers out there -- he was a lovely person. He was a regular at UK cons in the 80s and earlier 90s and would wander around collecting people's role-playing game anecdotes. The dafter they were, the better.

I have lots of memories of him and they're all good. But my favourites are all from Octocon 1, which ran in Dublin in 1990. Both the marquis and I were on the committee. Terry was GoH. At that time I had a very short, form-fitting lycra dress, which I often wore at cons. (This is relevant, honest.) On the Friday afternoon of the con, I was on the main staircase of the con hotel putting up signs. The lobby -- quite large, with the bar opening off it -- was just below and was already fairly full of attendees, mostly at their first con. I was wearing jeans and a long sleeved top, as I recall, as I was working.

Suddenly, from the lobby, came a bellow of "Kari! I didn't recognise you with your clothes on!" Everyone stared.

Terry had arrived.

Later on in the con, I noticed a young man -- maybe 13 or 14 -- hovering nervously near a small group to whom Terry was talking. He clearly wanted to join them, but was scared. I asked him his name, then took him over to Terry and introduced him. Terry beamed, sat him down and talked to him for about 20 minutes.

He really was fabulous.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2015 12:40 pm (UTC)
I never had the privilege of meeting him, but..............:o)
Mar. 13th, 2015 01:19 pm (UTC)
Like most 'big' news these days I learned of Terry's death from my students, obsessive phone checkers that they are. I was moved to see how visibly shocked and upset they were: "noooo! Terry Pratchet's like - my whole childhood!" Terry's writing meant a lot to many, many people, way beyond the genre. I will always be grateful for the pleasure and wisdom of his books, and sad to know there wont be more. An amazing life.
Mar. 13th, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC)
I didn't start going to cons until after Terry's illness slowed him down, but I was on the front row for his appearance at World Fantasy Con in November 2013. I'm sorry I didn't get to see more of him. Frail as he was, on that day, he still cheerfully chatted with fans after his appearance. Now he's gone - far too soon - and even though I didn't know the man I feel as though I've lost a favourite uncle.
Mar. 13th, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
I think he used that line with half of femfandom. He was great fun.
Mar. 13th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC)
I too have fond memories of Terry from the first Octocon. I think that there just weren't that many people staying overnight. But anyway, we spent lots of time chatting to Terry there.
Mar. 13th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
I'm loving everyone's stories about him. Thanks for sharing.
Mar. 13th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
He wrote something about the duration of a person's life not being the whole of that person's existence. Sir Terry will continue to exist, I think, for a very long time.
Mar. 13th, 2015 11:16 pm (UTC)
This is a great story; thanks for sharing it. You're lucky to have met him.
Mar. 13th, 2015 11:27 pm (UTC)
Love the story (and I had no idea you'd been involved with early Octocon!) - even if I never got to meet him, I love that so many people I know did.
Mar. 14th, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC)
I was fortunate to meet Terry several times. For four years in the eighties we worked for the same company, although he was based in Bristol and I in London. (Pratchett completists should look for back numbers of Power News, the CEGB's in-house journal. He contributed several articles.)

I remember sitting in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel in Toronto before the start of Torcon 3 in 2003. I was talking to another British fan when a voice boomed out, "I'm looking for a bar. Anyone know where there is one?" "It's right behind you, Terry," we said. "Anyone want a drink?" he replied.

So there was a small group of us in the bar, Terry buying, when a local fan asked if he could join us. Terry started talking about going to Borneo for the orang-utans, and this local asked what he did for a living. Everyone else burst out laughing.

We got through several beers. Somebody had reserved a table in the Japanese restaurant in the hotel basement where Terry and I got through a bottle of sake between us.

I'm not usually much of a drinker so I felt terrible the next morning. People asked me what had happened to me. "Oh, I was getting drunk with Terry Pratchett last night. Terrible job, but someone has to do it."
Mar. 14th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. Thank you for sharing.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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