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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.


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."

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