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I'm sure by now many of you know that Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series (and many, many other things) died last week. I'm actually a little surprised at how upset I was to hear about it. I think part of it is founded on a personal matter - my uncle was diagnosed with a very rare form of early-onset dementia. He died very young, and I tend to avoid any books/movies with Alzheimer's or dementia because it upsets me. So I imagine a lot of that is coming into play with Terry Pratchett.
But it's also really weird when you've just found something you really, really love, and when the creator dies...it feels a bit like you've missed the chance to get to know them. Which is...weird. Because I can still get to know him the way I would have when he was alive - I plan to read pretty much all of his books at some point, and him being alive has nothing to do with it. I likely never would have met him or had any contact with him at all, so it's not like I actually would have a personal relationship with him. And yet...I still feel that way. Does any of that make sense? And if I, a very new fan, feel this way I can't imagine how his long term fans are feeling.
And it got me thinking...how will I react when my favourite authors die? Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley are both in their 60's now. And I imagine I'm going to be absolutely devastated, because as I've mentioned before, they really have shaped my life in a way. It feels a bit like I grew up with them - not as close or important as family, but kind of like that kooky uncle you don't ever see. They're still IMPORTANT even though I've never met them. And...how do you explain to normal people that you're really upset because some author you've never met has died? Because I can't imagine if I found out that I would just be a little sad and move on...it's not something I do well at haha. It's all a bit morbid and I feel a bit weird mulling all of this over, but there you are. Death makes me contemplative in all the uncomfortable ways.