BBC's app on my iPhone has just announced the death of one of my favorite authors, Sir Terry Pratchett.
I first encountered his work while I was living in Chicago. I was persuaded by a reputable huckster that I would enjoy this particular hardcover book, The Color of Magic set on a flat planet swimming through space on the back of four elephants standing on a gigantic space turtle. I was intrigued. I read the book. I was hooked.
There's been more than forty Discworld novels since then, and a bunch of other writings. I've read nearly everything he wrote. I met him at a WorldCon in San Antonio. I listened to him at panels at various conventions. forestcats and I have had close encounters with him a number of times, memories that we cherish.
His faculties have been slipping the last few years as he was afflicted with an unusual form of Alzheimer's. He got involved in discussing the right to assisted suicide, which several nations in the Eurozone permit, though not the United Kingdom, his homeland. I've yet to see any details aside from the bare announcement of his demise, but let's say that the announcement isn't a surpise.
He's been a bestselliing writer for years. His work had wide appeal. He was involved in many charitable organizations, but especially in preservation of orangutan habitats. He was honored by Queen Elizabeth II with a knighthood.
It's a very sad day for me, and for many of my friends who've appreciated Pratchett's works.
I can only assume that on his passing, one of his best characters said to him: "TIME TO GO."