GNU Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett died two weeks ago. I looked it up just to be safe, and was shocked to learn it wasn’t last week. Feels like it was just yesterday.

It nearly broke my heart to hear the news. I had to remove myself from social media for several days, because every new profession of respect came as a painful reminder that the world had changed.

It wasn’t unexpected. How could it be? A man’s death is one of the most predictable things in the world, and Sir Pratchett in particular had been battling a devastating diagnosis for years now.

But still it stung. Pratchett has been not only a source of entertainment and education for me as a reader, but very much a role model and inspiration for me as a writer. His Discworld series is easily one of the funniest and most enjoyable reads in all fantasy, but I would also call it one of the most insightful and eloquent and uniquely voices and truly meaningful texts in all of today’s canon.

He wrestles with questions of existence, questions of effective government and social change, questions of right and wrong, and (in almost every book) questions of a man’s relationships with the people he loves and with his own mortality.

It’s easy to miss just how good these books are because they’re so easy to read. Strange, that.

But I was reminded how broad his topics ran when, last week, a friend shared a link to the GNU Terry Pratchett project.

It’s fascinating. Years ago, Pratchett wrote a Discworld story that featured (as a minor subplot) the idea of immortality in a simple form: “A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.”

This project takes that idea from the book and invites website owners to apply it in memory of Terry Pratchett. The actual implementation is somewhat technical and a little silly (and also a spoiler for portions of the book it comes from), so I won’t go into detail. It’s also so easy that it feels somehow shallow, but I can’t help thinking Terry Pratchett would be delighted by it.

So I’m participating. is part of the GNU Terry Pratchett project. But the very act of turning on that plugin convinced me that I needed to say something more.

So here I am, and here it is: I’m devastated that there will be no more books from that brilliant mind. I’m disappointed that I never got to meet him. But most of all I am grateful to have experienced all the wonderful works he shared with the world. His words changed my life for the better.

If you’ve never read anything of his, give it a try. His style isn’t for everyone, but there is real beauty to be had. Start the series anywhere (Guards! Guards! and Reaper Man are popular starting points), but I truly recommend them all.

Advance Reading Copy of The Dragonprince’s Heir!

For several weeks now (primarily at my Facebook page) I’ve been promising to provide some some Advance Reading Copies of The Dragonprince’s Heir (The Dragonprince Trilogy, #3) to my fans. As you may know, that effort has been delayed a little bit, but I think I’m finally ready to follow through.

I’d like to allow everyone a little time to make their requests (which will also give me time to finish this round of edits and build the files I’ll need to send out). So if you’re interested, leave a comment (with a valid email address) on this post before the end of the day Tuesday, June 12th. If you don’t know what to say, “Me too, please!” will probably do the job. It’s not an essay contest.

I only have digital copies available, but they should be readable on whatever you’re using to read this blog post. On Wednesday, I’ll send review copies to the first hundred people who commented below. All I’d ask in return is that you write me a review at the digital vendor(s) of your choice. Blog posts are welcome too, of course.

Please note that this is a separate offer from the one we made at KickStarter, but everyone who made a pledge there before the end of the day on May 31st should also be getting their ARCs this Wednesday.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, definitely check out our KickStarter campaign! It’s a good cause, and it’s an easy way to pre-order a signed first edition of the paperback.

Update from the Comments

Congratulations to everyone on the list so far! You’ll be hearing back from me on Wednesday. And, of course, there’s still room for more!

I just wanted to pop in and respond to those of you who’ve mentioned how desperate you are for an ARC because you’re all out of reading material. At the risk of sounding like some soulless salesperson, I should mention that I do have some other stories available.

Maybe you’ve already read them all. If so, I can still introduce you to some great new writers. You can’t go wrong with anyone from Consortium Books.

Update from the 100th Responder

We just got our 100th request! Sorry to anyone who missed out, but you’ll only be waiting a couple weeks. The book will be available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble by Tuesday, June 26th.

Can’t wait to hear what you all think! Thanks for the enthusiastic response!