by Terry Pratchett



128pp/16.99/October 2016

The Terry Pratchett Diary

Reviewed by Steven H Silver

Over the years, Terry Pratchett has overseen the production of a dozen Discworld themed diaries. With the end of the Discworld series in 2015 with The Shepherd's Crown and Sir Terry's death, it seemed reasonable that the Diary series would also end. This year, however, sees the publication of a Discworld-related diary which may well be the final one: The Terry Pratchett Diary.

This year's entry mostly follows the format of earlier volumes in the series, providing a glance of a week at a time. Unlike the earlier books however, the dates do not also incorporate the day of the week upon which it falls. Rather than noting that April 28 falls on a Friday in 2017, the entry simply states it is for April 28. Similarly, although 2017 is not a leap year, there is an entry for February 29, including the note that the date should be deleted as appropriate. It appears that The Terry Pratchett Diary is meant to be used in any year, not a specific year.

Many pages include an illustration by Peter Dennis and all of the pages that include a week's worth of dates include quotes from Pratchett's Discworld novels. These quotes range from the pithy to the insightful and are each credited to Pratchett and the work from which they are taken. Dates upon which major holidays fall are also noted, as well as Pratchett's birthday.

While the earlier books were all themed to an aspect of Discworld, providing information about Igors or Witches or the Assassin's Guild which never made it into the novels, the theme of this volume is Pratchett, himself. Scattered throughout the diary, therefore, are reminiscences of Pratchett and appreciations of his works by a variety of individuals whose lives had been touched by Sir Terry. Some of these are personal in nature, such as the pieces by editors Jennifer Brehl or Philippa Dickinson. Others are slightly more professional in nature, like Stephen Baxter's. All of them portray an image of Pratchett which was hinted at in his writing and indicate a man whose death was a distinct loss to humanity, not just for his writing, but for his very presence.

If The Terry Pratchett Diary does prove to be the final diary in the series, it will go out on a a good note. Pratchett would most likely point out that his novels stand on their own, separate from any information about the author. The stories and reminiscences provided by his colleagues in these pages, however, focus on Pratchett as the individual rather than as an author or on his works. To the people writing, he was, foremost, a friend and colleague. What made him special in those roles comes across quite well in these short pieces.

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