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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The turtle moves

A flyer for the Fresh Start Club at the Cape Town Zombie Walk

A flyer for the Fresh Start Club at the Cape Town Zombie Walk

To say that Terry Pratchett got me through high school would be an understatement.

I was a loner at school. After moving suburbs I had to start at my new high school a year after everyone had formed their close circles. Most of those friendships were carried over from junior school anyway.

I was a borderline goth, a tomboy and painfully shy. And I lived in the poorer neighbourhood bordering the manicured garden city where my school was located. It’s safe to say I was doomed from the start.

I had friends. Lots of them. But they were neighbourhood kids that I only saw in the afternoons and on weekends. During school break I sat by myself, reading.

But I had Terry to keep me company. His books were my escape hatch to the Discworld, which has always existed parallel to mine.

All the hidden references in the novels made me feel like I was privy to some larger inside joke. And I was the only one reading them. Every footnote, all Nanny Ogg’s double entendres, Rincewind’s mixed feelings about potatoes – they were mine alone to enjoy.

I know this because every time I visited the library to take out another one, the check-out page would be empty. If there was a date stamp it was because I had taken out the book before.

In a world where I was as important as the earthworm specimens in biology class, those books kept me sane.

I remember sitting on the steps behind the building giggling uncontrollably when Rincewind unwittingly started off creation with an egg and cress sandwich. That scene still makes me laugh.

I’ve never lost my love for the Discworld. When I started working, my paychecks were spent building my collection. And I collected everything – from the companion novels and quiz books to the maps and diaries. I even own the boardgames.

My life is richer for it.

When I started my LEGO stories Tumblr there was no question about what literary characters I wanted to recreate in LEGO.

So here are a few LEGO stories inspired by the Discworld.

Men at Arms

He [Carrot] could lead armies, Angua thought. He really could. Some people have inspired whole countries to great deeds because of the power of their vision. And so could he. Not because he dreams about marching hordes, or world domination, or an empire of a thousand years. Just because he thinks that everyone’s really decent underneath and would get along just fine if only they made an effort, and he believes that so strongly it burns like a flame that is bigger than he is.
From Men At Arms

The last continent

It was a complete mystery to Mustrum Ridcully, a man designed by Nature to live outdoors and happily slaughter anything that coughed in the bushes, why the Bursar (a man designed by Nature to sit in a small room somewhere, adding up figures) was so nervous. He’d tried all sorts of things to, as he put it, buck him up. These included practical jokes, surprise early morning runs, and leaping out at him from behind doors while wearing Willy the Vampire masks in order, he said, to take him out of himself. From Men at Arms


‘It’s the expression on their little faces I like’, said the Hogfather.

‘You mean the sort of fear and awe and not knowing whether to laugh or cry or wet their pants?
Yes. Now that is what I call belief’.
From The Hogfather


All dwarfs are by nature dutiful, serious, literate, obedient and thoughtful people whose only minor failing is a tendency, after one drink, to rush at enemies screaming “Arrrrrrgh!” and axing their legs off at the knee. From Guards! Guards!

Soul Music

C. M. O. T. Dibbler liked to be up at first light, in case there was an opportunity to sell a worm to the early bird. From Soul Music

Thank you Terry. Thank you for the wonderful stories and the characters and the in-jokes. Thank you for your wonderful sense of humour and your wit and your mind. But most of all thank you for giving me a reason to smile at a time when the world was unkind. I am a better person for it.


Recent comments:

  • Sven
    March 20th, 2015 @15:52 #

    This Mort footnote makes me laugh every time:

    *The disc's greatest lovers were undoubtedly Mellius and Gretelina, whose pure, passionate and soul-searing affair would have scorched the pages of History if they had not, because of some unexplained quirk of fate, been born two hundred years apart on different continents. However, the gods took pity on them and turned him into an ironing board** and her into a small brass bollard.

    **When you're a god, you don't have to have reasons.

    ― Terry Pratchett, Mort

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    March 23rd, 2015 @08:58 #

    I love that footnote. Thanks for sharing :)


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