Two years later, Sir Terry Pratchett lives on in the clacks

We’re coming up on the two year anniversary of losing Sir Terry Pratchett (March 12, 2015), so I thought it would be a good time to revisit this post I wrote a short later. I just checked, and the code is still running here on my site.

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March 16th, 2015

We lost Sir Terry Pratchett last week.

Pratchett quote courtesy of Goodreads

Pratchett quote courtesy of Goodreads

Today, I saw the following article in my Facebook newsfeed –

Terry Pratchett will ‘live on in the clacks’ thanks to fans’ programming code

I’ve now installed the GNU Terry Pratchett code on this site.

The clacks overhead

The clacks overhead

From the plugin description (created by Nick Cernis) –

GNU Terry Pratchett

From Going Postal:
“We keep that name moving in the Overhead,” he said, and it seemed to Princess that the wind in the shutter arrays above her blew more forlornly, and the everlasting clicking of the shutters grew more urgent. “He’d never have wanted to go home. He was a real linesman. His name is in the code, in the wind in the rigging and the shutters. Haven’t you ever heard the saying: ‘A man’s not dead while his name is still spoken’?”
What does the GNU stand for?

In Going Postal, the G means that the message should be passed on, the N means “Not Logged”, and the U means that it should be turned around at the end of the line.

Ripple on, good sir. Ripple on.

GNU Sir Terry Pratchett ripple quote

Photo, without quote, from The Telegraph


“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.” ~ Terry Pratchett “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…” ~ Terry Pratchett
Sir Terry Pratchett #MicroblogMondays
“Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?
Read the inaugural post which explains
the idea and how you can participate too.”
~ Melissa S. Ford, Stirrup Queens

Sir Terry Pratchett. First, this is not a passive voice. Next, I am writing in an active voice. Therefore, my SEO will stop telling me how to write. Furthermore, these sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Rather, stop being so controlling. Especially since most of the sentences in this post are not mine. I will keep going while until you turn green. Sir Terry Pratchett. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! First, this is not a passive voice. Next, I am writing in an active voice. Therefore, my SEO will stop telling me how to write. Furthermore, these sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Rather, stop being so controlling. Especially since most of the sentences in this post are not mine. Next, I am writing in an active voice. Sir Terry Pratchett. I will keep going while until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success!

24 comments for “Two years later, Sir Terry Pratchett lives on in the clacks

  1. Mel
    March 6, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I love that first quote about magic. Sometimes the magic is knowing how it’s done and marveling at it just the same. Such as words coming together for a favourite author.

    • March 6, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Completely agree, Mel.

  2. March 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I love this! I was a huge Terry Pratchett fan as well and was very sad when I knew there would be no more books from him. Thank you for the reminder of the anniversary of his passing. Later this week I’ll post what I wrote on my blog two years ago.

    • March 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Same here. It hit me extra hard, given my father died in 2001 after a six year battle with Alzheimer’s. You’re very welcome, and I’ll keep my eyes open for your post.

      • March 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        It will be my Throwback Thursday post. And my father has Alzheimer’s

        • March 6, 2017 at 12:11 pm

          I’m so sorry to hear that, Phil. If you ever need to vent to someone outside the situation, please don’t hesitate to send me a message. I might not be able to help with any useful information, but I can listen and relate. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  3. March 6, 2017 at 11:52 am

    So sad when he announced he had Alzheimer’s. Always seems even crueller when it’s someone with such a talent and imagination. I appreciated his discussion of assisted suicide, he was a wise man.

    • March 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      When my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1996, we had a brief, extremely difficult conversation about assisted suicide. I was tremendously grateful when Sir Terry raised the topic.

      • March 7, 2017 at 4:22 am

        I just don’t understand why people are against it. Well yes maybe I do – they just haven’t experienced a situation where they or someone they love might need it.

        • March 7, 2017 at 8:46 am

          That’s probably the case – once you’ve lived it, you gain a whole new perspective on the issue.

  4. March 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Love those quotes and thank you for sharing again. Magic is that.

    • March 6, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      You’re welcome, Parul – always happy to share the magic! 😀

  5. March 6, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I introduced one of the kids I tutor to Douglas Adams. When he finished all the books by him he asked when the next book is coming out. I told him that Mr. Adams had passed and my sweet 13 year old student started to cry. “I wasn’t done with him yet!” He said. That’s how I feel about Terry Pratchett. I love the quotes.

  6. March 6, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I don’t think I’m familiar with his work, but I’m glad his code is still running!

    • March 7, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Stephanie, if you get the chance, check him out. He wrote humorous fantasy novels, like the Discworld series – set in a world that’s completely flat, supported by four elephants who are standing on the back of a giant space turtle… and he makes that seem not only plausible, but hysterical.

  7. March 6, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I haven’t read any Terry Pratchett, but he sounds amazing. Great quotes, and how cool to live on in code. Also, I love that last image and quote about the ripples. I love the idea of ripples continuing on from my presence long after I’m gone. What a great thought.

    • March 7, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Definitely give him a look if you’re able, Jess. I agree – it’s one of my favorite quotes from him. Here’s the full version from his Discworld novel, “Reaper Man” (essentially Death gets fired and starts working as a farm hand for a sweet little old lady) –

      “In the Ramtop village where they dance the real Morris dance, for example, they believe that no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away–until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.”

  8. March 6, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Oh, I love Terry Pratchett. The only author who was guaranteed to literally make me laugh out loud. The Alzheimer’s was heartbreaking – my mother was dealing with it at the same time as he was. Lovely post, though, thank you.

    • March 7, 2017 at 8:37 am

      You’re welcome, Mali. I’m sorry to hear about your mother – we lost my father to that horrible disease as well. And yes, I’ve gotten some strange looks when reading his novels in public, because of my random, intense giggle fits!

  9. March 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    That last picture and quote conjured up for me the Grateful Dead song “Ripple” and also “Brokedown Palace”. Funny how words can be such triggers and bring memories out of nowhere.
    I really like the idea behind that quote.

    • March 8, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Very true, Charlotte. For me, it’s the song, “Ripples” by Genesis. And me too.

  10. March 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Great qoute!

Feel free to shout out!