The Last Full Stop
Just for a change I'm not pimping my own stuff in this post, instead I want to talk about The Shepherd's Crown, the latest Discworld novel from Terry Pratchett, which was released today. And I don't know if I want to read it because it is also the last Discworld novel.
For most of my life, I have loved everything Terry Pratchett has done, and the Discworld novels in particular. They have been a constant presence, making me think, brightening my outlook when things were bleak, providing a world that was at once both fantastical and magical, yet also intrinsically human and grounded in reality.
And always there was the knowledge, the anticipation that there were more stories from the Disc that I would be able to read, a new adventure to go on with Vimes or Rincewind or Granny Weatherwax. It was always something to look forward to, a bright spot in the future regardless of what else was happening.
But that's it now. There won't be any more. When - if - I reach the last full stop of The Shepherd's Crown it will mean a world where there will never be a new Discworld book to read, there won't be a new adventure that I have yet to experience. I don't like the sound of that world, that world is a cold and unfriendly place.
So, as perverse and weird as the logic is, there's a large part of me that doesn't want to read The Shepherd's Crown because at least then there will always be a new Discworld novel out there that I could read, there'll always be a new adventure waiting for me, as there has been since I first picked up Guards Guards in my local library more than twenty five years ago because it had a weird looking cover and my mum had mentioned that she'd heard of this Terry Pratchett guy whose books I might like (which I was initially resistant to because it was a suggestion from my mum and I was nothing if not a contrary pain in the ass as a kid. Some might say that not much has changed).
Ah, maybe I'm just scared of how much it will hurt to reach the end, or I don't want to admit that there is an end - denial ain't just a river in Egypt and all that.
If there's one thing I'm one hundred percent certain of, however, it's that Sir Terry would say that I was being an idiot and to just read the bloody thing, because that's what it's for.
If I'm being honest, I know I'll end up reading it eventually, because it's a Discworld book and I must, but it is going to suck when I finish it. That's a moment I'm not looking forward to.
Man, I miss Terry Pratchett.