I hope you look at Twitter and Facebook and see all the encomiums to Terry Pratchett and ask yourself, “What’s the deal? Why is everyone getting worked up over one English guy with a giant hat?”
I hope that curiosity sends you to the library or your bookstore (preferably the dusty, musty second-hand kind that sells books by the pound and has a cat that wanders around until it finds a nice stack for a nap), and you browse the section set aside just for Terry Pratchett.
I feel like I read and watched and listened a lot last year. In retrospect, a lot of that was older, but them’s the breaks when you uncouple yourself from things like broadcast listing and publishing schedules and the mad crush of getting a steel rocketship as validation of one’s career choices.
(Granted, I think it would be cool to win one of those rocketships one day, but I think it would be much, much cooler if many tens of thousands of people bought my books. That way, I could buy a lot of tacos and pretend they’re rocketships on a one-way trip to the gaping maw of my open, hungry mouth. I am Rakunas, Devourer of Worlds. I mean, Tacos.)
Something else: since I get to read a lot of friends’ work before it’s published, seeing the actual objets d’art is a pleasant surprise, like finding twenty bucks in your pocket after doing the laundry. “Oh, that book I really liked? It’s out? And it’s eligible for stuff? Well, that’s cool!”
When I was three, my parents moved us to Costa Mesa, an Orange County suburb, back when the word suburb still had some meaning. We lived on a cul-de-sac in a subdivision whose streets were named after Pacific islands. There were two other families in our end of the street, and some of the kids were around my age.
We played. We fought. Our parents intervened. We played. We fought. Our parents intervened again. Repeat ad nauseam.