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Terry Pratchett (Pic: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Terry Pratchett (Pic: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Terry Pratchett (Pic: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Because there is nothing better, when faced with a dark spot caused by the sudden absence of a brilliant mind—like that of Sir Terry Pratchett—than basking in the warm glow left by its most shiny of illuminations.

And besides, we should have already done it by now. This stuff is GOLD:

• The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

• In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.

• Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.

• Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out til too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along.

• They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

• Light thinks it travels faster than anything, but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

• The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

• Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.

• Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.

• Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? To my juvenile eyes, Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn’t take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.

• The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

• Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.

• It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.

• Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.

• The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.

• There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.

• If you don’t turn your life into a story; you just become a part of someone else’s story.

• The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

• I have no use for people who have learned the limits of the possible.

• So much universe, and so little time.

• Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.

• It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.

• I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

• Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.

• It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases—one was Alzheimer’s, and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer’s.

• Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH,’ the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.

• If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.

• Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.

• Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.

• The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in 10 minutes after the big picture has started, and no one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.

See more:
RIP Terry Pratchett: the King of Comic Fantasy

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By Fraser McAlpine