I don’t really have any stories about Terry Pratchett. We met at conventions, back in the day, and I liked him, as everyone did. The last time I saw him was late one night at the 1999 Worldcon, in Melbourne, when Paul Kincaid and I were hanging around in a far-flung part of the conference centre foyer, and much to my surprise he wandered over, and we sat around, talking about fandom and conventions and things and people we knew. He seemed to know a lot more about my activities in fandom than I’d imagined he might and was approving. And no, he really hadn’t muddled me up with anyone else. I was quite tickled by this. Then, people began to notice he was there and as they began to gather he got up and drifted quietly away before a scrum developed. It was all very surreal but hugely enjoyable.
However, as some of you know, Paul looks sufficiently like Terry Pratchett to have been mistaken for him many times, especially when he wears a fedora in the winter.
*Man accosts Paul on the platform of a London station:
‘Are you a writer?’
‘Yes, but not the one you’re thinking of.’
‘You look familiar. Do I know you?’
‘No, but I look like the person you’re probably thinking of.’
*Me, lying on a back board in Ashford A&E (don’t worry, it wasn’t serious), begging the nurse to go and find Paul in the waiting area.
‘How will I know him?’
‘He looks like Terry Pratchett?’
‘Trust me, you’ll spot him.’
Nurse returns with Paul. ‘You’re right, he does!’
*Me collecting my gown for my graduation, with Paul in tow.
Porter on door looks at Paul, announces loudly to room: ‘Terry Pratchett!’
*You get to guess who Paul went to an office fancy dress party as. Easiest costume ever!
As a friend of ours said earlier in the week, going out in (or indeed with) the hat in future could be quite interesting. Possibly Paul needs to learn to speak in small capital letters.