Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Facts of Death

It is not a wise or a sensible thing to do, to fly from the US to the UK, getting in late on the Tuesday night, and flying back early on the Thursday morning, in order to go to a funeral on the Wednesday, but sometimes you do the wrong thing because it's the only right thing you can do, and because you have to say goodbye to a friend properly, and that was true this week.

We didn't always look like this. 24 years ago, on tour for Good Omens, we looked more like this:

It's a bookshop signing photo, which is a nice change. Back then, every newspaper interview we did they'd drive us to a graveyard. I'm not 100% certain why. But in ancient crumbling newspaper picture archives, there should be a host of photos of Terry and me holding Good Omens and looking not very scary at all.

It accompanies this: --  an interview with us both from 1991, in Locus Magazine, from back when we were very young and prone to finishing each other's sentences.

BBC Radio 4 is going to repeat GOOD OMENS as a tribute to Terry: it starts Monday the 6th, at 22:30 UK time. Details at If you missed it, you can listen to it from anywhere in the world, using the internet, or an app (if you have only a phone/tablet).

And Terry's death makes me think of Douglas Adams' death (I missed the memorial: it was the first day that planes were flying again after 9/11, and I gave my seat on the plane up so that someone could get home). 

On March 3rd I was in the UK to deliver the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture, to help Save the Rhinos. You can watch the talk I gave here:

(The blog title is borrowed from a poem Terry wrote for an anthology called NOW WE ARE SICK, which I edited with Steve Jones in 1985. His poem began...

They don’t teach you the facts of death,

Your Mum and Dad. They give you pets.

We had a dog which went astray.

Got laminated to the motorway.

I cried. We had to post him to the vet’s.

You have to work it out yourself,

This dying thing. Death’s always due.

A goldfish swimming on a stall,

Two weeks later: cotton wool,

And sent to meet its Maker down the loo.)

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