Toni Budden

In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett – A Review

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” – Sir Terry Pratchett

Created with the desire to honour a legendary author and to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett is a brilliant and imaginative anthology.

With more than 85 million books sold worldwide and an OBE for his services to literature, Sir Terry Pratchett is undoubtedly one of the greatest writers of fantasy novels that the world has ever seen. In 2007, the knighted author was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and passed away in March earlier this year after documenting his illness in order to create awareness and raise funds for Alzheimer’s research.

In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett is an anthology of short stories that explore the theme of memory in interesting and thought-provoking ways. Not only is each individual story magical and a delight to read, but every penny made by this book is being donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK to support those for whom memory loss is a heart-breaking reality.

pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett

The anthology contains 17 short stories from both professional writers and amateurs determined to pay homage to their favourite author. Despite the universal theme of memory, the stories vary widely – from dread lords and genocidal computers to dystopian worlds and magical storytellers.

Whilst all of the stories are brilliant at conjuring up vivid worlds, a story that brought me to tears – yes, actual physical real life tears! – was Scott A. Butler’s Memoryarian. Butler expertly tells the tale of Y’Orlay, a shortlander hired by the immortal memory collector, Al Heimer, to gather the memories of people as determined by the gods. Both endearing and intriguing, it is difficult to prevent yourself from becoming completely immersed in the lives of the characters – this is one that I definitely won’t forget for a while!

Another note-worthy piece is Strangers by Robert McKelvey. Strangers follows the story of Charles Rigby who wakes up lost and disorientated after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol – something I think we can all relate to – and gains the help of private investigator Spatchcock to retrace his steps and remember the events of the previous days. McKelvey expertly creates a captivating world so vivid that you almost believe you could step straight into it.

For the true fantasy fans, The Heart of the Labyrinth by DK Mok is a definite recommendation as the creatures that Mok has created will fuel your imagination and inspire your empathy. For a light-hearted humorous read, The Archive of Lost Memories by Anna Mattaar is the delightful tale of an old woman determined to organise all forgotten memories in order to make finding them again easier.

Other contributors to In Memory include Luke Kemp, Peter Knighton, Mike Reeves-McMillan, Laura May, Michael K. Schaefer, Phil Elstob, Sorin Suciu, Lyn Godfrey, Charlotte Slocombe, Steven McKinnon, Simon Evans, Caroline Friedel and Choong Jay Vee.

If you are at all interested in fantasy fiction or just want a thought-provoking read I would highly recommend this anthology – I couldn’t tear myself away! – and even if you don’t, all proceeds go to Alzheimer’s Research UK, so buy a copy anyway!

(Image credit: PTL.com)

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