Recently, two dreams came true for comic fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett. Yet, the final result was comic reality . . . Great Britain-style.
First dream? He was knighted by the Queen.
Second? He forged a magic sword.
Well, he mined ore off his estate, and, with the help of a friend, smelted it using a hand-made kiln heated with sheep dung. Pratchett even added in meteoric iron to make his sword. The heavens-sent ore is called “thunderbolt iron.” Yes, that’s the “magic part.”
But perhaps more magical, really, is Pratchett’s personal hankering for a sword. Swords are out of fashion these days. But if you dream up Discworld, Pratchett’s comic magic domain, it makes some sense.
There is a sad tag to this story. Pratchett suffers from Alzheimer’s. That little tidbit, a terrible disease, lends a sort of strange discord that takes over the tale, if you let it.
Of course, there’s the ever-present political element. One is not allowed to carry around large knives, daggers and swords in England.
Pratchett says that it it annoys him that “knights aren’t allowed to carry their swords. That would be a knife crime.”
Normally, I’d agree with him. Knights should be able to carry around large blades. So should regular folk. It’s the criminals, who keep them hidden, who are the problem. Not the citizenry. And certainly not knights.
Still, should dementia hit him full, perhaps it’s just as well he’s hid his sword.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.