Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)

March 12, 2015 Authors 10

Terry Pratchett (via Wikipedia)

Much sadness.

The BBC reported this morning that Terry Pratchett, beloved author of the Discworld novels, has died. His official Twitter account announced his death with a series of emails:


(ETA: The character Death speaks in all caps in the Discworld novels. Also, I am not sure but I suspect that the author planned this series of tweets with his assistant well before his death.)

Pratchett had announced in 2007 that he had Alzheimer’s disease, but continued to write and make appearances for another seven years. He also became a strong supporter of Alzheimer’s research.

His publisher says that Pratchett ‘passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family.’

In the course of his career, Pratchett wrote around 40 Discworld novels, beginning with The Colour of Magic and ending with a not-yet-released book completed in the summer of 2014. He was also the author of some 30-odd other books as well as short fiction and essays; the essays were recently collected and published as A Slip of the Keyboard. In 2012, Pratchett announced that his daughter Rhianna will take over the Discworld series* once he could no longer write.

Pratchett is a popular author in our family: my daughter, stepdad, and sister all love his Discworld books. I’m a bit late to the party, having only read one Discworld book so far, but I was delighted with Dodger, his take on Dickens’ Artful Dodger (review), and I’m looking forward to delving into the Discworld.

I am saddened by his death.

ETA (3/14/15):

There has been an outpouring of grief, tributes, and remembrances on social media. One of my favorites is this wonderful piece by Paul Kidby, showing Terry Pratchett with Death, a character in several of his Discworld novels:

artwork by Paul Kidby (via twin-city-ankh-and-morpork on Tumblr)


Sources: BBC; The Guardian; i09; Metro; New Statesman; twin-city-ankh-and-morporkWikipedia

10 Responses to “Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Indeed he did. .. and he was also a strong supporter of orangutan preservation efforts, because of Ook, his orangutan librarian character. A good man, and apparently a charming and funny one in real life as well.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Yes, it is, and he had an early-onset form of it. He was able to keep working for a long time – it took his ability to read and type, but (surprisingly) his intellectual capabilities stayed pretty intact for quite a while. He would dictate the books to his long-time assistant, who knew him and his style well. I guess there may be one more Discworld book to come – he delivered it last summer.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I really liked Dodger, which isn’t a Discworld book. The Color of Money didn’t really grab me, but I’ve read or had read to me bits and pieces of some of the later Discworld books (Guards, Guards! and one or two others) and they were very funny, so I’m going to start further into the series and try again. I gather that he was still finding his stride with the world in the first few.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      That’s the only saving grace for many of us. In my case, I’ve only read two of his books so far, so I have a lot to look forward to.

  1. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    I haven’t read any books by him but his fans seem intensely loyal, so for Mr. Pratchett’s family, and his devoted followers I send best wishes and God bless. It is sad to hear of anyone passing, but when someone identifies with an author they feel as if they know them personally, so it hits hard. He will be missed by so many readers.
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