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.
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: