Friday, March 13, 2015
R.I.P. Terry Pratchett, Author of Discworld
On March 12, 2015, Terry Pratchett died of a severe chest infection. Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett, OBE was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. I always thought of him as the fantasy equivalent of Douglas Adams, a comic genius who perfectly lampooned as well as explored the boundaries of his genre. He's best known for his Discworld series, which is made up of about 40 volumes. I admit, I didn't read all of them. I read Pratchett's first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, and all his other Discworld novels up until Mort. My loss of interest in fantasy had more to do with me than him, but I still have fond memories of his books. But he continued long after I lost track of the series, and went on to write other works at the average of two books a year.
He was an amazing author by any standard. He was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s, and sold more than 85 million books worldwide. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and was knighted for services to literature in the 2009 New Year Honours. In 2001, he won the annual Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, the first Discworld book marketed for children. He received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010.
His later years were not so pleasant. In December 2007, Pratchett announced that he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He wanted to commit suicide, but ultimately died of natural causes.
R.I.P. Terry Pratchett. You brought joy and wonder to the world.
[Image source "Terry Pratchett 2005". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.]
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