I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that, after September when The Shepherd’s Crown is published, we will never see a new Terry Pratchett novel published again. No more will we enjoy the adventures of the various inhabitants of the Discworld; the world resting on the backs of four elephants who in turn are supported by Great A’Tuin, the Star Turtle.
Sir Terry’s writing career began in journalism. His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. But success came following the publication of the first Discworld novel – The Colour of Magic – in 1983 (Sir Terry later described it as “an attempt to do for the classical fantasy universe what Blazing Saddles did for Westerns”). After the publication of the fourth Discworld novel – Mort – Sir Terry quit his position as a press officer to become a full time writer; the sales of his novels in the UK alone were over 2 million copies. Aside from the Discworld novels he also collaborated with other authors such as Neil Gaiman and Stephen Baxter.
Sir Terry was knighted in 2009 for services to literature after having previously been appointed as Officer of the British Empire in 1998, of which he said “‘I suspect the “services to literature” consisted of refraining from trying to write any. Still, I can’t help feeling mightily chuffed about it.”
In December 2007 he announced that he was suffering from a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. Following the news of his passing last Thursday his daughter Rhianna sent three final tweets from his Twitter account.
“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.