Terry Pratchett, Author and Satirist, Passes Away at Age 66

It is with heavy sadness that we report that Terry Pratchett, brilliant author and satirist, has passed away on March 12th, 2015 at the age of 66.

Pratchett’s daughter, author Rhianna Pratchett and his UK publisher Penguin Random House have confirmed the news with a statement via Larry Finlay, MD at Transworld Publishers:

I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds.

In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention.

Terry faced his Alzheimer’s disease (an ’embuggerance’, as he called it) publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come.

My sympathies go out to Terry’s wife Lyn, their daughter Rhianna, to his close friend Rob Wilkins, and to all closest to him.”

Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with Posterior Cortical Atrophy in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.

We ask that the family are left undisturbed at this distressing time.

A Just Giving page donating to the Research Institute to the Care of Older People (RICE) has been set up in his memory: https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett

Born in 1948, Pratchett left school at 17 to start working for the Bucks Free Press, and eventually became Press Officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board, a position he only left in 1987, after finishing the fourth Discworld novel, Mort. The series, begun in 1983, covers a variety of themes including magic, death, and journalism, often satirizes different elements of fantasy, and quickly became one of the most astonishingly fleshed out fictional worlds in all of literature, Discworld. The Discworld books make merry work of conventional fantasy landscapes (the austere school of magic, the mystical elven realm, the home of Death himself) while giving us such memorable characters as Rincewind, Samuel Vimes, Granny Weatherwax, and Susan Sto Helit. He also co-wrote the apocalyptic satire Good Omens with Neil Gaiman, and most recently published a “parallel earth” series with Stephen Baxter.

After being diagnosed with PCA he worked to increase awareness of Alzheimers, including working with the BBC to create a two-part documentary series about living with the illness, which won a BAFTA.  

Pratchett was awarded nine honorary Doctorates, the 2001 Carnegie Medal for Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, and, in 2010, the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. He received a knighthood for “services to literature” in the 2009 UK New Year Honours list, and was previously appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998.

The announcement of Terry’s passing was all too appropriate:

Thank you, Terry, for giving us so much.

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