Fantasy author, born in 1948. A Knight Bachelor (i.e. Sir Terry Pratchett OBE), he's been described as the most shoplifted author in Britain (belying an American critic who once claimed that he hadn't found his audience).
Most famous for the Discworld series, but this is not his only work. Some of the other stuff he's written:
- The Carpet People (his first novel) and The Bromeliad, three further books on a similar theme, aimed at children.
- The Dark Side of the Sun and Strata, his first two adult novels.
- The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy for children. Only You Can Save Mankind has been adapted for radio, the other two for TV.
- Good Omens, a collaboration with Neil Gaiman. A mini-series is currently in development.
- Nation- a non-Discworld fantasy children's novel, released 11 September 2008.
Pratchett's trademark is his sense of humor -- relying on wordplay, spoofing mythology and popular culture (though he usually doesn't include current events in his work lest the books become dated), and publishing in genres ranging from fantasy to detective fiction to political thriller (often combining all three), rarely has there been found a phrase that he cannot turn, and there are few subjects that Pterry (as his fans have affectionately dubbed him) won't make at least a passing attempt to skewer on the end of a sharp metaphor.
Outside of fiction, Pratchett is well-known for his sharp wit and keen awareness of human nature (and the innumerable failings thereof); one of his more popular quotes claims that the fundamental problem of the human race is that we're trying to achieve world peace 'using a language which was designed to tell one another where the best fruit was.'
He is a trustee of the Orangutan Foundation, by virtue of a liking for the animal and featuring it in the Discworld series as the Librarian.
Known to be One of Us (the Luggage, for example, was originally created for a game of Dungeons and Dragons he played) and enjoys a few computer games like Half-Life 2 and fan missions of Thief. His daughter Rhianna is a writer for video games, notably the Overlord series, Mirror's Edge and Heavenly Sword.
In 2008, he announced that he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, which he typically referred to as an "embuggerance". He hasn't let it get him down, though his condition has advanced to the point where he can't write or type. Not that that has stopped him releasing two or three books a year. Also in typical fashion, he said while he appreciates the sentiment, he asked that only those fans of his with a background in the study of brain chemistry ask him questions like, "Is there anything I can do?"
Pratchett has said that the Discworld series will probably never end; what will end Discworld, he says, is sheer overcrowding -- the City Watch books are already problematic in that regard, as it's hard to write a story set in Ankh-Morpork that doesn't somehow involve the Watch (at which point it becomes a Watch book, regardless of his original plot outline), which presumably explains the creation of the most recent protagonist Moist Von Lipwig, who by virtue of his past profession is able to be both a powerful and influential city figure while wishing to have nothing to do with the Watch.
He recently became Sir Terry, after being included in the 2008 Christmas Honours list, and is reportedly "flabbergasted". In celebration, he had a sword forged from Thunderbolt Iron. As of 2010 he also became Professor at Trinity College, Dublin.
At a Con in 2009, he announced "I will not die of Alzheimer's. I shall make other arrangements; I'm going to take the disease with me." Sure enough, in 2011 he began the process that will lead to his eventual assisted death.
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