Goodbye, Sir Terry Pratchett

Just an hour ago Sir Terry Pratchett‘s publisher, Larry Finlay, announced Terry’s death. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2007, but found ways to continue writing even after he lost the ability to type.

Terry Pratchett's last Tweets.

Terry Pratchett’s last Tweets.

Terry Pratchett will be remembered for his DISCWORLD novels especially. Though they may seem like goofy satires and parodies, they are always deeply thoughtful and often emotionally striking. And they almost always include more pithy phrasing than any one person should have been allowed to craft.

Pratchett was an innovator. He was quick to embrace the computer and to use the internet in his writing and for interacting with his audience. He was a defender of scientific thought and methods, and wrote more than one “Science of Discworld.” He was an advocate for assisted dying and was enthusiastic about cats, orangutans, and astronomy.

Fans are encouraged to donate to a special account at the Research Institute to the Care of Older People (RICE).

Readers, what did you love most about Terry Pratchett? What are your thoughts about him today?

One commenter will choose a book from our stacks. We even have one or two from Sir Terry to choose from.


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RYAN SKARDAL, on our staff from September 2010 to November 2018, is an English teacher who reads widely but always makes time for SFF.

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17 comments

  1. April /

    Oh man. There’s my day ruined. Very sad news. I loved the Discworld. In fact, he introduced me to funny fantasy and a Discworld book was my first ‘laugh out loud in public while reading’ book. Though not the last!

  2. This is sad news. Someday we will understand Alzheimer’s and be able to cure it or at least treat it much more effectively. I’m sorry Terry Pratchett didn’t live to see that day. I know he was hoping for that.

  3. Such a tragic loss, all the more so because he knew it was coming and fought so hard against it. It’s ironic that we have so much to remember him by, when he so deeply feared forgetting it all, but my first memory of Rincewind, Twoflower,and the Luggage will always be my brightest.

  4. Trey Palmer /

    Sad. I’ve teared up a few times over this already.

    What did I love about his works? The characters. Because he could take a trope and run with it before the rest of fantasy noticed it was gone and then breathe life into in a way only an Igor would appreciate. The list is long, and this only scratches the surface of it. Death as a personification – with a grand daughter. Sam Vimes. Moist Van Lipwig.

    And today, it was I’ll miss his works. And that I should go start reading a Hat Full of Sky with my daughter. She thought Where’s My Cow was pretty funny.

  5. He will be missed.I enjoyed and will enjoy his stories and his humour for along time to come. Thank you for sharing your talent with us Terry.

  6. Janet /

    His worlds and his characters were, and will remain, brilliant. Also, more than one laugh-out-loud-in-public-then-unsuccessfully-try-to-stifle moment.
    RIP Terry, you wrote well for so many.

  7. E. J. Jones /

    I still remember discovering The Wee Free Men . . . I’d been having a bad week and that book really turned things around for me. I remember cackling over Wintersmith during physics class, shushing everyone in Key Club so I could finish up I Shall Wear Midnight, devouring The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents (did I get the title right?) and a big bowl of vanilla ice cream at the same time. I haven’t read as much by Pratchett as I’d have liked, but he’s been there when I needed him.

    You’ll be sorely missed, Sir Terry. When they find the cure for Alzheimer’s, I’ll be thinking of you.

    • April /

      I still read various Discworld books as needed for mood improvement.

      • I’ve been known to read Good Omens for the same reason. I’ve gone through several copies of it, and bought a few more to give away. I quote from it probably more than some people quote from sacred texts.

  8. Terry Pratchett’s book GOING POSTAL saved my sanity, and GOOD OMENS introduced me to Neil Gaiman. If Sir Terry had done nothing more than those things, he would have my lifelong gratitude. And his books, with their so-British humor and gentle reminders about how life can be lived, with Death who speaks in all-caps, the Death of Rats who squeaks in all-caps, with his young women and old women witches, his academics, his street vendors, his cops and his (one) politician, did so much more.

    • I have a teddy bear named Magrat. She was a Halloween promotion from Barnes and Noble years ago–I think she’s dated 2003 or so. She’s wearing this witch outfit, and the reason I named her after Magrat in particular is that she’s holding a book, and Magrat was the one who put stock in “grimmers.” :D

  9. CarolA /

    I had the good fortune to meet Sir Terry in 1993, I think, when he visited the publishing company I worked for. A nice, low-key, British gentleman with a big, black hat and a twinkle in his eyes that revealed his wicked sense of humour. I remember that we had big discussions about the covers (some thought they looked like children’s books) and that we were really impressed by our translators (from English to Swedish). Not an easy task, that ;-)
    He’ll be missed but remembered.

  10. We notify Give-away winners here in Comments so please be sure you have ticked the “Notify me of followup comments” box!

    • Janet /

      I’m not sure that I ticked the box with my comment above, so I am doing that with this comment.
      Once again, thank you, dear Sir Terry…

  11. Janet, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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