99 Facts About Terry Pratchett


Sir Terence David John Pratchett was an English humorist, satirist, and author of fantasy novels, especially comical works.


Terry Pratchett is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels.


The first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983, after which Terry Pratchett wrote an average of two books a year.


Terry Pratchett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998 and was knighted for services to literature in the 2009 New Year Honours.


Terry Pratchett received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010.


In December 2007, Terry Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.


Terry Pratchett later made a substantial public donation to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, filmed a television programme chronicling his experiences with the condition for the BBC, and became a patron for ARUK.


Terry Pratchett was born on 28 April 1948 in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England, the only child of David, a mechanic, and Eileen Terry Pratchett, a secretary, of Hay-on-Wye.


Terry Pratchett attended Holtspur School, where he was bullied for his speech impediments.


Terry Pratchett was bothered by the head teacher, who, he said, thought "he could tell how successful you were going to be in later life by how well you could read or write at the age of six".


Terry Pratchett passed his eleven plus exam in 1958, earning a place at High Wycombe Technical High School, where he was a key member of the debating society and wrote stories for the school magazine.


Terry Pratchett described himself as a "non-descript" student and, in his Who's Who entry, credited his education to the Beaconsfield Public Library.


Terry Pratchett collected Brooke Bond tea cards about space, owned a telescope and wanted to be an astronomer, but lacked the necessary mathematical skills.


Terry Pratchett's early reading included the works of H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, and "every book you really ought to read", which he later regarded as "getting an education".


Terry Pratchett published his first short story, "Business Rivals", in the High Wycombe Technical School magazine in 1962.


Terry Pratchett earned five O-levels and started A-level courses in Art, English and History.


In 1968, Terry Pratchett interviewed Peter Bander van Duren, co-director of a small publishing company, Colin Smythe Ltd.


Terry Pratchett mentioned he had written a manuscript, The Carpet People.


Terry Pratchett later joked that he had demonstrated "impeccable timing" by making this career change so soon after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania, US, and said he would "write a book about his experiences if he thought anyone would actually believe them".


Terry Pratchett's popularity increased when the BBC's Woman's Hour broadcast The Colour of Magic as a serial in six parts, and later Equal Rites.


Terry Pratchett gave up working for the CEGB to make his living through writing in 1987, after finishing the fourth Discworld novel, Mort.


Terry Pratchett's sales increased quickly and many of his books occupied top places on the best-seller list; he was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s.


Terry Pratchett had a rare form of posterior cortical atrophy, a disease in which areas at the back of the brain begin to shrink and shrivel.


On 26 November 2008, Terry Pratchett met UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and asked for an increase in dementia research funding.


Terry Pratchett later said he felt "it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer".


Terry Pratchett was selected to give the 2010 BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture, Shaking Hands With Death, broadcast on 1 February 2010.


Terry Pratchett introduced his lecture on the topic of assisted death, but the main text was read by his friend Tony Robinson because his condition made it difficult for him to read.


In June 2011, Pratchett presented a BBC television documentary, Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die, about assisted suicide.


Terry Pratchett died at his home from complications of Alzheimer's disease on the morning of 12 March 2015.


Terry Pratchett took Death's arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.


Users of the social news site Reddit organised a tribute by which an HTTP header, "X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett", was added to web sites' responses, a reference to the Discworld novel Going Postal, in which "the clacks" are programmed to repeat the name of its creator's deceased son; the sentiment in the novel is that no one is ever forgotten as long as their name is still spoken.


Terry Pratchett married Lyn Purves at the Congregational Church, Gerrards Cross, on 5 October 1968.


Terry Pratchett was the patron of the Friends of High Wycombe Library.


Terry Pratchett visited his former school to speak to the students.


Terry Pratchett often wore large, black hats, a style described as "more that of urban cowboy than city gent".


Terry Pratchett started to use computers for writing as soon as they were available to him.


Terry Pratchett's first computer was a Sinclair ZX81; the first computer he used properly for writing was an Amstrad CPC 464, later replaced by a PC.


Terry Pratchett was one of the first authors to routinely use the Internet to communicate with fans, and was a contributor to the Usenet newsgroup alt.


Terry Pratchett had many computers in his house, with a bank of six monitors to ease writing.


Terry Pratchett felt that there was a "kind of parity of esteem of information" on the internet, and gave the example of holocaust denial being presented on the same terms as peer-reviewed research, with no easy way to gauge reliability.


Terry Pratchett was an avid video game player, and collaborated in the creation of a number of game adaptations of his books.


Terry Pratchett favoured games that are "intelligent and have some depth", citing Half-Life 2 and fan missions for Thief as examples.


Terry Pratchett had a fascination with natural history that he referred to many times, and he owned a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants.


Terry Pratchett described them in the biographical notes on the dust jackets of some of his books, and elsewhere, as "not as interesting as people think".


In 2016, Terry Pratchett fans petitioned the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry to name chemical element 117, temporarily called ununseptium, as octarine with the proposed symbol Oc.


Terry Pratchett was a trustee for the Orangutan Foundation but was pessimistic about the future of orangutans.


Terry Pratchett's activities included visiting Borneo with a Channel 4 film crew to make an episode of "Jungle Quest" in 1995, seeing orangutans in their natural habitat.


One of Terry Pratchett's most popular fictional characters, the Librarian, is a wizard who was transformed into an orangutan in a magical accident and decides to remain in that condition as it is so convenient for his work.


Terry Pratchett had an observatory built in his back garden and was a keen astronomer from childhood.


Terry Pratchett made an appearance on the BBC programme The Sky at Night.


In 2015, Terry Pratchett's estate announced an in-perpetuity endowment to the University of South Australia.


Terry Pratchett, who was brought up in a Church of England family, described himself as atheist and a humanist.


Terry Pratchett was a Distinguished Supporter of Humanists UK and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.


Commentators took these statements to mean Terry Pratchett had become religious; Terry Pratchett responded in an article published in the Daily Mail in which he denied that he had found God, and clarified that he believed the voice had come from a memory of his father and sense of personal elation.


Terry Pratchett received a knighthood for "services to literature" in the 2009 UK New Year Honours list.


Terry Pratchett was previously appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for "services to literature", in 1998.


Terry Pratchett formally received the accolade at Buckingham Palace on 18 February 2009.


Terry Pratchett was made an adjunct Professor in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin in 2010, with a role in postgraduate education in creative writing and popular literature.


Terry Pratchett won the British Book Awards' "Fantasy and Science Fiction Author of the Year" category in 1994, the British Science Fiction Award in 1989 for his novel Pyramids, and a Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 2008 for Making Money.


Terry Pratchett won the 2001 Carnegie Medal from the British librarians, which recognised The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents as the year's best children's book published in the UK.


In 2005, Going Postal was shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Novel; however, Terry Pratchett recused himself, stating that stress over the award would mar his enjoyment of Worldcon.


Terry Pratchett received the NESFA Skylark Award in 2009 and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010.


Terry Pratchett led all authors with fifteen novels in the Top 200.


In 2013, Terry Pratchett was named Humanist of the Year by the British Humanist Association for his campaign to fund research into Alzheimers, his contribution to the right to die public debate and his Humanist values.


Terry Pratchett's fans were not restricted by age or gender, and he received a large amount of fan mail from them.


Terry Pratchett enjoyed meeting fans and hearing what they think about his books, saying that since he was well paid for his novels, his fans were "everything" to him.


Terry Pratchett said that to write, you must read extensively, both inside and outside your chosen genre and to the point of "overflow".


Terry Pratchett expressed annoyance that fantasy is "unregarded as a literary form", arguing that it "is the oldest form of fiction"; he said he was infuriated when novels containing science fiction or fantasy ideas were not regarded as part of those genres.


Byatt and critic Terry Pratchett Eagleton, arguing that fantasy is fundamental to the way we understand the world and therefore an integral aspect of all fiction.


On 31 July 2005, Terry Pratchett criticised media coverage of the Harry Potter author JK Rowling, commenting that certain members of the media seemed to think that "the continued elevation of JK Rowling can be achieved only at the expense of other writers".


Terry Pratchett later denied claims that this was a swipe at Rowling, and said that he was not making claims of plagiarism, but was pointing out the "shared heritage" of the fantasy genre.


Terry Pratchett posted on the Harry Potter newsgroup about a media-covered exchange of views with her.


Terry Pratchett is known for a distinctive writing style that included a number of characteristic hallmarks.


Terry Pratchett had a tendency to avoid using chapters, arguing in a Book Sense interview that "life does not happen in regular chapters, nor do movies, and Homer did not write in chapters", adding "I'm blessed if I know what function they serve in books for adults".


Terry Pratchett said that he used chapters in the young adult novels because "[his] editor screams until [he] does", but otherwise felt that they were an unnecessary "stopping point" that got in the way of the narrative.


Some characters are parodies of well-known characters: for example, Terry Pratchett's character Cohen the Barbarian, called Ghengiz Cohen, is a parody of Conan the Barbarian and Genghis Khan, and his character Leonard of Quirm is a parody of Leonardo da Vinci.


Terry Pratchett made no secret of outside influences on his work: they were a major source of his humour.


Terry Pratchett imported numerous characters from classic literature, popular culture and ancient history, always adding an unexpected twist.


Terry Pratchett was a crime novel fan, which was reflected in frequent appearances of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in the Discworld series.


Terry Pratchett was an only child, and his characters are often without siblings.


Terry Pratchett changed German publishers after an advertisement for Maggi soup appeared in the middle of the German-language version of Pyramids.


Terry Pratchett began writing the Discworld series in 1983 to "have fun with some of the cliches" and it is a humorous and often satirical sequence of stories set in the colourful fantasy Discworld universe.


Terry Pratchett wrote four Science of Discworld books in collaboration with Professor of mathematics Ian Stewart and reproductive biologist Jack Cohen, both of the University of Warwick: The Science of Discworld, The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch, and The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day.


In 1999, Terry Pratchett appointed both Cohen and Stewart as "Honorary Wizards of the Unseen University" at the same ceremony at which the University of Warwick awarded him an honorary degree.


Terry Pratchett collaborated with the folklorist Dr Jacqueline Simpson on The Folklore of Discworld, a study of the relationship between many of the persons, places and events described in the Discworld books and their counterparts in myths, legends, fairy tales and folk customs on Earth.


Subsequent to these, Terry Pratchett mostly concentrated on his Discworld series and novels for children, with two exceptions: Good Omens, a collaboration with Neil Gaiman, a humorous story about the Apocalypse set on Earth, and Nation, a book for young adults.


Niven eventually completed the story on his own, but states in the afterword that a number of Terry Pratchett's ideas remained in the finished version.


Terry Pratchett collaborated with British science fiction author Stephen Baxter on a parallel earth series.


In 2012, the first volume of Terry Pratchett's collected short fiction was published under the title A Blink of the Screen.


In 2014, a similar collection was published of Terry Pratchett's non-fiction, entitled A Slip of the Keyboard.


Terry Pratchett wrote dialogue for a mod for the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which added a Nord companion named Vilja.


Terry Pratchett worked on a similar mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which featured Vilja's great-great-granddaughter.


Subsequently, Terry Pratchett wrote the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, about the adventures of a boy called Johnny Maxwell and his friends, comprising Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny and the Dead and Johnny and the Bomb.


Terry Pratchett wrote a popular five-book children's series featuring trainee witch Tiffany Aching and taking place in his Discworld universe, beginning with The Wee Free Men in 2003.


In September 2014 a collection of children's stories, Dragons at Crumbling Castle, written by Terry Pratchett, and illustrated by Mark Beech, was published.


Terry Pratchett said she had no plans to publish her father's unfinished work or continue the Discworld series.


Terry Pratchett told Neil Gaiman that anything that he had been working on at the time of his death should be destroyed by a steamroller.


Andrew M Butler wrote the Pocket Essentials Guide to Terry Pratchett published in 2001.


Writers Uncovered: Terry Pratchett is a biography for young readers by Vic Parker, published by Heinemann Library in 2006.