Sir Terry Pratchett, fantasy author and creator of the Discworld series, has died aged 66, eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Larry Finlay of his publishers Transworld.
The author died at home, surrounded by his family, “with his cat sleeping on his bed”, he added.
Sir Terry wrote more than 70 books during his career and completed his final book last summer.
He “enriched the planet like few before him” and through Discworld satirised the world “with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention,” said Mr Finlay.
It goes without saying that many connections can be drawn between Pratchett’s writing career and the rise of PC gaming. The most obvious, naturally, are the games themselves: The Colour of Magic, the text adventure from 1986; Discworld, Discworld 2, and Discworld Noir, all point-and-click adventures; and Discworld MUD, a text based role-playing game.
In 1993, Pratchett appeared on the cover PC Gamer Magazine—the very first issue of the magazine, in fact. Inside, he was interviewed by Gary Whitta about his books and the upcoming Discworld adventure game.
Pratchett played plenty of games himself. He loved computers in general, and he told PC Gamer he enjoyed games like Wing Commander, X-Wing, and Prince of Persia. He described the addictive nature of Tetris as “a computer virus which human beings can catch.”
Mr. Pratchett learned he had posterior cortical atrophy in 2007. A degeneration of the outer layer of the brain, the condition may be a variant of Alzheimer’s disease. He gave interviews and speeches about his condition, which he referred to as “an embuggerance.” In 2008 he contributed $1 million to Alzheimer’s research. He was also an outspoken advocate for the legalization of assisted suicide.
He became Sir Terry when Queen Elizabeth II knighted him as 2008 turned to 2009.
Terence David John Pratchett was born on April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, northwest of London, to David Pratchett, an engineer, and the former Eileen Kearns. He did not finish school and was fond of saying that he had received his best education at the Beaconsfield Public Library. An early interest in astronomy spurred his reading of science fiction. He worked as a journalist for a newspaper in Buckinghamshire and in 1971 published his first novel, “The Carpet People,” about a tribe, known as Munrungs, that lives on a vast carpet.