Sir Terence David John Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, England. He is mostly known for a series of fantasy novels about a place called ‘Discworld.’ The Discworld itself is described as a large disc resting on the backs of four giant elephants, all supported by the giant turtle Great A’Tuin as it swims its way through space. The books are basically in chronological order. He has sold more than 55 million books worldwide and had his books translated into 33 different languages. Terry Pratchett went to John Hampden Grammar School, but claims that his education came from the local library. His first short story was published at the age of 13 in the school magazine Technical Cygnet. This short story was called The Hades Business. When he was 15 it was then published commercially in Science Fantasy. With the money earned from this published short story, he bought his first typewriter.
After finishing school Terry began a career in journalism. It was during this time he wrote his first novel ‘The Carpet People.’ This novel marked the beginning of his writing career. From this point on he wrote many other stories and his first ‘Discworld’ novel in 1983. This was called ‘The Colour of Magic.’ In 1968 he was married to his wife Lyn and then in 1976, he had a daughter named Rhianna. Rhianna went on to follow in her father’s footsteps as a writer. Rhianna Pratchett’s main area of writing is with video games. In November 2012 Terry Pratchett announced that he would leave the intellectual rights for the ‘Discworld’ novels to Rhianna, who could continue writing for it if she chose to do so.
In 2007 Terry Pratchett discovered that he had a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He donated a one million dollars Alzheimer’s Research Trust after finding out that the funding for Alzheimer’s research was small. In 2008 Terry began working with BBC on a documentary series based on his illness.
Here are some things that you may not have known about Terry Pratchett:
Terry was one of the first authors to use the internet to communicate with fans. Terry has always had a great interest in computers. His first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. When he travels, he always takes a laptop with him to write. He also enjoys playing computer games and has also helped out in creating a lot of game adaptations of his novels.
Terry is a great supporter and trustee of the Orangutan foundation in the UK. One of his most popular fictional characters is the librarian in the ‘Unseen University’s’ library. The librarian is an Orangutan.
He owns a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants. Some of these plants have been used in his novels.
He is the most shop-lifted author in Britain.
His fans do not seem to be restricted by age or genre.
Terry is known to have a great sense of humour as shown in an interview. He was asked if he has noticed any affect from Alzheimers happening and he replied “Yes. Bits drop out. The short-term memory has gone and so has the short-term memory. The short-term memory – OK, little jokes won’t be so funny in the fullness of time, but laughter is the best medicine.”
Terry writes an average of 2 books a year.
As he was growing up he considered Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows his favourite book.
Terry has said that ‘…To write, you must read extensively, both inside and outside your chosen genre…’
Here is a list of novels and stories by Terry Pratchett that you should check out:
1. The Colour of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters
7. Pyramids 8. Guards! Guards! 9.Eric 10. Moving Pictures 11. Reaper Men 12. Witches Abroad 13. Small Gods
14. Lords and Ladies 15. Men at Arms 16. Soul Music 17. Interesting Times 18. Maskerade 19. Feet of Clay
20. Hogfather 21. Jingo 22. The Last Continent 23. Carpe Jugulum 24. The Fifth Elephant 25. The Truth
26. Theif of Time 27. The Last Hero 28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents 29. Night Watch
30. The Wee Free Men 31. Monstrous Regiment 32. A Hat Full of Sky 33. Going Postal 34. Thud!
35. Wintersmith 36. Making Money 37. Unseen Academicals 38. I Shall Wear Midnight 39. Snuff 40. Raising Steam
Discworld Short Stories:
(Most of these are available online.)
Turntables of the Night Troll Bridge Theatre of Cruelty The Sea and Little Fishes
Death and What Comes Next A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices
The Science of Discworld The Science of Discworld II: The Globe The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day
The Streets of Ankh-Morpork The Discworld Mapp A Tourist Guide to Lancre Death’s Domain
Other works by Terry Pratchett:
The Dark Side of the Sun Strata Good Omens Nation A Blink of the Screen A Slip of the Keyboard
The Carpet People Johnny and the Bomb Johnny and the Dead Dodger The Nome Triliogy