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You can’t die with an unfinished book

The idea of a world riding through space on the back of a turtle had been “lying in the lumber rooms of legend” for centuries, claimed fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett.

“All I had to do,” he said, “was grab it and run away before the alarms went off.”

This idea by Terry Pratchett inspired his most famous books: The Discworld series which led him to become the bestselling British author of the 1990s.

From The Colour of Magic, through to The Shepherd’s Crown, Pratchett conjured up a wealth of bizarre, strange and loveable characters in 41 good-humoured books. Amongst them an inept wizard called Rincewind, a sentient case of luggage, Death himself and a university librarian who is actually an orangutan.

Expressing himself “flabbergasted” to be knighted in 2008, Sir Terry decided that a knight must have sword and in 2010 revealed that he’d had one forged from bits of ‘meteorite’ – iron deposits dug from a field near his home.

Diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, Sir Terry became an advocate for people living with the life-limiting disease. He became a generous donor to and ambassador for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

He approached death reluctantly, yet pragmatically. He characteristically described his diagnosis as an “embuggerance.”

Blogging about it to fans, he wrote with wry good humour: “I know it’s a very human thing to say ‘Is there anything I can do’ but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.”