Friday, March 13, 2015

In Memoriam - Terry Pratchett

The library world near and are is talking about and celebrating Terry Pratchett who has passed away at the age of 66.

Pratchett achieved early success as a writer with the publication of his first novel The Carpet People in 1971 while he was just in his early twenties.

"In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet . . . That's the old story everyone knows and loves. But now the Carpet is home to many different tribes and peoples, and there's a new story in the making. The story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction across the Carpet. The story of power-hungry mouls -- and of two brothers who set out on an adventure to end all adventures when their village is flattened. It's a story that will come to a terrible end -- if someone doesn't do something about it. If everyone doesn't do something about it..." publisher

His major work, his Discworld series beginning with the Colour of Magic, consisted of around 40 books published over four decades and went far in making him one of the world's bestselling fantasy novelists. Discworld is a combination of comedy and fantasy and is set on a flat disc on the backs of four elephants on the back of a turtle. The latest Discworld novel was published in 2013 - Raising Steam.

"A brash new invention brings social upheaval, deadly intrigues, and plenty of wry humor to the 40th installment of Pratchett's best-selling Discworld fantasy series. When intrepid inventor Dick Simnel comes to Ankh-Morpork looking for a backer for his revolutionary steam engine, the Iron Girder, entrepreneur Sir Harry King is quick to grasp the possibilities. So is Ankh-Morpork's ruler, Lord Vetinari, who immediately puts master facilitator (and former con artist) Moist von Lipwig in charge of the Discworld's first railway. But while the would-be railway tycoons are busy cutting deals for right-of-ways, supplies, and second class coach service, a group of radically conservative dwarf extremists are determined to stop the railroad, along with anything else that threatens "the truth of pure dwarfishness." In a realm where "even the factions had factions," Moist finds himself cast as Vetinari's agent to help defeat a political coup that could re-ignite ancient hostilities between dwarves and trolls. As always, Pratchett's unforgettable characters and lively story mirror the best, the worst, and the oddest bits of our own world, entertaining readers while skewering social and political foibles in a melting pot of humanity, dwarfs, trolls, goblins, vampires, and a werewolf or two." Publishers Weekly

 The forty-first book was slated to be published in 2015.

Pratchett was often in the news in recent years as he shared with the world is unfortunate diagnosis with an early and rare from of Alzheimer's. His cognitive processes were less affected than his physical state and he was able to speak openly and candidly about his condition, in addition for being an advocate for Alheimer's Research and assisted suicide. He had many interests throughout his life in addition to his writing - astronomy and natural history - and inspired young writers with the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award.

Tributes to this beloved writer can be found in all newsfeeds and here in this article in The Independent.

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