To date there are 40 Discworld books, with the 41st due to be released this year. Besides the main series, Pratchett also published numerous short stories and side books fleshing out the setting of the Discworld. He has also written several books, both independently and in association with other authors such as Neil Gaiman.

In December 2008 he was nominated for a knighthood, which he accepted. Later that year he began the forging of his very own sword, with the assistance of some friends, and even incorporated some meteoric iron into the blade.

In late December of 2007 Pratchett announced that he was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, describing it as an “embuggerance” and urged his fans to “keep things cheerful”. Despite the degradation of his motor skills, he continued writing by dictating to his assistant, and published a further four books in this manner.

Pratchett stated that he would like for his daughter, Rihanna Pratchett, to continue the series after his death, but she has said that she would rather hold the reins of the series, and will write no new Discworld books.

Pratchett was a vocal advocate of orangutan conservation, dementia research, euthanasia, computers, the Internet, video games, astronomy and natural history. He donated much of his earnings from his writing career to many of these pursuits and has even had a fossil and a meteor named after him.


Image: Faith Honey

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