Terry Pratchett, 'Discworld' Creator, Dies at 66

The British writer had received a knighthood for his work on the beloved fantasy series.
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Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series of fantasy novels, has died at age 66, it has been announced.

His passing was announced online in a statement by Transworld Publishers managing director Larry Finlay, in which he called the writer "one of [the world's] brightest, sharpest minds," and noted that "Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: He did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humor and constant invention."

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Originally a journalist, Pratchett's first novel The Carpet People was published in 1971. A couple of science fiction novels followed before: In 1983, his novel The Color of Magic created the Discworld, a parody of fantasy tropes that evolved to become the basis of far broader satire. Thirty nine additional novels in the series followed, with a final installment — completed last year — to be published this fall. (Books in the series have been adapted into short films and television in Pratchett's native United Kingdom.)

Pratchett had received a number of awards for his work, including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010 and the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2011. Additionally, he was awarded a knighthood for services to literature in 2009.

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Pratchett, who announced in Dec. 2007 that he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease, died at home surrounded by his family on Thursday. He is survived by his wife, Lyn, and their daughter, Rhianna.