Today we mourn the passing of prolific fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett, who knew that the greatest journeys were often the most unavoidable, and gamely set out to explore despite the protests of his beleaguered protagonists. Like Atlas of myth, Mr. Pratchett carried worlds upon his shoulders—if today the Earth seems to stutter and sway, it is because we are less for his absence.
Pratchett was one of the most recognizable names in fantasy, and was at the time of his passing one of the most read authors in the United Kingdom. He launched his renowned Discworld series in 1983 with The Color of Magic, a comedic fantasy that blends pop-culture references with fantasy tropes in a wild collage of humor and energy. The series would grow to 40 volumes, proving to be a perennial fan pleaser.
Although known for exploring the absurd, Pratchett's novels are deep and well-imagined, ranking among the most impressive example of world-building in the genre. In The Long Earth, Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter imagine a panoply of unique worlds growing from our mundane Earth, while Discworld novels like Night Watch gleefully play with the fantastic history Pratchett dedicated decades to building.
Pratchett was a dedicated artist who gathered an impressive list of honors during his career, culminating with a knighthood bestowed upon him in 2009 for his impact on modern literature. A passionate advocate for Alzheimer's research, Pratchett was afflicted with the disease but continued to write and publish bestsellers until the end of his life. His unique perspective and signature optimism remains with us in his work and advocacy, his gift to this world.