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Who is Terry Pratchett?

By Wanda Albano
Updated Mar 06, 2024
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Terry Pratchett is a British science fiction and fantasy writer most famous for his invention of the Discworld series, which has attracted a cult following. His writing style is thoughtful and witty and is almost always wrapped up in comedy and satire. Readers often say that his books have a distinct "British humor" flavor, and tend to explore a diverse range of themes.

As the creator of such characters as Commander Sam Vimes, a poor cop who leads a police force filled with dwarves, trolls, and the occasional werewolf; the Patrician, official ruler of Ankh-Morpork and overseer of its many social subsets like the Guild of Thieves and the Assassin' Guild; and Rincewind, a lowly drop-out from the Unseen University, a school of magic, most fans consider Terry Pratchett to be a literary treasure.

Apart from the expansive Discworld books, Terry Pratchett also authored the Bromeliad Trilogy and the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy and has also collaborated on various adaptations of his work, some of which have become plays, radio plays, video games, and also a comic book. The Wee Free Men, a Discworld novel, is set to be adapted into film by director Sam Raimi.

Although not quite as popular in the US as the other British fantasy export, JK Rowling, Terry Pratchett has nevertheless captured the imagination of a substantial number of readers. He has sold 50 million books world-wide and is the seventh most-read non-American writer in the US. He is also quite prolific; he puts out, on average, two books a year. His output amounts to over forty novels, and still counting.

Terry Pratchett was first published when he was 13, in a school magazine. At fifteen, he published the same story commercially. He left school early and did not go on to university; however, he did always receive high marks in English and also completed a short course in journalism. Also, he has been the recipient of many honorary degrees, including honorary doctorates from major British universities. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for contributions in Literature in 1998.

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Discussion Comments

By anon229519 — On Nov 14, 2011

Terry Pratchett is the best satirist in the world, in my opinion. He also has something for almost everyone in that his books make fun of every right wing, left wing, economists, medicine, bankers, professional wrestlers, and anyone in between. Laugh out loud fun.

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