RIP Terry Pratchett, author: 1948-2015

Terry PratchettTerry Pratchett, the much-loved author of humorous fantasy, has died. He was 66.

Pratchett’s magnum opus is the Discworld series, which began in 1983 with The Colour of Magic and expanded to more than forty titles. Set in a comical land of mixed-and-matched fantasy motifs, the Discworld novels poked fun at everything from Conan the Barbarian to the Book of Revelation – and horror fiction was certainly not immune to Pratchett’s wry irreverence.

Wyrd Sisters (1988) sent up the diablerie of Shakespeare’s Macbeth; Eric (1990) reinvented the legend of Faust; Moving Pictures (1990) lampooned King Kong, amongst other things; Maskerade (1995) homaged Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera; and Carpe Jugulum (1998) parodied vampires, later contributing the word “Überwald” to the lexicon of twenty-first century geeks. One of the most memorable recurring characters throughout the Discworld saga was Death – perhaps the most amiable interpretation of the Grim Reaper whom one could hope to meet.

Outside of the Discworld series, Pratchett tackled the themes of ghosts (Johnny and the Dead, 1993) and, with co-writer Neil Gaiman, the Antichrist (Good Omens, 1993).

The announcement of Pratchett’s passing, delivered through his official Twitter account, afforded us one last trip to Discworld:

“‘AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.’ Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night. The End.”

(Image source: Telegraph)