5 Things You Didn’t Know About Terry Pratchett

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Terry Pratchett

Sir Terence Pratchett was a most prolific English author of many fantasy favorites. He is well known for his Discworld series, a 41-novel collection of which the final novel was published even his death. Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s a few years ago, the disease eventually took his life at a young age of 66. Even after his diagnosis, Pratchett still continued to work and even produced a couple of books that became best sellers. As Pratchett will be remembered through his works for ages to come, we’ve listed 5 things you might not know about this famous author.

1. He was a failed astronomer

The inspiration for many of Pratchett’s was probably due to his large lifelong interest in science fiction. He read fantasy books as a child and even dreamed of becoming an astronomer himself. He owned a telescope as a child and worked hard towards a career in space science. However, his skills just weren’t up to par. Still, he felt that he owed the science community a debt, and therefore, he transcribed all his knowledge of the cosmos onto paper. This proved to work him tremendously and later on in life, he was able to afford his own observatory right in his garden.

2. He was an overachiever

Pratchett’s first publication came in the form of a short story. While it was only published in his school magazine, he was only 13 at the time. His first actual commercial publication came a couple of years after that when he was only 15. Pratchett has been working on his craft ever since, perfecting it and shaping it to become the style of writing that made him the favorite of millions.

3. He embraced knighthood

When Pratchett was knighted in 2009, he took it as an opportunity to really live the life. He created his own coat of arms that had the grim reaper on it and a Latin motto that translated to, “Don’t fear the reaper.” He also got a sword made for himself; after all, what’s a knight without his sword? He didn’t just go to the store to pick one out though. Pratchett actually went and dug some ore from his backyard, brought them to a blacksmith, and got to working. He got some iron from a meteorite and even did the smelt work himself.

4. His daughter writes video games

Pratchett must’ve been proud of her daughter for her work and even prouder that he had someone to pass the legacy on to. While Rhianna Pratchett will never be expected to continue writing her father’s stories, she does have the capability of overseeing the film and television adaptations of her father’s work. She’s looking to protect her father’s legacy, and who knows, maybe we’ll see a video game Discworld adaptation one of these days.

5. He used dictation to write his last few books

With the progress of his disease, his motor skills started to deteriorate in addition to his memory. Typing was no longer an option for him, but Pratchett didn’t let this stop him from writing. He made a vow to keep on going despite of his diagnosis, and he did. Through speech recognition software, Pratchett was able to stay true to his vow and published books at the same rate he did before he got sick. He produced a total of 10 books through dictation, an impressive feat on its own without the fact that he had Alzheimer’s.

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