(1948 - 2015)
“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”

Born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Pratchett left school when only 17 to work for the Bucks Free Press as a journalist, eventually also writing stories for the children’s column.  By 1980 he was working as publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board, where he was responsible for four nuclear power stations, and once stated that he would write about his experiences there if he thought anyone would believe it.  It was whilst working as a journalist and press officer that Pratchett started writing novels, the first, Carpet People, being published in 1971.  Over the following 10 years Pratchett wrote two humorous science fiction novels, which contained the genesis of what was to become Pratchett’s chef d’oeuvre, the Discworld series.  The first title in the series, The Colour of Magic, was written in 1981, but it was not until he had written Mort, published in 1987, that Pratchett decided to give up his day job to concentrate entirely on writing, since when there has not been a year which has not seen a new Pratchett novel, most of which are set in the Discworld.  He uses the novels to point out the absurdities and stupidities of many of our rituals and beliefs, from bureaucracy to xenophobia, from fairy tales and Father Christmas to newspaper editing and football matches. He is endlessly inventive, imbuing his writing with intricately worked humour and laugh out loud jokes, and frequently slips in references to classic literature and popular culture.  Despite the incredible commercial success of his books, he did not receive a major literary prize until 2001, when he won the Carniegie medal for The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, his first Disworld novel for children.  Of his books for younger readers, Truckers, the first in the Bromeliad Trilogy of Nomes, was a landmark in that it was the first children’s book to appear in the British adult fiction best-seller lists.

In 1998 he was awarded an OBE, followed in 2009 by a knighthood, for “services to literature”.

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