Featured Writer Terry Pratchett


Featured Writer
Terry Pratchett

Terence David John (Terry) Pratchett was born on April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. His first printed story came when he was 13 years old, in a school newspaper, and this story was later published in 'Science Fantasy' Magazine. Since that time, some 40 years ago, Pratchett has sold over 40 million books, worldwide.

While Pratchett has written many books over the years, including children's books, he is perhaps best known for inventing his own fantasy world, where most of the action in his books take place. Discworld is a flat planet, carried on the backs of four gigantic elephants, which ride on the shell of a huge turtle, while it swims through space. Sound unusual? Well, that's just the beginning of the weird tales spun by this master storyteller.

The first of the Discworld books, 'The Colour of Magic,' was published in 1983. There are now more than 35 books that deal with the characters of Discworld, and both the characters and books have made their way into plays, TV serials, animated movies, radio serials, Role Playing Games, PC games, music, and a feature movie is scheduled for release in 2007 of his book, 'The Wee Free Men.' Pratchett was England's best selling author through the 1990s, and was only recently stripped of that title by J.K. Rowling, but Pratchett still holds the record for the most shoplifted books in the U.K.

While many of the books in the Discworld series stand alone, there are also a number of books that follow specific characters. The Rincewind Stories follow a bumbling wizard from the Unseen University (it's an invisible school--if you can't find it, you're not Wizard material). The Witch Stories tell of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, a trio of witches who wander Discworld solving problems (many of which they themselves caused), and Nanny Ogg even has her own published cookbook. The Death Stories follow Death, as he seeks to collect souls on Discworld, but he's not such a bad sort of fellow, actually, and The City Watch Stories chronicle the trials and tribulations of Samuel Vimes, the Watch Commander of Ankh-Morpork, one of the main cities on Discworld.

The Watch is of course, the local police, but they have among their constables werewolves, trolls, vampires and dwarves, as well as a Golum, to name just a few of this oddball group.

The very best part of these books, aside from being great fantasy reads, are that they are absolutely, laugh out loud, funny! If you have never had a chance to enjoy these books, you owe it to yourself to try at least one of them--they are well worth the time. And, on a side note, I owe Mr. Pratchett a vote of thanks, as it was the influence of his books, six years ago, that led me to write my first published (and paid for!) short story. Thanks, Terry!

You can find out more about Terry Pratchett and his work, on the web site devoted to his books, Check them out!

Terry D. Scheerer

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