Never Heard of Terry Pratchett? Let’s Fix That.

Pratchett at TORCON. Picture from

Pratchett at TORCON.
(Photo from

Inexplicably, there is an incredible author who seems to have gone unnoticed by a large majority of people within the St. Paul’s microcosm. Terry Pratchett, a constant writer of bestsellers, furthered his reputation with his latest book “Snuff,” which nearly sold out within three days. Terry Pratchett writes humor, and he writes humor well. He has been called a modern Chaucer, the literary voice of generations, second in UK book sales behind J.K. Rowling.

New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson describes Pratchett’s work as “… story, humor, and philosophy all in one. Nowhere else have I been made to laugh so much while being forced to think so much, all while being given a wonderful plot. The closest thing to Pratchett out there is Shakespeare. Yes, really.”

He also writes fantasy.

It’s true; a modern writer of fantasy has been called a major contributor to the literary world. Not Stephen King, not Yann Martel, a writer a great deal of people at St. Paul’s have never even heard of. Most of Pratchett’s books are in the Discworld series, which is based upon a giant turtle, upon which four giant elephants stand, upon whose shoulders a giant disc rests. This is only the setting; the characters are even better. Each story combines classic literature with comic humor parodying the fantasy genre and real life.

His writing style has been compared most often to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” due to his satiric and witty form of describing everything, from the sludge filled rivers of Ankh-Morpork, to licensed robbers of the Thieves’ Guild, to the color Octarine, “a fluorescent greenish-yellow-purple that doesn’t really look all that purple.”

These books are amazing. They employ intelligent humor, characters that are Shakespearean in design and execution, and a world with cities crazy and insane enough to form a rich fantasy realm, but still familiar enough to reflect real life.  His books most closely resemble King Henry IV, if every scene in King Henry IV had Falstaff in it. There are no maps of Discworld’s topography. As Pratchett says in his books, “There are no maps. You can’t map a sense of humor.”

He was  even knighted for his literary achievements in 2009. So, Sir Terry Pratchett did what any fantasy writer would have done upon being knighted, he forged his own sword. Less than a year after being made a knight, he went with a group of friends to a field to mine iron ore, built a kiln in his backyard, and smelt the metal, throwing in a piece of meteor to make it a little more fantastic.

Sir Terry Pratchett wields his very own hand-forged meteorite sword.

Sir Terry Pratchett wields his very own
hand-forged meteorite sword.
(photo by Adrian Sherratt/The Sunday Times)

Outside of royalty, Pratchett has been awarded nine doctoral degrees from varying prestigious colleges.

Pratchett has also collaborated with writers to produce some truly amazing stories. He, along with , Neil Gaiman, worked together to write “Good Omens.”

For a complete list of Pratchett’s other works, click here and start reading! You’ll be glad you did.

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