Thursday, 12 March 2015

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Farewell" to a brave, old fantasy novelist called Terry Pratchett, who fought and lost his battle with Alzheimer's Disease

Terry, a novelist best known for his popular and long-running 'Discworld Series' of comic fantasy novels, who has sold over 65 million books worldwide in thirty-seven languages, has died at the age of sixty-six..

What you possibly didn't know about Terry, that he :
was born a Second Wold War baby boomer in 1948, in Beaconsfield , Buckinghamshire, went to grammar school where he was, in his own words, a "nondescript student", had an early interest in astronomy, collected 'Brook Bond Tea' cards about space, owned a telescope, wanted to be an astronomer and read British and American science fiction. 

* at the age of fifteen, published his first short story 'The Hades Business', left school at 17 to start writing for the 'Bucks Free Press'  under the name 'Uncle Jim' and found success at the age of twenty-eight, with his novel, 'The Dark Side of the Sun', in 1976.

* in 1980 became Press Officer for the 'Central Electricity Board' in an area with three nuclear power stations and later joked that he had demonstrated "impeccable timing" by making this career change so soon after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the USA and said that he would "write a book about my experiences, if I thought anyone would believe it".

* published his first 'Discworld' novel, 'The Colour of Magic' in 1983,  gave up working for the CEGB and by 1996 was the top-selling and highest earning British author and speaking about his books said :

* in  2007, at the age of fifty-nine, 'posted online' that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, in which areas at the back of the brain begin to shrink and shrivel which he described as an "embuggerance" in a radio interview.

* in 2008, donated $1,000,000 to the 'Alzheimer's Research Trust', saying that he had spoken to at least three brain tumour survivors, yet had spoken to no survivors of Alzheimer's disease and that he was shocked "to find out that funding for Alzheimer's research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures."

* in 2011,  presented a BBC documentary entitled : 'Terry Pratchett : Choosing to Die' on the subject of assisted death and won the 'Best Documentary' award at the Scottish BAFTAs and said :

* had an observatory in his garden, an asteroid named after him, was an avid video game player and had collaborated in the creation of a number of game adaptations of his books.

* had a fossil sea turtle from the Eocene epoch of New Zealand  named in his honour, Psephophorus Terrypratchehetti,  is a trustee for the Orangutan Foundation UK and had one of his most popular fictional characters, the 'Librarian of the Unseen University' and a wizard, transformed into an orangutan in a magical accident.

* had said, that when his time came to die, he would like to be sitting on a chair on the lawn at his home, with a brandy in one hand and a glass of life-ending chemicals in the other "And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with Death", but in the event, died without assistance, in his own time, at home with his family around him.

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