“There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do.” So wrote Terry Pratchett, acclaimed fantasy fiction writer. The author, who is fondly remembered for his comedic fantasy series Discworld, has sadly passed away aged 66, after complications with Alzheimer’s disease. He is remembered by his wife and daughter.
Pratchett was one of the most well-loved fantasy writers in history, and his Discworld universe provided some of the most memorable lore in fantasy. From foul-tempered orangutan librarians to the quirky and surprisingly tender iteration of Death himself, Pratchett’s Discworld would always provide a welcome respite from the straight-and-narrow default of the fantasy genre, all the while providing deep and iconic narratives.
Pratchett always had an interest in the world of computing, and the author was an avid fan of technology. Pratchett was an early adopter of computers for writing his novels, and was a huge fan of video games. The Discworld creator cited the likes of Half Life 2, Far Cry and Thief as his favorite games, due to their intelligence and depth of gameplay. Pratchett also played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, praising the game’s open-world nature.
Not only that, but Pratchett’s works were subject to a number of video game adaptations, most famously with the Psygnosis-published point-and-click adventure series Discworld. Pratchett even had a cameo in 1995’s Discworld, and the writer was involved in the development of a number of games based on his novels. The love of, and involvement in, video games has run in the family, with Pratchett’s daughter Rhianna scriptwriting for titles such as 2013’s Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge.
Some of Pratchett’s fiction also focused on gaming. His 1992 novel Only You Can Save Mankind, which started the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, told the story of a young boy who comes across a pirated copy of a new video game. The game tasks the player with stopping an alien horde from destroying humanity. However, playing with traditional video game tropes, Johnny is brought into the game and learns that he must lead the alien race to safety.
With Pratchett’s passing, the world of fiction has lost one of its most unique voices. From 1971’s The Carpet People to 2013’s Raising Steam, Pratchett has provided readers with years of laughter. He will be sorely missed, not just for his fiction but also for his kind-hearted personality and charity work. The impact he has left on the world of fantasy, and on the lives of those who met him, will never be forgotten.