In Brief

Terry Pratchett quotes: Discworld author dies aged 66

Quotations from the author and campaigner Terry Pratchett, who has died after a long battle with Alzheimers

Terry Pratchett, Choosing to Die, euthanasia documentary

Sir Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discword science-fiction series and a campaigner for assisted suicide, has died at the age of 66. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

His publisher said that the world had "lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds," the BBC reports. Pratchett was at home with his family when he died. 

He wrote more than 70 books, the last of which he completed last summer, but in recent years he was equally well known as a supporter of assisted suicide. He made a documentary on the subject for the BBC. 

His Discworld books were the work of a playful and inventive mind, which Pratchett also applied to the existential questions raised by his disease.

Terry Pratchett quotations

Terry Pratchett on religion and science

Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? To my juvenile eyes, Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn't take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.

I got quite annoyed after the Haiti earthquake. A baby was taken from the wreckage and people said it was a miracle. It would have been a miracle had God stopped the earthquake. More wonderful was that a load of evolved monkeys got together to save the life of a child that wasn't theirs.

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.

Terry Pratchett on writing

For an author, the nice characters aren't much fun. What you want are the screwed up characters. You know, the characters that are constantly wondering if what they are doing is the right thing, characters that are not only screwed up but are self-tapping screws. They're doing it for themselves. 

The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.

Terry Pratchett on Alzheimers

It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases - one was Alzheimer's, and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer's.

The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can't so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care.

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