Acknowledged by the University of South Australia in 2014 with an honorary doctorate for his lifetime contribution to literature and society, Sir Terry Pratchett sadly passed away on March 12 this year.
Originally working as a journalist, Sir Terry published his first book, The Colour of Magic, in 1983.
This was the first in a masterful series of science fantasy – Discworld – that carried on to 40 more books.
By the 1990s Sir Terry was the UK’s best-selling author, with sales of over 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages.
In 2007 he was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease.
He became a strong campaigner in the search for a cure and better treatment methods for Alzheimer’s and donated more than $1million to the UK’s Alzheimer’s Research Trust.
He has been honoured by more than 20 universities for his achievements and won many prizes for his work as a writer – the Carnegie Medal and the British Science Fiction Award – and as a filmmaker – Best Documentary Emmy at the International Emmy Awards, for the television program Choosing to Die, which focused on the topic of assisted suicide.
He was an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, with a role in postgraduate education in creative writing and popular literature.
In his tribute to Sir Terry, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the world had lost one of its most creative fantasy writers.
“With a great deal of dedication, passion and a razor-sharp mind, Sir Terry created some of the most imaginative, witty, insightful and accessible science fiction works of the 20th and 21st centuries,” Prof Lloyd said.
“He always maintained it was better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness and he never let adversity – his disease – get in the way of doing what he loved most.”