This year’s City Reads offering is Guards! Guards! by Sir Terry Pratchett. There will be various events across the City from 13th to the 29th September. Please check the City Reads website for more information.
In the mean time, I thought you may be interested in some lesser known facts about Sir Terry, so after trawling through the internet, well… Wikipedia mainly, I have cobbled together a list of some of my favourites, which considering the source, may, or may not be completely true.
When Terry was 13, his first short story “The Hades Business” was published in the school magazine and then published commercially when he was 15.
Terry was the UK’s best-selling author of the 1990s and he has sold over 85 million books worldwide, the flip side of that is that he is the most shop-lifted author in Britain.
Terry’s first novel published in 1971 was called “The Carpet People”. This was followed by the science fiction novels “The Dark Side of the Sun”, published in 1976, and “Strata”, published in 1981.
In his Who’s Who entry, he credits his education to the Beaconsfield Public Library, they say he still has two books on loan which are long overdue… ( Librarian joke)
In 1980 he became Press Officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board and only gave up working for the CEGB in 1987 after finishing his fourth Discworld novel, Mort.
An asteroid “127005 Pratchett” is named after him, though it’s not turtle shaped and there are no elephants anywhere to be seen.
He owns a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants, all of which he has named after other Lords of the Realm.
He decided to change his German publishers after an advert for soup appeared in the middle of the German-language version of “Pyramids”, He would not have minded but the free sample was a step too far.
In 1995, a fossilised sea turtle Psephophorus terryypratchettiPsephophorus was named after him by the paleontologist Richard Köhler.
At the age of thirty-five, Terry was struck by lightning and shortly after lost all of his hair.
The familiar beard he has made his trademark look, is glued on every morning and removed every night by a special effects make up person who Terry has employed since 1987.
This allows him to go out in public in complete hairless anonymity and not be recognized by his fans…
I made that one up.