We were delighted to hear that Terry Pratchett was given a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours for services to literature – a great way to celebrate 25 years of his wonderful Discworld series of novels.
Sir Terry (affectionately nicknamed Pterry by his fans in tribute to the characters in his seventh Discworld novel, Pyramids) was appointed OBE in 1998, also for services to literature. In typically down-to-earth fashion – while having a poke at some of the more pretentious literary critics – he joked at the time that he suspected those services consisted of refraining from trying to write any.
As we wrote in our newsletter of 23 July, he’s been actively championing the cause of research into Alzheimer’s – having been diagnosed with an early-onset form of the disease just over a year ago. A BBC interviewer asked him whether he thought the award had been partly prompted by his vigorous campaigning (rather oddly – after all, the citation’s clear enough). Sir Terry seemed a little nonplussed by the question, but replied politely that although he’d certainly been busy over the past year with the Alzheimer’s campaign – it had cost him “half a book”, which he didn’t regret – he liked to think of it as being for the writing.