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Author Terry Pratchett dies at age 66

Posted at 12:23 PM, Mar 12, 2015

LONDON (CNN) — Best-selling British fantasy author Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66, his website said Thursday.

Pratchett, who wrote more than 70 books, including those in his “Discworld” series, had been diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.

A statement on the website announced the news of his death at home Thursday with “immeasurable sadness.”

“I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld Publishers.

“In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, ‘Discworld’ was his vehicle to satirize this world: He did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humor and constant invention.”

Pratchett continued to write following his diagnosis, completing his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014.

Revealing his illness in 2007, the author — who had a strong following among fans of fantasy fiction — said he had been diagnosed with “a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s,”which he described as “an embuggerance.”

According to Thursday’s statement, this was posterior cortical atrophy, a progressive degenerative condition involving the loss and dysfunction of brain cells, particularly at the back of the brain.

The last posts on his verified Twitter account, run by Pratchett with close friend Rob Wilkins, give a poignant farewell — and have already been retweeted thousands of times.

“At last, Sir Terry, we must walk together,” they read.

“Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

“The End.”