Terry Pratchett: 20 Timeless Quotes That Will Stick With You

For decades, fantasy novelist Sir Terry Pratchett was able to touch the minds and hearts of millions with his writing.

From his first published novel, The Carpet People, to the extensive list of books included in the Discworld series, Pratchett was able to keep the bar of expectations high for fans and critics alike.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Pratchett’s eight-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease came to an end on Thursday. The 66-year-old author died at home surrounded by his relatives.

Along with over 70 books written by Sir Terry Pratchett throughout his life, the English author also left the world with a lengthy list of memorable quotes that are being tweeted and posted online in honor of his memory. Pratchett’s quotes covered a wide range of topics over the years.

Life and Death

“This isn’t life in the fast lane. It’s life in the oncoming traffic… It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.”


“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.”

“The harder I work, the luckier I become.”


“You can’t build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I’m not writing ‘The A-Team’ — if there’s a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.”

“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.”

Knowledge and Open Minds

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”


“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.”

“If you are going to write, say, fantasy — stop reading fantasy. You’ve already read too much. Read other things; read westerns, read history, read anything that seems interesting, because if you only read fantasy and then you start to write fantasy, all you’re going to do is recycle the same old stuff and move it around a bit.”

“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.”

Sir Terry Pratchett was also very vocal when it came to his struggles with Alzheimer’s disease, raising awareness of the condition on a global scale either directly or indirectly. Over time, his various statements about Alzheimer’s progressively developed into yet another category of sorts — filled with many more of his most memorable quotes.

Alzheimer’s Disease

“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.”

“I think the best thing I ever did with my life was stand up and say I’ve got Alzheimer’s.”

“Seven hundred thousand people who have dementia in this country are not heard. I’m fortunate; I can be heard. Regrettably, it’s amazing how people listen if you stand up in public and give away $1 million for research into the disease, as I have done.”

Sir Terry Pratchett leaves behind his wife, Lyn, and daughter, Rhianna, along with the many other people whose minds and hearts have been touched in one way or another by his work.

[Image Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images]