Sir Terry Pratchett, beloved British fantasy author of the best-selling Discworld series, died on Thursday 12 March, of Alzheimer’s disease. The prolific 66-year-old author was diagnosed a few years ago, but managed to continue writing, completing his last book, The Shepherd’s Crown, in 2014 with publication due this year. The announcement appeared on Twitter by his publishers, linking the author with his fans’ most treasured recurring character, Death: ‘Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.’ In honour of Pratchett’s passing, fans began a petition asking Death to bring Terry Pratchett back.
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
— Terry Pratchett (@terryandrob) March 12, 2015
The Bailey’s Prize for Fiction now has its longlist of twenty women authors (thirteen Brits, two Americans, two Canadians, one Chinese/British, one British/American and one Pakistani/British author) lined up for the prestigious prize. The list includes award-winning or nominated fiction alongside lesser known entries: Ali Smith’s How to be Both, Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Thread, Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone, Sandra Newman’s The Country of Ice Cream Star, Laline Paul’s The Bees, Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, Xiaolu Guo’s I am China, Lissa Evans’s Crooked Heart, Sarah Waters’s The Paying Guests, Jemma Wayne’s After Before, PP Wong’s The Life of a Banana, Sara Taylor’s The Shore, Rachel Seiffert’s The Walk Home, Heather O’ Neil’s The Girl who was Saturday Night, Marie Phillips’s The Table of Less Valued Knights, Grace McCleen’s The Offering, Samantha Harvey’s Dear Thief, Rachel Cusk’s Outline and Patricia Ferguson’s Aren’t We Sisters?
— Baileys Prize (@BaileysPrize) March 9, 2015
The line-up for this year’s Young Adult Literature convention is now available to view. YALC 2015 will feature famous authors such as Cassandra Clare, Patrick Ness and one of the convention’s organisers Malorie Blackman. This year’s event will take place in July in London and you can buy your tickets now at the website for London Film & Comic Con.
Margaret Atwood is continuing her prolific rate of work with a new novel out this autumn. The Heart Goes Last will hit shelves in September. It is a novel set in a world of the near future with prison overcrowding and heightened criminality in the streets, and the implementation of a social experiment named Consilience designed to combat these issues. Focusing on two characters who apply to take part in a social experiment, where every second month they are locked up in a prison cell (in exchange for a stable salary and nice house for the rest of the time), they soon find themselves in a darker and more paranoid situation than they could have imagined: what happens when the criminals are let loose, while law-abiding citizens are locked away. The cover was revealed on 12 March.
Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits) also has another book due out soon. The Japanese Lover will be hitting British shores in autumn, in a translated version published by Simon & Schuster.
For lovers of book covers, this one’s for you. The Academy of British Cover Design, or ABCD, have chosen their favourite titles of 2014. The shortlist is still available to see on the website.