Sir Terry Pratchett, the author of more than 70 best-selling novels, has died aged 66 after a well-documented battle with Alzheimer's disease.
His publisher said he "passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family" - a year after writing his last book and eight after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.
Sir Terry's death was announced on his own Twitter page in tweets that echoed one of his most popular Discworld characters - Death himself, who always SPOKE LIKE THIS.
Death, who appeared as a grim reaper-style figure with a scythe was an increasingly sympathetic character in the Discworld series.
Good Omens, which Sir Terry co-authored with Neil Gaiman, includes the line:
"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
Here are just some of the other things Sir Terry wrote about Death, and death.
“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.
"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away..."
In 2011's Choosing to Die documentary, Sir Terry argued that he should be allowed to choose the timing of his death, not the government.
"I know the time will come when words will fail me," he said. "Then, I don't want to go on living."
"It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life."
(The Last Continent)
"Time is like a drug. Too much of it kills you."
"I dare say that quite a few people have contemplated death for reasons that much later seemed to them to be quite minor. If we are to live in a world where a socially acceptable 'early death' can be allowed, it must be allowed as a result of careful consideration.
"Let us consider me as a test case. As I have said, I would like to die peacefully with Thomas Tallis on my iPod before the disease takes me over and I hope that will not be for quite some time to come, because if I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice."
(Richard Dimbleby Lecture, 2010)
"Death isn't cruel - merely terribly, terribly good at his job."
"Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened."
“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THELITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THENSHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"
MY POINT EXACTLY.