24 August 2023
New special stamps from the Royal Mail pay tribute to fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, who turned the genre on its head with his Discworld series
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is a new set of Royal Mail special stamps celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Colour of Magic, beloved fantasy artist Terry Pratchett’s first book in the Discworld series.
The eight stamps depict some of the most-loved characters from this classic fantasy world: Rincewind (1st class), The Librarian (£1), Granny Weatherwax (£1), Sam Vines (£2)and Great A’Tuin (£2.20), as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort (£2), Tiffany Aching (£2.20) and Moist von Lipwig (1st class) by Paul Kidby, who began working with Terry Pratchett in 1993 and has been illustrating Discworld for 30 years.
Terry Pratchett, who died in 2015, stood out in the fantasy genre for the way his books turned the genre’s tropes on their head.
His debut book was published in 1971, and in 1983 Pratchett published The Colour of Magic, the first in his distinctive Discworld series: fantasy comedies which blended humour, wisdom, satire and humanity with parodies of classic fantasy staples such as wizards and witches.
In 2007, Pratchett, a distinctive figure on the literary scene with his wizard-like beard and signature wide black hat, announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
The final Discworld book, The Shepherd’s Crown, was published five months after Pratchett’s death in 2015. More than a hundred million copies of Discworld books have been sold worldwide.
Royal Mail worked closely with Terry Pratchett’s estate on the new stamps, and also with illustrator Paul Kidby.
‘These striking stamps will be loved by generations both young and old,’ said David Gold, Director of External Affairs and Policy. ‘Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels remain as popular as ever and it is fitting that in the 40th anniversary year of The Colour of Magic, we celebrate with a set of stamps that honour the work of an iconic and globally admired writer.’