Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Fantasy author Pratchett knighted

Terry Pratchett
Sir Terry said he was "gobsmackingly amazed" at his knighthood

Author Terry Pratchett has been knighted in the New Year Honours list.

Pratchett, 60, who lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, has sold more than 55 million books worldwide and his works have been translated into 33 languages.

Pratchett started his career on a local newspaper and published his first novel, The Carpet People, in 1971.

He is best known for his Discworld comic fantasy novels. Last December he announced he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

He has since campaigned to raise awareness of the disease and improve research funding.

Discworld is a parallel universe supported on the back of four elephants that stand on the shell of a giant turtle.

"There are times when the phrase 'Absolutely, totally, gobsmackingly, mindbogglingly amazed' just doesn't cover it, but I find that in the Queen's New Year Honours list I am now a knight, for services to literature," Sir Terry said.

Four people in Wiltshire have been appointed OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list. They are:

• Christine Kent of Salisbury

• Professor Andrew Pettigrew for services to local and national higher education

• Dr Randal William Richards of Marlborough for services to science

Six people have been appointed MBE in the New Year Honours list. They are:

• Meg Atkinson of Swindon for services to the Soldiers' and Airmen's Scripture Reader Association

• Alan Kells of Codford-St-Peter for public and voluntary service

• John Aves of Salisbury for services to people with disabilities

• John Hansford of Malmesbury for services to science

• Councillor Thomas James of Trowbridge for services to local government in Wiltshire

• Michael Norton of Malmesbury for services to the water industry and to international trade

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