The highly successful comic fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett died yesterday, aged 66, after living with the chronic neurodegenerative disease Alzheimer's for eight years. In typically dramatic style, the news was first announced via his Twitter feed, adopting the 'voice' of one of his characters called 'Death', as though he was integrating himself into his own Fiction right at the end of his life. The prolific writer will be remembered long past his death through more than 70 books that he penned during his life, which sold more than 80 million copies globally, making him the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s.

He died at his home, surrounded by his family with his cat curled up on his bed.

Pratchett was never one to accept his fate and go quietly into the night, determining that upon being diagnosed with the extreme form of dementia, he would remain cheerful and continue to work for as long as he possibly could. His last book, another in the highly successful Discworld series of novels, of which there are about 40 volumes, was finished just last summer with the assistance of Stephen Baxter, entitled The Long Mars. When typing became no longer possible, he maintained his creative license by purchasing voice-sensitive computer software to do the 'manual' part for him.

An engaging character himself, he was also able to engage with his audience, especially through the long-running Discworld series.

Such was the popularity of his fiction that his books were translated into more than 30 languages and he was honoured by the Queen for services to literature by being knighted in 2009.

He felt strongly about the need to raise awareness of Alzheimer's and to increase the funding in support of the research into the disease's causes and potential cures, and made a sizeable donation personally to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

The chief exec for the Alzheimer's Society, Jeremy Hughes paid tribute to Pratchett's efforts in that respect, saying that he "will remain the truest of champions for people with the condition." Pratchett was also a supporter of the British Humanist Association and has spoken about assisted suicide in the past, involving himself in a documentary on the highly contentious subject in 2011 and campaigning for it.

It has been made clear that he did not take his own life though and that his death was entirely natural, without assistance.

He leaves behind his wife, Lyn, who he married in 1968 and their one daughter, Rhianna, a successful video game writer, narrative designer and journalist in her own right. Pratchett was also an avid player of computer games and involved himself in several games that were based on his books.

The last words belong to Pratchett though, as shared with the world via his daughter, with 'Death' stating (in capital letters as per character): "AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER." The tweet then continued by referring to the author taking the arm of Death and following him "through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night. The End."