ONE hundred fantasy fans are expected to turn up for a very special gathering at Waterstones in Oxford tonight.

The event is the midnight launch of Terry Pratchett’s last novel, following his death in March this year.

Exactly 100 readers have secured places for the Pratchett party and will be among the first in the country to get their hands on The Shepherd’s Crown.

The book, which Pratchett wrote after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, will be the last instalment in the much-loved Discworld series, which tell the stories of a fantasy world.

Store manager Nicky James said: “It’s the last Terry Pratchett book and the last Discworld book so we really wanted to celebrate the occasion with a midnight opening.”

Doors will open at 11pm, followed by a Pratchett quiz at 11.30pm then the book will be sold from midnight onwards.

People have been reserving places for the event on Twitter and in store.

Ms James added: “We’ll wrap up at about 12.30am because I’m sure a lot of people will want to go home and start reading.”

Waterstones’ Piccadilly branch reportedly sold out of 200 tickets for a similar event tonight in 12 minutes.

The Shepherd’s Crown is based around the character of a witch called Tiffany Aching.

In June the author’s daughter Rhianna Pratchett announced that the book would be the last Discworld novel, and no further books of unfinished work would be authorised for publication.