Terry Pratchett can't attend Discworld convention

For the first time in his long and storied career, Terry Pratchett has canceled a UK appearance, due to his failing health.

Pratchett, who is one of my favourite authors, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in 2007, and has beat the prognosis for his health and lucidity since. He was scheduled to attend the International Discworld Convention in Manchester in August, but has cancelled the appearance, apologising and saying that "the Embuggerance is finally catching up with me."

Pratchett is an ardent advocate for the right to die by assisted suicide, and has expressed his intention to die on his own terms when the time comes. His fans -- me included -- have been holding their breath since 2007, waiting for the sad news. Pratchett is said to be working well on a new Tiffany Aching book, and that, at least, is wonderful news.

In the meantime, we wish Pratchett all the comfort, joy and peace as is his due for having brought so much joy to so many.

Terry Pratchett forced to cancel appearance by Alzheimer's [Alison Flood/The Guardian]

(via Metafilter)

(Image: Terry Pratchett Speaking - Author Terry Pratchett speaks at Brisbane Grammar School, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 070214-1, David Jackmanson, CC-BY)

Notable Replies

  1. Well, crap.

    Short of a miraculous cure, I suppose the best we can hope for is for Pratchett to retain his wits long enough to tie up loose ends, make his goodbyes, and arrange for his exit with dignity. And hopefully humor.


  2. I was saddened to read the report of his cancellation yesterday, but heartened to know that he's working on a fifth Tiffany Aching book.

    I suppose that makes me selfish considering the current state of his health, but they are my favorite Discworld tales and I can only assume that Sir Terry sees value in them as well.

    He has my thanks and best wishes, for whatever that may be worth.

  3. Sigh. All of my sad feels.

  4. L. Frank Baum's great grandson, Roger S. Baum took over the Oz books, and has handled them with care. He does write new books. Rhianna is currently living with an ailing father who is slipping away, and that's much more important than her making a decision to continue the series. Asking that right now would be asking her to say goodbye too soon.

    She may find later that her best way to remain tied to her father is to continue his work in her voice. If not, I'm sure she'll do her best to give good care to the existing works.

  5. Why don't we have here a broken heart icon next to the heart one? because this makes me SAD.

    I grew up reading Pratchett's books and that has influenced heavily my world-view and sense of humour.

    Since he announced that had Alzheimer's I can't stop visualizing Death taking a little bit of him every single day...

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