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]