Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pratchett, He Aten't Dead

Terry Pratchett released this letter via


I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

I felt my heart sank when I read about Pratchett's Alzheimer's. Pratchett is one of those authors that has never failed to entertain me with his books. I have read most of the Discworld series (I've stopped around Fifth Elephant, but I'm hooked on the Tiffany Aching series). I've loved his acerbic sense of humour that show us truthfully as the absurd creatures of whims and desires that we are.

Pratchett reminds us this letter is like Granny Weatherwax with her "I aten't dead" sign. He still has a few books left in him yet, he tells us -- he's not yet ready to surrender.

I think I'll go read The Last Hero, like Nymeth.


Ana S. said...

I remembered Granny Weatherwax's sign too.

It's amazing how positive he's being about it, but the way he says "I think there's time for at least a few more books yet" just makes me want to cry.

Alzheimer's is one of the things I dread the most. I think the movie "Iris" traumatized me for life. I cried for like 3 hours after watching it. It makes me so sad that he has to face this - not today, I know, and not tomorrow either, but you know.


Yogamum said...

I was so sad when I heard this as well. My kids and I *love* the Tiffany Aching books. I wish him many more happy & productive years.

chrisa511 said...

I've only read a couple of his books and this made me so sad too. I hate to see this happen to anyone, but particularly someone who has such a creative mind and who has shared that mind with so many millions of fans. We'll always have Discworld ;)

Carl V. Anderson said...

Having just started my first Discworld book, this came as even a bigger shock than it would have before. I feel so sad for him and for his family, that is such a devastating disease. I pray for long health for him.

darkorpheus said...

Nymeth Like you, I'm afraid of Alzheimer's. Sometimes I watch my mom and it feels like she's showing early signs of senility - and it scares me.

Yogamum I love the Tiffany Aching books too. I wish him many many active years too.

Chris That's the scariest thing isn't it - for someone so bright and creative, and to be told it's going to end soon. Makes you want to go back and read all the Discworld again, just for him.

Carl So say we all. So say we all.

Anonymous said...

oh no...

oh no!

oh no.

darkorpheus said...

Jean Pierre It's depressing news, isn't it?