Terry Pratchett

12 Dec

So, I was having a good day. I wrote 5,000 words. (I also cut 16,000 words, but most of them are redeemable, so it’s okay). I finished reading another thick book. I wrote a letter. I played with my son.

And then I read this, on Paul Kidby’s web-site, which is the official-enough site of Terry Pratchett.



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)

Terry Pratchett

PS  I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should
be interpreted as ‘I am not dead’.  I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as
will everybody else.  For me, this maybe further off than you think – it’s too soon to tell.
I know it’s a very human thing to say “Is there anything I can do”, but in this case I
would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

As he says, he’s not dead, and he’s really not. But still. It knocked the wind out of me really badly. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Glumness aside, it makes me want to hurry and write faster and faster and faster. We only have so much time, after all.

And I hope he has a lot, lot more.

& so, to a Baby Doctor’s Appointment.

Take care.


Posted by on December 12, 2007 in Uncategorized


7 responses to “Terry Pratchett

  1. Shadow Ferret

    December 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    I know he’s one of your favorite authors, Pete, so I can empathize.

    I still haven’t read anything by him yet.

    And yes, I hate hearing things like this because this sort of thing could strike any one of us. We are, after all, only mortal and we suffer from all the weaknesses of this clay vessel.

    News like this makes me realize how much of my life I’ve wasted.

  2. tjwriter

    December 12, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    And news like this makes me realize how much of my life I don’t want to waste. If anything this reinforces my urge to follow my dreams.

  3. Arachne Jericho

    December 12, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    News is hitting the net fast; I first saw this at the White Chapel a few hours ago, and it had initially hit that board four hours before that.

    He’s got a lot of admirers out there. I love him too. He’s the kind of author you think will always be around.

    I was wondering who’d be next after Madeline L’engle and Robert Jordan this year. Maybe the law of three can just end there right now.

  4. Cath

    December 12, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Early onset alzheimer’s is usually genetic, so no, it’s unlikely to hit you unless your family has a history of it.

    I read this today too, and I’m really sad. But I’m sure he still has a lot of books in him. Or at least, I hope so.

  5. Soccer Mom

    December 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    This made me very sad. I’m glad he’s okay, but it’s a reminder how fragile life is.

  6. Pete Tzinski

    December 12, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Yeah, I’m not in danger of early-onset Alzheimer’s at all. Up until my father, all the guys dropped dead from heart attacks and stuff.

    It spooked me, not because I’m worried about Alzheimer’s, but because it’s a sudden reminder of mortality. It clarifies priorities. I wish I had something deeper to say. It just is one of those things that makes you go “Oh shit,” and write faster, I guess.

    I could do with losing the use of my legs. Even if I lost the use of my arms, sure. But control of my brain? I don’t know. I always joke that I’d just write the same book over and over again, but I’m not sure I’m not doing that now.

    But still. He’s not dead. We have more books and more talk from him. But still. But still.

  7. MidnightMuse

    December 12, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    It didn’t spook me, there’s no history of Alzheimers in my family either – and with the death of my father two years ago and my mother’s twin sister on Thanksgiving, I’ve come to realize one can go at any time. But it saddens me deeply whenever I hear someone being diagnosed with this – even more so when it hits those so young – because of the nature of this disease, the very heartless dwindling of our most precious posessions – our thoughts and minds.

    Better to be hit by a bus, or drop of a massive miocardial infarction while jogging (or doin’ it with the Missus) than to waste away and, rather quickly, completely loose yourself while your body lives on. 😦


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