Sad news for fantasy/comedy fans: Terry Pratchett has early-onset Alzheimer's

Yup. Sad indeed for all fans of Discworld and all it's spin offs. Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's.

BoingBoing has an article with this posting from 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.

That's sad news.

Hell with the books, here's hoping Terry has many happy and joyous years left with his loved ones. He's done enough for his fans, the only reason to keep writing is if it brings him pleasure. While it is nice to see him so concerned w/ his audience, I think we've gotten enough out of him for one lifetime. Take care of yourself first!!!

Best wishes Mr. Pratchett and thanks for the laughs and insight!

Damn.

I haven't read anything of his, but I love his mindset and approach to his predicament. He seems very grounded.

I have been inspired to pick up some of his books now

While a scary diagnosis, who is to say that the mind that created Diskworld won't be the one to be able to successfully navigate this little understood condition. Here's hoping for many years and wonderful ideas yet to come.

I just read his recent Discworld, "Making Money." It was good, I think he is getting better with age. It's a shame this happened.

sh*t. I used a phrase of his in something I wrote today.

Good things:

It's at an early stage

Should make for some interesting books

It is good to see that he's maintaining a positive attitude though. I am sure that he'll be able to beat the diagnoses!

Is this the one where you start to forget things randomly?

Yea probably one of worse things to inflict a writer, but it starts off as an amusing distraction to just a heart breaking affair when your loved one who's afflicted doesn't even know who you are anymore and then descend as they forget how to even get their body to function correctly.

Mex wrote:
Is this the one where you start to forget things randomly?

From my experience, it seems to often sort of slowly dissolve the connections in your head between words and physical reality. For example, one could go from "confusing" men with beards as your brother, and calling them by his name and slowly progress to calling all males by your brother's name, differentiating with "no, the other [name]." Slowly, you lose a more general ability to discern and make sense of what's going on around you.

Memory loss is also a part of it, but I'm not sure if that's the core way it functions. What's amazing to me about Alzheimer's is that it seems all too often to strike some of the most brilliant minds.

This news disheartens me.

Damn. Sad news indeed.

Gutshot.

I may have told this story before, but a long-standing feud between my Grandfather and Great-Uncle was healed when My Uncle Bubba got Alzheimers, forgot he was angry, and just walked next door to talk to his brother one day. They had a few years of friendship again before they both passed.

Well, sh*t. Very sorry for him. I've read a great many Discworld novels and enjoyed all of them. I think this just goes to remind us - especially with the holidays just around the corner - that nobody on this Earth is here forever. Don't waste time, people.

Nooooooo! Not my favorite author! Why couldn't it have been Terry Brooks? I mean, he's already forgotten about my favorite series that he wrote and left with a cliffhanger ending on the last book goddammit...

Damn. That's terrible news- he's my favorite author, too.

This is very, very sad. All I can say is that I hope he'll have a lot more time being as lucid, imaginative and flat-out brilliant as he's always been.

Gutted when I read this. Absolutely gutted. First we lose Douglas Adams, now Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's? Why do the gods hate people with a sense of humour? Well, here's hoping for an Alzheimer's treatment to finish making its way through the pipeline. Let's stop throwing money into new and interesting ways to kill people, and start throwing it into new and interesting ways to cure people!

I'll never forget this quote. I still chuckle today as I write this.

"He was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting "All the Gods are bastards.""

Sad news, indeed.

My grandfather and one of my uncles had Alzheimer's. It's a horrible, horrible disease, especially on families. There's nothing worse than seeing your loved one freak out because they think you're a complete stranger.

When this news sank in I had to go and cry a little. My grandmother had dementia, and to think of Pratchett's humour and wit and intelligence and profound human insight wearing away like that...

Write lots and be happy, Terry. And I'll be glad for every word we get.

Death wrote: "DO NOT WORRY. MISTER PRATCHETT WILL BE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME."
Death of Rats wrote: "SQUEEK!"

f*ck damn.

Yeah, Alzheimer's is not pleasant, by any stretch. Especially since eventually you will get to a point where you forget how to eat and have to be spoon fed or fed intravenously. Even more serious is when they forget to breath and have to be put on a respirator. So its the sort of disease where you hope you've lived a good life, have a few more good years left and pass on from something else before the disease gets too advanced.

I wish nothing but the best for Mr. Pratchett and his primary care giver (most likely his wife or nearest kin) over the coming years.

Nimcosi wrote:
Death wrote: "DO NOT WORRY. MISTER PRATCHETT WILL BE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME."
Death of Rats wrote: "SQUEEK!"

I always had this picture of Mr. Pratchett being woken one morning (preferrably a morning in the far, far future) by a cute-looking dark haired girl and going "Damn, Neil was right after all, huh?"

Bummer. Here I had just discovered discworld 9 months ago. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant stuff.

You guys are talking like he's dead already...

He's already lived a more extraordinary life, and written way better things than most of us here. I wish I had a part of his wit. So, really, I'm just glad he's still around.

My grandfather died of alzheimer's, apparently. He choked on some fruit or whatever because he forgot to chew. =/

Hope they find a cure, fast

Mex wrote:
My grandfather died of alzheimer's, apparently. He choked on some fruit or whatever because he forgot to chew. =/

Am I bad for finding that just a little bit funny?

If it's any consolation, my grandma died on the crapper. True story.

dhelor wrote:
Mex wrote:
My grandfather died of alzheimer's, apparently. He choked on some fruit or whatever because he forgot to chew. =/

Am I bad for finding that just a little bit funny?

If it's any consolation, my grandma died on the crapper. True story. :D

Nah, everyone dies. After some time, it's better to laugh about it, I suppose... =)