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21 February 2018

Is the end near for Terry Pratchett?

After seven years of suffering from Alzheimer’s. Terry Pratchett’s disease has reached the point that he has been forced to cancel a convention appearance. This news is very sad and I cannot help but wonder if it means we are near the end of an era. Pratchett wrote so many great books over the years and has inspired a generations of geeks and nerds alike. Pratchett told fans of the International Discworld Convention, that he would have to cancel his appearance in August where he was to be the guest of honor. This has brought much sadness to his fans and a fear that we may be seeing the end of the writing of this prolific author. He told fans, “this is the first time ever that I have been unable to attend a UK convention and I really am very sorry”.

Pratchett was diagnosed in 2007 with Alzheimer’s and has been very vocal about his stance on how he would allow the disease to affect his life. Pratchett, who is well known for his being in favor of a euthanasia tribunal told people of his desire to “die” before he would allow the disease to take its hold.

In his Richard Dimbleby lecture in 2010 Pratchett said, “If you did not know there was anything wrong with me, you would not know there is anything wrong with me. The disease moves slowly, but you know it’s there,…”

He went onto say,  “rather than let Alzheimer’s take me, I would take it. I would live my life as ever to the full and die, before the disease mounted its last attack, in my own home, in a chair on the lawn, with a brandy in my hand to wash down whatever modern version of the ‘Brompton cocktail’ some helpful medic could supply. And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with Death.”

I can only hope that this cancellation is not a sign of the end. With Pratchett’s words above, I can only feel dread at what may come next. If Pratchett does in fact “take matters into his own hands” the fans will lose one of the greatest and most prolific fantasy writers of the twentieth century. Whatever path Mr Pratchett decides to take, he has my hope and support.

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