Cult Fantasy Author Terry Pratchett Forced To Cancel Appearance
Cult British fantasy author Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 7 years ago, has pulled out of a Discworld convention later this summer, reports The Guardian.
Pratchett said "the Embuggerance is finally catching up with me" and made the announcement with what he described as "great reluctance" on the website of the International Discworld Convention, where he had been set to appear as guest of honour in Manchester in August.
"I have been putting off writing this announcement for quite some time and on good days thought I wouldn't have to write it at all," wrote the author. "I am very sorry about this, but I have been dodging the effects of PCA and have been able to write for much longer than any of us ever thought possible, but now The Embuggerance is finally catching up with me, along with other age-related ailments."
Pratchett was referring, in the "embuggerance", to the memorable description he initially gave to his posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's he announced he had been diagnosed with in late 2007.
He told fans on the Discworld convention website on Wednesday that "this is the first time ever that I have been unable to attend a UK convention and I really am very sorry," said the author, who has sold over 75M copies of his comic fantasynovels, the majority of which are set in Discworld, a realm held up by four elephants balanced on the back of a giant turtle.
The convention's chair, John Hicks, said that Pratchett would still be answering some questions from fans on video, that his business manager Rob Wilkins would be "bringing The Black Hat" – Pratchett's trademark – "to the Convention to represent Terry in absentia and we will, of course, welcome it with all due honours".