back to article Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's

Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, as he announced yesterday with a post to the web. The best-selling author of the Discworld fantasy books is 59 years-old. "I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to …


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  1. GettinSadda

    Not dead yet?


  2. carey pridgeon

    what a terrible shame

    I do hope he manages to keep going for a few years yet. I worked with Alzheimer's patients for many years, and I know they can manage to do well for a long time with the right treatment.

    He has my sympathy. I do hope he manages to keep going with the books, after Douglas Adams he's my favorite author.

  3. jason lee

    For all the fans...

    Like myself I would ask all to be glad that for now he is well and happy, that he is optimisticly looking forward to the future and has some time to enjoy before his troubles hit him.

    I would ask - even if Mr TP (Terry Pratchett - NOT to be mistaken with anything to do with near the lower body) has not asked - if you feel to donate towards an Alzheimers charity - either cure or support or whatever you wish - please do so.

    I'm sure Moist Von Lipwig would aprove* (honest :) )

    All the best Terry - for now and always from one of many loyal and devoted fans.

    * Mr TP fan humor.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    That Really, REALLY Sucks

    He's a British National Treasure, and, unlike Douglas Adams (before his -also untimely- impediment to further progress), he still lives there.

    Alzheimer's is a very, very nasty disease. I have seen a number of people deal with family members who have it. The "early onset" brand from which he apparently suffers, is a particularly nasty variant.

    He will be in my thoughts and my prayers.

  5. Stan

    All the best with the embuggerance

    That's Thursday buggered and its not even started yet. Never could get the hang of Thursdays.

    Still, as good a time as any for a drink to Mr. Pratchetts health and long may the 'I aint dead' last.


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  7. Alex Threlfall
    Thumb Up

    Always happens to the best people...

    It's sad that diseases like these always affect the people who deserve it least!

  8. Karl Dane

    An embuggerance indeed

    Mr.Pratchett has been a significant part of my life since I was 12, (I am now 32), and I have often (selfishly) thought that it would be the end of an era when he finally stops writing. I have never met the man, but nonetheless I am embarrassingly well-versed in his works; I will too easily re-read one of his books rather than start a new one by another author.

    When I started my contracting career, it only made sense to name my company ( after one of his most prominent characters; the weaselly and cowardly 'Rincewind'.

    Here's to hoping I'll still be reading new Pratchett material when I'm 64.


  9. Anonymous Coward

    I ATEN'T DEAD -n/t

    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  10. Bob Bramwell

    Only the good ...

    Very bad news for all of us Prat-o-philes out here. All good things must come to an end, I suppose, but somehow I'd always imagined him disappearing in puff of smoke leaving only his boots behind. I'll keep my ears open for any brain chemistry specialists who might happen to pass nearby.

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  12. BoldMan

    I'm saddened...

    Having met the old codger a couple of times at conventions - first time in 1987 before he became HUGELY famous and we got somewhat smashed at a bar in the Radisson Kensington... or somewhere similar... I am encouraged by his humour in the face of the spectre of a disease that frankly terrifies me.

    Good luck Terry, there's a few more books in there yet I reckon!

  13. Pete Wilson


    One word - Aricept.

    It works rather nicely.

    Puts off the day of reckoning, but that gives time to work on something better.

    And, incidentally, I reckon that the best thing in the early Discworld books was the footnotes. Bloody magic. And, of course, the 'Two dogs' joke...

    -- P

  14. Gower
    Thumb Down


    good ole TP

  15. Lupus

    Didn't see that one coming.

    Really. Earlier this year he was doing a rather massive book signing at a well-known London sci-fi-cum-everything-else-collectable shop, and having spotted a friend of mine who works there, he asked how *I* was. By name.

    His only prior knowledge of me being that my friend asked him to sign a book or two for me about a year prior.

    Yeah, this was the last thing I'd have expected, poor blighter. :(

  16. brendan

    Th-send in the Igor-th-s

    On Discworld the surgical skills of the Igors include advanced brain chemistry. Let's hope Roundworld's equivalents are up to saving the "marthster" of acerbic sci-fi.

  17. Michael Hoffmann

    Tragic Irony

    I had the honour of meeting Pterry quite briefly, twice across the span of 10 years, continents apart at book signings, with hundreds of other people all around me.

    And was astonished as he was able, the second time around, to name the time, the place, the occasion and other people with me at that first meeting.

    His memory amazed me - what sad irony to hear about this terrible memory and brain afflicting disease.


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having only met him briefly at a book signing in Nottingham, but like most people having his complete set of books, it makes me sad that this has happened. Still he's cheery about it so we all should be too!

    i was amazed at the book signing that he was writing an individual comment in each and every signed book... not just the usual "to whotsit signed whoever" every comment was witty.. and unique!

    as his books say in the inside cover "Terry Pratchett is 5? years old and isnt dead yet"....... and he aint!

  19. Edward Miles

    Hmmm... suitable melancholic song

    OK, was trying to think of a song from the Discworld novels that would be suitable for here... but after reading him describe it as "an embuggerance" , the only song I can think of is "The Hedgehog can never be buggered".

    so I'll sing that instead :)

  20. Nexox Enigma

    Truely awful!

    I'd really miss Mr. Pratchet if his hourglass were to run short on sand!

    I don't often pick favourites, etc, but I'm positive that he'd my third favourite author of all time, after Neal Stephenson and Douglas Adams (in that order.)

    I don't know what I'd do without more Discworld books! Besides just reading the existing ones over and over until my eyes fell out, that is.

    I've just decided that the world can't possibly exist without Pratchett, so obviously he won't go. Doesn't he realize that heros defeat million to one odds 9 out of 10 times!

    So I'll just go into denial until I hear some good news!

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Weatherwax Cureall?

    This is really, really bad news - but TP is being typically upbeat & optimistic. Maybe we'll see a reflection of this in his upcoming books. I want to know what Nanny Ogg & Granny Weatherwax would make of this?

    We love ya Terry :)

  22. Huw Davies

    The truth shall make ye fret

    Pterrible news.

    *wanders off to afp and abp*

  23. Markie Dussard

    But everyone knows ...

    ... that there's a million-to-one chance they'll find a cure in time!

  24. Alex Cooper

    Top Bloke

    Just met him the once in a book signing in Liverpool, incredibly nice guy, took time for his fans, and looks cool in his trademark hat ;)

    Here's to you Terry, raising a glass of 'Dibbler's Genuine Soggy Mountain Dew' to you, Cheers!

  25. David Willis


    Time to start taking the dried frog pills ?

    What harm could they do (except to the frogs and your tastebuds)

  26. Matthew

    Now I know what my parents meant...

    They always seemed to be going on about how so-and-so, their favorite (actor/author/singer/etc) was ill or had died. I guess I must be getting old too: I lament the demise of Douglas Adams, Terry Nation, Gene Roddenberry...

    It is just too sad that such a horrible illness should hit such an amazing guy. I hope and pray that it will be cured before we lose a national treasure.

  27. The Other Steve


    As a proud owner of a libraries worth of PTerry books, I'm saddened by the news, but like many others heartened by his optimism.

    ob-anecdote :

    When I went to get my copy of "Thief of Time" signed, the chap in front of me in the queue said to the Great Man (who was, indeed, wearing his most excellent hat) "I'm a student and just starting out on my career path, so could you maybe write some words of wise advice" (or something like that, it was a while ago).

    PTerry's response was to inscribe his copy with the words "Get A Job!"

    Pure genius.

  28. dervheid


    There may be a cure somewhere in The Luggage. Anyone brave enough to have a look?

  29. Anonymous Coward


    ...remember guys, he isn't dead or dieing (well technically we all are but that is a post 3am drunken musing) and i'm sure, however well meant, that some of these comments are a little too bleak. He has been diagnosed and probably early, not committed. Encouragement, not consignment is needed here! mmm That sounded catchy, wonder if Reg will write that on a sign and parade around? Mind you he would just wonder what the fuss was about....

  30. Dan Collett


    What shame such a talented author. But that will teach him for making fun of death ;-)

  31. Anonymous Coward


    That's fecked my day up...

  32. Hogfather




  33. michael

    hope there are "meny" more books to come

    I have never actuley met him but his books single handdley introduced me to the wonderfull world of the printed word

  34. Sean Casaidhe


    As someone's said, that's Thursday buggered.

    TP is the only author I'd actually stand in a line and wait for an autograph, and I have done too, in Easons in Dublin. I tried to come up with a terribly funny wisecrack but if I recall correctly, the only thing I could come up with was "I hope you write a lot more books before you die" :)

    He promptly responded; "So do I, 'cos only Mr Hitler wrote books after death" And it took me about 30 minutes to figure out what he was talking about.

    Let's hope reality doesn't catch up with him for some time...

  35. Paul

    @Markie Dussard

    A Million to one? Good to know he will be ok.

  36. Colin Jackson

    Chin up

    Since TP thinks that writing is the most fun you can have, I'm sure we'll see a few more books out of him, and I for one will be greatful for anything he cares to write.

    re: "Unseen Academicals" not part of the diskworld series.

    Are you sure? Sounds like it is.

  37. Tom


    You have been with me since I was a child, i'm so sorry to hear you've been thwarted with the most cruel of afflictions, especially for a mind so bright, you puts the rest of us to shame. I hope you go out with a bang!

  38. Danny


    I am privileged to own two signed copies of his books. He is a really nice guy, who always takes time to meet his fans and treat them with respect. A lot of the younger 'celebrities' could do with following his example as without the fans they are nothing. This really is a very sad day for British literature. For some strange reason, I have never imagined a day where I would no longer be able to look forward to the next Discworld release even though it was bound to happen someday. I wish PTerry all the best and hope the disease progresses incredibly slowly granting him many years of quality life.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, please raise your glasses to a creative genius and an all round nice guy and join Nanny Ogg in a toast

    Up your eye! and Mud in your bottom!

  39. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Up

    Sign him up ...

    ...for The Silver Horde, then..."WHUT???"

    Thoroughly unwelcome news, but seriously, though, if he's staying upbeat, we should too. As noted above, we just need someone with an expertise in REALLY TINY thtitcheth...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very sad

    I've never cared for Pratchett's novels - in fact I'd consider him one of the two most over-rated writers in the English language (the other being J.K. Rowling) - but he's a thoroughly decent human being and far too young to be 'embuggered' by such a dreadful condition.

    I wish him well and sincerely hope that he wins his battle with Alzheimer's

  41. Slaine

    immortality through the media

    'Well, - - - - me,' he said. 'A - - - - ing wizard. I hate - - - - ing wizards!'

    'You shouldn't - - - - them, then,' muttered one of his henchmen, effortlessly pronouncing a row of dashes.

    Long may this source of insight and humour continue not being dead yet.

  42. Mal Franks
    Paris Hilton

    Will only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry eh?

    Definitely no Paris Hilton angle here then.

  43. Alien8n Silver badge

    @ Huw

    I'd join you there but the only way to get there for me is google groups...

    Real shame to hear PTerry suffering from this, but as he says, he ain't dead yet. Hopefully there's still plenty of years left. His photo from 1996 with him holding the (then 3 month old) Podling still has pride of place on the wall. Signed "I don't sign small children".

    The Original AFP CMOT Alien X Xenumorph

  44. Rob

    Bastard Thursday!

    Let it be known that bad news like this and having to spend an hour and half to get work (usually takes 20mins) makes this day a Bastard day.

    It appears Fridays and the 13th aren't exclusive to each other.

    He's literatures equivalent to John Peel in my eyes.

  45. Phantom Wibbler


    That's bad news for a Thursday morning, but glad he's keeping his chin up.

    All the best mate! You've made me laugh more times than I can remember.

  46. Jaap Stoel

    Best of luck

    I'd like to with Terry Pratchett the best of luck.

    His books often move something in my soul. And I hope there will be many more.

    I wish I could think of some profound discworld quote to accompany this message. But Buggrit. I cant think of anything.

    But, where's the IT angle?

  47. jai

    terrible shame

    one of the greatest British authors of all time? tis a sad blow to the nation - but as Ben said, Pterry's not gone yet, there are more books in the pipeline, and he's taking the new optimistically so we should too.

    i've been to a few signings and everytime am awe-struck by the incredible numbers of people who turned up to queue in line, and the fact that Pterry would sit there and sign books until everyone was seen. i don't know of any other author, especially the successful ones, who appreciate their fans as much as Pratchett does.

    all the best wishes to Terry and his family - here's hoping things go as well as possible, in these circumstances


    "There's no justice in the world...."


  48. stuart meadowcroft
    Thumb Down


    And I thought I had a bad bat with my IT problems yesterday :(

  49. Rob


    I wonder if he's performed Ashe Kente to offer a bargin.

    I have two books signed by the great man and it was an absolute pleasure to have 3 minutes to chat to him whilst he did it.

    May he still have a long and happy life.

  50. Simon Ward

    Re: But everyone knows ...

    "... that there's a million-to-one chance they'll find a cure in time!"

    And we all know that million-to-one chances happen nine times out of ten.


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