The Times reports on an interview on BBC Breakfast today, revealing how the onset of Alzheimer’s disease has started to affect the writing of Terry Pratchett’s best-selling fantasy Discworld series.
The author vowed to carry on writing despite having the disease diagnosed last year but revealed that his spelling had become erratic and his typing was no longer as fast – but he says he is trying to be philosophical and remains hopeful that researchers could come up with a means of combating the disease.
“I used to touch type as fast as any journalist does and my spelling was pretty good. Now I hunt and peg and my spelling is erratic,” he said.
In March Pratchett gave half a million pounds to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust to help to find a cure for the disease. Pratchett’s donation inspired an internet campaign where fans hope to ‘Match it for Pratchett‘, by raising an equal sum or more for research.
“I have had Alzheimer’s now for the past two years plus,” he states on their web site. “It’s a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies. There’s nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with the disease will double within a generation. It’s a shock and a shame to find out that funding for research is three per cent of that which goes to find cancer cures.”
In April, the BBC began working with him to make a documentary series based on his illness.
• A signed “Monquee” figurine is being auctioned off by Forbidden Planet to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research as part of the “Match it for Pratchett” campaign: forbiddenplanet.com/promo/monqee/
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.