In the past, the wife and I have joked about how devastating it would be if J. K. Rowling died before finishing the seventh Harry Potter book. I have joked similarly about how world-destroying it would be if Robert Jordan passed on before he completed the Wheel of Time series.
Well, poking around the Tor website I found this:
I have been diagnosed with amyloidosis. That is a rare blood disease which affects only 8 people out of a million each year, and those 8 per million are divided among 22 distinct forms of amyloidosis.
Bad Bad Bad BAD!
Thankfully, he is undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic and I expect he will be with us for a good while longer. Median* life expectancy is 4 years with treatment, which is heartening.
As mentioned above, we all joke about our Authors and the effect they have on us by meeting, exceeding, or failing our expectations, but we don’t often talk about how their work impacts their lives. If it takes a sabbatical for Mr. Jordan to complete his recovery, I take it on myself to give him my blessing, as a fan, to take as long as he needs.
*Median does not equal average. Median means half the values are above that number and half are below. On a bell-curve, this would equal or be very near the average, but diagnostic-survival curves are not bell-shaped. By definition, you cannot be diagnosed after death and “die before diagnosis”, so the curve will be right-skewed with a long tail. Better explanation here.