Chicon 8 announced today that author Charles de Lint will not be appearing as one of their guests of honor.
It is with regret that we announce that Charles de Lint has had to step down as Guest of Honor for Chicon 8 due to family circumstances.
We were utterly thrilled in 2020 when Mr. de Lint agreed to be our Author Guest of Honor and have been looking forward to having him at the convention. However, we completely understand that his current situation will not allow him to attend Chicon 8 either in person or virtually. In discussion with Mr. de Lint, we agreed that rather than honor him in his absence, we will release him as a Guest of Honor. Our sincere hope is that a future Worldcon will take the opportunity to honor him as he so richly deserves.
The family circumstances likely include his wife’s illness. De Lint shared publicly on Facebook last November that his wife MaryAnn has been afflicted with “Powassan virus which is a tick born virus akin to West Nile” and “since Sept 7th she has been unable to move. She was aware but unable to communicate.” Writing two months after the first onset he said, “there have been some incremental improvements. She can move her feet and her mouth is mobile enough to ‘talk’ but no sound comes out. We mostly communicate by lip-reading (badly) or spelling the words out letter by letter. The rest of her body remains immobile and she still has some blurring/double vision….” He gave one more public update later that month, and has not posted another since that time.