The Plastinated Man.

Some of you may have heard by now that I got hit with a serious case of necrotising fasciitis (more luridly known as “flesh-eating disease”) late last week. I’m told I was a few hours away from being dead. Now, several morphine drips and debridements and blood-pressure crashes and pulmonary edemas later, I have a crater the approximate size and shape of Australia carved out of my right calf. I can also sit up for short periods and type brief notes like this one. I am, however, still in the hospital, and will not be leaving this place any time soon — and the hospital does not have internet connectivity (because after all, why would any of us trapped in the institutional confines of East General ever want to catch a glimpse of the outside world?). So I can’t actually interact with any of you in real time. I am writing this from my hospital bed; Caitlin will take the laptop back home and post via the home network. This is the extent of my connectivity.

The good news is, I’m not dead, and the necrotising bugs have been scraped out of me as far as anyone can tell. The bad news is I’m stuck here in the e-boons for at least another week, and even after that I’m going to be functionally immobile for months while physio, skin grafts, and a nifty little variant of the Shop-Vac used to suck together the edges of gaping wounds work their magic. (That’s all assuming the biopsy itself doesn’t turn up anything nasty; we still haven’t got those results back.) So to those I owe e-mails, my apologies; I am going to fall somewhat behind. To those with whom I have social or professional appointments in the near future, I’m afraid I’ll be flat on my back. Please spread the word; I’ve posted a note on facebook as well, but I know that not everyone connected to me follows either of these feeds.

About the only good thing I can say about this is: if there was ever a disease fit for a science fiction writer, flesh-eating disease has got to be it. This fucker spread across my leg as fast as a Star Trek space disease in time-lapse.

Glad to still be here talking about it, though. More later.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 3:42 pm and is filed under Flesh-Eating Fest '11, public interface. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

121 Responses to “The Plastinated Man.”

  1. Nick N.

    Might I suggest IP via Avian Carrier? I hear pigeons a very clean birds…

    More seriously, very glad to hear that all the signs are promising. I’d recommend that you write a story inspired by these events, but given what less gory events in your life have inspired you to write, I’m not entirely sure my mind or stomach could handle a fictionalized version of this.

  2. rosyatrandom

    Well, that’s… horrifying and deeply intriguing at the same time. If this doesn’t inspire at least a short story, I will be so disappointed! Glad you’re OK, though, Pete!

  3. Alan Baxter

    That’s both horrifying and kinda cool. So glad you’re still with us. Get well soon.

  4. Ken Kennedy

    Holy shit, dude….I’m glad you’re still with us! I assume this was somehow related to the bloody teat from last month? *shiver* I’m creeped out just thinking about the thing. Please take care of yourself, and let the doctors do their thing.

  5. Jennifer Brozek

    Oh, good gracious, Peter. I knew you’d be busy and all, but getting a flesh-eating disease, that’s really stretching yourself. I am glad to hear that you are not dead. I hope you can get some writing done while you are laid up. And I really hope all goes well and you heal. Let me know via proxy if you want a copy of HUMAN FOR A DAY when it comes out. By the time all is said and done, you may be healed by then.

  6. Sheila

    I hope you don’t go crazy with boredom over there. Maybe you should make someone tether your phone to your laptop or something so that you can have access over whatever your phone does.

    Please let people know if you need anything like funds, things to read, mims, gaming consoles, stupid programs for your laptop… creatively is failing me

  7. Michael B

    Holy moly. Very glad you’re okay now. Get well soon. My wife had the “shop vac” hooked up after an infected C-section, and it’s a royal pain.

  8. Sheila

    where by “mims” I meant “mimes”. in case you needed some horrifying entertainment.

    (trying to be a little light hearted. dunno if it helps)

  9. Andy

    Egads! That is a nasty bug. Get well soon and hope you are home and recovering and catching up on these comments in no time.

  10. Tweets that mention No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded) » The Plastinated Man. --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AlanBaxter, clarkesworld, Charles Tan, torforgeauthors, sandykidd and others. sandykidd said: RT @clarkesworld: update: Peter Watts has posted details to his blog: […]

  11. Nick N.

    Is this a bad time to use the phrase, “Pics or it didn’t happen”? 😉

  12. ebear

    Good gravy, Watts.

    You have a gift.

    So glad you’re still here to annoy the universe.


  13. Andreas Fuchs

    Wow, I’m glad you’re still alive. But as you said: What better disease to catch as a sci-fi writing biologist than something super-scary and exotic?

    I wish you a speedy recovery, and may your brain not be eaten up by boredom!

  14. Jon Evans

    Holy ferchrissakes wow. What ebear said.

    I feel vaguely guilty at not having been more appalled by the suppurating sore when you showed it to me. It didn’t look like a limb-eater at the time, I swear.

    Get well soon. When are your visiting hours?


  15. keanani

    So glad it was caught in time. Wow Peter, that was close…

    Wishing you all things good & beautiful as you recover. 🙂

  16. Robert

    Oy, that’s not good news. (Well, getting better is good news, but better not to have got it in the first place.)

    When you’re recovered enough to contemplate facing teenagers*, please have your agent contact me with your availability and a rate schedule — if you’re interested in talking to smart kids about biology, society, ethics, writing, and all the other cool things you think about. (I’m thinking somewhere between seminars and a talk with Q&A, depending on what you wanted to do and what we could afford.)

    *Toronto high school, senior students.

  17. asc

    First off, I’m glad you’re all right. I would be downright upset if you kicked it.

    Second, that is totally awesome. NF is possibly the coolest infection: very rare, extremely aggressive and incredibly dangerous. I’ve been working in the medical field (in a clerical capacity) for 4 years and have only seen one case. It can spread as fast as 3.5 cm per hour, kill faster than practically anything but cholera and has an untreated mortality rate upward of 100%.

    Make the doctors give you pics~

  18. AngusM

    Have you been annoying brown recluse spiders? Or have your friends on the border found an excessively baroque way to get back at you?

    It may or may not be some consolation to know that you’re not alone:,51825/

    It’s good to know that you’re on the road to recovery, but I’m sorry that you had to go through what sounds like a legendarily unpleasant experience.

  19. walkerp

    bon retablissement! (and how in the heck did you ever get necrotising fasciitis?)

  20. Rose Fox

    Very glad to hear you aten’t dead. In celebration, I’ve added you to the “notable people afflicted” section of the Wikipedia entry on NF.

    (Note: Do not go looking for that entry unless you’re prepared to see some rather gruesome photos.)

  21. strangefriend

    Born under a bad sign
    I been down since I begin to crawl
    If it wasn’t for bad luck,
    I wouldn’t have no luck at all

    Good luck, man.

  22. tinjaypan

    Thinking of you Peter and hope you get well soon. Hang in there!

  23. Hljóðlegur

    That’s terrible! I’m so sorry about this. Where do we send cards?

    Dude, I second that you have to post horrible disgusting pictures of your wounds. Yeah, I know, I gave you grief before about it, but …. I have no excuse for my morbid curiosity. No excuse at all.

    Mostly, what a pain in the @ss: the inconvenience, PT, suction, pain, boredom. *pats kindly* Take an extra hit of delicious morphine for me, and just lay back………

  24. MaryL

    Jesus hopscotching Christ! Glad to hear it’s just a close call and an amazing yet gross story now, but I’m sorry to hear that recovery is going to be so slow.

    BTW, when I checked Wiki for more on NF, you were now listed as a notable sufferer. I checked your Wiki page, but it hadn’t been updated yet.

    (That Wiki link includes some cringe-inducing pictures, folks: click at your own risk.)

  25. The Ragi

    Holy crap, Dr. Watts.

    Best of luck, I hope you get out of this one also.

  26. Chang of Space Command

    Oh, Jesus, I am so sorry. Get well soon, my man.

  27. Hannu Blommila

    NF. Bloody hell. The life and the universe just doesn’t seem to give you a break. But, on a cheerier note, you’re in Wikipedia already as one of the notable people afflicted with NF, along with King Herod the Great and the guitarist of Slayer:

    Interesting to note that Jeff Hanneman’s NF originated from spider bite. Unless I’m completely mistaken, certain Australian spiders are known to cause that, so my guess is, you got those spider bites you mentioned in FB from Australia.

    Fuck dude, you actually gave me quite a scare. NF is nothing to laugh about. Get well soon.

  28. Steph Romm

    Sending best wishes and healing thoughts your way. On behalf of Caitlin’s class – we’re pulling for you, so hang in there!

    Get well soon!

  29. Val (Yukon version)

    Jeez, Peter…

    Your dedication to research is…above and beyond…really…

    Glad to hear you are okay and getting treatment.

    I hope the pain and general disgustingness is leavened with suitably entertaining body…as… personal… science…experiment…moments..

    And good drugs…

    May you crust/heal quickly…

  30. Jena

    It’s good to hear you’re separating yourself from this fucker. Hang in there, Squid – Colin and I are rooting for you, and Willow is waiting for you to come back for a rematch at the lake. Love and all that mushy shit. xoxoxo

  31. Chris

    Woooo man. And I thought MRSA was bad and worrisome. Glad to hear you are going to make it. Between US Border guards and fucked up diseases you have had quite a run the last year. Get well soon!

  32. Trey

    Ooomph! I’m glad you’re OK (for certain broad versions of OK), and on the mend. Take care and heal.

  33. TheEchoInside

    By the Gods man… I’m glad you’re alright, but yeesh, do you have the luck of the damned. Part of me is cringing in sympathy… but, I have to admit, another part of me is amused. If only because I mentioned that nastiness when you posted the picture of your leg, and the discussions have been about precognition since then. Coincidence? *cue the Twlight Zone music* =P

    But, aye, I hope you’re provided readings materials instead. Get well soon and best of luck, be well.

  34. Venya

    It’s really great that you got it treated in time.

    The Wikipedia article mentioning hyperbaric oxygen as a treatment reminded me of Starfish.

  35. Flanders


    Seriously. Just don’t.

    Sorry to hear you’re laid up, Peter, and I hope you get back on your feet soon!

  36. Soon Lee

    Really glad you’re around to write about it. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  37. ScottC

    Seriously. What the fuck, Watts. If this were anybody else, I would suspect them of staging this to make everyone who chided you about your ailment would feel bad (as I do). But with you, this seems about right.

    Best wishes. Please get better soon.

  38. George Berger

    I hope you get well quickly, Peter. I believe Hannu to be ciorrect. Two people I know had this condition or something similar to it. One, a Finnish friend of mine, got it from exposure to desert or desert-like conditions. Both recovered quite well. Good luck, Peter,

  39. Neal Soldofsky

    I’m happy that you’re alive! Get well soon, and while you’re at it, live long and prosper.

  40. Roger A

    Really hope you get well soon. You (and your fiction) would be sorely missed if you kicked it.
    Sadly I’m so morbid that I must join in on the “show pics”-department. It’s just so weird that one can’t help but to be fascinated and intrigued.

    And hope someone takes good care of Banana while you’re elsewhere engaged!

  41. Jetse

    I sincerely hope you will have a full recovery. Life hasn’t exactly been kind to you of late.

    This distressed me, and I can only imagine how it shocked you and your loved ones.

    Take care!

  42. Anonymous

    I second (third? .. n’d.) the suggestion to abusing the pain relief drugs while you’re still legally allowed to. I just hope they come in pure drug form and is not “denatured” with toxic substances in order to reduce potential abuse, like they do with Vicodine.

    I’m glad that my favorite writer is still alive and will be kicking butt soon. I’d be really sad if anything happened to you without me ever buying you a beer.

  43. Anonymous

    I second (third? .. n’d.) the suggestion to abusing the pain relief drugs while you’re still legally allowed to. I just hope they come in pure drug form and is not “denatured” with toxic substances in order to reduce potential abuse, like they do with Vicodine.

    I’m glad that my favorite writer is still alive and will be kicking butt soon. I’d be really sad if anything happened to you without me ever buying you a beer.

    Oh, and I n’d the request for photographic accounts of the messy bits.

  44. shane

    Seriously mate, you must have done some very bad shit in a previous life.

    I look forward to your post on your full and complete recovery. Best wishes and good luck.

  45. Keith

    Yikes. I do hope you have a speedy and full recovery.

  46. Mike Marinod

    Crikey! Hoping you are as comfortable as possible and I hope for a full and speedy recovery.

    I had a suspected case of NF. It was strange watching it spread so fast. The doctors buried my hand in a steroid cream which stopped it. The “white tailed house spider” here in Oz gets a bad wrap for causing NF but apparently the bug is endemic in soils here???

    Take care.

  47. Andrea_A

    Get well soon!
    Dang! Should have recommended more aggressive treatment of the first abscess.
    @Caitlin: Care well for him and for Banana — and please post an address where to send postcards and gifts.

  48. Alehkhs

    Fucking hell, Doc! Cut this shit ou- oooh… phrasing.

    Seriously, get better soon.

  49. weaver

    Very sorry to hear about your close call, Mr Watts, but very pleased it was only close. I hope you don’t find being laid up too irksome and wish you a robust and speedy recovery.

  50. Sunčica

    I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for you and your loved ones.
    But I can say that I’m fucking proud that my favorite author is taking time and effort to communicate with us, even in such horrible conditions. And even more glad you’re around to do so. Just hang in there and try not to die of boredom instead.

    It’s a clichee, really, but I sincerely do wish you all the best (speedy recovery included in the package, of course).

  51. Gregory Frost

    Very sorry to hear the first part, but delighted to hear the last part. Please recover handily. And stop trying to replace Hugh Laurie as Gregory House.

    Best wishes,
    gregory frost

  52. Mirik

    Kindly abstain from suffering and/or attracting the near fatal in the future, sir. May you recovery be swift, creative and pleasure-laden (as opposed to hurting like a bitch).

  53. Steve Halter

    Wow, the NF is not good at all. The getting better part is very good–please proceed with that.

  54. Matt

    Jeebus. I wish you the best possible recovery.

  55. Anony Mouse

    Christ Watts! You just don’t believe in living life on an even keel. You are definitely an example of living in the extremes. Felony conviction—->HUGO award winner—->necrotising fasciitis. On the bright side, based on this trend, your next experience should be very positive. Just remind me to keep away from you after that. You can’t top NF without some serious collateral damage.

    On another note, it is not uncommon for people that have gone through the types of experiences that you have, to find religion. You would look good on stage, wearing a white suite, preaching to the heathens and heretics.

    Take care and get better soon. If we ever get together, I promise you a pint or two of your favourite frothy beverage. Not as good as morphine, but much tastier.

  56. Nathalie Mege

    Holy shit! Great to know you and the doctors beat the fucker. What did it think it could do with your pound of flesh, anyway? Get well and xox to you and Caitlin.

  57. Winter

    I’ll pass on the pictures (please, I’m still recovering from the one you emailed last week) but am happy to send over care packages as needed. Take care of you, sir. <3

  58. Peter D

    Glad to hear you’ve not been totally consumed. I hope everything continues with no complications.

    I can just see the feeling that the author bio of your next book now, though:

    “Since writing his last novel, Blindsight, Peter Watts has become a convicted felon and banned from the United States, won a Hugo award, was infected with flesh-eating bacteria, discovered a species of dust bunny in his apartment that was previously thought extinct and successfully reintroduced it into the wild, got held hostage for three days in a bank robbery gone awry, and was bitten by a radioactive editor, imbuing him with the proportional strength, speed, and agility of a human being.”

    I’m just guessing on those last few, but, you never know.

  59. ken

    Whattaya need Peter? Can we donate to the fund? Do you need books or magazines? Sweet delicious treats imported from the orient?

    Can any Canadian squiddites lend Peter a laptop with a mobile internet connection? Can we all chip in and get him something like that, in order to make his convalescence a little easier?

    Please let us know if we can do anything to help.

  60. ken

    Just a note: Rogers (the much-hated canadian cell phone provider) sells a prepaid “rocket stick” device that should let our plasticized friend get internet access from his laptop:

    Can someone setup a fund to collect the $149 to buy this for him?

  61. Sheila


    I quelled my impulse after being horrified by the pictures on the wikipedia page. yikes.

  62. The Doctor

    Holy shit. I’m glad that you’re alive, conscious, and functional.

    Is there any chance that somebody could smuggle a pre-paid cellmodem and netbook into the hospital for you?

    Get well soon.

  63. Hljóðlegur

    and was bitten by a radioactive editor

    HA HA. I dunno why I liked that so much. Oh, well, maybe because I’ve seen a chummy photo of jovial Strahan basically tucked under Peter’s arm at the Hugos, so I got to see the mental movie – green glowing Jonathan chomping Peter’s arm, then hanging off of it, feet dangling, like some kinda crazy chihuahua with a mailman’s pant-leg. Those editors, they’ll turn on you in a minute!

    Hm, ‘kay. Maybe you had to be in my head.

    Also, too late on looking up NF on the web, but a good warning; it’s nauseous.

  64. DavidK

    Damn…. if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Very glad to hear that you made it through this crisis point more-or-less intact.

  65. jrronimo

    Holy shit. It sounds like you get to keep your leg, though? Sounds like you were lucky. (I work at JILA which is currently chaired by Nobel-prize winning Physicist Eric Cornell who, after winning the prize, picked up NF and lost his left arm + shoulder to it. We’re… sensitive to news articles about such things. I am moreso when the affected is one of my preferred authors.)

    I wish you an absolutely speedy recovery. Definitely glad you’re still around. Fingers: crossed.

  66. Nestor

    My but you’ve certainly had an eventful time of it lately, haven’t you? I guess my diagnosis of “ingrown hair” was a tad optimistic.

    Congratulations on not dying!

  67. SpeakerToManagers

    Damn bad news, man. The only good thing about it is that you’re still with us and are likely to remain so. Good luck on your recovery; I hope it’s quick and uneventful. Oh, and you’ve used up your quota of shitty luck; so cut that out.

  68. ken

    Hey all,

    I’ve spoken with Madeline Ashby about trying to get Peter a mobile internet fob for his laptop.

    She says that no fundraising is necessary, but if there is a stray Wincity or Mobilicity fob to be had on loan, (Peter’s had nasty luck with Rogers before) it can be dropped off at Toronto’s East General Hospital.

    Are there any Toronto residents lurking here who could provide such a thing? Please let us know!

  69. Deckard

    Wow – didn’t a bunch of folks tell you to get that thing looked at! I join those who have already suggested that your streak of bad luck REALLY needs to change. Glad you’re still alive – but the kicking may have to wait for a while.

  70. Flanders

    Problem is, he did have it looked at, and they told him it was a spider bite.

  71. AutisticAntlers

    Jesus christ…

    Glad you’re doing okay. A friend of mine’s father lost both legs to NF several years ago, so at least you beat the little bastard before he could Scorched-Earth you. You are one tough bastard; remember that, and get well soon.

  72. Jacqie

    Wish you well. Feel better.

  73. asc

    Based on the timing, it probably was a spider bite when it was looked at on january 13. It started around January 2, according to the original post, and on january 9 and/or 13 it looked like an infection (or spider bite, or infected spider bite).

    NF kills in days, not weeks; when somebody is found to have it they are taken straight to the operating room because minutes count. Also, it usually starts at the site of a wound.

    I am fairly confident that NF was not misdiagnosed as a spider bite a month ago. More likely, the non-scary infection hung around for a month (on 2/7 Peter mentions needing to make another appointment for it) before spreading to the fascia and becoming NF, which is a very different condition even though the infecting organism is the same.

  74. ScottC

    “Problem is, he did have it looked at, and they told him it was a spider bite.”

    Can’t you get NF from some spider bites? I thought NF was part and parcel with Brown Recluse bites, for instance. But as a proud American, I refuse to do the slightest bit of research before opening my mouth, to see if this is in any way true.


    By way of a general observation, it’s nice to see so much well-wishing for someone in the hospital with a near-fatal and disfiguring illness, laced with so much profanity. I hope Peter takes heart in this.

  75. Gent

    Huh. Just went and looked, but there are no “Sorry you contracted necrotising fasciitis, get well soon” cards in the card aisle.

    If your life continues to swing like a metronome, I look forward to reading that next post about winning the Super7.

    Take care!

  76. Deckard

    “Wow – didn’t a bunch of folks tell you to get that thing looked at!” …. sorry, that was supposed to be humorous – perhaps my omission of a “cutesy fucking icon” was confusing :-p As for the colorful language that many have used in their response(s) – I take my lead from the fellow who writes the blog – he seems to understand that such language is a means of conveying genuine, non PC filtered emotions. In that spirit; Holy FUCK Peter, necrotising fasciitis … seriously??? Unbefuckinglievable. Get well soon!

  77. redhead

    Damn man, I am grossed out, yet fascinated to see what kinda SF ideas you come up with from this. get better soon! and see if that hospital has a Dialysis lounge they can wheel you over to. those lounges almost always have wifi these days. and then you can scare the shit outta the dialysis patients: eat better or this is what happens!

  78. magetoo

    And I thought my being without Internet access for a couple of days was bad enough by itself.

    Get well soon.

  79. Hljóðlegur

    Does Fearless Leader want to be e-connected right now?

    I mean, he just had something eat a hole in him, which sounds like it would be tiring.

  80. Cliff Burns


    Mr. Watts, this latest bit of business is an unbelievable affront to good guys everywhere. This, in tandem with some of the other lousy stuff fate has lobbed in your direction, has made me despair that there is any order in this universe at all. Really sorry to hear about your condition and the prolonged recovery that still lies ahead. You don’t deserve any of the the slings and arrows that have been cast your way, chum.

    Your family, friends and fans are pulling for you. Stay frosty…

  81. BSFA Award Short Story Booklet « Torque Control

    […] The not-so-good news is that it’s just as well the booklet is done, as one of the nominees, Peter Watts, is now offline in the hospital for several weeks with a disturbingly science-fictional disease. […]

  82. B. Ross Ashley

    Good grief. Thw world really does have it in for you. First that idiocy at the border, and now not only NF but you are stuck in East General. (If you were at Mt. Sinai, you’d have wifi, says the 35-year retiree from MSH.)

    Get better soon.

  83. Farah Mendlesohn

    Wishing you all the best Peter.

  84. Johan Larson

    Whenever I find myself wishing my life were more adventurous, I read Peter Watts’s blog, and the feeling soon passes.

    Get well soon.

  85. Karen Bennett


    If it’s still needed, I can drop a Mobilicity fob at Toronto East General, but I’d much rather give it to Peter in person. Is he allowed visitors besides Caitlin?

  86. Gilles Goullet

    So while I’m fighting (for) ßehemoth, you’re fighting against another nasty bug… Man, I should stop translating your books, it does not look like it brings you good luck !
    I am joining the chorus of “Get Well Soon”, naturellement. Be strong !

  87. Locus Online News » Peter Watts Hospitalized for Necrotizing Fasciitis

    […] Peter Watts’s blog for more […]

  88. Peter Watts im Krankenhaus: Notoperation gut überstanden! |
  89. Alistair

    Well, ahem, that’s exciting. Since you’re OK, I’ll giggle about never-boring Peter!

  90. Janice in GA

    Holy crap, glad you’re doing reasonably well. That stuff is TERRIFYING.

    Best wishes for continued healing and wellness.

  91. Lidija

    Woah man. Well at least they stopped it, and you’ve one more awful and awesome story to tell. I’m of half a mind to mail you my wireless internet dongle, but I’m guessing the Serbian provider’s reach doesn’t spread quite that far.

    Get well fast and thoroughly.

  92. Jayn Rand [aka RandomJ]

    Oh my, Peter, my sincere condolences and best wishes. Please get well.

    This is one of few cases when I don’t root for the little guys.

  93. ShaunCG

    Ouch! Here’s to a speedy recovery, Peter…

  94. RedIndianGirl

    Peter, the universe is trying to conspire against you, but you keep thumbing your nose at the abyss!!! Speedy recovery and painfree times are the vibes I’m sending in your direction, and don’t scoff, because they help. I tell you, dilaudid is better than morphine so demand it. I am recuperating as well and when we finally hang out we can compare war wounds and hospital stays.

  95. Joel Polowin

    Sheesh. Couldn’t they put you through a transporter beam and revert you to a more healthy state? I mean, they can do it on Star Trek, CSI, and House.

    Since they’re making you do it the hard way, I hope that things go smoothly, with a minimum of pain and fuss.

  96. Eric Tolle

    You didn’t happen to bump into someone who poked you in the leg with his umbrella, by any chance? At this point I’m willing to speculate about CIA plots.

  97. Christine

    Best wishes, I hope that the worst is over.

    My brother-in-law (my sister’s husband) went through that 10 years ago. If your biopsies aren’t totally “clean”, get in touch, I’ll put you in touch with my sister who may have useful advice.

  98. Thomas Hardman

    Sincere condolences!

    Egads. I said I thought I saw this coming but I am deeply saddened that it came to pass.

    Get well soon as you can! This is nasty business and it’s going to be a long time before healing is complete.

    I hope you’ve got someone who can get into your place and fumigate it properly, a spider-bite might indeed have prepared the wound for the NF microbes to infect and do their damage, but those microbes had to come from somewhere and they might well still be in that environment. Probably the doctors have already pointed this out, but it’s possible to have either precursors or sequelae as Erysipelas, and you might (or might not) have noticed friends or associates with some symptoms of this.

    Keep in mind that re-infection is a distinct possibility, again I hope you’ve got someone who can get into your place and do a proper cleaning. Any clothing you wore while the infection was emerging probably needs to be taken out and burned and this may apply to bedding, towels, etc. See also Koster JB, Kullberg BJ, van der Meer JW (2007). “Recurrent erysipelas despite antibiotic prophylaxis: an analysis from case studies”. The Netherlands journal of medicine 65 (3): 89–94. PMID 17387234 specifically dealing with Erysipelas but this may apply to NF as well.

    All of you folks wanting to send cards or cash, you might do better to send nice new towels and bedding, or some gift-cards good for Mr Watts’s preferred clothing stores.

    Mr Watts: close call, sir. Glad you survived. Hope you continue to do so.

  99. PixelFish

    In case you don’t have time to sort through the mounds of email you are no doubt being deluged with, just know that we’re rooting for your complete recovery and hoping that your exile in e-boondocks is short.

    I am, however, rethinking that Nurgle valentine I made for John this V-Day. Somehow after seeing your painful travails, I’m not sure I want the Chaos God of Decay and Necrosis to unleash his affections upon my loved ones.

  100. George Berger

    Hi Peter—I hope you are recovering well. I’m sorry that I did not write a second note last week, but I am pretty weak from medication. Be aware that I have been thinking of you and wishing you the best. Sheila sent me a brief update. She told me you have a Dongle. I have no idea what that is, but use it well.
    Best, George

  101. ChrisW

    Bloody hell, that’s terrible! Glad to hear you’ve beaten the blighter off.

    It is a particularly… SF kind of disease to get, isn’t it?

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  102. bookwench

    Hang in there. And disinfect the fuck out of your house with bleach. And we’re all happy you’re alive.

  103. Michael Bowen

    So now you’ve even managed to piss off bacteria and they decided to get even. Can’t say I’m surprised.

    Get well soon….just remember, if you die you’ll never get that bottle of scotch I owe you. Glad to hear you’re on the mend (I hope that news was accurate).


  104. R John Hayes

    Wishing you the best, no returns of the bugs in question, and a speedy recovery. But bloody hell, “necrotising fasciitis” sounds as bad as it is, and it sounds bad. Hope that you’re out of hospital as soon as possible, and home.

  105. cphi

    get well soon.

  106. Chris

    You certainly do have an interesting life!

    If you see Cthulhu coming, please warn us in advance.

    Hope the bugs are under control and you’re back home soon.

  107. Ed Keller

    that is really rough luck… yikes…terrifying stuff-
    like everyone else posting here, I am very, very glad that you
    are getting care and doing well. Please recover ASAP!
    Very best

  108. Ben

    That sounds horrible. I’m glad you made it. I hope the healing process goes well.

  109. Hugh

    Hope you get well. (Which will be down to science and medicine, not wishful thinking, but hey.)

    If I were a bit less rational I’d think this is Nature’s way of telling you pay attention and stop writing about spaceships and military drones …

  110. Sheila

    @George, I was only speculating that he has a dongle due to one of the comments in one of the other blogs with someone saying that it would be nice if one was donated. I figure, after some delta of time, he must have one because hopefully he has a lot of people fussing over him.

  111. bobbyshane

    I hope you get well soon, Peter. Take care of yourself!

  112. Kelly Dodd

    Mind over matter on this one. Used to be a biochemist and used to work in a hospital, so I understand your situation and am very sorry to hear you are going through this. Better than Ebola but thats about it. We have never met- I have read all of your books however. Let me know if I can do anything to help.

  113. Chris Gerrib

    There are times, dear Doctor, that you remind me of the old country-western song. “If it weren’t for bad luck he’d have no luck at all.” 🙂

    Well, try to get healthy!

  114. Jeff

    Just another amongst the throng of fans, hoping for the best possible recovery. Get well, Dr. Watts. If you’re ever near Stratford, you’re entitled to all the beer you can drink.

  115. Sheila

    Another get well soon from me. mend up already.

  116. Lars

    Any loss is too much, but at least it was just a chunk…

    Best wishes for a smooth and successful recovery.

  117. proudinjun


    WTF!!! I was just thinking about giving you a jingle today, and thought I better catch up here first. Imagine my horrified reaction as I was reading your post!!! The hubby and I wish you the best. Something’s got to give, man, something’s got to give. Caitlin, please post an update soon so we can breath a heavy sigh of relief. Once again, best wishes, dude!

  118. Felicia

    I wish you the best recovery!!!!

  119. Jon

    Can’t find the pictures…

  120. Peter Watts

    You’re on the wrong post. Try

  121. uh8myzen

    I was mortified to hear of your illness and I wish you a speedy recovery, and better times ahead.

    As you can see from the comments to this post, your a respected and beloved individual who has touched many lives.

    Get well soon, best wishes and all the rest