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A Discworld Update – February 2013

NacMacFeePencil2As everyone reading this undoubtedly knows by now, Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld and all its wonderful stories is suffering from the slow progress of a form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. With the aid of voice recognition software, he is still writing, but may not be able to much longer. Many frequent visitors to his fantasy world are concerned for him — and for themselves. The Disc has become part of their lives, as good, cult classics tend to do. Will the stories stop? Will the Discworld end?

It was reported in many places, including io9, TOR, and Locus, that Sir Pratchett would be handing over Discworld to his daughter, Rhianna, once he could no longer write. Then, of course, people wondered if she could do it properly.

Maybe she can and maybe she can’t, but she won’t. It’s not going to happen. Rhianna will not be writing new Discworld novels. I think it’s obvious from various interviews with her that she does not wish to be a novelist and feels that the Discworld novels are her father’s legacy. The most recent edition of Discworld Monthly confirms this.

I don’t find this surprising. Rhianna has her own career creating fantasy adventure video games, screenplays and short stories. It must be difficult for the child of an immensely popular public figure, especially one as admired for his achievements as her father, to maintain her own identity—to be Rhianna rather than Terry Pratchett’s daughter. I can understand why she does not wish to be the next Terry Pratchett. She must also realize that if she did take on the duty, no matter how well she did, there would be detractors, and who needs that kind of grief?

So what about all those articles and rumors about her taking over?

She will, just not as the writer of new novels. The way it appears now, Rhianna will be working closely with Narrativia, the new production company established to manage Pratchett related multimedia projects. Rhianna may be writing screenplays, storyboards, and scripts, but not Discworld books.

According to the Guardian, Narrativia is planning to produce the long talked about (but never funded) TV mini-series adaptation of Good Omens, the 1990 book that Pratchett wrote with Neil Gaiman, and a thirteen part series about the Ankh-Morpork Watch. (Click the links if you want to read more about these.)

In related news, the Terry Pratchett Facebook page is showing a release date of 20 June 2013 for The Long War, the sequel to The Long Earth, the science fiction novel released last year that he wrote with Stephen Baxter. is showing a release date of 23 July 2013. This may be a case of the U.S. edition lagging behind, as sometimes annoyingly happens. According to the Amazon blurb, this story is set a generation later than that in The Long Earth.

Apparently, the next Discworld novel will not be Raising Taxes, a third Moist von Lipwig book, as had been rumored. Other than that, I haven’t been able to find out anything other than that Terry and Rob Wilkins (his business manger) are hard at work on it.

(Footnote – If an internet search engine brought you here, no, you did not find a Discworld fan site or one devoted to the works of Terry Pratchett. I just decided to write a post about the rumors about Rhianna taking over for her dad and it ended up as a news article. I’ll try not to let it happen again. …….. If, however, you are a Pratchett fan, you might like my books. Not that I’m comparing or giving the hard sell or anything, just sayin’….)

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