June 15, 2015
Terry Pratchett’s daughter confirms the end of Discworld
by Nick Davies
Prolific author Terry Pratchett published the first installment of his Discworld series, The Colour of Magic, in 1983, and continued adding books to the fantasy series for decades, putting out at least one novel every year between 1986-2007 (usually more than one). Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2007, Pratchett slowed down his output in the past few years, but did continue writing, right up to The Shepherd’s Crown, which will be published this September, about six months after his death.
The Guardian reports that late last week, his daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, put to bed any speculation that she would take up her father’s pen and continue writing Discworld novels. There’s certainly precedent for that sort of legacy: Frank Herbert’s son Brian has, along with Kevin J. Anderson, written several books that add on to the Dune series; and Christopher Tolkien wrote more than twelve books set in Middle-Earth. But the younger Pratchett confirms that, with her father’s death, the Discworld series has come to an end, and The Shepherd’s Crown will be its last installment.
Rhianna, a video game and comics writer in her own right, says in response to a fan’s question on Twitter, “No I don’t intend on writing more Discworld novels, or giving anyone else permission to do so.” She also states that Rob Wilkins, her late father’s assistant, won’t be continuing the series, and that a compilation of Pratchett’s unfinished writing suggested by a fan would be “unlikely.”
She does allow for the possibility that she will “work on adaptations, spin-offs, maybe tie-ins,” but emphasizes that “the books are sacred to dad. That’s it. Discworld is his legacy. I shall make my own.” If any live-action adaptations of the Discworld books are forthcoming, let’s hope that they feature the witches of Lancre (for my money, easily Pratchett’s most entertaining characters), and that Ms. Pratchett casts Joanna Lumley as Granny Weatherwax, Dawn French as Nanny Ogg, Sophie Turner as Magrat Garlick, and Rebel Wilson as Agnes Nitt.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.