This is a story about death. Not Death with a capital “D”, that bony guy with the scythe and the sparkling blue eyes who shows up in nearly every one of Pratchett’s 30-plus novels in the Discworld series, swearing and smiling ineffably and being kind to cats. This is a story about death with a small “d” – the inconvenient little fact, the “embuggerance” that has been an implicit feature of Pratchett’s life and work since the author was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s, in 2007.
This is not a sad story though. There’s good news and bad news. The bad enough news isn’t news to us Terry Pratchett fans. He’s dying. The bad news is that his Discworld series will continue on without him. His daughter Rhianna Pratchett is already in the process of taking over. Not doubting Rhianna’s abilities or talents. Just can’t imagine how Discworld can exist outside Terry Pratchett’s imagination. The Oz books continued without L. Frank Baum, but generally the track record for attempts to carry on the work of a literary genius after the literary genius is no more is not good. The good news is that, at least to start, the continuation will be in the form of a TV show, The Watch, which will continue the adventures of Commander Sam Vimes, Captain Carrot, Sergeants Angua, the werewolf, and Detritus, the troll, forensic dwarf detective Cherrie Littlebottom, Fred Colon and Knobby Nobbs, and the rest of the Ankh-Morpork police. The bad news in that no news isn’t always good news is there’s been no announcement of a cast or even if the show will include those characters. The really good news is that Pratchett isn’t done writing. There are more books to pull out of his imagination.
At any rate, for all the news, good and bad, read all of Laurie Penny’s interview with Sir Terry at NewStatesman.
Also, you might enjoy Snuff: A valediction for Sam Vimes, my review of what might be Sir Terry’s last novel about the Watch.
All the Discworld novels (so far) are available from my aStore.
Photo courtesy of TerryPratchett.com.
via Steve Hynd.