Sadly, Terry Pratchett's health continues to deteriorate. He was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2007, and since then, his life and career have become increasingly constrained by his worsening condition.
In an interview with this week's New Statesman, Pratchett talks about his coping mechanisms, the support of his daughter Rhianna and assistant Rob – literally a lifesaver – and about the future of his creations.
We have been reporting pretty regularly on The Watch, a new TV series set in Discworld, and jokingly referring to it as CSI: Ankh Morpork. The last we heard, the show had hired some writers and drawn up a budget. Baby steps, but in the right direction.
According to the new piece, Terry's daughter Rhianna Pratchett is one of those writers.
[Rhianna] will be a co-writer on the BBC Discworld series The Watch, news of which has had fans like me chewing their cheeks in excitement. Mine may never recover after hearing some particularly exciting casting details that I'm absolutely not allowed to tell you about.
Run by Pratchett's new production company, Narrativia, The Watch will continue the well-loved City Watch saga where the books left off, and Rhianna will be an important member of the writing team. The author tells me that he will be happy for her to continue writing the Discworld books when he is no longer able to do so.
That excerpt is bookended with surprising but welcome news. I like particuarly that Pratchett wants to leave behind the keys to Discworld, that he's planning for his creation to live on and on and on. He said:
The Discworld is safe in my daughter's hands.
Which reads like peace of mind.
The first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published when Rhianna was six years old. That other world has been there for her ever since, just spilling out of her father, and I'm sure that much of the lore has seeped into her bones.
Though I haven't read anything she has written, just yet, I know that there is a Mirror's Edge comic series and a novella out there, somewhere. I believe she's also behind the storyline of the upcoming Tomb Raider game, rebooting the series' continuity.
While the New Statesman can't talk about the casting for The Watch, it's exciting to know that there actually is something to not report. That, in conjunction with a mention for the BBC, shows real progress on the project.