If there’s one piece of good news in the sad loss of Terry Pratchett, it is in the announcement today by his daughter Rhianna, to whom he has left the intellectual rights to Discworld, that firmly closes the door upon the risk of literary necrophilia.
Ms Pratchett has confirmed that the forthcoming The Shepherd’s Crown, the fifth Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle novel, the 41st Discworld novel, will be the last ever.
There will be no attempts to continue, not by herself (though her father gave her his blessing to do so), nor by any person licenced by her.
Thank you Ms Pratchett for making that plain. Thank you for shielding our many lost friends from being distorted at the hands of others, from being sent on false journeys and down wrong pathways, from saying things false, phoney and untrue. Though we will miss them like we miss your father, we are grateful to you for your forthrightness in doing the only right thing to do.
In a world in which the heirs to P.G.Wodehouse and Agatha Christie have gotten so greedy for more that they have commissioned – not merely sanctioned, solicited – the most egregious breaches of their own trust, your resolve gives me a little bit of heart. You can be proud of yourself.