How Terry Pratchett plans to keep Discworld alive when he's gone

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Jan 14, 2013, 1:38 PM EST

For nearly 30 years, Terry Pratchett has built his magical land of Discworld through a series of more than three dozen novels. It's one of the most popular fantasy series of all time, but Pratchett's declining health has left fans uncertain about its future. Well, don't worry, because Pratchett has a plan.

In a new interview with New Statesman magazine, Pratchett revealed that when he passes away, or when his health declines to the point where he can no longer write, his daughter Rihanna will be in charge of the future of his world.

"The Discworld is safe in my daughter's hands," Pratchett said, and journalist Laurie Penny, who conducted the interview, noted that the author seemed "happy" to think that his daughter would continue writing the series when he's gone.

Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's known as posterior cortical atrophy five years ago, and since then he's lost much of the dexterity in his hands. He wrote his last four books using dictation software, and relies on his loyal assistant Rob Wilkins (who literally saved the author's life by applying CPR when Pratchett collapsed in a New York City taxi earlier this year) to help the writing process along.

Meanwhile, Rihanna Pratchett's already making her own contributions to Discworld. She's been hired as one of the writers for the new BBC Discworld-based series The Watch, which will continue the popular Discworld "City Watch" saga where the books left off.

So even as Pratchett heads into his twilight, he's preparing to keep a fellow Pratchett in charge of the world he's been building for so long. It's great news for readers who keep hoping to go back to the Discworld.

(New Statesman via Bleeding Cool)