I've loved Sir Pratchett ever since I used to watch him on 'Prisoners of Gravity' and begged my mother to bring home a copy of 'Dark Side of the Sun' from one of her trips to England to visit my Gran. When I learned that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's it felt like a member of my own family had been afflicted and since then I've been obsessively collecting his last few books, wondering each time if this will be the last one. It is the knowledge that Discworld series is, like its creator, is all too limited that makes them precious to me.
The knowledge that they will continue on past Sir Pratchett's ability to continue is a deeply troubling thought. Will they thrive, or become some undead marketing machine, resembling its original intent in name only? Unfortunately, the history of such endeavors suggests the later.
So it is with fingers tightly crossed that I will pick up Rhianna's first Discworld book, all the while keenly aware of what has happened to the legacies of Dune, Middle Earth, Foundation, Hitchhikers Guide, Rama and many others once new authors have taken over the helm. Not to mention the long dead carcasses of Star Wars, Star Trek, Buffy, Aliens, Transformers, Doctor Who and a hundred other franchises that the corporations who own the rights are all too happy to flog and squeeze and rape until there isn't a single penny left to wring out of the piggy.
The sheen quickly turns to an ugly patina of bland sequels, prequels, bland video games and illiterate tie-in novels and the amazing thing is that is completely our fault. We are the ones who continue to buy this shit out of sheer nostalgia driven entropy. We blame Lucas for 'raping our childhood', but he isn't the one to blame, he's just a mediocre filmmaker and a savvy business man. We're the ones dropping pennies in the piggy.
Where are our new franchises, some fresh ideas that push the envelope forward? Rather than continuing to wallow in the imagined glories of our youth, maybe we should be out there trying to make something new.*
Okay, maybe I do know how I feel about this
*As much as I might hate to admit it, the main media for generating new and interesting franchises is now video games. This isn't really a bad thing, and it is a fascinating example of the changing face of media.