Terry Pratchett's Unfinished Stories Meet Their End Underneath a Steamroller


Just before the bank holiday weekend (Friday, 25 August), a hard drive containing the fantasy novelist's unfinished work was destroyed by a John Fowler & Co steamroller.

It's a pair of rites we see often at the passing of great authors: first, the tributes from those who loved their books; then, the good-faith effort to find their unfinished works and shepherd them to the bookshelves they never would have found otherwise.

Pratchett's close friend Neil Gaiman had previously told The Times the author wanted "whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all".

He followed up with a picture of what appeared to be a broken hard drive, writing: 'There goes the browsing history'.

The six-and-a-half tonne Lord Jericho was used to roll over the hard drive several times before a concrete crusher finished off the remains.

In the years before his death, he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

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So we can assume the stark message above was intended for people who did not leave in the face of the warning. Officials in south Texas had previously warned residents to shelter in place and that travel was unsafe.

Pratchett, who died in March 2015 at the age of 66, had requested the unique method of destroying his work.

The destruction of the drive came ahead of a new exhibition about the Discworld author, which is due to open at the Salisbury Museum in England next month - with the freshly crushed storage device set to be one of the exhibits.

Terry Pratchett in 2010.

That's taking place from September 16th right through until January 2018.

He said Pratchett did not want his unpublished works to be completed by someone else and released.