Terry Pratchett's Unpublished Work Has Been Destroyed, Just Like He Wanted

Image: Oli Scarff / Getty Images
Image: Oli Scarff / Getty Images

When an author passes on, sometimes they’re survived by the uncompleted work they left behind, released as a tribute to their memory. That won’t be the case for the dearly missed Sir Terry Pratchett, however, who declared before his death that his final works would never be released—and that wish was granted in style.


It’s been known since Pratchett’s passing that he wanted his unfinished work destroyed, very specifically, by steamroller. At the Great Dorset Steam Fair, his request was finally granted, with his friend and estate manager Rob Wilkins on hand to mark the event:

Pratchett’s hard drive, filled with projects left unfinished after he passed away from Alzheimers in 2015, had the honor of being obliterated by a John Fowler & Co steamroller, awesomely named Lord Jericho:

Despite the destruction however, you will be able to see Pratchett’s final works on display, in a certain way—the smashed remnants of Pratchett’s hard drive will go on display at the Salisbury museum in Wiltshire, England in September, as part of an exhibition about Pratchett’s life and work.


It might be sad to realize that this definitively means there’ll never be another Terry Pratchett novel for the world to enjoy, but it’s still a heartwarming moment to see one of the author’s final wishes realized, in a wonderfully quirky manner befitting the beloved writer.



James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!


Joon Skeezle

It’s for the best. Any time an author’s unfinished stuff is published posthumously, there’s basically two options: it’s published as-is, in which case it’s usually unreadable, or it was finished and edited by someone else, in which case it isn’t going to feel like the real thing. Neither is a great option.

Better to just celebrate what they wrote while they were alive.