by Graham Pierrepoint
Sir Terry Pratchett was an author unlike any other, having created fun, accessible and often dark fantasy for adults and young people alike to jump in and out of with ease. Pratchett wrote scores of novels in the Discworld universe during his prime, and with many of his works having seen adaptation to TV and even video games, his genius was arguably unmatchable – making his passing a few years ago all the more hard to bear. The author’s humorous takes on fantasy were hardly seen as jibes at the genre – as Discworld became one of the most celebrated fantasy universes in literature – offering a dryer look at worlds wrapped in magic and myth without ever getting gory or too long-winded.
One of Pratchett’s requests – according to close friend and fellow author Neil Gaiman – was that any work he left unfinished after his death be destroyed. While the final Discworld novel was released shortly after his passing, it had already been written and finalized – whereas it appears the novelist had much more waiting in the wings for avid fans – making his passing all the more tragic. Not to ignore the last requests of one of the most celebrated and well-loved fantasy authors of all time, however, it appears that such a plea has been answered – as the manager of the Pratchett estate, Rob Wilkins, took to Twitter to demonstrate the crushing of the author’s computer hard drive under a steamroller. It’s a request that is considerably Pratchett-esque – offering a definite finality to the author’s legacy, which he had continued to add to right through to his final days.
The photos captured from the scene of the crushing perhaps held a little of the humor Pratchett was known for throughout his life – and it is thought that the remaining pieces of the hard drive, now completely inaccessible, will go on display as part of an exhibit dedicated to his life and work – entitled ‘HisWorld’, which will debut later this fall at the Salisbury Museum in the UK.
Pratchett passed away in 2015 after battling Alzheimer’s Disease – which the author was extremely candid about in the last few years of his life. The writer had appeared in documentary footage and had continued to write up until his passing two years ago – and The Shepherd’s Crown, the final Discworld novel, recently celebrated its second birthday.