back to article Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

A hard drive containing the unfinished books of Terry Pratchett has been destroyed by a steamroller, in fulfilment of the late author's last wishes. The works were crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the author’s life and work. It is …

  1. The_H

    The man goes up more in my estimation every day.

    1. Rafael #872397
      Pint

      I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

      ... but never had the chance to read his work*. Is there a suggested reading order?

      *Before any of you scream "Burn the heathen!!!1!": I am not a native speaker, and the selection of translated fiction books available when I was young was meager. Now I can read those in English, and my teen kids already enjoy books from Gaiman, we would like to see what we've missed all those years.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        With Discworld, I would recommend starting with Mort, which is where he starts to hit his stride. Other than that, publication is order is good.

        Also, we won't burn you, we'll just hand you over to Vorbis and the Quisition.

        1. Amblyopius

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          Google the L-space and you will find the Discworld Reading Order guide. There are multiple story lines and you are advised to read them in order within the story lines but can pick which one you want to do first. There will be a bit of overlap but that's fine.

        2. cream wobbly

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          Agreed. Mort is where to start. The first two, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, make better sense after you've read three or four subsequent ones.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        I'd suggest starting with Guards! Guards! The earliest books tend too much towards pastiche which might not make much sense if you don't understand the references.

      3. Simon Ward

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        This is one of the better charts I've seen ...

        Opinions will vary wildly depending on who you ask, but I'd start with either the 'Witches' or 'Watch' stories and then return to the early stuff (TCoM, LF) when you've got a few under your belt.

        If you only read *one*, make it 'Mort' - not only is it hilariously funny, but I think it's when PTerry really hit his stride. "Pyramids" is still one of my personal favourites, though.

        EDIT: Don't be put off by the Tiffany Aching books being branded as 'young adult', either - they're very good novels in their own right.

      4. Scotthva5

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Most of the Discworld novels are standalone and can be read in any order, however it is *suggested* by the author to read from the beginning (The Colour of Magic) and the witch books (Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Masquerade and Carpe Jugulum really do need to be read in order. Enjoy, Pratchett's work is brilliant.

      5. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        I would recommend "Good Omens" (an unrelated collaboration with Neil Gaiman).

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          Bad form, I know, replying to my own post, but while we are discussing gifted authors departing us far too early, I would recommend "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and possibly "The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul" (not as good) by Douglas Adams

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            My personal favourite is Pyramids. The trainee assassin dressing for his "finals" is pure comedy gold. And camels rock.

            1. m0rt Silver badge

              Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

              +1 for Mort.

              Also - the Tiffany Aching novels. There is something about those books that *feels* different. He vested more in those emotionally than the others, I reckon. Even more than the Vimes books.

              1. jrd

                Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

                +1 for the Tiffany Aching series. I think they're among Pratchett's most enjoyable books. Don't be put off by the 'Young Adult' label.

            2. eldakka Silver badge

              Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

              And camels rock.

              And spit, and do maths in their heads!

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            "I would recommend "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and possibly "The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul" (not as good) by Douglas Adams"

            And I would thoroughly recommend _avoiding_ the TV serialisations of Dirk Gently. DNA was a brilliant TV scriptwriter but whoever turned these into TV programs wasn't (HHGTTG TV and movies were both brilliant because DNA had his hand on the directors' throats.)

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

              Alan Brown,

              I think Dirk Gently was the best book Adams wrote. And I'd agree about avoiding the telly-box version. However Radio 4 did a brilliant dramatisation, so enjoy that instead.

              1. HandleAlreadyTaken

                Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

                >I think Dirk Gently was the best book Adams wrote.

                I agree - and I believe it shows Adams' evolution as a writer paralleled Pratchett's in some ways. They both started with gag-driven works, with little or no characterization, and with no plot to speak of beyond a flimsy framework to hang gags to - that's particularly the case for Adams' Hitchhiker books, but also for the first few Discworld books (especially the Rincewind the Wizzard series). As they both matured as writers, their later books become less dependent on gags, the plots become interesting in themselves, and the characters grow deeper and better fleshed.

                Pratchett grew immeasurably as a writer - amazingly, without losing his humor; his later books are still laugh out loud funny. I think the Dirk Gently books show Adams was following a similar path. It's a tragedy Adams died so young; I think his best work was still ahead of him.

          3. Toni the terrible

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            I always liked Strata

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          I would recommend "Good Omens" (an unrelated collaboration with Neil Gaiman).

          I noticed earlier this month that Good Omens is being filmed by BBC / Amazon, with Michael Sheen as Aziraphale and David Tennant as Crowley.

          No news yet as to who will play Adam, Newt or Anathema, but Tennant as Crowley is an inspired choice in my view.

          I would also like to put forward David Jason as Shadwell, I reckon he's made for the part...

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            Never liked the TV adaptations. No-one has found a good way of doing footnotes* on TV really, nor of the linguistic punning that Pratchett excelled at.

            *Well, apart from maybe the 80s version of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but that lent itself to the concept of "Guide Entries". I don't know how Disc World would take to having some sort of narrator character.

            1. Alister Silver badge

              Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

              @TRT

              Never liked the TV adaptations. No-one has found a good way of doing footnotes on TV really, nor of the linguistic punning that Pratchett excelled at.

              I agree, to some extent, and I was particularly unhappy with Sky's adaptation of TCOM, but that was as much about the casting, David Jason was all wrong as Rincewind.

              However, I reckon that in some ways Good Omens lends itself more to TV adaptation than perhaps Terry's mainstream works do.

              Added to that, of course, is that Neil Gaiman is writing the screenplay, so is unlikely to stuff it up as much as they did with some of the others.

              1. illuminatus

                Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

                That said, I thought they nailed Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipwig in Going Postal, which was actually rather good. And a great lost Doctor too, but that was never going to happen...

                1. Tom 38 Silver badge

                  Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

                  Richard Coyle was an epic Albert Spangler/Moist von Lipwig, however the absolute standout from Going Postal was the inimitable Charles Dance as Vetinari.

                  I'd always fancied Rincewind as a younger Rhys Ifans; tall, thin, scraggly beard, early 30s in age, slight look of failed academia and desperation, not some bumbling old man who looked like he could barely run 5 metres before collapsing. A Rincewind that cannot run, oh my days...

                  1. JimboSmith Silver badge

                    Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

                    Richard Coyle was an epic Albert Spangler/Moist von Lipwig, however the absolute standout from Going Postal was the inimitable Charles Dance as Vetinari.

                    I agree Charles Dance was inspired and brilliant casting as was David Suchet as Reacher Gilt.

              2. scrubber

                Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

                Footnotes! The best commentary on the insanity of life I've read. Unfortunately that requires a narrator and I don't like Stephen Fry right now, but he'd be perfect.

            2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

              Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

              "Never liked the TV adaptations."

              We'll get a good video (TV/Film) of Discworld when we get a good video of Dune - probably never.

          2. Tom 38 Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            I would also like to put forward David Jason as Shadwell, I reckon he's made for the part

            I would like to put forward David Jason for the Actor Who Most Destroyed Their Character award for his atrocious portrayal/betrayal of Rincewind.

          3. Sherrie Ludwig

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            @Alister, first I've heard about the Good Omens film, cannot wait to see it! Tennant is a great choice for Crowley.

        3. Hyper72

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          "Sister Mary headed through the night-time hospital with the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan and Lord of Darkness safely in her arms. She found a bassinet and laid him down in it. He gurgled. She gave him a tickle."

          -- The antichrist is born (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)

      6. Joe Werner

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Even for adults I would suggest the "young readers" novels set on "the chalk" - they are incredibly well written - and the Wee Free Men (fairies... sorts of - and also the name of the first book) are really fun to read out loud (as a non-native speaker I sort of have to do that to understand them, Crivens!)

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          @Joe Werner

          "...the Wee Free Men (fairies... sorts of - and also the name of the first book)"

          Ahem, "Pictsies" I think you'll find. Unless you're looking to commit suicide?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            Ahem, "Pictsies" I think you'll find.

            And (mostly) the reasons why our senior two cats are called Feegle and Kelda.

            And yes - they both live up to their names..

        2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: Crivens

          When it comes to the Wee Free Men, thankfully no one is a native speaker.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Is there a suggested reading order?

        Absolutely. Come up to a shelf (or two, or, in my case four) of Pratchett's books. Close your eyes. Pull a book at random. Read it. You probably won't be disappointed.

        If I had to pick a personal favorite, it would probably be "Witches Abroad" or "Feet of Clay".

        P.S. I really miss "Diskworld Noir". May be I should try to spin it again, in Sir Terry's honour.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          +1 For Discworld Noir - Hell of a lot better entertainment vs frustration compared to the other Discworld games.

          1. Ben Bonsall

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            +1 For Discworld Noir - Hell of a lot better entertainment vs frustration compared to the other Discworld games.

            Never! unless there is a point in a point and click where you literally have to try everything with everything else until some ridiculous pun emerges, it's not a point and click.

            Also, the 3d interface was annoying. Ask me about how Grim Fandango was the beginning of the end.

      8. Patrician

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        I second Mort as a good starting point; that or maybe Wyrd Sisters.

      9. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Rafael,

        Burn him! In a wicker steamroller perhaps...

        I don't think there's any reading order. There are a few books which work better in sequence, but even there it really doesn't matter. It's just that some have the same characters in them, so it's nicer to come in at the beginning of their story-arc, rather than half-way through.

        The one thing I would say is that you shouldn't read in chronological order. The Colour of Magic and the Light Fantastic (the only one that is a direct sequel) aren't the same as the rest of them. They're parodies of fantasy, and I'd argue they aren't as good.

        He then started developing his style where he was no longer parodying fantasy. He was using fantasy to parody reality. So the next two, Equal Rites and Mort were completely different. But I don't think they're as good, because he was still developing his craft.

        I would personally start with Wyrd Sisters. It's sort of a Shakespeare parody, but there are jokes within jokes. And it has the witches, who are some of the fans' favourite characters. Although they first turn up in Equal Rites (about a witch going to an all-male wizard university). But I wouldn't start there.

        Or for a different theme start with the City Watch in Guards! Guards! And meet another group of favourite characters. If you like them you can then read along with their books, then start picking up others. Or just accept you like him, and go back and read from the beginning.

        As a final point, you could also start with his later stuff. When he was at his peak. In which case, start with a new character with Wee Free Men - which was marketed as a childrens book in the sequence, but I really enjoyed as a 40-year-old.

        Or maybe The Truth. He worked for a local paper, and so has some fun satirising it. It's more standalone, but at a period when he was turning out lots of his best books.

        I found this list of his Discworld books by theme and in order, which may help.

        I wish you many hours of happy reading. And hopefully laughing.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          His finest work is, for me, a toss up between Night Watch and Thud!

          That! Is!! Not!!! My!!!! COW!!!!!

          There's a very fine wiki dedicated to his works.

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            Whatever you decide to start with don't be afraid to take "Miss Felicity Beedle The World Of Poo" on holiday with you. The nice person who was searching my bag at security at Heathrow looked at me with surprise when they found that.

          2. Darren Sandford

            Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

            Thud! is amazing!

            Where he shines in his later works is with a funny exterior masking a very dark sub-topic. Masterpieces.

      10. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        > Is there a suggested reading order?

        I really would start with the first two with the proviso that if you don't enjoy them all that much you don't stop at that point.

        There are one or two characters an concepts introduced for the first time (they do get introduced again) but the main reason is to see how much he improved.

        He started well but I don't think he would be remembered anything like as fondly if he'd just pumped out a few dozen more of those books (which I am sure is what publishers would have been happy with).

        It would be really interesting to know how you get on with TP as a non native speaker - I doubt there will be any problem understanding the words but it is possible that quite a lot of the meaning will be harder to grasp (and not just because there are some cultural references that may not be universal).

        He's the polar opposite of Stephen Donaldson who is also a hilarious fantasy writer but much less deliberately so.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          I really would start with the first two with the proviso that if you don't enjoy them all that much you don't stop at that point.

          Mr Anon,

          I don't like that suggestion. I don't think it's fair to make people do the less fun stuff first, in order to pay for the good later. And I think you also need to have read a bit of fantasy first, to see what 'the Colour of Magic' is laughing at.

          Much better to read the other stuff first, then come back if you're enjoying it. Whereas I think the first few books can be a bit off-putting. Lots of people have said to start with Mort, but I personally feel that's one of his weaker ones - while he was still learning to be an author, and developing a style.

          I've never even been motivated to go back and re-read 'Stata' and 'Dark Side of the Sun', and I suspect if those had been the first of his books I'd tried, I'd never have read any more. Colour of Magic is good, but less good and of a much narrower appeal.

        2. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          He's the polar opposite of Stephen Donaldson who is also a hilarious fantasy writer but much less deliberately so

          Two words: "Clench Racing"

      11. Obitim

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        There are a number of recommendations, depending on taste I guess...

        The article below may give some good suggestions?

        http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/books-comics/discworld/51044/terry-pratchett-s-discworld-a-roadmap

      12. Steve Knox Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Is there a suggested reading order?

        Yes. Don't skip over the footnotes.

        1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          ah yes the footnotes, quite possibly the best bits of any books I have ever read :o)

          in one chapter where the heroes were in a bar 'quaffing' ale

          "quaffing - a bit like drinking, but you spill more"

      13. macjules Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

        Pick any book at random: you will not be disappointed.

        If you must have a recommendation, my tuppence worth would be:

        Moving Pictures, for a very funny and irreverent parallel of early Hollywood

        Small Gods, for the same about religion and philosophy.

        Nightwatch The venality of politicians and the total idiocy of politics and knee-jerk reaction laws summed up in one book (actually in just one page) and an absolute joy to read.

        Going Postal As above, but for capitalism and marketing departments ... and not forgetting the National Lottery.

        1. Terje

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          I for one would recommend Pyramids for a "try before you buy" introduction to the discworld books, as it's probably the most stand alone book, and he's well into his stride. As a close second I would recommend The lost continent, here the recurring characters are limited to the faculty of unseen university.

      14. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        I'll second those who say skip the first two (very much lesser) works.

        After those, they fall into different periods. The earlier ones (the Witches, and the Rincewind ones) are the most directly funny, tending to thoughtful slapstick. My own startingpoint was the witches. Later he gets more humanistic and a bit darker: the peak of that would be Night Watch. And he did go downhill towards the end as the alzheimers set in.

        Note that there are *lot* of literary and cultural references: if you're not English, you may get less out of them (but don't let that put you off). And allusions: the Pork Futures Warehouse described the financial crisis before it happened, while "Interesting Times" (published 1994) could have been about "9/11" in almost the same sense as Arthur Miller's Crucible was about McCarthyism.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          As an anal retentive I'd recommend reading them in chronological order. You will be heading back to read the first two anyway so why not enjoy them without the expectations the later works will give you.

          The Colour Of Magic is a great book anyway and the Light Fantastic a bit better but these are just the blue touchpaper but it you know there's a firework display coming up then fizzing blue touchpaper is rather captivating.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          The nice thing about all the literary references in Pratchett is that he was far more well-read than I am - but there's sometimes a lovely sense of recognition as I come across something that I already know from a Discworld novel.

          For example, I'm pretty sure I read Witches Abroad before I read Hemingway. There's a little 2 page parody in there that I only got when I read 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. Which is also a great book by the way, but ever so slightly less cheerful than anything written by Sir Terry.

        3. Triggerfish

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          The first two were definitely more pastiche but if you have read a lot of fantasy books they are still worth a go. They don't truly stand up to anything after Mort though.

          However they did introduce me to Fritz Leiber so thanks Sir Terry for that as well.

      15. IHateWearingATie

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        I wouldn't start with Unseen Academicals or Raising Steam, two of the last Discworld series as I'm not sure they are as good as the others. Felt like he was losing his bite, particularly in Raising Steam *ducks and runs for cover*

        Hard to pick a favourite, but I would probably start with Guards Guards and then follow the Commader Vimes focused ones for a bit.

        1. Kernel

          Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

          "I wouldn't start with Unseen Academicals or Raising Steam, two of the last Discworld series as I'm not sure they are as good as the others. Felt like he was losing his bite, particularly in Raising Steam *ducks and runs for cover*"

          Personally I'd add "Strata" to that (happily, very) short list - vaguely Disc World related and an attempt to explain how Disc World came into being, but it doesn't really fit with the rest of the series.

      16. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Angel

        Re: I'm touched by the sanity of this request...

        Frank Herbert has passed on, but his son Brian continues the Dune saga.

        John R. R. Tolkien saild to elevenhome, but his son Christopher continues to edit his work.

        Isaac Asimov left the planet, but other authors continue to expand his Foundation series.

        Now consider what Pratchett wrote about death....

        1. Alien8n Silver badge

          Re: I'm touched by the sanity of this request...

          @DVA There are other examples as well of books finished or continued by other authors. Robert Jordan's Wheel Of Time series was completed by Brandon Sanderson for example. However they all have one thing in common, they wrote straight sci-fi/fantasy. As much as it pains me to say it, no one else could write Discworld the way pTerry did. You only have to read his collaborations to see that he was at his best with his Discworld books. Good Omens is the only one that comes close to capturing that magic, but then Neil Gaiman is rather special as an author in his own right as well.

          That's not to say we've heard the last of the Discworld though. He left an awful lot of source material for his daughter to adapt for film, TV and games.

      17. Rafael #872397
        Pint

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        OP here -- thanks for all the suggestions! I've checked and there are translations of several Pratchett books to Portuguese (for the young kids), and a good selection of e-books too (for me, eyes are not what they used to be).

        Thanks again!

      18. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        That's a pretty good way of deleting your browser history I guess...

      19. JeffUK

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        Start at the beginning and carry on until you reach the end.

        The first few are a bit amateurish, but there are so many in-jokes and references in the rest you'll miss out If you don't read them.

      20. cortland

        Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

        It almost doesn't matter; each stands by itself, but the development of his writing over the years, and the complexity of their combined plots, suggests that a deeper appreciation might be had by reading in chronological (copyright age) order.

        Some of his biographical work explains how he wrote (and how he thought), and may profitably be read before diving into the ocean of his words.

    2. AndyS

      He ensured that in this new no-disk world, there will be no new disk-wold.

    3. Steve Evans

      Indeed.

      It made me sad, and smile, both at the same time.

      Although the PTerry was such a well known techie geek, I find it hard to believe he trusted his hard work to a single lump of spinning rust... and an IDE connected lump of spinning rust at that!

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      I bet VOGON could still get data off them!

      The company not the alien obviously....

  2. Simon Ward

    A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

    There was a sad inevitability to this, although it's good to see that PTerry's final wishes are being respected.

    I guess a firkin great steamroller is rather more .... theatrical than a hard-disk shredder (plus, in the latter case I imagine there wouldn't be much left to exhibit)

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

      According to the BBC, the steamroller didn't do all that much damage, so it was put through a stone crusher afterwards.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        the steamroller didn't do all that much damage,

        Should have given all the "to be crushed" things to that mad Finn infesting YouTube with his hydraulic press.

        Not much survives contact with him, not even paper.

        Of course, there will be a backup that somehow survived so the "estate authorized" travesty monster can be released again.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: the steamroller didn't do all that much damage,

          Hmm I was that where the paper being crushed exploded (I have no Youtube here)?

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

      A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.

      Indeed.

      All my webservers still give out the X-Clacks header on requests, or whatever it was called.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

        It's this.

        El Reg still puts out the overhead I believe.

        1. TimR

          Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

          "El Reg still puts out the overhead I believe."

          Indeed they do

          HTTP/2.0 200 OK

          Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2017 12:45:21 GMT

          Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

          Cf-Railgun: 99375e10e7 0.41 0.145329 0030 e6be

          Vary: Accept-Encoding

          X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines

          X-Reg-Bofh: PFY01

          Server: cloudflare-nginx

          CF-RAY: 3967d8c2dfe33822-ATL

          Content-Encoding: gzip

          X-Firefox-Spdy: h2

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

            And Lester Haines? Exalted company indeed.

            1. TimR

              Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

              I noticed Lester when I copy/pasted it, but forgot to mention it

              Looking again, we've also got BOFH & PFY

              Wondering if I can get away with tinkering with our proxies now.... The only time I've done something "slightly unprofessional" like this was to use the HTTP 418 (I'm a teapot) code to flag an unusual non standard condition

              1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

                In my prior job I had a couple of PHP web applications that included the clacks overhead. Made no difference to the lusers, and was far from the least professional thing in them (prefixing all error codes with PEBKAC was probably the least professional thing).

          2. IkerDeEchaniz

            Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

            wget --save-headers --output-document - http://www.theregister.co.uk

        2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

          I hadnt heard of the gnu / clacks thing before. Beautiful . What better memorial could there be? especially as he thought of the idea himself , and it was honored by armies of techie fans around the world. Those dictators with 50ft gold statues can go suck it - they'll never get the GNU!

        3. cosymart
          Angel

          Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

          They do indeed and Lester Haines is included :-)

        4. Flere-Imsaho

          Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

          "El Reg still puts out the overhead I believe"

          Indeed they do. And there is a Firefox extension that displays the text in Clacks code wherever the page contains that tag; I can see it ticking away as I type this.

        5. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

          Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

          El Reg still puts out the overhead I believe

          Indeed. Lester Haines too. I just hope the FF extension keeps on working with Multiprocess and WebExtensions

        6. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

          @ Aladdin Sane, yes, yes they do still put the X-Clacks-Overhead header as "GNU Terry Pratchett" on all El Reg articles. Yes, I have the extension, Yes, i notice when it becomes active :)

      2. illuminatus

        Re: A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

        mine too

  3. JimC Silver badge

    I wonder

    You can quite understand the author not wanting some half arsed slung together lash up of his old work, but on the other hand it would be nice have a little bit more. To my mind though the last book shows distinct signs of having needed another revision by the master's hand, so would I really truly want to have things that were even less complete against his name?

    [well if I'm truly honest, I suppose the answer is that I don't think they should be published or made public, but *I* would like a copy]

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      I've mixed feelings about it.

      On one hand, it saves us all from any potentially mediocre cement and plaster job by some contract author.

      On the other, some musicians unfinished symphonies are treasured, although my feelings have always been mixed as regards Salmon of Doubt - it left me bitter sweet.

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        He already wrote a bit too much, I love it, I have read everything.. but I think it was a good idea..

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        unfinished symphonies

        The Mezetian Gate was published in the unfinished version with author notes interpolated to stand in for missing text.

        Reactions on discovering that are mixed.

      3. collinsl

        Re: I wonder

        I don't think it would have come to a "contract author" - he seemed perfectly happy to let his daughter Rhianna take it on, but she chose not to, so he chose to have it destroyed.

      4. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        I understand that Robert E Howard's Dark Agnes stories were only released because killing himself made any of his unpublished stories hot stuff, but the one that was finished off by another writer ruined the character and I think he would have hated it.

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I wonder

      I don't.

      Frank Herbert -- and the abomination that has happened since.

      Anne McCaffery -- and the even more complete abomination that is her son.

      Numerous attempts to revive and recycle other outstanding authors works by people not even remotely connected to the life that laid down the core elements. I applaud the man for ensuring that no one defaces his work.

      (and I've only read !one! of his works, and honestly I couldn't recall which one......but it was loads of fun reading)

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        Beat me to it. I might add JRR Tolkein to the list as well.

        1. Pirate Dave
          Pirate

          Re: I wonder

          "I might add JRR Tolkein to the list as well."

          I think the world would be a poorer place if we'd never seen the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales, and the Lays of Beleriand, although I will admit Christopher was pushing things a bit there at the end.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        Frank Herbert -- and the abomination that has happened since.

        Anne McCaffery -- and the even more complete abomination that is her son.

        The F. Herbert ones were also mostly son follows up...I still don't believe where the story ended up was where Frank would have taken it, never mind the glaring lack of deep wisdom the sequels have compared to the Masters works.

        I thought the Brian Sanderson completion of Wheel of Time was rather seamless - I appreciated not being left hanging in when Robert Jordan departed before finishing.

        1. Farnet

          Re: I wonder

          For me I literally took decades to read the wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, and it had some fantastic stuff and unfortunately some pretty mediocre stuff, but when Robert sadly passed away and the epic story hadn't finished I was really relieved when a ghost writer was hired to finish off the wheel of times, last few books........

          .... until I read them (especially the very last one).... OMG (no spoilers) not impressed in the slightest, and there seemed to be a public outcry on all the fans forums...

          So like others I have mixed feelings about it all as TP is a hero and has been with me throughout my early adult life (and now grumpy bastard age) and provided me with humour when I needed it, I will sorely miss the fact that there aren't going to be new stories (I always loved passing the supermarkets new releases in hardback and being seriously happy when I spot a new TP Discworld story, felt like being a kid again), but after being burnt by the Wheel of Time series.... not sure...

          Would be interested in the themes he was writing about.... ie more Ankh Morpork based storied etc?!?

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: I wonder

            Oh dear, The Wheel of Time was one of the HBO considerations for a Game of Thrones replacement until Sony snapped it up. I suppose one should be thankful that at least the books are finished, and even then only just.

      3. Trilkhai

        Re: I wonder

        It's a shame that Pratchett didn't ask another close relative or friend to finish what he was working on, rather than asking his daughter — I wouldn't be ready to even seriously contemplate the idea for years in her position...

        One of my other longtime favorite comedic-fantasy authors (Diana Wynne Jones) instead asked one of her sisters to consider completing her final in-progress novel after her death. Her sister did eventually step up, and did a good enough job that very few people can tell where she took over.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: I wonder

          Rhianna Pratchett's writing The Watch, so while there won't be any more books, there will be additional Discworld content.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      Although I've never read any of his books he seemed a nice person when watching him on documentries. I just wonder if someone secretly took a backup of that hard drive before rolling over it.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        I would not be surprised if there was a backup somewhere. He was a well known technophile, when asked why he had 6 monitors, he replied: "Because I don't have enough space for eight".

    4. tfewster Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I wonder

      L-space: "one can read any book ever written, any book that will be written at some point and books that were planned for writing that were not, as well as any book that could possibly be written"

      I don't want to see a second-rate takeover. But I hope someone like Neil Gaiman looked though Pterrys notes and memorised some of the unpublished genius puns, pastiches and plots for a completely different world

    5. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: I wonder

      I think he was right to ask it, and I say the absolute proof of this is the Sky TV adaptations.

      David Jason is one of my all-time favourite actors (Dangermouse is still his best work, incidentally).

      But David Jason is also the quintessence of institutionalised "national treasure" -- they dragged Only Fools And Horses out well past its sell-by date, and made it all soppy and sentimental, and then when they had finally cancelled it, they brought it back to give it a happy ending twice, completely against the core point of the original concept. People kept watching it even after it became essentially unwatchable, simply because it was Only Fools And Horses, and in their heads it was "great". And the "national treasure" pull was so strong that they even made that god-awful young Del-boy series Rock and Chips, which was so meta in its double-nostalgia it made your head spin.

      Then there was A Touch of Frost. It was a fantastic series. They had a great lead character, well acted by Jason. He was a bit old, but it was fine. They kept convincing him not to retire, and talking him back into the studio for "one more series", until we had a TV detective a good decade beyond retiral age, who presumably needed a stunt double for any run of more than a few metres. But we can't cancel A Touch of Frost, can we? It's a national treasure! And the writing and direction got really, really crap towards the end. The second-last series was so dire I'm surprised they even bothered to commission the last one. And the last involved some really sad stuff in the run-up to the finale, yet they still painted it as a happy ending, because national treasures always need a happy ending... even if that happy ending is at the funeral of their best friend. Shoddy, shoddy writing.

      So that brings us back to Discworld. Rincewind was the wizard who ran away from everything, so 68-year-old David Jason was not the right man for the character by a long chalk. The only reason to include Jason was... he's a national treasure. And that still wouldn't have been enough if Discworld hadn't been... a national treasure. People watched it because... national treasure.

      If his writings had survived, that whole national treasure thing would have led to loveless stringing out of the series to satisfy our lust for national treasure.

      The very symbolic way in which it was done also cements in fans' consciousness exactly how much Pratchett is against that, and kills the commercial viability of national-treasure-pot-boilerism, because many of them would see the writing of a non-Pratchett Discworld novel as betraying their man.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        David Jason was good as Albert though.

  4. AndyS

    How appropriately poetic.

    I do wonder, though, if he considered the Guardian philosophy of destroying hard-drives? I assume the intention is for the data to be fully destroyed, but what are the bets that, somewhere, there are backups waiting to be discovered in a few years' time?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I think it was just a joke. And his estate has the resources to be silly, so why not?

      If anyone wants to do an academic study of his work, then maybe in 50 years this stuff would be interesting to look at. Maybe he'll be taught in English Literature by that time?

      I really liked the Salmon of Doubt. The first couple of chapters of unfinished book starts were rubbish, but I bought it for the collection of his journalism and essays. And that was great.

      I feel Adams only wrote 6 good books. The first 3 Hitch Hikers, the 2 Dirk Gently (his best I think), and Last Chance to See.

      Pratchett didn't have the same writing-demons. I suspect that if he had early ideas that he really wanted written, he'd have got round to writing them.

      1. JimC Silver badge

        > If anyone wants to do an academic study of his work

        He's on record as despising the academic study thing, and as ensuring that all works in progress were destroyed once the final edit was complete.

        He had a point I think, there are a good number of authors (CS Lewis, Isaac Asimov for two) on record as stating that all the analyses of their work that they had seen were utterly wide of the mark. So its unlikely post mortem ones were any better. I particularly liked Asimov's comment to one story which includes a distinctly Freudian image on the lines that he could imagine future critics getting very excited about the hidden subtext of this, but actually he'd done it quite deliberately...

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: > If anyone wants to do an academic study of his work

          When at school sciences chose me but I loved reading almost anything I could get my hands on and read the works the English A'level students had to study and I loved them while they largely hated them. At uni a friend of mine was doing a PhD in english and she'd never read any Sci-Fi and took a book of my collection of browning tattered paperbacks and read around 200 works without breathing - seems she'd never read for pleasure before!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: > If anyone wants to do an academic study of his work

          "He had a point I think, there are a good number of authors (CS Lewis, Isaac Asimov for two) on record as stating that all the analyses of their work that they had seen were utterly wide of the mark. "

          I vaguely remember a short SF story many, many years ago. It was a time travel thing in a university. Shakespear was pulled into the "present" and attended a course on his work and failed the test. It might even have been an Asimov work :-)

          1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: > If anyone wants to do an academic study of his work

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Immortal_Bard is indeed a story of Asimov's.

        3. The Packrat

          Re: > If anyone wants to do an academic study of his work

          I seem to recall a story (one of Asimov's I think) that involved a scientist bringing Shakespeare forward in time and letting him join an English Literature class so that he could see what people thought about his works so many centuries later. He wound up asking to be sent back to his own time because he was so demoralised and depressed after seeing the sorts of things that people got from his works as well as having flunked the course about himself... Story was told from the viewpoint of the scientist telling off his Lit professor friend for failing Shakespeare, and said Lit professor vaguely recalling a funny speaking individual from his class...

  5. earlyjester

    I love they respected his wishes and I am very sad there will be no more disk world but I do think no disk world is better than a disk world that is not up to scratch

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      " I do think no disk world is better than a disk world that is not up to scratch"

      ...a scratch-disk world...?

      Interesting concept; does it keep changing randomly as parts get overwritten?

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      The Discworld is now scratched, as for many fans, when the needle reaches the last book, it will magically jump back to the beginning.

  6. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    GNUTerryPratchett

    "Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

  7. Steve K Silver badge
    Coat

    Disc 0 World 1

    (Hard) Disc 0 World 1

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Disc 0 World 1

      This.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Photo of said crushed drive on BBC news.

    Doubt anyone would've been able to get at the contents anyway. Looked like an IDE interface, who'd have something using one of those lying around nowadays :-)

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Did you even try googling "IDE drive interface" and looking at the shopping results?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        *sigh*

        No, I didn't. They're about 2 quid on eBay. Or 4 quid by the time you order a second, as the first arrived faulty but not worth the cost to return it.

        It was a joke.. IDE drives are, you know, old?

        But well done on your Googling skills there. Obviously better than my joke telling skills.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          @ AC's sigh

          I got the joke, wondered at the downvotes, then realized you'd posted AC... hence no joke icon... so no way for the pedantic masses to notice.

          I shudder to think the fact i recognized it maybe means i am underqualified?

          *kicks IDE / USB 2.0 enclosure under desk... and damages antique 10GB hdd*

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      I've got one here, simple USB multi-format controller.

    3. Vinyl-Junkie

      IDE drives

      I have all my old IDE drives (at least those of 80Gb or more) and a couple of IDE external caddies. I use the old drives as removable backup.

      I would imagine that if this drive contained actual PTerry writings (as opposed to being a purely symbolic gesture), they were the last external backups of his work, everything else already having been wiped.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: IDE drives

        It was only last month I dumped a load of MFM drives, controllers and mobos at the recycling centre. I have an actual IBM AT (though with VGA card and AST memory expansion) in the attic. It might still have MFM. I also dumped old "IDE" drives that used same parallel cable but not the regular IDE/PATA port. Also three kinds of SCSI drives.

    4. 40k slimez

      I think you'll find it was a Parallel ATA (PATA) drive - IDE being what PATA drives developed from.

      The terms "integrated drive electronics" (IDE), "enhanced IDE" and "EIDE" have come to be used interchangeably with ATA (now Parallel ATA, or PATA)... but's not let facts get in the way of a good joke........ it was a good joke wasn't it??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, it was.

        A geek would've chuckled and felt all smug. Knowing nicely they'd have an old box in the loft that'd have requistite connector. Or knowing they could achieve readability with a scratty Chinese adapter they picked up which may or may not function that day.

        Then you come along. Geek times ten, and waffle on with a load of cack even normal geeks forgot about years ago.

        Got any info on CONFIG.SYS settings for SoundBlasters, or POKE's for the old Commodore 64 while you're on? If you have, don't bother posting back, I'll be ginned up in about 15 minutes and am hardly likely to enjoy it.

    5. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Similar joke

      I think it was "Son of Cliché" on radio - written by the Red Dwarf authors and including prototypes of Dwarf, and currently repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra (as is Sir Terry, indefinitely) - that presented a spoof feature on the truth about Marilyn Monroe, including someone who provided a (fake, using her music tracks) revelatory recording of Marilyn; he said, well, no one had asked him about it, and anyway it was on 8 Track tape cartridge and who has those any more...

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Video Please

    I would like to see the steamroller in action!

  10. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

    "steamroller named"

    I think there's something missing there: steamroller named Lord Jericho

  11. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    The report and pictures on the BBC website suggest that the drive in question was a tougher customer than you might have expected. Probably quite good publicity for whoever the manufacturer was

    1. collinsl

      Well according to the report the stone blocks it was sitting on got crushed, so I'd expect it sank into the ground a bit, hence the stone crushing mill.

  12. ukgnome Silver badge

    What impressed me most of all is that they used a proper steam roller and not a road roller.

    This attention to detail pleases me quite a bit.

    1. Ochib

      re:Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

      After his death, fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s close friend and collaborator , told the Times that Pratchett had 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”.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: re:Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

        When Gaiman broke down in the interview for Back In Black, the room suddenly became quite dusty.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi John

    "Just checking, did you manage to compress those Pratchet disks and put them somewhere safe?", "Oh and please say you didn't just use bloody WinZip".

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Hi John

      I salute you sir, and wish I had thought of that one!

  14. Dwarf Silver badge

    The Great A'Tuin just shed a tear.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      The turtle moves!

  15. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Please

    Can we have a Sir Pterry icon?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Please

        OK then. What would such an icon signify?

        1. kmac499

          Re: Please

          OK then. What would such an icon signify?

          -------------------------------------------

          The absurdity of us human beings trying to make their mark against the flowing stream of uncaring, unstoppable chaos that is the clockwork of the universe slowly running down.

          I suggest a pointy hat as "Embuggerance" is just too big to fit in the icon Box..

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Please

            I think the Sir Pterry logo should be just the words "Millenium Hand & Shrimp", and it would not be a selectable logo, but would instead be applied to whomever the community votes as their current Foul Old Ron, eg aManFromMars.

  16. x 7 Silver badge

    Thats an old ancient ATA hard drive thats crushed in the photo........seems unlikely its the right one

    Methinks in a few years time the "real" drive will be miraculously found and a batch of new novels published by a ghostwriter

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      1. Ochib

        Millennium Hand and Shrimp!

  17. James Cullingham

    At least we have been spared...

    the wringing out of every last drop of blood, or rather money, from whatever jottings he may have left, at whatever cost to his memory.

    Christopher Tolkien, I'm looking at you...

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: At least we have been spared...

      What about Christopher Awdry?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: At least we have been spared...

        To be honest completely ruined by Britt Alcrofts terrible post Awdry scripts.

  18. Notenoughnamespace

    The Salmon of Doubt

    In two minds about this:

    Stuff found on the hard drive of the late Douglas Adams was compiled in to a book. Much of little value, but I enjoyed reading the first chapters of a new Dirk Gently novel. Franz Kafka wanted his work destroyed, and (according to Quartz Media) we only have The Metamorphosis because his wishes were ignored. It does seem weird to let the dead decide on the best course of action for those of us left behind.

    We're going to face this more often, and should be thinking about our own digital detritus as well of that belonging to the rich and famous.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Salmon of Doubt

      ...and should be thinking about our own digital detritus

      Can't see who might be interested in mine. Except maybe Google et al for their data mining.

      1. BlokeOnMotorway

        Re: The Salmon of Doubt

        I wonder; maybe knock up a bot or two to keep the online presence going? That could balls things up quite nicely.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: The Salmon of Doubt

      It does seem weird to let the dead decide on the best course of action for those of us left behind.

      Not when it's their works, and their legacy, it's not.

      Would you ignore the wishes of your parents on how they are buried / cremated etc after they are gone?

      Both Rob Wilkins and Rhianna have pledged that there will never be a continuation of Discworld, in accordance with Terry's wishes, and that's as it should be.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: The Salmon of Doubt

        Would you ignore the wishes of your parents on how they are buried / cremated etc after they are gone?

        Maybe. Depends on what those wishes were. As it happens, as you say, after they are gone, their wishes don't really come in to it that much because there is no "them" anymore.

        This actually has legal precedence, if the wishes of the deceased affect the living unduly, the executor can set them aside. Eg, you might want to be buried at sea in a burning Viking ship, but your executor may as easily decide to bury you in the local cemetery to save money.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The Salmon of Doubt

      "We're going to face this more often, and should be thinking about our own digital detritus as well of that belonging to the rich and famous."

      I wonder how much of the worlds spam is not just addressed to dead email addresses but to dead people?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: The Salmon of Doubt

        Tangentially related XKCD.

  19. short a sandwich

    Not the Storage

    There's no cheese in that picture, can't be from Hex

  20. The New Turtle

    When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

    I've been grinding my way through 'Raising Steam' recently, wondering what happened to the magic in the early works - and nothing to do with thaumaturgy. TBH I'm grateful 'Terry' wont' be writing any more books from the grave.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

      What a curious attitude. Would you rather he hadn't published Raising Steam, then?

      In case you missed it, he was ill, and becoming progressively worse, at the time that he wrote that, and yes, it does appear more laboured than some of his earlier works, but I would still rather be able to read it, than not.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

      That one , and 'Dodger' took me some time , I assumed it was because im always pissed when i get to bed these days , rather than any drop in quality.

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

        I suspect the extra time to read is because they are so different. It was easy to settle into the previous discworld books because they had a simple rhythm to them but Raising Steam went out on it's own rails scattering previous assumptions like confetti while Dodger was differently different as it was not Discworld. Even Carpet People and the Bromiliad at least had Gnomish characters and so were in a similar vein.

      2. illuminatus

        Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

        I found Raising Steam a slog. Dodger I liked rather more, and found it had much more spark.

    3. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

      Raising Steam is one of my favourites; I think it's easily one of his best. Just because the social parody is more pronounced and the one-liners less prevalent doesn't make it more laboured or any less of a book.

      In later years Sir PTerry became more and more angry about social injustice and inequality, capitalism and the rape of former nationalised industries for profit. This was evident to anyone who met him at a signing or convention. This anger translated into his work; he used the Discworld to hold up a mirror to our own so we could see the absurdity of the theories that underpin the modern banking system (Making Money), the idiocy of privatised public services (the clacks in Going Postal), and the stupidity of religious and racial intolerance (Thud & Snuff).

      Raising Steam was both a chance to bring the railway revolution to the Discworld (something he'd been wanting to do for years) and to take a satirical look at fundamentalism. As far as I'm concerned he did both with considerable panache.

      1. The New Turtle

        Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

        To me, if that's the case then he sold his discworld legacy cheaply to make a political point, although his books had been increasingly formulaic (disaster looms, hero/ine has some special ability, they or nearby character falls in love, tension peaks, everything is OK in the end). Not that I didn't enjoy them, but as western tech was increasingly used to prop up stories so they became decreasingly interesting.

        I read quite a bit of his output, including the truckers series, dark side of the sun and the carpet people. Each had their own flavour and each bore his style. Perhaps discworld became his vehicle for protest because he thought he'd affect more people that way, and was too far gone to create a new world instead.

      2. SteveastroUk

        Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

        Except GP was about the THEFT of a private company from its owners - like Nationalisation.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

          Not quite. The closest comparison would be an argument against aggressive venture capitalism and asset stripping that happens to a lot of tech start ups.

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

          @SteveastroUk

          Except GP was about the THEFT of a private company from its owners - like Nationalisation.

          @Aladdin Sane

          Not quite. The closest comparison would be an argument against aggressive venture capitalism and asset stripping that happens to a lot of tech start ups.

          It's curious how one can project one's own preconceptions onto Terry's writings.

          As a Brit, I thought that GP was very much a parody of what happens when previously nationalised industries / services become prey to the pursuit of profits by private ownership, as happened / is happening to the Post Office, BT, the Railways, the NHS etc, etc in Britain.

          It is not an exact analogy, of course, as the clacks was originally owned and run by the Deerhearts, but it was definitely run in the style of the old Nationalised GPO / Post Office Telephones.

          As someone who worked for British Telecom just after privatisation, and then later in the NHS, there are a lot of things in GP that resonate with my experiences.

          The removal of resources, the cessation of regular maintenance, and the reduction in quality of service but for higher prices, all remind me very much of what happened when the GPO became BT.

  21. Redstone
    Pint

    For those curious what was on the drive....

    ...just wait for the next NSA leak. ;)

    My intro to Terry Pratchett was 'Mort'. Great author. Great Bloke. Greatly missed.

  22. Chris G Silver badge

    No IT angle

    It's been crushed flat.

    I still have a few books to go before I have read them all but now Sir Terry has gone I will savour them rather like laying down a good bottle of wine.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laws of physics

    More guidelines, really.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: Laws of physics

      They had to make up for the lack of narrativium somehow.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Laws of physics

      Rather like the laws of Australia trumping the laws of maths. Terry was rather good at pointing out how stupid people can be. Sadly, people keep on proving him right.

  24. Curt Vile

    Clearly a purely symbolic gesture since the drive in question is an ancient IDE one. And what about his laptop drive? Or the backups?

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      If I wanted a symbolically ancient drive, I'd have chosen one with an ST-506 interface.

  25. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Rincewind and the Luggage is lost forevermore. :(

    At least Rincewind have an ample supply of clean clothes.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The man is a legend. Mort was one of the most enjoyable and one of the very few laugh out loud books I've ever read.

    May his hard drive rest in pieces though his legacy will live on forever. I can't wait till my kids are old enough to appreciate his works.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Start 'em young with Where's My Cow?

  27. B*stardTintedGlasses

    This kind of thing is why the man was one of the greats. A sense of humour that manages to shine through even the finality at the end of the ride.

    A salute to you Sir P'Terry, for every smile in my childhood, every moment of escapism in my teens, and every "suddenly clear" joke hidden in layers of meaning that I understood on re-reading as an Adult.

    Excuse me... suddenly very dusty in here.

    ***

    AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER...

    Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

    ***

  28. illuminatus

    Quite right too.

    They were his words, so he should decide what should be done with them. They were probably unpublished for good reasons: his reasons. And they're the only ones that count in the end.

  29. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Happy

    My favourite Pterry quote is

    from Guards Guards, where the said guards arrest a man whos just seen a dragon burn all his not so evil associates to death

    "Cant we do something for the poor man" Said Lady Ramkin, as he stood there shivering with fear

    "I can kick him in the bollocks" replied Nobby

    One from the 'SPG' style of policing ....

    Best book

    "Small gods"

    Burn me over an iron turtle if that is'nt true

  30. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    ?

    No reference to VLC builds having Discworld-related names?

  31. A K Stiles
    Joke

    I wonder what the chances are...

    ...that any data could be salvaged from that disk?

    Maybe a million to one?

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: I wonder what the chances are...

      ...that any data could be salvaged from that disk?

      Maybe a million to one?

      I think they thoroughly got it's voolnerables

  32. Chozo
    Coat

    Eat your heart out Copernicus the flat earther's were right.

    Call me a heretic but I always liked TP's early work 'Strata'

    1. A K Stiles
      Thumb Up

      Re: Eat your heart out Copernicus the flat earther's were right.

      and Dark Side of the Sun.

  33. HildyJ
    Pint

    OOK!

    The Great A'Tuin finally reached its destination and Discworld ceased to exist. As it was destined. As it should. Without the Library of books yet to be written or the Librarian to find them, we can now only see into its past. And it remains wonderful.

    In this day and age I recommend that, if you read no other work, read Jingo - not his best but supremely relevant. But don't just do that. Read them all, even the non-Discworld works.

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Sierpinski
    Meh

    My first two reactions

    1) I'm horrified at the loss of his partial works.

    2) I hope someone is willed the remains his computer to someone with the provision that they must find a way to forge it into a sword.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. hard drive

    I give it about a year and someone will mysteriously "find" a forensic image of the drive on the dark web, likely recovered from one of the NSAGCHQFBICIADHS intercepts using a router exploit that then deleted itself.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Re. hard drive

      I hope you are incorrect. But i sadly fear you may be correct

  37. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I don't cry often, but... *&^*&^*&()))!!!

  38. Andy 97

    Now that's classy!

    Top marks for style, and... a steam roller too.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HARD DRIVE, COME WITH ME

  40. MJI Silver badge

    What a way to do it.

    I liked the idea, the fun, the way of doing it.

    Read most of his books, (75% to 80%), still need to read a few to complete the set, (missed a few in the middle).

    But I did notice a style change on the last few though, Raising Steam felt like it was cowritten.

    The Shepherds Crown was a great finish to his series, very poignant.

    Not sure where I saw the film though, the one with David Jason, as I never had Sky. But he seemed too old to be RIncewind.

    But better no more books than half written and badly finished books.

    The only thing I would have wanted would be if the characters were ones we knew, would they have been OK.

  41. Sherrie Ludwig

    On the topic of unfinished novels

    Only occasionally, the executors of an estate find the right collaborator to finish an author's work in progress, and only when they are reasonably certain of a good outcome should they proceed. One of my other favorite authors, Dorothy L. Sayers, had an unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novel that took half a century to find its collaborator in Jill Paton Walsh. The novel lacks some of the classical scholarship of Sayers, but the characters are given the chance to breathe one more time (with a nice afterword as to all their fates during and after WWII). A worthy addition to that series, Thrones, Dominations.

  42. JLV Silver badge

    While I don't disagree with the request being carried out

    I can't help thinking of Kafka.

  43. RockBurner

    I disagree with those who aren't recommending the first 2 "Colour of Magic" & "Light Fantastic". As 'world-setters' they create the whole stage for the Discworld brilliantly, and quite frankly, as a fan of Robert E Howard, Cohen is my favourite character.

  44. Geoff Johnson

    I wholeheartedly agree with this action.

    After reading the book they pieced together from from Douglas Adams' old hard drive, I'd request this too.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is only ONE

    Highlandrive..

    (sorry, wrong series)

    But seriously, how do I ensure that my unpublished GUT that essentially demolishes the Standard Model and unifies GR, QM AND DM remains unknown, in the event of unfortunate circumstances?

    Can I just will that all my drives be destroyed in some creative way?

    Wouldn't want to put 96% of the physics community out of work!

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