Terry Pratchett is one of Britain’s best loved authors of modern times – you could even say he’s one of the most revered of all time. You could, and people may argue, but that’s the whole point of everything: arguing.
Whether you agree or not, you can’t deny the Discworld creator touched millions of lives with his fantasy writing, and he is back in the news again today, because he has had his unfinished novels destroyed by an old-timey steamroller.
Fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman had said after Terry’s death, that he 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”.
So that’s exactly what happened, under the two “wheels” of a six-and-a-half-tonne John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho, at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, before the opening of a new exhibition about the author’s life and work.
Richard Henry, the curator of Salisbury Museum, where the exhibition will be held, said:
“The steamroller totally annihilated the stone blocks underneath but the hard drive survived better than expected so we put it in a stone crusher afterwards which I think probably finally did it in.
“It's something you've got to follow, and it's really nice that they have followed his requests so specifically.
“It's surprisingly difficult to find somebody to run over a hard drive with a steamroller.
“I think a few people thought we were kidding when I first started putting out feelers to see if it was possible or not.”
This past Friday, the manager of the Pratchett estate, Rob Wilkins, tweeted proof of the destruction:
Supposedly, that’s up to 10 incomplete novels getting flattened, there
So that’s that – no more Pratchett. It’s a testament to his eccentricity and sense of humour that he’s still managing to make people laugh even after he’s gone, and I can certainly get behind someone destroying my hard drive as soon as I die. I mean, I want mine done immediately, but still.
The flat hard drive will go on display at an upcoming exhibition called Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, which opens at the Salisbury museum on 16 September. Go and look at it. Gawp at the 2D hard drive. View the metal frisbee.