Don’t ever expect to read the unfinished works of late English author Terry Pratchett—they’ve been flattened. The famed creator of the DiscWorld series succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease in March 2015, and he had a very specific request upon his death. The manager of Pratchett’s estate, Rob Wilkins, posted on Twitter the results of said request:
To the bitter disappointment of Pratchett fans worldwide, the hard drive that Wilkins holds (and subsequently steamrolled) contains Pratchett's unfinished and unpublished works. This has been a long time coming, as fellow author Neil Gaiman confirmed to The Times in 2015 that this is exactly what Pratchett wanted after his death.
The deed was done with a vintage steamroller named “Lord Jericho,” seen in the tweet below.
The remains of the hard drive will be on display at an exhibition titled “Terry Pratchett: HisWorld,” which will open in September at the Salisbury Museum. A hard drive seems like an appropriate resting place for Pratchett’s unfinished work, given the author’s interest in technology and computers. And it seems that Pratchett was ready for the end; after being afflicted with Alzheimer’s he expressed his desire for an assisted suicide, although ultimately his death was said to be a natural one.
It’s a bittersweet moment for many—on one hand, the famed author’s final wishes were finally obligated. But in the meantime, readers still hold out hope that the contents of the hard drive are recoverable. We, however, would like to know how to own a steamroller so reliable that it deserves its own name.