Terry Pratchett’s Hard Drive Crushed… some thoughts

After his death Terry Pratchett asked for his hard drive, and all remaining unfinished stories, to be destroyed. This happened last week. As a Discworld fan I’m sad to a point. I love Discworld. I love what Terry created. And that’s also part of why I’m at peace with this decisions.

Terry Pratchett was unique. I can’t think of another author who wrote satire and fantasy the way he did. The comic fantasy that he is often shelved with is right for his early books, but Pratchett evolved into so much more. He was keenly aware of injustice in the world. He had a burning need to make things right that runs through all his writing, not just his fiction. He saw the world in a way so very few do. And, more to the point, he was able to show the world in a way no one else could.

No one could write a book like Terry Pratchett.

That’s not a criticism, it’s a fact. No one could have mimicked his style well enough to replace him. Even his later books where he had assistance because of the early onset Alzheimer’s disease are different. Not bad in any way, but there’s a subtle change from the books before his diagnosis and those after that avid fans are aware of.

With all that, I can see why Pratchett wanted it all destroyed. Fans have time and again been disappointed by books sold after an authors death. Look at the nightmare of GO SET A WATCHMAN, a first novel that Harper Lee hid away for a multitude of reasons. Her wishes were ignored and the fall out was disheartening at best, and for good reason. Harper Lee wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD after WATCHMAN. She changed characters, edited things, rewrote the world… to have the earlier draft come out without the author’s later changes in mind destroys all the hard work she did.

Harper Lee deserved better.

Sir Pratchett deserves better.

I will miss Discworld. I will miss new books coming out. I refuse to read the last few because I’m not ready to say good-bye yet. I never had the chance to meet Terry Pratchett in this life, all I have are the books he left, but his writing made a huge impact on me. He’s missed by his family, his friends, and his fans. And honoring this wish was the right thing to do. Now, please excuse me while I go cry a little and watch Color Of Magic with Samwise Gamgee. *sniffle sniffle*

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