Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Terry Pratchett's steamroller

So, I see the news today that the latest in the Stieg Larsson Lizbeth Salander series, better known as THE GIRL WHO books, is just out.

Of course it's not written by Larsson, who died more than a decade ago, but instead by a noted biographer named David Lagercranz. Nor does it follow any plot left behind by Larsson; it's wholly new material written to continue the series beyond the point where the author stopped.

The good news is that it seems this continuing of an author's setting and characters that has befallen Larsson will not be Terry Pratchett's fate. In fact, Pratchett felt so strongly about his work being his own, not to be continued by other hands, that he left orders for whatever unfinished books he was working on at the time of his death to be destroyed. Which instruction was just carried out by his estate, with a certain amount of panache: running over his computer's hard drive with a steam roller. And not just any 'steam roller' but an actual antique steam-powered one. Here's the story:


As someone who was an early adaptor and longtime fan of Pratchett's work,* I'm sorry that there won't be any more of it, but at the same time there are plenty of genuine Pratchett books to read and re-read. And a few, even, that I haven't gotten to yet (having found I didn't care for his later books as much).

--John R.

*(esp. the footnotes)

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