Diskdrive World - Terry Pratchett's Unfinished...

Ursa major

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It's horrible because it's such a mean-spirited way to go about it.
If Sir Terry had been someone who'd been a witness to -- and/or had been involved in -- some or other great event (or many of them), and so knew much of the inside story of why certain important decisions had been made, then the destruction of his unpublished works (and of material that he did not want published during his lifetime) would be robbing future generations of insights into those past events (insights that might prove useful in the future).

Sir Terry, though, was an author of fiction. Robbing the vultures who spend their lives picking over the bones of authors' lives and work is of no great import and -- the killer argument ;) -- fine by me. That it also prevents hack writers from taking part-finished works -- incomplete due to lack of time, or (worse) because Sir Terry realised they were going nowhere -- and producing dog's breakfast "Pratchett" novels is doing us all a great big favour.
 

Toby Frost

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It's a rather showy and silly way to destroy the stuff, but fair enough. If he wanted to prevent weak sequels, as Ursa suggests, I think that shows concern for the quality of his work. Given the circumstances, it's quite possible that Pratchett left behind a reasonable amount of second-rate writing that he probably wouldn't have wanted to see in print. Besides, an author is entitled to try to control what happens to their work and their name after they die. IIRC, George Orwell left instructions that there was to be no authorised biography of his life, and for some while he was successful.
 

Phyrebrat

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Well if there's the Alzheimer's factor then certainly I'd have no such accusations of pettiness.

Yes. I know he was a humouring SFF writer (in a recent meet I was saying how delighted I was when I found out Death spoke in Caps).

As Peat said above, it did come across to me as 'nyah nyah' but then I do strive to see the negatives in all things.

I'm not trying to convert anyone; it's just my opinion.

FTS: the thought of Stephen King wasting such an opportunity is hilarious. That's man's a business machine.

pH
 

Montero

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He could have just had everything wiped by his assistant and no-one the wiser. I think making a hilarious spectacle out of it was a gift to all his fans. Doing it publicly is the best way of undermining anyone who later claims they have found a TP last work - no-one will believe them. Doing it in a quirky, funny way is being true to his life and his writing. And anyway, I'd bet that hard drive had already been deleted and re-formatted multiple times as a start. That isn't perfect - with the right software you'd still be able to get fragments back if it was intact. Destroying it physically - essential.
And Phyrebrat - OK "its just your opinion" - but it is the opinion of someone who has never read Terry Pratchett so doesn't "get" his world view - I think it is vintage Terry Pratchett and nothing to do with the Alzeheimer's.
 

Phyrebrat

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And Phyrebrat - OK "its just your opinion" - but it is the opinion of someone who has never read Terry Pratchett so doesn't "get" his world view - I think it is vintage Terry Pratchett and nothing to do with the Alzeheimer's.

I've made no comment whatsoever on the quality of his body of work. It's irrelevant. My opinion is based on human values - specifically my own - and having not read his stuff in no way invalidates my opinion. You're suggesting that's the case.

Have you read all the previous posts?

pH
 

The Big Peat

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It doesn't invalidate your opinion, but I think that if you had read his work, you might have had a different opinion. Our opinion of others' intentions does change the more we know about them after all :)

I don't want to go on and on about this - but I did think your opinion was unfair, so I wanted to see what was behind it and maybe see if I could change it, both in general and because of my immense respect for Sir Pterry. I think that everything useful to be said has been said so I'll probably bow out now.
 

Dave

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It is entirely his prerogative to do so.

If Sir Terry had been someone who'd been a witness to -- and/or had been involved in -- some or other great event (or many of them), and so knew much of the inside story of why certain important decisions had been made, then the destruction of his unpublished works (and of material that he did not want published during his lifetime) would be robbing future generations of insights into those past events (insights that might prove useful in the future).

Sir Terry, though, was an author of fiction. Robbing the vultures who spend their lives picking over the bones of authors' lives and work is of no great import and -- the killer argument ;) -- fine by me. That it also prevents hack writers from taking part-finished works -- incomplete due to lack of time, or (worse) because Sir Terry realised they were going nowhere -- and producing dog's breakfast "Pratchett" novels is doing us all a great big favour.

Hmm! I'm just thinking of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and whether that fits the bill? Dickens wrote many of his novels as serials (as did others i.e. Conan Doyle) so we are able to see "insights into those past events" and the process those authors used to develop stories. I do think that is of historical importance as well as just being interesting and curious anyway. Dickens novels were partly based on real events, but fiction commonly is, so that isn't relevant. Many people, studios and theatres have attempted to finish this unfinished work, with varying degrees of success, so does that make them all "hack writers" spending "their lives picking over the bones of authors' lives and work"?

Would anyone think the same way if Dickens had left instructions to burn his unfinished manuscript? Maybe you would? I think it would have been a great loss, but I'd have respected that decision too.
 

Toby Frost

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I think in general I'm not terribly keen on the idea of people finishing dead authors' stories. I know someone did it with Raymond Chandler's Poodle Springs, and I've heard it's quite good, but I'm not inclined to read it. It seems healthier, somehow, to write something entirely fresh.

That said, I am available to help finish A Song of Ice and Fire for a reasonable fee. I can guarantee that the ending would be unexpected.
 

The Big Peat

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I'm incredibly glad The Wheel of Time was finished. I'm intrigued by Tolkien's posthumous stories. I see Gemmell's ghost has one out and I'm not sure I'm all that interested.
 

Ursa major

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Many people, studios and theatres have attempted to finish this unfinished work, with varying degrees of success, so does that make them all "hack writers" spending "their lives picking over the bones of authors' lives and work"?
No.

There are two different groups of people involved: 1) those "picking over the bones", etc. (such as academics); 2) those "completing" unfinished works (writers).
 

Stephen Palmer

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It would be so tempting for an egotistical author to put out more of himself after his death.
Terry showed the grown-up way.
For that, amongst many other things, huge respect is due.
My only quibble is that he accepted a knighthood. Oops...
 
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StormFeather

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I Love TP - even now I feel emotional about his passing. When I read Shepherds Crown, and realised that it was his way of saying goodbye, I welled up several times during the course of the book.

And, while I realise that this was his wishes, I still feel a pang that we'll never get to read those precious words.

Terry Pratchett's Hard Drive Crushed According to His Wishes ~ Discworld.com
 

The Judge

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Ah, we've covered that already, Storm, so I'll merge this thread with the one already current. (If I can find it again...)


But since that thread hasn't turned into the "What would you do?" conversation Biskit perhaps envisaged, I'll move it from GWD into the Terry P forum where it fits a little better.
 
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SPoots

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While I personally believe Sir Terry to be one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, I would have cheered the steamroller on if those were his wishes. And I can't imagine a more appropriate end for his unpublished work than a steamroller, given his love of human ingenuity and invention.
 

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