The great fantasy author Terry Pratchett, who died in 2015, was reportedly very concerned about what would happen to his unfinished writings after he was gone. “Terry wanted me to have a device connected to his heartbeat so when his heart stopped it would wipe the contents of his hard drive,” his longtime assistant Rob Wilkins told the BBC. That apparently proved impossible, as Pratchett's friend and Good Omens collaborator Neil Gaiman revealed soon after that the late author had also requested a more practical, if no less absurd, option: that “whatever he was working on at the time of his death 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.”
On Friday, Pratchett got his wish, as Wilkins, who now manages Pratchett’s estate, carried out the author’s request by letting a steamroller smush his hard drive at the Great Dorset Steam Fair.
Fans of the Discworld novels might well be dismayed by the destruction of Pratchett’s remaining writings (although they do admittedly already have 41 volumes of Discworld to turn to for comfort, including The Shepherd's Crown, which was published posthumously in 2015). But readers can rest easy with the knowledge that this was a wonderfully silly—and thus perfectly fitting—end for Pratchett’s unfinished work.
The destroyed hard drive will be on display at the Salisbury Museum starting in September as part of an exhibition dedicated to Pratchett.