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One of the most unusual last requests of any writer was obeyed at the end of August when the hard drive of the British fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett was crushed by a steamroller.
Before he died, Pratchett – creator of the famous Discworld – series of novels – told his friend, the author Neil Gaiman, what he wanted to happen when he passed away. Gaiman said the author wanted “whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them”.
This is almost exactly what happened. At the Great Dorset Steam Fair the hard drive on which books in progress were stored was crushed by a six-tonne vintage steamroller. The resulting mangled piece of computer detritus will be now among artefacts displayed at the Salisbury Museum in Wiltshire in the exhibition ‘Terry Pratchett: His World’.
This is an exclusive major exhibition based on the writer’s extraordinary life. Pratchett lived close by in Broad Chalke and the exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Pratchett which have never previously been on public display.
The author died in 2015 at the age of 66, was knighted in 2009. He wrote 70 books which have sold around 70m copies worldwide and are available in 37 languages.