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  1. Joel
    Joel August 30, 2017 6:16 am

    “…Pratchett had wanted “whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, …”

    Might be for the best. He published what he wanted published, long after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Maybe he figured anything else he’d been working on would do nothing to gild his reputation.

    Before Heinlein died he produced a flurry of jumbled, barely-coherent, just plain *bad* novels that I rather wished had remained unpublished if not unwritten. Being a Heinlein completist I read them anyway but I said at the time they should have been edited with an axe. In hindsight maybe a steam roller would have been better.

  2. Bear
    Bear August 30, 2017 7:24 am

    Thinking of the alleged “complete manuscript” of Piper’s “First Cycle” that was found and “edited and expanded” by Kurland, I don’t blame Pratchett for wanting his remainders destroyed.

    “First Cycle” wasn’t bad, but it sure wasn’t Piper.

  3. laird
    laird August 30, 2017 8:09 am

    I agree with Joel. And Heinlein’s posthumously published novella “For Us, the Living” is so bad his estate did his memory no favors by permitting it to be published. It was one of Heinlein’s first efforts, and there is a reason he left it unpublished. Pratchett was undoubtedly aware that the quality of his work was declining along with his health, and even with competent help (such as Neil Gaiman) it probably couldn’t be salvaged. Much as I love Pratchett’s work, I salute his last request.

  4. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews August 30, 2017 8:47 am

    I’m conflicted. On the one hand I’d want to honor his wishes. On the other I think if more authors-in-training could get a look at unfinished works by the authors they admire it might be a bit of encouragement. Well written novels don’t just appear in the middle of the night, they take work, and rework, before they’re ready.

  5. Claire
    Claire August 30, 2017 10:21 am

    LibertyNews — You summed it up perfectly.

    OTOH, unfortunately you and I both know that posthumous works by popular writers aren’t usually published as guides for authors-in-training. More like “here’s the latest from the late, great so-and-so, so we can squeeze another million or three out of his reputation.” Sigh.

    I agree on Heinlein. I never read that posthumous early work, but I sure read a lot of drivel published under his name (e.g. I Will Fear No Evil). I didn’t grow up with Heinlein like a lot of you did. I discovered him at the time of Stranger in a Strange Land — just around the time he was having brain surgeries or some such and publishing things he would otherwise have never let loose on the world. Cringeworthy.

    OTOH, I read Pratchett’s final Discworld novel, and it was terrific. However he was doing it, whoever was helping him do it, they were honoring his work and his reputation and clearly not just exploiting him.

    The one big shame aside from Pratchett’s early death was that he never finished the novel he was planning about taxation on the Discworld. Now that would have been something grand to read.

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