The last ever stories from the mind of Terry Pratchett will eventually be published in September. While they’ll be our final gift from the late great author these stories were written early in his career while he was just a young reporter. Many of these stories have never been released in book form before and range from a steam-powered rocket’s flight to Mars to a Welsh shepherd’s discovery of the resting place of King Arthur. Some of the stories did see the light of day when they appeared in appeared in the Bucks Free Press and Western Daily Press way back in the 60s and early 70s.
Pratchett worked at the Bucks Free Press during this time where he would write a weekly Children’s Circle story column. He published his first novel, The Carpet People, in 1971, when he was only 23. Original copies of the newspapers containing these Pratchett stories can sell for hundreds of pounds online.
When the editors of Pratchett’s children’s books, Ruth Knowles and Tom Rawlinson, learnt there were more early stories not yet in book form they jumped at the opportunity to share them with the world.
“After reading them, we knew we had to create one final book. It is very fitting that some of the first stories he wrote will be in the last collection by him to be published,” said Knowles and Rawlinson in a joint statement. “There is so much in these stories that shows you the germ of an idea, which would go on to become a fully fledged Terry Pratchett novel, and so much hilarity that we know kids will love. That is what makes the stories so special – they are for kids and adults, and kids who want to be adults, and adults who are still really kids. Which is exactly who a Terry Pratchett book should be for.”
The stories in book, titled The Time-travelling Caveman, see him exercising his trademark dry wit. In The Tropnecian Invasion of Great Britain, he writes: “That was how things were done in history. As soon as you saw a place, you had to conquer it, and usually the English Channel was full of ships queuing up to come and have a good conquer.”
“When it comes to Terry, there is always going to be an embarrassment of riches. His incredible talent and imagination knew no bounds,” said Rob Wilkins, the author’s and manager of his estate. “With more tales of everything that would go on to make Terry Pratchett books the phenomenon they became – humour, satire, adventure and fantastical excellence – we just couldn’t deny readers these gems, and the chance to read a Terry story for the first time, one last time. It will mean so much to fans.”
Pratchett sadly passed away in 2015 but not before leaving us a plethora of brilliant novels to enjoy. From Discworld to Good Omens Pratchett left an everlasting mark on the literary world, a mark that will only get stronger this September.