Early pseudonymous Terry Pratchett stories identified and published

Sir Terry Pratchett died in 2015, but his legacy grows even now: a collection of short stories [Amazon] published pseudonymously by him in the 70s and 80s is intriguing fans and critics.

There was, he insisted, nothing more. Pratchett gave instructions that all his incomplete drafts be destroyed. He didn't want to end up like Tolkien, every last jotting and note and laundry list dragged out into public view. His quality control was always high, and he was absolutely averse to the sound of a barrel being scraped. And so in 2017 his business manager and literary executor Rob Wilkins drove a steamroller over the hard drive containing all his work in progress. A very Pratchettian moment.

And yet here we are: a "new" volume of hitherto unknown short fiction. How this book came about speaks to the dedication of Pratchett fans. Pat and Jan Harkin assiduously searched the archives of the Bristol-based newspaper the Western Daily Press, following a lead that Pratchett had published there. They discovered fully 20 stories from way back in the 1970s and early 80s written under the pseudonym Patrick Kearns (Kearns being his mother's maiden name; Patrick presumably a blurring of Pratchett). Since these stories had previously appeared in print, the estate has decided they evade the "no publishing of unpublished material" rule Pratchett himself laid down.

Previously: The final Pratchett: The Shepherd's Crown

A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories [Amazon]