I'm going to have to add details and quotes later for this as I don't currently have access to the books, but I remember noticing some things I thought were foreshadowing for an underground system in the later AM Discworld novels. In Thud, a large system of underground tunnels with rails was developed by the dwarves and then abandoned, and the Moist von Lipwig arc all dealt with major infrastructure developments (banking, postal services, railways). Do we have any evidence that Terry Pratchett had plans for, or even started writing, a book concerning the development of an underground railway system for Ankh Mopork?

(Before asking I Googled this and noted that someone over on the LSpace wiki came to the same conclusion, but the page doesn't cite any sources from the Pratchett estate.)

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    It's worth noting that any works in progress were, as per his wishes, quite comprehensively destroyed last year - theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/…. The person most likely to be able to give a definitive answer would be Rob Wilkins. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 12:07
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    Check the foreword (?) to The Shepherd's Crown. It mentioned a few of the planned future works, IIRC. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 18:31
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    If I recall it correctly, in "Making Money" Vetinari speaks of needing a new finance system for funding Undertaking (?). The way it was talked about left me an impression that it was related to Underground.
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 21:40
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    I noticed this article from 2007 says "Because even though Making Money is the 36th Discworld novel, Pratchett isn't resting on his laurels. Just as Lord Vetinari is beginning the Undertaking to modernise Ankh-Morpork with underground railways, so is Pratchett refreshing his series", so I feel like there must be more about this somewhere... amp.theguardian.com/books/2007/sep/29/fiction.terrypratchett
    – tardigrade
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 23:55
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    Closest yet to evidence that Vetinari, at least, had plans in this direction (whether Pterry planned a book about them or not): 'He has plans for the city, you know.' 'The Undertaking,' said Moist. 'Yes, I know.' 'Underground streets and new docks and everything,' said Topsy (Making Money, p51)
    – tardigrade
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


This is almost certainly unanswerable. The only information we have about unwritten Discworld novels is a footnote to The Shepherd's Crown by Rob Wilkins:

We will not know how the old folk of Twilight Canyons solve the mystery of a missing treasure and defeat the rise of a Dark Lord despite their failing memories, nor [... other non-Underground stuff elided]. And these are just a few of the ideas his office and family know about.

In accordance with Pterry's wishes, the hard disk containing his unpublished material was destroyed after his death. Unless a member of "his office and family" choose to disregard the spirit, if not the letter, of that aspect of his will and share his unpublished ideas posthumously, they will remain unknown.

  • I just realised that the question in the title was not the same as the question in body - the former was probably unanswerable, this answers the second. Now edited to match. I'll leave it open for a day or two in case anyone else has anything to add but it seems pretty conclusive.
    – tardigrade
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 23:03

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