* For certain values of "episode", this trope is known to be OlderThanDirt: many ancient masterpieces of literature are lost forever, and many others are missing chunks of text due to physical deterioration. We know of a relatively small number from quotations or references in other literature of antiquity.
** To give a well known example of lost literature: The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Lyric_Poets Nine Lyric Poets]]. Out of {{Creator/Sappho}}'s poems, the vast majority are simply lost to history (read: out of nine volumes of poetry, exactly ''one'' complete poem has survived). Out of the other eight poets, at least a half fared ''worse'' - fragments are all that remains from their work.
** ''Literature/TheIliad'' and ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' were originally just two of eight poems that made up the Literature/TrojanCycle telling the story of the Trojan War. The other six, which were not attributed to {{Homer}}, are all lost. However, it is possible to deduce the contents of the other poems through a number of summaries, excerpts and references in extant works.
*** Said lost works include many of the most widely-known episodes of the whole saga. For example, [[AchillesHeel Achilles' death]] and the building of the TrojanHorse happen after the events of the ''Iliad'', and were recounted in the ''Aethiopis'' and the ''Little Iliad'' respectively. The fall of Troy is the subject of the ''Iliou Persis'' ([[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Greek for "The Sack of Ilion")]].
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria The Library of Alexandria]]
*** A particularly scary hypothesis on the destruction of the Library's contents claims that the works of Creator/{{Aristotle}}, Creator/{{Plato}}, Sappho, Alceus and many more were used to heat the baths in the city for months after the Library was ransacked. Luckily (or not) it's more widely accepted that most of the work in the Library was lost simply due to negligence during what was a politically disastrous time.
** ''Literature/TheBible'' contains references to books, such as the ''Book of Jasher'' and ''Chronicles of the Kings of Israel''. These are known as lost Jewish texts. Additionally, Books that were written in the New Testament era were either lost or destroyed (with some surviving and being recovered.)
* The never-published (but still canon) ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' book, ''Invasion'', which was eventually lost forever after Greg Farshtey's computer died.
** Not that it was ever close to being finished, mind you. Even if the written chapters were to be published somehow, about two thirds of the story would still have been missing.
* The memoirs of [[EvilMatriarch Agrippina the Younger]], which we only know existed due to their having been used as references by later Roman historians. Seeing the life of one of the most powerful and prominent women in Roman history from her own point of view would've been nice.
* Many ancient philosophical texts are considered lost. This includes all of Aristotle's dialogues (which themselves [[TropeMakers started a genre]] of texts distinct from Creator/{{Plato}}'s dialogues) and all the writings of the pre-Socratic philosophers. If Socrates himself ever wrote anything, that has vanished too. All that we know about any of these works, we owe to excerpts, summaries and other secondary sources written by later authors.
* One of the ''Literature/JustWilliam'' books contain a story where the Outlaws dress as "Nasties" (Nazis) in order to frighten a local Jewish shopkeeper whom they suspect of cheating his customers. This is now left out of reprints of the book at the initial request of the author and the executor of her estate.
* An example that's notable for being a missing book concerning a major film. In the final years of his life, ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' writer Michael Piller spent a significant amount of time writing ''Fade In: The Making of Film/StarTrekInsurrection'', a very comprehensive look at the behind-the-scenes process and development of what was the ninth feature film for the franchise. While the book is very thorough and engaging, it also highlighted several elements that contributed to the DorkAge the franchise found itself in during the early 2000's: lots of jockeying between members of the TNG cast (notably Brent Spiner) for increased screen time, the scuttling of several scripts that had the [[WhatCouldHaveBeen potential]] to be much, much better than the final product, and a detailed breakdown of Paramount's policies and correspondence regarding test screenings and film reshoots. The manuscript was left unreleased, apparently due to Paramount not agreeing with the content in the book, and it remained lost for many years until a source close to Piller passed it to some of the notable Trek fan sites. Almost immediately, the sites were all forced to remove the manuscript due to a cease-and-desist order from Piller's family, and it has once again fallen into obscurity (save for the few fans who downloaded a copy when it was still available).
* The original manuscript of ''[[Literature/AliceInWonderland Through the Looking Glass]]'' by Creator/LewisCarroll included a character called "the wasp in a wig" (Alice would have encountered the wasp at the end of Chapter 8, after her meeting with the White Knight), but the character was cut before publication, possibly because illustrator John Tenniel found the character superfluous and could not see a satisfactory way to draw it. The galley proofs of the missing section (which included a previously unpublished poem) were reported to have turned up at auction at Sotheby's in 1974; they are widely believed to be authentic, but not universally so as no tests have been carried out to prove their age.
* ''Literature/DeadSouls'', the masterpiece of Creator/NikolaiGogol's career, survives in fragments. It was going to be a three-volume work; Gogol had completed the second volume and started the third when he succumbed to severe depression and burned a lot of his drafts. What's left is volume one and some fragments from volume two.
* Creator/JTEdson completed a fifth novel of his ''Bunduki'' series, titled ''Amazons of Zillikian'', that was never released due to a dispute with the Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs estate. Fans hold out hope that it will one day be released.
* ''Literature/ForeverKnight'' produced three spin-off novels. A fourth, "On Holy Ground", was ready for release, but the license was cancelled. The fan-produced copies of the book that occasionally show up on Ebay can fetch a high price.
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' had a series of 8 spin-off novels (which are apparently considered canon). A 9th novel was apparently ready for production, but either the license lapsed or it was cancelled due to lack of profitability. This left the final book, "White Silence", with an ad for "Barricades", a novel which doesn't exist.
* This may also be the case with the ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'' digest novels. There's a Library of Congress listing for a novel entitled "Groundswell", but no such novel was ever released.
* The final two (of five) novels from science fiction writer Ansen Dibellís ''King of Kantmorie'' series (''Tidestorm Limit'' and ''The Sun of Return'') have never been published in the authorís native English. However, copies do exist in French and Dutch translations.
* "Cosmic Corkscrew", the first story Creator/IsaacAsimov submitted (unsuccessfully) for publication, no longer existed by the time Asimov's other early work was collected and published. TheOtherWiki has a whole [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Early_Asimov#Lost_stories list]] of early Asimov stories that were never published and so unable to appear in the anthology.
** That list also contains two {{subversion}}s: "The Weapon", which Asimov had forgotten about because it was originally published under a pseudonym, and "Big Game", which was never published and assumed lost until a fan just happened to find the rough draft in a university library. Both works have since been reprinted in other anthologies.
* The Literature/HoratioHornblower short stories "The Hand of Destiny", "Hornblower and His Majesty" and "The Bad Samaritan", originally published in ''Argosy'' in 1941, were discouraged from reprinting due to a ContinuitySnarl caused by ''The Happy Return'', ''The Hand of Destiny'' and ''Hornblower and the Atropos'' -- the taking of the Spanish ship ''Castilla'' and the powder burn on Hornblower's hand -- but were included in a (quite rare) biography of C. S. Forester ([[http://www.scaryfangirl.com/Once%20Again5thNetVer.pdf found]] by [[MeaningfulName scaryfangirl.com]]). Also ''The Point and Edge'', which was unfinished when [[AuthorExistenceFailure C S Forester died]], and only exists as an outline in ''The Hornblower Companion'' and ''Hornblower During the Crisis''.
* ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' books:
** ''Campaign'', which was originally pitched to BBC Books as a "pure historical" (a story focusing on historical places with no sci-fi elements beyond the time travellers themselves), with the TARDIS crew following Alexander the Great's campaign in Europe and being forced to take roles in history due to accidentally wrecking the timeline - Barbara heading for India to learn, Susan marrying Alexander (playing off the historical Alexander's bride being a Persian princess described as a 'teenager of no more than fifteen years given to dancing and wild flights of fantasy and occultism') and Ian spying on Alexander by becoming his bodyguard [[AdaptationalSexuality and]] [[HoneyTrap lover]]. ExecutiveMeddling insisted that the pitch was out of character and the plot contrived, to which the author justified his character decisions and suggested AnachronicOrder, to which the executives agreed. The book that eventually happened is a {{metafiction}}al MindScrew about various iterations of the TARDIS crew (modelled after non-canonical ''Doctor Who'' works - TV Comics annuals, Target novelisations, even the boardgames in ''The Dalek Book'') trapped in the TARDIS when the universe no longer exists, with the Alexander historical relegated to backstory, and the plot being about the TARDIS crewmembers slowly going mad and [[TheyKilledKennyAgain repeatedly dying in order to 'ascend']] while taking [[IncestIsRelative even]] [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation bigger]] [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption liberties]] with characterisation. This version of the book was rejected outright and eventually self-published as a fanzine.
** ''Equilibrium'', a Third Doctor book. It was first pitched for the Missing Adventures line, and rejected because the line had all but ended and no further submissions were being taken. It was then shopped to the Past Doctor Adventures line that came up to replace it, only to be rejected because it used (the obscure but enjoyable) Great Vampires as the villains - the BBC had planned that the first Past Doctor Adventure (a Fifth Doctor story called ''Goth Opera'') would be released simultaneously with the second Eighth Doctor Adventure (''Vampire Science''), both forming a timey-wimey sequel/prequel {{Arc}} about Vampires, to serve as cross-promotion for both lines. ''Equilibrium'' contradicted the plot of this arc, and even if that had been fixable, releasing another Vampire book at that point would have caused confusion as to whether or not it was part of the arc, as well as villain-fatigue from the Vampires' overuse. ''Equilibrium'' was also eventually self-published as a fanzine.
* Creator/VCAndrews had written several stories before ''Literature/FlowersInTheAttic'' was published, but for one reason or another, only ''Gods Of Green Mountain'' (her first novel) was published, and only almost twenty years after her death (and only in eBook form). The most famous of these unpublished stories was ''The Obsessed'', which was mistaken for years to be the original transcript for ''FITA'' until a 2013 interview with ''FITA'''s editor cleared that up.
** Andrews' only published short story from her lifetime, ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin I Slept With My Uncle On My Wedding Night]]'', was published only once in a pulp confessions magazine. She never told any of her family ''what'' magazine, so it remains unknown. In any case, it has yet to resurface, and no one (not even her estate) seems to have a copy of it.
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