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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Farking Zarquon! Eoin Colfer is writing a sixth Hitchhikers’ book!?

The author of the popular Artemis Fowl series has been contracted by Hyperion books to write a sixth book in the evermore inaccurately named Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

The sixth book is reportedly titled And Another Thing... and is scheduled to be published in October 2009 by Hyperion.

The book has been sanctioned by Douglas Adams’ widow Jane Belson: “I am delighted that Eoin Colfer has agreed to continue the Hitchhiker series. I love his books and could not think of a better person to transport Arthur, Zaphod, and Marvin to pastures new. The project has my full support.”

Colfer told the BBC he feels “more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books,” adding that he was “determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written.”

Colfer told the BBC his first reaction was “semi-outrage that anyone should be allowed to tamper with this incredible series. But on reflection I realized that this is a wonderful opportunity to work with characters I have loved since childhood and give them something of my own voice while holding on to the spirit of Douglas Adams.”

I suspect there will be a lot of negative criticism for the eventual outcome. Fans tend to have strong opinions about the purity of their favorite writers’ oeuvre. For fans of Douglas Adams, perhaps doubly so.

Interestingly, almost this exact same thing happened just a few years ago with my other favorite writer (Adams and Heinlein are the two faves, in case you haven’t been paying attention). A partial manuscript was uncovered from the Heinlein Archives at UC Santa Cruz, and Spider Robinson was asked to complete it. The result, Variable Star, was not exactly a Heinlein book, but still an interesting read and not so disastrous as I’d imagined it could have been. I actually liked it a fair amount.

So I will adopt a cautious skepticism about the sixth Hitchhikers’ book, dust off the Artemis Fowl books I haven’t read yet, and wait for 2009.

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