Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Anything that happens, happens...including A SIXTH HITCHHIKER'S BOOK?

The author of the Artemis Fowl series will write a sixth Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel.

I...I have NO idea what to make of this.

More info from the article: the book will be called And Another Thing... and will come out next year (maybe to tie into the 30th anniversary -- wow, 30th -- of the first Hitchhiker's novel). Adams's widow Jane Belson hand-picked Artemis Fowl creator Eoin Colfer for the book. And it will NOT pretend to be ghost-written; Colfer's name will be on the cover.

I'm torn. This has to tread such a delicate path not to be a complete and utter disaster. So much would have to go right for this not to seem like a pure money grab. And I've yet to read any Colfer, so I can't yet evaluate if I believe he's up to the challenge of making enough things go right.

But here's a reason I'm trying to trust Belson on this: as Nick Webb recounted in his official Adams biography Wish You Were Here, when Adams was struggling to write Mostly Harmless during one of the worst years of his life (seriously), she told him that it was OK if he abandoned writing that book, if it was too hard for his state of mental health. He argued that he'd been paid a lot of money for the book; she said they could afford to pay it all back. That doesn't seem like the actions of a money-grabber.

I still don't really know what to make of this.

Did Douglas Adams ever seriously consider ideas for a sixth Hitchhiker's? I'd heard rumors, and he'd said that a sixth book could be a good idea, but there's nothing I'd want to repeat in case I heard wrong rumors (or simply made something up; I'm not sure I'd be sure at this point, seven years after Adams's death). I do know he said once that he had almost brought back Marvin the Paranoid Android in Mostly Harmless, the last HHGG book he finished. Marvin was dead by that point, but his time-traveling in earlier books (time-traveling that made him several times older than the universe) could be used to explain a reappearance. But there's, um, the bigger issue of not only the main characters but every possible alternate-universe version of each of the main characters dying at the end of Mostly Harmless, in what I once called "the Alien3 ending." (I'd heard a rumor of how he'd address that, but again, rumor.)

Douglas Adams is very important to me. So's his work: it's a HUGE influence on my mindset. Because of Adams, I found Neil Gaiman, through his Hitchhiker's companion book Don't Panic; through Gaiman I eventually got to know the work of Caitlin R. Kiernan; and through that I got to know the work of Poppy Z. Brite. Hell, I could trace my involvement on LiveJournal, and a bunch of my friendships and acquaintance-relationships, from that string of influences. (And this is a series it took me three tries to get into back in grade school. Really. What if I hadn't tried again?)

Maybe a portion of the proceeds of And Another Thing... should go to environmental charities, since Douglas Adams was so involved in environmental protection.

I still still don't know what to make of this.
Tags: books
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