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back to article Artemis Fowl scribe to pen sixth Hitchhiker's novel

Fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy are likely to react strongly to the announcement that Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer has been given the green light to write a sixth book in the series - 16 years after the release of Mostly Harmless. According to the BBC, the project - entitled And Another Thing..., and …

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Hmmm

What are the odds of that eh? Two to the...

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His first reaction...

was semi-outrage that anyone should be allowed to tamper with this incredible series.

Followed by loud 'ka-ching!'.

To paraphrase Mr Beeblebrox: "This is so unhip I'm surprised their bums don't fall off."

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Pale imitations?

I don't really know why this is happening, but maybe DA's widow is running short of funds?

Whatever the outcome I can't see how Eoin will be able to replicate Douglas's view of the universe. As I get older, I discover that so many of his thoughts turn out to be true or very nearly so. It's clear to me that the universe has vanished and been replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable, possibly several times and especially after a UK general election has been held.

Perhaps Mr Colfer needs some Vogon poetry read to him while he's trying to concentrate on writing....

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Alien

I'm feeling very very depressed...

and I have this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side.

No disrespect for Mr Coifer, but in fifty years reading science fiction I haven't come across a single instance[1] where alternate authors have used the original author's characters and made it work as well as the original. No reason to think it would be any better on t'radio, either...

My word, what are all those 'creatives' in the BBC doing? Aren't we paying them to come up with ideas? Not deja vu...

[1] where authors share a world, under the strict guidelines of the original author, it *sometimes* comes out readable.

Alien, because sometimes even Paris can't multiply six by nine...

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How?

How do you continue the series when all the characters bar Zaphod are dead?

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People of Earth!

News obviously hasn't reached the publisher that the big DA is in fact dead and not merely out to lunch (missing presumed fed). I know that he had a thing for missing deadlines but really, he is not going to wander back in and put in a good afternoons work he's dead, gone, its really best not to think about it.

I bet that the boardroom at whatever publishing house it is, is full of people trying to decide what colour the new book will be.

I think that DA himself was fed up of the series, looking at the ending of Mostly Harmless he hardly left room for a follow up, having destroyed the Earth and its inhabitants in every concievable dimension throughout history. It's a wonderful cult fiction series and should respectfully remain so forever dredging it up in order to make money from the name is just wrong. Was the film not dire enough? Really? I mean honestly....just......BELGIUM is all I will say.

Aside from that all HHG fans should just pray.....anyone know any good religions?

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:o

I really, really want this to be good.

Please let it be good!

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roughly translated

Fans of ....are likely to react strongly to the announcement...

we hope they'll buy it, no matter how much we charge

...and slated for publication in October 2009 ...

just in time for the american holidays and full-priced christmas sales in the UK

...has the "full support" of Adam's widow Jane Belson. ...

who is already looking through the latest Mercedes catalog.

... My first reaction was semi-outrage ...

then I saw the size of the advance they were offering

.... I feel more pressure to perform now

so I can go for another one after this

... having sold around 16 million copies worldwide

and times are tough - with luck I'll be able to chuck this writing lark

and retire

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Anonymous Coward

FTFY

"Adam's widow Jane Belson ... enthused: 'I am delighted at this opportunity to make a shit load of money.'"

"Colfer, 43, admitted: 'My first reaction was semi-outrage ... But on reflection I realised that this is a wonderful opportunity to make a shit load of money.'"

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Considering ...

... how hard Douglas Adams tried to kill of the series (I won't say how the 5th book in the trilogy ended) I'm very surprised his widow has given the go-ahead for this one.

I think this may become one juju-flop situation.

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Unhappy

There are some things...

better left alone. This is one of them.

I hope it doesn't turn out like the many other follow-ups to great works by now deceased authors (The 'Dune' series, James Bond series, to name a couple), tarnishing the memory of these great works.

I've read the Artemis Fowl Books (yes, I KNOW they're aimed at kids, but DILLIGAF), and Eoin Colfer is a talented writer, but for pity's sake, leave well alone.

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R M
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Fantastic!

I for one, look forward to this. I'd be surprised if another author could capture Adams' style though. I haven't come across one yet.

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Oh well

At least it can't be worse than Mostly Harmless. Such a horrible thing to do just to stop the fans asking for more.

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Well..

Anything to make us forget that incredibly crappy fifth book, really.

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By the Great Prophet Zarquon...

...I hope it's better than the film!!!

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Unhappy

Why?

Just why do we NEED another HHGTG book? Surely it couldn't just be for sordid commercial reasons only? Could it?

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Hmm

Considering Mr Adams didn't want to write fourth book, let alone a fifth, I fail to see how Mr Coilfer can justify his enthusiasm. How is he going to recreate the universe to repopulate it with our favourite characters without Arthur waking up to find Patrick Duffy in the shower? Let's milk these suckers for money whilst I crimp one off into Douglas's coffin.

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Alien

Salmon of Doubt

So is this sixth book going to be entirely clean slate in terms of the existing drafts for a 'potential sixth hitchhikers book, or a dirk gently novel' which were published in Salmon of Doubt, or will it be based around some of the aforementioned partially started work?

I think I'll have to buy this just so I can have an opinion on it...

Steven R

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Ew.

Does anyone really think that another author can duplicate Adams' style? It seems a shoddy, ridiculous notion. (And I bet the manuscript turns up on deadline too. Pah.)

I'd like to think that the Earth will develop a slight eccentricity in its orbit due to Adams' spinning in his grave...

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Outrage, what Outrage?

I doubt anyone can actually replace Douglas Adams, or imitate his style, any more that you could Terry Pratchett's or any of many other loved authors, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't build on their ideas and world with your own.

I'm personally looking forward to seeing how you follow up on "So Long and Thanks for all the Fish". Perhaps we could even have a new Dirk Gently.

So long as Eoin doesn't try to be Douglas Adams and develops the character with his own style, we could have some good reads.

Go for it.

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Alien

Um

Doesn't he write kids books? Isn't that a bit like asking JK Rowling to write something original and interesting? To be fair though, mostly harmless wasn't exactly brilliant was it? Exhume Douglas, add a bit of necromancy and get him writing the 3rd Dirk Gently novel, I gotta fever and I need more Thor (or Cowbell).

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Alien

Series ?

The BBC got this wrong as well. It is not The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series, it is The Hitchhikers's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy.

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NO NO NO!!

Douglas Adams closed off all possibility of the series continuing in Mostly Harmless; in all realities, that was the entire point! My Juvenilise a very good series of books I ask?

Leave it where it naturally ended and that should be that.

I won't be buying this book personally because as far as I'm concerned, Douglas Adams ended the series once and for all......this author should hang up his typewriter and leave the dead in peace

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Do not want

And that's my considered knee-jerk reaction.

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Alien

I think this is a good thing

After all, he can't re-write the old ones and cock them up, so there's nothing to lose.

and I for one would like to welcome our depressed android overlords.

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Rhubarb rhubarb!

Why resurrect this completed series? Seriously, it should be left alone. I suppose this Colfer chap seems to have the right attitude, but it's still unnecessary.

Nobody better try to do this to the Discworld series, once Pratchett eventually succumbs to his alzheimer's, or else I'm going to be really pissed.

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Unhappy

Wait, what?

But the bird thing... the earth... it was destroyed in all possible timelines. I remember, the last book ruined the series, killing of the girl from book 4 in the opening sentence (almost) and then categorically blowing up the earth, rendering the whole series utterly pointless.

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Please...

Can't we just let it end. What is the obsession with sequel after sequel? If you're a good author WRITE SOMETHING ORIGINAL!!

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Unhappy

Stupid idea

"Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws."

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Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

Surely it would have been better to have continued the Dirk Gently novels?

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Alien

Unfortunate.

He's buggered now. Even if he writes a stellar work that's indistinguishable from DNA's originals, people will still slate it on the basis that he isn't Douglas Adams.

Also, when has doing this EVER WORKED WELL?

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Unhappy

Why???

I'm really not sure about this, the 3rd & 4th radio series were not at all good. And Mostly Harmless wasn't really up to much.

Are we going to have the Sci-Fi equivalent of Virginia Andrews, with other writers continuing the series writing under a dead person's name...

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Well, not to put TOO fine a point on it...

Vol 5 was pretty ropey, IMO, and it's entirely possible that Colfer'll make a decent fist of it. Of course it's also possible that as soon as he types the first word, he'll suffer a total existence failure, that the vacuum created by the improbability will cause the solar system to compress to the size of a shaddock, and that the sun will be eaten by a small iguana. Still, worse things happen at sea, eh? Drink up...

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Anonymous Coward

What would Marvin say?

<marvin>

I won't enjoy it

</marvin>

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Anonymous Coward

not a big fan

the series was ok I suppose, just nothing too clever in it.

Why flog a dead horse, let's have something new.

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Dead Vulture

I hereby volunteer...

... to take over the Flashman series before anybody else gets the chance to bugger it up.

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Anonymous Coward

The 6th book already exists...

...it's at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory, with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard."

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Obviously

someone has run out of money and needs a few more Ningies to finally get that Pugh.

Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters all round.

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Nooooo.....

Let him write one in the Hitchhiker universe, like all of the other knock-off fantasy books, but leave the original storyline and characters be. Given Adams' untimely demise, the ending of Mostly Harmless is a perfect conclusion to the series.

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I'd much prefer...

...someone to finish the Dirk Gently novel that we read a bit of in The Salmon of Doubt.

H2G2 is complete and doesn't require anymore input - all of the loose ends have been tied up: "Options collapsed, possibilities folded into each other, and the whole at last resolved itself out of existence."

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Couldn't resist, uh?

Had to milk the franchise one more time? Couldn't let the old chap lie in peace? Perhaps it should be titled "Mostly Spent".

-dZ.

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Is nothing sacred?

Russell the Crowe to play Bill Hicks. Some bloke to write another Hitchhiker book. It some bird related plot to take over the things we love. First a Crow now some foul Fowl thing. I'll be pulling their dead bodies out of the wire mesh on the landdrover windscreen before this is over I know I will. Is that the sound of bombs or of jets crashing?

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Go

There must be lots this already

Most major sci-fi works have their fan-fiction. Someone who likes the work writing something similar. It will just be a published bit of fan fiction.

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Happy

Space Wizards School

I hope its set in space wizards school!

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Alien

I'm so scared

I love HHGTTG, if he screws it up I'll cry :'(

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Adams did want to do another

Adams had planned on doing a 6th H2G2 book as 'Mostly Harmless' was somewhat influenced by a relationship going titsup, and he wanted to make it up to the fans by having a less depressing end to the trilogy.

After all, Arthur Dent had a hard enough fictional life, without his creator taking out his frustrations upon him too.

So whilst I'm wary, I'll give it a chance.

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Need I mention..

the travesty that occured some ten years ago when the Hacks Twain (Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert) got hold of a really bad idea to start fiddling around in the Dune universe? This idea stinks.

Flames, because that is what will be left of the book on it's launch

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Anonymous Coward

interesting

how will he start this off given that all of the characters ceased to exist at the end of the last book.

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Happy

Possible Scenario

How about Arthur is re-incarnated as the first Agrajag? Over the lifetimes, his name morphs from Arthur to Agrajag, and irony of irony, he's killing/killed / will kill (I hate future-past-present tenses when time isn't linear!) himself each time!

Royalies please!

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Dead Vulture

Oi I said "Noooooooooooooooooo"

Hmmmm, I think the fifth book was pushing it, was a big of teh 5th book at all.

If it was a Dirk Gentle book I would be more interested.

I was dissapointed with the film, I cnat see this being any different.

I didnt mind the salmon of doubt, i wasnt interested in t he semi started book, but in the collection of DNA's other writtings.

If they need to make money, how about actual reprinting some of the old stuff that you cant get anymore, like "last chance to see", I would love a copy of this, it was just so wonderfully written.

Sigh

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