Eoin Colfer, creator of Artemis Fowl, is being tapped by Douglas Adams‘ widow, Jane Belson, and the literary agency who manages the Adams estate to write a sixth Hitchhiker’s Guide book. This is not, it seems, a job where he is finishing a heretofore unknown unfinished Adams work–Colfer is picking up where Mostly Harmless left off (i.e., an actual ending) and running with it. Apparently Adams himself had kicked around the idea of a sixth book, but that’s about it. The book is called And Another Thing… and is due out from Penguin in October of 2009.
Now. I have not read the Fowl books. I do not know Colfer. He might be a fantastic writer. And I, of course, don’t know what he has planned for this book. It could turn out to be the book that calms the raging tides of dissent among humanity and brings peace to the world, helping us evolve into a state of pure bliss. We will know come next October. And if I am misjudging the situation then I will say so when the time is right.
All that being said: This is an astonishingly wretched idea and there is absolutely nothing about it that doesn’t stink of greed.
If you want to play in Douglas Adams’ universe there are plenty of ways to do so without messing with the series as it stands, which, as everyone who read all five books knows, is about as ended as a series can get. Invite a bunch of authors to write an anthology set in the universe playing with other characters. Write a series of young adult novels with the adventures of Young Zaphod.
I know you own the rights and you can do whatever you want with it, guys, but at least make an attempt to be clever at attempting to cash in on the series, would you?