On New Hitchhiker’s

Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl, will be writing a new novel in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.

I don’t know what to say.

I mean, yes, I’ll be curious.

But at the same time, I just don’t know.

I mean, I really don’t know.

Colfer himself says:

My first reaction was semi-outrage that anyone should be allowed to tamper with this incredible series. But on reflection I realised 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 just don’t know.

I’ve written in other people’s universes. I read comics — which are often people writing in someone else’s universe. It just doesn’t seem… right… no, workable… that someone should be writing in a universe as unique and as perversely weird as Adams’. Yes, I know, there’s Terry Jones’ Starship Titanic, but that’s different — Adams was alive, and fuck, it was Terry Jones.

But this

I admit, I am wholly unfamiliar with Colfer’s work. I’ve heard the name “Artemis Fowl,” but I know nothing more than that. I see that it’s a series of books about a teenaged criminal mastermind. That doesn’t really, erm, lend itself to Arthur Dent, does it?

I’m sorry, I’m still trying to process this.

Okay. Here’s the thing.

If Stephen Fry wrote it, I’d be fine with it. If Terry Jones wrote it, I’d be fine with it. It’s the personableness of Hitchhiker’s. It’s that, if the series must continue, I’d want someone who knew Douglas Adams, who was snarky like Douglas Adams, who was sarcastic and witty like Douglas Adams, and, above all else, who knew Douglas Adams.

Yes, I know I repeated that last one.

I have no doubts of Colfer’s ability to write. I have no doubts that the book will turn out interesting and good. But I have doubts as to whether or not it’s necessary.

It’s that Hitchhiker’s is, obviously, kinda personal. It is “a weird nerd religion,” as Zadie Smith once described Star Trek. If it must be done, I want to see it done right.

But must it be done?

Alas, that ship has sailed.

And Another Thing… is due out in October 2009.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On New Hitchhiker’s

  1. That’s… special. I read the first three Artemus Fowl books in middle school/early high school — didn’t read Hitchhiker’s Guide or the following books until junior year of high school; the girl I was dating was an Adams fan since elementary school, and was appalled that I hadn’t read the books.

    I’ll say this: I remember the Fowl books fondly, and I remember that reading Hitchhiker’s did remind me of them quite a bit. I think, stylistically, that he can pull off an Adamsy feel, but I have nothing to base the content on — Fowl did have sci-fi elements, but the humor wasn’t at all the same, and the sci-fi bits were all set to a folklore/fantasy backdrop.

    So I’m hoping for the best, because there was an undefinable feeling of similarity between the authors when I read them, but I don’t know how Colfer will stand up in Adams’ universe(s).

  2. I can’t say I was an Adams fan in elementary school; I discovered the Hitchhiker’s series when I was in eighth grade, and I blew through each book in a day. (I, personally, think the weakest is Life, the Universe, and Everything. Well, until Mostly Harmless, which was mostly unnecessary.)

    I’m tempted to pick up the first Artemis Fowl book, just so I have a better sense to judge my feelings on the subject. I know my reaction is a knee-jerk reaction. Others write James Bond novels, and I have no trouble with that. On a mailing list I’m subscribed to, there’s discussion as to whether or not someone should write more Horatio Hornblower novels. (The mood of the list is a resounding “no” — I seem to be the only defender of the idea.)

    I can see reasons for writing another H2G2 book, to keep the property, the characters, the concept in front of the audience with new product.

    But because it was so uniquely Adams, I;m hesitant to see someone else try.

    I’ll be curious. But it wouldn’t surprise me to have butterflies in my stomach, either, when the book comes out. Because I certainly have them right now just thinking about it. :mrgreen:

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