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Without fully traversing the treacherous geography of the ubiquitous spoiler – for the benefit of any regular GeekDad readers who haven’t yet completed the series – let me just state that Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" ended a little harshly. Adams himself noted the bleak conclusion of the final novel, Mostly Harmless, and expressed an interest in crafting a sixth book so as to end the journey of Arthur Dent and his intergalactic cadre of traveling companions "on a slightly more upbeat note." Unfortunately, due to Adams’s death of a heart attack in 2001, the final installment of the tale was never told.
It has recently been announced that Adams’s widow Jane Belson has approached none other than author Eoin Colfer about penning book six of HHGTTG. A longtime fan of the series, the Artemis Fowl writer has agreed to pick up where Douglas left off in an installment entitled And Another Thing…, which is set to be published next October by Penguin Books. To his credit, Eoin seems to be taking this newfound responsibility as seriously as one could possibly expect.
Colfer, who has been a fan of Hitchhiker since his schooldays, said being given the opportunity to continue the series was "like suddenly being offered the superpower of your choice". "For years I have been finishing this incredible story in my head and now I have the opportunity to do it in the real world," he added. "It is a gift from the gods. So, thank you Thor and Odin."
Neither the writer nor the publisher make any claims that Colfer will be aping the classic Adams’s style for the sake of the project, only that he will be given the richly detailed and delightfully offbeat cast and cosmology of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to take where he deems fit.
All things considered, it should prove an interesting ride, but what will fans of the original geek-lit masterpiece think of another driver at the wheel?
Whether Eoin Colfer is up to (and, indeed, worthy of) the task is a topic for debate amongst the book-buying public. And, in the end, only time will tell where this fantasy novelist takes the series. In the meantime, the only honest answer to the question of this project’s validity is, of course, 42.