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← Eoin Colfer to write sixth Hitchhiker's Guide book

Eoin Colfer to write sixth Hitchhiker's Guide book - Comments

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 1 by Apathy personified

So, thank you Thor and Odin
Ha - Good bloke, they are really cool gods, gods you can have a drink with and will back you up in a 'bar scuffle', none of this 'love thy neighbour' rubbish.

I haven't read any of his previous work, but he has HUGE boots to fill - I hope it's a great read though.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 06:13:00 UTC | #236418

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 2 by Don_Quix

No pressure. No pressure. Breathe....breeeaaaaathe.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 06:56:00 UTC | #236449

notreallyalice's Avatar Comment 3 by notreallyalice

"It's absolutely about him being himself â€" Eoin the author, but with the cast of Hitchhiker."

So it's official fan faction?

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:01:00 UTC | #236452

beeline's Avatar Comment 4 by beeline

WTF? Why on earth would this even be allowed? Is Ed Victor or Jane Belsen short of cash?

And even if it's good, what difference does it make? An impression of Douglas is not Douglas.


Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:11:00 UTC | #236460

TrappedInHappyValley's Avatar Comment 5 by TrappedInHappyValley

I am a HUGE fan of the Hitchiker's series.
My kids are fans of the Artemis Fowl books.
I haven't read any of the Fowl series yet, guess I better before this book comes out. Just to get a feel for the author.
He does have some galactic size shoes to fill!
But I look forward to the continuation of The Guide.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:20:00 UTC | #236465

BicycleRepairMan's Avatar Comment 6 by BicycleRepairMan

As an avid DA and HHG fan, I honestly dont see the point of this..To me HHG is Douglas Adams' world, his characters, his plot, his words, I'm sure Colfer is a terrific author and all, and I hope he does a great job, but I think I'd feel the same way if Adams was continuing Colfer's original stories, I just dont get it.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:23:00 UTC | #236470

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 7 by Don_Quix

Well, Adams created his own universe in the Guide series. I guess you could look at it as being kind of like all the official Star Wars and Star Trek novels that expand on their respective universes, and often use the primary original characters, but aren't written by the original authors of those series.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:32:00 UTC | #236474

theinquisitor's Avatar Comment 8 by theinquisitor

"Approximately 16m copies of Hitchhiker books have been sold worldwide"

Where can I get one of these 16 metre books?

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:36:00 UTC | #236476

beeline's Avatar Comment 9 by beeline

Any outlet that accepts Ningis will provide you with one.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:48:00 UTC | #236484

geehigh's Avatar Comment 10 by geehigh


And even if it's good, what difference does it make? An impression of Douglas is not Douglas.

Of course you're right, but I'll give it a blast. At best it will be a fun read, and at worst the charity shop may get a couple of quid from it.

G :)

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 08:00:00 UTC | #236490

Gnu Atheist's Avatar Comment 11 by Gnu Atheist

I was very skeptical when Brian Herbert sought to continue his father's legacy with additions to the Dune series. Several books later, he will never be his father; but, I've still enjoyed emersing myself in that old universe again and again. I appreciate it for what it is. I hope to do the same with a new HHG and here's hoping that Colfer is up to the task.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 08:15:00 UTC | #236501

beeline's Avatar Comment 12 by beeline

It was dreadful enough releasing The Salmon of Doubt containing, as it did, work that he had not polished up to the point of acceptable release ("Up over the picture rails", as Wodehouse put it). But of course the publishers had unfulfilled advances to recoup, or so we're led to believe.

"It's always a challenge when we haven't got Douglas any more?" how can we introduce his writing to the next generation?"

Er, word of mouth seems to work quite well. It's like saying "How can we introduce the idea of shoes to the next generation?"
"There's a huge fan base out there, but this is a really exciting way of creating a new legacy."

Pff - legacy my arse. It's a way for other people to make some more money out of his name. He's already left a legacy, in case you haven't noticed: it's all the books he did write, and I hardly think anyone's going to miss the entire shelf of editions that can be found in any bookshop, and referenced in most of western culture.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 08:17:00 UTC | #236503

Elli's Avatar Comment 13 by Elli

Well I for one am looking forward to it. If the book ends up being a disappointment, then so be it, but I am going to give it a chance... and why not? It is a wonderfully rich universe of ideas that DA created and can be drawn upon, and I don't think this can tarnish DA's legacy at all. If the book is disappointing, then it speaks to how amazing DA was and makes his original work even more respected. If the book is well received, then it allows DA's creations to live on in new and exciting ways. I don't see the downside personally, so long as there is no cheap commercialism at play and there is no attempt to make this seem like a DA project - which they have said will not be the case.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 08:29:00 UTC | #236510

clatz's Avatar Comment 14 by clatz

I would be interested to hear Richards take on this.

Personally I think there is little grounds for complaint if the family have approved the project ... don't read the book.

I will treat it as an alternative ending, rather like the ones you get in the bonus material of some DVD releases.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 08:36:00 UTC | #236515

Homo economicus's Avatar Comment 15 by Homo economicus

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 09:19:00 UTC | #236532

Ex~'s Avatar Comment 16 by Ex~

This is Blasphemy.

For it is written: any who will add unto the words of this series, to him I will add the horrors written in this book.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 09:30:00 UTC | #236540

PaulJ's Avatar Comment 17 by PaulJ

To everyone who is concerned that Colfer is not Adams, and his continuation of HHGG might not live up to their hopes and expectations, remember this:

Adams' books are not going away. They'll still be there even after Colfer's effort is published.

There's no such thing as 'holy writ' (as we of all people should agree!).

Edit: Further comment here.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 09:45:00 UTC | #236550

corinnemic's Avatar Comment 18 by corinnemic

I'm terribly excited by this. I love Colfer's works. His humor is obviously informed by Adams's without being a blatant copy. He's also a very decent chap from what I've read.

I've been a fan of Adams's since fourth grade and, once upon a time, would have considered this high treason. But, having listened to the new radio series and heard what others can do with this universe, I'm willing to give it a chance.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 09:49:00 UTC | #236554

ggab7768's Avatar Comment 19 by ggab7768

I agree with some of the above statements.
As far as I'm concerned there can never be another Douglas Adams and I'm uncomfortable with the thought. However I know that i will pick this up and read it. These characters had a massive effect on me so I will hope for the best.
Please, let me be pleasantly surprised.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 10:01:00 UTC | #236561

Darwin's badger's Avatar Comment 20 by Darwin's badger

I just hope that Colfer's contribution is of a higher standard that Claude Voilier's "Famous Five" books. They were shite.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 11:02:00 UTC | #236603

decius's Avatar Comment 21 by decius

Comment #249655 by Darwin's badger

I just hope that Colfer's contribution is of a higher standard that Claude Voilier's "Famous Five" books.

I can't recall a single case in the history of literature when this type of operation hasn't failed miserably.
The driving factor behind is always economical, and to credibly replicate another author's brilliance and style for more than a few pages is nearly impossible.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 11:09:00 UTC | #236613

V'Ger's Avatar Comment 22 by V'Ger

I really can't see this working well.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 11:15:00 UTC | #236620

William Carlton's Avatar Comment 23 by William Carlton

I say of course why not. My thirteen-year-old asked me the other day if he thought that Harrison Ford would ever make another Indiana Jones film. I'm always interested in these prediction-type questions, because the space of possibilities in the near future is so vast (especially with regard to media). I almost said no, because of the very low probability that Lucas, Speilberg, and Ford will actually get down to the business of grinding out another picture in the small window of time in which that have to do it.

But then I said yes, because for all I know Harrison Ford will go from 80 to 18 on the wings of some scientific breakthrough or another. Of course, that did seem a rather outlying possibility so I offered a different take. There is no reason, for example, that the various memes which make up the personna of Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones cannot be arranged to pleasing effect by some future storyteller's pallette, each aspect of idiosyncratic "Harrison Fordiness" orchestrated by its own little team of homunculi, every member fully versed in the "essence" of Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones as directed by Steven Speilberg.

But would it be AUTHENTIC? Not just achieving virisimilitude, that is easier than we like to think. Comedians like Rich Little have made careers out of bottling personalities, because we are not just easy to be fooled---we enjoy it. No, the challenge is nailing down just what we mean by "authentic".

The man whose name sits atop this webpage said that the only thing which survives our death is our genes and our memes. Has there ever been, for a person like Harrison Ford especially, such high-fidelity copying and reproduction of the memes that make us "us"? When Elvis fans bark that The King isn't dead, I think of all those literally thousands of impersonators and think: No, he isn't.

I mean really, how many atoms that threw those hammer punches in the last Indian Jones still reside in the body of the fellow who shared the screen with Shia Labeouf this summer? I'm pretty sure the answer is zero. Many fans will relate to the phenomenon of feeling something a bit off-putting about seeing Ford again in the iconic role so indelibly etched in their minds. Notice how difficult it is for them to explain what they are feeling.

So I have little doubt that we've yet to see the last of Indiana Jones, or virtually any other franchise even remotely profitable or well-attented. Say that studios introduce an option for actors to cash in on leaving their likeness to posterity in the form of a detailed mental and physical profile that can be resurrected post-humously for the purposes of---making money, obviously (or art)---but also more richly PRESERVING that individual as a developing narrative. It's a little slice of immortality, some might imagine. Or ghoulish. The actor would have limited influence, obviously, in the career choices of his studio-bought avatar. Harrison Ford might not be too keen to star, unwittingly, in a movie titled "Indian Bones---The Amazon Woman". Perhaps some mechanisms can be put in place similar to those found in trusts which prevent legacy funds, for instance, from being misused (from the benefactor's POV).

It would require a fundamental shift in the way we think about our selves, but it also happens to be the direction in which things are headed. And there's no reason it has only to be for personalities in demand. Here's an article that has some interesting things to say about it:

"The National Science Foundation has awarded a half-million-dollar grant to the universities of Central Florida at Orlando and Illinois at Chicago to explore how researchers might use artificial intelligence, archiving, and computer imaging to create digital life-like versions of real people. This is considered a first step toward creating virtual immortality.

'The goal is to combine artificial intelligence with the latest advanced graphics and video game-type technology to enable us to create historical archives of people beyond what can be achieved using traditional technologies such as text, audio, and video footage,' says Jason Leigh of the University of Chicago's Electronic Visualization Laboratory.

The researchers plan on taking the appearance, mannerisms, voice, and even the knowledge of a real person and synthesizing the data into a 'virtual person' or avatar. The goal is to create an avatar that will be able to respond to questions and convincingly represent its human counterpart."

On the more low-tech end, Ezra Klein thinks a lot of under-employed English majors could be put to work fashioning commissioned biographies for 30 to 40 thousand dollars a pop. I had this same idea years ago.

So anyways, congratulations to Mr. Colfer.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 12:26:00 UTC | #236699

Corylus's Avatar Comment 24 by Corylus

Mr Colfer, if you are reading this...

Break a leg :-)

I have read one of your Artemis Fowl books and enjoyed it. (My book club throws in a children's book now and again so we don't get pompous).

Your sense of fun is obvious. Please don't get so wound up with living up to DA that you lose that. It is what you both share.

I think you'll do fine.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 12:49:00 UTC | #236720

InfuriatedSciTeacher's Avatar Comment 25 by InfuriatedSciTeacher

I'll read it, even while expecting to be disappointed, simply because it's another HHG book. At least he isn't pretending to be Adams. On that note, I'd have rathered see Terry Pratchett attempt this, as I'm familiar with his style and think it would fit HHG well. I've heard rumours the poor man has alzheimer's, however.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 14:23:00 UTC | #236809

DeepFritz's Avatar Comment 26 by DeepFritz

Before anybody gets too overheated, just remember that Professor Richard Dawkins has being writing sequels to "Origin of the Species" for decades now!

I am still amazed at how well Tom Clancy is writing now a days. 2-pac seems to be able to keep on releasing albums along with Jeff Buckley. Whilst we are on that subject, I am sure that most people enjoyed Oasis after listening to the Beatles.

As for other books, I am sure that Harry Potter will long out live J.K. Rowling...

If a book is going to be produced, then the real task for mine lies not just with the authors, but the people who publish the book - to avoid churning out pulp in order to make a buck...

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 14:25:00 UTC | #236811

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 27 by Cartomancer

Now, it's probably tantamount to heresy on to admit it, but I've never actually read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Or seen the TV series, heard the radio series or watched the film. I guess that's probably because my parents kept rabbiting on about how funny it was throughout my childhood and, well, anything your parents reccommend is automatically unworthy of consideration to a self-respecting teenager. Cher, Elton John, the drinking of alcohol and that godforsaken Dido and Aeneas record fall into the same category, as does the decidedly icky business of human reproduction.

Nevertheless, lots of people I know seem to think Adams was quite funny. He has undoubtedly achieved cult status and more in a large part of the population, and left a lasting impression on popular culture. As such I am not at all surprised that someone wants to continue to explore the universe he has created and develop the characters that populate it. When Terry Pratchett finally hangs up his "I aten't dead" sign for the last time, I'm sure there will be legions of people who want to tarry in the Discworld a while longer too. It happened for Tolkien, it happened for Ian Fleming's James Bond, it's happening for Harry Potter. It even happened for HP Lovecraft's Cthulu books on a smaller scale. These things have had such an impact that they've gone beyond being mere literature and turned into something far more powerful - each one has become a mythos.

And, just like the traditional mythoi of antiquity, they're bigger than one author alone. Homer was not the first and would not be the last writer to tell the tale of Troy and narrate the travails of Odysseus, Vergil not the first to relate the story of Rome. Malory's Morte D'Arthur spawned a whole genre of Arthurian romance with a stock of characters and events that was enriched as the middle ages progressed, and just because Chaucer had done it before didn't stop Shakespeare retelling the tale of Troilus and Cressida. The tales of Robin Hood and William Tell and Don Juan and Doctor Faustus and Miyamoto Musashi have been told by hundreds of different storytellers in their respective traditions, and where would Dante and Milton be if they had not written what today might be summarily dismissed as old testament fan fiction?

Now, there is a difference, I suppose, between continuing a narrative series and reimagining the plot entirely as much pre-modern literature did. That's an issue of genre and modern writing conventions however - the trilogy, the series and the directly successive sequel are not categories the traditional makers of myth would have readily recognised. I have never been inspired to write fan fiction myself, but I applaud the efforts and creativity of those who have been inspired to do so (the closest I got was a horribly self-involved and melancholic parody poem inspired by the Divine Comedy - people have likened me to Marvin the Paranoid Android, whoever he is).

It seems to me that the impulse to limit and restrict a mythos to what is "canonical" and exclude or suppress the "apocryphal" is suspiciously religious in character. It places an arbitrary halter on the creative mind of man and circumscribes him within restrictive limits - it judges what is to be considered culture and what is not. I think the mark of great literature is precisely that it sparks such interest and devotion that writers are inspired to carry on its legacy, and when this living creative impulse is strangled it can only result in the corpus of works becoming ossified as mere antiquarian curiosities.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 17:17:00 UTC | #236886

jonjermey's Avatar Comment 28 by jonjermey

HHGG is a textbook example of a meme that started out in just the right medium -- serial radio -- and got more and more degraded the further it travelled from its original home. The printed scripts were funny, the novels were passable, the TV series was poor, and the film was an abomination. From this report it sounds as if they have forgotten the origins of HHGG altogether. Hello? Anyone remember radio?

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 17:50:00 UTC | #236896

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 29 by Diacanu

Well, for my sequel to TGD, I'd just like to say, there's no way I could replace Richard, so I'll be playing a Timelord regeneration of the good Professor.

My Richard Dawkins constantly fiddles with his backwards ballcap, exits a room by kicking up his feet, and exclaiming "Boing! Boing!", and will have an unnatural yet adorable fetish for nabbing up and chawing bits of ABC gum.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 18:00:00 UTC | #236899

Sittingduck's Avatar Comment 30 by Sittingduck

This is all very disconcerting and due, I am sure, because of eddies in the space time continuum. ..Is he? :)

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 19:32:00 UTC | #236932