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Thursday, April 16, 2009

"And Another Thing..."

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Life in the hereafter must be boring. Incredibly and excruciatingly boring.

Cover art for 'And Another Thing...', taken from The Douglas Adams / HG2G blog, hosting by Photobucket Those were the exact thoughts that ran thru Walski’s mind when The Lord Panda sms’d him this morning, telling Walski that the 6th installment of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy would be coming out in October this year.

Why? Well, for starters, the author of the extended-play trilogy, Douglas Adams, died in 2001. And more importantly, time travel has not yet been made commercially available for all and sundry to abuse. Not even Douglas Adams, post-humorously.

So, how could it be that another book would be released, 8 years after Adams’ death, making Hitchhiker’s the longest ever trilogy? Something just wasn’t cricket

As it turns out, the book release was, in fact, old news. BBC had reported, back in September 2008, that a new author had been selected to continue the timeless travels of Arthur Dent (bathrobe and towel in tow, no less). So, no, it won’t be Douglas Adams writing it from the great beyond.

And the author selected (by Adams’ widow) is none other than the creator of the best-selling Artemis Fowl children's book series, Eoin Colfer. The new HG2G author, whose first name is seemingly much more difficult to pronounce than Douglas (it’s pronounced similar to Owen, apparently), in his New Year’s video message, expresses both excitement and some trepidation about the 6th Hitchhiker’s book, entitled “And Another Thing...”.

Trepidation, because of the expectations put upon him. Colfer said that he expected some people are probably going to “burn it in their fireplace”. Which is something, he added, he’d not be able to do much about.  
(many other things, and then some, in the full post)

And which is something that Walski can truly understand and appreciate. Taking over the responsibility to continue with somebody else’s literary legacy is no enviable task. While for Douglas Adams it may be an SEP – he is, after all, dead and gone – for the living fans, it becomes something else altogether. And Walski thinks that the most natural thing to happen is for fans to start comparing Eoin Colfer’s writing to that of Douglas Adams.

Which, in a nutshell, is a sure recipe for disaster and disappointment.

There can never be another Douglas Adams. This is something Eoin Colfer knows, and it’s something that Walski realizes as well. It’s a book, while continuing with the characters we’ve all come to know and love, that will be more Eoin Colfer than Douglas Adams. Which, going by the Artemis Fowl books, is something Walski will actually be looking forward to.

And that’s something we’ll all have to live with.

Incidentally, on a total tangent, should anyone be interested to continue with this blog once Walski (the real person behind the persona) becomes worm food, do write in, and he’ll put you in his will.

Which is something Douglas Adams didn’t get to do. Walski reckons that “being dead at 49” wasn’t exactly something the beloved HG2G author penciled into his date book, and so bequeathing the franchise probably wasn’t high on the list of priorities.

But such is life – it goes on, regardless. As will the HG2G series, Walski thinks. Even after Eoin Colfer, in all improbability. So, look out for it in your favorite local book-pusher, come October this year.

And wouldn’t you know it? It’s Thursday.

Walski’s HG2G blatant reference abuse apology footnote: It would probably take a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series to appreciate the fact that this post is rife with references to the trilogy of five (soon six) books. But if you’re not, and you’re confused – especially it being Thursday and all – do accept Walski’s apologies.