A sperm whale and a bowl of petunias

Posted by Ian

I was more excited than I thought I’d be by the news that someone has been commissioned to write the sixth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy ‘trilogy’.

The thought had never occurred to me that anybody would a) be asked and b) agree to do it. To attempt to pick up where Douglas Adams left off would test surely even the most creative of authors. Not least because where he left off was pretty terminal (as you’ll know if you read the fifth book, Mostly Harmless).

Yet someone has signed on for the project, due to be published next autumn. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’m keen to see what he comes up with. Adams’s books are notoriously inconsistent anyway, so it’s not as if Eoin Colfer – the man assigned the task – will be following in the footsteps of a Tolstoy or a Dickens.

Yet there’s so much that’s possible with the Hitchhiker ‘franchise’. It’s the ultimate blank canvas. No rules apply – not even trivial matters like planets blowing up. For anybody who likes intelligent fun and inspired imagination, this is a project to relish.

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