HHGTTG vol. 6 of the trilogy released: "And Another Thing..."

Sci-fi nerds the world over have their towels at the ready today as the sixth Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy book, ‘And Another Thing…’, is released by Penguin.


Normally, whenever there’s a remake/sequel by another creator and people get in a huff about it, I’m usually the first to jump in and say that they don’t detract from the original works. And I didn’t complain about the movie either. It wasn’t great, but it was a worthy effort.

But I drew the line with this book. The Hitchhiker’s Guide IS Douglas Adams and trying to continue it without him is nothing more than glorified fan-fiction. And I hate fan-fiction. So I won’t be reading this book. From what I’ve been reading, it’s nothing to write home about, anyway.

If Terry Pratchett* had decided to write one shortly after Adams had died, I’d want to read that book. But this one doesn’t sound that great.

  • It’s a measure of how deep the love for Pratchett is in the geek world that the spell-checker in Firefox recognized his last name.

You know… normally I’m not a big fan of sequels written by other people, especially when the original author is so… original. But Adams seriously fucked up with the last novel. We need a better resolution than that. So I’m willing to give it a try.

I’d like to know more about the background though - how did the new author get chosen, and did they use any unpublished material from Adams?

A sixth book by a different author can’t really “undo” the fifth one anymore than fan fiction or your own imagination can.

Normally I don’t subscribe to the “there never was a sequel!” nonsense, but I’m perfectly happy pretending there were only three books in the trilogy.

Imagine if there had been a fourth one set almost entirely on earth with most of the regular characters absent or reduced to cameos, followed by a fifth book bereft of charm and wit and saddled with an inappropriately bleak and dismal ending, and a sixth book penned by a hack trying to imitate the the three books of the actually trilogy. Bah, I say. Bah.

The fourth one left me so unimpressed that I’ve never re-read it and never picked up #5. So the trilogy is all I actually remember.

Looking back, the HHG trilogy holds a special, irreplaceable spot in my heart but I’m really more of a Dirk Gentley person.

Actually I thought the BBC radio version of the fifth book/series did a manageable job of rectifying the ending of the fifth book, although beside the horrible downer cliffhanger ending, the book in general was a downer and disappointing follow up to the fourth book which is my favorite and made a nice ending to the series. I wonder whether or not they will bother to adapt this book. I’ll reserve judgment til I read it, but in the meantime I solace myself with the probability that the ‘hack’ will have trouble doing worse than Adam’s himself did on the fifth book.

If I remember correctly The Hack was either chosen or at least endorsed by Douglas Adams widow.