I can’t really work up an outrage about this, but as I felt about the last couple of Hitchhiker’s novels, what, really, is the point? The story, such as it was, was told in toto in the first couple of books. Life, The Universe, and Everything was an essentially self-contained story inserted into the Hitchhiker’s universe for the sake of marketing and continuity. (It came from an unproduced Dr. Who script written by Adams during his stint as writer called “Dr. Who and the Krikketmen”.) So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish was clearly (and later admittedly) written by Adams strictly for the money; while it contains bits of cleverness, there is, overall, no story. Mostly Harmless was clearly a message to the fans who kept bugging Adams for another book to FUCK OFF! I’m not sure what there is really to add to Hitchhiker’s, or indeed, how it would be relevant; it isn’t as if there is a building continuity or huge background story/ Adams essentially made up stuff as he went along, mostly in obviously mocking contempt of “serious” space opera which played fast and loose with continuity and deus ex machina to resolve plot complications. The Infinite Improbability Drive allowed dismissal of objections of even the most absurd coincidences, and Adams’ style of leaping away from the narrative to discuss the details of some amusing but essentially irrelevant technology, like the Babel Fish or the Siruis Cybernetic Nutri-Matic Drinks Dispenser, prevented the reader from noticing that the story was actually little more than a bunch of skits strung together.
I could see a far more persuasive case for continuing the Dirk Gently novels, which were set in an established background and offered much more in the way of continuity of story. I mean, seriously, WTF happened to Zaphod in the last two Hitchhiker’s novels, anyway? Of course, despite being better at being actual novels, the Dirk Gently books weren’t nearly as popular, whereas Hitchhiker’s has become absurdly popular even at mocking, as it does, the basic conventions of space opera.
I don’t know this Eoin Colfer, but I don’t envy him. This sounds like the situation where the frontman has left your multi-platinum record band to be replaced by some unknown found during open mic night at a small and rather dirty pub in a back alley in Manchester.
Oh well…at least they’re not making another film. That would be…bad.