'Artemis Fowl' Author To Write 'Hitchhiker' Sequel A new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book will be published next year — but it won't be by Douglas Adams, who passed away in 2001. Book publisher Hyperion has tapped Eoin Colfer, author of the popular teen sci-fi fantasy series Artemis Fowl, to continue the Adams legacy.

'Artemis Fowl' Author To Write 'Hitchhiker' Sequel

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We now turn to the infinitely improbable. If you haven't heard of the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," here's how it starts. A regular British guy named Arthur Dent is whisked away from planet Earth by a friend he doesn't know is an alien just before the planet is demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. It only gets weirder from there.

The author, Douglas Adams, died of a heart attack in 2001. But next October, book publisher Hyperion plans to release a sixth installment of the "Hitchhiker's Guide," written by someone else. That someone else? Eoin Colfer. Thanks very much for joining us.

Mr. EOIN COLFER (Author, "Artemis Fowl"): My pleasure, Andrea.

SEABROOK: Your series, the "Artemis Fowl" books, are loved by millions of teenagers, your own fans. Why would you pick up someone else's books?

Mr. COLFER: This was like a bolt from the blue for me. I had no intention of continuing anyone else - I mean, I've got a good thing going here. Why would I want to upset the applecart? But the more I thought about the offer, the more intrigued I became. And I thought, well, I could take eight months out of my life to write this. And if I don't, and someone else writes it, and I hate it, then I will always regret it.

SEABROOK: I have to say. I am a huge, huge, huge Douglas Adams fan myself.

Mr. COLFER: That's the third huge that worries me. The first two huges are fine...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SEABROOK: But I have to say - I mean, my first reaction is why, why, why would you do this?

Mr. COLFER: That's my first - but listen, this is not like Madonna redoing a Don McLean song. It's not like that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. COLFER: I'm not going to touch the first five books. I'm going to just do another story. So if you don't like it, it won't affect your love of the first five books. That's how I'm rationalizing it to myself.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SEABROOK: Do you have anything to go on from Douglas Adams himself, notes, original thoughts?

Mr. COLFER: Well, I am good at channeling spirits. So when I go home today, I'm going to lie on my back in a quiet room and see if I can contact him and see what he says. But I don't really. I think that's probably for the best. I'm not going to try and write like Douglas, because I don't think anyone could. I'm just going to take his characters and write in my own style. And hopefully, the amount of people who will like it will be more than the amount of people who don't like it.

SEABROOK: What can we expect from this, though?

Mr. COLFER: Well, I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but obviously at the end of the fifth book, all the characters were left for dead. So for a sixth book to work, I have to somehow get them from their place of certain death in London and help them to avoid that. And from there, once they're all reunited, then bring them up on another adventure.

SEABROOK: Eoin Colfer, what would you think if after your death, someone else came along and wrote an "Artemis Fowl" book?

Mr. COLFER: Now, that's interesting. I wouldn't like someone to do it when I was alive. I think that would be a little bit of a liberty.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. COLFER: It would be, you know, hello? But if - when I died, if it was someone good, I think it would only reflect well on me that someone would want to continue the series. But what - I mean, what the question is really, what the question is - is this going to be good, or is it going to be a joke? And if it's a good book, everything will be forgiven. If it's a bad book, then I deserve to be pilloried by this galaxy and all other parallel ones.

SEABROOK: Eoin Colfer is the author of the popular teen sci-fi fantasy series "Artemis Fowl." He's working on a sixth book in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series. In his "Hitchhiker's Guide" books, Douglas Adams imagined a machine that would give us the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

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