Have you heard Penguin’s announcement regarding a sixth Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book? What?! You say. Thought Douglas Adams was dead did you? Minor problem that. It has never stopped publishers before, why should it now?

Penguin made its announcement on September 17th. They are doing a sixth book because Adams had mentioned in an interview once after the fifth book was published that he supposed he would eventually write a sixth because “five seems to be a wrong kind of number.” But then he died. So Penguin has decided to help him out and book number six, to be called And Another Thing…, is being written by Eoin Colfer the author of the Artemis Fowl novels and will be published in October 2009. Am I overreacting to say that I am appalled?

Colfer may be a good writer but he is no Douglas Adams and his book will not be a true Hitchhiker book. A move like this puts Adams’s series in the realm of V.C. Andrews and Marion Zimmer Bradley. I have read and loved both authors and the books they wrote before they died, the rest are just imitations no matter how good they may be.

Granted, Penguin had to get the permission of Adams’s widow, but it has been eight years since Adams died and I have to wonder how much pressure Penguin and other publishers may have been putting on her to say yes. Of course for Penguin the whole reason for a sixth book is for the money. They expect Hitchhiker fans to buy the book. This is one fan who will not.