Thursday, October 22, 2009

"This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

In the beginning, the sixth book of the five-book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" was commissioned. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

Actually, I have no evidence at all of it making a lot of people angry, but loyal fans can be fiercely protective of the object of their loyalty, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of fans of Douglas Adams, who died in 2001, are outraged by the notion that the rights for a new book in the "Hitchhiker" series have been licensed.

And, of course, I could hardly be expected to let an opportunity to rip off one of Adams' classic opening lines slip by.

But there is at least one expert on the Adams literary oeuvre who doesn't mind the idea of a newcomer picking up the pen (or, more aptly, seating himself before the Mac):

Jane Belson, Adams's widow, was cheerfully blunt when asked if her late husband would have wanted anyone tampering with, say, Marvin the Paranoid Android.

"I have no idea," she said, "he's not here."

She paused, then gave a good-natured laugh. "He hated writing books, but he loved having written them. . . . I'm not sure how he would have reacted to someone doing it for him. But it seemed like a good idea."

Also to be learned from this article: The organization that administers the rights to A. A. Milne's works is called the Pooh Properties Trust.

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