Oddly Enough

"Hitchhiker's Guide" series to ride again

Irish author Eoin Colfer poses in this undated publicity photograph. REUTERS/Handout

LONDON (Reuters) - Children’s author Eoin Colfer is to write a sixth novel in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series, seven years after the death of its creator Douglas Adams, publishers Penguin said on Wednesday.

The Irish writer, best known for his Artemis Fowl fairy stories, has the blessing of Adams’ widow, Jane Belson, to continue the bestselling science fiction saga.

Called “And Another Thing...,” the new novel will be published in October 2009. Colfer said he was a big fan of the original books, which started as a BBC radio serial.

“For years I have been finishing this incredible story in my head and now I have the opportunity to do it in the real world,” he said in a statement. “It is a gift from the gods. So, thank you Thor and Odin.”

The satirical books tell the story of a hapless Englishman called Arthur Dent who travels the universe after the Earth is demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

The saga centers on the search for the answer to “life, the universe and everything,” which after a long wait turns out to be 42. Penguin Managing Director Helen Fraser said she hoped Colfer would attract new readers to the books.

Adams died from a heart attack in California in 2001 at the age of 49. He had hoped to finish the series with a sixth novel.

“Five seems to be a wrong kind of number; six is a better kind of number,” he once said.

Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato