a review by Nalini Haynes
And another thing is part 6 of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trillian and Zaphod Beeblebrox continue their adventures crossing time and space, delving into religious existentialism and social comment. Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series revealed Colfer as the perfect author to pick up Douglas Adams’ mantle to re-ignite or lay to rest the Guide series. As a long time fan of the Guide and Artemis Fowl I was not disappointed.
In high school I was one of the nerds who knew whole pages of the Guide and its sequels off by heart. I was disappointed with the 4th and 5th portions of the Guide trilogy, feeling that Adams rushed these out the door without doing the story justice. I suspect that Adams wrote Mostly Harmless in order to pre-empt more requests for sequels. Colfer’s book provides a much more satisfactory conclusion or middle to the series, with a journey that brought together threads of previous stories, a continuation and a possibility for a future rather than concluding with abrupt destruction.
Just as Life the Universe and Everything exposed cricket as evidence of remarkably bad taste, And Another Thing examines religion from the perspective of the gods and society. Cthulu attends a job interview after being coached in likely questions, Gaia almost won the job (of deity) but she sabotaged herself by mentioning a desire for a retinue, and the new society of survivors from Earth have a religious war over worshipping Cheese. The humour ranges from subtle to slapstick, definitely recapturing the best ambience of early Adams as well as bringing The Guide successfully into the 21st century.
A recommended read for fans of the original Hitchhikers Guide series, Red Dwarf and UK comedies in a similar vein.
Previously published in Dark Matter issue 1, October 2010, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.