Which of these two in-the-works books sounds worse, a Sex and the City prequel, focusing on Carrie’s teenage years, or a sixth Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy novel, to be written by a well-known children’s book author? Both sound pretty appalling to me.
At least Candace Bushnell herself is writing the SATC book (working title: The Carrie Diaries). Of course, the whole franchise has strayed so far from her original conception that it’s not like having Bushnell herself return to take another whack at it is going to make much difference. Back when Bushnell was writing SATC as a newspaper column, it was all about status, with Manhattan as a grid where power, money, talent, fame, sex appeal, and real estate intersected, a Monopoly board where, if you had one or more of those commodities, you could leverage it to acquire the others, and where, as a result, hookups were almost entirely mercenary and devoid of romance. In other words, it was Gossip Girl for adults. So maybe it’ll work fine as a teen coming-of-age story.
In contrast, Douglas Adams is not writing the next HHGG book (entitled And Another Thing…) because he is, inconveniently, dead. Instead, the job is going to Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books. I haven’t read them, but no matter how good they may be, they cannot transform Colfer into Adams, and the Hitchhiker series was all about Adams’ voice — that absurdist logic, wild imagination, wicked eye for sci-fi conventions worthy of parody, and cosmic indifference toward mankind, an utterly unimportant species on a backwater planet his books referred to merely as "mostly harmless." Colfer is already celebrated for his own unique voice; how easy will it be for him to suppress that and channel someone else’s?
Show of hands, PopWatchers: Are you more alarmed by the SATC prequel or the HHGG sequel? Or can you muster more optimism toward both than I can?