Eoin Colfer — the man stuck with the daunting task of writing the sixth book in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy — might be bitterly disappointed that he's just lost his iPhone, but he's pretty much convinced that the device comes close to replicating the guide itself.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Speaking at the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Colfer, whose And Another Thing . . . officially continues the Hitchhikers' saga but who is best known for the Artemis Fowl series, bemoaned the recent loss of his iPhone. "It's like going back to the Flinstones now, this stupid Sony phone," he commented.
However, his ownership of the iPhone has convinced him that the iPhone comes close to replicating the functionality of the Hitchhiker's Guide, which contained information (albeit of varying accuracy) on pretty much the entire universe. "I think the Hitchhiker's Guide basically was the iPhone. [Adams]even described the guide as a small black gadget with a touch button." Given Adams' lifelong devotion to Apple technology — he purchased the first Mac in the UK, just ahead of Stephen Fry — that seems plausible.
While Douglas Adams became famous for remarking "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by"" and spending years on the later Hitchhikers novels, Colfer is rather more disciplined. "I actually wrote it very quickly. When I started out, it was just as if a dam burst. I wrote it all in about five months."
Like fellow author Ruth Rendell, Colfer writes straight to computer, but says that as he gets older, working in his office, rather than wherever the possibility arises, becomes more important. "I'm 44 and unless I'm in my shed with my own chair and my music and my own banana and my own bottle of water, it's hard."