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And Another Thing... is the 6th story of the trilogy, but to my recollection the HHGG is wrapped up fairly well in the last episode of the Radio series (though confusingly).

What major elements does this story add to what I would imagine was a complete trilogy? Does it wrap up anything left hanging from the previous series?

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    I want to answer "nothing". It was quite clear that "Mostly Harmless" was intended to be Douglas Adams' final word on the Hitchhiker's universe, almost to the point of spite on Adams' behalf. Having not read "And another thing", I don't feel qualified to answer this question 'properly' though.
    – Christi
    May 5, 2012 at 22:19
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    @Christi that was true at the time, but towards the end of his life he'd definitely softened up on that - part of what was published posthumously as Salmon of Doubt was originally intended to become the sixth book. May 7, 2012 at 10:47
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    @DanielRoseman Salmon of Doubt was, I believe, to be a Dirk Gently novel.
    – Christi
    May 7, 2012 at 11:15
  • Sort of. The title was meant for Dirk originally. But what was actually published under that name is a hodge-podge of material, some of which was meant for a possible HHG book. May 7, 2012 at 14:25
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    Gaiman's book "Don't Panic" a history of HHGTTG says that while writing SoD, indeed originally a Dirk novel, he [Adams] felt it was more suited to Hitchhikers and was considering shifting it into that universe
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 4, 2019 at 6:11

1 Answer 1

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The reason given for And Another Thing... being written was a much-quoted (in press releases and interviews) mention by Douglas Adams that:

I suspect at some point in the future I will write a sixth Hitchhiker book ... I would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note. Five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number.

And Another Thing... does not really add anything to the existing books. While quite a readable story, it is distinctly non-Adamsian in turn of phrase and structure, which was always part of the enjoyment in reading a H2G2 book. It is in effect merely a different author's book, written in the H2G2 universe, which to be honest was the only way Colfer could have come out of writing this book without a fan backlash.

Overall, it's a perfectly adequate and readable book, but it doesn't add anything to the previous stories and is largely self-contained.

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  • I would argue it does add one thing to the rest of H2G2, and that is that it retcons Adams's decision to torch the franchise and run. I believe at some point Adams said he regretted doing that. However, in practice I suspect that kind of retcon is mostly only of interest to people who write fanfiction and the like (And Another Thing... is arguably just a licensed fanfic anyway, albeit a very well-written one).
    – Kevin
    Apr 1 at 23:29

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