Books Blog Archive - Sep 2008

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9/23/2008 - Early Release of Personal Development for Smart People Book (News)
9/25/2008 - An Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Sequel Will Be Written (News)

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Early Release of Personal Development for Smart People Book
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
19:17:04 GMT


News

Steve Pavlina (website: StevePavlina.com) is definitely one of my favorite bloggers. Not that I agree with everything he says, but, I agree with a lot, and I am at least open-minded toward most of what I don't agree with.

His extremely well-written site covers a wide range of topics, too numerous to list, though I guess they can all be summed up as being related to personal development. For a few examples - time management, overcoming depression and procrastination, raw vegan diets, and even paranormal topics.

The original release date of Steve's book Personal Development for Smart People was Oct. 15th, but some kind of mix-up occurred and it was released almost a month early. I can hardly wait to read it. And the world appears to agree - as I write this, the book's Amazon ranking is #193. :-D

You can download the first chapter of the book for free at Steve's site: Free Sample Chapter of Personal Development for Smart People. Also, if you've ever bought anything from Amazon in the past, you can browse a generous number of pages within the book for free at Amazon.

Bloggers and other website owners might be interested to know that it will be possible (even if your site didn't qualify for a free review copy of the book) to get a link to your website from StevePavlina.com if you write a review of the book with "decent substance", put it on your site before Oct. 31st, and send Steve the link to it. You can read about that offer at Steve's blog: Personal Development for Smart People Book Is Here

I'm hoping to write such a review myself. First, though, I'm going to have to obtain a copy of the book.

If, like me, you have no credit cards, but would like to order it online, it's possible to get it at Buy.com, which offers PayPal as a payment option: Personal Development for Smart People (Thanks to someone on the Pavlina Forums for pointing that out).

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An Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Sequel Will Be Written
Thursday, September 25th, 2008
00:24:24 GMT


News

Here's some exciting news I heard recently. A well-known author, Eoin Colfer, author of a well-known children's book series, Artemis Fowl, has been selected to write the official sequel to the five-book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy".

Here's one of the author's own blog posts about this news: Eoin Colfer on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I know hardly anything about Eoin and had never heard of him or his books prior to running across this news, but, even based on nothing more than my reading of that post, he definitely appears to be a more than capable writer.

However, the original books were so astoundingly brilliant, any successor to Douglas Adams definitely has some horrifyingly immense shoes to fill. For me, trying to fill those shoes would probably be a bit like stepping into the Total Perspective Vortex. I hope it won't be that harrowing for Eoin.

Unlike some HHGTTG fans, I don't have any misgivings about the series continuing. I actually didn't really like the series' last book, Mostly Harmless, very much. To me, it seemed rather dark, glum and less funny than the rest. I lost interest in it partway through, and to this day have never read all of it from cover to cover. So, I definitely don't mind not having the series permanently end on such an unsatisfying note.


I suspect Eoin will do a good job, but, I can't help but wonder what might result if others also tried their hand at writing an official sequel. If you think about it, there's no real reason why there couldn't be multiple official sequels by multiple authors. The HHGTTG multiverse is so random already that even if the series forked into all kinds of crazy different directions, sure, the result would be chaotic, but random farcical chaos is anything but out of place in the HHGTTG series.

I'd love to see HHGTTG sequels written by the Monty Python folks, and Gary Larson (author of the comic The Far Side, Scott Adams (author of the comic Dilbert, Robin Williams, and the folks from the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway.

I think even sequels written by authors who don't specialize in humor would most likely be entertaining. Just imagine, a HHGTTG sequel written in the grand style of a dark, melancholy sword and sorcery fantasy novel by Michael Moorcock (one of my very favorite authors). Or maybe something more light like his Dancers at the End of Time books.

Moorcock's work, like Adams', also substantially incorporates the concept of alternate universes, so crossovers wouldn't seem totally out of place even in Moorcock's multiverse. I think Marvin the depressed robot would make a very entertaining sidekick for Elric, the depressed doom-haunted wizard-emperor. And meanwhile, maybe Ford and Arthur would end up having to fight off Stormbringer with their trusty towels. :-)


This all makes me wonder what kind of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan fiction might be out there lurking on the internet. I've never actually looked for any yet, but it's probably worth a look.

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