You back? Hypertext is great, innit? Anyway.
I'm rereading M*A*S*H Mania, most likely because redneckgaijin brought it to mind, and because among our multiple-move-disorganized bookshelves it was near the front. There are two kinds of sequels to M*A*S*H.
Richard Hooker alone (or, I've occasionally read, with a ghost writer) wrote M*A*S*H, M*A*S*H Goes to Maine, and M*A*S*H Mania. These are episodic tales of madcap medical mayhem with quasi-technical surgery scenes. M*A*S*H is set in the Korean War, and was published in the sixties. The other two are set in Hooker's beloved rural Maine as Hawkeye and his three army bunkmates - Trapper John, Duke and Spearchucker - practice surgery together from the 50s through the mid-70s; Maine and Mania were published at either end of the 70s respectively.
Richard Hooker and William E. Butterworth (a pseudonym for W.E.B. Griffin, or vice versa) co-wrote about a half-dozen novels published and set in the mid-to-late-70s. Some readers question whether Hooker was really involved in them but at least one has a quasi-technical surgery scene. They're all titled M*A*S*H Goes To [some exotic location, often overseas], and are all non-episodic farces featuring mistaken identities, intercontinental airliner chases, and contemporary public figures made to look foolish. Hawkeye and Trapper John appear in each of them, and all feature reunions with past personnel or patients of the 4077th: Hot Lips (now Reverend Mother Emeritus Margaret Houlihan Wauchauf Wilson, R.N., Lt. Col., USA Ret., of the God Is Love In All Forms Christian Church, Inc.) and Father Mulcahy (now an archibishop and the Pope's chess and beer buddy) appear in most. Henry Blake, a career officer in the novels, is a general and C.O. of Walter Reed Army Hospital. Radar is CEO of his own fast-food empire. Frank Burns is still a small doctor in a small town. There are also reunions with such not-developed-for-television characters as the Painless Pole, as well as veterans or ex-patients of the 4077th created just for the sequel novels.
So I'm rereading M*A*S*H Mania today, and it comes to me that if my prose shows the influence of an articulate, educated writer from Maine, is it more likely the one I've only been reading for a year and a half or the one I've been reading all my life? Finestkind.