Douglas Adams Bibliography Wikipedia

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March1952 – 11 May2001) was an Englishauthor and satirist, most famous for his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of radio plays and books.

See also:
Last Chance to See
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005 film based on his earlier works)

Quotes[edit]

  • When you're a student or whatever, and you can't afford a car, or a plane fare, or even a train fare, all you can do is hope that someone will stop and pick you up.
    At the moment we can't afford to go to other planets. We don't have the ships to take us there. There may be other people out there (I don't have any opinions about Life Out There, I just don't know) but it's nice to think that one could, even here and now, be whisked away just by hitchhiking.
    • Statement of 1984, as quoted in Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988) by Neil Gaiman, p. 2
  • You are disoriented. Blackness swims toward you like a school of eels who have just seen something that eels like a lot.
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy text adventure game (1985), published by Infocom.
  • Driving a Porsche in London is like bringing a Ming vase to a football game.
    • As quoted in Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988) by Neil Gaiman
  • Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there's plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that's a very dangerous thing to say.
  • There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world. The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectual history to slowly correct some of our misapprehensions.
  • A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."
    • Interview in The Daily Nexus (5 April 2000), reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt
  • We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
    • Speech at The University of California, videoed by UCTV (May 2001).
  • If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; 'life', something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that's the only explanation we had. The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it's yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we're not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn't read well.
  • The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it's just wonderful. And … the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned.
    • Response to the question "What is it about science that really gets your blood running?" — as quoted in Richard Dawkins in his eulogy for Adams (17 September 2001)

The Meaning of Liff (1983)[edit]

(Co-written with John Lloyd) ISBN 0-330-28121-6
  • AALST (n.) One who changes his name to be further to the front.
    • Appears as the first entry of the book.
  • ABOYNE (vb.) To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly bad that none of his clevertactics or strategies are of any use to him.
  • CLIXBY (adj.) Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.
  • FAIRYMOUNT (vb. n.) Polite word for buggery.
  • LAXOBIGGING (ptcpl.vb.) Struggling to extrude an extremely large turd.
  • SHOEBURYNESS (abs.n.) The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat which is still warm from somebody else's bottom
  • WOKING (vb.) To enter the kitchen with the precise determination to perform something only to forget what it is just before you do it.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)[edit]

ISBN 0671625829
  • Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
  • If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.
  • "What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?"
    This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table.
    Richard continued, "What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that's really the essence of programming. By the time you've sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you've learned something about it yourself."
  • The teacher usually learns more than the pupils. Isn't that true?
    "It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils," came a low growl from somewhere on the table, "without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy."
  • The door was the way to... to... The Door was The Way. Good. Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn't have a good answer to.
  • And that, apart from a flurry of sensational newspaper reports which exposed him as a fraud, then trumpeted him as the real thing so that they could have another round of exposing him as a fraud again and then trumpeting him as the real thing again, until they got bored and found a nice juicy snooker player to harass instead, was that.
  • This was the evening of the last day of Gordon Way's life … The weather forecast hadn't mentioned that, of course, that wasn't the job of the weather forecast, but then his horoscope had been pretty misleading as well. It had mentioned an unusual amount of planetary activity in his sign and had urged him to differentiate between what he thought he wanted and what he actually needed, and suggested that he should tackle emotional or work problems with determination and complete honesty, but had inexplicably failed to mention that he would be dead before the day was out.
  • WFT-II was the only British software company that could be mentioned in the same sentence as such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus. The sentence would probably run along the lines of "WFT-II, unlike such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus ..." but it was a start.
  • Or maybe she decided that an evening with your old tutor would be blisteringly dull and opted for the more exhilarating course of washing her hair instead. Dear me, I know what I would have done. It's only lack of hair that forces me to pursue such a hectic social round these days.
  • The seat received him in a loose and distant kind of way, like an aunt who disapproves of the last fifteen years of your life and will therefore furnish you with a basic sherry, but refuses to catch your eye.
  • "Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!"
    "The what?" said Richard.
    "The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a ..."
    "Yes," said Richard, "there was also the small matter of gravity."
    "Gravity," said Dirk with a slightly dismissive shrug, "yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered." …
    "You see?" he said dropping his cigarette butt, "They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap … ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see."
  • If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t. It’s like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don’t hurt it. Not even major surgery if it’s done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988)[edit]

  • It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "As pretty as an airport." Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only exception of this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.
  • "My name is Kate Schechter. Two 'c's, two 'h's, two 'e's, and also a 't', an 'r', and an 's'. Provided they're all there the bank won't be fussy about the order they come in. They never seem to know themselves."
  • The usual people tried to claim responsibility.
    First the IRA, then the PLO and the Gas Board. Even British Nuclear Fuels rushed out a statement to the effect that the situation was completely under control, that it was a one in a million chance, that there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all, and that the site of the explosion would make a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn't actually anything to do with them at all.
  • In fact, a very similar phrase was invented to account for the sudden transition of wood, metal, plastic and concrete into an explosive condition, which was "nonlinear, catastrophic structural exasperation," or to put it another way--as a junior cabinet minister did on television the following night in a phrase which was to haunt the rest of his career--the check-in desk had just got "fundamentally fed up with being where it was."
  • It was a couple of days before Kate Schechter became aware of any of these things, or indeed of anything at all in the outside world.
    She passed the time quietly in a world of her own in which she was surrounded as far as the eye could see with old cabin trunks full of past memories in which she rummaged with great curiosity, and sometimes bewilderment. Or, at least, about a tenth of the cabin trunks were full of vivid, and often painful or uncomfortable memories of her past life; the other nine-tenths were full of penguins, which surprised her. Insofar as she recognised at all that she was dreaming, she realised that she must be exploring her own subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was very clear what the other nine-tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguins.
  • You would probably not say that he was sleeping the sleep of the just, unless you meant the just asleep, but it was certainly the sleep of someone who was not fooling about when he climbed into bed of a night and turned off the light.
  • The room was not a room to elevate the soul. Louis XIV, to pick a name at random, would not have liked it, would have found it not sunny enough, and insufficiently full of mirrors. He would have desired someone to pick up the socks, put the records away, and maybe burn the place down. Michelangelo would have been distressed by its proportions, which were neither lofty nor shaped by any noticeable inner harmony or symmetry, other than that all parts of the room were pretty much equally full of old coffee mugs, shoes and brimming ashtrays, most of which were now sharing their tasks with each other. The walls were painted in almost precisely that shade of green which Raffaello Sanzio would have bitten off his own right hand at the wrist rather than use, and Hercules, on seeing the room, would probably have returned half an hour later armed with a navigable river. It was, in short, a dump, and was likely to remain so for as long as it remained in the custody of Mr Svlad, or 'Dirk', Gently, né Cjelli.
  • ...he had a tremendous propensity for getting lost when driving. This was largely because of his "Zen" method of navigation, which was simply to find any car that looked as if it knew where it was going and follow it. The results were more often surprising than successful, but he felt it was worth it for the sake of the few occasions when it was both.
  • Always expecting this and expecting that. May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment.
  • Dirk was unused to making such a minuscule impact on anybody. He checked to be sure that he did have his huge leather coat and his absurd red hat on and that he was properly and dramatically silhouetted by the light of the doorway.
    He felt momentarily deflated and said, "Er..." by way of self-introduction, but it didn't get the boy's attention. He didn't like this. The kid was deliberately and maliciously watching television at him.
  • The explosion was now officially designated an "Act of God."
    But, thought Dirk, what god? And why?
    What god would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 flight to Oslo?
  • The device [electronic I Ching calculator] also functioned as an ordinary calculator, but only to a limited degree. It could handle any calculation which returned an answer of anything up to 4. ...anything above 4 it represented merely as "A Suffusion of Yellow." Dirk was not certain if this was a programming error or an insight beyond his ability to fathom, but he was crazy about it anyway, enough to hand over twenty pounds of ready cash for the thing.
  • It was a battered yellow Citroën 2CV which had had one careful owner but also three suicidally reckless ones.
  • She held the car grimly to the road as it negotiated the bends with considerable difficulty and the straight sections with only slightly less. The car had landed her in court on one occasion when one of its front wheels had sailed off on a little expedition of its own and nearly caused an accident. The police witness in court had referred to her beloved Citroën as "the alleged car" and the name had subsequently stuck. She was particularly fond of the alleged car for many reasons. If one of its doors, for instance, fell off she could put it back on herself, which is more than you could say for a BMW.
  • My own strategy is to find a car, or the nearest equivalent, which looks as if it knows where it's going and follow it. I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere I needed to be.
  • ...my methods of navigation have their advantage. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
  • What was the Sherlock Holmes principle? 'Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'
    I reject that entirely. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say 'Yes, but he or she simply wouldn't do that.'
  • It was his subconscious which told him this — that infuriating part of a person's brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing.
  • There was constant talk about hewing things and ravaging things and splitting things asunder. Lots of big talk of things being mighty, and of things being riven, and of things being in thrall to other things, but very little attention given, as I now realise, to the laundry.
  • "Immortals are what you wanted," said Thor in a low, quiet voice. "Immortals are what you got. It is a little hard on us. You wanted us to be for ever, so we are for ever. Then you forget about us. But we are still for ever. Now at last, many are dead, many are dying," he then added in a quiet voice, "but it takes a special effort."
    "I can't even begin to understand what you're talking about," said Kate, "you say that I, we —"
    "You can begin to understand," said Thor, angrily, "which is why I have come to you. Do you know that most people hardly see me? Hardly notice me at all? It is not that we are hidden. We are here. We move among you. My people. Your gods. You gave birth to us. You made us what you would not dare to be yourselves. Yet you will not acknowledge us. If I walk along one of your streets in this... world you have made for yourselves without us, then barely an eye will once flicker in my direction."
    "Is this when you're wearing the helmet?"
    "Especially when I'm wearing the helmet!"
  • Dennis Hutch had stepped up into the top seat when its founder had died of a lethal overdose of brick wall, taken while under the influence of a Ferrari and a bottle of tequila.
  • The Great Zaganza said: "You are very fat and stupid and persistently wear a ridiculous hat which you should be ashamed of."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Future (2001)[edit]

A BBC Radio 4 radio programme on how new media and technology will change our lives
  • It'd be like a bunch of rivers, the Amazon and the Mississippi and the Congo asking how the Atlantic Ocean might affect them… and the answer is, of course, that they won't be rivers anymore, just currents in the ocean.
    • His stated response to representatives of the music, publishing and broadcasting industries who had asked Douglas at a conference how he thought technological changes will affect them, apparently hoping his response would be something to the effect of, "not very much"
  • It's important to remember that the relationship between different media tends to be complementary. When new media arrive they don't necessarily replace or eradicate previous types. Though we should perhaps observe a half second silence for the eight-track. — There that's done. What usually happens is that older media have to shuffle about a bit to make space for the new one and its particular advantages. Radio did not kill books and television did not kill radio or movies — what television did kill was cinema newsreel. TV does it much better because it can deliver it instantly. Who wants last week's news?
  • Generally, old media don't die. They just have to grow old gracefully. Guess what, we still have stone masons. They haven't been the primary purveyors of the written word for a while now of course, but they still have a role because you wouldn't want a TV screen on your headstone.

Parrots, the Universe and Everything (2001)[edit]

Excerpts from Adams' final public appearance before his death in May 2001.
  • For us, there is no longer a fundamental mystery about Life. It is all the process of extraordinary eruptions of information, and it is information which gives us this fantastically rich, complex world in which we live; but at the same time that we've discovered that we are destroying it at a rate that has no precedent in history, unless you go back to the point when we are hit by an asteroid!
  • Part of how we come to take command of our world, to take command of our environment, to make these tools by which we're able to do this, is we ask ourselves questions about it the whole time. So this man starts to ask himself questions. "This world," he says, "so who made it?" Now, of course he thinks that, because he makes things himself. So he's looking for someone who would have made this world. He says, "Well, so who would have made this world? Well, it must be something a little like me. Obviously much much bigger. And necessarily invisible. But he would have made it. Now why did he make it?" Now we always ask ourselves "why?" because we look for intention around us; because we always intend– we do something with intention. We boil an egg in order to eat it. So we look at the rocks, and we look at the trees, and we wonder what intention is here even though it doesn't have intention.
  • If we think that the world is here for us we will continue to destroy it the way we have been destroying it, because we think we can do no harm.

The Salmon of Doubt (2002)[edit]

The Salmon of Doubt : Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (2002)
  • "Stotting" is jumping upward with all four legs simultaneously. My advice: do not die until you've seen a large black poodle stotting in the snow.
  • For Children: You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, whereas a fried egg comes out of a chicken. Like most things, of course, it isn't quite that simple. The fried egg isn't properly a fried egg until it's been put in a frying pan and fried. This is something you wouldn't do to a Friday, of course, though you might do it on a Friday. You can also fry eggs on a Thursday, if you like, or on a cooker. It's all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while.
  • All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
  • Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
  • There is no problem so complicated that you can't find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right … Or put it another way, "The future of computer power is pure simplicity."
  • I am fascinated by religion. (That's a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I've thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing.
  • My favorite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantelpiece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees.
  • The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I'd written both of them.
  • We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.
  • In fact the only thing that I don't like about Whisky, is that if I take the merest sip of the stuff, it sends a sharp pain from the back of my left eyeball down to the tip of my right elbow, and I begin to walk in a very special way, bumping into people and snarling at the furniture. I have therefore learned to turn my attention to other tipples. Margaritas, I'm very fond of, but they make me buy very stupid things. When ever I've had a few margaritas I always wake up in the morning with a sense of dread as to what I will find downstairs. The worst was a 6ft long pencil and a 2ft wide India rubber that I had shipped over from New York, as a result of one injudicious binge.
  • I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
  • "He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left."
  • "Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there's no point trying to look in that direction because it won't be coming from there."
  • "… Most of the words that airline staff used, or rather most of the sentences into which they were habitually arranged, had been worked so hard that they had died."
  • I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
    • Source: The Salmon of Doubt, Random House LLC, p. 111

Quotes about Adams[edit]

  • It was 1971, and the eighteen-year-old Douglas Adams was hitchhiking his way across Europe with a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe that he had stolen (he hadn't bothered "borrowing" a copy of Europe on $5 a Day; he didn't have that kind of money).
    He was drunk. He was poverty-stricken. He was too poor to afford a room at a youth hostel (the entire story is told at length in his introduction to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts in England, and The Hitchhiker's Trilogy in the US) and he wound up, at the end of a harrowing day, flat on his back in a field in Innsbruck, staring up at the stars. "Somebody," he thought, "somebody really ought to write a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
    He forgot about the idea shortly thereafter.
    Five years later, while he was struggling to think of a legitimate reason for an alien to visit Earth, the phrase returned to him. The rest is history…

External links[edit]

Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
It's nice to think that one could, even here and now, be whisked away just by hitchhiking.
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.
It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils … without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy.
If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t.
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase, "as pretty as an airport."
The kid was deliberately and maliciously watching television at him.
You made us what you would not dare to be yourselves. Yet you will not acknowledge us.
The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I'd written both of them.
Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one.
All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees.

For other people named Douglas Adams, see Douglas Adams (disambiguation).

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, scriptwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist.

Adams is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime and generated a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams's contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy's Hall of Fame.[1]

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who; he also served as script editor for the show's seventeenth season in 1979. A posthumous collection of his works, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

Adams was known as an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, as being a lover of fast cars, cameras, technological innovation and the Apple Macintosh, and as a "devout atheist".

Early life[edit]

Adams was born on 11 March 1952 to Janet (née Donovan; 1927–2016) and Christopher Douglas Adams (1927–1985) in Cambridge, England.[2] The family moved to the East End of London a few months after his birth, where his sister, Susan, was born three years later.[3] His parents divorced in 1957; Douglas, Susan, and their mother moved to an RSPCA animal shelter in Brentwood, Essex, run by his maternal grandparents.[4]

Education[edit]

Adams attended Primrose Hill Primary School in Brentwood. At nine, he passed the entrance exam for Brentwood School, an independent school whose alumni include Robin Day, Jack Straw, Noel Edmonds, and David Irving. Griff Rhys Jones was a year below him, and he was in the same class as Stuckist artist Charles Thomson. He attended the prep school from 1959 to 1964, then the main school until December 1970. Adams was six feet tall (1.83 m) by age 12 and stopped growing at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m). His form master, Frank Halford, said his height had made him stand out and that he had been self-conscious about it.[5][6] His ability to write stories made him well known in the school.[7] He became the only student ever to be awarded a ten out of ten by Halford for creative writing, something he remembered for the rest of his life, particularly when facing writer's block.[3]

Some of his earliest writing was published at the school, such as a report on its photography club in The Brentwoodian in 1962, or spoof reviews in the school magazine Broadsheet, edited by Paul Neil Milne Johnstone, who later became a character in The Hitchhiker's Guide. He also designed the cover of one issue of the Broadsheet, and had a letter and short story published in The Eagle, the boys' comic, in 1965. A poem entitled "A Dissertation on the task of writing a poem on a candle and an account of some of the difficulties thereto pertaining" written by Adams in January 1970, at the age of 17, was discovered in a cupboard at the school in early 2014.[8]

On the strength of a bravura essay on religious poetry that discussed the Beatles and William Blake, he was awarded an Exhibition in English at St John's College, Cambridge, going up in 1971. He wanted to join the Footlights, an invitation-only student comedy club that has acted as a hothouse for comic talent. He was not elected immediately as he had hoped, and started to write and perform in revues with Will Adams (no relation) and Martin Smith, forming a group called "Adams-Smith-Adams", but became a member of the Footlights by 1973.[9] Despite doing very little work—he recalled having completed three essays in three years—he graduated in 1974 with a B.A. in English literature.[2]

Career[edit]

Writing[edit]

After leaving university Adams moved back to London, determined to break into TV and radio as a writer. An edited version of the Footlights Revue appeared on BBC2 television in 1974. A version of the Revue performed live in London's West End led to Adams being discovered by Monty Python's Graham Chapman. The two formed a brief writing partnership, earning Adams a writing credit in episode 45 of Monty Python for a sketch called "Patient Abuse". The pair also co-wrote the "Marilyn Monroe" sketch which appeared on the soundtrack album of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Adams is one of only two people other than the original Python members to get a writing credit (the other being Neil Innes).[10]

Adams had two brief appearances in the fourth series of Monty Python's Flying Circus. At the beginning of episode 42, "The Light Entertainment War", Adams is in a surgeon's mask (as Dr. Emile Koning, according to on-screen captions), pulling on gloves, while Michael Palin narrates a sketch that introduces one person after another but never gets started. At the beginning of episode 44, "Mr. Neutron", Adams is dressed in a pepper-pot outfit and loads a missile onto a cart driven by Terry Jones, who is calling for scrap metal ("Any old iron..."). The two episodes were broadcast in November 1974. Adams and Chapman also attempted non-Python projects, including Out of the Trees.

At this point Adams's career stalled; his writing style was unsuited to the then-current style of radio and TV comedy.[2] To make ends meet he took a series of odd jobs, including as a hospital porter, barn builder, and chicken shed cleaner. He was employed as a bodyguard by a Qatari family, who had made their fortune in oil.[11]

During this time Adams continued to write and submit sketches, though few were accepted. In 1976 his career had a brief improvement when he wrote and performed Unpleasantness at Brodie's Close at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. By Christmas, work had dried up again, and a depressed Adams moved to live with his mother.[2] The lack of writing work hit him hard and low confidence became a feature of Adams's life; "I have terrible periods of lack of confidence [..] I briefly did therapy, but after a while I realised it was like a farmer complaining about the weather. You can't fix the weather – you just have to get on with it".[12]

Some of Adams's early radio work included sketches for The Burkiss Way in 1977 and The News Huddlines.[13] He also wrote, again with Chapman, 20 February 1977 episode of Doctor on the Go, a sequel to the Doctor in the House television comedy series. After the first radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide became successful, Adams was made a BBC radio producer, working on Week Ending and a pantomime called Black Cinderella Two Goes East.[14] He left after six months to become the script editor for Doctor Who.

In 1979 Adams and John Lloyd wrote scripts for two half-hour episodes of Doctor Snuggles: "The Remarkable Fidgety River" and "The Great Disappearing Mystery" (episodes seven and twelve). John Lloyd was also co-author of two episodes from the original Hitchhiker radio series ("Fit the Fifth" and "Fit the Sixth", also known as "Episode Five" and "Episode Six"), as well as The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[edit]

Main article: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a concept for a science-fiction comedy radio series pitched by Adams and radio producer Simon Brett to BBC Radio 4 in 1977. Adams came up with an outline for a pilot episode, as well as a few other stories (reprinted in Neil Gaiman's book Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion) that could be used in the series.

According to Adams, the idea for the title occurred to him while he lay drunk in a field in Innsbruck, Austria, gazing at the stars. He was carrying a copy of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe, and it occurred to him that "somebody ought to write a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". He later said that the constant repetition of this anecdote had obliterated his memory of the actual event.[15]

Despite the original outline, Adams was said to make up the stories as he wrote. He turned to John Lloyd for help with the final two episodes of the first series. Lloyd contributed bits from an unpublished science fiction book of his own, called GiGax.[16] Very little of Lloyd's material survived in later adaptations of Hitchhiker's, such as the novels and the TV series. The TV series was based on the first six radio episodes, and sections contributed by Lloyd were largely re-written.

BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first radio series weekly in the UK in March and April 1978. The series was distributed in the United States by National Public Radio. Following the success of the first series, another episode was recorded and broadcast, which was commonly known as the Christmas Episode. A second series of five episodes was broadcast one per night, during the week of 21–25 January 1980.

While working on the radio series (and with simultaneous projects such as The Pirate Planet) Adams developed problems keeping to writing deadlines that got worse as he published novels. Adams was never a prolific writer and usually had to be forced by others to do any writing. This included being locked in a hotel suite with his editor for three weeks to ensure that So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish was completed.[17] He was quoted as saying, "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."[18] Despite the difficulty with deadlines, Adams wrote five novels in the series, published in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, and 1992.

The books formed the basis for other adaptations, such as three-part comic book adaptations for each of the first three books, an interactive text-adventure computer game, and a photo-illustrated edition, published in 1994. This latter edition featured a 42 Puzzle designed by Adams, which was later incorporated into paperback covers of the first four Hitchhiker's novels (the paperback for the fifth re-used the artwork from the hardback edition).[19]

In 1980 Adams began attempts to turn the first Hitchhiker's novel into a film, making several trips to Los Angeles, and working with Hollywood studios and potential producers. The next year, the radio series became the basis for a BBC television mini-series[20] broadcast in six parts. When he died in 2001 in California, he had been trying again to get the movie project started with Disney, which had bought the rights in 1998. The screenplay got a posthumous re-write by Karey Kirkpatrick, and the resulting film was released in 2005.

Radio producer Dirk Maggs had consulted with Adams, first in 1993, and later in 1997 and 2000 about creating a third radio series, based on the third novel in the Hitchhiker's series.[21] They also discussed the possibilities of radio adaptations of the final two novels in the five-book "trilogy". As with the movie, this project was realised only after Adams's death. The third series, The Tertiary Phase, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2004 and was subsequently released on audio CD. With the aid of a recording of his reading of Life, the Universe and Everything and editing, Adams can be heard playing the part of Agrajag posthumously. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless made up the fourth and fifth radio series, respectively (on radio they were titled The Quandary Phase and The Quintessential Phase) and these were broadcast in May and June 2005, and also subsequently released on Audio CD. The last episode in the last series (with a new, "more upbeat" ending) concluded with, "The very final episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is affectionately dedicated to its author."[22]

Dirk Gently series[edit]

Between Adams's first trip to Madagascar with Mark Carwardine in 1985, and their series of travels that formed the basis for the radio series and non-fiction book Last Chance to See, Adams wrote two other novels with a new cast of characters. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was published in 1987, and was described by its author as "a kind of ghost-horror-detective-time-travel-romantic-comedy-epic, mainly concerned with mud, music and quantum mechanics".[23] It was derived from two Doctor Who serials Adams had written.

A sequel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, was published a year later. This was an entirely original work, Adams's first since So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. After the book tour, Adams set off on his round-the-world excursion which supplied him with the material for Last Chance to See.

Doctor Who[edit]

Main article: Doctor Who

Adams sent the script for the HHGG pilot radio programme to the Doctor Who production office in 1978, and was commissioned to write The Pirate Planet (see below). He had also previously attempted to submit a potential movie script, called "Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen", which later became his novel Life, the Universe and Everything (which in turn became the third Hitchhiker's Guide radio series). Adams then went on to serve as script editor on the show for its seventeenth season in 1979. Altogether, he wrote three Doctor Who serials starring Tom Baker as the Doctor:

The episodes authored by Adams are some of the few that were not novelised as Adams would not allow anyone else to write them, and asked for a higher price than the publishers were willing to pay.[24] "Shada" was later adapted as a novel by Gareth Roberts in 2012 and "City of Death" and "The Pirate Planet" by James Goss in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Elements of Shada and City of Death were reused in Adams's later novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, in particular the character of Professor Chronotis. Big Finish Productions eventually remade Shada as an audio play starring Paul McGann as the Doctor. Accompanied by partially animated illustrations, it was webcast on the BBC website in 2003, and subsequently released as a two-CD set later that year. An omnibus edition of this version was broadcast on the digital radio station BBC7 on 10 December 2005.

In the Doctor Who 2012 Christmas episode The Snowmen, writer Steven Moffat was inspired by a storyline that Adams pitched called The Doctor Retires.[25]

Music[edit]

Adams played the guitar left-handed and had a collection of twenty-four left-handed guitars when he died (having received his first guitar in 1964). He also studied piano in the 1960s with the same teacher as Paul Wickens, the pianist who plays in Paul McCartney's band (and composed the music for the 2004–2005 editions of the Hitchhiker's Guide radio series).[26]Pink Floyd and Procol Harum had important influence on Adams' work.

Pink Floyd[edit]

Adams's official biography shares its name with the song "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. Adams was friends with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and, on Adams's 42nd birthday, he was invited to make a guest appearance at Pink Floyd's concert of 28 October 1994 at Earls Court in London, playing guitar on the songs "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse".[27] Adams chose the name for Pink Floyd's 1994 album, The Division Bell, by picking the words from the lyrics to one of its tracks, "High Hopes".[27] Gilmour also performed at Adams's memorial service in 2001, and what would have been Adams's 60th birthday party in 2012.

Computer games and projects[edit]

Douglas Adams created an interactive fiction version of HHGG with Steve Meretzky from Infocom in 1984. In 1986 he participated in a week-long brainstorming session with the Lucasfilm Games team for the game Labyrinth. Later he was also involved in creating Bureaucracy as a parody of events in his own life.

Adams was a founder-director and Chief Fantasist of The Digital Village, a digital media and Internet company with which he created Starship Titanic, a Codie Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated adventure game, which was published in 1998 by Simon & Schuster.[28][29]Terry Jones wrote the accompanying book, entitled Douglas Adams Starship Titanic, since Adams was too busy with the computer game to do both. In April 1999, Adams initiated the h2g2collaborative writing project, an experimental attempt at making The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a reality, and at harnessing the collective brainpower of the internet community. It was hosted by BBC Online from 2001 to 2011.[28]

In 1990 Adams wrote and presented a television documentary programme Hyperland[30] which featured Tom Baker as a "software agent" (similar to the assistant pictured in Apple's Knowledge Navigator video of future concepts from 1987), and interviews with Ted Nelson, the co-inventor of hypertext and the person who coined the term. Adams was an early adopter and advocate of hypertext.

Personal beliefs and activism[edit]

Atheism and views on religion[edit]

Adams described himself as a "radical atheist", adding "radical" for emphasis so he would not be asked if he meant agnostic. He told American Atheists that this conveyed the fact that he really meant it. He imagined a sentient puddle who wakes up one morning and thinks, "This is an interesting world I find myself in – an interesting hole I find myself in – fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" to demonstrate his view that the fine-tuned Universe argument for God was a fallacy.[31]

He remained fascinated by religion because of its effect on human affairs. "I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I've thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing."[32]

The evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins uses Adams's influence throughout to exemplify arguments for non-belief in his 2006 book The God Delusion. Dawkins dedicated the book to Adams, whom he jokingly called "possibly [my] only convert" to atheism[33] and wrote on his death that "Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender."[34]

Environmental activism[edit]

Adams was also an environmental activist who campaigned on behalf of endangered species. This activism included the production of the non-fiction radio series Last Chance to See, in which he and naturalistMark Carwardine visited rare species such as the kakapo and baiji, and the publication of a tie-in book of the same name. In 1992 this was made into a CD-ROM combination of audiobook, e-book and picture slide show.

Adams and Mark Carwardine contributed the 'Meeting a Gorilla' passage from Last Chance to See to the book The Great Ape Project.[35] This book, edited by Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer, launched a wider-scale project in 1993, which calls for the extension of moral equality to include all great apes, human and non-human.

In 1994 he participated in a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro while wearing a rhino suit for the British charity organisation Save the Rhino International. Puppeteer William Todd-Jones, who had originally worn the suit in the London Marathon to raise money and bring awareness to the group, also participated in the climb wearing a rhino suit; Adams wore the suit while travelling to the mountain before the climb began. About £100,000 was raised through that event, benefiting schools in Kenya and a black rhinoceros preservation programme in Tanzania. Adams was also an active supporter of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Since 2003, Save the Rhino has held an annual Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture around the time of his birthday to raise money for environmental campaigns.[36]

Technology and innovation[edit]

Adams bought his first word processor in 1982, having considered one as early as 1979. His first purchase was a 'Nexus'. In 1983, when he and Jane Belson went to Los Angeles, he bought a DECRainbow. Upon their return to England, Adams bought an Apricot, then a BBC Micro and a Tandy 1000.[37] In Last Chance to See Adams mentions his Cambridge Z88, which he had taken to Zaire on a quest to find the northern white rhinoceros.[38]

Adams's posthumously published work, The Salmon of Doubt, features several articles by him on the subject of technology, including reprints of articles that originally ran in MacUser magazine, and in The Independent on Sunday newspaper. In these Adams claims that one of the first computers he ever saw was a Commodore PET, and that he had "adored" his Apple Macintosh ("or rather my family of however many Macintoshes it is that I've recklessly accumulated over the years") since he first saw one at Infocom's offices in Boston in 1984.[39]

Adams was a Macintosh user from the time they first came out in 1984 until his death in 2001. He was the first person to buy a Mac in Europe (the second being Stephen Fry – though some accounts differ on this, saying Fry bought his Mac first. Fry claims he was second to Adams[40]). Adams was also an "Apple Master", celebrities whom Apple made into spokespeople for its products (others included John Cleese and Gregory Hines). Adams's contributions included a rock video that he created using the first version of iMovie with footage featuring his daughter Polly. The video was available on Adams's .Mac homepage. Adams installed and started using the first release of Mac OS X in the weeks leading up to his death. His very last post to his own forum was in praise of Mac OS X and the possibilities of its Cocoa programming framework. He said it was "awesome...", which was also the last word he wrote on his site.[41]

Adams used email to correspond with Steve Meretzky in the early 1980s, during their collaboration on Infocom's version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[37] While living in New Mexico in 1993 he set up another e-mail address and began posting to his own USENET newsgroup, alt.fan.douglas-adams, and occasionally, when his computer was acting up, to the comp.sys.mac hierarchy.[42] Challenges to the authenticity of his messages later led Adams to set up a message forum on his own website to avoid the issue. In 1996, Adams was a keynote speaker at the MicrosoftProfessional Developers Conference (PDC) where he described the personal computer as being a modelling device. The video of his keynote speech is archived on Channel 9.[43] Adams was also a keynote speaker for the April 2001 Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco, one of the major technical conferences on embedded system engineering.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Adams moved to Upper Street, Islington, in 1981[45] and to Duncan Terrace, a few minutes' walk away, in the late 1980s.[45]

In the early 1980s Adams had an affair with novelist Sally Emerson, who was separated from her husband at that time. Adams later dedicated his book Life, the Universe and Everything to Emerson. In 1981 Emerson returned to her husband, Peter Stothard, a contemporary of Adams's at Brentwood School, and later editor of The Times. Adams was soon introduced by friends to Jane Belson, with whom he later became romantically involved. Belson was the "lady barrister" mentioned in the jacket-flap biography printed in his books during the mid-1980s ("He [Adams] lives in Islington with a lady barrister and an Apple Macintosh"). The two lived in Los Angeles together during 1983 while Adams worked on an early screenplay adaptation of Hitchhiker's. When the deal fell through, they moved back to London, and after several separations ("He is currently not certain where he lives, or with whom")[46] and a broken engagement, they married on 25 November 1991.

Adams and Belson had one daughter together, Polly Jane Rocket Adams, born on 22 June 1994, shortly after Adams turned 42. In 1999 the family moved from London to Santa Barbara, California, where they lived until his death. Following the funeral, Jane Belson and Polly Adams returned to London.[47] Jane died on 7 September 2011 of cancer, aged 59.[48][49]

Death and legacy[edit]

Adams died of a heart attack on 11 May 2001, aged 49, after resting from his regular workout at a private gym in Montecito, California. He had unknowingly suffered a gradual narrowing of the coronary arteries, which led to a myocardial infarction and a fatal cardiac arrhythmia.[50] Adams had been due to deliver the commencement address at Harvey Mudd College on 13 May.[51] His funeral was held on 16 May in Santa Barbara. His ashes were placed in Highgate Cemetery in north London in June 2002.[52]

A memorial service was held on 17 September 2001 at St Martin-in-the-Fields church, Trafalgar Square, London. This became the first church service broadcast live on the web by the BBC.[53] Video clips of the service are still available on the BBC's website for download.[54]

One of his last public appearances was a talk given at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Parrots, the universe and everything, recorded days before his death.[55] A full transcript of the talk is available, and the university has made the full video available on YouTube.[56]

Two days before Adams died, the Minor Planet Center announced the naming of asteroid 18610 Arthurdent.[57] In 2005, the asteroid 25924 Douglasadams was named in his memory.[58]

In May 2002 The Salmon of Doubt was published, containing many short stories, essays, and letters, as well as eulogies from Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry (in the UK edition), Christopher Cerf (in the US edition), and Terry Jones (in the US paperback edition). It also includes eleven chapters of his unfinished novel, The Salmon of Doubt, which was originally intended to become a new Dirk Gently novel, but might have later become the sixth Hitchhiker novel.[59][60]

Other events after Adams's death included a webcast production of Shada, allowing the complete story to be told, radio dramatisations of the final three books in the Hitchhiker's series, and the completion of the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The film, released in 2005, posthumously credits Adams as a producer, and several design elements – including a head-shaped planet seen near the end of the film – incorporated Adams's features.

A 12-part radio series based on the Dirk Gently novels was announced in 2007.[61]

BBC Radio 4 also commissioned a third Dirk Gently radio series based on the incomplete chapters of The Salmon of Doubt, and written by Kim Fuller;[62] but this was dropped in favour of a BBC TV series based on the two completed novels.[63] A sixth Hitchhiker novel, And Another Thing..., by Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer, was released on 12 October 2009 (the 30th anniversary of the first book), published with the support of Adams's estate. A BBC Radio 4Book at Bedtime adaptation and an audio book soon followed.

On 25 May 2001, two weeks after Adams's death, his fans organised a tribute known as Towel Day, which has been observed every year since then.[64]

In 2011, over 3,000 people took part in a public vote to choose the subjects of People's Plaques in Islington;[45] Adams received 489 votes.

On 11 March 2013, Adams's 61st birthday was celebrated with an interactive Google Doodle.[65][66][67]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Works[edit]

  • The Private Life of Genghis Khan (1975), based on a comedy sketch Adams co-wrote with Graham Chapman (short story)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978) (radio series)
  • The Pirate Planet (1978), a Doctor Who serial
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) (novel)
  • City of Death (1979), a Doctor Who serial
  • Shada (1979–1980), a Doctor Who serial
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980) (novel)
  • Life, the Universe and Everything (1982) (novel)
  • The Meaning of Liff (1983 (book), with John Lloyd)
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984) (novel)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1984, with Steve Meretzky) (computer game)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts (1985, with Geoffrey Perkins)
  • Young Zaphod Plays It Safe (short story) (1986)
  • A Christmas Fairly Story [sic] (1986, with Terry Jones), and
  • Supplement to The Meaning of Liff (1986, with John Lloyd and Stephen Fry), both part of
  • Bureaucracy (1987) (computer game)
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) (novel)
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988) (novel)
  • The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990, with John Lloyd)
  • Last Chance to See (1990, with Mark Carwardine) (book)
  • Mostly Harmless (1992) (novel)
  • The Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1994)
  • Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic (1997), written by Terry Jones, based on an idea by Adams
  • Starship Titanic (computer game) (1998)
  • h2g2 (internet project) (1999)
  • The Internet: The Last Battleground of the 20th century (radio series) (2000)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Future (radio series) (2001) final project for BBC Radio 4 before his death
  • Parrots, the universe and everything (2001)
  • The Salmon of Doubt (2002), unfinished novel manuscript (11 chapters), short stories, essays, and interviews (also available as an audiobook, read by Simon Jones)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) (film)

TV writing credits[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^"The Radio Academy Hall of Fame". The Radio Academy. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  2. ^ abcdWebb 2005b
  3. ^ abAdams 2002, pp. xix
  4. ^Webb 2005a, p. 32.
  5. ^Adams 2002, pp. 7
  6. ^Botti, Nicholas. "Interview with Frank Halford". Life, DNA, and H2G2. 2009. Web. Retrieved 13 March 2012. (Click on link at bottom for facsimile page from Daily News article, 7 March 1998.)
  7. ^Simpson 2003, pp. 9
  8. ^Flood, Alison (March 2014). "Lost poems of Douglas Adams and Griff Rhys Jones found in school cupboard", The Guardian, 19 March 2014. Accessed 2 July 2014
  9. ^Simpson 2003, pp. 30–40
  10. ^"Terry Jones remembers Douglas Adams, 'the last of the Pythons'". The Times. 10 October 2009. 
  11. ^Webb 2005a, p. 93.
  12. ^Adams 2002, pp. prologue
  13. ^Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams by M. J. Simpson, p87
  14. ^Roberts, Jem. The Clue Bible: The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue from Footlights to Mornington Crescent: London, 2009, p164-5
  15. ^Adams, Douglas (2003). Geoffrey Perkins (ed.), Additional Material by M. J. Simpson, ed. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts (25th Anniversary ed.). Pan Books. p. 10. ISBN 0-330-41957-9. 
  16. ^Webb 2005a, p. 120.
  17. ^Felch 2004
  18. ^Simpson 2003, pp. 236
  19. ^Internet Book List page, with links to all five novels, and reproductions of the 1990s paperback covers that included the 42 Puzzle.
  20. ^The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Internet Movie Database 
  21. ^Adams, Douglas. (2005). Dirk Maggs, dramatisations and editor, ed. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Scripts: The Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases. Pan Books. xiv. ISBN 0-330-43510-8. 
  22. ^Adams, Dirk Maggs, Page 356.
  23. ^Gaiman, Neil (2003). Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Second U.S. ed.). Titan Books. p. 169. ISBN 1-84023-742-2. 
  24. ^"A 1990s Doctor Who FAQ". Skepticfiles.org. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  25. ^Moffat, Steven (24 December 2012). "Doctor Who Christmas special: Steven Moffat, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman reveal all". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  26. ^Webb, page 49.
  27. ^ abMabbett, Andy (2010). Pink Floyd – The Music and the Mystery. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84938-370-7. 
  28. ^ abBBC Online (no date) "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: DNA (1952-2001)" Accessed 9 July 2014
  29. ^Botti, Nicolas (2009). "Life, DNA & h2g2: Douglas Adams's Biography"Archived 1 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 9 July 2014
  30. ^Internet Movie Database's page for Hyperland
  31. ^Adams 1998.
  32. ^Silverman, Dave (1998–1999). "Interview: Douglas Adams". American Atheist. 37 (1). Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  33. ^Bunce, Kim (5 November 2006). "Observer, ''The God Delusion'', 5 November 2006". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
  34. ^Dawkins, Richard (13 May 2001). "Lament for Douglas Adams". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  35. ^Cavalieri, Paola and Peter Singer, editors (1994). The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity (U.S. Paperback ed.). St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 19–23. ISBN 0-312-11818-X.
Adams in his first Monty Python appearance, in full surgeon's garb
Towel Day 2005 in Innsbruck, Austria, where Adams first had the idea of The Hitchhiker's Guide. In the novels a towel is the most useful thing a space traveller can have. The annual Towel Day (25 May) was first celebrated in 2001, two weeks after Adams's death.

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