Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

liveinabin

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This over analysing of 42 makes me think of analysing poetry.
I can't remember who it was but some poet commented that if he had to analyse his poem for the GCSE it was in, he would fail. The people who had written the test had completely over analysed it and got it wrong.
 

stu neville

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liveinabin1 said:
This over analysing of 42 makes me think of analysing poetry.
I can't remember who it was but some poet commented that if he had to analyse his poem for the GCSE it was in, he would fail. The people who had written the test had completely over analysed it and got it wrong.
Apocryphally:

Lecturer, on 'Fern Hill': "..and here we may see the influence of Joyce upon Thomas.."

Dylan Thomas, in response: "No, there you see the influence of a bottle of White Horse."

Back to Adams, he did love word games, so it may well be a pun. But then he also loved theorising about big science, so it may be something more abstruse. Who knows? I love the book(s), they make you think and they make you laugh, and that's good enough for me.
 

Kondoru

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A very learned friend suggested it was the answer to Drakes equation.

But how do we know?
 

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About analysing poetry:

Poets (and other artists) present a picture of the world as they see it, filtered through their own experience and emotions. So it's naive to imagine that we can understand everything about a piece of art - even the artist can't know that, as a lot of it is unconscious.

Also, an artist's own system of symbolism might mean different things to different people, which may give a new meaning altogether to a work. This isn't a 'wrong' meaning but an interpretation, as an artwork is not usually intended to represent a photographic or word-for-word version of reality.

So for example, images of horses might represent fond memories of my farming childhood, or unbridled sexuality or whatever - to the artist. To the observer they might represent nasty bitey animals or my lifelong secret dream.

In the light of artistic creativity, if Adams was leading the reader on a wild goose chase, and Fry is perpetuating the joke, all interpretations are equally valid. :D
 

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Not sure if continuing someone else's series, especially when it's as quirky as HHGTTG, is a good idea, but this combination might work. (Though I'd have suggested Jasper fforde myself)

Eoin Colfer to write sixth Hitchhiker's Guide book

Comic fantasy children's author describes being given the opportunity to continue Douglas Adams's legendary series as 'like suddenly being offered the superpower of your choice'

Alison Flood guardian.co.uk, Wednesday September 17 2008 00:01 BST Article history
Eoin Colfer: “It is a gift from the gods". Photograph: Felix Clay

Douglas Adams's increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy is to be extended to six titles, after Adams's widow Jane Belson sanctioned a project which will see children's author Eoin Colfer taking up the story.

And Another Thing… by Colfer, whose involvement with the project was personally requested by Belson, will be published next October by Penguin. No information has yet emerged about the plot of the novel but Hitchhiker fans will be hoping for a resurrection of much-loved characters Arthur Dent, Trillian and Ford Prefect, who were all apparently blown to smithereens at the end of the fifth novel, Mostly Harmless.

Adams himself had plans for a sixth Hitchhiker book, saying in an interview: "People have said, quite rightly, that Mostly Harmless is a very bleak book. And it was a bleak book. I would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note, so five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number."

But his death in 2001, aged 49, meant the book was never written, and "legions of Hitchhiker fans were left with their hearts beating a little too quickly for all eternity," said Colfer, author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series for children.

The proposal from the literary agency which manages Adams's estate was "quite out of the blue", said Penguin marketing and publicity director Joanna Prior. "It was something I guess [Jane Belson] had been mulling over for some time, and we jumped the minute we got the call – we could immediately see what a fantastic project this would be."

Colfer, who has been a fan of Hitchhiker since his schooldays, said being given the opportunity to continue the series was "like suddenly being offered the superpower of your choice". "For years I have been finishing this incredible story in my head and now I have the opportunity to do it in the real world," he added. "It is a gift from the gods. So, thank you Thor and Odin."

The book will "make no claims for Eoin being Douglas", according to Prior. "It's not Eoin Colfer writing as Douglas Adams, as was the case with Sebastian Faulks," she said, pointing to Penguin's successful publication of Faulks's new James Bond novel Devil May Care earlier this year. "It's absolutely about him being himself – Eoin the author, but with the cast of Hitchhiker."

Colfer himself is currently grappling with nerves over the quality of his addition to Adams' oeuvre. "I feel more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books, and that is why I am bloody determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written," he said. "For the first time in decades I feel the uncertainty that I last felt in my teenage years. There are people out there that really want to like this book."

Penguin hopes that Belson's choice of Colfer will bring a new generation of readers to Adams's work. "It's always a challenge when we haven't got Douglas any more – how can we introduce his writing to the next generation?" asked Prior. "There's a huge fan base out there, but this is a really exciting way of creating a new legacy."

Belson said the project had her full support. "I am delighted that Eoin Colfer has agreed to continue the Hitchhiker series. I love his books and could not think of a better person to transport Arthur, Zaphod and Marvin to pastures new," she added.

Approximately 16m copies of Hitchhiker books have been sold worldwide, according to Penguin. The "trilogy in five parts", which started with radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in 1978 and was completed with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, The Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish; and Mostly Harmless, has been translated into 35 languages.
 

PeniG

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Hmmm...paid fanfic is nice work when you can get it. I've only read the first Artemis Fowl book and found it very much for 13-year-old boys and not for me (which is fine; 13-year-old boys are an underserved literary market and I am arguably an overserved one). The high concept of the Fowl series is often described as "Die Hard with fairies." The execution of the individual book is what matters and I'm not going to prejudge him.

I don't suppose those promotional and advance dollars would have gone to an author who actually needed them for an original work, anyway...
 

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He could do it...but should he??

And hes right, Mostly harmless was a very bleak book
 

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Kondoru said:
He could do it...but should he??

And hes right, Mostly harmless was a very bleak book
It also reached a very definite conclusion. This all smacks of cash in.
 

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Well, considering Douglas Adams was flogging a dead horse with book 4 and 5, someone else writing a 6th book won't do any harm.
 

stu neville

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gncxx said:
Kondoru said:
And hes right, Mostly harmless was a very bleak book
It also reached a very definite conclusion.
Absolutely - MH has all the hallmarks of Douglas forcing himself to draw a line underneath it all. IIRC he described himself as someone who took ages to actually start doing anything, but once started he found it even more difficult to stop, walk away and leave well alone (I can relate to that :D.)

I'd much rather Colfer had been commissioned to complete the third Dirk Gently book. Not only do large chunks of it already exist, but Gently is much more in keeping with Colfer's usual territory.
 

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It also reached a very definite conclusion. This all smacks of cash in
Well if there is one thing you can take from HHG books its that nothing really comes to any sort of definite conclusion. Adams himself said that he was thinking of another. So you can't really use that as an excuse not to write another. I'm probably 50/50 about the whole thing, i don't know if anyone will be able to write like Adams but then again if a new book introduces the old ones to a whole new generation then fair enough.
 

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Yeah, but it's called And Another Thing… which makes it sound like one of those weak Radio 4 comedy shows. If even the title isn't clever, then I'm not holding out much hope.
 

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The one after could be called Oh, And Here's This ..., closely followed by Nearly Forgot This ... and Sorry, Left This Bit Out.

The titles certainly sound like Adams ... titles he'd be satirising.
 

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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy BBC2

Movie adaption of Douglas Adams's cult sci-fi comedy novel. Arthur Dent escapes the destruction of the Earth - to make way for a new galactic hyperspace bypass - with the aid of his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the Hitchhiker's Guide. With the dubious aid of the Guide, a galactic president with short-term memory loss (in both his heads) and a depressed robot, Arthur embarks on an improbable journey through the universe in search of the meaning of life and a really good cup of tea. With Bill Bailey, Martin Freeman, Stephen Fry, Sam Rockwell, and Mos Def. (2005) SUB
Film Comedy
Today on BBC2 from 11:00pm to 12:40am
 

rynner2

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Douglas Adams and the cult of 42
If you know The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, then you also know the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. But how did Douglas Adams come up with that number?
Peter Gill guardian.co.uk, Thursday 3 February 2011 21.00 GMT

On a Sunday in the spring of 1981 Douglas Adams was typing a letter. "Dear Ken," he began. "Your book was really very useful to me . . ." The thank-you letter from Adams to Australian writer Ken Welsh, author of Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe, continues, "[One evening in 1971] I got frantically depressed in Innsbruck . . . When the stars came out I thought that someone ought to write a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy because it looked a lot more attractive out there than it did around me."

Keeping the idea safe, Adams hitched to Istanbul before returning to England for three years as a Cambridge student, where he became an underachieving comedy writer and performer. Eventually, though, his eureka moment in an alpine meadow would spark a remarkable phenomenon. And one original idea in The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, first broadcast as a radio comedy in 1978, has developed a life quite unlike any other joke, before or since.

The plot for the six episodes leapt very much wherever Adams wanted to go on the day, but led to a pivotal gag that went like this; a giant computer called Deep Thought, having spent exactly 7.5m years pondering on Life, the Universe and Everything finally and solemnly announces that the Ultimate Answer is . . . "Forty two".

Adams – who died, aged 49, 10 years ago this May – had launched the world's greatest universal joke. Often you hear it as a simple namecheck, a gently conclusive "Douglas Adams", said whenever a spontaneous 42 is seen as a seat number, a restaurant table, or a homework answer. Others post lists of favourite 42s, snap "42" photos, or enjoy throwing a 42nd birthday party (Pink Floyd performed on stage with Adams for his special day). There are the influential friends as well – both Google's HQ and Cern's Large Hadron Collider have office complexes named for the number.

The joke has been running for more than three decades and the momentum seems as strong, or perhaps even stronger, than ever. Famous and notable instances are lovingly prized; the world's first modern book was Gutenberg's 42-line bible and the US national anthem is about an historic 42ft star-spangled banner. Another celebrated use is 42 Wallaby Way – the address on the diving mask in Pixar's Finding Nemo. Playing an elaborate joke on a richer-than-Croesus friend, author Ian Fleming made it the age of Bond villain Auric Goldfinger.

For many followers the question of "Why 42?" has been an enjoyable part of the enigma. Adams kept his magic in the tin, never revealing (other than to his friend Stephen Fry, who claims he'll take the secret to his grave) the full story. Several theories have circulated and a few of these Adams selected for deflation; the idea that he had been paying tribute to Lewis Carroll, who also used the number; that he had been joking in a base 13 number system; or that it was an obscure reference to the traditional number of rulers of Tibet. Adams was ever meticulous in his choice of words and numbers, and it's safe to say it wasn't a random pick.

As the book's title suggests, Adams, like most authors, was not afraid to borrow, and there are revealing similarities between Welsh's Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. One of these provides perhaps the most intriguing explanation for "Why 42?". As you may remember Adams had Deep Thought perform a little expectation management and say: "You're really not going to like it" before revealing the Ultimate Answer.

Curiously, Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe had told of visitors to the UK searching for family roots finding "the answer a little disappointing" – after travelling around the world in search of "the solution to the most puzzling question of all". A coincidence, perhaps . . . but this coincidence is on page 42. 8)

A cheery "Best wishes, Douglas Adams" signed off the letter, which duly arrived in Spain, the country Welsh had chosen to adopt as home, and where he lives still. He tells me he's not hitch-hiking quite so much these days.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/fe ... hitchhiker
 

Kondoru

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I was told it was something to do with Drakes Equation
 

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Wasn't everything after the 2nd book supposed to be recycled Doctor Who scripts?

I thought the 3rd was pants and didn;t bother after that, then when I heard that suggestion a lot later, that he had writers block and was recycling earlier material, it seemed to make a kind of sense.
 

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If (like me) you need an H2G2 fix, then this is on iPlayer now:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Movie adaptation of Douglas Adams's cult sci-fi comedy novel. Arthur Dent escapes the destruction of the Earth - to make way for a new galactic hyper-space bypass – with the aid of his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the Hitchhiker's Guide. With the dubious aid of the Guide, a galactic President with short-term memory loss (in both his heads) and a depressed robot, Arthur embarks on an improbable journey through the universe in search of the meaning of life and a really good cup of tea

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... he_Galaxy/

Available until
6:59PM Sat, 30 Mar 2013

Enjoy!
 

GNC

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Full story:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latest ... extra.html

Don’t Panic! In a special celebration of all things Hitchhiker’s, BBC Radio 4 Extra is bringing listeners the brand-new 30th anniversary edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Game online and broadcasting series one and two, 'The Primary and Secondary Phase', on the radio.

Both will launch on Saturday 8 March 2014, 36 years to the day since Hitchhiker’s first-ever radio broadcast and 30 years since the invention of the award-winning game.


The global multi-media success story that is Hitchhiker's started life as a BBC Radio 4 series in March 1978. The original scripts by the late Douglas Adams went on to spawn a series of novels, a feature film, at least three stage shows, a TV series, a collection of comic books – and various towels.

The game was originally devised in 1984 by the book’s author Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky from Infocom. Notoriously difficult and full of oddities, it was one of the best-selling games of its era...

The world’s most devious game will now be in high definition, thanks to refreshed illustrations and graphics. It is a web-based game and will be accessible via Radio 4 Extra’s website. Players can take the game on the move as it will be compatible with tablets and other internet enabled devices...
If you've never heard the original, this is a great way to start, but that game... geez, I could never even get out of the bedroom in it. It was ridiculously difficult, which was a joke in itself, but pretty frustrating.
 

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Radio 4 orders new Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series
The episodes will primarily be based on the stories in the book And Another Thing...
Director Dirk Maggs says it is likely to be on Radio 4 in 2017

In 2009 author Eoin Colfer was commissioned to write And Another Thing... featuring the same characters as seen and heard the previous radio series and books written by Adams. Although Colfer had the blessing of the creator's widow, the announcement proved to be controversial at the time. Colfer has recognised that there was "semi-outrage" at the idea of another author contributing to the series, but he has been pleased by the reaction the book has since publication.
https://www.comedy.co.uk/radio/news/2129/hitchhikers_guide_series_6/
 

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A cautious 'Hmmm' on this. It has the opportunity for being a quasi-blasphemous disaster. However: I should give it a chance.

An omen of goodlyness may emerge from the apperance of a 'third dirk' within this development....

Director Dirk Maggs
.... so he joins the ranks of Bogarde and Gently, to metaphysically become the only other dirk beknownst unto the world. Well, in my world, that is.... you may have a 'Dirk' at home, or even be one yourself. But my bet is, no.

(in Scotland, we, of course, have them as small sock-concealed weapons, primarily when wearing kilts. Dirks, I mean, not Directors)
 

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so he joins the ranks of Bogarde and Gently, to metaphysically become the only other dirk beknownst unto the world. Well, in my world, that is.... you may have a 'Dirk' at home, or even be one yourself.
There's one in the film Boogie Nights. Nothing small or sock-concealed about him though.
 

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A cautious 'Hmmm' on this. It has the opportunity for being a quasi-blasphemous disaster. However: I should give it a chance.

An omen of goodlyness may emerge from the apperance of a 'third dirk' within this development....

.... so he joins the ranks of Bogarde and Gently, to metaphysically become the only other dirk beknownst unto the world. Well, in my world, that is.... you may have a 'Dirk' at home, or even be one yourself. But my bet is, no.

(in Scotland, we, of course, have them as small sock-concealed weapons, primarily when wearing kilts. Dirks, I mean, not Directors)
Dirk Maggs directed series 3,4 and 5 of HHGTTG, the Dirk Gently adaptations and Good Omens so I'll give him the benefit of a listen. The mp3s of the above are permanent residents on my playlist.
 

GNC

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A Douglas Adams doc from Radio 4 last night:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09tbl2s

Based on his unearthed papers and packed with anecdotes familiar and not-so-familiar. Liked the bit about the Hitchhikers' stage show - they would turn away 1500 people a night and admit 80, someone pointed out, shouldn't this be the other way around?!

Anyway, it's back! Based on those Adams papers and hard drives with all his notes on, they've created a sixth series. Tune in this Thursday on Radio 4 at 18:30. No idea if it'll be any good, but all the surviving cast are back too. Colour me interested.
 

Timble2

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A Douglas Adams doc from Radio 4 last night:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09tbl2s

Based on his unearthed papers and packed with anecdotes familiar and not-so-familiar. Liked the bit about the Hitchhikers' stage show - they would turn away 1500 people a night and admit 80, someone pointed out, shouldn't this be the other way around?!

Anyway, it's back! Based on those Adams papers and hard drives with all his notes on, they've created a sixth series. Tune in this Thursday on Radio 4 at 18:30. No idea if it'll be any good, but all the surviving cast are back too. Colour me interested.
There was another attempt at the stage play not long after, at the Rainbow, which flopped quite badly. Ken Campbell, for it was he that directed the first version, apparently stated that it failed because "We just never found a hovercraft big enough for the Rainbow."
 

GNC

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There was another attempt at the stage play not long after, at the Rainbow, which flopped quite badly. Ken Campbell, for it was he that directed the first version, apparently stated that it failed because "We just never found a hovercraft big enough for the Rainbow."
Yes, they did mention the infamous hovercraft!
 

GNC

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Tonight's seemed to spend half the episode recapping what had happened in the previous five series. Once it was sorted out, it was fine, though I didn't laugh. Very much a reintroduction episode. Nice to hear the old voices.
 

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I haven't heard good things about the Coifer book, and Maggs botched up the last three series badly. (And the Dirk Gently series he did with Harry Enfield.) Based on Neverwhere, I think he needs to have input from the author in order to keep it on track. The only problem is, if he has input from Coifer, will it actually help?
 

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Tonight's seemed to spend half the episode recapping what had happened in the previous five series. Once it was sorted out, it was fine, though I didn't laugh. Very much a reintroduction episode. Nice to hear the old voices.
It lacked a little sparkle didn’t it? I found the recap overlong and I’m afraid to say that I think John Lloyd was the wrong choice for the voice of the book. This needs character rather than simple narration. The whole thing came across as an inferior copy with the characters, some of the style but little of the substance that made the original so good.
 

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I don't like Eoin Colfer so I am a bit dubious about it (we have it recorded to listen to later) but I didn't think the last three were that bad. Not as good as the first two but still plenty of fun to be had.

I found the recap overlong and I’m afraid to say that I think John Lloyd was the wrong choice for the voice of the book.
I heard the start and I did think the book sounded wrong somehow. And we have had three already so it is not just that it is a different voice.
 
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