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The cover of the first novel in the Hitchhiker's series, from a late 1990s printing. The cover features the 42 Puzzle devised by Douglas Adams.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series created by English writer, dramatist and musician Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon. Adaptations have included stage shows, a series of five books first published between 1979 and 1992 (and a sixth by Eoin Colfer published in 2009), a 1981 TV series, a 1984 computer game, and three series of three-part comic book adaptations of the first three novels published by DC Comics between 1993 and 1996. There were also two series of towels, produced by Beer-Davies, that are considered by some fans to be an "official version" of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as they include text from the first novel.[1][2] A Hollywood-funded film version, produced and filmed in the UK, was released in April 2005, and radio adaptations of the third, fourth and fifth novels were broadcast from 2004 to 2005. Many of these adaptations, including the novels, the TV series, the computer game, and the earliest drafts of the Hollywood film's screenplay, were done by Adams himself, and some of the stage shows introduced new material written by Adams.

The title is the name of a fictional eccentric electronic travel guide, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, prominently featured in the series.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[3] is often abbreviated "HHGTTG" (as used on fan websites) or "H2G2" (first used by Neil Gaiman as a chapter title in Don't Panic and later by the online guide run by the BBC). The series is also often referred to as "The Hitchhiker's Guide", "Hitchhiker's", or simply "[The] Guide". This title can refer to any of the various incarnations of the story of which the books are the most widely distributed, having been translated into more than 30 languages by 2005.[4]

Contents

Plot

The various versions follow the same basic plot, but they are in many places mutually contradictory, as Adams rewrote the story substantially for each new adaptation. In all versions, the series follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman who, with his friend Ford Prefect, an alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse (not from Guildford after all) and researcher for the eponymous guidebook, escapes the demolition of Earth by a bureaucratic alien race called the Vogons. Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford's semi-cousin and the Galactic President, unknowingly saves the pair from certain death. He brings them aboard his stolen spaceship, the Heart of Gold, whose crew rounds out the main cast of characters: Marvin, the Paranoid Android, a depressed robot, and Trillian, formerly known as Tricia McMillan, a woman Arthur once met at a party in Islington who he soon realises is the only other human survivor of Earth's destruction. After this, the characters embark on a quest to find the legendary planet of Magrathea and the Question to the Ultimate Answer, 42.

Background

The first radio series comes from a proposal called "The Ends of the Earth": six self-contained episodes, all ending with the Earth being destroyed in a different way. While writing the first episode, Adams realised that he needed someone on the planet who was an alien to provide some context, and that this alien needed a reason to be there. Adams finally settled on making the alien a roving researcher for a "wholly remarkable book" named The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As the first radio episode's writing progressed, the Guide became the centre of his story, and he decided to focus the series on it, with the destruction of Earth being the only hold-over.[5]

Adams claimed that the title came from a 1971 incident while he was hitchhiking around Europe as a young man with a copy of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe book, and while lying drunk in a field in Innsbruck with a copy of the book and looking up at the stars, thought it would be a good idea for someone to write a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy as well. However, he later claimed that he had told this story so many times that he had forgotten the incident itself, and only remembered himself telling the story. His friends are quoted as saying that Adams mentioned the idea of "hitch-hiking around the galaxy" to them while on holiday in Greece, in 1973.[6]

Adams's fictional Guide is an electronic guidebook to the Milky Way galaxy, originally published by Megadodo Publications, one of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor Beta. The narrative of the various versions of the story are frequently punctuated with excerpts from the Guide. The voice of the Guide (Peter Jones in the first two radio series and TV versions, later William Franklyn in the third, fourth and fifth radio series, and Stephen Fry in the movie version), also provides general narration.

Original radio series

The first radio series of six episodes (called "Fits" after the names of the sections of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "The Hunting of the Snark")[7] was broadcast in 1978 on BBC Radio 4. Despite a low-key launch of the series (the first episode was broadcast at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 March 1978), it received generally good reviews and a tremendous audience reaction for radio.[8] A one-off episode (a "Christmas special") was broadcast later in the year. The BBC was in the practice, at the time, of commissioning "Christmas Special" episodes for popular radio series, and while an early draft of this episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide had a Christmas-related plotline, it was decided to be "in slightly poor taste" and the episode as transmitted served as a bridge between the two series.[9] This episode was released as part of the second radio series and, later, The Secondary Phase on cassettes and CDs. The Primary and Secondary Phases were aired, in a slightly edited version, in the United States on NPR Playhouse.

The first series was repeated twice in 1978 alone and many more times in the next few years. This led to an LP re-recording, produced independently of the BBC for sale, and a further adaptation of the series as a book. A second radio series, which consisted of a further five episodes, and bringing the total number of episodes to 12, was broadcast in 1980.

The radio series (and the LP and TV versions) greatly benefited from the narration of noted comedy actor Peter Jones as The Book. He was cast after it was decided that a "Peter-Jonesy" sort of voice was required. His sonorous, avuncular tones undoubtedly gave the series a tremendous boost and firmly established the tenor of the piece.

The series was also notable for its use of sound, being the first comedy series to be produced in stereo. Adams said that he wanted the programme's production to be comparable to that of a modern rock album. Much of the programme's budget was spent on sound effects, which were largely the work of Paddy Kingsland (for the pilot episode and the complete second series) and Dick Mills and Harry Parker (for the remaining episodes (2–6) of the first series). The fact that they were at the forefront of modern radio production in 1978 and 1980 was reflected when the three new series of Hitchhiker's became some of the first radio shows to be mixed into four-channel Dolby Surround. This mix was also featured on DVD releases of the third radio series.

The theme tune used for the radio, television, LP and film versions is "Journey of the Sorcerer", an instrumental piece composed by Bernie Leadon and recorded by The Eagles on their album One of These Nights. Only the transmitted radio series used the original recording; a soundalike cover by Tim Souster was used for the LP and TV series, another arrangement by Joby Talbot was used for the 2005 film, and still another arrangement, this time by Philip Pope, was recorded to be released with the CDs of the last three radio series. Apparently, Adams chose this song for its futuristic-sounding nature, but also for the fact that it had a banjo in it, which, as Geoffrey Perkins recalls, Adams said would give it an "on the road, hitch-hiking feel."[10]

The twelve episodes were released on CD and cassette in 1988, becoming the first CD release in the BBC Radio Collection. They were re-released in 1992, and at this time Adams suggested that they could retitle Fits the First through Sixth as "The Primary Phase" and Fits the Seventh through Twelfth as "The Secondary Phase" instead of just "the first series" and "the second series".[11] It was about at this time that a "Tertiary Phase" was first discussed with Dirk Maggs, adapting Life, the Universe and Everything, but this series would not be recorded for another ten years.[12]

The audience survey reaction report at the time actually reported a very split reaction – people hated it, or loved it. The decision to commission the second series was backed by gut management instincts rather than clear metrics.[citation needed]

Main cast:

Novels

The novels are described as "a trilogy in five parts", having been described as a trilogy on the release of the third book, and then a "trilogy in four parts" on the release of the fourth book. The US edition of the fifth book was originally released with the legend "The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy" on the cover. Subsequent re-releases of the other novels bore the legend "The [first, second, third, fourth] in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's trilogy". In addition, the blurb on the fifth book humorously describes the book as "the book that gives a whole new meaning to the word 'trilogy'".

The plots of the television and radio series are more or less the same as that of the first two novels, though some of the events occur in a different order and many of the details are changed. Much of parts five and six of the radio series were written by John Lloyd, but his material did not make it into the other versions of the story and is not included here. Some consider the books' version of events to be definitive, because they are the most readily accessible and widely distributed version of the story. However, they are not the final version that Adams produced.

Before his death from a heart attack at age 49 in 2001, Adams was considering writing a sixth novel in the Hitchhiker's series. He was working on a third Dirk Gently novel under the working title, The Salmon of Doubt, but felt that the book was not working and abandoned it. In an interview, he said some of the ideas in the book might fit better in the Hitchhiker's series, and suggested he might rework those ideas into a sixth book in that series. He described Mostly Harmless as "a very bleak book" and said he "would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note". Adams also remarked that if he were to write a sixth instalment, he would at least start with all the characters in the same place.[13] Eoin Colfer, who wrote the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's series in 2008-09, used this latter concept but apparently none of the plot ideas from "The Salmon of Doubt".

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Cover of the original UK paperback edition of the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (published in 1979), the characters visit the legendary planet Magrathea, home to the now-collapsed planet-building industry, and meet Slartibartfast, a planetary coastline designer who was responsible for the fjords of Norway. Through archival recordings, he relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought had predicted that another computer, more powerful than itself would be made and designed by it to calculate the question for the answer. (Later on, referencing this, Adams would create the 42 Puzzle, a puzzle which could be approached in multiple ways, all yielding the answer 42.)

The computer, often mistaken for a planet (because of its size and use of biological components), was the Earth, and was destroyed by Vogons to make way for a hyperspatial express route, five minutes before the conclusion of its 10-million-year program. Two of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who commissioned the Earth in the first place, disguise themselves as Trillian's mice, and want to dissect Arthur's brain to help reconstruct the question, since he was part of the Earth's matrix moments before it was destroyed, and so he is likely to have part of the question buried in his brain. Trillian is also human but had left Earth six months previously with Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy. The protagonists escape, setting course for "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe". The mice, in Arthur's absence, create a phony question since it is too troublesome for them to wait 10 million years again just to cash in on a lucrative deal. Their new question was "How many roads must a man walk down?"

The book was adapted from the first four radio episodes. It was first published in 1979, initially in paperback, by Pan Books, after BBC Publishing had turned down the offer of publishing a novelisation, an action they would later regret.[14] The book reached number one on the book charts in only its second week, and sold over 250,000 copies within three months of its release. A hardback edition was published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House in the United States in October 1980, and the 1981 US paperback edition was promoted by the give-away of 3,000 free copies in the magazine Rolling Stone to build word of mouth. In 2005, Del Rey Books rereleased the Hitchhiker series with new covers for the release of the 2005 movie. To date, it has sold over 14 million copies.[15]

A photo-illustrated edition of the first novel appeared in 1994.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (published in 1980), Zaphod is separated from the others and finds he is part of a conspiracy to uncover who really runs the Universe. Zaphod meets Zarniwoop, a conspirator and editor for The Guide, who knows where to find the secret ruler. Zaphod becomes briefly reunited with the others for a trip to Milliways, the restaurant of the title. Zaphod and Ford decide to steal a ship from there, which turns out to be a stunt ship pre-programmed to plunge into a star as a special effect in a stage show. Unable to change course, the main characters get Marvin to run the teleporter they find in the ship, which is working other than having no automatic control (someone must remain behind to operate it), and Marvin seemingly sacrifices himself. Zaphod and Trillian discover that the Universe is in the safe hands of a simple man living on a remote planet in a wooden shack with his cat.

Ford and Arthur, meanwhile, end up on a spacecraft full of the outcasts of the Golgafrinchan civilisation. The ship crashes on prehistoric Earth; Ford and Arthur are stranded, and it becomes clear that the inept Golgafrinchans are the ancestors of modern humans, having displaced the Earth's indigenous hominids. This has disrupted the Earth's programming so that when Ford and Arthur manage to extract the final readout from Arthur's subconscious mind by pulling lettered tiles from a Scrabble set, it is "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" Arthur then comments, "I've always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe."

The book was adapted from the remaining material in the radio series—covering from the fifth episode to the twelfth episode, although the ordering was greatly changed (in particular, the events of Fit the Sixth, with Ford and Arthur being stranded on pre-historic Earth, end the book, and their rescue in Fit the Seventh is deleted), and most of the Brontitall incident was omitted. Instead of the Haggunenon sequence, co-written by John Loyd, the Disaster Area stuntship was substituted—this having first been introduced in the LP version. Adams himself considered Restaurant to be his best novel of the five.[citation needed]

Life, the Universe and Everything

In Life, the Universe and Everything (published in 1982), Ford and Arthur travel through the space-time continuum from prehistoric Earth to Lord's Cricket Ground. There they run into Slartibartfast, who enlists their aid in preventing galactic war. Long ago, the people of Krikkit attempted to wipe out all life in the Universe, but they were stopped and imprisoned on their home planet; now they are poised to escape. With the help of Marvin, Zaphod and Trillian, our heroes prevent the destruction of life in the Universe and go their separate ways.

This was the first Hitchhiker's book originally written as a book and not adapted from radio. Its story was based on a treatment Adams had written for a Doctor Who theatrical release,[16] with the Doctor role being split between Slartibartfast (to begin with), and later Trillian and Arthur.

The front cover of The Hitchhiker's Quartet, a collection of the first four books in the series, published in the United States by Harmony Books in 1986
The front cover of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, a collection of all five books in the series, a leatherbound volume published in the United States by Portland House, a division of Random House, in 1997

In 2004 it was adapted for radio as the Tertiary Phase of the radio series.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (published in 1984), Arthur returns home to Earth, rather surprisingly since it was destroyed when he left. He meets and falls in love with a girl named Fenchurch, and discovers this Earth is a replacement provided by the dolphins in their Save the Humans campaign. Eventually he rejoins Ford, who claims to have saved the Universe in the meantime, to hitch-hike one last time and see God's Final Message to His Creation. Along the way, they are joined by Marvin, the Paranoid Android, who, although 37 times older than the universe itself (what with time travel and all), has just enough power left in his failing body to read the message and feel better about it all before expiring.

This was the first Hitchhiker's novel which was not an adaptation of any previously written story or script. In 2005 it was adapted for radio as the Quandary Phase of the radio series.

Mostly Harmless

Finally, in Mostly Harmless (published in 1992), Vogons take over The Hitchhiker's Guide (under the name of InfiniDim Enterprises), to finish, once and for all, the task of obliterating the Earth. After abruptly losing Fenchurch and travelling around the galaxy despondently, Arthur's spaceship crashes on the planet Lamuella, where he settles in happily as the official sandwich-maker for a small village of simple, peaceful people. Meanwhile, Ford Prefect breaks into The Guide's offices, gets himself an infinite expense account from the computer system, and then meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Mark II, an artificially intelligent, multi-dimensional guide with vast power and a hidden purpose. After he declines this dangerously powerful machine's aid (which he receives anyway), he sends it to Arthur Dent for safety ("Oh yes, whose?"—Arthur).

Trillian uses DNA that Arthur donated for travelling money to have a daughter, and when she goes to cover a war, she leaves her daughter Random Frequent Flyer Dent with Arthur. Random, a more-than-typically troubled teenager, steals The Guide Mark II and uses it to get to Earth. Arthur, Ford, Trillian, and Tricia McMillan (Trillian in this alternate universe) follow her to a crowded club, where an anguished Random becomes startled by a noise and inadvertently fires her gun at Arthur. The shot misses Arthur and kills a man (the ever-unfortunate Agrajag). Immediately afterwards, The Guide Mark II causes the removal of all possible Earths from probability. All of the main characters, save Zaphod, were on Earth at the time and are apparently killed, bringing a good deal of satisfaction to the Vogons.

In 2005 it was adapted for radio as the Quintessential Phase of the radio series, with the final episode first transmitted on 21 June 2005.

And Another Thing...

It was announced on 17 September 2008 that Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer had been commissioned to write the sixth instalment entitled And Another Thing... with Jane Belson, Adams' widow, giving her approval.[17][18]
The story begins as death rays bear down on Earth, and the characters awaken from a virtual reality. Zaphod picks them up shortly before they're killed, but completely fails to escape the death beams. They are then saved by Bowerick Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged, who they agree to help kill. Zaphod travels to Asgard to get Thor's help. In the meantime, the Vogons are heading to destroy a colony of people who also escaped Earth's destruction, on the planet Nano. Arthur, Wowbagger, Trillian and Random head to Nano to try to stop the Vogons, and on the journey, Wowbagger and Trillian fall in love, making Wowbagger question whether or not he wants to be killed. Zaphod arrives with Thor, who then signs up to be the planet's God. He almost kills Wowbagger, but thanks to Random, he only loses his immortality, and gets married to Trillian. Thor then stops the first Vogon attack, and apparently dies. Meanwhile, Constant Mown, son of Prostetnic Jeltz, convinces his father that the people on the planet are not citizens of Earth, but are, in fact, citizens of Nano, which means that it would be illegal to kill them. As the book draws to a close, Arthur is on his way to check out a possible university for Random, when, during a hyperspace jump, he is flung across alternate universes, has a brief encounter with Fenchurch, and ends up exactly where he'd want to be. And then the Vogons turn up again.

The book was published by Penguin Books in the UK and Hyperion in the US on October 12, 2009.[17][19]

Other Hitchhiker's-related books and stories

Related stories

A short story by Adams, "Young Zaphod Plays it Safe", first appeared in The Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book, a special large-print compilation of different stories and pictures that raised money for the new (at the time) Comic Relief charity in the UK. It is in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy which contains the five classic novels from the Hitchhiker series: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Mostly Harmless as well as Young Zaphod Plays it Safe. It also appears in some of the omnibus editions of the trilogy, and in The Salmon of Doubt. It is almost, but not quite, entirely unrelated to the rest of the trilogy. There are two versions of this story, one of which is slightly more explicit in its political commentary.

Also appearing in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, at the end of Adams' introduction, is a list of instructions on "How to Leave the Planet," providing a humorous explanation of how one might replicate Arthur and Ford's feat at the beginning of Hitchhikers.

A novel, Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic written by Terry Jones, is based on Adams's computer game of the same name, which in turn is based on an idea from Life, the Universe and Everything. The idea concerns a luxury passenger starship that suffers "spontaneous massive existence failure" on its maiden voyage.

Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, a character from Life, the Universe and Everything, also appears in a short story by Adams titled "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" which appears in some early editions of The Salmon of Doubt.

Analytical works

For some information on understanding the philosophy of the Guide, or Douglas Adams's influence on technology, see The Anthology at the End of the Universe, a series of essays edited by Glenn Yeffeth, published in 2005.

Michael Hanlon published The Science of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in 2005. Topics include space tourism, parallel universes, instant-translation devices such as the Babel fish and sentient computers.

Published radio scripts

Douglas Adams and Geoffrey Perkins collaborated on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts, first published in the United Kingdom and United States in 1985. A tenth-anniversary (of the script book publication) edition was printed in 1995, and a twenty-fifth-anniversary (of the first radio series broadcast) edition was printed in 2003.

Dirk Maggs, who adapted and dramatised the last three novels for radio, released a collection of their scripts in July 2005, with Maggs providing notes for each episode. This second radio script book is entitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Scripts: The Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases. Douglas Adams gets the primary writer's credit (as he wrote the original novels), and there is a foreword by Simon Jones, introductions by Bruce Hyman and Dirk Maggs, and other introductory notes from other members of the cast.

TV series

The popularity of the radio series gave rise to a six-episode television series, directed and produced by Alan J. W. Bell, which first aired on BBC Two in January and February 1981. It employed many of the actors from the radio series and was based mainly on the radio versions of Fits the First through Sixth. A second series was at one point planned, with a storyline, according to Alan Bell and Mark Wing-Davey, that would have come from Adams's abandoned Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen project (instead of simply making a TV version of the second radio series). However, Adams got into disputes with the BBC (accounts differ: problems with budget, scripts, and having Alan Bell and/or Geoffrey Perkins involved are all offered as causes), and the second series was never made. The elements of the Doctor Who and the Krikketmen project instead became the third novel, Life, the Universe and Everything.

The main cast was the same as the original radio series, except for David Dixon as Ford Prefect instead of McGivern, and Sandra Dickinson as Trillian instead of Sheridan.

Other television appearances

Segments of several of the books were adapted as part of the BBC's The Big Read survey and programme, broadcast in late 2003. The film, directed by Deep Sehgal, starred Sanjeev Bhaskar as Arthur Dent, alongside Spencer Brown as Ford Prefect, Nigel Planer as the voice of Marvin, Stephen Hawking as the voice of Deep Thought, Patrick Moore as the voice of the Guide, Roger Lloyd Pack as Slartibartfast, and Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish as Loonquawl and Phouchg.

Radio series three to five

On 21 June 2004, the BBC announced in a press release[20] that a new series of Hitchhiker's based on the third novel would be broadcast as part of its autumn schedule, produced by Above the Title Productions Ltd. The episodes were recorded in late 2003, but actual transmission was delayed while an agreement was reached with The Walt Disney Company over Internet re-broadcasts, as Disney had begun pre-production on the film.[21] This was followed by news that further series would be produced based on the fourth and fifth novels. These were broadcast in September and October 2004 and May and June 2005. CD releases accompanied the transmission of the final episode in each series.

The adaptation of the third novel followed the book very closely, which caused major structural issues in meshing with the preceding radio series in comparison to the second novel. Because many events from the radio series were omitted from the second novel, and those that did occur happened in a different order, the two series split in completely different directions. The last two adaptations vary somewhat—some events in Mostly Harmless are now foreshadowed in the adaptation of So Long and Thanks For All The Fish, while both include some additional material that builds on incidents in the third series to tie all five (and their divergent plotlines) together, most especially including the character Zaphod more prominently in the final chapters and addressing his altered reality to include the events of the Secondary Phase. While Mostly Harmless originally contained a rather bleak ending, Dirk Maggs created a different ending for the transmitted radio version, ending it on a much more upbeat note, reuniting the cast one last time.

The core cast for the third through fifth radio series remained the same, except for the replacement of Peter Jones by William Franklyn as the Book, and Richard Vernon by Richard Griffiths as Slartibartfast, since both had died. (Homage to Jones' iconic portrayal of the Book was paid twice: the gradual shift of voices to a "new" version in episode 13, launching the new productions, and a blend of Jones and Franklyn's voices at the end of the final episode, the first part of Maggs' alternative ending.) Sandra Dickinson, who played Trillian in the TV series, here played Tricia McMillan, an English-born, American-accented alternate-universe version of Trillian, while David Dixon, the television series' Ford Prefect, made a cameo appearance as the "Ecological Man". Jane Horrocks appeared in the new semi-regular role of Fenchurch, Arthur's girlfriend, and Samantha Béart joined in the final series as Arthur and Trillian's daughter, Random Dent. Also reprising their roles from the original radio series were Jonathan Pryce as Zarniwoop (here blended with a character from the final novel to become Zarniwoop Vann Harl), Rula Lenska as Lintilla and her clones (and also as the Voice of the Bird), and Roy Hudd as Milliways compere Max Quordlepleen, as well as the original radio series' announcer, John Marsh.

The series also featured guest appearances by such noted personalities as Joanna Lumley as the Sydney Opera House Woman, Jackie Mason as the East River Creature, Miriam Margolyes as the Smelly Photocopier Woman, BBC Radio cricket legends Henry Blofeld and Fred Trueman as themselves, June Whitfield as the Raffle Woman, Leslie Phillips as Hactar, Saeed Jaffrey as the Man on the Pole, Sir Patrick Moore as himself, and Christian Slater as Wonko the Sane. Finally, Adams himself played the role of Agrajag, a performance adapted from his book-on-tape reading of the third novel, and edited into the series he created some time after the author's death.

Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phase Main cast:

Film

Theatrical poster for the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

After years of setbacks and renewed efforts to start production and a quarter of a century after the first book was published, the big-screen adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was finally shot. Pre-production began in 2003, filming began on 19 April 2004 and post-production began in early September 2004.[22]

After a London premiere on 20 April 2005, it was released on 28 April in the UK and Australia, 29 April in the United States and Canada, and 29 July in South Africa. (A full list of release dates is available at the IMDb.[23]) The movie stars Martin Freeman as Arthur, Mos Def as Ford, Sam Rockwell as President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox and Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, with Alan Rickman providing the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android (and Warwick Davis acting in Marvin's costume), and Stephen Fry as the voice of the Guide/Narrator.

The plot of the film adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide differs widely from that of the radio show, book and television series. The romantic triangle between Arthur, Zaphod, and Trillian is more prominent in the film; and visits to Vogsphere, the homeworld of the Vogons (which, in the books, was already abandoned), and Viltvodle VI are inserted. The film covers roughly events in the first four radio episodes, and ends with the characters en route to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, leaving the opportunity for a sequel open.

Commercially the film was a modest success, taking $21 million in its opening weekend in the United States, and nearly £3.3 million in its opening weekend in the United Kingdom.[24]

The film was released on DVD (Region 2, PAL) in the UK on 5 September 2005. Both a standard double-disc edition and a UK-exclusive numbered limited edition "Giftpack" were released on this date. The "Giftpack" edition includes a copy of the novel with a "movie tie-in" cover, and collectible prints from the film, packaged in a replica of the film's version of the Hitchhiker's Guide prop. A single-disc widescreen or full-screen edition (Region 1, NTSC) were made available in the USA and Canada on 13 September 2005. Single-disc releases in the Blu-ray format and UMD format for the PlayStation Portable were also released on the respective dates in these three countries.

Stage shows

Adam Pope playing Zaphod in an amateur production of HHGTTG by Prudhoe's Really Youthful Theatre Company

There have been multiple professional and amateur stage adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There were three early professional productions, which were staged in 1979 and 1980.[25][26]

The first of these was performed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, between 1 and 9 May 1979, starring Chris Langham as Arthur Dent (Langham later returned to Hitchhiker's as Prak in the final episode of 2004's Tertiary Phase). This show was adapted from the first series' scripts and was directed by Ken Campbell, who went on to perform a character in the final episode of the second radio series. The show ran 90 minutes, but had an audience limited to eighty people per night. Actors performed on a variety of ledges and platforms, and the audience was pushed around in a hovercar, 1/2000th of an inch above the floor. This was the first time that Zaphod was represented by having two actors in one large costume. The narration of "The Book" was split between two usherettes, an adaptation that has appeared in no other version of H2G2. One of these usherettes, Cindy Oswin, went on to voice Trillian for the LP adaptation.

The second stage show was performed throughout Wales between 15 January and 23 February 1980. This was a production of Clwyd Theatr Cymru, and was directed by Jonathan Petherbridge. The company performed adaptations of complete radio episodes, at times doing two episodes in a night, and at other times doing all six episodes of the first series in single three-hour sessions. This adaptation was performed again at the Oxford Playhouse in December 1981, Plymouth's Theatre Royal in May–June 1982, and also at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, in July 1983.

The third, and least successful stage show was held at the Rainbow Theatre in London, in July 1980. This was the second production directed by Ken Campbell. The Rainbow Theatre had been adapted for stagings of rock operas in the 1970s, and both reference books mentioned in footnotes indicate that this, coupled with incidental music throughout the performance, caused some reviewers to label it as a "musical". This was the first adaptation for which Adams wrote the "Dish of the Day" sequence. The production ran for over three hours, and was widely panned for this, as well as the music, laser effects, and the acting. Despite attempts to shorten the script, and make other changes, it closed three or four weeks early (accounts differ), and lost a lot of money. Despite the bad reviews, there were at least two stand-out performances: Michael Cule and David Learner both went on from this production to appearances in the TV adaptation.

Future stage production rights got tied up with the rights to make the film, though various amateur adaptations still appear worldwide today.

LP album adaptations

The front covers of the LP record adaptations of the first radio series, as released in the UK

The first four radio episodes were adapted for a new double LP, also entitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (appended with "Part One" for the subsequent Canadian release), first by mail-order only, and later into stores. The double LP and its sequel were originally released by Original Records in the United Kingdom in 1979 and 1980, with the catalogue numbers ORA042 and ORA054 respectively. They were first released by Hannibal Records in 1982 (as HNBL 2301 and HNBL 1307, respectively) in the United States and Canada, and later re-released in a slightly abridged edition by Simon & Schuster's Audioworks in the mid-1980s. Both were produced by Geoffrey Perkins and featured cover artwork by Hipgnosis.

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The front covers of the US cassette releases of the audio adaptations of the first radio series. These are slightly abridged versions of the original LP editions, with a couple of scenes cut for timing.

The script in the first double LP very closely follows the first four radio episodes, although further cuts had to be made for reasons of timing. Despite this, other lines of dialogue that were indicated as having been cut when the original scripts from the radio series were eventually published can be heard in the LP version. The Simon & Schuster cassettes omit the Veet Voojagig narration, the cheerleader's speech as Deep Thought concludes its seven-and-one-half-million-year programme, and a few other lines from both sides of the second LP of the set.

Most of the original cast returned, except for Susan Sheridan, who was recording a voice for the character of Princess Eilonwy in The Black Cauldron for Walt Disney Pictures. Cindy Oswin voiced Trillian on all three LPs in her place. Other casting changes in the first double LP included Stephen Moore taking on the additional role of the barman, and Valentine Dyall as the voice of Deep Thought. Adams's voice can be heard making the Public Address announcements on Magrathea.

Due to copyrights, the music used during the first radio series was either replaced, or in the case of the title, it was re-recorded in a new arrangement. Composer Tim Souster did both duties (with Paddy Kingsland contributing music as well), and Souster's version of the theme was the version also used for the eventual television series.[27]

The sequel LP was released, singly, as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Part Two: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the UK, and simply as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the USA. The script here mostly follows Fit the Fifth and Fit the Sixth, but includes a song by the backup band in the restaurant ("Reg Nullify and his Cataclysmic Combo"), and changes the Haggunenon sequence to "Disaster Area".

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Due to a misunderstanding, the second record was released before being cut down in a "final edit" that Douglas Adams and Geoffrey Perkins both had intended to make. Perkins has said, "[I]t is far too long on each side. It's just a rough cut. [...] I felt it was flabby, and I wanted to speed it up."[28] The Simon & Schuster Audioworks re-release of this LP was also abridged slightly from its original release. The scene with Ford Prefect and Hotblack Desiato's bodyguard is omitted.

Sales for the first double-LP release were primarily through mail order. Total sales reached over 60,000 units, with half of those being mail order, and the other half through retail outlets.[29] This is in spite of the facts that Original Records' warehouse ordered and stocked more copies than they were actually selling for quite some time, and that Paul Neil Milne Johnstone complained about his name and then-current address being included in the recording.[30] This was corrected for a later pressing of the double-LP by "cut[ting] up that part of the master tape and reassembl[ing] it in the wrong order".[31] The second LP release ("Part Two") also only sold a total of 60,000 units in the UK.[32] The distribution deals for the USA and Canada with Hannibal Records and Simon and Schuster were later negotiated by Douglas Adams and his agent, Ed Victor, after gaining full rights to the recordings from Original Records, which went bankrupt.[33]

Interactive fiction and video games

Sometime between 1982 and 1984 (accounts differ), the British company Supersoft published a text-based adventure game based on the book, which was released in versions for the Commodore PET and Commodore 64. One account states that there was a dispute as to whether valid permission for publication had been granted, and following legal action the game was withdrawn and all remaining copies were destroyed. Another account states that the programmer, Bob Chappell, rewrote the game to remove all Hitchhiker's references, and republished it as "Cosmic Capers".[34]

Officially, the TV series was followed in 1984 by a best-selling "interactive fiction", or text-based adventure game, distributed by Infocom. It was designed by Adams and Infocom regular Steve Meretzky and was one of Infocom's most successful games. As with many Infocom games, the box contained a number of "feelies" including a "Don't panic" badge, some "pocket fluff", a pair of peril-sensitive sunglasses, an order for the destruction of the Earth, a small, clear plastic bag containing "a microscopic battle fleet" and an order for the destruction of Arthur Dent's house (signed by Adams and Meretzky).

In September 2004, it was revived by the BBC on the Hitchhiker's section of the Radio 4 website for the initial broadcast of the Tertiary Phase, and is still available to play online.[35][36] This new version uses an original Infocom datafile with a custom-written interpreter, by Sean Sollé, and Flash programming by Shimon Young, both of whom used to work at The Digital Village (TDV). The new version includes illustrations by Rod Lord, who was head of Pearce Animation Studios in 1980, which produced the guide graphics for the TV series. On 2 March 2005 it won the Interactive BAFTA in the "best online entertainment" category[37][38].

A sequel to the original Infocom game was never made. An all-new, fully graphical game was designed and developed by a joint venture between The Digital Village and PAN Interactive (no connection to Pan Books / Pan Mcmillan).[39][40] This new game was planned and developed between 1998 and 2002, but like the sequel to the Infocom game, it also never materialised.[41] In April 2005, Starwave Mobile released two mobile games to accompany the release of the film adaptation. The first, developed by Atatio, was called "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Vogon Planet Destructor".[42] It was a typical top-down shooter and except for the title had little to do with the actual story. The second game, developed by TKO Software, was a graphical adventure game named "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Adventure Game".[43] Despite its name, the newly designed puzzles by Sean Sollé were different from the Infocom ones, and the game followed the movie's script closely and included the new characters and places. The "Adventure Game" won the IGN's "Editors' Choice Award" in May 2005.

Comic books

The front cover of the DC Comics adaptation of the first book

In 1993, DC Comics, in conjunction with Byron Preiss Visual Publications, published a three-part comic book adaptation of the novelisation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This was followed up with three-part adaptations of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in 1994, and Life, the Universe and Everything in 1996. There was also a series of collectors' cards with art from and inspired by the comic adaptations of the first book, and a graphic novelisation (or "collected edition") combining the three individual comic books from 1993, itself released in May 1997.

The adaptations were scripted by John Carnell. Steve Leialoha provided the art for Hitchhiker's and the layouts for Restaurant. Shepherd Hendrix did the finished art for Restaurant. Neil Vokes and John Nyberg did the finished artwork for Life, based on breakdowns by Paris Cullins (Book 1) and Christopher Schenck (Books 2–3). The miniseries were edited by Howard Zimmerman and Ken Grobe.

"Hitch-Hikeriana"

Many merchandising and spin-off items (or "Hitch-Hikeriana") were produced in the early 1980s, including towels in different colours, all bearing the Guide entry for towels. Later runs of towels include those made for promotions by Pan Books, Touchstone Pictures / Disney for the 2005 movie, and different towels made for ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the official Hitchhiker's Appreciation society.[2] Other items that first appeared in the mid-1980s were T-shirts, including those made for Infocom (such as one bearing the legend "I got the Babel Fish" for successfully completing one of that game's most difficult puzzles), and a Disaster Area tour T-shirt. Other official items have included "Beeblebears" (teddy bears with an extra head and arm, named after Hitchhiker's character Zaphod Beeblebrox, sold by the official Appreciation Society), an assortment of pin-on buttons and a number of novelty singles. Many of the above items are displayed throughout the 2004 "25th Anniversary Illustrated Edition" of the novel, which used items from the personal collections of fans of the series.

Stephen Moore recorded two novelty singles in character as Marvin, the Paranoid Android: "Marvin"/"Metal Man" and "Reasons To Be Miserable"/"Marvin I Love You". The last song has appeared on a Dr. Demento compilation. There was also another single featuring the re-recorded "Journey of the Sorcerer" (arranged by Tim Souster) on side A with "Reg Nullify In Concert" by Reg Nullify, and "Only the End of the World Again" by Disaster Area (including Douglas Adams on bass guitar) About this sound listen . These discs have since become collector's items.

The 2005 movie also added quite a few collectibles, mostly through the National Entertainment Collectibles Association. These included three prop replicas of objects seen on the Vogon ship and homeworld (a mug, a pen and a stapler), sets of "action figures" with a height of either 3 or 6 inches (76 or 150 mm), a gun—based on a prop used by Marvin, the Paranoid Android, that shoots foam darts—a crystal cube, shot glasses, a ten-inch (254 mm) high version of Marvin with eyes that light up green, and "yarn doll" versions of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trillian, Marvin and Zaphod Beeblebrox. Also, various audio tracks were released to coincide with the movie, notably re-recordings of "Marvin" and "Reasons To Be Miserable", sung by Stephen Fry, along with some of the "Guide Entries", newly written material read in-character by Fry.

International phenomenon

Many science fiction fans and radio listeners outside the United Kingdom were first exposed to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in one of two ways: shortwave radio broadcasts of the original radio series, or by Douglas Adams being "Guest of Honour" at the 1979 World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon, held in Brighton, England, UK. It was there that the radio series was nominated for a Hugo Award (the first radio series to receive a nomination) but lost to Superman. A convention exclusively for H2G2, Hitchercon I, was held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, in September 1980, the year that the official fan club, ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, was organised. In the early 1980s, versions of H2G2 became available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Israel.

Spelling

The different versions of the series spell the title differently—thus Hitch-Hiker's Guide, Hitch Hiker's Guide and Hitchhiker's Guide are used in different editions (US or UK), editions of the novel, (audio or print) and compilations of the book. Some editions used different spellings on the spine and title page. The BBC's h2g2 style manual claims that Hitchhiker's Guide is the spelling Adams preferred.[44] At least two reference works make note of the inconsistency in the titles. Both, however, repeat the statement that Adams decided in 2000 that "everyone should spell it the same way [one word, no hyphen] from then on." [45][46]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Gaiman, Neil (2003). Don't Panic: Douglas Adams and the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Titan Books. pp. 144–145. ISBN 1-84023-742-2. 
  2. ^ a b A wiki devoted to the history of H2G2 themed towels.
  3. ^ The spelling of Hitchhiker's Guide has varied in different editions. For consistency this article always spells it this way. See Spelling of Hitchhiker's Guide.
  4. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2005). The Pocket Essential Hitchhiker's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Pocket Essentials. pp. 120. ISBN 1-904048-46-3. 
  5. ^ Webb, Nick (2005). Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams (First US hardcover edition ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 100. ISBN 0-345-47650-6. 
  6. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2003). Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams (First US Edition ed.). Justin Charles & Co.. pp. 340. ISBN 1-932112-17-0. 
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster Online definition of 'fit'.
  8. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2005). The Pocket Essential Hitchhiker's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Pocket Essentials. pp. 33. ISBN 1-904048-46-3. 
  9. ^ 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 Edition ed.). Pan Books. pp. 147. ISBN 0-330-41957-9. 
  10. ^ Ibid. Page 32.
  11. ^ Ibid. Page 253.
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Adams, Douglas (2002). Peter Guzzardi (ed.). ed. The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (First UK Edition ed.). Macmillan. pp. 198. ISBN 0-333-76657-1. 
  14. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2003). Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams (First US Edition ed.). Justin Charles & Co.. pp. 131. ISBN 1-932112-17-0. 
  15. ^ Review of Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic
  16. ^ Gaiman, Appendix V: Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen
  17. ^ a b "New Hitchhiker's author announced". Entertainment/Arts. BBC News. 2008-09-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7619828.stm. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  18. ^ Griffiths, Peter (2008-09-17). "Hitchhiker's Guide series to ride again". Reuters.com. Thomson Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSLH9268320080917?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&rpc=69. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  19. ^ Flood, Alison (2008-09-17). "Eoin Colfer to write sixth Hitchhiker's Guide book". Culture - Books. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/sep/17/douglasadams. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  20. ^ BBC Press Office release, announcing a new series (the third) to be transmitted on BBC Radio 4 beginning in September 2004.
  21. ^ Webb, page 324.
  22. ^ Stamp, Robbie, editor (2005). The Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Filming of the Douglas Adams Classic. Boxtree. pp. 12. ISBN 0-7522-2585-5. 
  23. ^ IMDb page for the release dates of the movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  24. ^ Box office data page, including opening weekends for the US and UK releases of the 2005 movie.
  25. ^ Gaiman, pages 61–66.
  26. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2005). The Pocket Essential Hitchhiker's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Pocket Essentials. pp. 48–57. ISBN 1-904048-46-3. 
  27. ^ Simpson, MJ, Hitchhiker, page 143
  28. ^ Gaiman, Pages 72–73.
  29. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2003). Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams (First US Edition ed.). Justin Charles & Co.. pp. 145. ISBN 1-932112-17-0. 
  30. ^ Ibid. Page 144.
  31. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2005). The Pocket Essential Hitchhiker's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Pocket Essentials. pp. 76. ISBN 1-904048-46-3. 
  32. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2003). Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams (First US Edition ed.). Justin Charles & Co.. pp. 145. ISBN 1-932112-17-0. 
  33. ^ Ibid. Page 148.
  34. ^ Design Manual for the Interactive Fiction language Inform. Accessed 2 August 2006. See also their works cited under "Hitchhiker-64".
  35. ^ BBC Radio 4's Hitchhiker's Guide homepage.
  36. ^ New online version of the 1984 Hitchhiker's Guide computer game, by Steve Meretzky and Douglas Adams.
  37. ^ BAFTA Official Awards Database
  38. ^ BBC News reports interactive Bafta wins
  39. ^ In late 2000 the TDV/Pan venture was spun off as a separate company, Phase 3 Studios
  40. ^ 1999 TDV Press Release about the graphical Hitchhiker's Guide game.
  41. ^ Internet Archive Wayback Machine copy of information about the aborted Hitchhiker's Guide graphical PC game, originally posted on MJ Simpson's PlanetMagrathea.com site
  42. ^ Webpage about the "Vogon Planet Destructor" game hosted at ign.com.
  43. ^ Webpage about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Adventure Game hosted at ign.com.
  44. ^ Style page at h2g2, with their own justification for using Hitchhiker's Guide.
  45. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2005). The Pocket Essential Hitchhiker's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Pocket Essentials. ISBN 1-904048-46-3. 
  46. ^ Adams, Douglas (2003). Geoffrey Perkins (ed.). ed. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts. Additional Material by M. J. Simpson (25th Anniversary Edition ed.). Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-41957-9. 

References

  • Adams, Douglas (2002). Peter Guzzardi (ed.). ed. The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (First UK Edition ed.). Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-76657-1. 
  • 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 Edition ed.). Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-41957-9. 
  • Gaiman, Neil (2003). Don't Panic: Douglas Adams and the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Titan Books. ISBN 1-84023-742-2. 
  • Simpson, M. J. (2003). Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams (First US Edition ed.). Justin Charles & Co.. ISBN 1-932112-17-0. 
  • Simpson, M. J. (2005). The Pocket Essential Hitchhiker's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Pocket Essentials. ISBN 1-904048-46-3. 
  • Stamp, Robbie, editor (2005). The Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Filming of the Douglas Adams Classic. Boxtree. ISBN 0-7522-2585-5. 
  • Webb, Nick (2005). Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams (First US hardcover edition ed.). Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-47650-6. 

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

For the 2005 film of the same name, see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (film)
Space... is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindboggingly big it is...
Once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (11 March 1952 - 11 May 2001) Started as a comedy radio play on the BBC and expanded into a TV series, a series of novels, and a feature film. The story follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, the last human who hitched a ride off Earth moments before it was destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass.

Contents

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (novel)

Introduction

  • This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
  • Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
  • In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.
    First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Chapter 1

  • "Some factual information for you. Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?"
    "How much?" said Arthur.
    "None at all," said Mr Prosser.
  • "The mere thought," growled Mr. Prosser, "hadn't even begun to speculate," he continued, settling himself back, "about the merest possibility of crossing my mind."

Chapter 2

  • [The Guide] says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
  • "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
    "Very deep," said Arthur, "you should send that in to the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you."
  • "This must be Thursday," said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer, "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

Chapter 3

  • The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
  • As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.
  • I don't know, apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.

Chapter 5

  • One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical.

Chapter 7

  • "You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
    "Why, what did she tell you?"
    "I don't know, I didn't listen."

Chapter 8

  • "Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space, LISTEN!" and so on...

Chapter 9

  • Arthur looked up. "Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."
  • "Ford," he said, "you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."
  • "But that's not the point!" raged Ford "The point is that I am now a perfectly safe penguin, and my colleague here is rapidly running out of limbs!"

Chapter 11

  • "Five to one against and falling..." she said, "four to one against and falling...three to one...two...one...probability factor of one to one...we have normality, I repeat we have normality." She turned her microphone off – then turned it back on, with a slight smile and continued: "Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem."
  • "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed," Marvin said.
  • He reached out and pressed an invitingly large red button on a nearby panel. The panel lit up with the words Please do not press this button again.
  • "All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done."
  • "Come on," he droned, "I've been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."
  • "Sorry, did I say something wrong?" said Marvin, dragging himself on regardless. "Pardon me for breathing, which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother to say it, oh God I'm so depressed. Here's another one of those self-satisfied doors. Life! Don't talk to me about life."

Chapter 12

  • If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.

Chapter 13

  • Marvin trudged on down the corridor, still moaning.
    "...and then of course I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side..."
    "No?" said Arthur grimly as he walked along beside him. "Really?"
    "Oh yes," said Marvin, "I mean I've asked for them to be replaced but no one ever listens."
    "I can imagine."

Chapter 16

  • Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

Chapter 17

  • He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Chapter 18

  • Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

Chapter 20

  • "Life," said Marvin dolefully, "loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."

Chapter 23

  • For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.
  • The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the 'Star Spangled Banner', but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.

Chapter 24

  • Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity - distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless.

Chapter 27

"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm...
  • "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
    • "The Answer to the Great Question, of Life, the Universe and Everything"

Chapter 30

  • "The chances of finding out what's really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Look at me, I design fjords. I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
    "And are you?"
    "No, that's where it all falls apart I'm afraid."
    "Pity, it sounded like quite a nice lifestyle otherwise."

Chapter 34

  • "What's up?"
    "I don't know," said Marvin, "I've never been there."

Chapter 35

  • It said: "The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases.
    "For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?"

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Preface

  • There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Chapter 1

  • The story so far:
    In the beginning the Universe was created.
    This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

Chapter 2

  • "Share and Enjoy" is the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years.
  • The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig", and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.

Chapter 3

  • Quite how Zaphod Beeblebrox arrived at the idea of holding a seance at this point is something he was never quite clear on.
    Obviously the subject of death was in the air, but more as something to be avoided than harped upon.
    Possibly the horror that Zaphod experienced at the prospect of being reunited with his deceased relatives led on to the thought that they might just feel the same way about him and, what's more, be able to do something about helping to postpone this reunion.
  • "Concentrate," hissed Zaphod, "on his name."
    "What is it?" asked Arthur.
    "Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth."
    "What?"
    "Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth. Concentrate!"
    "The Fourth?"
    "Yeah. Listen, I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox, my father was Zaphod Beeblebrox the Second, my grandfather Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third..."
    "What?"
    "There was an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine. Now concentrate!"

Chapter 6

  • The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.
  • "Listen, three eyes," he said, "don't you try to outweird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal."

Chapter 17

  • I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?
  • Shee, you guys are so unhip it's a wonder your bums don't fall off.

Chapter 18

  • "The first ten million years were the worst," said Marvin, "and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million years I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline."
  • "Er..." he said, "hello. Er, look, I'm sorry I'm a bit late. I've had the most ghastly time, all sorts of things cropping up at the last moment."
    He seemed nervous of the expectant awed hush. He cleared his throat.
    "Er, how are we for time?" he said, "have I just got a min—"
    And so the Universe ended.

Chapter 19

Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero
  • It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.

Chapter 20

  • The ship was rocking and swaying sickeningly as Ford and Zaphod tried to wrest control from the autopilot. The engines howled and whined like tired children in a supermarket.

Chapter 22

  • The trouble with most forms of transport, he thought, is basically one of them not being worth all the bother. On Earth – when there had been an Earth, before it was demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass – the problem had been with cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm's way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another – particularly when the place you arrived at had probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e. covered with tar, full of smoke and short of fish.

Chapter 23

  • The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. "Make it evil," he'd been told. "Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with."

Chapter 28

  • The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
    To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

Chapter 29

  • "How can I tell," said the man, "that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?"

Chapter 32

  • "Well, you’re obviously being totally naive of course", said the girl, "When you’ve been in marketing as long as I have, you'll know that before any new product can be developed it has to be properly researched. We’ve got to find out what people want from fire, how they relate to it, what sort of image it has for them."
    The crowd were tense. They were expecting something wonderful from Ford.
    "Stick it up your nose," he said.
    "Which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know," insisted the girl, "Do people want fire that can be fitted nasally?"
  • "And the wheel," said the Captain, "What about this wheel thingy? It sounds a terribly interesting project."
    "Ah," said the marketing girl, "Well, we're having a little difficulty there."
    "Difficulty?" exclaimed Ford. "Difficulty? What do you mean, difficulty? It's the single simplest machine in the entire Universe!"
    The marketing girl soured him with a look.
    "Alright, Mr. Wiseguy," she said, "if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be."

Life, the Universe and Everything

Chapter 1

  • The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of Arthur Dent waking up and suddenly remembering where he was.
  • The alien ship was already thundering toward the upper reaches of the atmosphere, on its way out into the appalling void that separates the very few things there are in the Universe from one another.
  • In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn't cope with, and that terrible listlessness that starts to set in about 2:55, when you know you’ve taken all the baths that you can usefully take that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the newspaper you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o’clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul.

Chapter 2

  • "Africa was very interesting," said Ford, "I behaved very oddly there." [...] "I took up being cruel to animals," he said airily. "But only," he added, "as a hobby."
    "Oh yes," said Arthur, warily.
    "Yes," Ford assured him. "I won't disturb you with the details because they would—"
    "What?"
    "Disturb you. But you may be interested to know that I am singlehandedly responsible for the evolved shape of the animal you came to know in later centuries as a giraffe."
  • He gazed keenly into the distance and looked as if he would quite like the wind to blow his hair back dramatically at that point, but the wind was busy fooling around with some leaves a little way off.
  • "I have detected," he said, "disturbances in the wash." [...]
    "The wash?" said Arthur.
    "The space-time wash," said Ford. [...]
    Arthur nodded, and then cleared his throat. "Are we talking about," he asked cautiously, "some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?"
    "Eddies," said Ford, "in the space-time continuum."
    "Ah," nodded Arthur, "is he? Is he?" He pushed his hands into the pocket of his dressing gown and looked knowledgeably into the distance.
    "What?" said Ford.
    "Er, who," said Arthur, "is Eddy, then, exactly, then?"
  • "There!" said Ford, shooting out his arm. "There, behind that sofa!"
    Arthur looked. Much to his surprise, there was a velvet paisley-covered Chesterfield sofa in the field in front of them. He boggled intelligently at it. Shrewd questions sprang into his mind.
    "Why," he said, "is there a sofa in that field?"
    "I told you!" shouted Ford, leaping to his feet. "Eddies in the space-time continuum!"
    "And this is his sofa, is it?" asked Arthur, struggling to his feet and, he hoped, though not very optimistically, to his senses.

Chapter 6

  • "My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre," Ford muttered to himself, "and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."

Chapter 7

  • Several billion trillion tons of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold and slightly damp.
  • There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.
    The moment passed as it regularly did on Squornshellous Zeta, without incident.
  • Very few things actually get manufactured these days, because in an infinitely large Universe such as, for instance, the one in which we live, most things one could possibly imagine, and a lot of things one would rather not, grow somewhere.
  • "My capacity for happiness," he added, "you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first." —Marvin
  • "You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number."
    "Er, five," said the mattress.
    "Wrong," said Marvin. "You see?"
    The mattress was much impressed by this and realized that it was in the presence of a not unremarkable mind.
  • "I would like to say that it is a very great pleasure, honour and privilege for me to open this bridge, but I can't because my lying circuits are all out of commission." —Marvin

Chapter 9

  • Do not listen to what anybody says to you at this point because they are unlikely to say anything helpful.

Chapter 11

  • [...] the renewed shock had nearly made him spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check that it was all right.
    "Freedom," he said aloud.
    Trillian came on to the bridge at that point and said several enthusiastic things on the subject of freedom.
    "I can't cope with it," Zaphod said darkly, and sent a third drink down to see why the second hadn't yet reported on the condition of the first. He looked uncertainly at both of her and preferred the one on the right.
    He poured a drink down his other throat with the plan that it would head the previous one off at the pass, join forces with it, and together they would get the second to pull itself together. Then all three would go off in search of the first, give it a good talking to and maybe a bit of a sing as well.
    He felt uncertain as to whether the fourth drink had understood all that, so he sent down a fifth to explain the plan more fully and a sixth for moral support.
  • There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. [...] Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.
  • He sat up sharply and started to pull clothes on. He decided that there must be someone in the Universe feeling more wretched, miserable and forsaken than himself, and he determined to set out and find him.
    Halfway to the bridge it occurred to him that it might be Marvin, and he returned to bed.

Chapter 18

  • They obstinately persisted in their absence.

Chapter 24

  • It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Chapter 31

  • "That young girl," Marvin added unexpectedly, "is one of the least benightedly unintelligent organic life forms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not to be able to avoid meeting."

Chapter 33

  • He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.

Chapter 34

  • “I'm afraid,” he said at last, “that the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same Universe.”
  • "I wasn't very impressed with it when I first knew what it was," he said, "but now I think back to how impressed I was by the Prince's reason, and how soon afterward I couldn't recall it at all, I think it might be a lot more helpful. Would you like to know what it is? Would you?" They nodded dumbly. "I bet you would. If you're that interested I suggest you go and look for it. It is written in thirty-foot-high letters of fire on top of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet Preliumtarn, third out from the sun Zarss in Galactic Sector QQ7 ActiveJ Gamma. it is guarded by the Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob." There was a long silence following this announcement, which was finally broken by Arthur. "Sorry, it's where?" he said. "It is written," repeated Prak, "in thirty-foot-high letters of fire on top of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet Preliumtarn, third out from the..." "Sorry," said Arthur again, "which mountains?" "The Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet..." "Which land was that? I didn't quite catch it." "Sevorsbeupstry, on the planet..." "Sevorbe what?" "Oh, for heaven's sake," said Prak, and died testily.

So Long And Thanks for All the Fish

Prologue

  • Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
    And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
    Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, and so the idea was lost, seemingly for ever.
    This is her story.

Chapter 7

  • They were not the same eyes with which he had last looked out at this particular scene, and the brain which interpreted the images the eyes resolved was not the same brain. There had been no surgery involved, just the continual wrenching of experience.
  • Once you know what it is you want to be true, instinct is a very useful device for enabling you to know that it is.

Chapter 11

  • He was wrong to think he could now forget that the big, hard, oily, dirty, rainbow-hung Earth on which he lived was a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot lost in the unimaginable infinity of the Universe.

Chapter 21

  • The problem is, or rather one of the problems, for there are many, a sizeable proportion of which are continually clogging up the civil, commercial, and criminal courts in all areas of the Galaxy, and especially, where possible, the more corrupt ones, this.
    The previous sentence makes sense. That is not the problem.
    This is:
    Change.
    Read it through again and you'll get it.

Chapter 23

  • Ford: "Life," he said, "is like a grapefruit."
    Creature:"Er, how so?"
    Ford: "Well, it's sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast."

Chapter 25

  • "This Arthur Dent," comes the cry from the furthest reaches of the galaxy, and has even now been found inscribed on a mysterious deep space probe thought to originate from an alien galaxy at a distance too hideous to contemplate, "what is he, man or mouse? Is he interested in nothing more than tea and the wider issues of life? Has he no spirit? has he no passion? Does he not, to put it in a nutshell, fuck?"

Chapter 26

  • She was mostly immensely relieved to think that virtually everything that anybody had ever told her was wrong.

Chapter 31

WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE
  • The sign said:
    Hold stick near centre of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.
    "It seemed to me," said Wonko the Sane, "that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane."

Chapter 35

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [...] says of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation products that "it is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all."

Chapter 40

  • "So much time," it groaned, "oh so much time. And pain as well, so much of that, and so much time to suffer it in too. One or the other on its own I could probably manage. It's the two together that really get me down."
  • "Ha!" snapped Marvin. "Ha!" he repeated. "What do you know of always? You say 'always' to me, who, because of the silly little errands your organic lifeforms keep on sending me through time on, am now thirty-seven times older than the Universe itself? Pick your words with a little more care," he coughed, "and tact."
  • "We apologise for the inconvenience." God's Final Message to His Creation, written in letters of fire on the side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains.
    "I think," Marvin murmured at last, from deep within his corroding rattling thorax, "I feel good about it."
    The lights went out in his eyes for absolutely the very last time ever.

Epilogue

  • There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind.
The universe is a lot more complicated than you might think even if you start from a position of thinking that its pretty damn complicated to begin with.

Mostly Harmless

Preface

  • Anything that happens, happens.
    Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
    Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.
    It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though.

Chapter 1

  • One of the problems has to do with the speed of light and the difficulties involved in trying to exceed it. You can't. Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

Chapter 2

  • The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.

Chapter 12

  • The thing they wouldn't be expecting him to do was to be there in the first place. Only an absolute idiot would be sitting where he was, so he was winning already. A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
  • The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

Chapter 14

  • It wasn't merely that their left hand didn't always know what their right hand was doing, so to speak; quite often their right hand had a pretty hazy notion as well.

Chapter 18

  • "You don't understand! There's a whole new Guide!"
    "Oh!" shouted Arthur again. "Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm incoherent with excitement! I can hardly wait for it to come out to find out which are the most exciting spaceports to get bored hanging about in in some globular cluster I've never heard of. Please, can we rush to a store that's got it right this very instant?"
    Ford narrowed his eyes. "This is what you call sarcasm, isn't it?"
    "Do you know," bellowed Arthur, "I think it is? I really think it might just be a crazy little thing called sarcasm seeping in at the edges of my manner of speech! Ford, I have had a fucking bad night! Will you please try and take that into account while you consider what fascinating bits of badger-sputumly inconsequential trivia to assail me with next?"
  • "Temporal reverse engineering."
    Arthur put his head in his hands and shook it gently from side to side.
    "Is there any humane way," he moaned, "in which I can prevent you from telling me what temporary reverse bloody-whatsiting is?"
  • "I leaped out of a high-rise office window."
    This cheered Arthur up. "Oh!" he said. "Why don't you do it again?"
    "I did."
    "Hmmm," said Arthur, disappointed. "Obviously no good came of it."
  • "I think we have different value systems." —Arthur
    "Well mine's better." —Ford

Chapter 25

  • A tremendous feeling of peace came over him. He knew that at last, for once and for ever, it was now all, finally, over.

Radio series

  • Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust or just fall apart where I'm standing?
    • Fit The Second
  • I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
    • Fit the Fourth
  • Zaphod: Can it Trillian, I'm trying to die with dignity.
    Marvin: I'm just trying to die.
    • Fit The Sixth
  • The other Shaltanac's joopleberry shrub is always a more mauvy shade of pinky-russet.
    • Fit the Seventh
    • The Shaltanac equivalent of "the other man's grass is always greener"
  •  :Zaphod: The building's being bombed! Who in their right minds would want to bomb a publishing company?
Marvin: Another publishing company.
  • What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move with no hope of rescue:
    Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far.
    Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far (which, given your current circumstances, seems more likely):
    Consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.
    • Fit the Eighth
  • Life, as many people have spotted, is, of course, terribly unfair. For instance, the first time the Heart of Gold ever crossed the galaxy the massive improbability field it generated caused two-hundred-and-thirty-nine thousand lightly-fried eggs to materialise in a large, wobbly heap on the famine-struck land of Poghril in the Pansel system. The whole Poghril tribe had just died out from famine, except for one man who died of cholesterol-poisoning some weeks later.
    • Fit the Ninth
  • The Book: It is said that his birth was marked by earthquakes, tidal waves, tornadoes, firestorms, the explosion of three neighbouring stars, and, shortly afterwards, by the issuing of over six and three quarter million writs for damages from all of the major landowners in his Galactic sector. However, the only person by whom this is said is Beeblebrox himself, and there are several possible theories to explain this.
    • Fit The Ninth
  • Will everything tie up neatly or will it be just like life: quite interesting in parts, but no substitute for the real thing?
    • Fit the Eleventh
  • I ache, therefore I am.
    • Fit the Eleventh
  • Was I amongst friends when the Haggunenon admiral evolved into a life pod and everybody aboard his flagship escaped leaving me aboard as it steered itself into the nearest star?
    Was I amongst friends when I was left to walk in circles on a swamp planet?
    Left to park cars outside a restaurant for millenia?
    Left for the Krikkit robots to use for batting practice?
    Friend? I don't think I ever came across one of those, sorry, can't help you there.
    • Fit The Twenty-Second

TV series

  • Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.
    • Episode 1

Young Zaphod Plays it Safe

  • What do you think I am, completely without any moral whatsits, what are they called, those moral things?

See also

External links


Simple English

.]]

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series by Douglas Adams. It started out as a radio show series for the BBC Radio 4 in 1978. Afterwards Adams wrote a series of five books, which came out from 1979 to 1992. In 1981 it was made into a television series, and in 2005 a movie of the story was made. It has also been a computer game, and several stage plays and comic books.

Books

The five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series are:

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  • Life, the Universe and Everything
  • So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
  • Mostly Harmless
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