H2G2 - 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams.
A book about that 'wholly remarkable and highly successful book' - the one with 'the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.'
Greetings, fellow inhabitants of the Universe.
Welcome to 'The Bibliophile's Guide to H2G2' - 'the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom' about the greatest book in the galaxy.
'For though it [also] has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate', it attempts to compile the best of what the Internet has to offer regarding the source of 42.
If you don't live under a rock and have heard about 'The Trilogy in Five Parts', don't be daunted by its size.
Just read the first three chapters of the first book before taking a call whether to immerse yourself into one of the funnier takes on Life, the Universe and Everything. (Please note, 'or not' is not an option.) Always remember, 'RESISTANCE IS USELESS!!'
But if you are a hoopy frood and 'know where your towel is', SHARE AND ENJOY!!!
Also, before we proceed, please note that this guide is nothing but a slightly more presentable form of my personal 'book'marks tab. Expect constant additions and the rare subtraction.
Most of the curated links below lead to content absolutely free to consume, all of which belongs to the respective creators.
Thank you for your support. Any grievances might be redirected to the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division. Now go ahead - SHARE AND ENJOY!!!
~ Your hoopy neighbourhood bibliophile.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ~ Douglas Adams
I firmly believe in keeping the creator and the art separate, but in the curious case of Douglas Adams and H2G2, it's impossible; they are but one.
The Guide has always ended up being a great source of comfort, whenever it was needed to be so.
Over the course of the sixteen years I've known it, the Guide has made its presence felt in the oddest of places, showing up over here in a tiny Himalayan village at the very beginning of my lunch-break.
A special thanks to Axat, old buddy and fellow ScrollStacker, for introducing me to the meaning of 42 back in the day.
“The Guide has appeared in so many forms - books [1979-1992], radio [1978-2018], a television series [1981, 2021?], records and soon to be a major motion picture  - each time with a different story line that even its most acute followers have become baffled at times.” ~ Douglas Adams, 'Introduction to the Omnibus Edition' (1985)
Since Day One of Project Bibliotherapy, I've been nudging the world to read (or re-read) the books, especially now in 2020 when the first three apocalyptic chapters of Book One seem to be coming true.
[ADD TO LIBRARY --> THE ULTIMATE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY - DOUGLAS ADAMS]
I recently discovered the existence of Part Six of Three penned by Eoin Colfer in 2010 - 'And Another Thing...' and promptly added it to my ever-expanding To-Read List.
[ADD TO LIBRARY --> AND ANOTHER THING... - EOIN COLFER]
Also, I urge you to treat yourself to an aural feast - Stephen Fry narrating H2G2; my gateway to the world of audiobooks this lockdown.
“The history of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now so complicated that every time I tell it I contradict myself, and whenever I do get it right I'm misquoted.” ~ Douglas Adams, 'Introduction to the Omnibus Edition' (1985)
Founded by Douglas Adams in 1999, h2g2.com still lives on as the "Earth edition" of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
No better place to check out its entire history.
“The idea of [h2g2.com] is not so very different from the original idea of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is odd because there was no sense in which I actually knew what I was talking about at the time [circa 1978].
And here is the idea: to make a Guide which is created and compiled by the people who use it. Real people, in real time.” ~ Douglas Adams, A Welcome and Thank You Message (1999)
By the way, Wikipedia entered our lives on January 15th, 2001.
For the past 21 years, anyone can channel their inner Ford Prefect and submit entries to the Guide. Here's Douglas Adams detailing his vision.
“Anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.” ~ Douglas Adams, How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet (1999)
Douglas Noel Adams has always been one step ahead of humankind, ever since his birth in 1952 in Cambridge, England; the same place where Crick and Watson would identify the structure of the DNA molecule one year later.
“There's another [model of how online magazines would work] which will probably arrive as soon as it becomes possible to move virtual cash around the Internet, and that will involve readers being billed tiny amounts of money for the opportunity to read popular Web pages.
Much less than you would, for instance, regularly spend on your normal newspapers and magazines because you wouldn't have to be paying for all the trees that have to be pulped, the vans that have to be fuelled and the marketing people whose job it is to tell you how brilliant they are.
The reader's money goes straight to the writer, with a proportion to the publisher of the Web site, and all the wood can stay in the forests, the oil can stay in the ground, and all the marketing people can stay out of the Groucho and let decent folk get to the bar.” ~ Douglas Adams, 'What have we got to lose?' (HotWired, 1995)
Mind=Blown!!! 25 years later, Enter ScrollStack...
“We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself.
What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.” ~ Douglas Adams, 'Parrots, the Universe and Everything' (April 5th, 2001 || University of California - Santa Barbara)
This was his last public appearance before he tragically passed away a month later.
One hour, twenty-seven minutes of pure wit and intelligence - available a click away for over 12 years, yet still only experienced by a handful of people.
Sigh. We, as humanity, do not deserve Douglas Adams.
“How does Douglas Adams arrive for coffee?
I wanted to see him skip out of a spaceship, materialize or even just walk. This is a guy who wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and has managed to make Life, the Universe and Everything much more entertaining.
So, I wondered, how would he arrive?” ~ Brendan Buhler
'Interview: Douglas Adams' - Brendan Buhler (The Daily Nexus - April 5th, 2001)
The last ever interview with 'the last of the most rare, amazing, and quite brilliant species on earth.'
“Thursday night, he came to entertain 800 people in a packed Campbell Hall with his talk, “Parrots, the Universe and Everything.”
The talk was based on Adams’s favorite, and least successful, book: Last Chance to See.” ~ Brendan Buhler
'Crowd of 800 Gets ‘Last Chance to See’ Author Douglas Adams' - Brendan Buhler' (The Daily Nexus - April 6th, 2001)
[add to library --> Last Chance to See: A Journey in search of our most precious and endangered animals - Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine]
“Towel Day is celebrated every year on 25th May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans.
On this day, fans openly carry a towel with them, as described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author.
The commemoration was first held 25th May, 2001, two weeks after Adams's death on 11th May at the age of 49.”
“I didn’t jam with Pink Floyd… [it was] a forty-second birthday present to me from David Gilmour.
Which was an invitation to play one number (that actually turned into two) on stage with Pink Floyd, their London gigs at the end of their world tour about three years ago.
So I go to play the guitar part –which is the easy bit– of Brain Damage and Eclipse at the end of Dark Side of the Moon. It’s that little sort of finger-picking that any fifteen-year old guitarist can do. That was it.
I went out in front of 15,000 people and played this thing and it was fun. You can see why these guys choose to do it… It’s a gas.” ~ Douglas Adams (1997)
The credit for the title of the band's 1994 album, "The Division Bell," goes to DNA, suggested by him one night at a dinner party.
Fun fact for fellow southpaws - DNA played the guitar left-handed (although he wrote with his right hand).
He also swung by a few times to jam with The Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock supergroup of writers such as Stephen King, Amy Tan and Matt Groening, hailed by critics as having 'one of the world’s highest ratios of noise to talent'.
“Douglas just doesn’t go away. The years since his passing have been packed with celebration and reinvention, some of it great, some of it less so, but that’s fine, that’s how these things work.
There has been much he would have been immensely proud to see (and hear), and one cannot help but be saddened by the fact that he is unable to.
Ultimately, though, he has achieved the only immortality he would have wished for and we must count ourselves lucky to have enjoyed his company, even for too brief a time, and still enjoy his legacy.
So long Douglas and thanks for all the words.” ~ Neil Gaiman
Also high up on this bibliophile's To-Read-List, Neil Gaiman's definitive companion to DNA & H2G2, aptly titled 'Don't Panic'.
ADD TO LIBRARY --> DON'T PANIC: DOUGLAS ADAMS & THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY - NEIL GAIMAN
“It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one, completely at random. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense.
I sat on my desk, stared in to the garden and thought 42 will do.
I typed it out. End of story.” ~ Douglas Adams
Or was it a joke? Google the answer to life, the universe and everything.
“On page 42 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry discovers he's a wizard.” ~ Paul Bignell, '42: THE ANSWER TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING'
In another seemingly meaningless coincidence, the G.O.A.T. Alan Rickman took a break from his Snapely duties and chugged some Polyjuice Potion to transform himself into Marvin - the Paranoid Android for the 2005 movie adaptation.
“ It's an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, Man had always assumed that he was the most intelligent species occupying the planet, instead of the *third* most intelligent. The second most intelligent creatures were of course dolphins who, curiously enough, had long known of the impending destruction of the planet earth.
They had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger, but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs or whistle for tidbits. So they eventually decided they would leave earth by their own means.
The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double backward somersault through a hoop while whistling the star-spangled banner, but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.” ~ The movie's opening lines, narrated by Stephen Fry - the voice of the Guide
Streaming on Disney+Hotstar in India, Disney+ elsewhere.
Starring Bilbo Baggins/John Watson/Tim Canterbury/Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent.
Statutory Warning - 'So Long and Thanks for all the Fish' will get stuck in your head.
“This is the story of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful book ever to come out of the great publishing corporation of Ursa Minor - more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than 53 More Things To Do In Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Coluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters: Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is This God Person Anyway?” ~ Opening Lines of H2G2: Fit the First, (broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on March 8th, 1978)
And the world changed that March, as it was introduced to the beginning of a cult phenomenon. One could finally join Douglas Adams on an epic adventure in time and space-- 'including some helpful advice on how to see the universe for less than 30 Altairian dollars a day.'
Little did DNA know that on the 42nd anniversary of his seminal radio show, the world would change once again, irreversibly.
For your aural pleasure...
“Please could you stop the noise
I'm trying to get some rest
From all the unborn chicken voices in my head
What's that? What's that?” ~ Radiohead, 'Paranoid Android' (OK Computer)
The album title is a tribute to Zaphod Beeblebrox, Galactic President, first-in-command of the Spaceship 'Heart of Gold' and the inventor of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.
“The Infinite Improbability Drive [installed on the Starship 'Heart of Gold'] was a wonderful new method of crossing interstellar distances in a mere nothingth of a second, without 'tedious mucking about in hyperspace.'” ~ Douglas Adams
One ditched hostel reservation. Two consecutive overnight bus journeys totaling 1200 kilometres, from Germany to Poland and back. Two border crossings in 24 hours. One epic evening at the ComputerSpiele Museum.
A tale for another time, to be told in 'The Bibliophile's Guide to Berlin.'
For now, step inside the shoes of Arthur Dent and explore Life, the Universe and Everything via a completely-free-to-play online version of the original text-based adventure, courtesy the BBC.
Or if you're feeling rather passive, just vicariously enjoy the experience with the GameGrumps over seven parts.
“The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.” ~ Douglas Adams
The above snippet from the 1981 BBC TV adaptation is my favorite. While you endlessly wait for the upcoming Hulu adaptation, in the meanwhile, check out the rest of the 13 best bits - including the title sequence.
“I guess when I was around 12 or 15… I had an existential crisis, and I was reading various books on trying to figure out the meaning of life and what does it all mean? It all seemed quite meaningless...
So then I read ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,’ which is quite positive, I think, and it highlighted an important point, which is that a lot of times the question is harder than the answer.
And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part.” ~ Elon Musk
The soundtrack on repeat for this endless journey across space and time???
And on this spacey note, so long and thanks for all the fish :)
SHARE AND ENJOY! - Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.
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