I am pretty sure the author was called Adam Douglas (not Douglas Adams). Although I may be wrong.
There was a hairy mammal type character that was on the good guys side.
Laser whips were in use throughout the book.
I also seem to remember some sort of terminator line (possibly of fire) approaching around the planet, this kept the main protagonists on the move ahead of it.
I also have memory of reading a 2nd book by the same author which focused on a ship crew crash landing in a large lake, floating on parts of the wreckage. Before then being attacked by something from within the water.