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Questions tagged [douglas-adams]

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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Was Douglas Adams's Deep Thought inspired by Robert Sheckley's Answerer?

Robert Sheckley's short story "Ask a Foolish Question" (1953) is about a sophisticated machine called Answerer which can answer any question but only those that are "valid", ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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23 votes
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Was Douglas Adams specifically joking about British small talk?

There's this paragraph in the book: “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 ...
Code42's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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Was Douglas Adams trying to express something in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite science fiction stories. I used to consider it as only an interesting story book, but now I think the author wants to express a lot of things ...
1111XYZ's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
814 views

What did Dirk understand at the end of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul?

At the end of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, upon learning that Odin sold his soul (at the end of Chapter 28), Dirk realizes something (possibly about the lawyer and his wife, ...
Wade's user avatar
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29 votes
1 answer
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Did Douglas Adams say "I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe."?

I like the quote: I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe. It seems to sum up some of the weird things and coincidences I encounter in life. The quote is allegedly from ...
Daniel S. Fowler's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
243 views

Did Douglas Adams get the idea of communication/alien dolphins from "Stationary Orbit" by Peter Macey?

Inspired by this question/answer. Given that the novel by Macey was written four years prior to the first broadcast of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and subsequent novelization, is there any ...
NKCampbell's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (the real guide) in English?

In chapter 5 of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Ford Prefect shows Arthur the Guide: Ford handed the book to Arthur. "What is it?" asked Arthur. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It'...
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23 votes
5 answers
6k views

What story has a man forget a very significant question?

I recall reading about a man who has solved some very significant question--The meaning of life, perhaps. But nobody ever gets to hear this profound discovery because he becomes distracted and the ...
user37078's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Is it a coincidence that there are exactly 42 letters in Arthur Dent's question?

In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, just before noticing the native spelled "FORTY-TWO" out of Scrabble letters, Arthur asks "It's all been a bit of a waste of time for them, hasn't it?" ...
spacecraft7's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was Douglas Adams influenced by Lewis Carroll, with his '42' answer and others things?

In this QA, https://scifi.stackexchange.com/q/311/3804, which says that Adams got his number from good old-fashioned garden-gazing. But while I was looking for the sum completed by the apes in ...
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Is the Glorious Revolution, in Night Watch, in tribute to Douglas Adams by Terry Pratchett?

The Glorious Revolution in Discworld is on the same day as Towel Day. Of all proposed dates [for Towel Day], the 25th of May turned out to be the one that gained a significant following. And over ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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47 votes
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Why is Towel Day on May 25th?

Every fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy probably knows of Towel Day. But why is it on May 25th and not on another day? Does anyone know?
Stef's user avatar
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Why did Richard's cleaning lady keep throwing out the S-Z phone book?

From chapter 16 of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: There was no Gently at all. Not a single one. He found the other directories, except for the S-Z book which his cleaning lady ...
Harry Johnston's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
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What is the source of the quote: "The universe doesn't care?"

I was reading an article in Time magazine about Interstellar and it opened with a quote that was never attributed: There is no reason at all you should care about the universe. For one thing, it ...
Jim McKeeth's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
6k views

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, how deep do the influences of Pink Floyd run?

In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, we find our heroes in a stolen spaceship, on a course to crash into a local star as a special effect for the band Disaster Area. This is of course a ...
SQB's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
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Do Dirk Gently and The Hitchhiker's Guide exist in the same universe?

There are several common elements between the Dirk Gently and Hitchhiker's Guide universes which I noticed while re-listening to them in succession, but there are also differences: Thor and Asgard ...
Crow T Robot's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why is the "trilogy" made of five books?

I just completed the first book in the Hitchhiker's Guide series and started the second. Something I've seen written about the series is that it is a "trilogy of five", which taken literally is an ...
Grant Palin's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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H2G2 — Teleportation Also Results in Time Travel?

In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, Trillian, and Marvin have just stolen Hotblack Desiato's stunt ship after leaving Milliways and traveled into the past 2 million ...
Drew Chapin's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
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Is the Encyclopaedia Galactica in the Hitchhiker's Guide a reference to Asimov's Foundation Trilogy Encyclopædia Galactica or a tribute to Carl Sagan?

While reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I was thinking if the Encyclopaedia Galactica mentioned in the book is the same as Asimov's Foundation Trilogy's Encyclopædia Galactica? Could it be ...
rogcg's user avatar
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"Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" - Can someone explain the plot? [closed]

I've just read Douglas Adam's "The Long Dark TeatTime of the soul". I enjoyed it, but finished the book without any clear idea of the explanation for what had been going on. The final chapters, which ...
LondonPhantom's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
19k views

Why was Arthur Dent surprised by Slartibartfast's name?

In the books, TV show, and radio show, Arthur Dent expresses surprise when hearing Slartibartfast say his name. Was there a reason for this? I don't remember Arthur expressing any surprise when ...
SteveED's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Gallifrey and Krikket, a connection?

Is the time bubble around Gallifrey meant to resemble the envelope of Slo-Time around Krikket? I know Douglas Adams made Slartibartfast after the Doctor, and although the episodes with the time bubble ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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What is the name of the planet designing company in Hitchiker's Guide?

What is the name of the company that designs planets in Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or does it ever say? The one which Slartibartfast works for.
mawburn's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
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Did the Doctor inspire Slartibartfast?

I've seen that Douglas Adams was a screenwriter for Doctor Who. In HHGG, Slartibartfast initially wouldn't tell his real name. Similarly, the Doctor won't tell his real name. Slartibartfast picks ...
Bruno Kim's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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How old is Slartibartfast?

We know that Slartibartfast, as the designer of Norway, must have been involved at the start of the 10-million-year Earth program. And yet we also know that when Arthur meets him, he has been asleep ...
Daniel Roseman's user avatar
36 votes
4 answers
40k views

How did Douglas Adams choose the Ultimate Question?

What do you get if you multiply six by nine? "Six by nine. Forty two." "That's it. That's all there is." "I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe" ... Well as ...
Naftali's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
5k views

How many appearances does Agrajag make in the Hitchhikers' Guide series?

Agrajag is a creature that gets repeatedly reincarnated only to be killed in various ways, usually by accident, by Arthur Dent. We meet Agrajag several times before we learn who he is. Wikipedia's ...
hairboat's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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On what planet did Marvin see the burning words?

Before Marvin dies, he is helped to get to see the big burning words. What book was this, what planet were they on, and did Adams actually say what the words said?
DForck42's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
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What were some of Douglas Adams's HHGG's influences?

Douglas Adams's incredibly funny scifi series, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", is my favorite work of fiction. Rereading it for the first time in 14 years, I am struck by how uncommonly good ...
ixtmixilix's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is there any explanation for why a planet would need to be destroyed to create a hyperspatial express route?

In the opening bit of pretty much every version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Earth is destroyed to make room for a hyper-spatial express route. Is there any basis for why this would need ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
197 votes
3 answers
48k views

Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer?

Star Trek often refers to 47 and Star Trek made a sport out of finding real or imagined references to 47. Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer in the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy?
Hendrik Brummermann's user avatar