Plaguesville salutes Douglas Adams
Not content with inspiring all that you currently survey, and
foretelling the advent of the WAP 'phone and their combination in
the "big picture" Mr. Adams' genius continues to be proved accurate
in remarkable detail. (Despite his denial at U42)
For reasons upon which I will not dwell, I have recently
re-read my entire library. It consists of six books,
five of which are, really, surplus to requirements because
the sixth is "The Meaning of Liff" © Douglas Adams and
John Lloyd 1983.
I have been struck by the continual instances of art
imitating art. In my © Douglas Adams 1992 edition of "Mostly
Harmless: the fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately
named Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy",
Chapter 6 contains the following prophetic commentary:
« "Good to see you, little fella," said Ford.
The robot rapidly reported back to its central control that
everything was now for the best in this best of all possible
worlds, the alarms rapidly quelled themselves, and life
returned to normal.
At least, almost to normal.
There was something odd about the place.
The little robot was gurgling with electric delight.
Ford hurried on down the corridor, letting the thing
bob along in his wake telling him how delicious everything was,
and how happy it was to be able to tell him that.
Ford, however, was not happy.
He passed faces of people he didn't know. They didn't look like
his sort of people. They were too well groomed. Their eyes were
too dead. Every time he thought he saw someone he recognised
in the distance, and hurried along to say hello, it would
turn out to be someone else, with an altogether neater hairstyle
and a much more thrusting, purposeful look than, well,
than any body Ford knew.
A staircase had been moved a few inches to the left.
A ceiling had been lowered slightly. A lobby had been remodelled.
All these things were not worrying in themselves,
though they were a little disorienting. The thing that
was worrying was the decor. It used to be brash and glitzy.
Expensive - because the Guide sold so well through the
civilised and post-civilised Galaxy - but expensive and fun.
Wild games machines lined the corridors. Insanely painted grand
pianos hung from ceilings, vicious sea creatures from the
planet Viv reared up out of pools in tree-filled atria,
robot butlers in stupid shirts roamed the corridors seeking
whose hands they might press frothing drinks into. People used
to have pet vastdragons on leads and pterospondes on perches
in their offices. People knew how to have a good time,
and if they didn't there were courses they could sign up for
which would put that right.
There was none of that now.
Somebody had been through the place doing some iniquitous kind
of taste job on it." »
Now, I may be biased but I am pleased that young Douglas
has done so well. I have enjoyed all of his work since I heard
the first radio episode of the Guide. I will, however, accept
that other possibilities exist in other improbabilities.
So, decide for yourself.
Douglas Adams, author of the above, is:
a genius, and recognised as such by far too few people, or
a witch, and should be burned at the stake, or
a time traveller who has conned us all, made monkeys out of
Ford and Zaphod, and oodles of bunce out of the rest of the
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