Friends and Fans Remember Douglas Adams in You and 42

Photo Credit:
Christina Franco (Courtesy of William Todd-Jones)
(given to Douglas Adams mum)
Many thanks to James Thrift (Douglas’s brother) and to the family of Douglas Adams.

Friends and Fans Remember Douglas Adams in You and 42
by Anthony S Burdge

On this date the first of Froods, Douglas Adams, was born.  Our Douglas Adams fan community here at Galactic Hitchhikers are noting the occasion of his 65th birthday with our own special Thumb Toast to the Frood.  Whether you are a member here, or a part of another fan community, we are all brought together by our shared love in the life and work of Douglas Adams.  I am truly humbled to be a part of the global fan community celebrating the life and work of one of my literary and intellectual heroes. In addition, my wife and I have been entrusted by Watching Books to compile and edit You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology.  It is about this project I wish to update you with news of new authors I am incredibly happy to have aboard.

For several years now my wife and I have contributed to a few volumes in the “You and Who,” line from Watching Books.  What I have enjoyed in reading the finished work is the personal nature of each essay. The format of each volume is a series of essays each focusing on a particular area or production, through which the authors can talk about their personal experiences. In the case of previous works the topic has been Doctor Who, sci-fi, Blakes 7, Target Books or the forthcoming David Bowie collection Me and the Starman. The content are not reviews, but rather  essays that take a more autobiographical or anecdotal slant.  This is the case for You and 42, which I have been quite emotionally moved by each piece submitted.  There are a few authors who have contributed more than one essay and for that I am incredibly grateful.  There are a few who had the chance to meet Douglas Adams at an event such as a convention or book signing who relay how that experience positively affected them.  There are other authors who were so inspired by various works by Douglas Adams that it affected their career choices and creativity.

Max Landis (left) and Arvind Ethan David on the set of Dirk Gently. Photo credit, Drama Quarterly

In recent weeks I received contributions by two authors who were friends with Adams and write of events, moments and memories with Douglas Adams.  It has been an incredible pleasure corresponding with these gentlemen about their essays.  The essays submitted cover periods in their life with Douglas Adams, which have been a joy and humbling read. It is my hope that you have watched and enjoyed the recent BBC America “Dirk Gently,” series and/or read the IDW Dirk Gently comic.  The Writer/Executive Producer of BBC America’s Dirk Gently and Writer of the comicbook, Arvind Ethan David, has joined our growing list of authors for You and 42.  In addition we have William Todd-Jones aboard who is a  Creature FX Consultant, British puppet designer, performer, director, movement consultant and writer for film, television and theatre in the UK and abroad.
In 1994 William Todd-Jones joined Douglas Adams and several other friends, who took up the challenge to trek from the coast at Mombassa to the top of Kilimanjaro to raise money for rhino conservation.  If this wasn’t enough of a challenge, they decided to do it in rhino costume!

Photo Courtesy of W.T. Jones, photo credit Christina Franco

“Douglas was determined to share the difficulty and spent hours taking a turn in the costume – which he suggests, had him looking like a giant prawn tempura – but it was easier than completing the manuscript he was meant to be writing, he said.”

In Walking with Douglas/How Doug helped the 1994 African Rhino Climb to save endangered species, William Todd-Jones discusses how he and Douglas Adams got involved in the now infamous Rhino Climb.  Additionally, William has contributed Waking with Douglas, which discusses the passing of Douglas Adams.
We are also quite grateful to William’s daughter Lillian who has contributed her own essay entitled “The Four Ages of Douglas.”  Lillian met Douglas a couple of times when she was quite young, his influence has coloured her life and I felt that further words for You & 42 could best be offered by the next generation. (William Todd-Jones)

Photo Courtesy of WIlliam Todd Jones, Daddy Rhino and Daughter Lillian photo credit Christina Franco

“When I was 5, my dad left. He didn’t leave with another woman, or to have a crisis with a bald patch and BMW. No, he left – temporarily- to dress up as a rhino, and walk up Africa’s highest mountain. In other words, to wear a herbivore suit and travel to a continent crawling with lions, which was impossibly far away, for an unacceptable amount of time, with a bunch of other grown-ups; including someone called Douglas Adams.
I wasn’t very happy about it.”

Around this time Arvind Ethan David was in his second term at Oxford and had adapted for stage Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency with James Goss.

Everything is Connected.

The adaptation began at their British boarding school, and was revised for their adaption as undergraduates at Oxford.   In 1995 Arvind Ethan David had dinner with Douglas Adams to discuss the play, which Adams had attended. “We talked about the show – with ridiculous generosity he decided that in changing it, we had in fact “fixed” his plot. He also said we had now got him thinking about Dirk as a TV series or movie…”  The play went on to win Best Adaptation for Dirk at the 28th LA Weekly Theater Awards (2007).  In Me and 42…Or how Douglas Adams taught me that the meaning of life can be found in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, Arvind Ethan David discusses The Story of How Douglas Adams Changed My Life.  Arvind’s very moving essay highlights his education, the beginning of his career, and how Douglas Adams mentored him and their lives becoming intertwined.  Bringing Dirk Gently to the world has been a 20 year singular dream for Arvind Ethan David.  

“He decided to make our version the “official” version and gave us perpetual rights in it. We came to an arrangement whereby a proportion of the royalties would always go to charity – in fact to his beloved Rhinoceros (he was a founding patron of Save the Rhino International, and famously once climbed part way up Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit for the charity).”

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

As a big Dirk Gently fan, whether book, audio dramatization, now television and comic, I have quite enjoyed Arvind’s brilliant vision and am very humbled and grateful that Arvind has shared his story with us.

We cannot thank these two gentleman, and lady, enough for their contributions to You and 42.  It is our hope to have the content wrapped up and begin editing the manuscript before the summer.  With luck on our side You and 42 will be available for purchase before the end of the summer.  As is the case with varied titles offered at Watching Books, the proceeds from You and 42 will be donated to charity.

If you would like to contribute to You and 42, there is still time before we hear any whooshing sounds, please visit the following page for all the details.

Click here for the You and 42 Project Page

Click here to send me an inquiry via email

 

You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology

Greetings from the outer reaches of the Western Spiral Arm,

youn42imgHowdy Hoopy Froods! Anthony here, with a few thoughts on You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology.  It was prior to the summer, and a previous incarnation of this website that I announced You and 42, which will be published by Watching Books and proceeds donated to charity.  Since that time I have received a great number of contributions and have added those authors to the project website found by clicking here. There are a few authors that are members of the Galactic Hitchhikers community who have contributed essays, three that come to mind are Demetria Blacksmith and Jared McLaughlin. In addition our own GH Founder and President of the Galaxy Zaxley Nash will be contributing an essay concerning our Galactic Hitchhiker community and of the HG2G Television series.  I am extraordinarily grateful for their brilliant contributions and to the others who have done so as well.

However, in recent weeks and months I had to focus on a few others projects, one of them being my health, and that of my wife as we have had a few ailments to deal with. Due to this You and 42 was on a bit of a break, but we continued to receive wonderful emails and contributions for the project. As of today the project page is up to date for accepted essays thus far.
Additionally in the time I have noticed that our Galactic Hitchhikers community has grown considerably so there may be a few of you who are not aware of this book project.

What is YOU and 42 about? Here is a bit of details from the project webpage:

Do you know where your towel is? Do you often ask if there is tea aboard a spaceship? Do you find difficulty with your lifestyle or can’t get the hang of Thursdays? Or, rather than consulting a map, do you find someone who looks like they know where they’re going and follow them? It very rarely gets you where you wanted to go but always where you needed to be.

hqdefaultIf you hadn’t guessed it, YOU AND 42 is going to be a volume of essays about the life and work of Douglas Adams. The format, as per usual, will be a series of essays each focusing on a particular area or production, through which the authors can talk about their personal experiences of Adams and his work. We are not looking for reviews, rather the kind of essays we prefer are those that take a more autobiographical or anecdotal slant; this book is about the “YOU” as much as it is the “42”. Having said that, we appreciate that Adams is a popular and complex author, and this time we’ll be happy to mix it up a bit, by including essays of all kinds as long as they encompass the theme of Douglas Adams touching our lives in some way.

For the full list of details on how to contribute please click to visit the project page

There is no deadline at the moment, and you do not have to be a professional writer to contribute. This is a fan anthology where fans can tell their stories of how Douglas Adams has touched their life in some way. Please refer to the above page link to see a list of topics, and if you would like to pitch an idea you can send all queries to Anthony at Youandfortytwo@gmail.com

BREAKING: D.A.D. is Coming your way!

Hey there, fellow Hitchhikers!

Have you ever sat in front of your television device, looking at the people shown and wonder “Where the Heck did this guy came from?”? Have you ever wondered if there might be more than just cultural differences between you two? Maybe He/She came from a different planet, not just a nearby little town.

I Know you might be thinking:

possible

But there are countless numbers of stars in Outer Space and chances are that many of them already has life, even intelligent life on them. Why would it seem so hard to imagine then that a member of an Alien Civilization would come to Earth in order to Explore… Experiment… or Destroy on our planet. Anything is possible.

Of course, it is also entirely possible that they only came around for a Vacation. The kinda vacation that British kids have at Ibiza. Lot of drugs, Sex and Awful Music. Maybe some of them are trying to break into the Music industry themselves. That would explain an awful lot, if You ask me.

miley

I am pleased to tell you now that you no longer have to think for hours trying to figure it Who is Who in the Galaxy.

D.A.D. is here to help.

What is D.A.D. You may ask? D.A.D, aka Declassified Alien Dossier is a comprehensive collection of data that examines certain humanoid creatures who may or may not have migrated from another Star System. We aim to prove our theories with solid evidence that should satisfy the public, especially the conspiracy theorists.

There are many creatures out there who engage with the public on a daily basis and manage to draw attention to them with their odd behaviour without ever raising any suspicions about their origins. It has to stop. We must acknowledge their existence for what they are. Aliens. That is the only way to ensure that the future generations of humans will not fall under the spell of our potential Alien Overlords.

Call me paranoid, but chances are not all of them came in peace. It is entirely possible that some of them are attempting to dumb down the human race so We would fall more easily in their traps, when the Alien Invasion begins.

We must be cautious. We must take care. We must walk with our eyes open and always question what we see.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

Join us this Sunday!

SE42.1

This week on Galactic Hitchhikers Sub-Etha Channel 42 we talk about the new site, it’s goals, and our future. As always there will be talk about cats and probably too much booze. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve been able to attend, so I am looking forward to catching up with all of you.

Be there or be square 5pm CST/6pm EST/10pm GMT 

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