This is the Story of a Book from Earth, You and 42: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Douglas Adams

Hullo Hoopy Froods!
Many of you may already know, unless you are still recovering from “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick” after far too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, that there is a brand new shiny book being published tomorrow, April 23rd:  You and 42: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Douglas Adams. To be published by Who Dares Publishing, has been on Pre-Order for several weeks now, and proceeds will be donated to Save the Rhino of which Douglas Adams was a founding patron.  If you are reading this and have not pre-ordered, then stop now go and pre-order!

Perhaps you may be asking, “Who Dares, Who?” If you have not heard of the work of Andrew Skilleter, Matt Doe and their company Who Dares Publishing then those Gargle Blasters really have knocked you to a galaxy far far away.

Who Dares Publishing is the legendary Doctor Who Artist Andrew Skilleter and Matthew Doe, one of the UK’s latest and leading Doctor Who memorabilia experts, an entrepreneur solely in the field of Doctor Who. It was Matthew who had the inspired idea of bringing together their skill sets and relaunching Andrew’s legendary 1980s publishing company, Who Dares, beginning with the first ever Target Art Calendar featuring a selection of Andrew’s cover paintings. During 2017, Who Dares intends to launch a number of high quality art based projects of distinction. Click to Read More


Here’s the back cover bit about what is contained within You and 42: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Douglas Adams:

You and 42 is the latest wholly remarkable book to come out of Who Dares Publishing Corporation. The cover contains large and friendly letters. Unfortunately, Megadodo Publications wouldn’t license ‘Don’t Panic’. This doesn’t mean you should ‘Panic Now’, as Neil Gaiman once advised the editors. There is no reason to panic. There is no Vogon Poetry contained therein. Although, there are some harrowing details about towels, LPs, hitchhikers, and swear words, with only a passing mention of cats. Thor doesn’t make an appearance, much to his regret. You and 42 contains a series of extraordinary stories that are holistically interwoven with one another, stories from authors that aren’t entirely apocryphal, but wildly accurate accounts of their love for Douglas Adams and his work.

Purchasing this book benefits Save the Rhino International. Therefore, we hope it is far more successful than Chitin & You: A Pleasure Guide for Arthropods and better selling than Demetria Blacksmith’s 42 Ways of Towel Wrangling.

While You & 42 is more controversial than Stu Hambone’s Coming to Terms with your Acidic Secretions and Zaxley Nash’s Taowelism & the Way of Gardening Your Gnome, it begins simply with a frood from a more relaxed civilization: Douglas Adams.

This story, the one you are currently reading, is about You and 42, yet not entirely. It is the story of how the project came to be, and to address a small mystery concerning the length of time it took to get to this point, plus to bring together in one place some of the press You and 42 has received already.

One day, if I recall a Thursday, in March 2016 on a an utterly insignificant little blue green planet two ape-descended life forms contacted J.R. Southall of Watching Books, and Jem Roberts author of The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.   These ape-descended life forms, my wife Jessica and myself, thought it a pretty neat idea were a book about Douglas Adams, in the spirit of the You and Who titles by Watching Books was produced. Plus all of the proceeds from the Watching Books titles were donated to charity, and we asked if proceeds from You and 42 could support Save the Rhino. As cited above this has been arranged and proceeds are indeed being donated to Save the Rhino. 

Here on Galactic Hitchhiker’s in November 2016, I wrote of the titles Watching Books produced, Read More Here. We already had a bit history with J.R. and his You and Who titles as we had previously contributed essays to them.  Plus we have been involved in writing and publishing for nearly the entire time Jessie and I have been together, 16 years.  If you are interested you can read of our academic, fiction and non-fiction work here on our site Myth Ink Books.  In addition, as a big fan of Jem Roberts’ work, we reached out and asked his advice on putting something like this together. Both J.R. and Jem had splendid and worthwhile responses, so these primates were off to work on You and 42, minus our other 10 ape-descended friends who were still working on their adaptation of Hamlet.  We are very grateful to Jem for his Preface, and J.R. for his Foreword, many thanks to them both.

In 2016, we were additionally working on the 2nd New York Tolkien Conference.  See we’re multi-disciplinary geeks, much like our fellow You and 42 contributors, and that event went off well enough in July.  However, from March onward we were posting the call for papers for You and 42 alongside J.R. and a number of other writers who had previously contributed to You and Who titles. We were very excited at the response as a number of familiar names were sending queries, selecting portions of Douglas Adams’ work to write of, and offering to write of items we had not thought of to list.  Within these queries were our colleagues from other You and Who titles, such as Paul Driscoll, Kara Dennison, Tim Gambrell, James Gent, Christopher Bryant, Drew Meyer, Don Klees, Stephen Hatcher and Barnaby Eaton-Jones to name a few. Plus, our dear friend Zaxley Nash and the staff here at Galactic Hitchhiker’s offered their support and essays to contribute.

All of the essays not only speak of a chosen topic, but how the work of Douglas Adams affected their lives.  The essays within You and Who titles aren’t strictly scholarship, nor are they literary criticism, nor reviews, but more personal or autobiographical accounts of our writers’ relationship with the life and works of Douglas Adams. Many of the writers had met with Douglas Adams at various signings and events, and speak of those encounters within their essays. This gave us an idea of seeing if we could get in touch with anyone who may have worked directly with Adams.  The universe responded by sending three entirely unexpected contributors to the party, and two I deliberately solicited.

We received an email from Martin Smith, yes THAT Martin Smith,  “bloody Martin Smith from Croydon.” During Douglas’ second term at Cambridge, he wanted to join the Footlights, an invitation-only theatrical/comedy club, but was rejected. Instead he formed a group, Adams-Smith-Adams, along with Martin Smith and Will Adams where he did his own writing.

“For five years…we had our own travelling revue group: Adams Smith Adams aka The Patter of Tiny Minds.” — Martin Smith

We not only have essays within You and 42 that cite the Adams-Smith-Smith comedy group and their work, but here we have a contribution from the man himself, who contributed THE LONG AND SHORT OF DOUGLAS ADAMS: WORKING WITH DOUGLAS AT CAMBRIDGE .

I cannot express well enough here how much we were not only touched by his essay but the sheer fact that he found us and contributed.

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

Shortly after Martin Smith submitted his paper, we received an email from William Todd-Jones who did the infamous Rhino climb up with Douglas Adams  who took part in a trek from Mombasa to the top of Kilimanjaro for Save the Rhino back in 1994, taking a turn to wear the famous rhino costume along the coastal stretch. He writes about it in ‘The Salmon of Doubt’. READ MORE  In You and 42, William and his daughter Lill have a combined  3 essays that speak of Douglas as a family friend and inspiration, as with Martin Smith, we were humbled and touched that these wonderful authors reached out to us. William Todd-Jones is a  Creature FX Consultant, British puppet designer, performer, director, movement consultant and writer for film, television and theatre in the UK and abroad.  Lill Todd-Jones works for BBC Earth.

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

The authors I deliberately reached out to were Kevin Jon Davies, and Arvind Ethan David.  It was around the summer of 2016 that we purchased a copy of The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Kevin, and were fully and completely dedicated to reading IDW Comics Dirk Gently series written by Arvind.  We were already friendly with Kevin through the Galactic Hitchhiker’s community and asked if he would write of his work.  If you have been a reader of our articles here on Galactic Hitchhiker’s you may recall my review of Kevin’s Illustrated Hitchhiker’s found here.  Additionally, I connected with Arvind on twitter, and we began a correspondence concerning his contribution to You and 42.  As you may know Kevin Jon Davies worked on the BAFTA award-winning animation sequences of the 1981 Hitchhiker’s Guide television adaptation, numerous documentaries on Hitchhiker’s and Doctor Who, his aforementioned book plus more recently the production research, and a behind-the-scenes promo video for the Hexagonal Phase.  BBC America’s “Dirk Gently,” series and the IDW Dirk Gently comic was the brain-child of Writer/Executive Producer Arvind Ethan David.  Both gents had personal relationships with Adams.   Arvind discusses Adams’ own mentorship of him and the adaptation of Dirk Gently into a stage play

The result of this correspondence with Kevin and Arvind were the two essays: The Movie That Didn’t Move: The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (1994) by Kevin Jon Davies, and Me and 42… Or how Douglas Adams Taught Me that the Meaning of Life can be Found in the Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things by Arvind Ethan David.

Thinking of the nearly 70 contributions in You and 42, there are instances where an author has contributed 2 or more essays.  For example, James Gent who wrote of Hyperland, plus Douglas Adams and Monty Python, in addition Stephen Hatcher’s papers concerning The Burkiss Way and two essays concerning the Hitchhiker’s radio series, plus Ian Ham’s own papers concerning his Towel and The Guide to the Guide.  I do not wish to cite all of the essays, as a wise woman once said, “SPOILERS SWEETIE!” Well, the Table of Contents is available via Who Dares Publishing, HERE, so River Song was a bit late with her warning.

As we moved into the Fall of 2016 Jessica’s father was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, and for the first half of 2017 we were back and forth to her parents home to assist with their needs and care. Unfortunately, he passed away nearly a year ago in May of 2017.  We had already cancelled our plans for the 2017 NY Tolkien Conference, and put all our projects on hiatus, including You and 42.  Since his passing we have been visiting with Jessica’s Mom to help her out as she is now living by herself. In the Fall of 2017 we returned to evaluate what projects we had on our plate, and You and 42 was one that greatly lifted our spirits as we were notified that Who Dares Publishing was going to take over several Watching Books titles and publish them. J.R. Southall wrote of the transition here Lastly, we have had our own medical ailments to tend with, and still do, which I shall not go into further detail here about.

We returned to You and 42 with renewed spirits to get the contributions and manuscript edited, prepared and sent off to Andrew and J.R. for a January 2018 deadline. Our fellow Field Researchers here at Galactic Hitchhiker’s have been a huge barrel of love and support for this project. Zaxley Nash, our founder, contributed an essay about our growing Douglas Adams fan community Galactic Hitchhikers, Demetria Blacksmith wrote of Marvinism, and John Matthew Chanaud wrote of collectibles and fan communities.  As the manuscript developed we took notice of the wildy hysterical Guide entries being posted in the Galactic Hitchhikers facebook group by Jay Rainha, so we asked if he would write some for You and 42, which he accepted. Jessie and I feel all of our authors are The Voice of the Book, but Jay’s Guide entries add an extra dimension to You and 42 for I have cited him as The Voice of the Guide.  When we placed them within the manuscript we truly felt that You and 42 took on an aspect of The Guide and Jay’s work brilliantly adds to the spirit of the project. Lastly, it was the letter to Douglas Adams, written by Max Beeman that helped us set the opening tone of the book.   We felt as we closed in on finalizing the book that with Max’s letter after the Preface and Foreword it really added to the idea of a “love letter” to Douglas Adams, which we were aiming for. Each and every piece you will read is not only the author’s personal experiences with the work of Douglas Adams, but a tribute to the First of Froods.

The Target Cover Art of Andrew Skilleter~Ltd Edition Portfolio

Jessica and I have really been honored to work with every author on this project, getting to know them better and becoming friends.  In addition, we cannot express how much we have loved working with J.R. Southall, plus Andrew Skilleter, Matt Doe and Robert Hammond over at Who Dares Publishing. We have long known of Andrew’s Doctor Who work, and are humbled that we have gotten to work with such a legendary artist on this project.

Learn more of Andrew Skilleter’s work Here

Matt Doe’s Toy Box Treasures, specialists in Doctor Who Toys from 1964 to 1988 – Including screen used Dr Who Props Read More

Doctor Who DVD artist, Doctor Who Magazine Award Winner, Artist and Graphic Designer Robert Hammond, see more of his work over on Instagram Here

Lastly, You and 42 has received some lovely press from contributors, all splendid and worthwhile reads from really Hoopy Froods, click the titles to read.

New Douglas Adams Book Announced by J.R. Southall over at Starburst Magazine

Starburst Magazine’s Blue Box Podcast Episode 303 discusses You and 42 at the opening of the show.

Views from the Second Floor: You and 42 by Tim Gambrell
Tim is not only a contributor to You and 42, but is the author for the Lethbridge-Stewart Series, which I highly recommend you check out, Read More News Here and HERE

You and 42: How Fandoms Collided by Kara Dennison

A HUGE Thank you to everyone involved in this project, it was truly a team effort and really hope you love the finished product.  If you have not ordered a copy you can help benefit Save the Rhino International by ordering your copy of You and 42: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Douglas Adams via Who Dares Publishing by clicking here or the cover below.

I got a buck for that: GH Community Edition

aj_ent_bridge

The Galactic Hitchhikers community never ignores a distress call…

None of us have a million bucks, but a million of us have a buck. In this community we look out for each other, especially in times of hardship. That is what a community is. I am perpetually saving up to be broke myself. I had to borrow a nickel so I had two to rub together, before I realized that this was either some form of sorcery I was not familiar with the logistics of, or some ancient turn of phrase that doesn’t help anyone with anything other than having ten cents. 175123557

This man, and his wife Jessica Burke Anthony Burdge not in that order, are not after all some conjoined being from a planet far beyond as I once thought they were, they just share a facebook account…now that misconception was my fault, I drink a great deal. Away from digression…this man and his wife have been great supporters to all of our efforts here at Galactic Hitchhikers. I am glad to have them among my friends, to say the very least.

We all fall on hard times, sometimes harder than not. None of us are above hardship, and if you are then you really have no reason not to help out a brother and sister of this community. When I founded Galactic Hitchhikers back in 2011 we were just a few assholes trying to make the world a slightly more entertaining if not better place, little by little. Years later and we are a whole bunch of assholes with more power than ever before to make a difference.

1454617_10202642936852719_1459289866_nSo my friends I ask that you help a brother out. In the spirit of community and kindness that we seek to engender. If you can’t donate that’s fine, check out the gofundme page Anthony has set up, he has a bunch of ways that you can help. If you forgot how to read and looking at a page is too much for you, then share this post, click like on it, say an encouraging word in the comments below.

You can go back to telling us how offended you are, and reporting the posts of our admins, but you will have missed the chance to help Anthony and Jessica, and the chance to keep this community what is it supposed to be…friends helping friends.

 

CLICK HERE TO HELP!

Who is this Lisa Orozco anyway?

Hey Froods,

Today, I got a special thing for you. Today, we should be doing something nice. Especially those of you who live in the great big USA.

We have received a distress call from our 2016 Towel Day Ambassador, Lisa Orozco. Now, you probably heard about her as she is definitely one of the hoopiest froods out there. If you aren’t familiar with her, we shall present you with her winning entry of the 2016 TDA contest below:

 

Now, this Cosmic Cutie has a hobby and a dream. Her hobby is knitting. If we could call it a hobby. We would rather consider it as a super power given her ability to create such beautiful pieces of artwork. Don’t believe us? Have a look yourself!

 

And her dream? Her dream is to use this talent for good! She has two wonderful, smart daughters who love to learn and grow under her nourishment.

Lisa is hoping to use her knitting expertise to get the girls to dancing competitions and supply more epic sciencey stuff for their homeschooling.

Why would I want to support that and spend money on that, you ask?

Well, these girls really know what they are  doing and certainly know where their towels are! They are dancers, girls scouts, scientists, potterheads and real froods themselves. You could see them in the above video, supporting their mother’s Towel Day application and they are also epic models for her knitted creations! You would definitely put your money to the right place and you could receive customized, one of a kind, epic knitted creations.

And where could you get these epic things? Lisa has an etsy shop, Shabby Geek Boutique to order from, but you are also probably more than welcome to enquire about all the other cool things we featured on the pics!

Don’t be shy! Write Away!

Until then, wishing you all the best, Lisa and the girls:

Be Excellent (and Charitable) To Each Other

Howdy Hoopy Froods!
It should not matter the day, time, season, or holiday, we should all be excellent to each other, and help those in need. The climate of our current world situation looks grim each and every day, whether war, politics, human rights violations, hunger, or children in need, being excellent to each other should be of great importance. The fall holidays are upon us and we all seek that one great gift for a friend and/or loved one.  In the following I shall cite some great books that may appeal to you or said loved one, which will help out a charity at the same time. In addition I draw a few quotes below from our Galactic Hitchhiker’s Constitution to illustrate a point or two.

As a Fellowship of the Frood we are always excellent to each other, and continue to “…see the Guide as a filter to see the universe through, it reminds us that life is far too ridiculous to be taken too seriously…”  I am of the opinion we should also strive to help those in need as we are best able, whether through kindness, an uplifting word or comment, actions (i.e. helping the disabled and elderly) or donating to a charitable organization.

With this said I would like to appeal to our community as “…science and science-fiction fanatics, social activists, and hopeful futurists. We are space-hippies and dreamers, gamers and geeks, self-professed professional slackers, forward thinkers and generally good folk….”  If you would like to help out a charity and get some excellent books written by science fiction fans, then keep reading.

watchingbooksAs some of our GH Readers may know my wife and I are writers,editors and publishers.  In recent years we have had the opportunity to write for Watching Books and their line of books where all proceeds are donated to charity. Watching Books is located in the UK and you can click here to read “A Note on Our Charitable Donations,” which describes how their “rolling charity payments” system works.  The current charity they are providing donations toward is the Terrence Higgins Trust.
My wife and I first got involved with Watching Books by contacting J.R. Southall when they announced their YOU and WHO project.  Southall is a Starburst Magazine columnist, host of the Blue Box Podcast, and creator of the You and Who series of books.  With You and Who, Southall started a series of books adapting the title to varied themed books, such as You and Who Else, You and Who: Contact Has Been Made, the forthcoming You on Target and our own title we are working on for them: You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology. I shall speak of You and 42 a bit more below, but offer below descriptions about a few of their titles you may consider as fans of Doctor Who and science fiction.
However, please visit the Watching Books page for a full listing of all their available titles

youandwhoABOUT YOU AND WHO (respectively borrowed from Watching Books)
After almost 50 years of television serials, original novels, comic strips, audio dramas, short stories, radio plays, cartoons, graphic novels, cinema films and just about anything else you could possibly imagine, after almost 50 years of a series which has change as its most fundamental conceit, there’s only one thing most Doctor Who fans can agree upon: how special it is.

In December 2010, Starburst writer J.R. Southall embarked upon a project that would demonstrate just how much variety there was among fans of the show, and that would conversely show just how much they all had in common, too.

You and Who is the result of that project. It’s an anthology of stories, written by fans, in which those fans attempt to reveal just how and why they became fans of Doctor Who in the first place. There’s humour, there’s horror, and there’s heartbreak. Just as there is in the series itself.

But what You and Who mostly goes to show, is not how much we share in common with the series we all love, but how much we share in common with one another. For the essays contained herein aren’t just the stories of those who’ve written them and Doctor Who, they’re the same story we have all lived.

They’re the story of You and Who.
This title is available at AMAZON.CO.UK and AMAZON.COM

youwhoelseABOUT YOU AND WHO ELSE
Television is the route by which we map our lives. From the day we are old enough to understand words and pictures it is a constant companion, educating and entertaining us, helping us to understand the world around us – and firing our imaginations off into the far reaches of an infinitely varied universe. From Ace of Wands to Worzel Gummidge, from Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) to Red Dwarf, from the moment Professor Quatermass’ rocket ship returned to Earth, to the moment Ian and Barbara entered the Doctor’s Ship, fantasy television has had an extraordinary effect on our emotions and our intellect. Whether it be exploring space or travelling through time, surviving the aftermath of some Earthbound disaster or creating new worlds in uncharted territories, the writers and producers of speculative television have used the format to reflect and inform the world in which we live. And whether it be through horror, science fiction or imaginative fantasy – or a combination of all three – we have all been touched in some way by the creativity and insight provided by such visionaries as Gerry Anderson, Nigel Kneale and Douglas Adams. You and Who Else is a unique history of sixty years of British fantasy television, and a definitive record of its place in our lives – as told by the people who saw it: the viewers.
You and Who Else is available in a variety of formats found on the Watching Books page but we encourage you to get this chunky volume from either AMAZON.COM or AMAZON.CO.UK

contactABOUT YOU AND WHO CONTACT HAS BEEN MADE
Very few television programmes make it to their fiftieth birthday. But then, Doctor Who is just a little bit special. From its humble beginnings being recorded in a tiny studio on 405-line black and white video cameras with a minuscule budget, to its latest incarnation on HD as one of the BBC’s flagship dramas, Doctor Who has always moved with the times, and often reflected them. For the last five decades, the series has inspired and engaged audiences in a way that no other television programme has ever managed. For more than 26 years, the original series delighted children of all ages with its unique blend of sci-fi and horror, excitement and scares, cliffhanger storytelling and, above all, monsters. As the programme grew, so we grew with it, absorbing its pleasures in diverse and changing ways. As it enters its anniversary year, Doctor Who is more popular than ever before. This wholly original blend of science fiction concepts and magical storytelling, updated for the 21st century, is delighting a whole new generation of fans, alongside those of us who waited patiently for the inevitable regeneration. You and Who: Contact Has Been Made is a record of how that relationship began, how it continues, and of how we have experienced those fifty years, as written by the show’s own fans. This combined edition of You and Who: Contact Has Been Made features a reduced print size necessary to include both volumes in one book, and includes two brand new replacement essays not featured in the first edition of Volume One, as well as several brand new essays bringing the book up to date with Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary programming. 100% of the royalties from You and Who will be donated to charity.
You can acquire You and Who Contact Has Been Made as a single combined editions, from two volumes, or purchase the two volume sets.
Please Click here to see Watching Books for varied formats and purchasing options

youn42imgEarlier this year it was announced that my wife and I are compiling and editing a Douglas Adams Fan Anthology for Watching Books entitled: You and 42. A topic quite applicable to our community here, which you can read more about in my GH article here. We have been taking contributions all year long, and are still open to submissions. As lifelong fans of The Frood, my wife and I are very honored that Watching Books accepted our proposal  for this book. You and 42 is dedicated to all things Douglas Adams and will illustrate how much he is loved and missed through our adoration of his work.  We already have contributions from a number of members here at Galactic Hitchhikers, like our founder Zaxley Nash, Jared McLaughlin our audio/web engineer, the fabulous writer Demetria Blacksmith, Kevin Jon Davies (who did the Guide animations for the Hg2g TV series, and The Illustrated Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), and Jay Rainha who has provided Guide styled entries that will appear throughout the book. If you would like to write for You and 42, please visit the project page here, to get all the details.

My wife and I have a fair list of publication credits but it is our work for charity projects that mean the most to us. In the end, when these books sell the money is going toward services our fellow human beings need the most. It is our hope that as part of this community, and beyond, you will consider purchasing the aforementioned titles, or others listed on the Watching Books website, and help out a charity.  Have a wonderful, blessed and geek filled holiday season.