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.

Fit the First: A Guide to Celebrating 40 years of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The main characters in Hexagonal Phase, illustrated by Trystan Mitchell / The Bigfoot Studio

Unless you have been living under a mattress lately then you may well know that March 8th, 2018, a Thursday, celebrated the 40th Anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  In addition, March 8th, saw the launch of the Hexagonal Phase of Hitchhiker’s, which greatly helps us get the hang of Thursdays. For six Thursdays in a row there will be a new episode of The Hexagonal Phase, which can be heard here, or clicking the image below

The staff at Galactic Hitchhikers are all in full slouch mode celebrating the return of the Hg2g gang, and honoring the First of Froods Douglas Adams as his birthday is two days away.  We eagerly await your entry into this year’s THUMB TOAST album to be recorded FOREVER. Visit the 2018 Thumb Toast Hg2g 40th Anniversary Edition

I have been trying to keep up with everything posted by Dirk Maggs, the show’s scriptwriter-producer of the prior phases of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and now The Hexagonal, plus the LIVE! show. Additionally, Kevin Jon Davies, and Jem Roberts have posted a plethora of new articles celebrating Hg2g.  This flood of wonderful articles, and interviews to listen to, all  have caused my head to go all wonky (no not Wonko) to keep up with.

With regard to this incredible amount of material concerning the 40th Anniversary, The Hexagonal Phase, and to start off our Galactic Hitchhiker’s celebration (yes I know THE Anniversary was yesterday, consider this your timey-wimey news edition) I thought it would be good to offer a few selections here in case you may have missed them.

Firstly,
“Radio 4 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the iconic science fiction satire by Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with a new series this week. Comedy producer and friend of the originator John Lloyd stars as the voice of the book. He and radio producer Dirk Maggs talk about the return of the ground breaking show”

Have a Listen to their discussion Here

The primary source for field research of  all things Hg2g is BBC RADIO 4 ,(<—-Do ya clicky thang) which has an abundance of article, clips, trailers and images.

One fine example is:

How we got to where we are tomorrow:
As Douglas Adams’s epic returns to radio four decades after it all began, we trace the cult of h2g2 – from radio to books to stage to TV to film and all the way back again…

Then there is this Hitchhiker’s Guide to Arthur Dent

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05zj9lm/player

The Independent Scholar that I am, who loves hearing (and researching through when I have the chance) about archived papers found this particular show quite incredible

SERIOUSLY…, DON’T PANIC It’s  The Douglas Adams Papers:
“John Lloyd unearths the private papers of his friend and colleague Douglas Adams, and discovers more about the agonies he went through to write The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, forty years ago.”
The program can be downloaded and listened to on the go and comes with a lovely “Contains Strong Language” warning.
Click to Read More

The BBC RADIO 4 site has everything you need to know regarding the Hexagonal Phase and has a wonderful Appendices section found here

In order to supplement your enjoyment of the Hexagonal Phase Episodes and Appendices from the BBC RADIO 4 site, I highly recommend these additional primary sources of Froody material from Kevin Jon Davies and Jem Roberts:

Kevin Jon Davies, animator on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy television series now has a freshly pressed website where he has begun to tell his story with regard to his formative years working on Hg2g

Hitchhiker stage shows, documentaries, an illustrated book, behind the scenes, in the wings and under the table.  Plus, of course, there was Blake’s 7, Terrahawks, Roger Rabbit, More Than 30 Years in the Tardis, Dalekmania, Sci-Fi Channel, Space Jam, Space Island One and the London Film & Comic Con. ”
READ MORE 

Additionally in October 2016 I reviewed Kevin’s Illustrated Hg2g, which is one of my prized books in my Douglas Adams collection, a MUST HAVE if for some reason your personal library does not include it, read the following
Full review here

Jem Roberts  (featured left) is not just ‘zis guy but an AUTHOR, PERFORMER, AND MANY OTHER INADEQUATE NOUNS. Jem is the official Douglas Adams biographer. Jem’s work can be found in that very splendid and worthwhile book entitled:

The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Not only should you buy the hardcover, the paperback of said book, read them twice, dog ear a bunch of pages, over highlight a ton of lines, make sure you add it to your permanant reading pile on your nighttable.
By adding The Frood to your nighttable you will never go to bed in a bad mood and alongside your rubber ducky will never be alone.

Jem posted yesterday his own reflections on the 40th Anniversary of Hg2g, which you can read about here While you are at it, scroll to the bottom of the article as you may want to check out Jem’s Fits concerning the writing of The Frood.

In upcoming Fits here at Galactic Hitchhiker’s celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, we will further explore the work of Dirk Maggs, Kevin Jon Davies, and Jem Roberts, plus other splendid and worthwhile Douglas Adams topics. STAY TUNED

 

 

Douglas Adams Fan Anthology You & 42 Update: Prepare for the Whooshing

Howdy Hoopy Froods!
If you are shaking your head as to the meaning of my subtitle, “Prepare for the Whooshing,” then shake no more. It is not a tribal rite of Arcturus Grefa, nor the sound of flying mattresses out of the swamps of Sqornshellous Zeta, however it is the distinct noise a deadline makes as it goes by.  Deadline? Deadline? DEADLINE?!
What Deadline?!

I am afraid yes indeed we are imposing a deadline for anyone wishing to still contribute to You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology. Wait? What?! There’s a forthcoming anthology dedicated to Douglas Adams? How come I didn’t hear about it you ask….Well…the answer to that is….I do not know, why haven’t you heard of it?

Well the first answer is personal to a degree and it was placed on hiatus a bit.

Firstly, my wife Jessica and I are the You and 42 editors, which will be published by Watching Books and see secondly….
Secondly, for most of this year we have dealt with a family matter, which had all of our time and attention. Our family is still our priority, and we will not get into the matter here, but this unfortunate time in our lives placed all of our projects, career and various matters on hold. Therefore, this project, You and 42 was subsequently on hiatus for sometime.

But Gallifrey Falls No More…Ummmm I mean You and 42 Whooshes Once Again!

What is You and 42?

Well….
“If 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 (meaning of you are familiar with the other “You and Who book series by Watching Books), will be a series of essays each focussing 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.”

If I may now direct your attention to the full set of project details over on the You and Who website, which also has a list of topics with authors having been listed alongside some. If you do not see topics that apply to how you may have read the work of Douglas Adams, or how you subjectively feel about his work, then please by all means email me a pitch to youandfortytwo@gmail.com. Please read all of the particulars on the project website and if you do not see your question answered, then by all means email me.  Lastly, if you did not know all proceeds from sales of this books will be donated to charity. If you visit the Watching Books website,  please peruse their collection of  very splendid and worthwhile titles for sale, all benefiting charity.

Now the Rub…
This project began in March of 2016–and of course for every kind of book it takes sometime to come together. It can be 6 months, a year or more before a volume is fully actualized and transmitted across the galaxy. We have a significant amount of contributions but I would really like to bulk it up a bit more. If you have contributed to You and 42, THANK YOU!  If you would like to contribute anymore, then I would be wholeheartedly grateful.
If you have promised to send in an essay I completely understand if life, the universe and everything has gotten in the way…however, I shall be emailing everyone who has inquired, regardless of a contribution or not, within 48 hours. If you receive said email then please read further details of this overall message within and reply accordingly.

Now the great whooshing….
We have never had a deadline for this project, but there comes time when we must push it forward so the reading public can enjoy your contributions, therefore  anyone who wishes to contribute the imposed deadline is Weds, September 20th 2017. This is just one day under the 2 month mark from now and I hope more than enough time for you to complete any contributiuon you wish to send in. Whether you wish your own personal memory, Douglas Adams fan organization, event, or significant occasion represented there will be no extensions beyond this deadline. If we can stick to the aforementioned deadline then You and 42 can be sent into Watching Books before the end of the year and published around the new year. So prepare for the great whooshing for if you wish for your thoughts to be heard within this volume then time will not wait for you.

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Peace and Towels,

Anthony S Burdge

Editor, You and 42

Sub Etha Channel 42 needs YOU to do live reading!

Dear All,

Last year, We successfully recorded the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Many of you took part and it was great fun, going on for over a day! It was a great opportunity to make new friends and connections all across the Universe. The editing and last finishing touches are still upon us but it will be available at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri in approximately 50 Earth years.

se42-1

Now, this year some of you were out and about so the turn up was a bit less than expected. I attended a special Towel Day Stand up Comedy event, while our Towel Day Ambassador, Hillary organised an amazing Towel Day Karaoke Night. Many of you probably attended the amazing Towel Day Douglas Adams Tour. You lucky, lucky humans.

RestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse

Now, some of our members stayed online to record the next upcoming book, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Thanks to Cris and Joel, the Channel has been running for 36 hours and during this time there were 20 chapters recorded for sure.

So far, the following chapters have been confirmed: Chapter 1-11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 25-29, 31-34

If you read a chapter on while the channel was running and it was not listed above, please hit us up in the comments with your chapter number and your name.

This means we still have a few chapters to go to complete the book. The following chapters are available to read:

Chapter  13, 20-24,  and 30

We are waiting to receive  chapter 18 from Max and 12 from Tim!

Thanks to Lisa, Rani, Kevin, Stefan and Heather for contributing! 😉

If you would like to read a chapter for us, please feel free to comment below to reserve it and then go ahead, record and send it to us. 😉

We are looking forward to receive your contribution to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Demi

The Original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 1978 Radio Show

As we approach Towel Day, we are coming up with some sweet treats for our followers. One of these treats is the original Radio Show. It is full stereo and very hoopy. Most of you probably encountered with it previously, but for those of you, who didn’t: You are in for a treat. Noted for its amazing use of special sound effects, this little Show made H2G2 as popular as it is now.

Now, I can ramble on, but we both know that you just want to get on with it, so here it goes:

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

 

The 1st Annual Thumb Toast to The Frood: No fire or bread heater required.

hqdefaultOn Saturday, March 11th in honor of the birthday of Douglas Adams Thumb Toast to The Frood will be the annual Douglas Adams Birthday Tribute event hosted by Galactic Hitchhikers. A pre-cursor to the Towel Day festivities if you will.

STORY SO FAR…
A few of our inter-dimensional members thought it would be a pretty neat idea, something in league with digital watches, to honor the first of Froods, Douglas Adams, on his birthday.  There are a number of authors who have their birthday honored by fans via a Toast or visit to a location associated with said author. For example J.R.R Tolkien has had an annual birthday toast for decades hosted by The Tolkien Society and fans around the globe.  In addition H.P. Lovecraft fans visit his grave and read from his work. Therefore, Galactic Hitchhikers would like to honor Douglas Adams in a similar fashion, but on a more Galactic scale.

imagesTHE TOAST 
We encourage everyone to gather at their home, favorite pub, restaurant or venue of their choice to raise a thumb, and glass to Douglas Adams.
When everyone is gathered, at 8 PM local time stand, raise your thumb in salute and state together: “TO THE FROOD!” and afterward take a glass of your choice of beverage (not necessarily alcoholic), take a swig, sit and enjoy the rest of your drink.
GH2016 RD join us“TO THE FROOD!”

We highly encourage everyone to gather for local events, bring your towel and copies of your favorite Douglas Adams book, read selections from them and have fun. Please take pictures and post them here in the comments section or submit them to the Galactic Hitchhikers page.

LASTLY,
Please check out our official Galactic Hitchhiker’s Page to add your toasting location and libation of choice. This is a global event, more galactic actually, and we would like to add everyone to the page who have participated. Additionally you can click here to visit our facebook event page.

Hyper-Hysterical & Glorious: The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

20161031_162314For a number of years now I have read about, had in my hands, albeit briefly flipped through, yet never owned, the mammoth sized Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that was published 22 years ago this month (10/1994) Well, that changed today when a 1st edition copy was delivered after finding it relatively cheap on eBay from a reliable seller.
I arrived home after dropping my wife off at work and saw the oversized package at my doorstep, smiles, smiles,smiles as I knew what it was. The packaging was carefully removed and in my hands, the shiny dust jacket glistening in the sun was The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The inside dust jacket flap describes The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy thusly:

 

61qjevzmvfl-_sx258_bo1204203200_“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is at last published in panoramic, earth-shattering, hyper-hysterical format, illustrated in glorious Technicolor, bringing alive horridly quivering Vogon monster flesh and vividly throbbing space craft by means of revolutionary digital graphic “paintbox” technology. All this, and other examples of humanoid wizardry, ensure no insane earthling will resist this new incarnation of a cult classic.”

It is that last bit that I love, no insane earthling will resist this new incarnation of a cult classic. No I could not resist a new incarnation, especially one so colorful, bright, brilliantly illustrated edition. As we know each incarnation of Hg2G is slightly different in its respective version, and media it is presented in. I have yet to read this version, as it only just arrived, but I do not believe the actual text has changed, but the way it is illustrated was entirely new at the time, and still is.

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Kevin Davies as the bulldozer driver in the book

So who is responsible for this new incarnation? The Concept Art Director is Kevin Davies who has had a long fan and professional career associated with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Davies worked on graphics for the television series, interviewed Douglas Adams on numerous occasions, is a highly regarded documentarian, for example “The Making of ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ which used archive footage and new specially shot material. In a forthcoming interview with Kevin, I speak with him about his career, which was conducted with Galactic Hitchhiker Founder Zaxley Nash and our Sub-Etha 42 Engineer Jared McLaughlin.  Click here to read more of Kevin’s career from his bio on the website for Lazlar Lyricon 3

20161031_145111I am super excited to re-read Hg2g with the abundant “live-action,” shots of new faces in the roles of our heroes, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian.  In addition I love how the new version of Marvin captures his “spirit,” very effectively in his facial expressions and body language.

ANNNNNDDDDD! It has Douglas Adams appearing as the cop who writes!!

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The guide held by Arthur is entirely new to me and very effective. In reading passages alongside the illustrations I suspend my own minds-eye visual of the story and find the work done by Davies quite engaging, which keeps me absorbed in the material. Perhaps it is my own love for the story and fun new incarnations that engages me, but I do believe it will be just as effective for others.

20161031_145444

Without Dust Jacket

The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can be found online in a variety of booksellers, I got mine on eBay, and at a reasonably affordable cost.
Lastly, it is this version that Kevin Jon  Davies will be writing about for the forthcoming Douglas Adams Fan Anthology: You and 42, which I cannot wait to read and add to the book, which my wife and I are editing for Watching Books.
If you have not done so already please check out Kevin’s Youtube Channel, where you will find plenty of Douglas Adams and Hg2g gems, such as this earlier review of the same book found below.

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

Happy Birthday to the Best-Selling Book in the Universe!

hitchhikers-guide

37 years ago a very excellent book got published. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It has been available for a very long time, however If you don’t have it, you should really consider grabbing one! It is, after all, the best guide for anyone who is planning on travelling across the Universe. And the Universe is big. Bigger than anything you have ever seen before. So you want to make sure you have something that will help you find your way across the stars.

It was an instant classic, getting the fans attention way before it was published due to the popularity of the Original BBC Radio Series. Due to this, it was expected to have at least a small fan base, but poor Douglas could not even dream of the fame it brought to him.

At ‘Seacon 79’ He gave a talk on ‘Across the Galaxy with TARDIS and Thumb’ and He was pleasantly surprised by the turn-up. He was also listed for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation but lost out to Superman. As Christopher Reeve accepted the award, he couldn’t help but point out that the whole thing was obviously fixed. His comment received cheers and loud shouts from the crowd. These were the first fans of the book, making themselves heard.

A few weeks later came the famous incident of the very famous signing He was put up to in London. His publisher, Pan Books arranged him a signing at the one-year-old store, Forbidden Planet, located on Denmark Street in Central London. As his cab was making its way to the venue however, they got into a terrible traffic jam. A jam, miles long, congesting the heart of London due to a bunch of freaks, clogging up the streets. Young people, punks and your everyday folks, some of them dressed in odd frocks. For the outsider, it seemed like they were up to some sort of a protest. However, as it turned out, this was just the turn-up for his signing event nearby. Needless to say the signing event had to go on for hours after the expected finishing time and He managed to be late from his dinner with Terry Jones too. That Terry Jones from Monty Python who was really keen to provide a splendid review of the book, that went like:

“Every Word is a gem… it’s only the order they’re put in that worries me.”

The book was sold in 250,000 by the end of the first three months and it continued to be popular up to these times.

Needless to say then the book is worthy for anyone’s attention who have not read it yet. But Who am I talking to? You read the book for surely. Probably heard the radio series and audio books, saw the TV Series and even the movie adaptation. We both know what happens in it so I will not go on to explain to you why this is such a fantastic book. We both know the reason why. And it never cease to amaze us, despite the multiple ways it is being transmitted into Outer Space.

However I shall urge you tonight to go and recommend it to a friend of yours. Try and get all those friends interested who did not read, heard or saw ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ yet. The birthday of this fantastic book should give you the perfect opportunity. Share along the post too so it would get the them hoopy froods thinking.

 

And Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY You Magnificent Book, You!