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

 

 

Thumb Toast To The Frood 2018: HG2G 40th Anniversary Edition

Howdy Hoopy Froods!
In one month will be the 66th birthday of our Founding Frood, Douglas Noel Adams, born on March 11th 1952.  Last year the staff here at Galactic Hitchhiker’s created an annual celebration to honor the first of Froods called “Thumb Toast to the Frood.”  This celebration, now in its second year comes at a time of a great galactic conjunction, the 40th Anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

If you are new to Galactic Hitchhiker’s, and our Thumb Toast, here is the…

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.
READ MORE

Towel Day Ambassador 2014
Joel Ranger

For the 2017 celebration we asked froods from across the planet to either send in a message via the form on the Toast page, or take a picture and their Thumb Toast, which you can see a few examples via our 2017 Album.

This year being the 40th Anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy we have changed up the details a bit and want YOU, Yes You Hoopy Froods, to be a lil extra creative in your submissions. It is entirely up to you how you would like to participate in our 2018 Thumb Toast to the Frood, but we would really love it if you considered these additionals options:

  • can you cosplay a particular character from the trilogy of six?
  • How big of a group can you get together to photograph raising your Thumbs to the Frood?
  • Are you a budding Field Researcher and wish to write Guide entries to celebrate the 40th?
  • Or record something via your sub-etha device & upload it somewhere to share with Galactic Hitchhikers

You do not have to be limited to any of the details of participating, if you have another wild and crazy idea to contribute to our celebration then by all means go for it!!

However, One Last Requirement, as cited on the Thumb Toast Page, please use the #FROODTOAST hashtag 

VISIT OUR 2018 THUMB TOAST TO THE FROOD PAGE

 

Bowerick Wowbagger

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Christmas – Affordable edition I.

Christmas is coming. You are broke, but you want to give something hoopy.  We get it. This is why we went around the neighbourhood and looked for some affordable Hitchhiker gifts. As you could see, we favour Etsy and Redbubble and all our future Holidays merch posts will be in the same spirit!

So without further ado, Here is your guide, look no more!

(Click on the pictures to find further details! 😉 ) 

1: BADGES

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2. TOWELS

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3. A MARVIN MUG! 

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4. HITCHHIKER’S POETRY MAGNETS

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5. PINT GLASS, either to drink or to use it as a fancy vase! 

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6.  HEADBAND! 

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7. WALL ART

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8. BABEL FISH

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9. PILLOWS

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10. BAGS

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A Very Hoopy Christmas – Gift ideas

Now that Thanksgiving and Halloween are behind us, I thought it would be time to consider possible Gift ideas that one could surprise their fellow Hitchhikers with.

Without further ado, here is my first selection of present ideas from across the internet:

  1. A Set of Mugs for the Coffee and Tea Enthusiasts!

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These mugs will surely help you get through the day. Perfect for the office, philosophical tea parties or to surprise a Douglas Adams fan! You could purchase them on Etsy from WizBitArt

 

2. This amazing shirt from Zaxley Nash’s Redbubble Shop!

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3. Douglas Adams Collection from Folio Society!

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You could purchase just one, your favourite or the entire collection! they are all wonderfully illustrated and a delight to hold!

4. Silver Galactic Hitchhiker Pendant from TheSunkenCity!

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5. Travel Towel from our Official Supplier, JustCraftyCoz!

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6. Poetry Magnet Set from LogophilesAnonymous

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7. Paracord bracelet for the ones who rough it.

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8. When you need something for your tea!

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9. When you are out and about but do not wish to burn yourself with your hot beverage.

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Available here.

10. A Christmas Whale ornament for your Tree!

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11.Badges, who doesn’t need badges? Available as singles or the entire lot!

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12. When you desperately need a drink before you hitch a ride, but you want to do it with style!

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And last, but not least, the best ever invention if you are a writer like me who is desperate for inspiration

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