The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
On Friday, May 11, 2001, the world mourned the untimely passing of Douglas Adams, beloved creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, dead of a heart attack at age forty-nine. Thankfully, in addition to a magnificent literary legacy—which includes seven novels and three co-authored works of nonfiction—Douglas left us something more. The book you are about to enjoy was rescued from his four computers, culled from an archive of chapters from his long-awaited novel-in-progress, as well as his short stories, speeches, articles, interviews, and letters.
In a way that none of his previous books could, The Salmon of Doubt provides the full, dazzling, laugh-out-loud experience of a journey through the galaxy as perceived by Douglas Adams. From a boy’s first love letter (to his favorite science fiction magazine) to the distinction of possessing a nose of heroic proportions; from climbing Kilimanjaro in a rhino costume to explaining why Americans can’t make a decent cup of tea; from lyrical tributes to the sublime pleasures found in music by Procol Harum, the Beatles, and Bach to the follies of his hopeless infatuation with technology; from fantastic, fictional forays into the private life of Genghis Khan to extended visits with Dirk Gently and Zaphod Beeblebrox: this is the vista from the elevated perch of one of the tallest, funniest, most brilliant, and most penetrating social critics and thinkers of our time.
Welcome to the wonderful mind of Douglas Adams.
From the Hardcover edition.
habit, “honorable exceptions,” but I don’t really think that.) AMERICAN ATHEISTS: How often have fans, friends, or co-workers tried to “save” you from Atheism? DNA: Absolutely never. We just don’t have that kind of fundamentalism in England. Well, maybe that’s not absolutely true. But (and I’m going to be horribly arrogant here) I guess I just tend not to come across such people, just as I tend not to come across people who watch daytime soaps or read the National Enquirer. And how do you
about it so much?” And he told me. Took about two minutes. He explained the difference between temperate forest and rain forest and how it came to be that the latter produced such bewildering diversity of life but was at the same time so terribly fragile. I fell silent for a few moments as I began to realise that one simple piece of new understanding had just changed the way I saw the world. I had just been handed a single thread I could now follow into the tangled ball of a bewilderingly
would have realised in previous ages—she was rebooting! I just want to mention one thing, which is completely meaningless, but I am terribly proud of—I was born in Cambridge in 1952 and my initials are DNA! The topic I want to introduce to you this evening, the subject of the debate that we are about to sort of not have, is a slightly facetious one (you’ll be surprised to hear, but we’ll see where we go with it)—“Is there an artificial God?” I’m sure most of the people in this room will share
bright at least. No point in being early. He’s an actor.” “You could get locked up for that!” “Occupational hazard. Kate, I’m being paid $5,000 a week. You have to be prepared to . . .” “But not to follow a total stranger!” “Whoever is employing me knows my methods. I am applying them.” “You don’t know anything about the person who’s employing you.” “On the contrary, I know a great deal.” “All right, what’s his name?” “Frank.” “Frank what?” “No idea. Look, I don’t know that
At the zoo?” “At a party.” “A party?” “Yup.” Dirk sucked his lip thoughtfully. There was a principle he liked to adhere to when he remembered, which was never to ask a question unless he was fairly certain he would like the answer. He sucked his other lip. “I think I’ll go and take a look myself,” he said, and climbed out of the car. The large, dark green truck was pulled onto the side of the road. The sides of the truck were about four feet high, and a heavy tarpaulin was roped down