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42

The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams (No. 1 Sunday Times Bestseller)

Douglas Adams

39

‘Douglas’s slanted way of looking at reality makes the fuzzy sharp and the improbable probable. In a cock-eyed universe the level gaze is not much use’ STEPHEN FRY

‘Douglas was something that we don’t have a word for yet – a futurologist or an explainer’ NEIL GAIMAN

All your readers have Douglas Adams Circuits in their heads, now: a glowing synaptic lens that has made the whole of space seem like a place as familiar and human as Earth. That makes us approach new tech, and the future, without fear’ CAITLIN MORAN

When Douglas Adams died in 2001, he left behind 60 boxes full of notebooks, letters, scripts, jokes, speeches and even poems. In 42, compiled by Douglas’s long-time collaborator Kevin Jon Davies, hundreds of these personal artefacts appear in print for the very first time.

Douglas was as much a thinker as he was a writer, and his artefacts reveal how his deep fascination with technology led to ideas which were far ahead of their time: a convention speech envisioning the modern smartphone, with all the information in the world living at our fingertips; sheets of notes predicting the advent of electronic books; journal entries from his forays into home computing – it is a matter of legend that Douglas bought the very first Mac in the UK; musings on how the internet would disrupt the CD-Rom industry, among others.

42 also features archival material charting Douglas’s school days through Cambridge, Footlights, collaborations with Graham Chapman, and early scribbles from the development of Doctor WhoHitchhiker’s and Dirk Gently. Alongside details of his most celebrated works are projects that never came to fruition, including the pilot for radio programme They’ll Never Play That on the Radio and a space-inspired theme park ride.

Douglas’s personal papers prove that the greatest ideas come from the fleeting thoughts that collide in our own imagination, and offer a captivating insight into the mind of one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers and most enduring storytellers.

Publisher: Unbound
Binding: Hardback
Publication date: 24 Aug 2023
Dimensions: 217 x 304 x 33 mm
ISBN: 9781800182684

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