02/01/2004: Stuff That Doesn't Suck
'Hitchhiker,' a Guide to Douglas Adams
A New Biography of the Science Fiction Series Creator
When Douglas Adams died in 2001 at the age of 49, he left behind a rich body of work including the hugely popular The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The science fiction humor series, which began in 1978 on BBC radio, spawned several books and was later televised. Adams was also working to bring the story to the big screen. NPR's Liane Hansen discusses Adams and The Hitchhikers' Guide with his biographer.
Adams was a legendary procrastinator, often writing scripts up until the last minute, even as the radio actors waited for their lines, says M.J. Simpson, author of Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams. Adams also had problems following the traditional structure of a story.
"He was very much making it up as he went along," Simpson says. "Beginnings, middles and endings is what all good stories should have. Well, Douglas was great at beginnings. He was pretty good at middles. He couldn't do endings... mainly because by the time he got to the middle, he'd thought of another really good beginning and he wanted to go write that instead of doing the ending..."
listen to the entire interview online
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Monday the 2nd of February, santo26 noted:
Douglas Adams got his start as a writer and script editor for Doctor Who in the late 1970s, when Tom (Scarf) Baker was the Doctor, and the show was arguably at its peak. He wrote three serials: "The Pirate Planet," "City of Death," (considered by some to be the best story ever), and "Shada." There is also a bit in an episode where the Doctor is trapped by some rubble and is so bored he pulls out and reads a book by Oolon Coluphid!
Monday the 2nd of February, booty noted:
i remember being in the nano lab at rice a few years ago, talking with nobel laureate jim tour. he said he just talked to some author who wanted to invest in his company and couldnt remember him. he mumbled something about hitchiking, and my jaw dropped when i realized it was adams.