Today would have been Douglas Adams’s 60th birthday, had he not been taken from us so prematurely by a heart attack in 2001, at the age of only 49. Adams was a man of hugely varied talents — as well as a perceptive and frequently hilarious writer and satirist, he was a technological visionary, a social activist, and once played guitar on stage with Pink Floyd. While we adore The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, we do think it’s a bit of a shame that the rest of Adams’ work hasn’t enjoyed similar acclaim. So to celebrate and commemorate one of our favorite authors and 20th century visionaries, here’s a selection of the best of his ouevre.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Having said all that, it does seem logical to start our journey through Adams’ work with his masterpiece. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been translated into some 30 languages since its publication in 1979, spawning four sequels, two feature films, a worldwide Towel Day and, most importantly, an answer to life, the universe and everything — although not the answer that anyone was expecting. Not bad for an absurdist sci-fi novel conceived after a drunken night sleeping in an Austrian field, eh?