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Douglas Adams

Douglas Noel Adams (March 11, 1952 - May 11, 2001), was a British comic author, most notably the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - a twelve-"fit" (i.e. twelve-part) radio series first broadcast in the UK by BBC Radio 4 in 1978, and subsequently published (in heavily modified and extended form) in novel form as a "trilogy in five parts", and as a six-part BBC television series in 1981.

Douglas was educated at Brentwood School, Essex, where he met Griff Rhys Jones, one of the comedians involved in Not the Nine O'Clock News. Rhys Jones followed Adams to Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Early in his career, Douglas worked with Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame, and has a writing credit in one episode (second last?) of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Adams subsequently worked as a script editor of the BBC Television programme Doctor Who and wrote three serials for that series:

Between 1978 and 1984, Douglas Adams and John Lloyd together wrote the script for two half hour episodes of Doctor Snuggles called "Dr Snuggles and the Nervous River".

Adam's was never a prolific writer and usually had to be forced by others to do any writing. This included being locked in a hotel suite with his editor for a sizable period of time to ensure that So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish was completed.

Douglas Adams created an interactive fiction version of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy together with Steve Meretzky from Infocom in 1984. Later he was also involved in creating Bureaucracy (also by Infocom, but not based on any book). Adams was also responsible for the computer game Starship Titanic, which was published in 1999 by Simon and Schuster[?]. The accompanying book, entitled Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic, was written by Terry Jones, since Adams was too busy with the computer game to do both. In April 1999, Adams initiated the H2G2 collaborative writing project.

Adams died at 49 of a heart attack while working out at his gym in Santa Barbara. He was survived by his wife Jane and daughter Polly. In May 2002, The Salmon of Doubt was published, presumably as his last book, including many short stories, essays, letters, and eleven chapters of his unfinished novel, The Salmon of Doubt, which was to be a new Dirk Gently novel. It also contains eulogies from Richard Dawkins and Stephen Fry.

Plans to make The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy into a major motion picture have been in the works for more than twenty years and, as Adams put it, are in "development hell". Austin Powers director Jay Roach[?] has signed on to the project, and Adams reportedly had a script they were both happy with before his death, but the movie remains unmade. Douglas Adams once described the Hollywood process like "trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people come into the room and breathe on it."

Adams was also an environmental activist who campaigned on behalf of a number of endangered species. This activism culminated in the non-fiction work Last Chance to See[?].

Table of contents

Selected works

Novels in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

The Dirk Gently series

Other works

External link

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