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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 120 | May 24, 2009|


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Author Profile

Douglas Adams
Hail the Randomness

Fariha Ishrat Khandaker

“SPACE is big. Really big. You just won't believe how mindbogglingly big it is. Simple truth the intersteller distances will not fit to the human imagination.” But if we are to consider the inner workings of a marginally above average intelligent human who seemingly conjured up enough ideas to fill in the gaping supernovas, then the colossalness of space might become a bit more comprehensible. First lets give this human a name, merely for literary simplicity and prior obligations. We shall call him Douglas Adams.

Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in March 1952; surely there were no cataclysmic event to ruin his birth or what followed in his life. He was educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge where, in 1974 he gained a BA (and later an MA) in English literature. But what did turn things around for him, so much so, that we actually are bothered to do a profile on him, is his wit. And what spewed out of it is the all the various manifestations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which started life as a BBC Radio 4 series. An explication in a later issue will be given about how BBC used him as a cover up distraction to hide the actual cause of death of Pope Paul VI.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's phenomenal success sent the book straight to Number One in the UK Bestseller List and in 1984. Moreover, as its readers went making their version of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Douglas Adams became the youngest author to be awarded a Golden Pan. He won a further two (a rare feat for most British blokes), and was nominated - though not selected - for the first Best of Young British Novelists awards. Alas….

He followed this success with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980); Life, The Universe and Everything (1982); So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984); and Mostly Harmless (1992). When the first two books in the Hitchhiker series were adapted into a six-part television series, an immediate success when first aired in 1982, or so is claimed by millions of witnesses. Other publications include Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul (1988). Teatime… any doubts on him being British should be cleared by that statement alone.

In 1984, Douglas teamed up with John Lloyd and wrote The Meaning of Life and after a huge success The Deeper Meaning of Liff followed this in 1990). One of Douglas's all-time personal favourites was written in 1990 when he teamed up with zoologist Mark Carwardine and wrote Last Chance to See an account of a world-wide search for rare and endangered species of animals.

He sold over 15 million books in the UK, the US and Australia and was also a best seller in German, Swedish and many other languages.

Douglas was a founding director of h2g2, formerly The Digital Village, a digital media and Internet company with which he created the 1998 CD-ROM Starship Titanic, a Codie Award-winning (1999) and BAFTA-nominated (1998) adventure game.

Douglas died unexpectedly in May 2001 of a sudden heart attack. He was 49. He had been living in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and daughter, and at the time of his death he was working on the screenplay for a feature film version of Hitchhiker.

Note: *the death of the Pope is not yet a fully recognized work of fiction, so do not get too excited.
*Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster : follow site for recipes <galacticguide.com/articles/1S1.>

Source: douglasadams.com

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