When The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcast as a 12-part radio series on the British Broadcasting System in 1978, it was successful. No one could have guessed, though, that it would mushroom into a multimedia phenomenon that would encompass five novels, a television series, a stage production, and, more than twenty years later, dozens of websites created by devotees who could not get enough of its bizarre universe. The first novel in the series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, concerns the exploits of Arthur Dent, an average British citizen who gets caught up in a myriad of space adventures when his house, and then the Earth, is demolished. With no planet to call home, he is left to hitchhike through space with his friend Ford Prefect, whom he thought was an out-of-work actor, but who is really a researcher for the titular intergalactic guidebook. Adams’s book is one in which literally anything can happen, with the only rule being that what comes next will probably be the last thing the reader would expect and is bound to be amusing.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Lost poem of Douglas Adams found in school cupboard (“A Dissertation on the task of writing a poem on a candle and an account of some of the difficulties thereto pertaining”)
Last Chance to See, a project to find a rare type of lemur and “the thing of which Douglas Adams is the most proud”.
The Hitchhiker’s Text Adventure Game, 30th anniversary edition
READING RESOLUTIONS FOR 2021
Trevor: Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris
Dennis: Cozy mysteries by diverse authors, about diverse characters (i.e., not all white, Christian, cis-gendered, heterosexual, neurotypical, middle-to-upper-class people). Open to suggestions!
NERD WORDS FOR WORD NERDS
Many thanks to everyone who got in touch with us this month, including ReeganWPL and trillian_2.
Remember to wash your hands frequently, limit your contacts, and STAY HOME if you are feeling sick.
Next month we’re talking about Vi by Kim Thuy.
We’re looking forward to hearing what you think! Join our Facebook group, or follow Winnipeg Public Library on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions, comments, and questions. Visit us at wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca.
Time to Read is a production of the Winnipeg Public Library. Our panel today included Kirsten Wurmann, Dennis Penner, and Trevor Lockhart.