Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikeris Guide to the Galaxy, died on Friday, May 11, 2001, following a heart attack. He was 49.
Our best hope is that he is taking a year off dead for tax evasion purposes.
As irony would have it, I finished listening to Hitchhikeris as a radio play on audio CD, on the very same day he died. Did you know that Hitchhikeris was originally a radio play? It was made as a radio play, written by Adams, on BBC radio in the late seventies, and became a cult hit despite a very late time slot. Later it was developed quite faithfully into a novel and its several sequels, and after that, a TV show. The novels have consistently sold as one of the best selling SF books of all time. The book is a must read for anybody who likes science fiction and wacky humor. It is not quite like anything else, at least nothing which came before.
Douglas Adams was also know as a Mac fan. He invented the slogan for Apple: "Sure, we are not perfect, but at least we knew that the century was going to end." Of course he was referring to the fact that unlike Windows users, there was no cause for "year 2000 panic" in the late nineties amongst Mac users. He was also one of the people who bought the 20th Anniversary Macintosh, the first desktop computer to feature an LCD display as standard.
Douglas Adams was a big fan of Appleis old Newton handheld device, and in a radio interview talked about how the machine was uncannily like the fictional electronic book that was the "Hitchhikeris Guide to the Galaxy" in his books.
Since for some reason SF authors tend to have long and productive lives, then I would say that Adams has died at least 40 years too soon. He will be missed, and so will the hope of more unique books from his hand.
We have a discussion in the Forums about Mr. Adams, and we would like to invite you to share your memories of the man and his work.