Posted by: Diane Curran | October 18, 2009

Douglas Adams – the answer is ’42’

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came out when I was a teen.  I can remember one kid at school raving about it, and pretty soon I was reading the series myself and transported into an alternate universe of weirdness and wonder, where it was very important that you knew where your towel was at all times. I especially loved Marvin the Paranoid Android and when the very camp TV show appeared, it was great to put visuals to my already overactive imagination.

douglas adams

Douglas Adams is definitely still one of my Author Idols. He had such a twisted and unique imagination and funny way with words. When he visited Australia in 1990 to promote ‘Last Chance to See’ , I begged my mother to buy me a ticket to his literary luncheon for my birthday.  Which she did. One ticket. Going to a literary luncheon by myself as a 23 year old was a scary prospect, but I so wanted to meet my idol. He was just as funny in person as he is in writing. He told us stories of his adventures when researching Last Chance to See, and I’d taken along my ‘four-part trilogy’ of Hitchhiker’s Guide to have signed.

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It’s my most precious literary signature.

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According to Hitchhiker’s, the answer to life is ’42’

Profound, isn’t it?

But then they just had to work out what the actual question was.

My birthday is just over a month away and I was thinking, Oh god, another year older.  But thinking about Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s and the number 42 over the last couple of days, I realised that this is going to be my year. You see, I’m turning 42! Forget 40 and 50. Douglas Adams says the answer is 42, and I believe him. Maybe I should have a Hitchhikers’ party to celebrate. At the very least I should re-read Hitchhikers.

If you’re a teen and reading this, grab Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The whole series has been re-released and is just as fun now as when it first appeared.

Book 6 in the series, And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer, has just hit the shelves.  I flicked through it in the shop the other day, and it looks faithful to Douglas Adams’ original concept. So I just might take a chance.

and another thing

Though Douglas Adams is sorely missed, it looks like Eoin Colfer will carry on the legacy of  Hitchhikers.

Meanwhile, I’ll turn 42 and it’ll be a great year!


  1. Oh Diane- you are so right. Hitchhikers is indeed a marvel and wonder as was D. Adams and I think I’ll start re-reading them today to follow with the new one. You lucky thing- what a treat to go and see Mr Adams in person!
    While I’ll save my birthday wishes for nearer the time you will clearly have a brilliant year according to your attitude. I wish I’d thought of that at 42!

  2. You should definitely have a Hitchhiker’s bday bash, Diane. It’s destiny!

  3. It’s the way to go Di, a big Gargleblaster party to end all parties.

  4. Oh if Douglas Adams said it was – yep 42 is your year!

  5. Dawn your peril sensitive glasses and dive headlong! I am 43 and promised myself a trip to New Amstedam year 42, didn’t get to do it, will regret it my whole life!

    Have your bash!

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