“There's nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, 'Well, okay, today I'm going to do something of high artistic worth’.” – Douglas Adams
Born on this date in 1952, Adams is perhaps best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before being turned into a series of books that sold more than 15 million copies. Ultimately it also generated a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film.
Adams, who died of a heart attack at age 49, also was known as an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, a lover of fast cars, cameras, and technological innovation. And, of course, for his prowess as a writer, something he started in elementary school. His first published piece came at age 10 in the school newspaper, and at age 13 a humorous short story was published in a national youth magazine. But while he loved writing, he said he always struggled with deadlines – although not without his sense of humor. “I love deadlines,” he once said. “I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
A true Renaissance man, he was not just a writer, but also an actor, singer, producer, computer game developer, and stand-up comic. His work on “Hitchhiker’s Guide” has been enshrined in The UK Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame. “I seldom end up where I want to go,” he said about his movement among careers and opportunities. “But I almost always end up where I need to be.”
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