On a rather boring Thursday, a rather boring (but mostly harmless) planet known as Earth is demolished by a Vogon construction crew to clear room for a new hyperspace overpass, along with most of its inhabitants, who rather unfortunately had yet to invent a method of faster than light travel and therefore had neglected to see the clearly posted notice in Alpha Centauri. Ford Prefect, writer for a new edition of the “Hitch Hiker’s Guide” and alien who’s been stranded on Earth for the past decade-and-a-half is not content with vaporization. He takes up his usual pastime, Hitchhiking, bringing along one Arthur Dent, a boring, regular, specimen of humanity if there ever was one, who also happens to be a very good friend.
One of the landmark novels of science fiction and a great influencer of pop culture, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a must read. Adams writes a ridiculous romp through worlds and galaxies on an unimaginable scale, and mixes ridiculousness with unspeakable horrors in just the right proportion to make his book a comedy instead of a textbook. One of the great advantages of science fiction and fantasy novels is the ability to wave away plot holes with “magic” or “science,” but the methods Adams uses to rationalize his fantastical universe are so creative that they hardly deserve the title of Applied Phlebotinum. – Anya W. ’20