Douglas of Adam

Douglas Noël Adam (* 11. March 1952 in Cambridge (England); † 11. May 2001 in Santa Barbara) was a British writer.

Adam with the book marking on the ApacheCon 2000 in London, one his last public scratch.

Table of contents


at the age of five years pulled Adam with his nut/mother after the divorce of his parents to Cambridge (England). It grew there with its youngerSister Sue up.1964 married its nut/mother a second time. Adam had two younger half brothers and sisters from this marriage named Jane and James.

Starting from 1959 Adam the Brentwood School in Essex visited, where he was interested in the natural sciences particularly.At that time it began to work as an author when it encountered with its texts large agreement of the teaching staff and won also a literature competition. Its first published text was an amusing Kurzgeschichte over a man, that its memory inthe Londoner underground lost and it in the lost property office again received. This text was published in a Science Fiction magazine for young people.

Later it studied English in Cambridge where it a small Komödianten group named CULES followed. During its study he worked asTemporary worker, in order to finance itself its expanded hitchhiker journeys by Europe and Turkey. On one of these journeys also the idea developed to its most famous work:By hitchhikers by the galaxy. The idea came it, as it with Innsbruckon a meadow and the book by hitchhikers by Europe lay read.

It described this event in such a way: “The idea for the roofridge cropped UP. while i which lying drunk in A field in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1971. Emergencyparticulary drunk, the sort OF just drunk you GET when you have A couple OF stiff Gössers after emergency having eaten for two days straight. “

Worked Adam during his study time also in another universitären Komödianten group named Footlights with (thosealso the crystallization point for the Monty Pythons was), where it learned its later partner Simon Jones to know. 1974 left the Adam's college with the firm resolution to become writers.

At first only moderately successfully succeeded to it. Among other things he workedwith Graham Chapman of the famous Komikertruppe Monty Python together. In the next to last consequence of „Monty Python's Flying Circus “it arose to party Political Broadcast on as „Pepperpot with nuclear missile “, at the last consequence „managed OF theLiberally party “it participated as an author.

1977 succeeded to it the break-through, when he locked a contract with Simon board over the radiant emittance of a Science Fiction Radiosendung. The transmission carried the names by hitchhikers by the galaxy and became for the first time 1978 of the British Radiosender BBC radio 4 easily. In strongly changed and extended form the series was published between 1979 and 1982 - first as Trilogie - in book form. Contents of the original radio play are particularly in firstVolume. The books became best-sellers. 1984 followed fourth (German: „Macht´s well and thanks 1992 for the fish “) and fifth volumes. The fifth volume („Mostly harmless “, German „once Rupert and back “) carried the sub-title „fifth volumes of a Trilogie in4 volumes “.

1991 married Adam Jane Belson, 1994 its daughter Polly Jane were born. At first it lived with its family in London, 1999 pulled it to California, above all, around the filming of „by hitchhikers by the galaxy “to support for the cinema.

It died suddenly at the 11. May 2001 at a cardiac infarct, which it suffered in a Fitness Studio. To his memory finds to 25. May the Towel in such a way specified Day (towel day) instead of.

Literary style

by the galaxy are characterised Adams' stories, all in front by hitchhikers by their zynischen, sow-Irish style. Its novels play themselves usually in absurd, strange worlds, however in various regard (about: Bureaucracy, envy companies, economic systems) of the materialWorld hardly differentiate between. Adam represented always utopian and often übersinnliche procedures in connection with banalities and commonplacenesses.

book quotations

“a Huluvu is an super+intelligent shade of blue colouring” - out: “By hitchhikers by the galaxy”

“one instantlong nothing at all did not happen. Then, approximately after one second or so, still nothing happened " - out: “By hitchhikers by the galaxy. ”

“The spaceships hung in such a way on the sky, like clay bricks it do not do” - out: “By hitchhikers by the galaxy”

“At the beginning the universe became to create. That constituted many people very furiously and everywhere as step in the wrong direction was regarded " -: “The restaurant at the end of the universe. ”

“There is a theory, which means, if ever possibly who exactlyit rausfindet to which the universe is and is there why it there, then it disappears on the place and becomes by somewhat still Bizarreres and Unbegreiflicheres replaces. There is another theory, according to which that already happened. “Out: “The restaurantat the end of the universe "

“call me possibly a number.” … ", the mattress said five. “Wrong”, said Marvin,” sees you. “ - Out: “The life, the universe and the whole remainder”

of meaning of its work

by hitchhikersis by the galaxy its most important work. The zynische Science Fiction satire made world-famous Adam, and many of its peculiarities created the jump over the literature and the Science Fiction into the material world:

  • Adams' of ingenious supercomputers Deep Thought, that the latterQuestion about the life, which universe, and to which remainder is to answer, served as a name giver for the chess computer of the same name, which defeated 1988 star chess players in the year such as Igor Ivanov. Adams' computer inspired IBM, its world-famous chess computer Deep Blue become toocall - a synthesis out bend Blue, as IBM is also called, and Deep Thought.
  • Adams' Babelfisch is name giver for the translation software of the search machine AltaVista. In Adams' novel concerns it with the Babelfisch a creature, itselfof brain waves nourishes and language stencils separates. If one is oneself it into the ear, he translates each foreign language. In Adams' world is the Babelfisch the ultimative proof against the existence of God.
  • The number of 42 becomes in the hitchhiker by the galaxy asfinal answer to the last one of all questions represented. References to it are today in numerous Pop and Hip Hop Songs as well as in newspaper articles and essays.
  • The communication software Trillian was designated after one of the human persons from its novels.
  • In the tiff - Standard becomesthe byte order assistance of the number of 42 (0x2A) fixed (0x49 0x49 0x2A 0x00 or 0x4D 0x4D 0x00 0x2A) - likewise an allusion on the answer of all questions.
  • The company SuSE gave the first version of its central Tools (YaST)program frameworks, which return the number of 42, produce the number 0,42 and the first
  • official version of Suse Linux the number 4,2 older versions Microsoft Enwicklungsumgebung “Visual C++”.

Adam over itself

Adam has in numerous interviewsits disappointment over it expressed that it is seen in the perception of the public only as an author of by hitchhikers by the galaxy, and its remaining work to a large extent unconsidered remained.

Particularly main headers of Adam always the book the last ones of theirKind as work out, of which it is very proud. It is a non-fictitious report over a journey to several becoming extinct animal species of the world. Adam it was always convinced of the fact that it, if he had again the choice zoologistWriter would have become. A special model was for him always the evolution biologist Richard Dawkins, Adam several times as „Dawkinsist “described itself.

In addition it was a convinced Atheist, it called itself even one „radical Atheisten “, over clearly toomake that it was not Agnostiker, as it was frequently subordinated to it in interview questions.


the series of Doctor Who

before the hitchhikers - series worked Douglas of Adam as a film script author at the BBC and wrotethree consequences for the series of Doctor Who:

  • The Pirate planet
  • Shada
  • town center OF Death

the books of the hitchhikers - series

the books of the Dirk Gently - series

further one work

  • Doctor Snuggles (1978), English indication trick series, to which contributed Adam's two consequences.
  • The sense of the Labenz (1983, with John Lloyd - English. Original title „The Meaning OF Liff “)
  • The Hitch Hiker's Guide ton the Galaxy: The original radio Scripts (1985, with Geoffrey Perkins)
  • The Utterly Utterly Merry ComicRelief Christmas Book (1986, work on from Douglas of Adam)
  • the deeper sense of the Labenz (1990, with John Lloyd; extended version of „the sense of the Labenz “- English. Original title „The DTE by Meaning OF Liff “)
  • the last ones of theirKind (1990, with Marks of Carwardine, also in part on a CD-ROM available; English. Original title „load chance ton lake “) is the report over a round trip to threatened animal species. A non-fictitious work with smaller financial success, for Adam howeverdue to the topic the most satisfying of its work.
  • Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic (written of Terry Jones, based on a computer game of Douglas of Adam)
  • the deduction volume salmon in the doubt, published after its unexpected death , (2003 - English. Original title „The SalmonOF Doubt “) contains interviews with Adam, different Kurzgeschichten, as well as the first 10 chapters of a planned continuation of the Dirk Gently - series, which on the non removable disks its Apple Macintosh - computer was found. ISBN 3453868641


before Steve job 1999again finally CEO with Apple became, was Douglas of Adam for this post several times in the discussion. Above all its ability visions to develop, is to have brought it for it in the discussion.

Douglas of Adam created 1984 together with Steve Meretzky of Infocomthe Textadventure which is based on the book „The Hitch Hiker's Guide ton the Galaxy “. Later he took part in a further Infocom play named „Bureaucracy “.

Together with his company The digitally many situation created it 1999 the Adventure Starship Titanic, as well as thoseWebsite H2G2, which represents to a certain extent the project of the hitchhiker, in which everyone would run its articles over, the university verses and Everything to make public can.

2004 and 2005 that produced BBC radio 4 the books 3-5 of the hitchhiker series as radio play Sequelto the original radio plays The Hitch Hiker's Guide ton of The Galaxy under the titles Tertiary phase, Quandary phase and Quintessential phase.

To 9. June 2005, 42 days after the international start to 28. April 2005, came the filmingthe hitchhiker into the German cinemas.

The motion picture film adheres at first strongly to the literary collecting main, however by some fans for it is criticized that it purges to scenes later increasingly into Klamauk and and contains occurences, neither in the radio play norare contained in the novel. To the latter, these “fans” possibly nothing is to be answered except the books to “by hitchhikers” - the topic. Because one could exercise this criticism likewise at the books (and that was also done at that time), their action itselfnot 100%-tig to the collecting mains (the radio sequences) held. The entire work of Douglas of Adam contains such places, since it converted its works in many medium forms (radio, television, record, computer, cinema), and mostly comes of the deviations also from its feather/spring.

sees also

  • 42, the ultimative answer
  • h2g2, project terrestrial version of The Hitchhiker's Guide ton the Galaxy


  • Neil Gaiman: No panic!. Heyne, Munich 2003, ISBN 3453869729 (book concerning Douglas of Adam,originally 1987 published, after its death revised and again published)
  • nod Webb: Wipe you were here. Headline, London 2003, ISBN 0755311558 (English-language Biografie)

Web on the left of

German-language ones left

Wikiquote: Douglas of Adam - quotations
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| | * Literature of and over Douglas of Adam in the catalog of the DDB


English-language one on the left of


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)