?Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of
the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded
is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-
think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most
Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these
were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces
green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and
most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big
some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no
one should ever have left the oceans.
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man
had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be
nice to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a
had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone-
about it, a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea
was lost forever.
This is not her story.
But it is the story of that terrible stupid catastrophe and some
of its consequences.
It is also the story of a book, a book called The Hitch Hiker’s
Guide to the Galaxy – not an Earth book, never published on
Earth, and until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or
heard of by any Earthman.
Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book.
in fact it was probably the most remarkable book ever to come out
of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor – of which no
Earthman had ever heard either.
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly
successful one – more popular than the Celestial Home Care
Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid’s trilogy of
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern
Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted
the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of
contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate,
it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important
First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words
But the story of this terrible, stupid Thursday, the story of its
extraordinary consequences, and the story of how these
consequences are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable
book begins very simply.
It begins with a house.?
Pages 1-2 of The Hitchhiker?s Guide to the Galaxy
The book is split into six main stories which have all been published separately (this book is THE ULTIMATE HITCHHIKER?S GUIDE).
The stories are:
The Hitchhiker?s Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Young Zaphod Plays It Safe
The beginning of the book centers around the live of Arthur Dent which is just your average guy who lives in the house that is talked about in the end of the introduction. The story starts where he wakes up in his bed with the sound of bulldozers outside. He goes out to check out what all the noise is about. There he finds a bulldozer and some people and then he finds out about a plan to build a bypass through his house so they?re going to demolish his house! He had just heard about it the day before and apparently it had been decided 9 months ago that the bypass should be build, but no one had told Arthur about it. Then he just lays down in front of the bulldozer and just waits there. This goes on for sometime but the a friend of Arthur comes, his name is Ford Prefect. Unknown to Arthur is that his friend Ford is not human. He was born on a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not from Guildford as he usually claimed.
When they?re at the pub they order some beer and then Ford tells him that the world is going to end in ten minutes. Then Arthur leaves and finds his house has been demolished. But while he complaining about them demolishing his house, he suddenly looked up and there he saw a really huge fleet of spaceships.
And then the brodcast began:
“People of Earth, your attention please,” a voice said, and it
was wonderful. Wonderful perfect quadrophonic sound with
distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep.
“This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace
Planning Council,” the voice continued. “As you will no doubt be
aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the
Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route
through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of
those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly
less that two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.”
Then someone must have found away to send messages to the spaceship, (but that message is not printed in the book). But the reply was this:
planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in
your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of
your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any
formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss
about it now.”
Then there must have been send another message to the ship because