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Douglas Noel Adams was born in 1952 in Cambridge England He was a self-described strange child who did not learn to speak until he was four At first he wanted to be a nuclear physicist but ended up attending Cambridge to study English When he was eighteen drunk in a field in Innsbruck hitchhiking across Europe he looked up at the sky filled with stars and thought Somebody ought to write the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Then he went to sleep and almost but not quite forgot all about it Years later in 1977 BBC radio producer Simon Brett commissioned Adams to write a science fiction comedy for BBC Radio Four Douglas originally imagined a series of six half-hour comedies called The Ends of the Earth-funny stories which at the end of each the world would end In the first episode for example the Earth would be destroyed to make was for a cosmic freeway But Douglas soon realized if you are going to destroy Earth you need someone to whom it matters in the story as well He then created his two main characters Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent His humorous writing about science fiction became a success and soon after Pan Books approached him about doing a book based on the radio series Douglas wrote the manuscript for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and the book became a surprise best seller as did less surprisingly its four sequels The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy sequence used the tropes of science fiction to talk about the things that concerned Douglas the world he observed his thought on life the universe and Everything As we moved into a world where people really did think that digital watches were a pretty neat thing the landscape had become science fiction Douglas with a relentless curiosity about matters scientific an instinct for explanation and a laser-sharp sense of where the joke was was in a
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