Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sci-Fi Books Media

1979 Interview With Douglas Adams 73

Posted by kdawson
from the six-by-nine dept.
An anonymous reader points out the inaugural issue of the online sci-fi mag Darker Matter, which start off with a bang by publishing an interview with the late Douglas Adams that has not seen the light of day in 28 years, except for brief excerpts published in the magazine that commissioned the interview. The first two parts are now online with the last part coming next month.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

1979 Interview With Douglas Adams

Comments Filter:
  • Whoosh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ian_mackereth (889101) * on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:48PM (#18581507) Journal
    I know Douglas was notorious for missing publication deadlines, but this is ridiculous!

    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    Douglas Adams
    English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I just hope that after they publish part 3 of the article, Ian releases .MP3s of the original cassettes of the interview, which are likely entirely different.
  • by skoaldipper (752281) <skoalstr8@NosPAM.gmail.com> on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:59PM (#18581603)
    Tom Baker was my favorite Doctor, and I see Douglas Adams wrote a few of those episodes. I wonder how much of Adam's influence was present in Tom Baker's tenure outside of those 4 episodes he wrote. I later latched on to reruns from the crudgy old white guy and that blonde haired chap.
    • by ewhac (5844) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:34PM (#18581833) Homepage Journal
      There are all kinds of wonderful quips from that season. I'm sure they're down to Adams' influence.

      There's a quote from the episode, "Nightmare of Eden." It's one of my favorite quotes anywhere, and I would be very surprised if it wasn't penned by Adams himself.

      Captain Rigg:
      Well who do you work for?
      The Doctor:
      Work for? I don't work for anybody! I'm just having fun.

      Schwab

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Douglas Adams wrote 2 Doctor Who stories by himself: The Pirate Planet (one of the best Who stories ever IMHO) and the uncompleted Shada, and co-wrote City of Death. He was script editor for a lot of episodes.
      I've always wished he had written more episodes!
      • by Petrushka (815171)
        I agree with you about The Pirate Planet, but I think we may be among the very few. :-) Sadly, I've only seen it the once -- when it was first broadcast (in the 1970s?); made a big impression, though. Incidentally, IIRC the script for Shada was completed, but not the filming; so Adams reused a lot of the plot in the first Dirk Gently book.
        • by Adhemar (679794)

          Incidentally, IIRC the script for Shada was completed, but not the filming; so Adams reused a lot of the plot in the first Dirk Gently book.

          You recall correctly. The script was completed; the filming was not because of a strike at the BBC.

          In 1993, the BBC commissioned Big Finish Productions to remake Shada as an audio play, accompanied by a Flash animation. You can still enjoy it on the BBC website - Shada [bbc.co.uk].

    • by tref h (1086463)
      Probably quite a few, he was script editor for quite a while... at least one season i think. As such, many episodes will have felt his pen, probably more than have his name.

      The unfinished 'Shada' (shelved due to industrial action) is in many ways a deadringer for the second Dirk Gently book...
  • Great for Dark Matter to get their hands on this. Must be fun for the journalist too to come back to this article so many years later.
  • I know no one on Slashdot reads TFA, but you need to. Some things should be required, like building your own PC or Lightsaber, or reading HHGTTG. Those who wish to learn more should go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/game_andre w.shtml [bbc.co.uk].
  • "I'd finally given up on the idea of science fiction comedy, simply because no-one was interested. But then Simon Brett suggested the idea to me. 'I'd like to do an SF comedy, and I think you might be the guy to do it.' And I sort of fell out of my chair."

    The Red Sea had parted, and Douglas had the opportunity he had been waiting for.
    Delicious
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:08PM (#18581655)
    "The ships hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don't."

    There's a special, reserved place in heaven for anybody who can turn a phrase like that.
    • by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:44PM (#18581917)

      "The ships hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don't."

      There's a special, reserved place in heaven for anybody who can turn a phrase like that.
      Even for atheists. We can go on all night with our favorite quotes. I have my omnibus edition within arm's reach.

      I think it is great that Douglas Adams continues to appeal to younger audiences. With sci-fi, there is the risk of the real world catching up to the point that the sci-fi sounds quaint. Not so with Adams, partly because of the satire inherent in his work. Even kids who have grown up with Harry Potter can appreciate the Hitchhiker novels.

      And, for those who don't remember, the Paul Simon inspiration mentioned at the end of part 2 of the article is the album One Trick Pony. It was mentioned in the acknowledgments for "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe".
      • I have the illustrated version of the first book, complete with the African Zaphod pictures (in complete contrast to the text, which describes Zaphod as a kind of a double-above-the-waste-Blond-Greek-God), which I plan to introduce to my son when he's old enough to read it.
        • This is way the hell off topic but I am utterly convinced that Owen Wilson should have played Zaphod in the movie. And I hate the Zaphod they had. Boo.
          • Plus the costuming was all wrong. What the hell was that tiny second head about? Didn't they read Douglas's original memo which stated that Zaphod was supposed to be double from the penis up (and obviously so)?
            • I heard that Adams either wrote or had a heavy hand in the writing of the script, and I know that every iteration of the series is pretty heavily changed...but what was with that ending? Arthur isn't supposed to get the girl (except briefly), that was irritating. Also, Earth is gone for permenent-like in every version as far as I know (except in a parallel dimension where its not, but that's a book or so along). :-) Still, bad ending. Bad.
      • by jafac (1449)
        Even kids who have grown up with Harry Potter can appreciate the Hitchhiker novels.

        Yes.

        And I read both aloud to my kids.
  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:31PM (#18581809)
    "An anonymous points out the inaugural issue of Darker Matter, which start off with a bang by publishing an interview with the late Douglas Adams that has not seen the light of day in 28 years, except for brief excerpts published in the magazine that commissioned the interview. The first two parts are now online with the last part coming next month."

    (in case they fix it)

    -d
  • Lem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yurka (468420) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:34PM (#18581825) Homepage
    How nice it is to see DNA give his respects to Pan Stanislaw - and his translator, Michael Kandel, though not by name. I've read Lem in Russian, a language very close to his native Polish, which makes the translator's job significantly easier, and still some places are better in English. Go get yourself a copy of the "Cyberiad".
    • by ewhac (5844)

      Go get yourself a copy of the "Cyberiad".

      Seconded. Absolutely brilliant stuff. "Altruizine" is worth the price of admission all by itself.

      Schwab

  • A Tragedy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vertigoCiel (1070374) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:46PM (#18581939)
    His death, at only 49, was one of the saddest events in recent memory for English literatue. Apart from being brilliantly funny, he also made very keen observations on society and culture. One of my favorites: "... To summarize, the people who want to lead the government, are, by virtue of wanting to lead, the least qualified to do so. To summarize the summary: people are a problem." May he be remembered fondly, with tea and biscuits.
    • by belg4mit (152620) on Monday April 02, 2007 @10:02PM (#18582073) Homepage
      Specifically, while ignoring the chap across from you who's the gall to also be eating your biscuits.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dan Slotman (974474)
        I love that gag. It is so easy to imagine that it actually happened. Here is what I thought the most striking part of the interview was, "I just want to kill the idea that you have to be bland to appeal to your market, though I know a lot of the BBC old guard still regard Hitchhiker's as a momentary aberration, a fluke, and not really what radio comedy ought to be about." Adam's work definitely displays his quirky, almost backwards way of looking at life, and it is easy to see why his ideas didn't get a
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by DMoylan (65079)
          > I love that gag. It is so easy to imagine that it actually happened.

          i think in a part of salmon of doubt there is an interview that explains that did actually happen to him. he ate somebody else's biscuits as described in hitch hikers. and the other person probably never realised why he did it. there was no apology or explanation.
          • by ergean (582285)
            I love the british politeness that stop them from expressing their outrage as they both seem wronged by the other person. The punch line was marvelous.

            And yes, it is a sketch by itself in Salmon of doubt.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      One of my favorites: "... To summarize, the people who want to lead the government, are, by virtue of wanting to lead, the least qualified to do so. To summarize the summary: people are a problem."

      This is just Plato's dream of a philosopher-king given a fresh coat of paint.

      • by wildsurf (535389)
        One of my favorites: "... To summarize, the people who want to lead the government, are, by virtue of wanting to lead, the least qualified to do so. To summarize the summary: people are a problem."

        Sounds to me like he's compressing his own output. I just knew he could transcend the laws of nature.
        • No need for that. As a programmer for the State of Oregon, I completely agree that people are the problem with government, which is why my little sub-department (Central Services, Information Services, Transportation Application Development) is incredibly busy attempting to replace as many people as possible with expert systems. The really neat thing about this is that the one most frustrating segment of people in government (bureaucrats) are the easiest people to replace with software; all you need to do
    • by Lars T. (470328)

      May he be remembered fondly, with tea and biscuits.
      And a towel.
    • by jafac (1449)
      "... To summarize, the people who want to lead the government, are, by virtue of wanting to lead, the least qualified to do so. To summarize the summary: people are a problem."

      I think there's a bigger problem with people wanting to lead in bad faith.

      People who don't want to lead - will likely be bad leaders.
      Effective leading takes a lot of self-confidence, and drive.

      The real problem is people who want to lead as a means to an end (that end being power).
  • by Gazzonyx (982402) on Monday April 02, 2007 @10:47PM (#18582377)
    This quote struck me as dead-on 4 years ago when I was a senior in highschool, so much so that I made it my senior quote.

    "Human beings are not an endangered species; however, this isn't for a lack of trying." - DNA

    • by Anonymous Coward
      My favorite is:

      Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
  • Today's Date (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lawn Jocke (1064716) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @12:05AM (#18582885)
    How fitting that this is posted on the date 4-2
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Considering DNA would have written it 2-4, not at all fitting?
  • How topical - what with it being exactly a bit less than six years since he died and nearly precisely two since the movie HHGTTG was released.
  • Remembered seeing him at the 1999 JavaOne conference (anyone else?). Did that anecdote about eating the biscuits of the guy opposite from him at the train station. One of the best key-notes I've *ever* been to.
  • this is pretty much a dupe of a slashdot posting about 27y 10m ago!

    Sheesh, slashdot, old news for old nerds, stuff that no longer matters!
  • For the first time in a long time people are RTFA! I did.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

Working...