Tag Archives: hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook read by Simon Jones; 10.5 hrs on 9 discs): As a longtime fan of the series, I approached this book with some trepidation. After all, I had pretty lukewarm feelings about Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books. I am pleased to report that I was not disappointed. This book is hilarious. And, in a lot of ways, it makes up for the rather disappointing end to Mostly Harmless. All your favorite characters are here: Trillian, Zaphod, Arthur, and assorted other characters. No Marvin, but I’m pretty sure something final happened to him in a previous book. The Guide notes are marvelous and I did quite a lot of laughing throughout the story. The ending wraps up more or less satisfactorily while still left wide open for any future installments. To be honest, I did not expect to recommend this book to fans of the series, but I definitely do. It’s a pile of fun.

A note on the audio: Simon Jones played Arthur Dent in the original incarnations of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, and indeed I read somewhere that he was Adams’s inspiration for the character, so it was pretty durn nifty to have him read this book. He also has joined Prebble and Vance on my list of beloved audiobook narrators named Simon.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (original BBC radio broadcast)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Original BBC Radio Broadcast): Before the movie, before the television series, and even before the book, there was the radio play. Of course, all versions and adaptations were written by Douglas Adams, so it’s hard to call any of them the Real Version, but they all follow more or less the same story. Either way, this was the First Version.

As you know if you’re at all familiar with HHGTTG, the story begins with hapless human Arthur Dent and his alien pal Ford Prefect escaping the Earth moments before it is destroyed to create an interstellar bypass. Shortly thereafter they meet up with multi-headed alien Zaphod Beeblebrox, his female companion Trillian, and depressed robot Marvin. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous and utterly marvelous. I would suggest reading the book first as a sort of warm-up, because the radio show is even more random, if you can believe it. Things just sort of happen and you have to just go with it. There are plenty of wonderfully quotable lines and if you’re already a fan of the books, this is a fun walk down memory lane. The voice actors are marvelous, though I confess there were times when I wasn’t sure whether it was Ford or Arthur speaking. Not that it mattered much. All in all, it’s a great time, and well worth it for any fan of absurdity.

Note on my version: A friend taped this off the radio when it was originally broadcast back in the late 1970s and recently digitized it. There’s a fair bit of tape hiss but I had almost no problem hearing and understanding everyone. One thing he noted, however, is that the version that was offered commercially had different sound effects and music due to copyright issues. Evidently the interstitial music played on the radio version was fair game, but all sorts of rights needed to be purchased in order to sell the recording. I have not listened to the commercial version, so I cannot comment on those differences. I linked to the remastered CD because the version I have, rather by definition, is not available for purchase.

P.S. – Happy birthday to my sweetie!

Weekly Geeks

WG 2009-39 is about book recommendations. To be perfectly honest, most of the book recommendations I follow come in the form of books literally shoved into my hands by fellow BC in DC members. We get passionate sometimes, and more than once I’ve shown passing interest in a book, only to get a glowing “OMG you must read this”-style exclamation from whoever brought it. More often than not, I give it a try. And am rarely disappointed. I’ve come across several great authors this way, including Simon Singh, Neil Gaiman, and Catherine M. Petrini. Basically if a book looks interesting, regardless of genre, I’ll give it a shot.

Sometimes the books I read are a random find, such as the infrequent occasion when I catch a BookCrossing book in the wild, or if I happen to win it in a contest. I usually have a large number of to-be-read (TBR) books on my shelves, so it is rare indeed for me to finish my current book and have to go searching for something else to read. If I do, though, there’s always The Book Seer, Literature-Map, and Debbie’s Idea, all of which are fine tools for discovering new books and authors.

The official assignment this week involves reader participation. Since the vast majority of my readership exists solely in my head, I may have to play music to drown out the crickets, but hey, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But anyway. The assignment is to ask for recommendations, and give my own, both within a single genre. So I’m going to choose science fiction/fantasy (SFF) as my genre. Some people may protest and tell me that’s two genres, but I beg to differ. First, several popular authors write books that are difficult to categorize as one or the other (e.g., Anne McCaffrey and Christopher Stasheff), and as Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

First off, I’d love to hear your recommendations. I don’t mean stuff that necessarily aligns with my established tastes, I mean great SFF books in general. What are some titles/authors I simply should not miss?

And now for my recommendations, again in SFF. The WG page suggests I start with something like “If you’re looking for…” which could just mean narrowing it down by genre, but I’m going to narrow it down a little further. So here goes:

If you’re looking for a rowdy yarn set in the far future… Mike Resnick is your man. Most of his books are set within the future chronology laid out in Birthright: The Book of Man, but my personal favorites are Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future and the Penelope Bailey trilogy.

If you’re looking for a beautiful fairy tale… then march right up to Neil Gaiman and Stardust. This is one of the few books I’ve kept and intend to reread. I hear Neverwhere is his best novel, but I haven’t read it yet (though I do have a copy on my shelf).

If you’re looking for a powerful tale of children in an adult world… I cannot recommend Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card highly enough.

If you’re looking for hilarious satire in the guise of SFF… then you want definitely to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

If you’re looking for time travel… The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is your best bet. There are other notables in this sub-genre, but Wells tops them all IMHO.

If you’re looking for good YA SFF… I really enjoyed the Borderlands books, especially Elsewhere and its sequel Never Never by Will Shetterly.

If you’re looking for great concept stories… Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov are all excellent choices for expanding your horizons.

And finally, if you’re looking for mythology in the modern world… you’re sure to get a kick out of Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips.

So there you have it.  I’m sure I’ll missed a bunch, but this is a good start.  What glaring omissions do you spot on this page? Have you read any of these?  What did you think of them?

Most importantly: enjoy! :)

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