In accidental spacefarers, bureaucratic aliens and depressed androids, the inimitable Douglas Adams gave a voice to the many facets of the human condition -- with sidesplitting (and bestselling) results.
Douglas Adams created Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. First a radio comedy on the BBC, then expanded in the '70s and '80s into a bestselling series of five novels, Hitchhiker's was recently adapted for the silver screen, bringing the beloved and award-winning story of hapless Arthur Dent (and his encounters with bureaucratic aliens, a depressed robot, and the nonsensical answer to the "ultimate question") to a new generation.
In addition to his many works of fiction, Adams was also a passionate environmental activist, having campaigned for endangered species through writings such as Last Chance to See, and a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro -- while wearing a rhino suit. He was an avid reader of science, and counted among his friends luminaries such as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and John Lloyd.
The Salmon of Doubt, a posthumous collection of his work, was published in 2002.