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.

Why you should listen

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.

What others say

“Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender.” — Richard Dawkins, on Douglas Adams' passing in 2001

Douglas Adams’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Douglas Adams


New Best of the Web talk: Douglas Adams

March 20, 2010

Douglas Adams: Parrots, the universe and everything Blind river dolphins, reclusive lemurs, a parrot as fearless as it is lovelorn … Douglas Adams’ close encounters with these rare and unusual animals reveal that evolution, ever ingenious, can be fickle too — in a University of California talk that sparkles with his trademark satiric wit. Watch […]

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