Author Bio


Sample Chapter

Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams

M.J. Simpson

Justin, Charles & Co.
Non-fiction/Biography, 432 pp., 6 x 9
$27.95 cl., ISBN: 1-932112-17-0

Don’t panic! Pack your towel, pour yourself a pan-galactic gargle blaster, and take off on a wild, no-holds-barred tour of the life and career of Douglas Adams, creator of the phenomenally successful Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Here are the facts behind the myths of one of the 20th century’s most endearing and enduring works of fantasy and humor. Did Douglas Adams really come up with the title Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while lying (possibly stoned, possibly with a girl; possibly not) in a starry field in Innsbruck, as he variously claimed? Who were the real-life models for Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford Prefect, the lovely Trillian, and everyman Arthur Dent? And why has Hollywood kept dragging its heels on making the Hitchhikers movie for over twenty years?

The Hitchhiker’s novels were all major bestsellers in the United States and throughout the world. But there was much more to Douglas Adams than Hitchhiker. He was a driven and gifted polymath who cut a colorful swath in radio, television, live theater, comic books, computer games, CD-ROM, and the internet before dying tragically in 2001, at age forty-nine.

A writer for the stage, for radio, and television, an avid ecologist, and cutting-edge techno-phile, Douglas Adams was one of the most beloved, influential thinkers of the late twentieth century, and was also, quite probably, one of the funniest people who ever lived. As a young writer Adams had three cultural heroes: the Monty Python troupe, the long-running British sci-fi TV series Dr. Who, and The Beatles. Within just a few years of graduating Cambridge University he was working with all of them, and throughout his life he assembled a cast of friends and colleagues that grew to include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Salman Rushdie, David Gilmour, Steve Jobs, Jay Roach, and many others.

M.J. Simpson is acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on the life and career of Douglas Adams (when Adams’s personal assistant had any questions about her boss, she called Simpson!). Although delightfully "unauthorized," M.J. Simpson received full access, cooperation, and support from everyone who knew Douglas Adams to produce this rich, revealing, funny chronicle of one of the most wildly creative minds of our time.


© 2002 Justin, Charles & Co. All rights reserved.