Douglas Adams Quotes

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, screenwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist.

Adams was author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a “trilogy” of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime and generated a television series, several stage plays, comics, a video game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams’s contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame.

We have collected and put Douglas Adams’ best quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Douglas Adams quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

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Douglas Adams Quotes

Marvin’s Lullabies

    From Life, the Universe, and Everything

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won’t engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night. – Douglas Adams

“Does God know he [exists]?” “Of course he does. Otherwise, you could not have asked the question, and I could not have answered.” – Douglas Adams

“I refuse to prove that I exist” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing.” “Oh,” says man, “but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn’t it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don’t. Q.E.D.” “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. – Douglas Adams

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?” “Ask a glass of water.” – Douglas Adams

“What’s up?” “I don’t know,” said Marvin, “I’ve never been there.” – Douglas Adams

“Would you like to see the menu?” he said. “Or would you like to meet the Dish of the Day?” […] “Good evening,” it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, “I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?”

2,000 years ago one man got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if everyone was nice to each other for a change. – Douglas Adams

42 is a nice number that you can take home and introduce to your family. – Douglas Adams

A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind. – Douglas Adams

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. – Douglas Adams

A computer chatted to itself in alarm as it noticed an airlock open and close itself for no apparent reason. This was because Reason was in fact out to lunch. – Douglas Adams

A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect with the universe and move bits of it about. – Douglas Adams

A cup of tea would restore my normality. – Douglas Adams

A fragrant breeze wandered up from the quiet sea, trailed along the beach, and drifted back to the sea again, wondering where to go next. On a mad impulse it went up to the beach again. It drifted back to sea. – Douglas Adams

A hole had just appeared in the Galaxy. It was exactly a nothingth of a second long, a nothingth of an inch wide, and quite a lot of million light years from end to end. As it closed up […] Two hundred and thirty-nine thousand lightly fried eggs fell out of it…materializing in a large woobly heap on the famine-struck land of Poghril in the Pansel system. The whole Poghril tribe had died out from famine except for one last man who died of cholesterol poisoning some weeks later. – Douglas Adams

A hole had just appeared in the Galaxy. It was exactly a nothingth of a second long, a nothingth of an inch wide, and quite a lot of millions of light-years from end to end. – Douglas Adams

A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that. – Douglas Adams

A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. – Douglas Adams

A mobile phone needs a manual in the way that a teacup doesn’t – Douglas Adams

A nerd is someone who uses a telephone to talk to other people about telephones. – Douglas Adams

A theory of the universe that states: If anyone finds out what the universe is for, it will disappear and be replaced by something more bizarrely inexplicable. – Douglas Adams

Aberystwyth (n.) A nostalgic yearning which is in itself more pleasant than the thing being yearned for. – Douglas Adams

ABOYNE (vb.) To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him. – Douglas Adams

After a while he played with the pencil and the paper again and was delighted when he discovered how to make a mark with the one on the other. Various noises continued outside, but he didn’t know whether they were real or not. He then talked to his table for a week to see how it would react. – Douglas Adams

After ten years of word processing, I can’t even do hand writing anymore. – Douglas Adams

Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word ‘safe’ that I wasn’t previously aware of. – Douglas Adams

Ahenny (adj.) – The way people stand when examining other people’s bookshelves. – Douglas Adams

All it takes to fly is to hurl yourself at the ground… and miss. – Douglas Adams

All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others. – Douglas Adams

All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.” “No,” said the old man, “that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that. – Douglas Adams

All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place. – Douglas Adams

Alltami (n.) The ancient art of being able to balance the hot and cold shower taps. – Douglas Adams

Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the ‘Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence’ syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side of that fence. – Douglas Adams

American Atheists: What message would you like to send to your Atheist fans?Douglas Adams: Hello! How are you? – Douglas Adams

And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before–and thus was the Empire forged. – Douglas Adams

And as he drove on, the rain clouds dragged down the sky after him for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him and water him. – Douglas Adams

And for all the richest and most successful merchants life inevitably became rather dull and niggly, and they began to imagine that this was therefore the fault of the worlds they’d settled on. – Douglas Adams

And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. – Douglas Adams

And so the Universe ended. – Douglas Adams

And the most interesting natural structure? A giant, two-thousand-mile-long fish in orbit around Jupiter, according to a reliable report in the Weekly World News. The photograph was very convincing, and I’m only surprised that more-reputable journals like New Scientist, or even just The Sun, haven’t followed up with more details. We should be told. – Douglas Adams

And the renewed shock had nearly made him spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check that it was all right. – Douglas Adams

And the Universe, … will explode later for your pleasure. – Douglas Adams

and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. – Douglas Adams

And then, just when you think that you have experienced all the wonders that this world has to offer, you round a peak and suddenly think you’re doing the whole thing over again, but this time on drugs. – Douglas Adams

And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything. – Douglas Adams

And we’ll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere … and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys. – Douglas Adams

And wow! Hey! What’s this thing coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding word like… ow… ound… round… ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? – Douglas Adams

Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with. – Douglas Adams

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. – Douglas Adams

Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things – Douglas Adams

Anything invented before your fifteenth birthday is the order of nature. That’s how it should be. Anything invented between your 15th and 35th birthday is new and exciting, and you might get a career there. Anything invented after that day, however, is against nature and should be prohibited. – Douglas Adams

Anything that happens, happens. – Douglas Adams

Anything that happens, happens. Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen. Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again. It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though. – Douglas Adams

Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else that thinks at least as logically as it does. – Douglas Adams

Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was. “Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked. – Douglas Adams

Arthur Dent: What happens if I press this button? Ford Prefect: I wouldn’t- Arthur Dent: Oh. Ford Prefect: What happened? Arthur Dent: A sign lit up, saying ‘Please do not press this button again. – Douglas Adams

Arthur felt happy. He was terribly pleased that the day was for once working out so much according to plan. Only twenty minutes ago he had decided he would go mad, and now here he was already chasing a Chesterfield sofa across the fields of prehistoric Earth. – Douglas Adams

Arthur shook his head and sat down. He looked up. “I thought you must be dead …” he said simply. “So did I for a while,” said Ford, “and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic. – Douglas Adams

Arthur: ‘It’s at times like this I wish I’d listened to my mother.’ Ford : ‘Why, what did she say?’ Arthur: ‘I don’t know, I never listened.’ – Douglas Adams

As a child, I was an active Christian. I used to love the school choir and remember the carol service as always such an emotional thing. – Douglas Adams

As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst, and wombats, you would expect Australians to be a dour lot. Instead, they are genial, jolly, cheerful, and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger, unless they are an American. – Douglas Adams

Assumptions are the things we don’t know we’re making. – Douglas Adams

Ballycumber (ba-li-KUM-ber) n. One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed. – Douglas Adams

Beauty doesn’t have to be about anything. What’s a vase about? What’s a sunset or a flower about? What, for that matter, is Mozart’s Twenty-third Piano Concerto about? – Douglas Adams

Because the Internet is so new, we still don’t really understand what it is. We mistake it for a type of publishing or broadcasting, because that’s what we’re used to. So people complain that there’s a lot of rubbish online, or that it’s dominated by Americans, or that you can’t necessarily trust what you read on the Web. – Douglas Adams

Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe. – Douglas Adams

Being literate as a writer is good craft, is knowing your job, is knowing how to use your tools properly and not to damage the tools as you use them. – Douglas Adams

Being offended by things is the world’s big hobby at the moment. It’s almost taken over from wearing goatee beards. – Douglas Adams

Being virtually killed by a virtual laser in a virtual space is just as effective as the real thing, because you are as dead as you think you are. – Douglas Adams

Believe me, it is a great deal better to find cast-iron proof that you’re innocent than to languish in a cell hoping that the police—who already think you’re guilty—will find it for you. – Douglas Adams

Beppu (n.) The triumphant slamming shut of a book after reading the final page. – Douglas Adams

Besides the pastor, there were about five people who had access to the safe, … Those people have been eliminated as suspects through the investigative process. – Douglas Adams

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behavior of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that space was not an absolute but depended on the observer’s movement in space, and that time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in time, so it is now realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer’s movement in restaurants. – Douglas Adams

Books are sharks… because sharks have been around for a very long time. There were sharks before there were dinosaurs, and the reason sharks are still in the ocean is that nothing is better at being a shark than a shark. – Douglas Adams

But for a moment Dirk had a sense of inifinite loss and sadness that somewhere among the frenzy of information noise that daily rattled the lives of men he thought he might have heard a few notes that denoted the movements of gods. – Douglas Adams

But nowadays everybody’s a comedian, even the weather girls and continuity announcers. We laugh at everything. Not intelligently anymore, not with sudden shock, astonishment, or revelation, just relentlessly and meaninglessly. No more rain showers in the desert, just mud and drizzle everywhere, occasionally illuminated by the flash of paparazzi. – Douglas Adams

But the plans were on display…” “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.” “That’s the display department.” “With a flashlight.” “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.” “So had the stairs.” “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?” “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard. – Douglas Adams

But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. – Douglas Adams

But what about the End of the Universe? We’ll miss the big moment.” I’ve seen it. It’s rubbish,” said Zaphod,”nothing but a gnab gib.” A what?” Opposite of a big bang. Come on, let’s get zappy. – Douglas Adams

But while nature has considerable resilience, there is a limit to how far that resilience can be stretched. No one knows how close to the limit we are getting. The darker it gets, the faster we’re driving – Douglas Adams

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be. – Douglas Adams

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. – Douglas Adams

Can’t stand all these poisonous creatures, all these snakes and insects and fish and things. Wretched things, biting everybody. And then people expect me to tell them what to do about it. I’ll tell them what to do. Don’t get bitten in the first place. (quoting Dr. Struan Sutherland) – Douglas Adams

Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn’t have a good answer to. – Douglas Adams

Come on, insisted Zaphod, I’ve found a way in.
In? said Arthur in horror.
Into the interior of the planet! An underground passage. The force of the whale’s impact cracked it open, and that’s where we have to go. Where no man has trod these five million years, into the very depths of time itself …
Marvin started his ironical humming again.
Zaphod hit him and he shut up.
With little shudders of disgust they all followed Zaphod down the incline into the crater, trying very hard not to look at its unfortunate creator.
Life, said Marvin dolefully, loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it.

Come on,” he droned, “I’ve been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? ’Cos I don’t.” He turned and walked back to the hated door. “Er, excuse me,” said Ford following after him, “which government owns this ship?” Marvin ignored him. “You watch this door,” he muttered, “it’s about to open again. I can tell by the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates. – Douglas Adams

Computers are still technology because we are still wrestling with it: it’s still being invented; we’re still trying to work out how it works. There’s a world of game interaction to come that you or I wouldn’t recognise. It’s time for the machines to disappear. The computer’s got to disappear into all of the things we use. – Douglas Adams

Could be. I’m a pretty dangerous dude when I’m cornered.” “Yeah,” said the voice from under the table, “you go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel. – Douglas Adams

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now. – Douglas Adams

Cyberspace is – or can be – a good, friendly and egalitarian place to meet. – Douglas Adams

Dave is one of my favorite sources of information and opinion on the Web. His opinions are passionately held, well-informed, intelligent, argumentative, and quite often wrong. – Douglas Adams

David Attenborough has said that Bali is the most beautiful place in the world, but he must have been there longer than we were, and seen different bits, because most of what we saw in the couple of days we were there sorting out our travel arrangements was awful. It was just the tourist area, i.e., that part of Bali which has been made almost exactly the same as everywhere else in the world for the sake of people who have come all this way to see Bali. – Douglas Adams

Deep in the fundamental heart of mind and Universe there is a reason. – Douglas Adams

Democracy is all about not electing the wrong man-eating lizard. – Douglas Adams

Dennis Hutch had stepped up into the top seat when its founder had died of a lethal overdose of brick wall, taken while under the influence of a Ferrari and a bottle of tequila. – Douglas Adams

Despite the fact that an Indonesian island chicken has probably had a much more natural life than one raised on a battery farm in England, people who wouldn’t think twice about buying something oven-ready become much more upset about a chicken that they’ve been on a boat with, so there is probably buried in the Western psyche a deep taboo about eating anything you’ve been introduced to socially. – Douglas Adams

Did I do anything wrong today,” he said, “or has the world always been like this and I’ve been too wrapped up in myself to notice? – Douglas Adams

Dirk turned on the car wipers, which grumbled because they didn’t have quite enough rain to wipe away, so he turned them off again. Rain quickly speckled the windscreen. He turned on the wipers again, but they still refused to feel that the exercise was worthwhile, and scraped and squeaked in protest. – Douglas Adams

Dirk was, for one of the few times in a life of exuberantly prolific loquacity, wordless. – Douglas Adams

Do you find coming to terms with the mindless tedium of it all presents an interesting challenge? – Douglas Adams

Don’t believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose. – Douglas Adams

Don’t blame you,” said Marvin and counted five hundred and ninety-seven thousand million sheep before falling asleep again a second later. – Douglas Adams

Don’t spin your wheels and stress. Take a deep breath, center yourself and make a plan. – Douglas Adams

Don’t you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see. – Douglas Adams

Driving a Porsche in London is like bringing a Ming vase to a football game. – Douglas Adams

Earth: mostly harmless. – Douglas Adams

Earthmen are not proud of their ancestors and never invite them round to dinner. – Douglas Adams

Even a manically depressed robot is better to talk to than nobody. – Douglas Adams

Even light, which travels so fast it takes most races thousands of years to realize that it travels at all, takes time to journey between the stars. – Douglas Adams

Even the evil-looking bird perched on a rod in the bar had stopped screeching out the names and addresses of local contract killers, which was a service it provided for free. – Douglas Adams

Even traveling despondently is better than arriving here. – Douglas Adams

Ever since Newton, we’ve done science by taking things apart to see how they work. What the computer enables us to do is to put things together to see how they work: we’re now synthesized rather than analysed. I find one of the most enthralling aspects of computers is limitless communication. – Douglas Adams

Every country is like a particular type of person. America is like a belligerent, adolescent boy; Canada is like an intelligent, 35-year-old woman. Australia is like Jack Nicholson. It comes right up to you and laughs very hard in your face in a highly threatening and engaging manner. – Douglas Adams

Everybody has their moment of great opportunity in life. If you happen to miss the one you care about, then everything else becomes eerily easy. – Douglas Adams

Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you. – Douglas Adams

Exactly!” said Deep Thought. “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means. – Douglas Adams

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow pizza. – Douglas Adams

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea… This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. – Douglas Adams

Fifteen years was a long time to be stranded anywhere, particularly somewhere as mind-boggingly dull as Earth. – Douglas Adams

Fiordland, a vast tract of mountainous terrain that occupies the south-west corner of South Island, New Zealand, is one of the most astounding pieces of land anywhere on God’s earth, and one’s first impulse, standing on a cliff top surveying it all, is simply to burst into spontaneous applause. – Douglas Adams

First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure. – Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams Quotes

Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. – Douglas Adams

For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and satisfied, drove on into the night. – Douglas Adams

For a moment, nothing happened.Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen. – Douglas Adams

For as long as he could remember, he’d suffered from a vague nagging feeling of being not all there. – Douglas Adams

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much–the wheel, New York, wars and so on–while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man–for precisely the same reasons. – Douglas Adams

For millions of years, on average, one species became extinct every century…. We are now heaving more than a thousand different species of animals and plants off the planet every year. – Douglas Adams

For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two – and so another, even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was… – Douglas Adams

Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying “Blood…blood…blood…blood… – Douglas Adams

Ford looked at him severely. And no sneaky knocking down Mr Dent’s house whilst he’s away, alright?” he said. The mere thought,” growled Mr Prosser, “hadn’t even begun to speculate,” he continued, settling himself back, “about the merest possibility of crossing my mind. – Douglas Adams

Ford Prefect suppressed a little giggle of evil satisfaction, realized that he had no reason to suppress it, and laughed out loud, a wicked laugh. – Douglas Adams

Ford… you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it. – Douglas Adams

Ford? There’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for ‘Hamlet’ they’ve worked out – Douglas Adams

From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields. – Douglas Adams

Funny, how just when you think life can’t possibly get any worse it suddenly does. – Douglas Adams

Generally, old media don’t die. They just have to grow old gracefully. Guess what, we still have stone masons. They haven’t been the primary purveyors of the written word for a while now of course, but they still have a role because you wouldn’t want a TV screen on your headstone. – Douglas Adams

Ghastly,” continued Marvin, “it all is. Absolutely ghastly. Just don’t even talk about it. Look at this door,” he said, stepping through it. The irony circuits cut in to his voice modulator as he mimicked the style of the sales brochure. ” ‘All the doors in his spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.’ ” As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sighlike quality to it. “Hummmmmmmyummmmmmmah!” it said. – Douglas Adams

God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. – Douglas Adams

God’s Final Message to His Creation: ‘We apologize for the inconvenience. – Douglas Adams

Goosnargh,” said Ford Prefect, which was a special Betelgeusian word he used when he knew he should say something but didn’t know what it should be. – Douglas Adams

Gordon Way’s astonishment at being suddenly shot dead was nothing compared to his astonishment at what happened next. – Douglas Adams

Grown men, he told himself, in flat contradiction of centuries of accumulated evidence about the way grown men behave, do not behave like this. – Douglas Adams

Ha, but my life is a box of wormgears. – Douglas Adams

Having been an English literary graduate, I’ve been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. – Douglas Adams

Having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject the second time around. – Douglas Adams

He actually caught himself saying things like “Yippee,” as he pranced ridiculously round the house. – Douglas Adams

He almost danced to the fridge, found the three least hairy things in it, put them on a plate and watched them intently for two minutes. Since they made no attempt to move within that time he called them breakfast and ate them. Between them they killed a virulent space disease he’d picked up without knowing it in the Flargathon Gas Swamps a few days earlier, which otherwise would have killed off half the population of the Western Hemisphere, blinded the other half, and driven everyone else psychotic and sterile, so the Earth was lucky there. – Douglas Adams

He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which. – Douglas Adams

He didn’t know why he had become president of the galaxy, except that it seemed a fun thing to be. – Douglas Adams

He felt a spasm of excitement because he knew instinctively who it was, or at least knew who it was he wanted it to be, and once you know what it is you want to be true, instinct is a very useful device for enabling you to know that it is. – Douglas Adams

He felt like an old sponge steeped in paraffin and left in the sun to dry. – Douglas Adams

He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. – Douglas Adams

He had a tremendous propensity for getting lost when driving. This was largely because of his method of “Zen” navigation, which was simply to find any car that looked as if it knew where it was going and follow it. The results were more often surprising than successful, but he felt it was worth it for the sake of the few occasions when it was both. – Douglas Adams

He had extracted himself from the Cambridge one-way system by the usual method, which involved going round and round it faster and faster until he achieved a sort of escape velocity and flew off at a tangent in a random direction, which he was now trying to identify and correct for. – Douglas Adams

He had got himself a life. Now he had to find a purpose in it. – Douglas Adams

He has personality problems beyond the dreams of analysts. – Douglas Adams

He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife. – Douglas Adams

He inched his way up the corridor as if he would rather be yarding his way down it, which was true. – Douglas Adams

He learned to communicate with birds and discovered their conversation was fantastically boring. It was all to do with windspeed, wingspans, power-to-weight ratios and a fair bit about berries. – Douglas Adams

He picked up the letter Q and hurled it into a distant privet bush where it hit a young rabbit. The rabbit hurtled off in terror and didn’t stop till it was set upon and eaten by a fox which choked on one of its bones and died on the bank of a stream which subsequently washed it away. During the following weeks Ford Perfect swallowed his pride and struck up a relationship with a girl who had been a personnel officer on Golgafrincham, and he was terribly upset when she suddenly passed away as a result of drinking water from a pool that had been polluted by the body of a dead fox. – Douglas Adams

He shifted his weight from foot to foot, but it was equally uncomfortable on each. – Douglas Adams

He sniggered. He didn’t like to think of himself as the sort of person who giggled or sniggered, but he had to admit that he had been giggling and sniggering almost continuously for well over half an hour now. – Douglas Adams

He spent a lot of time flying. He learnt to communicate with birds and discovered that their conversation was fantastically boring. It was all to do with wind speed, wing spans, power-to-weight ratios and a fair bit about berries. Unfortunately, he discovered, once you have learnt birdspeak you quickly come to realize that the air is full of it the whole time, just inane bird chatter. There is no getting away from it. – Douglas Adams

He stood up straight and looked the world squarely in the fields and hills. To add weight to his words he stuck the rabbit bone in his hair. He spread his arm out wide. “I will go mad!” he announced. – Douglas Adams

He turned slowly like a fridge door opening. – Douglas Adams

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. – Douglas Adams

He was a man who was charged with the work he did in life because he was not one to ask questions – not so much on account of any natural quality of discretion as because he simply could never think of any questions to ask. … On the strength of which he had guaranteed himself regular employment for as long as he cared to live. – Douglas Adams

He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left. – Douglas Adams

He would have felt safe if alongside the Dentrassis’ underwear, the piles of Sqornshellous mattresses and the man from Betelgeuse holding up a small yellow fish and offering to put it in his ear he had been able to see just a small packet of cornflakes. But he couldn’t, and he didn’t feel safe. – Douglas Adams

Here, for whatever reason, is the world. And here it stays. With me on it. – Douglas Adams

Here’s what the Encyclopedia Galactica has to say about alcohol. It says that alcohol is a colourless volatile liquid formed by the fermentation of sugars and also notes its intoxicating effect on certain carbon-based life forms. – Douglas Adams

Hey! What’s this thing coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding word like … ow … ound… round… ground! That’s it! That’s a good name — ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? – Douglas Adams

Hey, this is terrific!” he said. “Someone down there is trying to kill us!” “Terrific,” said Arthur. “But don’t you see what this means?” “Yes. We are going to die.” “Yes, but apart from that.” “Apart from that?!” “It means we must be on to something!” “How soon can we get off it? – Douglas Adams

High on a rocky promontory sat an Electric Monk on a bored horse. – Douglas Adams

His study was a total mess, like the results of an explosion in a public library. – Douglas Adams

How can I tell,” said the man, “that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind? – Douglas Adams

How do I know the past is not a fiction conceived to reconcile the difference between my state of mind and the present. – Douglas Adams

How do you feel?” he asked him. “Like a military academy,” said Arthur. “Bits of me keep on passing out. – Douglas Adams

How do you know you’re having fun if there’s no one watching you have it? – Douglas Adams

How many roads must a man walk down? – Douglas Adams

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. – Douglas Adams

Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner. – Douglas Adams

Humans think they are smarter than dolphins because we build cars and buildings and start wars etc., and all that dolphins do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around. Dolphins believe that they are smarter for exactly the same reasons. – Douglas Adams

Hundreds of people who’ve never written before send in ‘Dr. Who’ scripts. They may have good ideas, but what they fail to realise is that writing for TV is incredibly complicated. They have no idea how difficult it is and what the financial commitment is. – Douglas Adams

I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe – Douglas Adams

I am a private detective. I am paid to be inquisitive and presumptuous. – Douglas Adams

I am fascinated by religion. (That’s a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I’ve thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing. – Douglas Adams

I am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer. – Douglas Adams

I am rarely happier than when spending entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand. – Douglas Adams

I am terribly proud of-I was born in Cambridge in 1952 and my initials are DNA! – Douglas Adams

I begged her, ‘Please don’t leave me stranded in the middle of some primitive zarking forest with no medical help and a head injury. I could be in serious trouble and so could she.'” “What did she say?” “She hit me on the head with the rock again,” Ford responded curtly. “I think i can confirm that was my daughter.” “Sweet kid.” “You have to get to know her,” said Arthur. “She eases up, does she?” “No, but you get a better sense of when to duck. – Douglas Adams

I briefly did therapy, but after a while, I realised it is just like a farmer complaining about the weather. You can’t fix the weather – you just have to get on with it. – Douglas Adams

I can see we’re in for a fabulous evening’s apocalypse. – Douglas Adams

I come in peace…Take me to your lizard. – Douglas Adams

I didn’t notice I was being set upon by a pickpocket, which I am glad of, because I like to work only with professionals. – Douglas Adams

I don’t believe it. Prove it to me and I still won’t believe it. – Douglas Adams

I don’t know what I’m looking for.” “What not?” “Because … because … I think it might be because if I knew I wouldn’t be able to look for them. – Douglas Adams

I don’t think anybody would argue now that the Internet isn’t becoming a major factor in our lives. However, it’s very new to us. Newsreaders still feel it is worth a special and rather worrying mention if, for instance, a crime was planned by people ‘over the Internet.’ – Douglas Adams

I don’t accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me, “Well, you haven’t been there, have you? You haven’t seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian beaver cheese is equally valid”–then I can’t even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof, and in the case of god, as in the case of the composition of the moon, this has shifted radically. God used to be the best explanation we’d got, and we’ve now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. So I don’t think that being convinced that there is no god is as irrational or arrogant a point of view as belief that there is. I don’t think the matter calls for even-handedness at all. – Douglas Adams

I don’t believe it. Prove it to me and I still won’t believe it. – Douglas Adams

I don’t go to mythical places with strange men. – Douglas Adams

I don’t like the idea of missionaries. In fact, the whole business fills me with fear and alarm. I don’t believe in God, or at least not in the one we’ve invented for ourselves in England to fulfill our peculiarly English needs, and certainly not in the ones they’ve invented in America who supply their servants with toupees, television stations and, most importantly, toll-free telephone numbers. I wish that people who did believe in such things would keep them to themselves and not export them to the developing world. – Douglas Adams

I don’t really have any advice, other than to say it’s the most appallingly difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do and I wish I had a better idea of how to do it. In my experience what you end up with is the by-product of your failure to achieve what you set out to do. It may turn out OK, but it wasn’t what you meant and you’ve no idea how you got there. – Douglas Adams

I don’t say that I don’t believe in God because that implies that there is a God for me not to believe in. – Douglas Adams

I don’t think anybody would argue now that the Internet isn’t becoming a major factor in our lives. However, it’s very new to us. Newsreaders still feel it is worth a special and rather worrying mention if, for instance, a crime was planned by people ‘over the Internet.’ – Douglas Adams

I don’t want to die now!” he yelled. “I’ve still got a headache! I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache, I’d be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it! – Douglas Adams

I find that writing is a constant battle with exactly the same problems you’ve always had. – Douglas Adams

I find the difference, for me, between having no money and having quite a bit is that the bills get bigger. And that’s it. The lifestyle doesn’t change. – Douglas Adams

I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously. – Douglas Adams

I had a letter from a guy about something I’d written in a Doctor Who script, to do with super-compressed matter, degenerate matter and gravitational fields. That particular bit of the script came from realising, late at night, when I thought I’d more or less got the thing finished, that I had 13 super-compressed planets I hadn’t accounted for, which I somehow had to do something with. So I sat up and sat up and practically hosed myself down with black coffee and finally came up with a solution, just on the logic of it. And I had a letter from this astrophysicist saying “Where did you find out about this? We’re only doing the work now. – Douglas Adams

I have always been absurdly, ridiculously tall. To give you an idea- when we went on school trips to Interesting and Improving Places, the form-master wouldn’t say “Meet under the clock tower,” or “Meet under the War Memorial,” but “Meet under Adams. – Douglas Adams

I have detected disturbances in the wash.’ ‘The wash?’ ‘The space-time wash.’ ‘Are we talking about some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?’ ‘Eddies in the space-time continuum.’ ‘Ah…is he. Is he.’ ‘What?’ ‘Er, who is Eddy, then, exactly? – Douglas Adams

I have rooms full of little dongly things and don’t want any more. Half the little dongly things I’ve got, I don’t even know what gizmo they’re for. More importantly, half the gizmos I’ve got, I don’t know where their little dongly thing is. – Douglas Adams

I have terrible periods of lack of confidence. I just don’t believe I can do it and no evidence to the contrary will sway me from that view. – Douglas Adams

I like the cover,” he said. “Don’t Panic. It’s the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody’s said to me all day. – Douglas Adams

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. – Douglas Adams

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. – Douglas Adams

I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I’ve thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing. – Douglas Adams

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. – Douglas Adams

I only know as much about myself as my mind can work out under its current conditions. And its current conditions are not good. – Douglas Adams

I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere I needed to be. – Douglas Adams

I really didn’t foresee the Internet. But then, neither did the computer industry. Not that that tells us very much of course–the computer industry didn’t even foresee that the century was going to end. – Douglas Adams

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer – Douglas Adams

I remember very little about writing the first series of ‘Hitchhiker’s.’ It’s almost as if someone else wrote it. – Douglas Adams

I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say. – Douglas Adams

I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my life-style – Douglas Adams

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. – Douglas Adams

I taught myself to play the guitar by listening to Paul Simon records, working it out note by note. He is an incredibly intelligent musician. He’s not someone who has a natural outpouring of melody like McCartney or Dylan, who are just terribly prolific with musical ideas. – Douglas Adams

I teleported home last night with Ron and Sid and Meg Ron stole Meggy’s heart away and I got Sidney’s leg. – Douglas Adams

I tend not to read or watch Science Fiction, particularly not comedy Science Fiction. The point is that if it’s less good than what I do, there’s no point in reading it, if it’s better than what I do it makes me depressed – Douglas Adams

I tend to get very suspicious of anything that thinks it’s art while it’s being created. – Douglas Adams

I think a nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And a computer nerd therefore is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer. – Douglas Adams

I think all cats are wild. They only act tame if there´s a saucer of milk in it for them. – Douglas Adams

I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge? – Douglas Adams

I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god — in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. It’s funny how many people are genuinely surprised to hear a view expressed so strongly. In England we seem to have drifted from vague, wishy-washy Anglicanism to vague, wishy-washy Agnosticism — both of which I think betoken a desire not to have to think about things too much. People will then often say, “But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?” This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I would choose not to worship him anyway.) – Douglas Adams

I think media are at their most interesting before anybody’s thought of calling them art, when people still think they’re just a load of junk. – Douglas Adams

I think that growing up in a crowded continent like Europe with an awful lot of competing claims, ideas, cultures, and systems of thought we have, perforce, developed a more sophisticated notion of what the word freedom means than I see much evidence of in America. To be frank, it sometimes seems that the American idea of freedom has more to do with my freedom to do what I want than your freedom to do what you want. I think that in Europe we’re probably better at understanding how to balance those competing claims, though not a lot. – Douglas Adams

I think that growing up in a crowded continent like Europe with an awful lot of competing claims, ideas… cultures… and systems of thought, we have, perforce, developed a more sophisticated notion of what the word ‘freedom’ means than I see much evidence of in America. – Douglas Adams

I think that the digital media are interesting enough in their own right to be worth originating something in. – Douglas Adams

I think the idea of art kills creativity. – Douglas Adams

I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is. – Douglas Adams

I think we have different value systems.” —Arthur “Well mine’s better.” —Ford – Douglas Adams

I think you get most of the most interesting work done in fields where people don’t think they’re doing art but are merely practicing a craft and working as good craftsmen. Being literate as a writer is good craft, is knowing your job, is knowing how to use your tools properly and not to damage the tools as you use them. – Douglas Adams

I think you ought to know I’m feeling very depressed. – Douglas Adams

I used to be a great fan of doing crosswords. When you’re fiddling around with anagrams, you get wonderful jumbles of syllables that become interesting. – Douglas Adams

I wanted to be a writer-performer like the Pythons. In fact, I wanted to be John Cleese, and it took me some time to realise that the job was, in fact, taken. – Douglas Adams

I wanted to be John Cleese. It took me some time to realise that the job was taken. – Douglas Adams

I was created to fulfill a function and I failed in it. I negated my own existence. – Douglas Adams

I was the only kid who anybody I knew has ever seen actually walk into a lamppost with his eyes wide open. Everybody assumed that there must be something going on inside, because there sure as hell wasn’t anything going on on the outside! – Douglas Adams

I watched the gorilla’s eyes again, wise and knowing eyes, and wondered about this business of trying to teach apes language. Our language. Why? There are many members of our own species who live in and with the forest and know it and understand it. We don’t listen to them. What is there to suggest we would listen to anything an ape could tell us? Or that it would be able to tell us of its life in a language that hasn’t been born of that life? I thought, maybe it is not that they have yet to gain a language, it is that we have lost one. – Douglas Adams

I wrote an ad for Apple Computer: “Macintosh – We might not get everything right, but at least we knew the century was going to end”. – Douglas Adams

I’m spending a year dead for tax reasons. – Douglas Adams

I’ve been trying to… Having been an English literary graduate, I’ve been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. – Douglas Adams

I’d far rather be happy than right any day. – Douglas Adams

I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. – Douglas Adams

If everyone knew exactly what I was going to say, then there would be no point in my saying it, would there? – Douglas Adams

If God allows proof that he exists he robs people of faith and without faith what is God? Nothing. – Douglas Adams

If I want to read something that’s really giving me something serious and fundamental to think about, about the human condition, if you like, or what we’re all doing here, or what’s going on, then I’d rather read something by a scientist in the life sciences, like Richard Dawkins, for instance. – Douglas Adams

If I were not an atheist, I think I would have to be a Catholic because if it wasn’t the forces of natural selection that designed fish, It must have been an Italian. – Douglas Adams

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands. – Douglas Adams

If life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion. – Douglas Adams

If on the other hand he went to pay his respects to The Door and it wasn’t there . . . what then? The answer, of course, was very simple. He had a whole board of circuits for dealing with exactly this problem, in fact this was the very heart of his function. He would continue to believe in it whatever the facts turned out to be, what else was the meaning of Belief? The Door would still be there, even if the Door was not. – Douglas Adams

If somebody thinks they’re a hedgehog, presumably you just give ’em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves. – Douglas Adams

If somebody votes for a party that you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like. … But on the other hand, if somebody says, ‘I mustn’t move a light switch on a Saturday,’ you say, ‘Fine, I respect that.’ – Douglas Adams

If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t. It’s like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don’t hurt it. Not even major surgery if it’s done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make. – Douglas Adams

If there was one thing life had taught her it was that there are times when you do not go back for your bag and times when you do. It had yet to teach her to distinguish between the two types of occasion. – Douglas Adams

If there’s any real truth, it’s that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. – Douglas Adams

If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now. – Douglas Adams

If they don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. – Douglas Adams

If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action. – Douglas Adams

‎If you ever find you need help again, you know, if you’re in trouble, need a hand out of a corner…” “Yeah?” “Please don’t hesitate to get lost. – Douglas Adams

If you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. – Douglas Adams

If you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. – Douglas Adams

If you took a couple of David Bowies and stuck one of the David Bowies on the top of the other David Bowie, then attached another David Bowie to the end of each of the arms of the upper of the first two David Bowies and wrapped the whole business up in a dirty beach robe you would then have something which didn’t exactly look like John Watson, but which those who knew him would find hauntingly familiar. – Douglas Adams

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. – Douglas Adams

I’m 48, which is a bit of a shock to me. Why only last year I thought I was a precocious young thing! – Douglas Adams

I’m so great even I get tongue-tied talking to myself. – Douglas Adams

I’m spending a year dead for tax reasons. – Douglas Adams

I’m up to here with cool, okay? I am so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat in me for a month. I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis. – Douglas Adams

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ” This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in; fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well! It must have been made to have me in it! – Douglas Adams

Imagine” he said, “never even thinking, ‘We are alone,’ simply because it has never occurred to you to think that there’s any other way to be. – Douglas Adams

In an infinite Universe anything can happen. – Douglas Adams

In cases of major discrepancy its always reality thats got it wrong … reality is frequently inaccurate.

In fact there was only one species on the planet more intelligent than dolphins, and they spent a lot of their time in behavioural research laboratories running around inside wheels and conduction frighteningly elegant and subtle experiments on man. The fact that once again man completely misinterpreted this relationship was entirely according to these creatures’ plans. – Douglas Adams

In fact, a very similar phrase was invented to account for the sudden transition of wood, metal, plastic and concrete into an explosive condition, which was “nonlinear, catastrophic structural exasperation,” or to put it another way–as a junior cabinet minister did on television the following night in a phrase which was to haunt the rest of his career–the check-in desk had just got “fundamentally fed up with being where it was. – Douglas Adams

In fact, Lig never formally resigned his editorship—he merely left his office late one morning, and has never returned since. Though well over a century has now passed, many members of the Guide staff still retain the romantic notion that he has simply popped out for a sandwich and will yet return to put in a solid afternoon’s work. Strictly speaking, all editors since Lig Lury Jr., have therefore been designated acting editors, and Lig’s desk is still preserved the way he left it, with the addition of a small sign that says LIG LURY, JR., EDITOR, MISSING, PRESUMED FED. – Douglas Adams

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover. – Douglas Adams

In moments of great stress, every life form that exists gives out a tiny subliminal signal. – Douglas Adams

In order to fly, all one must do is simply miss the ground. – Douglas Adams

In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. – Douglas Adams

In the center lay the exploded carcass of a lonely sperm whale that hadn’t lived long enough to be disappointed with its lot. – Douglas Adams

In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn’t cope with, and that terrible listlessness which starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know that you’ve had all the baths you can usefully have that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the papers you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o’clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul. – Douglas Adams

In the old days, writers used to sit in front of a typewriter and stare out of the window. Nowadays, because of the marvels of convergent technology, the thing you type on and the window you stare out of are now the same thing. – Douglas Adams

In the stillness, a fly would not have dared clear it’s throat. – Douglas Adams

In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. – Douglas Adams

Insofar as she recognized at all that she was dreaming, she realized that she must be exploring her subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was really clear what the other nine tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguins. – Douglas Adams

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? – Douglas Adams

It {Darwin’s theory of evolution] was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life. The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. – Douglas Adams

It all sounds rather naive and sentimental to be talking about children laughing and dancing and singing together when we all know perfectly well that what children do in real life is snarl and take drugs. – Douglas Adams

It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else’s point of view without the proper training. – Douglas Adams

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression “As pretty as an airport.” Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only exception of this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs. – Douglas Adams

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.’ – Douglas Adams

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. – Douglas Adams

It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry ‘I could have thought of that’ is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn’t, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too. – Douglas Adams

It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. – Douglas Adams

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons. – Douglas Adams

It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion on them. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever. – Douglas Adams

It is folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know, if they exist. They have their own Universes of their own eyes and ears. – Douglas Adams

It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination. – Douglas Adams

It is known that there is an infinite number of worlds, but that not every one is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite nuber of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so if every planet in the Universe has a populations of zero then the entire population of the Universe must also be zero, and any people you may actually meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination. – Douglas Adams

It is most gratifying,” it said, “that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated, and so we would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients, and the fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely a courtesy detail. We look forward to your custom in future lives … thank you. – Douglas Adams

It is not the fall that kills you. it’s the sudden stop at the end. – Douglas Adams

It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in “It’s a nice day,” or “You’re very tall,” or “So this is it, we’re going to die.” His first theory was that if human beings didn’t keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up. After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this–“If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working. – Douglas Adams

It seemed to me,’ said Wonko the Sane, ‘that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane. – Douglas Adams

It startled him even more when just after he was awarded the Galactic Institute’s Prize for Extreme Cleverness he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn’t stand was a smart-ass. – Douglas Adams

It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this [Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’] and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it’s yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we’re not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn’t read well. – Douglas Adams

It takes an awful lot of time to not write a book. – Douglas Adams

It was his subconscious which told him this – that infuriating part of a person’s brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing. – Douglas Adams

It was none the less a perfectly ordinary horse, such as convergent evolution has produced in many of the places that life is to be found. They have always understood a great deal more than they let on. It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion about them. – Douglas Adams

It was one of those pictures that children are supposed to like but don’t. Full of endearing little animals doing endearing things, you know? – Douglas Adams

It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. – Douglas Adams

It’s good to leave your room super-messy when you’re away. Whoever tries to break into your room will thought it has already been ransacked. – Douglas Adams

It’s guff. It doesn’t advance the action. It makes for nice fat books such as the American market thrives on, but it doesn’t actually get you anywhere. – Douglas Adams

It’s no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase “As pretty as an airport” appear. – Douglas Adams

It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the end. – Douglas Adams

It’s part of the shape of the Universe. I only have to talk to somebody and they begin to hate me. – Douglas Adams

It’s reassuring to realize that everybody is as stupid as you are and that all we are doing when we are standing in the kitchen wondering what we came in here for is “working”. – Douglas Adams

It’s the story of my life. You see, the quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead. Now, as you look through this document you’ll see that I’ve underlined all the major decisions I ever made to make the stand out. They’re all indexed and cross-referenced. See? All I can suggest is that if you take decisions that are exactly opposite to the sort of decisions that I’ve taken, then maybe you won’t finish up at the end of your life” –she paused, and filled her lungs for a good should–“in a smelly old cave like this! – Douglas Adams

I’ve been trying to… Having been an English literary graduate, I’ve been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. – Douglas Adams

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things. – Douglas Adams

I’ve never understood all this fuss people make about the dawn. I’ve seen a few and they’re never as good as the photographs, which have the additional advantage of being things you can look at when you’re in the right frame of mind, which is usually around lunchtime. – Douglas Adams

Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses have been specially designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. At the first hint of trouble, they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you. – Douglas Adams

Just believe everything I tell you, and it will all be very, very simple.’ Ah, well, I’m not sure I believe that. – Douglas Adams

Just supposing,” he said, “just supposing” –he didn’t know what was coming next, so he thought he’d just sit back and listen–“that there was some extraordinary way in which you were very important to me, and that, though you didn’t know it, I was very important to you, but it all went for nothing because we only had five miles and I was a stupid idiot at knowing how to say something very important to someone I’ve only just met and not crash into lorries a the same time, what would you say…” He paused, helplessly, and looked at her. “I should do. – Douglas Adams

Let the past hold on to itself and let the present move forward into the future. – Douglas Adams

Let us be dreamers, thinkers, speculative philosophers, or as our spouses would have it: Idiots – Douglas Adams

Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. – Douglas Adams

Life is like a grapefruit. Well, it’s sort of orangy-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It’s got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have a half a one for breakfast.. – Douglas Adams

Life is wasted on the living. – Douglas Adams

Life! Don’t talk to me about life. – Douglas Adams

Life,” said Marvin dolefully, “loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it. – Douglas Adams

Life… is like a grapefruit. It’s orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. – Douglas Adams

Life… is like a grapefruit. Well, it’s sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It’s got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast. – Douglas Adams

Listen, three eyes,” he said, “don’t you try to outweird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal. – Douglas Adams

Look at a book. A book is the right size to be a book. They’re solar-powered. If you drop them, they keep on being a book. You can find your place in microseconds. Books are really good at being books, and no matter what happens, books will survive. – Douglas Adams

Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity — distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless – Douglas Adams

Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer. – Douglas Adams

Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food. – Douglas Adams

Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much…the wheel, New York, wars and so on…while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man…for precisely the same reason. – Douglas Adams

Many men of course became extremely rich, but this was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of because no one was really poor, at least no one worth speaking of. – Douglas Adams

Many respectable physicists said that they weren’t going to stand for this — partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn’t get invited to those sort of parties. – Douglas Adams

Many words and expressions which only a matter of decades ago were considered so distastefully explicit that, were they merely to be breathed in public, the perpetrator would be shunned, barred from polite society, and in extreme cases shot through the lungs, are now thought to be very healthy and proper, and their use in everyday speech and writing is evidence of a well-adjusted, relaxed and totally un****ed-up personality. – Douglas Adams

Mark Carwardine’s role, essentially, was to be the one who knew what he was talking about. My role, and one for which I was entirely qualified, was to be an extremely ignorant non-zoologist to whom everything that happened would come as a complete surprise. – Douglas Adams

Marvin started his ironical humming again. Zaphod hit him and he shut up. – Douglas Adams

Marvin trudged on down the corridor, still moaning. “…and then of course I’ve got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side…” “No?” said Arthur grimly as he walked along beside him. “Really?” “Oh yes,” said Marvin, “I mean I’ve asked for them to be replaced but no one ever listens.” “I can imagine. – Douglas Adams

Marvin was humming ironically because he hated humans so much. – Douglas Adams

Mc Donalds he thought. There’s no longer any such thing as a Mc Donalds hamburger. He passed out. When he came around seconds later he found he was sobbing for his mother. – Douglas Adams

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation. – Douglas Adams

Most of the time spent wrestling with technologies that don’t quite work yet is just not worth the effort for end users, however much fun it is for nerds like us. – Douglas Adams

Most of the time spent wrestling with technologies that don’t quite work yet is just not worth it for end users, however much fun it is for nerds. – Douglas Adams

Moving from radio to television, you can take most of the words with you. – Douglas Adams

Mr L Prosser was, as they say, only human. In other words he was a carbon-based life form descended from an ape. More specifically he was forty, fat and shabby and worked for the local council. Curiously enough, though he didn’t know it, he was also a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his genes that he had no discernible Mongoloid characteristics, and the only vestiges left in Mr L Prosser of his mighty ancestry were a pronounced stoutness about the tum and a predilection for little fur hats. – Douglas Adams

Much to his annoyance, a thought popped into his mind. It was very clear and very distinct, and he had now come to recognize these thoughts for what they were. His instinct was to resist them. – Douglas Adams

My absolute favourite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees. – Douglas Adams

My capacity for happiness … you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first. – Douglas Adams

My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre and that I am therefore excused from saving universes. – Douglas Adams

My favorite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantelpiece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees. – Douglas Adams

My own strategy is to find a car, or the nearest equivalent, which looks as if it knows where it’s going and follow it. I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere I needed to be. – Douglas Adams

My universe is my eyes and my ears. Anything else is hearsay. – Douglas Adams

No one really knows what mattresses are meant to gain from their lives either. They are large, friendly, pocket-sprung creatures that live quiet private lives in the marshes of Sqornshellous Zeta. Many of them get caught, slaughtered, dried out, shipped out and slept on. None of them seems to mind this and all of them are called Zem. – Douglas Adams

No, that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that. – Douglas Adams

No. No games. He wanted her and didn’t care who knew it. He definitely and absolutely wanted her, longed for her, wanted to do more things than there were names for with her. – Douglas Adams

Nobleness was one word for making a fuss about the trivial inevitabilities of life, but there were others. – Douglas Adams

Nobody got murdered before lunch. But nobody. People weren’t up to it. You needed a good lunch to get both the blood-sugar and blood-lust levels up. – Douglas Adams

Nobody likes a whistler, particularly not the divinity that shapes our ends. – Douglas Adams

Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking. An impoverished hitch-hiker visiting any planets in the Sirius star system these days can pick up easy money working as a counsellor for neurotic elevators. – Douglas Adams

Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own rules – Douglas Adams

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own laws. – Douglas Adams

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. – Douglas Adams

Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe. This single fact took the scientific world by storm. – Douglas Adams

Obviously somebody had been appallingly incompetent and he hope to God it wasn’t him. – Douglas Adams

Of course you can’t ‘trust’ what people tell you on the web anymore than you can ‘trust’ what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. – Douglas Adams

Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. – Douglas Adams

Ok,” he said, “I don’t like to disturb you at what I know must be a difficult and distressing time for you, but I need to know first of all if you actually realize that this is a difficult and distressing time for you. – Douglas Adams

On the delivery plate of the Nutri-Matic Drink Synthesizer was a small tray, on which say three bone china cups and saucers, a bone china jug of milk, a silver teapot full of the best tea Arthur had ever tasted and a small printed note saying “Wait. – Douglas Adams

On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons. – Douglas Adams

One always overcompensates for disabilities. I’m thinking of having my entire body surgically removed. – Douglas Adams

One day old Thrashbarg said that Almighty Bob had declared that he, Thrashbarg, was to have first pick of the sandwiches. The villagers asked him when this had happened, exactly, and Thrashbarg said it had happened yesterday, when they weren’t looking. ‘Have faith,’ Old Thrashbarg said, ‘or burn!’ They let him have first pick of the sandwiches. It seemed easiest. – Douglas Adams

One is never alone with a rubber duck. – Douglas Adams

One nonabsolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of the most bizarre of mathematical concepts, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.

One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broadminded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with. – Douglas Adams

One of the most blissful joys of the English language is the fact that one of its greatest practitioners ever, one of the guys on the very top table of all, was a jokesmith. Though maybe it shouldn’t be that big a surprise. Who else would be up there? Austen, of course, Dickens and Chaucer. The only one who couldn’t make a joke to save his life would be Shakespeare. – Douglas Adams

One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us.’ – Douglas Adams

One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work – supposing you’re trying to find out how a cat works–you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you’ve got in your hands is a non-working cat. The cat wasn’t a sort of clunky mechanism that was susceptible to our available tools of analysis. – Douglas Adams

One of the problems, and it’s one which is obviously going to get worse, is that all the people at the party are either the children or the grandchildren or the great-grandchildren of the people who wouldn’t leave in the first place, and because of all the business about selective breeding and regressive genes and so on, it means that all the people now at the party are either absolutely fanatical partygoers, or gibbering idiots, or, more and more frequently, both. – Douglas Adams

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious. – Douglas Adams

Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see. – Douglas Adams

Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers. – Douglas Adams

Our favourite item was the balcony that overlooked the sea because it had an awning that you lowered by pressing an electric switch. The switch had two settings. You could either turn it to AUTO, in which case the awning lowered itself whenever the sun came out, or you could set it to MANUEL [sic], in which case, we assumed, a small, incompetent Spanish waiter came and did it for you. – Douglas Adams

Pardon me for breathing, which I never do any way so I don’t know why I bother to say it, oh God, I’m so depressed. – Douglas Adams

People always make this totally artificial distinction between what is commercial and what is good. They quote that maxim “Nobody ever lost money underestimating the public’s taste” and I think that’s very wrongheaded. I like to believe the audience is actually intelligent, because it’s made up of other people like yourself. – Douglas Adams

People wanted me to do a CD-ROM of ‘Hitchhiker’s,’ and I thought, ‘No, no.’ I didn’t want to just sort of reverse-engineer yet another thing from a book I’d already written. I think that the digital media are interesting enough in their own right to be worth originating something in. – Douglas Adams

People who need to bully you are the easiest to push around. – Douglas Adams

People will then often say, But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?’ This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.) – Douglas Adams

Perhaps I’m old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied. – Douglas Adams

Please call me Eddie if it will help you to relax. – Douglas Adams

Please relax,” said the voice pleasantly, like a stewardess in an airliner with only one wing and two engines one of which is on fire, “you are perfectly safe. – Douglas Adams

Plenty of people did not care for him much, but then there is a huge difference between disliking somebody — maybe even disliking them a lot — and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day. – Douglas Adams

Presidents don’t have power. Their job is to draw attention away from it. – Douglas Adams

Put away your worries, the world is a good and perfect place. It is in fact very easy. – Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams Quotes

Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen. […] Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer. – Douglas Adams

R is a velocity of measure, defined as a reasonable speed of travel that is consistent with health, mental well-being, and not being more than, say, five minutes late. It is therefore clearly as almost infinite variable figure according to circumstances, since the first two factors vary not only with speed as an absolute, but also with awareness of the third factor. Unless handled with tranquility, this equation can result in considerable stress, ulcers, and even death. – Douglas Adams

Radio did not kill books and television did not kill radio or movies – what television did kill was cinema newsreel. TV does it much better because it can deliver it instantly. Who wants last week’s news? – Douglas Adams

Rather than arriving five hours late and flustered, it would be better all around if he were to arrive five hours and a few extra minutes late, but triumphantly in command. – Douglas Adams

Reality is frequently inaccurate. – Douglas Adams

Really, the moment you have any idea, the second thought that enters your mind after the original idea is, “What is this? Is it a book, is it a movie, is it a this, is it a that, is it a short story, is it a breakfast cereal?” Really, from that moment, your decision about what kind of thing it is then determines how it develops. – Douglas Adams

Religion … has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. What it means is, ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? Because you’re just not. If someone votes for a party that you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. … But on the other hand, if somebody says ‘I mustn’t move a light switch on a Saturday’, you say ‘I respect that’. – Douglas Adams

Science fiction that’s just about people wandering around in space ships shooting each other with ray guns is very dull. I like it when it enables you to do fairly radical reinterpretations of human experience, just to show all the different interpretations that can be put on apparently fairly simple and commonplace events. That I find fun. – Douglas Adams

Science has achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I’d far rather be happy than right any day. – Douglas Adams

See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that. – Douglas Adams

She had what it took: great hair, a profound understanding of strategic lip gloss, the intelligence to understand the world and a tiny secret interior deadness which meant she didn’t care. – Douglas Adams

Shee, you guys are so unhip it’s a wonder your bums don’t fall off. – Douglas Adams

Sherlock Holmes observed that once you have eliminated the impossible then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. – Douglas Adams

SHOEBURYNESS (abs.n.) The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat which is still warm from somebody else’s bottom – Douglas Adams

Siamese Cats have a way of staring at you. Those who have walked in on the Queen cleaning her teeth will know the expression. – Douglas Adams

Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it,” said Marvin. “And what happened?” pressed Ford. “It committed suicide,” said Marvin and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold. – Douglas Adams

Sir,’ I said to the universe, ‘I exist.’ ‘That,’ said the universe, ‘creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever. – Douglas Adams

Six pints of bitter, said Ford Prefect. And quickly please, the world’s about to end. – Douglas Adams

So long, and thanks for all the fish. – Douglas Adams

So the hours are pretty good then?’ he resumed. The Vogon stared down at him as sluggish thoughts moiled around in the murky depths. Yeah,’ he said, ‘but now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy. – Douglas Adams

So this is it,” said Arthur, “We are going to die.” “Yes,” said Ford, “except… no! Wait a minute!” He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur’s line of vision. “What’s this switch?” he cried. “What? Where?” cried Arthur, twisting round. “No, I was only fooling,” said Ford, “we are going to die after all. – Douglas Adams

So what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly?’ I asked. He looked at me as if I were stupid. ‘You die, of course. That’s what deadly means. – Douglas Adams

So you can imagine what happens when a mainland species gets introduced to an island. It would be like introducing Al Capone, Genghis Khan and Rupert Murdoch into the Isle of Wight – the locals wouldn’t stand a chance. – Douglas Adams

So, my argument is that as we become more and more scientifically literate, it – Douglas Adams

So, the world is fine. We don’t have to save the world—the world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about, is whether or not the world we live in, will be capable of sustaining us in it. That’s what we need to think about. – Douglas Adams

Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there’s no point trying to look in that direction because it won’t be coming from there. – Douglas Adams

Some say that the universe is made so that when we are about to understand it it changes into something even more incomprehensible. And then there are those who say that this has already happened. – Douglas Adams

Space … is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space. – Douglas Adams

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. – Douglas Adams

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space. – Douglas Adams

Space is really big-REALLY big. – Douglas Adams

Space is unimaginably big. – Douglas Adams

Stomp stomp. Whirr. Pleased to be of service. Shut up. Thank you. Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp. Whirr. Thank you for making a simple door very happy. Hope your diodes rot. Thank you. Have a nice day. Stomp stomp stomp stomp. Whirr. It is my pleasure to open for you… Zark off. …and my satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done. I said zark off. Thank you for listening to this message. – Douglas Adams

Stotting is jumping upward with all four legs simultaneously. My advice: do not die until you’ve seen a large black poodle stotting in the snow. – Douglas Adams

Structural linguistics is a bitterly divided and unhappy profession, and a large number of its practitioners spend many nights drowning their sorrows in Ouisghian Zodahs. – Douglas Adams

Sunlight played along the River Cam. People in punts happily shouted at each other to fuck off. Thin natural scientists who had spent months locked away in their rooms growing white and fishlike, emerged blinking into the light. Couples walking along the bank got so excited about the general wonderfulness of it all that they had to pop inside for an hour. – Douglas Adams

Technology is a word that describes something that doesn’t work yet. – Douglas Adams

Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn’t work properly yet – Douglas Adams

That was it. That was really it. She knew that she had told herself that that was it only seconds earlier, but this was now the final real ulimate it. – Douglas Adams

That young girl is one of the least benightedly unintelligent organic life forms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not to be able to avoid meeting. – Douglas Adams

The air was stifling, but he liked it because it was stifling city air, full of excitingly unpleasant smells, dangerous music, and the distant sound of warring police tribes. – Douglas Adams

The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything… Is… Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. – Douglas Adams

The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing. – Douglas Adams

The available worlds looked pretty grim. They had little to offer him because he had little to offer them. He had been extremely chastened to realize that although he originally came from a world which had cars and computers and ballet and Armagnac, he didn’t, by himself, know how any of it worked. He couldn’t do it. Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it. – Douglas Adams

The big corporations are suddenly taking notice of the web, and their reactions have been slow. Even the computer industry failed to see the importance of the Internet, but that’s not saying much. Let’s face it, the computer industry failed to see that the century would end. – Douglas Adams

The bird that would soar above the plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. – Douglas Adams

The books people are writing today, they’re too long. You get a little bit of plot, and then pages and pages of Creative Writing. They teach classes in how to do this. They should teach classes in how to stop! – Douglas Adams

The bowler approached the wicket at a lope, a trot, and then a run. He suddenly exploded in a flurry of arms and legs, out of which flew a ball. – Douglas Adams

The car shot forward straight into the circle of light, and suddenly Arthur had a fairly clear idea of what infinity looked like. It wasn’t infinity in fact. Infinity itself looks flat and uninteresting. Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity—distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless. The chamber into which the aircar emerged was anything but infinite, it was just very very very big, so big that it gave the impression of infinity far better than infinity itself. – Douglas Adams

The complexities of cause and effect defy analysis. – Douglas Adams

The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning. – Douglas Adams

The difference between us and a computer is that, the computer is blindingly stupid, but it is capable of being stupid many, many million times a second. – Douglas Adams

The difficulty with this conversation is that it’s very different from most of the ones I’ve had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees. – Douglas Adams

The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder… Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe. – Douglas Adams

The Encyclopedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as “Your Plastic Pal Who’s Fun to Be With. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing devision of the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation as “a bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. – Douglas Adams

The fact is, I don’t know where my ideas come from. Nor does any writer. The only real answer is to drink way too much coffee and buy yourself a desk that doesn’t collapse when you beat your head against it. – Douglas Adams

The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be. – Douglas Adams

The film project has been “twenty years of constipation,” and he likens the Hollywood process to “trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it.” – Douglas Adams

The first ten million years were the worst,” said Marvin, “and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million years I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline. – Douglas Adams

The future of computer power is pure simplicity. – Douglas Adams

The gorillas are not yet sufficiently advanced in evolutionary terms to have discovered the benefits of passports, currency-declaration forms, and official bribery, and therefore tend to wander backward and forward across the border as and when their beastly, primitive whim takes them. – Douglas Adams

The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along. – Douglas Adams

The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate. – Douglas Adams

The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. – Douglas Adams

The hardest assumption to challenge is the one you don’t even know you are making. – Douglas Adams

The Head of Radio Three had been ensnared by the Music Director of the college and a Professor of Philosophy. These two were busy explaining to the harassed man that the phrase “too much Mozart” was, given any reasonable definition of those three words, an inherently self-contradictory expression, and that any sentence which contained such a phrase would be thereby rendered meaningless and could not, consequently, be advanced as part of an argument in favour of any given programme-scheduling strategy. – Douglas Adams

The Heart of Gold fled on silently through the night of space, now on conventional photon drive. Its crew of four were ill as ease knowing that they had been brought together not of their own volition or by simple coincidence, but by some curious perversion of physics- as if relationships between people were susceptible to the same laws that governed the relationships between atoms and molecules – Douglas Adams

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch? – Douglas Adams

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide has not been an opera. It has however been a tapestry, if you count a woven bath towel as a tapestry. – Douglas Adams

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy offers this definition of the word “Infinite”. Infinite: Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Much bigger than that in fact, really amazingly immense, a totally stunning size, “wow, that’s big”, time. Infinity is just so big that by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy. Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly huge is the sort of concept we’re trying to get across here. – Douglas Adams

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. – Douglas Adams

The Hollywood process is like trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it. – Douglas Adams

The idea that Bill Gates (one of the founders of Microsoft) has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place… – Douglas Adams

The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate technology, led them into it in the first place. – Douglas Adams

The idea was fantastically, wildly improbable. But like most fantastically, wildly improbable ideas it was at least as worthy of consideration as a more mundane one to which the facts had been strenuously bent to fit. – Douglas Adams

The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say, ‘Yes, but he or she simply wouldn’t do that. – Douglas Adams

The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. – Douglas Adams

The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks. – Douglas Adams

The invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked. If it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn’t seem to work like that. – Douglas Adams

The kakapo is a bird out of time. If you look one in its large, round, greeny-brown face, it has a look of serenely innocent incomprehension that makes you want to hug it and tell it that everything will be all right, thought you know that it probably will not be. – Douglas Adams

The kakapo is an extremely fat bird. A good-sized adult will weigh about six or seven pounds, and its wings are just about good for waggling a bit if it thinks it’s about to trip over something – but flying is out of the question. Sadly, however, it seems that not only has the kakapo forgotten how to fly, but it has forgotten that it has forgotten how to fly. Apparently a seriously worried kakapo will sometimes run up a tree and jump out of it, whereupon it flies like a brick and lands in a graceless heap on the ground. – Douglas Adams

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. – Douglas Adams

The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish. – Douglas Adams

The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79. – Douglas Adams

The light was only just visible – except of course that there was no one to see, no witnesses, not this time, but it was nevertheless a light. – Douglas Adams

The light works,” he said, indicating the window, “the gravity works,” he said, dropping a pencil on the floor. “Anything else we have to take our chances with. – Douglas Adams

The lights went out in his eyes for absolutely the very last time ever. – Douglas Adams

The lights were off so that his heads could avoid looking at each other because neither of them was currently a particular engaging sight, nor had they been since he had made the error of looking into his soul. It had indeed been an error. It had been late one night– of course. It had been a difficult day– of course. There had been soulful music playing on the ship’s sound system– of course. And he had, of course, been slightly drunk. In other words, all the usual conditions that bring on a bout of soul searching had applied, but it had, nevertheless, clearly been an error. – Douglas Adams

The little waiter’s eyebrows wandered about his forehead in confusion. – Douglas Adams

The longest and most destructive party ever held is now into its fourth generation and still no one shows any signs of leaving. Somebody did once look at his watch, but that was eleven years ago now, and there has been no follow up. – Douglas Adams

The longest and most destructive party ever held is now into its fourth generation and still no one shows any signs of leaving. The problem of when the drink is going to run out is, however, going to have to be faced one day. The planet over which they are floating is no longer the planet it was when they first started floating over it. It is in bad shape – Douglas Adams

The Macintosh may only have 10% of the market, but it is clearly the top 10%. – Douglas Adams

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair. – Douglas Adams

The major problem–one of the major problems, for there are several–one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. – Douglas Adams

The mere thought hadn’t even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind. – Douglas Adams

The moment at which two people, approaching from opposite ends of a long passageway, recognize each other and immediately pretend they haven t. This is to avoid the ghastly embarrassment of having to continue recognizing each other the whole length of the corridor. – Douglas Adams

The more I think about our species the more I think we just do stuff and make up explanations later when asked. But it’s not true that I would rather write than read. I would rather read than write. To be honest I would rather hang upside down in a bucket than write. – Douglas Adams

The more Susan waited, the more the doorbell didn’t ring. – Douglas Adams

The more Susan waited, the more the doorbell didn’t ring. Or the phone. – Douglas Adams

The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don’t even know you’re making. – Douglas Adams

The only moral it is possible to draw from this story is that one should never throw the Q letter into a privet bush, but unfortunately there are times when it is unavoidable. – Douglas Adams

The only person for whom the house was in any way special was Arthur Dent, and that was only because it happened to be the one he lived in. – Douglas Adams

The only thing nicer than a phone that didn’t ring all the time (or indeed at all) was six phones that didn’t ring all the time (or indeed at all). – Douglas Adams

The party and the Krikkit warship looked, in their writhings, a little like two ducks, one of which is trying to make a third duck inside the second duck, whilst the second duck is trying very hard to explain that it doesn’t feel ready for a third duck right now, is uncertain that it would want any putative third duck anyway, and certainly not whilst it, the second duck, was busy flying. – Douglas Adams

The point is, you see,” said Ford, “that there is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later. – Douglas Adams

The Presidents job, is not to wield power himself, but to lead attention away from it. – Douglas Adams

The problem is, or rather one of the problems, for there are many, a sizeable proportion of which are continually clogging up the civil, commercial, and criminal courts in all areas of the Galaxy, and especially, where possible, the more corrupt ones, this. The previous sentence makes sense. That is not the problem. This is: Change. Read it through again and you’ll get it. – Douglas Adams

The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead. – Douglas Adams

The reason why so many sects hang around airports looking for converts: they know that people there are at their most vulnerable and perplexed, and ready to accept any kind of guidance. – Douglas Adams

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola. – Douglas Adams

The Saab seethed off into the night. Arthur watched it go, as stunned as a man might be who, having believed himself to be totally blind for five years, suddenly discovers that he had merely been wearing too large a hat. – Douglas Adams

The seat received him in a loose and distant kind of way, like an aunt who disapproves of the last fifteen years of your life and will therefore furnish you with a basic sherry, but refuses to catch your eye. – Douglas Adams

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t. – Douglas Adams

The simple truth is that interstellar distances will not fit into the human imagination. – Douglas Adams

The single raindrop never feels responsible for the flood. – Douglas Adams

The Somebody Else’s Problem field is much simpler and more effective, and what’s more can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery. This is because it relies on people’s natural disposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain. – Douglas Adams

The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying ‘And another thing…’ twenty minutes after admitting he’d lost the argument. – Douglas Adams

The story goes that I first had the idea for The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while lying drunk in a field in Innsbruck. – Douglas Adams

The switch had two settings. You could either turn it to AUTO, in which case the awning lowered itself whenever the sun came out, or you could set it to MANUEL [sic], in which case, we assumed, a small, incompetent Spanish waiter came and did it for you. – Douglas Adams

The system of life on this planet is so astoundingly complex that it was a long time before man even realized that it was a system at all and that it wasn’t something that was just there. – Douglas Adams

The teacher usually learns more than the pupils. Isn’t that true? “It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils,” came a low growl from somewhere on the table, “without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy.” – Douglas Adams

The technology involved in making anything invisible is so infinitely complex that nine hundred and ninety-nine billion, nine hundred and ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a trillion it is much simpler and more effective just to take the thing away and do without it. – Douglas Adams

The truth of the matter is, that most English people don’t know how to make tea anymore either, and most people drink cheap instant coffee instead, which is a pity, and gives Americans the impression that the English are just generally clueless about hot stimulants. – Douglas Adams

The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is…42! – Douglas Adams

The Universe, as has been observed before, is an unsettlingly big place, a fact which for the sake of a quiet life most people tend to ignore. – Douglas Adams

The usual method of finding a little dongly thing that actually matches a gizmo I want to use is to go and buy another one, at a price that can physically drive the air from your body. – Douglas Adams

The usual people tried to claim responsibility. First the IRA , then the PLO and the Gas Board. Even British Nuclear Fuels rushed out a statement to the effect that the situation was completely under control, that it was a one in a million chance, that there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all, and that the site of the explosion would make a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn’t actually anything to do with them at all. – Douglas Adams

The waiter approached. ‘Would you like to see the menu?’ he said. ‘Or would you like to meet the Dish of the Day?’ ‘Huh?’ said Ford. ‘Huh?’ said Arthur. ‘Huh?’ said Trillian. ‘That’s cool,’ said Zaphod. ‘We’ll meet the meat. – Douglas Adams

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. – Douglas Adams

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened ‘ it’s just wonderful. And . . . the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned. – Douglas Adams

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. – Douglas Adams

The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it’s short for. – Douglas Adams

Their minds sang with the ecstatic knowledge that either what they were doing was completely and utterly and totally impossible or that physics had a lot of catching up to do. – Douglas Adams

There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world. – Douglas Adams

There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick. – Douglas Adams

There are two things in particular that it [the computer industry] failed to foresee: one was the coming of the Internet(…); the other was the fact that the century would end. – Douglas Adams

There are two things you should remember when dealing with parallel universes. One, they’re not really parallel, and two, they’re not really universes – Douglas Adams

There comes a point I’m afraid where you begin to suspect that if there’s any real truth, it’s that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. – Douglas Adams

There is a feeling which persists in England that making a sandwich interesting, attractive, or in any way pleasant to eat is something sinful that only foreigners do. – Douglas Adams

There is a particular disdain with which Siamese cats regard you. Anyone who has walked in on the Queen cleaning her teeth will be familiar with the feeling. – Douglas Adams

There is a piece of me that likes to fondly imagine my maverick and rebellious nature. But, more accurately, I like to have a nice and cosy institution that I can rub up against a little bit. – Douglas Adams

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. – Douglas Adams

There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened. – Douglas Adams

There is an art to the business of making sandwiches which it is given to few ever to find the time to explore in depth. It is a simple task, but the opportunities for satisfaction are many and profound. – Douglas Adams

There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] suggests, and try it. – Douglas Adams

There is another theory that states: This has already happened …. – Douglas Adams

There is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later. – Douglas Adams

There is no point in using the word ‘impossible’ to describe something that has clearly happened. – Douglas Adams

There is no problem so complicated that you can’t find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right. – Douglas Adams

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind. – Douglas Adams

There was a terribly ghastly silence. There was a terribly ghastly noise. There was a terribly ghastly silence. – Douglas Adams

There was one planet off in the seventh dimension that got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards. Got potted straight into a black hole. – Douglas Adams

There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now… What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams. – Douglas Adams

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, ‘Well, okay, I’m going to do something of high artistic worth.’ – Douglas Adams

There’s always a moment when you start to fall out of love, whether it’s with a person or an idea or a cause, even if it’s one you only narrate to yourself years after the event: a tiny thing, a wrong word, a false note, which means that things can never be quite the same again. – Douglas Adams

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, “Well, okay, I’m going to do something of high artistic worth.” It’s funny. – Douglas Adams

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, ‘Well, okay, I’m going to do something of high artistic worth.’ – Douglas Adams

These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vastly hyperintelligent pandimensional beings. – Douglas Adams

‘These things will become clear to you,’ said the old man gently, ‘at least,’ he added with slight doubt in his voice, ‘clearer than they are at the moment.’ – Douglas Adams

They discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying. – Douglas Adams

They live in perpetual fear of the time they call “The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief – Douglas Adams

They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. – Douglas Adams

This man is the bee’s knees, Arthur, he is the wasp’s nipples. He is, I would go so far as to say, the entire set of erogenous zones of every major flying insect of the Western world. – Douglas Adams

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. – Douglas Adams

This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. – Douglas Adams

This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. – Douglas Adams

Time affords us the ability to blame past errors on others while whole heartedly pronouncing our futures successes. – Douglas Adams

Time doesn’t necessarily happen in chronological order. – Douglas Adams

Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. – Douglas Adams

Time is bunk. – Douglas Adams

Time is the worst place, so to speak, to get lost in, as Arthur Dent could testify, having been lost in both time and space a good deal. At least being lost in space kept you busy.

Time travel, by its very nature, was invented in all periods of history simultaneously. – Douglas Adams

Time, we know, is relative. You can travel light years through the stars and back, and if you do it at the speed of light then, when you return, you may have aged mere seconds while your twin brother or sister will have aged twenty, thirty, forty or however many years it is, depending on how far you traveled. This will come to you as a profound shock, particularly if you didn’t know you had a twin brother or sister. – Douglas Adams

To be frank, it sometimes seems that the American idea of freedom has more to do with my freedom to do what I want than your freedom to do what you want. I think that, in Europe, we’re probably better at understanding how to balance those competing claims, though not a lot. – Douglas Adams

To boldly split infinitives that no man had split before. – Douglas Adams

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. – Douglas Adams

To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem. – Douglas Adams

To Trin Tragula’s horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion. – Douglas Adams

‘Totally mad,’ he said, ‘utter nonsense. But we’ll do it because it’s brilliant nonsense.’ – Douglas Adams

Totally mad. Utter nonsense. But we’ll do it because it’s brilliant nonsense. – Douglas Adams

Trillian had come to suspect that the main reason [Zaphood] had had such a wild and successful life was that he never really understood the significance of anything he did. – Douglas Adams

Unfortunately this Electric Monk had developed a fault, and had started to believe all kinds of things, more or less at random. It was even beginning to believe things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City. – Douglas Adams

Very deep. You should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They’ve got a page for people like you. – Douglas Adams

Very strange people, physicists – in my experience the ones who aren’t dead are in some way very ill. – Douglas Adams

Wandering around the web is like living in a world in which every doorway is actually one of those science fiction devices which deposit you in a completely different part of the world when you walk through them. In fact, it isn’t like it, it is it. – Douglas Adams

Was there a reason behind it? There would be no point in asking Zaphod, he never appeared to have a reason for anything he did at all: he had turned unfathomability into an art form. He attacked everything in life with a mixture of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence and it was often difficult to tell which was which. – Douglas Adams

We all like to congregate at boundary conditions. Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where bodies meet mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other. – Douglas Adams

We are not an endangered species ourselves yet, but this is not for lack of trying. – Douglas Adams

We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway. – Douglas Adams

We are stuck with technology when all we really want is just stuff that works. How do you recognize something that is still technology? A good clue is if it comes with a manual. – Douglas Adams

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. – Douglas Adams

We can’t win against obsession. They care, we don’t. They win. – Douglas Adams

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! – Douglas Adams

We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem. – Douglas Adams

We live in strange times. We also live in strange places, each in a universe of our own. The people with whom we populate our universe are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own. – Douglas Adams

We live in strange times. We also live in strange places: each in a universe of our own. The people with whom we populate our universes are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own. Being able to glance out into this bewildering complexity of infinite recursion and say things like, ‘Oh, hi, Ed! Nice tan. How’s Carol?’ involves a great deal of filtering skill for which all conscious entities have eventually to develop a capacity in order to protect themselves from the contemplation of the chaos through which they seethe and tumble. – Douglas Adams

We no longer think of chairs as technology, we just think of them as chairs. But there was a time when we hadn’t worked out how many legs chairs should have, how tall they should be, and they would often “crash” when we tried to use them. Before long, computers will be as trivial and plentiful as chairs and we will cease to be aware of the things. In fact I’m sure we will look back on this last decade and wonder how we could ever have mistaken what we were doing with them for “productivity” – Douglas Adams

We no longer think of chairs as technology; we just think of them as chairs. But there was a time when we hadn’t worked out how many legs chairs should have, how tall they should be, and they would often ‘crash’ when we tried to use them. – Douglas Adams

We notice things that don’t work. We don’t notice things that do. We notice computers, we don’t notice pennies. We notice e-book readers, we don’t notice books. – Douglas Adams

We talked about how easy it was to make the mistake of anthropomorphizing animals, and projecting our own feelings and perceptions on to them, where they were inappropriate and didn’t fit. We simply had no idea what it was like being an extremely large lizard, and neither for that matter did the lizard, because it was not self-conscious about being an extremely large lizard, it just got on with the business of being one. To react with revulsion to its behavior was to make the mistake of applying criteria that are only appropriate to the business of being human. – Douglas Adams

We think that the world is a solid, vivid place, full of shape and colour and solid objects like this table and this microphone and so on, but we actually create that in our heads out of the bits of information that hit the back of our eyeballs or hit our eardrums or hit our tongues or whatever. – Douglas Adams

We’ll meet the meat. – Douglas Adams

Well the hours are good…’ … ‘but now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy. – Douglas Adams

Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point I’m afraid where you begin to suspect that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise. – Douglas Adams

We’re not obsessed by anything, you see,” insisted Ford. “…” “And that’s the deciding factor. We can’t win against obsession. They care, we don’t. They win.” “I care about lots of things,” said Slartibartfast, his voice trembling partly with annoyance, but partly also with uncertainty. “Such as?” “Well,” said the old man, “life, the Universe. Everything, really. Fjords.” “Would you die for them?” “Fjords?” blinked Slartibartfast in surprise. “No.” “Well then.” “Wouldn’t see the point, to be honest. – Douglas Adams

What a wonderfully exciting cough,’ said the little man, quite startled by it, ‘do you mind if I join you?’ And with that he launched into the most extraordinary and spectacular fit of coughing which caught Arthur so much by surprise that he started to choke violently, discovered he was already doing it and got thoroughly confused. – Douglas Adams

What do you get if you multiply six by nine?” “Six by nine. Forty two.” “That’s it. That’s all there is.” “I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe – Douglas Adams

What does it matter? Science has achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I’d far rather be happy than right any day. – Douglas Adams

What god would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 flight to Oslo? – Douglas Adams

What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your own mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that’s really the essence of programming. By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve certainly learned something about it yourself. The teacher usually learns more than the pupil. Isn’t that true? – Douglas Adams

What I need… is a strong drink and a peer group. – Douglas Adams

What is the point? We assume that every time we do anything we know what the consequences will be, i.e., more or less what we intend them to be. This is not only not always correct. It is wildly, crazily, stupidly, cross-eyed-blithering-insectly wrong! – Douglas Adams

What is this? Some sort of galactic hyperhearse? – Douglas Adams

What the computer in virtual reality enables us to do is to recalibrate ourselves so that we can start seeing those pieces of information that are invisible to us but have become important for us to understand. – Douglas Adams

What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer. – Douglas Adams

What was the self-sacrifice?” I jettisoned half of a much-loved and I think irreplaceable pair of shoes.” Why was that self-sacrifice?” Because they were mine!” said Ford, crossly. I think we have different value systems.” Well mine’s better. – Douglas Adams

What’s up?” [asked Ford.] I don’t know,” said Marvin, “I’ve never been there. – Douglas Adams

When people you greatly admire appear to be thinking deep thoughts, they probably are thinking about lunch. – Douglas Adams

When the girl sitting at the next table looked away from a moment, Dirk leaned over and took her coffee. He knew that he was perfectly safe doing this because she would simply not be able to believe that this had happened. – Douglas Adams

When the idea comes, I often can’t remember where it came from. I remember very little about writing the first series of Hitchhiker’s. It’s almost as if someone else wrote it. – Douglas Adams

When you walk through the storm, hold your head high And don’t be afraid of the dark! At the end of the storm is a golden sky And the sweet song of the lark. Walk on through the wind Walk on through the rain Though your dreams be tossed & blown Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart And you’ll never walk alone! – Douglas Adams

When you write your first book aged 25 or so, you have 25 years of experience, albeit much of it juvenile experience. The second book comes after an extra year sitting in bookshops. Pretty soon, you begin to run on empty. – Douglas Adams

When you’re cruising down the road in the fast lane and you lazily sail past a few hard-driving cars and are feeling pretty pleased with yourself and then accidently change down from fourth to first instead of third thus making your engine leap out of your hood in a rather ugly mess, it tends to throw you off stride in much the same way that this remark threw Ford Prefect off his. – Douglas Adams

Who is this god person anyway? – Douglas Adams

Who should play the lead role in a film about me? Dunno. Danny De Vito? Jeff Goldblum? Meryl Streep? Someone of that kind. – Douglas Adams

Why are people born? Why do they die? Why do they want to spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches? – Douglas Adams

Why can’t people just learn to live together in peace and harmony?’ said Arthur. / Ford gave a loud, very hollow laugh. / ‘Forty-two!’ he said with a malicious grin, ‘No, doesn’t work. Never mind. – Douglas Adams

Why’ is the only question that bothers people enough to have an entire letter of the alphabet named after it. The alphabet does not go ‘A B C D What? When? How?’ but it does go ‘V W X Why? Z. – Douglas Adams

Why should I want to make anything up? Life’s bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it. – Douglas Adams

Why?’ is always the most difficult question to answer. You know where you are when someone asks you ‘What’s the time?’ or ‘When was the battle of 1066?’ or ‘How do these seatbelts work that go tight when you slam the brakes on, Daddy?’ The answers are easy and are, respectively, ‘Seven-thirty in the evening,’ ‘Ten-fifteen in the morning,’ and ‘Don’t ask stupid questions. – Douglas Adams

Will you stop counting!’ snarled Zaphod. ‘Yes,’ said Ford Prefect, ‘in three minutes and thirty-five seconds. – Douglas Adams

Without a god, life is only a matter of opinion. – Douglas Adams

WOKING (vb.) To enter the kitchen with the precise determination to perform something only to forget what it is just before you do it. – Douglas Adams

Words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through. – Douglas Adams

Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. – Douglas Adams

Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now? – Douglas Adams

Would you like me to go and stick my head in a bucket of water? – Douglas Adams

Years and years ago, I did a game based on ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’ with a company called Infocom, which was a great company. They were doing witty, intelligent, literate games based on text. – Douglas Adams

Yes it is,’ said the Professor. ‘Wait—’ he motioned to Richard, who was about to go out again and investigate— ‘let it be. It won’t be long.’ Richard stared in disbelief. ‘You say there’s a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand there naming Beatles songs?’ The Professor looked blankly at him. – Douglas Adams

Yes, I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as atheist some people will say, Don’t you mean agnostic? I have to reply that I really do mean atheist, I really do not believe that there is a god; in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one…etc., etc. It’s easier to say that I am a radical atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. – Douglas Adams

Yes, it is true that sometimes unusually intelligent and sensitive children can appear to be stupid. But stupid children can sometimes appear to be stupid as well. I think that’s something you might have to consider. – Douglas Adams

Yes. They are the words that finally turned me into the hermit I have now become. It was quite sudden. I saw them, and I knew what I had to do.” The sign read: “Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.” “It seemed to me,” said Wonko the Sane, “that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane. – Douglas Adams

You ARE Zaphod Beeblebrox?’ ‘Yeah,’ said Zaphod, ‘but don’t shout it out or they’ll all want one.’ ‘THE Zaphod Beeblebrox?’ ‘No, just A Zaphod Beeblebrox, didn’t you hear I come in six packs?’ ‘But sir,’ it squealed, ‘I just heard on the sub-ether radio report. It said you were dead…’ ‘Yeah, that’s right, I just haven’t stopped moving yet. – Douglas Adams

You barbarians!’ he yelled. ‘I’ll sue the council for every penny it’s got! I’ll have you hung, drawn and quartered! And whipped! And boiled…until…until…until…until you’ve had enough.’ Ford was running after him. Very very fast. ‘And then I will do it again!’ yelled Arthur, ‘And when I’ve finished I will take all the little bits, and I will jump on them! – Douglas Adams

You can tune a guitar, but you can’t tuna fish. Unless of course, you play bass. – Douglas Adams

You cannot see what I see because you see what you see. You cannot know what I know because you know what you know. What I see and what I know cannot be added to what you see and what you know because they are not of the same kind. Neither can it replace what you see and what you know, because that would be to replace you yourself.” “Hang on, can I write this down?” said Arthur, excitedly fumbling in his pocket for a pencil. – Douglas Adams

You can’t dodge your responsibilities by saying they don’t exist! – Douglas Adams

You can’t possibly be a scientist if you mind people thinking that you’re a fool. – Douglas Adams

You come to me for advice, but you can’t cope with anything you don’t recognize. Hmmm. So we’ll have to tell you something you already know but make it sound like news, eh Well, business as usual , I suppose. – Douglas Adams

You just come along with me and have a good time. The Galaxy’s a fun place. You’ll need to have this fish in your ear. – Douglas Adams

You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.” “Why, what did she tell you?” “I don’t know, I didn’t listen. – Douglas Adams

You live and learn. At any rate, you live. – Douglas Adams

You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number.” “Er, five,” said the mattress. “Wrong,” said Marvin. “You see? – Douglas Adams

You turn the computer into the storyteller and the player into the audience, like in the old days when the storyteller would actually respond to the audience, rather than just having the audience respond to the storyteller. I had an enormous amount of fun, actually, working on that. – Douglas Adams

Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don’t eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting “Gotcha”. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they hadn’t eaten it.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Because if you’re dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won’t give up. They’ll get you in the end. – Douglas Adams

Zaphod Beeblebrox, adventurer, ex-hippie, good-timer (crook? quite possibly), manic self-publicist, terrible bad at personal relationships, often thought to be completely out to lunch. – Douglas Adams

Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion is the better part of valor, so was cowardice is the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in a closet. – Douglas Adams

Zaphod felt he was teetering on the edge of madness and wondered if he shouldn’t just jump over and have done with it. – Douglas Adams

Zaphod marched quickly down the passageway, nervous as hell, but trying to hide it by striding purposefully. – Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams Quotes

From Wikiquote

  • When you’re a student or whatever, and you can’t afford a car, or a plane fare, or even a train fare, all you can do is hope that someone will stop and pick you up.
    At the moment we can’t afford to go to other planets. We don’t have the ships to take us there. There may be other people out there (I don’t have any opinions about Life Out There, I just don’t know) but it’s nice to think that one could, even here and now, be whisked away just by hitchhiking.

    • Statement of 1984, as quoted in Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988) by Neil Gaiman, p. 2
  • You are disoriented. Blackness swims toward you like a school of eels who have just seen something that eels like a lot.
    • The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy text adventure game (1985), published by Infocom.
  • Driving a Porsche in London is like bringing a Ming vase to a football game.
    • As quoted in Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988) by Neil Gaiman
  • The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place, and continues to do so today.
    • As quoted in The Guardian (1995), and in “Biting back at Microsoft” (5 June 2001)
  • I think a nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And a computer nerd therefore is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer.
    • Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires TV program (1996)
  • Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there’s plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that’s a very dangerous thing to say.
    • Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, (1998)
  • There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world. The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectual history to slowly correct some of our misapprehensions.
    • Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, (1998)
  • A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”
    • Interview in The Daily Nexus (5 April 2000), reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt
  • We don’t have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
    • Speech at The University of California, videoed by UCTV (May 2001).
  • If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; ‘life’, something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that’s the only explanation we had. The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it’s yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we’re not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn’t read well.
    • Douglas Adams. The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time. New York: Random House, 2002, 135–136.
    • Also quoted by Richard Dawkins in his Eulogy for Douglas Adams (17 September 2001)
  • The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it’s just wonderful. And … the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned.
    • Response to the question “What is it about science that really gets your blood running?” — as quoted in Richard Dawkins in his eulogy for Adams (17 September 2001)

The Meaning of Liff (1983)

  • AALST (n.) One who changes his name to be further to the front.
    • Appears as the first entry of the book.
  • ABOYNE (vb.) To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly bad that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.
  • CLIXBY (adj.) Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.
  • FAIRYMOUNT (vb. n.) Polite word for buggery.
  • LAXOBIGGING (ptcpl.vb.) Struggling to extrude an extremely large turd.
  • SHOEBURYNESS (abs.n.) The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat which is still warm from somebody else’s bottom
  • WOKING (vb.) To enter the kitchen with the precise determination to perform something only to forget what it is just before you do it.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987)

  • Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
  • If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.
  • “What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?”
    This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table.
    Richard continued, “What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that’s really the essence of programming. By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve learned something about it yourself.”
  • The teacher usually learns more than the pupils. Isn’t that true?
    It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils,” came a low growl from somewhere on the table, “without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy.
  • The door was the way to… to… The Door was The Way. Good. Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn’t have a good answer to.
  • And that, apart from a flurry of sensational newspaper reports which exposed him as a fraud, then trumpeted him as the real thing so that they could have another round of exposing him as a fraud again and then trumpeting him as the real thing again, until they got bored and found a nice juicy snooker player to harass instead, was that.
  • This was the evening of the last day of Gordon Way’s life … The weather forecast hadn’t mentioned that, of course, that wasn’t the job of the weather forecast, but then his horoscope had been pretty misleading as well. It had mentioned an unusual amount of planetary activity in his sign and had urged him to differentiate between what he thought he wanted and what he actually needed, and suggested that he should tackle emotional or work problems with determination and complete honesty, but had inexplicably failed to mention that he would be dead before the day was out.
  • WFT-II was the only British software company that could be mentioned in the same sentence as such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus. The sentence would probably run along the lines of “WFT-II, unlike such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus …” but it was a start.
  • Or maybe she decided that an evening with your old tutor would be blisteringly dull and opted for the more exhilarating course of washing her hair instead. Dear me, I know what I would have done. It’s only lack of hair that forces me to pursue such a hectic social round these days.
  • The seat received him in a loose and distant kind of way, like an aunt who disapproves of the last fifteen years of your life and will therefore furnish you with a basic sherry, but refuses to catch your eye.
  • Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!
    “The what?” said Richard.
    “The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a …”
    “Yes,” said Richard, “there was also the small matter of gravity.”
    “Gravity,” said Dirk with a slightly dismissive shrug, “yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered.” …
    “You see?” he said dropping his cigarette butt, “They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap … ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.”
  • If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t. It’s like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don’t hurt it. Not even major surgery if it’s done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988)

  • It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression “As pretty as an airport.” Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only exception of this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.
    • Ch. 1
  • “My name is Kate Schechter. Two ‘c’s, two ‘h’s, two ‘e’s, and also a ‘t’, an ‘r’, and an ‘s’. Provided they’re all there the bank won’t be fussy about the order they come in. They never seem to know themselves.”
    • Ch. 1
  • The usual people tried to claim responsibility.
    First the IRA, then the PLO and the Gas Board. Even British Nuclear Fuels rushed out a statement to the effect that the situation was completely under control, that it was a one in a million chance, that there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all, and that the site of the explosion would make a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn’t actually anything to do with them at all.

    • Ch. 2
  • In fact, a very similar phrase was invented to account for the sudden transition of wood, metal, plastic and concrete into an explosive condition, which was “nonlinear, catastrophic structural exasperation,” or to put it another way–as a junior cabinet minister did on television the following night in a phrase which was to haunt the rest of his career–the check-in desk had just got “fundamentally fed up with being where it was.”
    • Ch. 2
  • It was a couple of days before Kate Schechter became aware of any of these things, or indeed of anything at all in the outside world.
    She passed the time quietly in a world of her own in which she was surrounded as far as the eye could see with old cabin trunks full of past memories in which she rummaged with great curiosity, and sometimes bewilderment. Or, at least, about a tenth of the cabin trunks were full of vivid, and often painful or uncomfortable memories of her past life; the other nine-tenths were full of penguins, which surprised her. Insofar as she recognised at all that she was dreaming, she realised that she must be exploring her own subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was very clear what the other nine-tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguins.

    • Ch. 2
  • You would probably not say that he was sleeping the sleep of the just, unless you meant the just asleep, but it was certainly the sleep of someone who was not fooling about when he climbed into bed of a night and turned off the light.
    • Ch. 3
  • The room was not a room to elevate the soul. Louis XIV, to pick a name at random, would not have liked it, would have found it not sunny enough, and insufficiently full of mirrors. He would have desired someone to pick up the socks, put the records away, and maybe burn the place down. Michelangelo would have been distressed by its proportions, which were neither lofty nor shaped by any noticeable inner harmony or symmetry, other than that all parts of the room were pretty much equally full of old coffee mugs, shoes and brimming ashtrays, most of which were now sharing their tasks with each other. The walls were painted in almost precisely that shade of green which Raffaello Sanzio would have bitten off his own right hand at the wrist rather than use, and Hercules, on seeing the room, would probably have returned half an hour later armed with a navigable river. It was, in short, a dump, and was likely to remain so for as long as it remained in the custody of Mr Svlad, or ‘Dirk’, Gently, né Cjelli.
    • Ch. 3
  • …he had a tremendous propensity for getting lost when driving. This was largely because of his “Zen” method of navigation, which was simply to find any car that looked as if it knew where it was going and follow it. The results were more often surprising than successful, but he felt it was worth it for the sake of the few occasions when it was both.
    • Ch. 4
  • Always expecting this and expecting that. May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment.
    • Ch. 4
  • Dirk was unused to making such a minuscule impact on anybody. He checked to be sure that he did have his huge leather coat and his absurd red hat on and that he was properly and dramatically silhouetted by the light of the doorway.
    He felt momentarily deflated and said, “Er…” by way of self-introduction, but it didn’t get the boy’s attention. He didn’t like this. The kid was deliberately and maliciously watching television at him.

    • Ch. 6
  • The explosion was now officially designated an “Act of God.”
    But, thought Dirk, what god? And why?
    What god would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 flight to Oslo?

    • Ch.6
  • Thor was the God of Thunder and, frankly, acted like it.
    • Ch. 7
  • The device [electronic I Ching calculator] also functioned as an ordinary calculator, but only to a limited degree. It could handle any calculation which returned an answer of anything up to 4. …anything above 4 it represented merely as “A Suffusion of Yellow.” Dirk was not certain if this was a programming error or an insight beyond his ability to fathom, but he was crazy about it anyway, enough to hand over twenty pounds of ready cash for the thing.
    • Ch. 10
  • It was a battered yellow Citroën 2CV which had had one careful owner but also three suicidally reckless ones.
    • Ch. 11
  • She held the car grimly to the road as it negotiated the bends with considerable difficulty and the straight sections with only slightly less. The car had landed her in court on one occasion when one of its front wheels had sailed off on a little expedition of its own and nearly caused an accident. The police witness in court had referred to her beloved Citroën as “the alleged car” and the name had subsequently stuck. She was particularly fond of the alleged car for many reasons. If one of its doors, for instance, fell off she could put it back on herself, which is more than you could say for a BMW.
    • Ch. 12
  • My own strategy is to find a car, or the nearest equivalent, which looks as if it knows where it’s going and follow it. I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere I needed to be.
    • Ch. 13
  • …my methods of navigation have their advantage. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
    • Ch. 13
  • What was the Sherlock Holmes principle? ‘Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’
    I reject that entirely. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say ‘Yes, but he or she simply wouldn’t do that.’

    • Ch. 14
  • It was his subconscious which told him this — that infuriating part of a person’s brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing.
    • Ch. 17
  • There was constant talk about hewing things and ravaging things and splitting things asunder. Lots of big talk of things being mighty, and of things being riven, and of things being in thrall to other things, but very little attention given, as I now realise, to the laundry.
    • Ch. 18
  • Immortals are what you wanted,” said Thor in a low, quiet voice. “Immortals are what you got. It is a little hard on us. You wanted us to be for ever, so we are for ever. Then you forget about us. But we are still for ever. Now at last, many are dead, many are dying,” he then added in a quiet voice, “but it takes a special effort.”
    “I can’t even begin to understand what you’re talking about,” said Kate, “you say that I, we —”
    You can begin to understand,” said Thor, angrily, “which is why I have come to you. Do you know that most people hardly see me? Hardly notice me at all? It is not that we are hidden. We are here. We move among you. My people. Your gods. You gave birth to us. You made us what you would not dare to be yourselves. Yet you will not acknowledge us. If I walk along one of your streets in this… world you have made for yourselves without us, then barely an eye will once flicker in my direction.”
    “Is this when you’re wearing the helmet?”
    Especially when I’m wearing the helmet!

    • Ch. 22
  • Dennis Hutch had stepped up into the top seat when its founder had died of a lethal overdose of brick wall, taken while under the influence of a Ferrari and a bottle of tequila.
    • Ch. 23
  • The Great Zaganza said: “You are very fat and stupid and persistently wear a ridiculous hat which you should be ashamed of.”
    • Ch. 35

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Future (2001)

  • It’d be like a bunch of rivers, the Amazon and the Mississippi and the Congo asking how the Atlantic Ocean might affect them… and the answer is, of course, that they won’t be rivers anymore, just currents in the ocean.
    • His stated response to representatives of the music, publishing and broadcasting industries who had asked Douglas at a conference how he thought technological changes will affect them, apparently hoping his response would be something to the effect of, “not very much”
  • It’s important to remember that the relationship between different media tends to be complementary. When new media arrive they don’t necessarily replace or eradicate previous types. Though we should perhaps observe a half second silence for the eight-track. — There that’s done. What usually happens is that older media have to shuffle about a bit to make space for the new one and its particular advantages. Radio did not kill books and television did not kill radio or movies — what television did kill was cinema newsreel. TV does it much better because it can deliver it instantly. Who wants last week’s news?
  • Generally, old media don’t die. They just have to grow old gracefully. Guess what, we still have stone masons. They haven’t been the primary purveyors of the written word for a while now of course, but they still have a role because you wouldn’t want a TV screen on your headstone.

Parrots, the Universe and Everything (2001)

Excerpts from Adams’ final public appearance before his death in May 2001.
  • For us, there is no longer a fundamental mystery about Life. It is all the process of extraordinary eruptions of information, and it is information which gives us this fantastically rich, complex world in which we live; but at the same time that we’ve discovered that we are destroying it at a rate that has no precedent in history, unless you go back to the point when we are hit by an asteroid!
  • Part of how we come to take command of our world, to take command of our environment, to make these tools by which we’re able to do this, is we ask ourselves questions about it the whole time. So this man starts to ask himself questions. “This world,” he says, “so who made it?” Now, of course he thinks that, because he makes things himself. So he’s looking for someone who would have made this world. He says, “Well, so who would have made this world? Well, it must be something a little like me. Obviously much much bigger. And necessarily invisible. But he would have made it. Now why did he make it?” Now we always ask ourselves “why?” because we look for intention around us; because we always intend– we do something with intention. We boil an egg in order to eat it. So we look at the rocks, and we look at the trees, and we wonder what intention is here even though it doesn’t have intention.
  • If we think that the world is here for us we will continue to destroy it the way we have been destroying it, because we think we can do no harm.

The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

  • “Stotting” is jumping upward with all four legs simultaneously. My advice: do not die until you’ve seen a large black poodle stotting in the snow.
  • For Children: You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It’s quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, whereas a fried egg comes out of a chicken. Like most things, of course, it isn’t quite that simple. The fried egg isn’t properly a fried egg until it’s been put in a frying pan and fried. This is something you wouldn’t do to a Friday, of course, though you might do it on a Friday. You can also fry eggs on a Thursday, if you like, or on a cooker. It’s all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while.
  • All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
  • Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
  • There is no problem so complicated that you can’t find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right … Or put it another way, “The future of computer power is pure simplicity.
  • I am fascinated by religion. (That’s a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I’ve thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing.
  • I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
  • My favorite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantelpiece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees.
  • The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I’d written both of them.
  • We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.
  • In fact the only thing that I don’t like about Whisky, is that if I take the merest sip of the stuff, it sends a sharp pain from the back of my left eyeball down to the tip of my right elbow, and I begin to walk in a very special way, bumping into people and snarling at the furniture. I have therefore learned to turn my attention to other tipples. Margaritas, I’m very fond of, but they make me buy very stupid things. When ever I’ve had a few margaritas I always wake up in the morning with a sense of dread as to what I will find downstairs. The worst was a 6ft long pencil and a 2ft wide India rubber that I had shipped over from New York, as a result of one injudicious binge.
  • I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
  • “He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.”
  • “Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there’s no point trying to look in that direction because it won’t be coming from there.”
  • “… Most of the words that airline staff used, or rather most of the sentences into which they were habitually arranged, had been worked so hard that they had died.”
  • How can I tell,” said the man, “that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
    • Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2)

Quotes about Adams

  • It was 1971, and the eighteen-year-old Douglas Adams was hitchhiking his way across Europe with a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe that he had stolen (he hadn’t bothered “borrowing” a copy of Europe on $5 a Day; he didn’t have that kind of money).
    He was drunk. He was poverty-stricken. He was too poor to afford a room at a youth hostel (the entire story is told at length in his introduction to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts in England, and The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy in the US) and he wound up, at the end of a harrowing day, flat on his back in a field in Innsbruck, staring up at the stars. “Somebody,” he thought, “somebody really ought to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
    He forgot about the idea shortly thereafter.
    Five years later, while he was struggling to think of a legitimate reason for an alien to visit Earth, the phrase returned to him. The rest is history…

    • Neil Gaiman, on the origins of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in Don’t Panic : The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988), p. 1

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