Heritage  |  Mar 22, 2021

New book by Douglas Adams is launched

42: the wildly improbably ideas of Douglas Adams will present unseen material from Douglas Adams's personal archive, including notebooks, research, letters, scripts, jokes, speeches, to-do lists and even poems. 

Published by Unbound, the crowd-funding publisher, and edited by Kevin Jon Davies, 42 shows Adams’s extraordinary ability to predict the future direction of technology. It also includes a series of notes written to himself, revealing Adams’s anxiety and frustrations while writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books.

The book will also feature letters to Douglas Adams, written by friends, colleagues and fans, including Stephen Fry, John Lloyd, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Moran, Dirk Maggs, Sue Freestone, Michael Nesmith, Mark Carwardine and Margo Buchanan.

Douglas Adams’s family said, ‘What Douglas loved more than a good idea was sharing a good idea, and whether it was the 1st or 100th time you had heard it, his obvious delight never diminished. We have enjoyed working with Unbound to share some of that delight with you.’

42: The wildly improbable ideas of Douglas Adams will be a full-colour, large-format hardback, reproducing extracts from the archive, presented with explanatory notes to add context. It will follow his career from early collaborations with Graham Chapman, to his work on Doctor Who, through the Hitchhiker years, Dirk Gently, his ground-breaking non-fiction book Last Chance to See and his later fascinating digital work. Alongside this are details of projects that never came to fruition like a proposed ‘dark ride’ at Chessington World of Adventures.

42: The wildly improbable ideas of Douglas Adams went live on Kickstarter and Unbound at 7am UK / 2am NY on 22 March 2021.