I reread it just before the 2005 movie came out, which by the way, we had used for the theme of one of my best friend’s 42nd birthday party. I also read some background on Douglas Adams. As a writer fighting to make a name for myself, I just want to pencil-stab myself in the eye: he hated the process of writing books and yet was awesomely successful. But it does apply some emergency psychic first aid that he was an exacting craftsman who agonized over every phrase.
Hitchhiker is essential science fiction. It is darkly funny in a bittersweet vein and it assigns zany purpose to the universe (and the reasons we think the world ticks are not the reason the world ticks). And as with Asimov – but with no pomposity on the part of the protagonist and with better writing that feels like the addition of power steering to that little Model A – every page offers unique insight that expands the reader’s capacity to realize what if. This book shows where science fiction had gone in forty years, and yet amazingly, it still has the same basic chassis. But Hitchhiker’s unique and addicting humor, voice, and attitude show that science fiction has evolved.
Lessons on Writing: Douglas Adams agonized over dialogue. He worked it and worked it until it was perfect.