Douglas (Noel) Adams 1952–
English scriptwriter and novelist.
After writing comedy for a number of successful British television shows, Adams wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and sold it for broadcast on British radio. The program proved immensely popular, spawning a theater production, a television series, albums and cassettes, and a novel trilogy, with a motion picture in preparation. The trilogy has spread Adams's fame abroad, adding to an already large and enthusiastic following, especially on college campuses.
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979), along with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), and Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), Adams uses the literary devices of science fiction to spoof humanity. The trilogy unfolds the adventures of Englishman Arthur Dent and his alien friend Ford Prefect as they hitch rides across the galaxy after Earth is destroyed to make room for an intergalactic highway. Along the way they meet new life forms that demonstrate Adams's inventiveness. The trilogy is fast-paced and, like the irreverent comedy of Monty Python, mixes deadpan humor, absurdity, satire, and silliness. Most critics have reacted favorably to Hitchhiker, viewing it as rollicking farce seldom seen in science fiction.
(See also Contemporary Authors, Vol. 106.)