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New Douglas Adams Book Planned

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the so-long-and-thanks dept.

News 144

Cabby writes "The BBC and the Independant on Sunday have the news that all the remaining Douglas Adams material is going to be published later on this year, including the unfinished novel 'The Salmon of Doubt' and the proposed screenplay for the Hitchhikers Guide movie"

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Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#178693)

The big question is why?

To make money, silly. Okay, never mind and you are bang on right. It's just Adams had, or is it has, a lot of fans and so even unfinished stuff is going to be bought and no-one is going to dare to say a bad thing about it.

Well, Douglas ADAMS please (in the headline (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#178694)

Well, Douglas ADAMS please (in the headline

Great Unfinished Works (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#178695)

Come on, people! There are many great and famous works which have been left unfinished by the death of the author or artist, later to be distributed posthumously:

The Aeneid - Vergil
Requiem Mass - Mozart
The Art of Fugue - Bach
Pieta (Florence) - Michelangelo
"Unfinished" Symphony - Schubert
Tenth Symphony - Mahler
The Silmarillion - Tolkien

Some other famous works were complete but not published until after the author's death:

The Prince - Machiavelli
Billy Budd - Melville

Of course, not all posthumous works are great, but they are at least useful in understanding the work of the artist, and there really is the occasional masterpiece.

Sure, Adams' estate will profit from this, but that is no reason to be disappointed or jaded.

not to mention (2)

hawk (1151) | more than 13 years ago | (#178696)

Seriously, now. Did anyone *not* expect him to write another book? I just assumed that it wouldn't come hout during his death, but wait until the tax situation cleared . . .

clearly (2)

hawk (1151) | more than 13 years ago | (#178697)

someone implemented IP over spoon . . .

that shows great promise! (2)

hawk (1151) | more than 13 years ago | (#178698)

> (e.g. Jim Carrey as Zaphod)


ooh, please! As the scond head. Detach it and surgically attach to, ahh, hell, anyone!


Oh, it didn't work. MY apologies to the Carrey estate. Somehow we'll have to get along without those "masterpieces" . . .


hawk

Unfinished would match his style... (2)

iabervon (1971) | more than 13 years ago | (#178699)

I can just imagine it: you get three quarters of the way through the book, having no clue what's really going on but expecting it to all make sense in the end...

...and then the rest of the book is blank, except for an editor's note at the end, explaining that the author died partway though.

People would argue for years over how he intended to finish it.

Well he died back in 1990 didn't see the SCEV. (1)

Vermifax (3687) | more than 13 years ago | (#178700)

George de Mestral Patented velcro. Aparently he was inspired by the way a burr's hooks attach to clothing and animal fur.

Short Bio for George [invent.org]

Vermifax

vultures? (3)

Odinson (4523) | more than 13 years ago | (#178701)

He's dead, now we can make a 80 million dollar movie, and there is noone to stop up from making it suck!

I get that feeling every time someone interesting dies who has any IP.

Re:Why? (2)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 13 years ago | (#178703)

I actually thought Mostly Harmless showed him at the top of his form in quality of writing terms.

I loved the book -- until the end. The end was a bit of a problem; a tragic outcome seems somehow incompatible with the spirit of the series. I mean, here you are laughing your head off and all of a sudden everyone dies, in all universes, for ever and ever.

Oops.

I would really prefer to think that Arthur and Fenchurch were somehow reunited on a planet far, far away from anywhere. I think the problem was that Adams couldn't figure out a way to end the series and eliminate the constant cries for new stuff.

D

----

Re:Mozart fans might disagree (1)

Requiem (12551) | more than 13 years ago | (#178704)

Mozart's Requiem isn't particularly good. I've always preferred Fauré's.

I agree with the original poster. Unless the work was basically finished and just needed the odd little change, they really shouldn't be publishing it.

Re:Why? (2)

kimba (12893) | more than 13 years ago | (#178706)

  • I haven't read the book (obviously) but if its not particulary good then its only going to sour the memory of the other good books that he's done.

I wish someone had told him this _before_ he released Mostly Harmless :-)

Re:Sheesh. (1)

Stardate (13547) | more than 13 years ago | (#178707)

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I thought the Dirk Gently novels (esp. the second one) were the most inventive and funny writing Adams' had ever produced. It wasn't knock-down funny like the HH radio scripts, but it was a slower deep kind of funny. The scene in which Dirk is fighting the eagle is so damn good...

Re:A few things. (1)

theyman (13931) | more than 13 years ago | (#178708)

it reappeared as the seventh Hitch-Hiker novel.

I'm obviously not as big a fan as I thought...
What was the sixth?

Re:Sheesh. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 13 years ago | (#178710)

NO GLANDS.
---

Re:Guess I'll Kick This Dead Horse, Too (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 13 years ago | (#178711)

"Douglas Adams is back, and better than ever!"
-- David Manning


---

A spoon to short (1)

fordp (16731) | more than 13 years ago | (#178712)

Sometime in the early 90's I ordered this book from the local bookstore ounder the title "A Spoon to Short" then its title changed to Salmon of Doubt, eventually its ISBN number disappeared. Last I checked (about a year ago) The bookstore still had my order in processing. Perhaps they will actually recieve something for me one day. I gave up when the ISBN vansihed, figured they would to, but hey.


I'm curious to know what the book is about however because as a previous poster mentioned it has been both a Dirk Gently & Hitchhiker Novel.


The problem of course is that this book is not completed, or if it is, DNA was not satisfied with it. This doesn't mean it won't be a good read, it means he wouldn't have released it. Reading it may show us a little of his writing process, but no matter how good (or bad) it is, we'll have to remember it isn't what was suspoed to be published.


DNA once commented " I love deadlines, I love the sound they make as they fly by" I have a feeling he intened on letting this book never meet any deadline as he has done several projects since it (H2G2, Starship Titantic come to mind)

Re:A few things. (2)

Quarters (18322) | more than 13 years ago | (#178713)

"(Same to all the stupid people who write phrases like 'Douglas Adam's' or even 'Hitchicker'. Christ on a bicycle, have none of you ever read anything!)


...seventh Hitch-Hiker
(sic) novel..."
...ideas in a faux-HitchHiker
(sic)...


If you're going to slam on people not spelling "hitchhiker" correctly you could at least manage to spell it correctly (or even consistently) in your own post.

3D Hitchhikers game, (1)

haloric (23757) | more than 13 years ago | (#178715)

I read recently that there is also a 3D game
in production, in either pc-gamer or some
other UK games mag. Can't find any links for
it, but it had a little picture and some
blurb, maybe someone else has come across some
info.

Ant

So long, Mr Adams, and thanks for all the fish. (1)

Caged (24585) | more than 13 years ago | (#178716)

Hmm, I remember reading the first novel, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when I was just 12 years old. Absolutely loved it, laughed myself silly when I got the chance to hire out the TV series on video some years later. (I'm only 23!). I must say however that I was rather saddened by the last book, Mostly Harmless, as it was a very poignant (sp?) way to end the series. And it happened far too quickly. After reading that novel it felt like Wham, Bam, thank you Ma'am and the Earth is no more. But I digress :). I feel that those works which Mr Adam's was composing prior to his death should remain unpublished or perhaps set in public domain instead of copyrighted by his estate. As for a movie? God save us all! I can just imagine some Hollywood director/producer getting their hands on The Guide and mutilating the plot in the name of a good movie. I would rather the excellent trilogy' be what Mr Adams is remembered for, not some crappy movie looking to cash in on his death. So long, Mr Adams, and thanks for all the fish.

Re:Sheesh. (1)

prizog (42097) | more than 13 years ago | (#178721)

I for one believe that the dead are affected by (and in some cases can affect) the temporal world, but not to the extent that they are likely to post to slashdot.

How else can you explain some of the posts in this sid?

Re:Why? (3)

prizog (42097) | more than 13 years ago | (#178722)

"I'd hate to have any of my unfinished work thrust onto the public. The difference between finished and unfinished is that with the former I'm happy with it going for general release, the latter, i'm not."

That's what Franz Kafka thought too. He asked his wife and his editor to burn all his work after his death. Fortunately, his editor didn't, and that's why we have all of Kafka's stuff. Amerika, his unfinished novel, is still *great*.

Re:Sheesh. (1)

Alanzilla (43079) | more than 13 years ago | (#178723)

My favorite was the discussion of Shroedinger's Cat to stall for time.

Re:It's amazing... (1)

Ack_OZ (64662) | more than 13 years ago | (#178726)

well you don't expect live people to keep writing after they're dead, do you?

don't forget .... (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 13 years ago | (#178728)

Elron Hubbard .... he just kept cranking them out for years after his death .... probably something to do with that infestation of murdered space aliens ....

I'm not sure I'm all that happy... (1)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 13 years ago | (#178730)

To quote Neil Gaiman [americangods.com] from an earlier slashdot story [slashdot.org] :
I hope that his death isn't followed by the publishing of all the stuff he hadn't wanted to see print.


--

Re:Sheesh. (1)

cmeans (81143) | more than 13 years ago | (#178731)

The dead have no claim to our world, because they are totally uneffected by it.

Rather wild and unsubstantiated statement, can you prove it?

Just curious.


---- Sigs are bad for your health ----

Re:Life after death (1)

spiny (87740) | more than 13 years ago | (#178733)

Weston Super Mare? have you been there recently?
ugh.

Re:Life after death (1)

spiny (87740) | more than 13 years ago | (#178734)

well put it this way, it probably hasn't got any better than you remember :)

phil.

Re:A few things. (1)

dingbat_hp (98241) | more than 13 years ago | (#178736)

Well obviously he meant "smelt", which was a very subtle reference to the title.

If you haven't already read it, it's a paternity case for Dirk Gently. Although reared by salmon, the eponynmous fish of the title long harboured the suspicion that he was really a herring.

Re:UNFINISHED should mean just that... (2)

dingbat_hp (98241) | more than 13 years ago | (#178737)

I literally read the "Trilogy" from begining to end

Read ? You mean there's a _book_ of this stuff too ? I thought it was just on the radio !
(and at Theatr Clywd - anyone else remeber the Vogon Poetry Appreciation Chairs, made from forklifts)

Adams was infamous for his writing style (much like my coding style). Fiddle with the damn thing in a perfectionist manner for years, and never actually ship it until your agent pulled it out with pliers. I've not read this ms., but I bet a half-finished Adams' script is already in a far better state than most writer's final drafts.

Besides which, the Adams otaku will never shut up until it's published, spun-off, and there's some crappy plastic action figures to go with it.

Whoohoo, old Dr. Who Scripts... (1)

shagoth (100818) | more than 13 years ago | (#178738)

Maybe this means that the BBC will cut loose of the official copies of some Dr. Who stories that were never finished or in a couple of cases filmed at all. I hate to have less than reverence for the dead, but the idea of getting much of the Dirk Gently material as it originally appeared in the script of the episode "Shada" that was never finished thanks to a BBC stike is just exciting.

Urgh... (1)

pingflood (105369) | more than 13 years ago | (#178739)

I certainly hope they aren't planning on releasing a few "Douglas Adams' [insert title] by [insert some other author]"... Alistair MacLean's stuff comes to mind. (Several books with his name 'by Alastair MacNeill' appeared after his death.)

Unless it's something like a 98% finished work, I'd rather not see them take his name and slap it on something that has very little DNA in it...

-pf

Re:Mozart fans might disagree (1)

gdr (107158) | more than 13 years ago | (#178740)

And how about The Silmarillion, argueably Tolkien's best work.

I suppose it depends how "unfinished" this book is.

Well that's just great, Hemos. (3)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 13 years ago | (#178741)

Whatever happened to that old pirate saying about dead men not telling tales? Gee, this shakes my faith in the entire pirate methodology. What, next you'll be telling me not to "avast, landlubber?" Golly.

--

Re:3D Hitchhikers game, (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 13 years ago | (#178742)

If you link through to the title article, there's a link in the sidebar that goes to a story about the 3D game. It was supposed to be available in "Spring 2001," but those wacky game publishers usually have trouble meeting dates.

Re:Why? (2)

KahunaBurger (123991) | more than 13 years ago | (#178743)

I haven't read the book (obviously) but if its not particulary good then its only going to sour the memory of the other good books that he's done.

I wish someone had told him this _before_ he released Mostly Harmless :-)

*sigh* yeah. "So long..." was a good enough ending. Mostly Harmless, really just sucked. :-(

On the bright side it was after reading that that I discovered "Last Chance to See" a non fiction naturalist sort of book that is just lovely. So while I don't even know the actual publishing chronology, I think of "Last Chance..." as his last book and feel nice about it.

Kahuna Burger

the lost chapters (1)

AnarchoFreak_00 (126755) | more than 13 years ago | (#178745)

Unless you hunt around for the lost chapers, which overwrite the ending of mostly harmless.

I'm not sure where exactly they take over (I assumed it was Mostly Harmless, and not any of the earler ones). They also must have been writen recently to, as he mentions USB in it.

The movie finally seemed to be going well... (1)

lowe0 (136140) | more than 13 years ago | (#178746)

It was going to be directed by Jay Roach, who I think could handle it just fine. The only catch was that the producers wanted some star power.

Here's hoping we get Bruce Campbell as Zaphod.

Re:Life after death (3)

TomV (138637) | more than 13 years ago | (#178747)

Does this strike anyone as a bit creepy? Rifleing through a dead man's PC for snippets of work?

Oh, it's certainly a creepy process. After my dad died, one of the tasks that fell to me was to trawl his PC for documents, bank account details, tax stuff, contacts who needed to be informed of his death and, indeed, any remaining unpublished material (he was an academic of fairly high standing in a rather obscure field), particularly the commentary he'd been working on for the previous 15 years and had very nearly finished. It took one of his ex-colleagues about a year to get it finished, but as his family we're all very happy with the fact that it's out there and will probably be a major text in the field for many years to come, a fitting tribute to his knowledge and learning.

If the material is good, then it's a memorial to the late author's effort and talent. If it's not up to scratch and not likely to enhance the author's respect, then it should probably go quietly to the grave.

all depends on the material and the decision of his heirs. But it's a far from pleasant experience, the trawl

TomV

Re:Well that's just great, Hemos. (2)

ekrout (139379) | more than 13 years ago | (#178748)

In reply to your comment: You've had too much coffee, big guy.

In reply to your .sig: Try this [comp-u-geek.net] site.

Another recent HHGG publication (1)

HuskyDog (143220) | more than 13 years ago | (#178749)

A new book [pocketessentials.com] about the HHGG phenomenon has recently been published in the UK.

I must declare an interest by admitting that my brother is the author.

Re:If they are going to publish the screen play (2)

HuskyDog (143220) | more than 13 years ago | (#178750)

Does publishing the screen play mean they are not going to make the movie?

Well, if its made by any of the big hollywood film companies then none of us will be going to see it will we. You may recall that we are all boycotting the MPAA over the DeCCS case.

Re:Beating a dead horse?? (5)

veddermatic (143964) | more than 13 years ago | (#178751)

Are you kidding.. they haven't even started compiling material for his posthumous CD with guest stars Tupak and Notorious BIG.......

Death does not mean you can stop selling crap... at least not in our culture. Why, I saw John Wayne hawking Coors Light just yesterday on that there TeeVee!

Maybe they were unpublished for a reason? (3)

Sudderth (146030) | more than 13 years ago | (#178752)

Here's a quote [americangods.com] by Neil Gaiman, a popular fantasy and comic-book writer (Sandman, Good Omens with Terry Pratchett, etc.). This blogger entry was a sort of eulogy written just after Adams' death, and sums up why I think the unpublished stuff should remain so (unless the Hitchhiker's movie is finally made with no changes to Adams' script).

He was a very brilliant man. (Not said lightly. I think he really was one of those astonishingly rare people who saw things differently and more clearly and from a different angle.) I don't think he liked the process of writing very much to begin with, and I think he liked it less and less as time went on. Probably, he wasn't meant to be a writer. I'm not sure that he ever figured out what it was that he did want to do; I suspect it's something they don't have a concept for yet, let alone a name -- and if he'd been around when this thing was around (World Designer? Explainer?) he would have done it brilliantly.

(I hope that his death isn't followed by the publishing of all the stuff he hadn't wanted to see print.)

Re:Why? (1)

oman_ (147713) | more than 13 years ago | (#178753)


I for one would love to see unfinished work.
If it sucks then it sucks, but that's what I would expect. Being such a big fan I'd love to get my hands on whatever I could.. even if it is just to bring back a few of the joys and memories of reading through HHGTTG for the first time.

A few things. (5)

JimPooley (150814) | more than 13 years ago | (#178757)

Well. It would have been nice had Slashdot SPELT HIS NAME RIGHT in the heading... "Douglas Adam" indeed.
(Same to all the stupid people who write phrases like "Douglas Adam's" or even "Hitchicker". Christ on a bicycle, have none of you ever read anything!)

The Salmon of Doubt. It would actually be interesting if all the drafts are present. It originally began in the early 90's (93?) as the third 'Dirk Gently' novel. Then the character of 'Dirk Gently' was written out. Some time later, it reappeared as the seventh Hitch-Hiker novel. Then it vanished altogether. Amazon were accepting orders for it for some time and ZZ9 [zz9.org] were constantly having to tell people that no such book had been published!

Now it would be very interesting to see if any of this change survives.

It may seem like grave-robbing, but I'd rather they did this than have some hack finish off Adams' ideas in a faux-HitchHiker style. I'm very glad to see Ed Victor saying there is no question of having someone finish ideas off.


Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems

"from the so-long-and-thanks dept." (2)

seanmeister (156224) | more than 13 years ago | (#178758)

More like "from the picking-the-flesh-from-the-corpse-of-Douglas-Adams dept"... maybe there's a reason these works were unfinished?

--

Re:Beating a dead horse?? (1)

chipuni (156625) | more than 13 years ago | (#178759)

In this culture, death doesn't even mean that you have to stop writing.

Take a look at L. Ron Hubbard, for instance...

Re:A few things. (1)

rizzo242 (165630) | more than 13 years ago | (#178762)

Well. It would have been nice had Slashdot SPELT HIS NAME RIGHT

::snicker::

I'm sure you can all see the irony in this...no need to point it out. It's practicly spelt out four you in blak and wite...

"Sweet creeping zombie Jesus!"

Re:Beating a dead horse?? (1)

rizzo242 (165630) | more than 13 years ago | (#178763)

Death does not mean you can stop selling crap... at least not in our culture.

I'm sure we can all agree that sales is probably the most profitable post-mortem profession you can get into these days.

"Sweet creeping zombie Jesus!"

At least they are not bringing in 'collaborators' (1)

Viadd (173388) | more than 13 years ago | (#178764)

According to the NY Times, they are sharecropping Narnia [nytimes.com] by having other authors write books in the Narnia universe.

However, they are toning down the Christian elements to cater to today's readers.

"We'll need to be able to give emphatic assurances that no attempt will be made to correlate the stories to Christian imagery/theology."

Now I'm as Godless as the next guy, but I can't help but think that this would be slightly contrary to C. S. Lewis's original vision for his series. I think I can speak for everyone in wishing the publisher a painful eternity in the fires that burn but do not consume.

Re:"from the so-long-and-thanks dept." (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 13 years ago | (#178765)

Many of Franz Kafka's works were released post-humously against his expressed intentions (in his will there was something about having everything burned..). Most of his books were never really finished, just pieced together by editors from the stuff they were able to find.

While, on one hand, it may sound like the money-grubbing corps at it again, a definate argument is to be made about humanity deserving to see them...

Re:A few things. (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 13 years ago | (#178766)

I think he's refering to "Young Zaphod"

Except that "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" was not a novel, and came out before the 5th book ("Mostly Harmless") was released... so calling it the sixth novel would be silly.

Re:Whoohoo, old Dr. Who Scripts... (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 13 years ago | (#178767)

Most of Shada was filmed. You can buy a partially-restored version of it from almost any video store large enough to have old TV sci fi.

It's kind of dry to watch. The unfilmed scenes are filled in with Tom Baker narrating text based on the events in the screenplay. (Or just raw text, if you watch one of the early bootlegs).

There's also a couple of scenes where they did not get around to looping K9's voice, so you just see The Doctor holding one end of a conversation with long pauses in between.

Re:it's a... (2)

Golias (176380) | more than 13 years ago | (#178769)

Judging by the comments here, I must be the only person on Earth who thinks that "Mostly Harmless" was a better book that "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish".

"So Long" was too happy. Arthur leans that Earth is still there and then spends a few chapters having flying sex with a total hottie while listening to Dire Straits records. The tone of the story was completely different than in the first three, which introduced a lot of very dark themes. (You can't escape bureaucrats; truely understanding the world would make you go mad; life is short, cruel, and usually unfair; etc.)

In "So Long", Adams abandoned the motif of depression that defined the series up until then in order to meditate upon just how sexy Mark Knopfler's guitar solos are.

The "rain god" was funny, but probably would have been a better fit in a Dirk Gently novel.

I will grant you that Adams at his worst was still better than a lot of authors at their best *cough*Pratchet*cough*, but I really consider "So Long" to be the weakest of the five books.

"Mostly Harmless" was a return to form. Of course the Vogon bureaucracy would have ultimate vicory in the end... could it really be any other way?

If they are going to publish the screen play (2)

eean (177028) | more than 13 years ago | (#178770)

Does publishing the screen play mean they are not going to make the movie?

Re:Great Unfinished Works (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 13 years ago | (#178771)

Wow. So much for the claim that AC's never have anything useful to contribute...
---

Maybe... (2)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 13 years ago | (#178772)

It'll reveal if God really is sorry for the inconvenience.

It's amazing... (2)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 13 years ago | (#178773)

...how many dead people keep writing after their deaths! Talk about ghost writing...


--
Scott Robert Ladd
Master of Complexity
Destroyer of Order and Chaos

Re:Why? (2)

onion2k (203094) | more than 13 years ago | (#178774)

Douglas Adams on a bad day is better than a whole lot of other stuff released.

TekWar anyone?

Re:Sheesh. (1)

Phillip2 (203612) | more than 13 years ago | (#178775)

"Writers are their own worst critics...good writers esepcially. "

I think that I agree with you. Douglas Adams was a terrible critic, which was probably why he did not realise that much of his later output was pretty terrible, and to be honest shamed his earlier output.

Many of the hitchhiker books fell over on this, being a pale reflection of the radio series. And what was he playing out with Dirk Gently. Whatever convinced him that cobbling together two Dr Who stories in this way was a good idea?

Douglas Adams was not a great writer. He had a great turn of phrase, an inventive and fertile mind for looking sidewise at issues, and a brilliant flair for one liners. This did not make his a great writer however. Compare HHGTTG for instance with "Catch 22", if you want to see what a great writer can do.

"won't you buy it if it is published?"

I won't buy it no. I have bought much of Douglas Adams' output, but I stopped after Dirk Gently convinced me I was throwing my money away. I do hope however that Radio 4 repeats the HHGTTG, I would certainly look forwards to that.

Phil

Re:Great Unfinished Works (1)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 13 years ago | (#178777)

Exactly.

A few more additions to that list -

Every James Bond novel from "Man With The Golden Gun" onwards (that one was unfinished at the time of Ian Flemming's death).

Several Isaac Asimov works.

"Made In Heaven" album by Queen.

Numerous albums from other artists released after their death.

Heck, it's a free country, so why not let them go ahead and release it?
Those who want to buy it can, those who don't want to don't have to. Everyone is happy.

Adams will be far from the first person to have works finished and released after his death.

with any luck... (1)

Technodummy (204943) | more than 13 years ago | (#178778)

he'll be published unfinished, like Pushkin. All his own work, not diluted by another's.

Oh no! (1)

Placido (209939) | more than 13 years ago | (#178780)

Please don't. Just leave it be. Why do we have to rummage through his stuff. It was unfinished.

*sad*


Pinky: "What are we going to do tomorrow night Brain?"

Why? (4)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 13 years ago | (#178781)

The big question is why? Now I'm not disbuting that Douglas Adams is a great author but the main reason this book hasn't been released is because its unfinished.

I haven't read the book (obviously) but if its not particulary good then its only going to sour the memory of the other good books that he's done.

Live and let live. I'd hate to have any of my unfinished work thrust onto the public. The difference between finished and unfinished is that with the former I'm happy with it going for general release, the latter, i'm not.

(Anyone remember Gene Roddenberry's unfinished work? And how poor that was? Makes you realise why it was unfinished ...)

--

Douglas Adams and Scientology? (1)

wardomon (213812) | more than 13 years ago | (#178782)

Maybe Douglas Adams has moved offshore to continue his writings in peace and quiet. It's still working for L. Ron Hubbard.

Re:I'm not sure I'm all that happy... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#178783)

Thanks for posting this, I didn't know Neil had this site. (Too many other things to do than surf the web endlessly...) Nice to see he'll be at Keppler in Menlo Park on the 26th. Now if only Terry Pratchett would book tour here...

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All your .sig are belong to us!

Re:If they are going to publish the screen play (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#178784)

As Douglas, himself said, making a film would be difficult, as Hollywood prefers a begining, a middle and an end to stories, whereas the HH stories go on and on and on. Hence, it has taken up to his death, to continue thrashing out a possible script. Without DNA it's highly unlikely, IMHO, that the series will spawn a film. Douglas was one of the few with genuine passion to do a film. But, stranger things have happened, and it's possible the Dark Forces of Hollywood will now concoct some stupid piece of garbage (e.g. Jim Carrey as Zaphod)

Typically when an author dies and rights revert to those, including estates, which do not place the same personal value on the property, it gets exploited all over the place and some truly terrible things happen (e.g. Dr. Seuss & The Grinch Movie, IMHO the Chuck Jones w/Boris Karloff beat it hands down.)

If they just wad all the stuff up and put it into a binder I might buy a copy, but any derivative works, probably not.

--
All your .sig are belong to us!

Re:Well, Douglas ADAMS please (in the headline (1)

neorf (223036) | more than 13 years ago | (#178786)

people, this isn't offtopic, this person is pointing out something that should be changed. a person must be respected, especially after they have died, and are being remembered. i can't think of anything more disrespectful.


---

Mozart fans might disagree (2)

mike260 (224212) | more than 13 years ago | (#178787)

I'm quite happy to be able to listen to his final, unfinished work.

---
'Fruity smells are what I like'
Debbie Gibson

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Afterlife (1)

franksbiyatch (227234) | more than 13 years ago | (#178790)

"New" Douglas Adams material? It all sounds kind of creepy, as though the work were being transmitted vie psychic medium:

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Afterlife [ridiculopathy.com]

Tupac of Books?? (1)

Bahamuto (227466) | more than 13 years ago | (#178791)

Well, I don't mind them doing this, but only if this is done once. I mean it seems every year Tupac puts out another double cd, and I always wonder, where are they 'finding' this new music that he never put out. Maybe Adams is still alive :) Linux is the bomb Nathan

This is disrespectful... (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 13 years ago | (#178792)

I understand that Douglas Adams was a popular author but to publish work without his consent, even though he's dead, is incredibly disrespectful to his memory. No author that I've ever known (and having done a creative writing degree and worked in print journalism, I've rubbed elbows with a couple) would be happy if their work was shown to others before it was ready.

There are some instances, like Kafka, for instance, who would have never shown anybody anything if his friend hadn't had done it for him, but in this matter it isn't a case of simple neurosis. Adams was a pro, he'd been published and widely read before, surely if he thought that his unfinished work was ready for publication, it wouldn't have been unfinished.

As for this:

"He added that there was no question of any other writer completing the book."

I can assure you that of equal nightmarish possibility is the chance that an EDITOR will attempt to complete his book without him knowing about it. I know the literary industry is hurting, but to resort to this sort of thing is abominable.

You, sir, are a doughbrain (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 13 years ago | (#178793)

The dead have no claim to our world, because they are totally uneffected by it. If some of us would like a chance to see Adams' final works published -- and I do, if even as a tribute to the editrial process Adams undertook -- then by all means we should be allowed to.

I'm so glad that the personal effects of a dead man have to be dishonoured in order to satisfy your curiosity. Why not argue on behalf of the dignity of the guy? Probably because of selfishness.

In the other cases, with many other works being published posthumously like the Aeneid and the Silmarillion, it wasn't done in the era of endless Harry Potter sequels and unauthorized Princess Diana biographies. The motivations for publishing this work are financial, first and foremost. It's a bleeding shame that the personal property of a guy is allowed to be ravaged so as to satisfy a publisher.

Re:As the world revolves... (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 13 years ago | (#178797)

Don't forget Tupac, who I think at this point has released more albums since he got capped than he did when he was still among the living.

Text only, please. (1)

billybob2001 (234675) | more than 13 years ago | (#178799)

We are also looking at his PC to see how much he had completed of the novel he was working on when he died

This is going to be the most explicit book ever published if 'they' peek into the browser cache.

I do like the idea though of spending my life partially completing work, running up huge debts, and then paying them off after I've died, when all my work gets completed.

Re:Sheesh. (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 13 years ago | (#178801)

He said: The dead have no claim to our world, because they are totally uneffected by it.


You said: Rather wild and unsubstantiated statement, can you prove it?


The problem is, exploring the converse of his statement is totally impossible. No, he can't prove it, but even gathering proof for an opposing opinion would be futile. Just curious, indeed.

Re:Beating a dead horse?? (1)

discovercomics (246851) | more than 13 years ago | (#178803)

Sometimes there are some good things that arrive posthumously but mostly we the fan/consumer get served up the dregs of the earth.
I personally would pee all over myself if some unpublished Robert Heinlen were to appear one day. Lord knows that J.R.R. Tolkien has had more books released after his death than ever appeared while he was alive.

Probably the grandaddy of them all as far as milking it has to be Hendrix.
Q: How many albums did Jimi Hendrix release while he was alive?
A: 5 actually 3 is all that should count cause one is a hits collection and the other is a contractual obligation album

Are You Experienced (1967)

Axis:Bold as Love(1967)

Electric Ladyland(1968)

Smash Hits(1969)

Band Of Gypsies(1970)
There were also two Curtis Knight LP's but Jimi really wasn't much more than a sideman on those so I didn't count them.

Q: How many different variations and compilations have been released since his death?
A: > 40 plus many an assorted bootleg

Are You Experienced

Axis Bold As Love

Axis: Bold As Love

Band Of Gypsies 2

Band Of Gypsys

Blues

BBC Sesions

Cornerstones

Crash Landing

Cry Of Love

Electric Hendrix

Electric Ladyland

Experience

First Rays Of The New Rising Sun

Footlights

Gloria

Hendrix Speaks

In The West

Isle Of Wight

Lifelines

Live And Unreleased The Radio Show

Live At Winterland

Live At Winterland Plus 3

Live At Winterland mini

Loose Ends

Monterey

Nine To The Universe

Radio One

Rainbow Bridge

Red House Variations On A Theme

Sacred Sources 1: Live Forever

Setting The Record Straight

Smash Hits

Stages

The Essential Jimi Hendrix

The First Rays Of The New Rising Sun

The Jimi Hendrix Concerts

The Singles Album

The Ultimate Experience

Voodoo Soup

War Heroes

Winterland 3

Woodstock

Woodstock 25

Woodstock box

Respect a dead man's wishes. (1)

Ubergeek26 (249594) | more than 13 years ago | (#178804)

I see you all getting excited about a great author's unpublished works. There is a reason why some of them are unpublished, he didn't want them published.

I have to agree with a posting that Neil Gaiman made when he found out about him passing on. He was hoping that they wouldn't publish his unpublished stuff. I personally would much rather listen to the opinion of peer of his, and someone whose work I also admire. I would really hate to see this become a Gene Roddenbery (sp?) type of exploitation, granted Andromeda rules, but that is only because I am one of those sexist pigs.

Let's be happy with what we have recieved from this great man and leave it at that.

Encryption (2)

imipak (254310) | more than 13 years ago | (#178805)

For once, I guess we can be grateful someone didn't use strong encryption...
--
"I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

Guess I'll Kick This Dead Horse, Too (2)

CrazyLegs (257161) | more than 13 years ago | (#178806)

Like others have said, let Mr. Adams rest. Unless his last wish was to publish this stuff, it's safe to assume that he didn't want it published. Gotta love that boolean logic, eh?

So why rape his work after death? Just to capitalize on recent media attention? Is his estate in financial dire straits? I, for one, am unlikely to purchase any of this stuff - unless the critcs tell me to! ;)

Re:Unfinished would match his style... (2)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 13 years ago | (#178808)

I can just imagine it: you get three quarters of the way through the book, having no clue what's really going on but expecting it to all make sense in the end...

...and then the rest of the book is blank, except for an editor's note at the end, explaining that the author died partway though.

People would argue for years over how he intended to finish it.


I dunno...there's a bit of poetic justice in it I think. Anyone recall how Adams had Samuel Taylor Coleridge finish out "Kublai Khan" with the "second and far more interesting part"?

IMNSHO, I think it would be great if they released "The Salmon of Doubt" as it was originally written as a Dirk Gently book. I loved all of Adams work, but I think that I cared for the Dirk Gently books more that the HHGTTG books. And with that title...I mean, come on, it's got to be a Dirk Gently book.

UNFINISHED should mean just that... (1)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 13 years ago | (#178809)

First off, I am a HUGE Adams fan. I literally read the "Trilogy" from begining to end, and then go back to the beginning again (prob, ten times now thru)

However, I do not need new material enough that they should publish a TRULY unfinished work. Now, if "unfinished" means he sent HIS last draft to the editors and it hasn't been edited and rewritten to their standards yet, fine.

Re:Guess I'll Kick This Dead Horse, Too (1)

Flarg! (265195) | more than 13 years ago | (#178812)

As a fan, I have a certain emotional (and financial) investment in Mr. Adams' work. No auther retains exclusive rights to his intellectual property, and the desires of the fans do have to be considered.

That being said, I don't think that publishers should sell his unfinished work, at least not for a profit. His writings should be released on the internet, and published at cost (or with 100% of the profits going to his family).

When you put yourself out into the public, and make yourself a part of people's lives, you can't expect that to end just because you die.

Sheesh. (4)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 13 years ago | (#178815)

I wish all you "let the man be" people would take a hint from classical literature.

Writers are their own worst critics...good writers esepcially. And great writers, of whom I think Mr. Adams squeaks into the fray quite nicely, are often so critical of their own work they don't recognize the genious in it. Alan Ginsberg sat on Kaddish for something close to a year before releasing it, and when he did he only made minor revisions. And Emily Dickinson didn't release anything during her life -- books of her work were only compiled after her death when her loved ones and associated exchanged poems she had written for them. Surely, E.D. would have complained about the publishing of her most personal thoughts, her rawest fantesies, into the general public. But she can't. That's one of the appeals of posthumous publishing, you can remove the complaints of the party post likely to be embarassed by their own genius. And I, for one, applaud the effort. The dead have no claim to our world, because they are totally uneffected by it. If some of us would like a chance to see Adams' final works published -- and I do, if even as a tribute to the editrial process Adams undertook -- then by all means we should be allowed to.

Unfinished does not mean "crappy," just as finishing a book does not imply it was done with any quality. Mostly Harmless was a mistaken book to most who read it, far too cynical and abrupt. An unrushed, paced novel with no thoughts of marketability or story length would be a gem from the often disjointed Adams -- it could be as brilliant as some of the unfinished symphonies. And those who would place blame on the future publishers, answer me this: won't you buy it if it is published? Won't you read it and complain when it lacks the genius of Dirk Gently? I know I will...money making or not, this is not "2pac' s poetry book"...this is Douglas Adams.

Re:Beating a dead horse?? (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#178817)

Well, there's the old story that Elvis earned even more money the first few years after his death than he did in his whole life, and he earned a ton during his life.

Re:Why? (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#178818)

Now that Gene's dead, it's improving greatly. Who amongst us can't wait for a series starring the guy from Quantum Leap.

Re:vultures? (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#178819)

Let's get Arthur on a Burger King cup!

Re:UNFINISHED should mean just that... (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 13 years ago | (#178820)

Come on, who mods all these posts down to offtopic, they may be redundant but nevertheless they are about the man's books, didn't you realize that?

Whatever, parent poster obviously hasn't read any of the books, otherwise he would know you can devour each one in one night alone, so it won't distract you that much from all the other books you might want to read. Plus I think the original poster's remark about starting all over again after finishing the last page is an acceptable exaggeration: the whole trilogy once a year seems more likely and adaequate to me, lest it won't get too stale too soon.

Re:I don't understand ! (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 13 years ago | (#178821)

I'm only meta-commenting on questionable moderation today, hm...

Anyway, and while risking to feed a troll (I checked the web for combinations of Douglas,Adam and terrorist, and couldn't find an IRA terrorist by that name, but there seems to be one terrorist Adam Douglas that's been mentioned quite some times, and I could be wrong about that too, he might be only a reporter who writes about terrorist attacks) I'd say that post #31 is a funnier attempt at pointing out the typo in the headline. Correct that already editors, it hurts my eyes.

Re:If they are going to publish the screen play (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 13 years ago | (#178822)

Interesting question. I seem to remember there have been disputes between Adams and the film makers about how to do it. Catch the latest rumours on the film's Coming Attractions page [corona.bc.ca] . Check back more often, the page hasn't been updated since he's _pushing_up_the_daisies_ (sorry for the allusion). Maybe this fact is remarkable enough in itself.

Re:3D Hitchhikers game, (1)

Libster (308301) | more than 13 years ago | (#178823)

Not sure, but there is always this [douglasadams.com] classic little java gem for hours of fun...

Re:Dead writers society (1)

guuyuk (410254) | more than 13 years ago | (#178824)

Well, Young Zaphod Plays it Safe is a short story that came with the deluxe hardbound edition, so I guess that counts.

Re:A few things. (1)

Andrew Allan (442589) | more than 13 years ago | (#178825)

Quoted from "Don't Panic", by Neil Gaiman "It is worth commenting here on the anomalies of the title. The mould was cast by Adams, on his original three-page outline for the series, which was titled THE HITCH-HIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (with hyphen) but referred to the book as THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE (without hyphen) throughout." (This then continues on for a bit, citing each time each variation was used) So, being inconsistent is excusable... Andy

As the world revolves... (2)

spacefem (443435) | more than 13 years ago | (#178826)

I hear so much complaining people, when are we going to learn that economics don't stop just because we die? The Beatle's released new songs in the '90's, complete with John's voice. John Candy and Marilyn Monroe died filming movies that were later (or will be anyway) finished and thrown out there.

I certainly wouldn't mind if I died and somebody updated my web page. Let's not let the world end because of some little departure.



Cynical, yes (2)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 13 years ago | (#178827)

I agree that Mostly Harmless was the most cynical work by Douglas Adams, and that it didn't really fit in with the rest, but I also find that quite apt. Apart from killing off all possibility of a sequel (although I would love to read the complete history of the Cathedral of Chalesm), it could be understood as a comment on the popularity of the series (of the books, not the original radio~), and what it had become.
In that, it was quite visionary, albeit darkly so. I postulate parallels between the development of the Guide within the series and the Internet in the real world - how long before netNanny et al watch over all of us, from some black box plopped on every router everywhere? How long before the common technology Internet, brought to you by Microsoft?
I mean - Neuromancer is more positive in outlook.

But before descending irredeemably into a rant - Salmon of Doubt: bring it on. I have the complete collection, including both Liffs, the short story with Zaphod, and last Chance. It's going to be published anyway, and I, for one, will show great appreciation being able to witness it.

Not a day goes by where I don't ask myself "What would Arthur do?" (ending up in me indulging in activities in a very wide range, from making sandwiches to putting on Dire Straits)

Would he have wanted this? (1)

TheRealKennRoss (443630) | more than 13 years ago | (#178828)

I'm actually reading the hitchhikers now, its great.

Would Adams have agreed to have his publisher look through his comp for unpublished works so that they could be published? maybe he didn't wish for some of that work to be published.

Hitchhikers guide is great and i cant wait until schools over so i can resume reading it.

Re:Why? (1)

ColdForged (453024) | more than 13 years ago | (#178831)

Egads, man... ain't it obvious? Got Milk? Everyone with any right to any of his works are going to be doing whatever they can to squeeze every drop of sympathy/nostalgia/whatever cash they can out of this death.

If the guy who invented Velcro keeled over, you can bet we'd see Special Commemorative Edition Velcro out before the body cooled. Gotta love the world.

it's a... (1)

discogravy (455376) | more than 13 years ago | (#178835)

...real shame that they're going to put out unfinished stuff of his; while i don't think that everything he wrote is fit to be carved into marble blocks ("mostly harmless" was particularly cynical and had little of the humor and ridiculousness that attracted me to his other books,) the first four books of the trilogy, the dirk gently novels and "last chance to see" were great great great books. at best, this means the movie will be out sooner than expected (i.e., sometime in the next few years, not "when hell freezes over"); but by the same token, some of the genius of DNA's humor will most likely be cheapened.

at least there's still this. [h2g2.com]
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