Thursday, June 26, 2008

While we're on the subject of quotes.

This is sort of off-topic. Hey, it's a slow day at work. Sue me.

I don't generally like Sci-Fi. (Gasp!)
I enjoyed C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and I loved Buck Rogers when I was a kid, and Star Wars is where I developed a still-existing crush on Harrison Ford, but other than that, I'm not a fan.

But I do love Douglas Adams' masterful "Hitch Hiker's" series.

I think these books are some of the most enjoyable, entertaining volumes ever written.
I remember the first time I read them. I could not put The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy down. I just loved it, and I still do. Adams was subtly clever and his books were great fun, and his death was a great loss.

If you'd like to read them, here are short reviews of three Adams books.

Here is how Hitch Hiker's Guide begins:

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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-two 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 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.

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

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

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, one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe 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.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost forever.

This is not her story.

Read the WHOLE THING here!

And here are some quotes from the books:

  • 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.
  • It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'As pretty as an Airport' appear.
  • 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.
  • Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
  • The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.
  • 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 chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
  • You live and learn. At any rate, you live.
  • Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
  • He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.
  • 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.
  • This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

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