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Riding the Rays (1992) (douglasadams.com)
81 points by rfreytag 17 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments



Douglas Adams is one of my favorite writers, and intellectuals, ever.

If you are like me, you absolutely have to watch this hour-long presentation he gave at UC Santa Barbara in 2001 [0], titled "Parrots, the Universe, and Everything". Mind blowing.

His last book, "Last chance to see" [1], which is about endangered species, is heavily related to that talk.

I recently learned that Douglas Adams had a chance to play on stage at Pink Floyd's 28 October 1994 concert at Earls Court in London [2], playing guitar on the songs "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse".

He's even responsible for the 1994 album name "Division Bell" by Pink Floyd. David Gilmour and Douglas Adams were good friends.

Well, what can I say... It sucks that he went away too soon. I'd love to read more of his stuff, and I'd love to know his take on today's world.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZG8HBuDjgc

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Chance_to_See

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdOoJmDCV64


His last book was "Salmon of Doubt" published posthumously. Prepare yourself if you're going to read it, it is unfinished and ends abruptly, and you're left realizing, "He'll never finish it because he's dead." Very sad. I remember walking around my office the day he died and the majority of the people were like, "Who died?"

I watched H2G2 when it aired on PBS in the early 80's in my teens, and it changed my life, I didn't know humour could be like that. I have a signed copy of "Mostly Harmless" from an Intel Developer Conference he spoke at that I attended in the 90's.


I had the privilege to attend a presentation by him at the Royal Society in London about his book Last chance to see, before it was published. I think a lot of people miss the seriousness behind his writing because it all just seems like comedy.


Any chance that was recorded, and published online? Can't find anything.


I don’t think so. It is 30 years ago.


https://vimeo.com/72501076

If you're a fan and you haven't seen Hyperland, it's fantastic.


"The hotel shop only had two decent books and I'd written both of them."

Favorite line.


>> Hamilton Island looks like a pretty good example of what not to do to a beautiful sub-tropical island on the edge of one of the great wonders of the natural world, which is to cover it with hideous high-rise junk architecture, and sell beer and T-shirts and also picture postcards of how beautiful it used to be before all the postcard shops arrived.

All the pretty places looked pretty before the tourists arrived. That's why the tourists arrived. And then, the tourists arrived.


This is actually one of the essays included in The Salmon of Doubt, a posthumously published collection of some of Adams' best writing. The audiobook version of this chapter being read by Simon Jones is a treat.

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Salmon-of-Doubt-Audiobook/B00...


One of the most enjoyable articles I've read in a long time.



"Apple Computer has lost its most eloquent apologist," Richard Dawkins noted in his eulogy.

Beautiful line, only made more apt by who it was that spoke it.


I loved reading "Last chance to see". That, and the essay about the palm top bought at a airport shop to pass time.


gods that was a beautiful piece of writing.


> I may even have wrestled him to the ground and knelt on his windpipe

Oh no. I wonder how he would've phrased this in 2022.




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