Stephen Fry, in his autobiography The Fry Chronicles, writes of being friends with Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (HG2G) series.
”He was never free to play [on Macintosh computers] of course, being eternally under the shadow of a writing deadline and so, naturally, we would play. Douglas’s remark about deadlines has become the final word on the subject. ’I love deadlines, I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by’.” (p. 367)
This is the main conclusion I reached after reading Mike Simpson’s exhaustive and detailed biography: Douglas Adams was bad at deadlines and did a lot of his writing with the help of other people, editors in particular. Simpson wrote it after he had been the deputy editor of the British science fiction magazine SFX, writer of two books on Adam, including this one, and the organizer and editor of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the official Hitchhiker’s Guide appreciation society. The book contains copious public documents as well as Simpson’s personal insights. (Continue reading…)