SYSTEM Greeter
You are now in Auditorium "Douglas Adams". You have READ/WRITE access.
You may ask up to 3 questions, until this auditorium reaches its maximum of 1000 questions.

Sonicman (Speaker)
we will be hearing the answers to your questions

Sonicman (Speaker)
but we still need more

Sonicman (Speaker)
more

Sonicman (Speaker)
MORE

Sonicman (Speaker)
Keep 'em coming

Sonicman (Speaker)
We've got Douglas here with a huge pot of coffee

Sonicman (Speaker)
And he just can't stop talking

Sonicman (Speaker)
One question after another

Sonicman (Speaker)
nothing gets by him

Sonicman (Speaker)
a veritable vacuum cleaner of a guest

Sonicman (Speaker)
sucking it all in

Sonicman (Speaker)
processing it

Sonicman (Speaker)
and sending it back out as pure

Sonicman (Speaker)
hilarity

Sonicman (Speaker)
uh, wisdom

Kechara (PRODIGY Member)
What prompted you to write Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Largely, poverty and despair at the time were the key factors. It's never any one thing, it's lots of differnt ideas that converge in your mind. It started as a radio series because no one was interested in TV. Radio is a better place for Science fiction, because the pictures are better.

Porslap (PRODIGY Member)
What do you think the best and worst thing about the Internet is?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
the worst thing is all the time it wastes because it's so slow. It's the first time we've had many to many electronic communications.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I wish that everyone went around with bumper stickers saying we want more bandwith.

Porslap (PRODIGY Member)
WHat would you do if you weren't a writer?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I thought I wished I could clone myself off and have several careers...as a writer...an evolutionary biologist...a software engineer and a rock musician.

Life Death (PRODIGY Member)
How did you start your career?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I started out writing bits and pieces for radio scketch shows. This is something that happens uniquely in England. We have so much comedy and drama on the radio, but it's so badly paid that we have to rely on young and upcoming people who are prepared to be paid at this rate.

Porslap (PRODIGY Member)
Do you ever lack confidence in your writing?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Absolutely all the time. It's the single hardest thing to deal with. I deal with it by bursting into tears a lot, threatening to jump out of high windows. When you finish something it looks sleek and well groomed, but the process of making something look like that is enormously difficult and wearing on the self esteem.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Even the great ones have moments of self-doubt

Sonicman (Speaker)
that's the kind of question that digs deep into a writer's soul

Sonicman (Speaker)
and, obviously, brings up gold

Sonicman (Speaker)
Let's mine Douglas for an hour

Sonicman (Speaker)
he won't, uh, mine at all

WildfireDi (PRODIGY Member)
Hiya Doug, I know you don't remember but we met 11 years ago in Philadelphia, a friend and I followed you across Chestnut st. and walked you to your car. (That done, i do have a question) How about the movie to Hitchhiker's, what's with that?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
The movie is well into its second decade of pre pre development. it keeps coming and going. there are currently two competing plans to make the movie, both making radical use of new technologies. These are plans four and five, respectively.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
the competing ideas are making an all computer graphics movie like Toy Story and the other, which is a really radical idea, is of making not one full length movie but a series of 40 minute long 3D IMAX movies.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Bigger than Life

Sonicman (Speaker)
Immersive technologies

Sonicman (Speaker)
why doesn't Douglas create a virtual reality environment?

Sonicman (Speaker)
I don't know

Sonicman (Speaker)
ask him!

Porslap (PRODIGY Member)
What are you working on now?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Most energies are going into a new production company that I am a founding member of. It's not a multimedia company it's a multiple media company, doing televsion, CD ROM, virtual reality stuff. the specific project is a new work of fiction that will make it's first appearance on CD ROM call "Starship Titanic." And a tv series, a serious documentary on evolution. and also a tv drama, sci fi series different from anything else people are currently familiar with.

Sonicman (Speaker)
How evolved are we?

Sonicman (Speaker)
what's the next step in human evolution?

Sonicman (Speaker)
Douglas knows!

Sonicman (Speaker)
Ask him!

Sonicman (Speaker)
Ask him whatever you want

Porslap (PRODIGY Member)
Have you ever seen a UFO?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
If you're asking have I ever seen something that i believe to be an extraterrastrial craft, than no. If you're asking have i ever seen a flying object that i didn't know what it was, the answer's yes. Everyone has, of course if often turns out to carpet slippers.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Hmmmm....carpet slippers

MajorVictory (PRODIGY Member)
Any plans on a new HGTTG book

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No. I don't have a specific plan, but in fact i probably have enough material for a whole other hitchhiker's book. I may well do it one day. The last book was written during a bad period in my life and is therefore bleak and I'm somewhat disinclined to leave it on that note.

SenTientWorM (PRODIGY Member)
Did you write Mostly Harmless Strictly because us Americans where pestering you too ( the book is so American , it took away from the humor)

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I didn't think it was American. In what way was it meant to be American?

FilmDog Ed W (PRODIGY Member)
What did you think of 12 Monkeys?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I haven't seen it yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Kechara (PRODIGY Member) Who inspired Arthur Dent?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Well, as far as i was concerned he was my idea of just an average person. But as soon as i started writing it i had an actor in mind, Simon Jones, who did indeed play the part. Simon's voice was very much part of the inspiration of it.

FilmDog Ed W (PRODIGY Member)
WHat do you think of AMerican Politics?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Oh boy! I suspect we might begin to see enormous changes taking place over the next few years with how our political systems are organized as more and more people talk online and excecise their choices online. I hope we have something better than a system in which every 4 years we get to go put a cross on a piece of paper. I think that one of the problems we're causing for ourselves is the way the media treat their inner politics, so that anyone who is any good won't want to go int.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Political regulation of the Internet I think is doomed to failure. The reason why it can't work is because the Internet has a better model of democracy than the government does.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Democracy

Sonicman (Speaker)
or

Sonicman (Speaker)
Anarchy?

Sonicman (Speaker)
Is there a difference?

Sonicman (Speaker)
Douglas will be happy to elucidate the murky depths of political discourse

Sonicman (Speaker)
just ask

FilmDog Ed W (PRODIGY Member) What is your ideal writing environment?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
One without a phone.

Sonicman (Speaker)
How Luddite!

FilmDog Ed W (PRODIGY Member)
What is your greatest fear?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Heights.

WildfireDi (PRODIGY Member)
Will you be coming to the Pennsylvania/New Jersey area anytime soon?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No particular plans, but I plan to be in the States pretty regularly.

Sonicman (Speaker)
That's because his books are selling so well ;-)

georgexxi (PRODIGY Member)
Mr. Adams, I haven't had the opportunity to read any of your books yet... I'm here for a friend from Germany who LOVES your work and will be very jealous to know I've "chatted" with you.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Say hi to your friend from me.

MajorVictory (PRODIGY Member) did you find a copy of the actual Guide and just copy the story out of that....(that has to be the answer right)

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Candid

Sonicman (Speaker)
Upclose

Sonicman (Speaker)
Inside Dougy

Sonicman (Speaker)
We're here with Douglas Adams

Sonicman (Speaker)
Auteur

Sonicman (Speaker)
Philosopher

Sonicman (Speaker)
Visionary

Sonicman (Speaker)
And all around funny guy

MajorVictory (PRODIGY Member)
What do you think about any of the stories found on the web that are based on the Guide like the many HGTTG/Star trek stories

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
My reaction tends to be when you read something like that why don't they make up something of their own?

Sonicman (Speaker)
ZING!

godin (PRODIGY Member)
What is the actor that played Ford Prefect doing now?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
The one on the radio series, Geoff McGivern, had a kind of up and down life and is now playing various small parts in tv programs. David Dickson, who played Ford Prefect on TV, I'm not sure what he's doing.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Maybe contemplating Life, the Universe and Everything?

SenTientWorM (PRODIGY Member)
Whats worse , Vogon Poetry , or Newt Gingrich's Book ??

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I've not read Newt's book but I could imagine it would be a fairly tight fight between the two.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Possibly a cock fight

Kechara (PRODIGY Member)
What is the 5th dimension?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
The 5th dimension is Probability.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Or Possibility?

Sonicman (Speaker)
Books that might be written

Sonicman (Speaker)
TV shows that might be made

Sonicman (Speaker)
Web sites that might be spewed up

Sonicman (Speaker)
Nail him down, people!

Robertx (PRODIGY Member)
OK OK Don't panic! Douglas, are we really here?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
We don't know, we just have to guess.

stangGT (PRODIGY Member)
so, does anyone other than the dolphins have a clue to life, the universe, and everything?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, only the dolphins and they're not saying.

MajorVictory (PRODIGY Member)
how old is Arthur Dent........for some odd reason I always thought he was 42........Thanks

Douglas Adams (Speaker) I think I described him as being 30-ish. The radio series didn't specify the age. But when I wrote the book I was not far off 30, so I made him 30-ish.

MANNY6 (PRODIGY Member)
Hi Doug, whereabouts in England are you?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I live in London, right now I'm in San Francisco. I seem to be commuting here. I've been here every month for the last 5 months.

SenTientWorM (PRODIGY Member)
Will Dirk Return??

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
The next place people can see him is on TV. There's a company currently developing a series based on Dirk. I should add that I'm not involved in teh series. As far as I can see, there are 2 ways a writer should approach adaptations. One is to be completely be involved and do it himself and the other is to be completely hands off. Being half involved just leads to frustration usually.

PatGriffin (PRODIGY Member)
Douglas, I read in the short Bio that you are working on a 3rd Dirk Gently book, when might it be in the local book stores? Will Ms. Peirce(sp?) make an appearance?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, I'm not really. The book I'm working on has been put on teh back burner. It started as a Dirk book than stopped being one.

taognatas (PRODIGY Member)
How many pints must one toss back to achieve the level of insight of Mr. Adams?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Well that's a misleading question because I rarely drink beer.

stangGT (PRODIGY Member)
What's next for Arthur Dent? As if it was not enough to save the earth and the known universe and all that.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I probably have got enough material for doing at some point another book, but I'm not going to fall into the trap that I've fallen into before of saying what's going to be in it. Because anything you tell people usually doesn't fall into it, so you've lost an idea just by telling it to people. georgexxi (PRODIGY Member)
Mr. Adams, what's the future of "cybersex"? Or of "cyber-relationships"? How is the 'net going to change interpersonal relationships? Better? Worse?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Probably better and worse. There are certainly a whole bunch of people who I'm regularly in contact with through email that I think is...that would never happen through regular mail or telephone because we're nearly always in different parts of the world.

SenTientWorM (PRODIGY Member)
What do you think of Rowan Atkinson playing Dirk Gently in the Movie??

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Hmmm....Rowan is of course a very brilliant comedy actor, whether he's right for that part I don't know.

stangGT (PRODIGY Member)
And how exactly, does 42 sum up the mere answer, or is there another question to be asked?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I think you should ask the question again so I can understand what you're asking.

Pheel (PRODIGY Member)
I know there are different edits of the HHGTTG Radio Series (BBC, NPR) in print, and each has different bits cut out. Will there ever be a "master cut" version with *all* the bits intact, as found in the "Radio Scripts" book? Or do I have to make my own?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Every time a new version goes out, there's someone along the line who has a better idea of how things should go. It's very hard to get these people out of the loop.

NGAUGER (PRODIGY Member)
Which character from Hitchiker's is your favorite, Mine is Zaphod !!

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Probably Slarti Bartfast. It's hard to say why, but there's one particular speech he has that was one of my favorite. It was teh speech in which he says he'd much rather be happy than right.

DrBarb (PRODIGY Member)
Mr. Adams, whats up? I've sent all my question's on another ID, why aren't you answering? If you get this, why 42?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I thought it was the funniest of the two figure numbers.

NGAUGER (PRODIGY Member)
Is there any chance of a GUIDE being done for CD-ROM??

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I expect so, but I don't want to do it before there's been a movie, because if we did it would simply be one more contradictory form.

PatGriffin (PRODIGY Member)
A few years ago I heard you speak on a radio program about your computer equipment, what are you using today?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
My main computer is a Macintosh 8100-110.

Robertx (PRODIGY Member)
OK, OK, so if we aew really here then why? and if we're not really here than why not? or the other way around.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Um....

DrBarb (PRODIGY Member)
Awesome, what was it like jamming with Floyd?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
It wasn't jamming, I very much had to play the right notes. But it was a very exciting experience and as a consequence I decided I really want to be a rock star and I feel that I'm not really old enough.

georgexxi (PRODIGY Member)
Do you think the 'net will help turn us into a "global community"? Or will we become more divided? Will be become more connected to our past or future -- or less connected?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I very much hope that the Net will encourage cultural diversity in a way that broadcasting has discouraged it, but that's a hope rather than a firm prediction.

DrBarb (PRODIGY Member)
I"VE SENT TONS OF QUESTIONS!!! ANSWER SOME PLEASE, sorry for the breach of Netiquette. Question: Is Douglas writing anything new soon?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I may be about to do another scuba diving article. I did one a couple years ago and I'm going down to Australia to do some more scuba diving and I might write about it.

POWHAT (PRODIGY Member)
As the greatest writer, still alive, have you given thought to doing a lecture series on a cruise ship? I am sure Arthur and the robot would enjoy the sun.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I have actually once given on the QE2. I gave a talk on a trip from London to New York. My problem is I'm not a very good sailor. I tend to get sea sick.

Dengar01 (PRODIGY Member)
Does DA surf the Web? Has he ever visited http://pages.prodigy.com/Milliways/

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I surf a far bit. Usually when I use the Web I'm looking for something specific rather than just surfing aimlessly. I'm not very good at surfing aimlessly, I always get guilty and think I should be doing something more useful.

eddie33 (PRODIGY Member)
Mr. Adams, I have read all of your books and have the first three Hitchhiker stories on cassette, which I have listened to many times over the past years. I have written an Earth-bound, humor novel, and would like to know if you have any advice on finding a publisher. I am considering trying my hand at short stories to start, but as yet haven't begun. Any advice would be helpful.

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
It's hard to give just generic advice. The thing is to find any publisher that publishes books that you like and send it to them. It's also worth maybe contacting some literary agents as well.

stangGT (PRODIGY Member)
what was your inspiration as a young person to begin writing?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I guess there were certain things that had made a big impact. The thing that most propelled me was Monty Python. I was a great fan when I was in school.

Jo Lady 2 (PRODIGY Member)
Mr. Adams, I read a travel book done by you. In it you talked about twig technology. I enjoyed it. Have you written any other non-fiction books?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, but I'm glad that you liked it. It's my own favorite of all my books by quite a long why. It was something that I learned a lot from....it involved a lot of input as well as output.

PatGriffin (PRODIGY Member)
Douglas, reguarding Computers & Education, how to you feel college level courses should change because of the increased public awarness of Internet?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
As far as computers and education..i think computers can form an important of education, but i think a good teacher is still the most important thing. There's an example that Alan kay likes to give...he says just have a computer in schools is like taking a beautiful piano and putting it in the classroom. The music is in the people, not in the piano.

Jorus C (PRODIGY Member)
What's the Salmon of Doubt going to be about?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
It's going to be about 70,000 words.

JennieK (PRODIGY Member)
My husband and I are awaiting your next book. Are you working on one now?

DrBarb (PRODIGY Member)
Is Adams married? Does he have any kids?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I am married and I have one daughter called Polly Jane Rocket and she's twenty months old and I have a picture of her in front of me right at the moment.

Dengar01 (PRODIGY Member)
I've heard that DA is on the Net. What is his E-Mail address? Or are we not supposed to know? And also, has he ever visited "Milliways -The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" at http://pages.prodigy.com/Milliways/

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I haven't visited that. My email address I'm very happy to make public...DNA@TDV.com. I'm perfectly happy for the address to be public although I do reserve the right not to answer everything.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Wired and accessible

Sonicman (Speaker)
just like he is now

Sonicman (Speaker)
keep sending those questions in

DrBarb (PRODIGY Member)
Is the BBC version of Hitchhikers Guide Available on tape or CD in the US?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
yes. and in my experience if you go to any Tower Records, if they haven't got it they'll be able to get it for you.

DeathMelody (PRODIGY Member)
Have you ever attempted to live your life "holistically"? <G>

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Most days, but I've usually given up by about 9 in the morning.

jonjoman (PRODIGY Member)
hi douglas. did you really use to write for the bbc,more specifically doctor who?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Yes. I was a writer for the series and then later Script Editor.

conro (PRODIGY Member)
What gave you the idea for teh Improbability Drive?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
A television program I saw about Judo wrestling.

GrendelPrime (PRODIGY Member)
Is there a thing as "Too much Information"?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Yes, it's called data.

POWHAT (PRODIGY Member)
Poverty and despair, so do you see yourself more as Arthur or the robot?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Depends on the day and it depends on my mood. Right now I see myself more as...I don't have a very clear picture of myself at the moment.

conro (PRODIGY Member)
Have you ever had the equivalent to a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster?:)

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, the point about that is that it cannot be mixed under Earth's atmospheric conditions.

JennieK (PRODIGY Member)
Did Red Dwarf come after Hitchiker's Guide and do you think they got some ideas from your type of humor?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Yes it did come after. I can't answer the second question becasue I have never seen it.

GrendelPrime (PRODIGY Member)
Can we expect any more DC comic adaptations of your books?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I think they're going to do all of the first three Hitchhiker books.

conro (PRODIGY Member)
What groups (music) do you like besides Pink Floyd? Favorite Author? Favorite genre besides sf?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Music: first and foremost The Beatles. Procul Haram. Elvis Costello. Randy Newman. Cooder.

Kassad (PRODIGY Member)
So who DID come up with a hysterically laughing planet as a logo, anyways?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
The artist I think his name is Peter Cross that Harmony hired to do the first cover.

Life Death (PRODIGY Member)
What was it like to work for Monty Pithon?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I didn't. I worked with Graham Chapman for a while on a number of projects that mostly went later to Python. A television series that never happened.

BarkingMad (PRODIGY Member)
I am the lead singer of a band called "Mostly Harmless." We are attempting to pioneer the asofyet unexplored realm of comedy rock an' roll...are you gonna sue us?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, but I demand to hear some of it.

GrendelPrime (PRODIGY Member)
Is there any chance of another Hitchhiker tv series other than that BBC one?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Pretty unlikely unless we got to the point where we decided a film was never going to happen.

conro (PRODIGY Member)
Do you write maybe by yourself, or do you like to get frequent crititcisms and suggestions?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
I tend to like a lot of feedback. My editor whose name is Sue Freestone says I'm the only writer she knows of who treats writing as a performance art.

Jo Lady 2 (PRODIGY Member)
What writers influenced your writing? Was P.G. Wodehouse one of them?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Yes. PG is the most brilliant comedy writer ever. Once you've encountered him he's very hard to get out of your head, but also absolutely impossible to emulate. Not that I and lots of other people haven't tried from time to time. In fact, if I look back over my own books I can tell to the exact paragraph the point at which I started to read him.

GrendelPrime (PRODIGY Member)
Was writing five books in yoor trilogy purposeful or did you lie awake at night thinking "42? 42?! I need to clear that up more. I know TWO MORE BOOKS IN THE TRILOGY!"?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, there was never any grand plan at any point.

BarkingMad (PRODIGY Member)
What, pray tell, fuels your absolutely uncanny sense of humour? Is it available in aerosol form, and where can I procure a case of it?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No. I find it's best to try and pretend to be various kinds of animal.

CHUCKJOE (PRODIGY Member)
If a movie were to be made, would you try to get some of the original actors (or their voices, if an animation)? Do you still keep in touch with those guys?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
If it was animation, certainly there would be a strong case to get a lot of the original actors. If it was not an animation, then we have a bit of a problem, because of the passage of time. FOr instance, Simon Jones thinks he'll get to play Bartfast rather than Dent.

Dengar01 (PRODIGY Member)
Do you evern contribute to the Newsgroup dedicated to you? Or to Milliways -The Restaurant at the End of the Universe? BTW, that site is at http://pages.prodigy.com/Milliways/

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
No, I did contribute to teh Newsgroup for a short while, but because I saw that any answer I would give would very quickly become so garbled by electronic Chinese whispers that it was kind of pointless. Within a few months, my new company, will be setting up a major Web site. One part dedicated to to HHGTG. Any questions will be answered there, so that the information won't turn into garbage.

SocFan (PRODIGY Member)
Who are you signing on for the house band on the Starship Titanic?

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
The music for the CD ROM will be done by Wix and Robby McIntosh, half of Paul McArtney's band.

conro (PRODIGY Member)
So, what IS the next step in human evolution?:)

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Keep watching the extended phenotype.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Well, we're going to wrap it up now

Sonicman (Speaker)
Check the SonicNet calendar for upcoming chats

Sonicman (Speaker)
and make sure visit our weekly chat shows

Sonicman (Speaker)
Douglas has some final words-- SEE YOU ONLINE!

Douglas Adams (Speaker)
Thank you very much for all your questions and keep a watchout for the launch of the Web site, I can't give a date yet, but when it arrives I hope everyone will know about it.

Sonicman (Speaker)
Thanks...see you all online!!