Douglas Adams died one year ago today, and he is sorely missed.
I fell in love with his books as a teenager, and have read and re-read them voraciously ever since. I miss the excitement of hoping for another one. That said, I have somewhat mixed feelings about Salmon of a Doubt, a posthumous collection of his writing.
A book by this title had been rumored for perhaps five years. It was even pre-listed on Amazon.com a number of years ago. But according to the MFAQ, Adams was supposedly never working on a book by this title. He was, however, working on bits and pieces of a new Dirk Gently novel, which he turned into bits and pieces of a new Hitchhiker’s novel. At some point along the way this work-in-progress became associated with the Salmon of a Doubt title and the name stuck.
This book was somewhat famously incomplete. Adams was spending time on the game Starship Titanic, and on the book of the same name. He was also working on a big-screen adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but alas, he died before he could bring this project to completion. Whoever does so, one day, had better do it right.
When Adams died he left behind some ten chapters of a novel, and these have been gathered, along with various other unpublished and rarely-published writings, in a collection bearing the Salmon of a Doubt name. I'm dying to read this stuff, and I definitely will, but I can't help wondering whether he would have wanted me to.
Incidentally, I want to add that Adams was a big supporter of the conservation of endangered species, which he wrote so wonderfully about in Last Chance to See. Last May, his official site requested that donations be made in his name to some of his favorite conservation organizations, and I want to post these here:
I am grateful to Douglas Adams for sharing his humor, his concerns, and his imagination with the world. He made it a better place.
Pictures borrowed from Floor 42 and www.douglasadams.com, and copyright their respective owners.