Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Science of Hitchhikers in the shops at the begining of May

"The science of Hitchhikers" will be published the first week of May according to UK publisher MacMillan. The book is written by Michael Hanlon, a british sience writer (you can still read his interview on this website here). The book wil be a 256 pages hardback book full of explanations about Science in Hitchhikers : "Adams was a science and technology enthusiast and his books were inspired by - prefigured even - many of the great scientific debates of our times. The Science of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a light-hearted, accessible and informative tour of the real cutting-edge research behind the corner-stones of a much-loved classic, including space tourism, parallel universes, instant translation devices, sentient computers and more."

You can pre-order the book on amazon UK and US and also on MacMillan Science website here.
Also, Mike Hanlon is giving the following talks :

He will be speaking at the Cambridge Science Festival at 1pm on Saturday 19 March.
He will be also speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 12June.
He will be spaeking at the Royal Institution of Great Britain with Robbie Stamp (executive producer of the Hitchhiker's movie, friend and business partner of Douglas in The Digital Village) on 30th June.

Friday, February 25, 2005

A new trailer will be shown in UK on saturday the 26th ! + Interesting quotes from Robbie Stamp on

A UK trailer will be shown on Sky Movies News, Sky Movies 1 at 7:30 pm this Saturday evening. It will be online on Monday and I'll publish the link to the new trailer here as soon as I've got it! But if you can't wait, Sky Movie is publishing a one minute long small size preview (windows media player needed). UPDATE : The version on sky Movies is slightly different from the one on UGO (no girl in bikini but with the Journey Of the Sorcerer theme !). All these are small windows media player files. We should have a BETTER version on monday.
It is quite a different trailer than the one that has been shown in the US theatres and on It seems to be the one Robbie Stamp, executive producer of the movie, shown at Wondercon the 19th February, in San Francisco. It's also the one, or almost the same one anyway, that I saw one month ago... somewhere on a strange planet lost in space.

And now... The guys at have interviewed executive producer Robbie Stamp and quotes him in two news on their website. One, entitled "Hitchhiker Thumbs Down On CG" is about the fact that Hitchhikers use the less computer-generated imagery possible because Garth Jennings "wanted something which had a sort of a heart and soul and a charm to it." In this news, Robbie also talks about Marvin and composer Joby Talbot.

The other news is entitled "Adams Added To Hitchhiker Film". In that one, Robbie talks about Douglas appearing (in a quite strange and funny way in the movie), Kavula and the guide entries.

There are some spoilers in both articles but not too much.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Wondercon movie presentation by Robbie Stamp - an other tailer & a few more infos

Robbie Stamp was at Wondercon the 19th February, in San Francisco, to give a pesentation of the Hitchhikers movie.

The lucky attenders saw a 'sizzler reel', a four minutes thing which is according to ING Filmforce "simultaneously entertaining yet annoyingly brief, providing the rabid fan base of Adam's universe with nothing more than a quick fix to tide them over until the end of April".l
Bu the most interseting thing was the fact that Robbie came to the Wondercon with a brand new trailer quite different from the one which has been released a few days ago on amazon and now on the official website.

This different trailler, called by Robbie an "Internet trailer" could be thus released just on Internet (the actual trailer shown on amazon has apparently already been shown in american movie theaters just before "Constantine", the new Keanu Reaves movie)

According to Boynamedsue (who was at the Wondercom and posted his report on the forum, "It was a total parody on normal hollywood trailers. It opens with the guide opening and says "This is what the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy has to say about trailers..."
And from there its wonderful satire. a few of the aspects i can recall are the "Often trailers contain a deep voice saying "IN A WORLD...." and then they show the earth explode, and the guides voice continues "But sometimes not."

Another great bit is in the middle they say something like. "And then a random shot of a girl in a binkini" (non movie footage.) then immediately after marvin hangs his head and says "That did absolutely nothing for me."

It was uttlerly fantastic and had the audience cracking up the entire time. It concludes talking about how most trailers conclude with a montage usually set to rock music, and listing what it contains "Action, heroes, villians, dolphins," etc. and even a brief shot of a whale dropping from space."
This new trailer seems to be far much better than the other, and it seems also quite similar (but not entirely I don't remerber the Bikini footage - which I would surely remember if I saw it !!!) to the one I've seen one month ago.


Other good news have been announced by Robbie during the Wondercon. He said that everyone should need to wear 3D glasses at one peculiar moment in the movie because Simon Jones' cameo as the Magrathean hologram will be in 3D !

There is a grey grey banner on front of Heart Of Gold that wraps around tells whole process of the infinite probability drive creation. On this banner, we can see Douglas and almost all the guys who made the movie (Hammer & Tongs, the producers,...) . Took 4 months to do but will only be on screen for a short time. But I think you will be able to see it very closely in the DVD.

Robbie Stamp has also explained why the Vogons have a flat nose "He said that they were an idea of Douglas's - they are very plentiful, across the Vogon homeworld (I hope I'm remembering this right), and their purpose is to come up and thwak you in the face whenever you have an original thought. In hopes of stifling that sort of thing. That's at least the gist of what he said. So basically, questioning why you were smacked in the face would result in nothing but another smacking" (from TheFuture2000 on forum). This could explain the smacking bit at the end of the Amazon Trailer !

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Trailer now on official website (in high rez) !!! Watch too the Imdb pics.

UPDATED : The new trailer (you know the one with actual things from the movie you're all waiting to see) was online ON AICN the 15th in the evening (GMT) but it is no more avalaible there. It was exclusively on till the 18th. It is now available as a high rez quick time movie (full screen) on the official website ! Of course when you go there on the main page you will find a small version of the trailer instead of the teaser which has been removed.

It's NOT the trailer I saw two weeks ago (in a secret area in a forgotten world far away from our galaxy), it's less good. But it's good anyway. I just hope that's not the final copy (the guys on AICN sayt that it's a "vaguely finished version" and I hope the one I saw will be the one they will release on amazon and imdb. It was more original and funnier. This one is quite.... a typical Hollywood kind of trailer (UPDATED : the AICN version is the same that the one you'll find on amazon but in a smaller size version - 2ND UPDATE : the quick time version on the official website online from the 19th is in top quality).

You can still watch again these still photographs published on IMDB the 14th with Zaphod, Ford and Arthur. No high rez pic this time. It's just IMDB, you know...


There have been a lot of people reacting to the trailer here on your favourite Hitchhiker's website forum but also on AICN, Duke's Douglas Adams Continuum and imdb. The reactions are mainly quite positive, but the funnier one is this one Duke spotted on imdb and posted by sammusfar :

"I always envisioned Zaphod as a giant solemn frog, so this trailer has sorely disappointed me. Further more, I always thought of the guide itself as more of a large heavy canister of petrol, and I certainly can't see Mos Def playing Ford what with him only having two eyes.

But all those problems aside, what I find most infuriating is that Marvin is not, in fact, a tiny orange dinosaur like I so vividly remember seeing in the radio series.

Being a huge fan of the brilliant Douglas Adams I am furious that this movie is not exactly like I hoped it would be. Even though I haven't actually seen the movie yet, I'm absolutely certain that the quick two minute trailer has telepathically communicated with me, letting me know beyond a doubt that this movie is complete garbage. If Douglas Adams were alive today he would be mortified that my vision of the movie was not created".

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Search For The Biggest Hitchhiker's Fans in the Galaxy Begins

The Official website launches a competition to find the Biggest Hitchhiker's fans in the galaxy. It seems a lot of fun so here it is :

On Day 42, We're Looking For 6 (That's 4 + 2, Because 42 is Too Many) The Search For The Biggest Hitchhiker's Fans in the Galaxy Begins

Are you a "hoopy frood" who really knows where your towel is? Have you ever made your own Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic out of cardboard in an attempt to hitchhike to another planet? Do you have the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything tattooed on your body? Do you ever pretend your car is powered by the Infinite Improbability Drive? Have you ever shoved a goldfish in your ear in an attempt to understand French?

If you answered yes to these questions then we are looking for you!

Today marks the 42nd day of the year, a day to reflect on "The Answer" provided by Deep Thought and to celebrate just how much of a Hitchhiker's fan you really are. We are looking for a few (6 actually - again 4 + 2) of the BIGGEST HITCHHIKER'S FANS IN THE GALAXY. Tell us why you became a fan and how you live your life in accordance with the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor. Entries must be 250 words or less and can be accompanied by a photo documenting the degree of your "hoopiness."

Right now you are asking yourself, "Isn't being a Hitchhiker's fan a reward in itself? Why enter such a contest?" As Zaphod Beeblebrox once explained, "It's partly the curiosity, partly a sense of adventure, but mostly I think it's the fame . . ." That's right - be the envy of every Hitchhiker's fan when your detailed fan profile appears on the official site for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie.
So enter to win now - all entries must be in by February 25th. For official rules, visit the display department at your local planning office (and bring a flashlight). Email all entries to Entries must also include your:

Name Age City Email Address
Thanks for entering!
Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, Marketing Division

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Vogons in high rez pics + Neca announces the Hitchhiker's survival kit !

Filmforce has just published on their website some close up pics of the Vogons ! Check them here. These are incredibly cool pics. We even see Jenz reading some poetry to Arthur and Ford !! Don't miss that

Neca announces some new cool stuff for the Hitchhiker's fans : the survival kit! it will include a towel, a babel fish and a homing ring (electronic thumb) prop replicas! As usual, Neca publishes a pic of the upcoming stuff : It is the first look we have of the babel fish. The kit will be avalaible this spring.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

UK will be the first to see the movie, France will be the last one !

Well, I didn't expect this one. But it's quite official. The UK released date has been moved forward. We expected that the US and UK would see the first to see the movie the 6th May, but now UK release date is 29th April !!! I don't know why they did it but they might have a very good reason to do so !
The same day I learn that in my country (France) the movie, which was supposed to be released the 10th July, will in fact be released the 17th August. France will be now the last one of our list to see the movie after Norway and Denmark. Life, don't talk to me about life!

All this terrible events (!) should make us think. The release dates are not definitive in many countries (even in UK!). And the situation is quite different in the different countries. The ones where Douglas is not very well known (like France) may wish to wait a little to see if the movie has a big success in UK and US first and try to chose the best release date according their own market.


Fanboyplanet website has published a new critic of someone who was there at the Pasadena test screening last week : "I was thrilled at how well this film captures Douglas Adams' masterpiece.... I think even the uninitiated will deeply enjoy this film."


As you all know executive producer Robbie Stamp has presented the movie last sunday in London. He has also revealed the UK movie poster which is quite different from the US one we know. MJ Simpson has published a full report by Dave Haddock (read the 7th February entry). Luke Barnard has made also a report which has been published on Jenz' forum.


Actor Warrwick Davis (Marvin's body) is currently publishing a Marvin's diary on his own website. Not many entries just now but he updates often his diary with some funny and witty stuff.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Everything you wanted to know about the upcoming book "The Anthology at the end of the Universe"

US independent publisher BenBella Books is going to publish at the end of april a book called "the anthology at the end of the Universe", a collection of essays about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You can already pre-order this book on


Nicolas Botti : what is the philosophy beyond "the anthology..."

Glenn Yefeth : The philosophy behind “The Anthology at the End of the Universe” is to create a book about the Hitchhikers series that is as smart and insightful as the conversations that fans have among themselves. Many of science fiction’s greats are big fans of the works, and this series is their chance to discuss any aspect of the work that caught their fancy. The essays are primarily by science fiction and fantasy authors, but we have a few other types – computer scientists, psychologists, humor expert – thrown in for good measure. The essays range from hilarious to insightful to moving (a few are all three).

The book is completely unauthorized, and is a work of literary criticism, so contributors are free to criticize as well as celebrate Hitchhikers. But the tone overall is very much of celebration.
I can say that the volume is coming together brilliantly. Here are some of the highlights:
Cory Doctorow on the Wikipedia as the genuine Hitchhiker’s Guide

Jacqueline Carey on Hitchhikers, British humor, and a personal story on her time in London
Lawrence Watt-Evans’s very funny essay on Vogon poetry, and the history of the truly inept in art
Stephen Baxter on the use of science fiction tropes in Hitchikers

Don DeBrandt, writing an hysterical essay that only he can describe: "I intend to prove that God not only exists in Adams' universe, but identify who he is, explain what his plans are, and reveal once and for all why he seems to be obsessed with fish. The explanation I've cleverly worked out involves time-travel, the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, Eddies in the space-time continuum and how he got there. The number forty-two turns out to be surprisingly relevant in a very real way, not so much as an answer but as a way of pointing out interesting questions....Oh yes, and Marvin turns out to be Christ."

If you can't actually wait for the essay, I suppose I can reveal now that God is the Hitchhiker's Guide itself--the Mark Two, which not only claimed to be omniscient and omnipotent, but actually is. How it got to be that way and why the universe is so screwed up is more complicated, but it has to do with the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Vogons, and a robot in love with herring sandwiches.
Mike Byrne (psychologist and expert on human factors) writing a very funny and insightful essay on Adam’s brilliant foresight into the future of computer design (and mis-design)

Adam Roberts (SF author and literature professor at the University of London) writing a brilliant essay that combines humor deconstruction, philosophy, and 42, and finally answers that pesky question about the meaning of life

NB : Can you tell us more about Benbellabooks?

GY : BenBella Books is an independent press based in Dallas. BenBella Books, among other things, develops a non-fiction anthology series called "smart pop." This series takes a smart, fun, but thoroughly non-academic look at pop culture topics - usually film, television or books. Books that we've published or are developing include works on The Matrix, Buffy, Stargate, War of the Worlds, and NYPD Blue. Depending on the topic, our contributors include scientists, philosophers, religious scholars, psychologists and, of course, science fiction writers. Some of our anthologies (e.g. Seven Seasons of Buffy) are almost entirely made up of contributions from SF writers. Science fiction writers that have agreed to participate in Smart Pop books so far include Robert Charles Wilson, Robert Silverberg, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Jacqueline Carey, David Gerrold, Rob Sawyer, Charlaine Harris, David Brin, Cory Doctorow, Misty Lackey, Michelle West, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and Tanya Huff. These books, so far, have all done very well. Our first smart pop book, for example, was the best-selling Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in The Matrix. Red Pill includes essays from computer scientist and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil, Yale philosopher Nick Bostrom, science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer, Buddhist scholar Jay Ford, Sun Chief Scientist Bill Joy and other notables. Red Pill has gotten mentions in The New Yorker, Premiere, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and dozens of other publications. I’ve left out a lot, including Selina Rosen’s essay on the Hitchhiker’s Guide as religious text, Adam Troy-Castro’s essay on the two-guys-in-a-spaceship stories, etc. But I’ll get you the complete list when it’s ready.

NB : When did you get the idea of this book and why?

GY : I always thought that Hitchhikers would be a great smart pop book, but when I heard that the movie was coming out I wanted to make sure I got the book out in time for the movie.
NB : When did you discover douglas adams’ work?

GY : I first read the books (at least some of them) years ago. I always thought they were among the smartest, funniest books in science fiction. Unlike many books I loved when I was younger, I found that these books were as strong on re-reading as they were when I first fell in love with them.

NB : How did you chose the contributors?

GY : I started with leaders in the science fiction field, folks like Jacqueline Carey, and Stephen Baxter, added some science fiction authors that I knew from other anthologies were first rate essayists, and threw in a computer scientist and psychologist for good measure!

Friday, February 4, 2005

Robbie Stamp World Tour! He will speak on the 6th in London and on the 19th in San Francisco, then Australia, Germany, Belgium, Russia,...

04th February 05 : Robbie Stamp World Tour! He will speak on the 6th in London and on the 19th in San Francisco, then Australia, Germany, Belgium, Russia,...

A FREE event, on Sunday 6th Feb, 12.20pm at the Odeon Panton Street London, welcomes Robbie Stamp, Executive Producer of the movie (also friend and business partner of the late Douglas Adams), to show you some concept art and photography and talk about the production of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. it's not just a repeat of what Robbie did in december in Austin. He will show previously unseen stills.

To attend this FREE event, just send an email to with your name and the number of tickets you want (maximum 4 tickets per request).

This event is part of SCI-FI-LONDON, the 4th London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film. To see the rest of the festival programme and to book tickets for screenings and other events please visit:

According to MJ Simpson, on Saturday 19th February, Robbie will be giving a similar illustrated talk at Wondercon in the Moscone Convention Centre, San Francisco (11.30am-12.00pm in Room 134/135). Robbie this time should get some footage to show to the audience.

Then, RobbieHe "is also booked in for the Melbourne Comedy Festival on 29th March and is planning trips to Germany, Belgium and Russia (dates and venues TBC)."

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Mark Carwadine speaks at the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture

I's now the third time that a memorial lecture will occur at the Royal Institution in London. The 10th March, Mark Carwardine, co-author of Last Chance to see and famous zoologist, will give a talk about about his travels around the world and will describe some of his experiences and encounters with wild animals and even wilder people around the world – including some hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from Last Chance to See. And, inevitably, he has a thing or two to say about the state of the world.
You can buy tickets online (£12 or £20) thanks to Save the Rhino. After the lecture, there will be an auction of very rare and valuable Douglas Adams items.

Once again all profits from the lecture and fundraising auction will be split between Save the Rhino International and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the two charities of which Douglas was patron.