Don’t Panic!

Happy 61st birthday to Douglas Adams.  He is best known as the writer of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, A Trilogy in Five Parts, one of my favorite sci-fi series.   If you haven’t read it yet, I’m not speaking to you until you have.  So there.

Adams died young, at the age of 49 of a heart attack.  He is well known enough that today’s Google doodle is in his honour.   He is, to sci-fi, what Terry Pratchett is to fantasy: a comic genius.   Sci-fi and fantasy tend to have a dedicated reading community, and most people who aren’t sf/f readers don’t tend to read its authors.  Douglas Adams was one of the few, among them Neil Gaiman, Aasimov, and Bradbury, who managed to gather readers among the mainstream book audience.

If you love Douglas Adams, and are looking for writers in a similar vein, I have a few suggestions.  My criteria are as follows: excellent wordsmiths and a love of language, beautifully done satire that you don’t have to be a member of the sf/f in-crowd to understand, and great stories that make you want to share the books with others.  My candidates are as follows:

Terry Pratchett, particularly his Discworld series.  Start with Guards, Guards!  Then Men at Arms.  Don’t limit yourself only to his adult titles, because his writing for children and young adults is equally adept, and well worth a read.   Nation is one of my favorite books, still, and probably always will be.

Neil Gaiman.  Stardust was… perfect.  Anansi Boys, I loved.  And the paragon of funny books, written by Gaiman and Pratchett together is Good Omens.

Jasper Fforde for a fine sense of the ridiculous, and nods to lovers of literature like Austen and Bronte – read his Thursday Next series.

Christopher Moore.  I think my favorite was You Suck: A Love Story.

Go forth, and snicker.

Christie

2 Comments

Filed under Books, E-Books, Review

2 responses to “Don’t Panic!

  1. I am going to check this one out

  2. Excellent suggestions Christie! I adored the Hitchhikers Guide too, and it is sad that such a talented and funny man passed on before his time, and before he had finished the work he wanted to do. A friend of mine was distraught when he died because she was only 3 books into the Dirk Gently series, which she had just fallen in love with, but at least he has a loyal troupe of fans out there that will always remember him, and what he has created will live on!

    I agree that Douglas Adams lovers will also enjoy Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (two more of my favourite authors) and I have heard great things about Jasper Fforde (I have his book Shades of Grey out from the library and on a pile next to my bed), and it seems like I’ll have to look into Christopher Moore’s work as well!

    Don’t Panic, and always know where your towel is! 😀

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