- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- The Salmon of Doubt
One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work–supposing you’re trying to find out how a cat works–you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you’ve got in your hands is a non-working cat. The cat wasn’t a sort of clunky mechanism that was susceptible to our available tools of analysis.
Tall. Tall and absurdly thin. And good natured. A bit like a preying mantis that doesn’t prey – A non-preying mantis if you like. A sort of genial mantis that’s given up preying and taken up tennis instead.
If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.
And no sneaky knocking down Mr. Dent’s house whilst he’s away, alright?
The suns blazed into the pitch of space and a low ghostly music floated through the bridge: Marvin was humming ironically because he hated humans so much.
I suddenly felt, well, terribly old as I watched a mudskipper hopping along with what now seemed to me like a wonderful sense of hopeless, boundless naive optimism. It had such a terribly, terribly, terribly long way to go. I hoped that if its descendant was sitting here on this beach in 350 million years’ time with a camera around its neck, it would feel that the journey had been worth it.
“I could hardly help it, could I?” he bellowed, “when the same thing kept happening, over and over and over again! Every life I ever lived, I got killed by Arthur Dent. Any world, any body, any time, I’m just getting settled down, along comes Arthur Dent – pow, he kills me.”
After nearly four years of total isolation he was so pleased and relieved to see Ford that he could almost cry. Ford was, on the other hand, an almost immediately annoying person.
“The Guide says there is an art to flying,” said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” He smiled weakly. He pointed at the knees of his trousers and held his arms up to show the elbows. They were all torn and worn through.
Ford looked stunned.
“Where have you been?” he demanded.
“Making some coffee,” said Arthur, still wearing his very placid face. He had long ago realized that the only way of being in Ford’s company successfully was to keep a large stock of very placid faces and wear them at all times.
One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidently becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with.
It wasn’t his job to worry about that, though. It was his job to do his job, which was to do his job. If that led to a certain narrowness of vision and circularity of thought then it wasn’t his job to worry about such things.
‘Stotting’ is jumping upward with all four legs simultaneously. My advice: do not die until you’ve seen a large black poodle stotting in the snow.
People ask me what my favorite character is, to which the answer has usually been, after a long umm and a pause, ‘probably Marvin.’ It’s not something I strongly feel.
Well, no, not married as such, but yes, there is a specific girl that I’m not married to.
Is that robot yours? he said.
“No,” came a thin metallic voice from the crater, “I’m mine.”
“If you’d call it a robot,” muttered Arthur. “It’s more a sort of electronic sulking machine.”
[Arthur Dent] was about thirty as well, dark haired and never quite at ease with himself. The thing that used to worry him most was the fact that people always used to ask him what he was looking so worried about. He worked in local radio which he always used to tell his friends was a lot more interesting than they probably thought. It was, too – most of his friends worked in advertising.
Whatever Zaphod’s qualities of mind might include – dash, bravado, conceit – he was mechanically inept and could easily blow the ship up with an extravagant gesture. Trillian had come to suspect that the main reason why he had had such a wild and successful life that he never really understood the significance of anything he did.
My role, and one for which I was entirely qualified, was to be an extremely ignorant non-zoologist to whom everything that happened would come as a complete surprise.
“I don’t want to know, I don’t want to see, I don’t want to hear,” he yelled as he ran, “this is not my planet, I didn’t choose to be here, I don’t want to get involved, just get me out of here, and get me to a party, with people I can relate to!”
Smoke and flame billowed from the pitch. “Well, the supernatural brigade certainly seems to be out in force here today …” burbled a radio happily to itself.
“What I need,” shouted Ford, by way of clarifying his previous remarks, “is a strong drink and a peer-group.”
Arthur had adopted his normal crisis role, which was to stand with his mouth hanging open and let it all wash over him.
You’re one hundred percent positive that the ship which is crashed on the bottom of this ocean is the ship which you said you were one hundred percent positive could one hundred percent positively never crash?
He didn’t like to think of himself as the sort of person who giggled or sniggered, but he had to admit that he had been giggling and sniggering almost continuously for well over half an hour now.
One of the problems has to do with the speed of light and the difficulties involved in trying to exceed it. You can’t. Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.
He had a very simple method of dealing with establishments of which he was not a member. He simply swept in as soon as the door was opened, pointed back at Arthur and said, “It’s OK, he’s with me.”