SFX Issue 87

February 2002


Posthumous Book For Adams

It was originally snapped up by publisher Hutchinson ten years ago when Adams was at the peak of his popularity. After five years waiting, the publisher eventually abandoned the project, although Adams continued to work on it. The author, who had suffered from depression intermittently for a number of years, was regularly hit by writer’s block. “As soon as he wrote anything, he would say, ‘Oh God, that’s terrible.’ He was a very, very self-critical author,” his agent Ed Victor said recently.

“He found it very hard to write,” Victor said in another interview. “He started it as a Dirk Gently detective novel, then it moved to being an uncategorisable novel, and then, towards the end, he was thinking about it as a Hitchhiker ’s book. So there are many different versions. Peter Guzzardi, who was his US editor for many years, is trying to sort out the best version.”

The book, which is being assembled from multiple files scattered over Adams’ hard drive, will be published with a collection of his final writings named So Long… next spring. This will include his newspaper and magazine articles, lectures, work for BBC Radio 4 and words from his website.

Good news for fans of the great man, but what would Adams himself have thought? The question as to whether he would have wanted this material published was addressed by Victor.

“Jane [Belson, Adams’ widow] said that he hated every book that he published, so it won’t be any different.”