Macworld UK reports that Douglas Adams, an author best known for his work on “Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” died on Friday morning in Santa Barbara, CA., of a heart attack. In addition to his other accomplishments, Adams was an AppleMaster. He was 49 years old.
Adams — who had his own Web site — was a gifted writer with a penchant for mixing the fantastic and the absurd together into a strangely believable and always entertaining mix. His work on the “Hitch Hiker’s” series, which began as a BBC-produced radio program, eventually became a multipart television series. Adams was working on a motion picture screenplay for “Hitch Hiker’s” at the time of his death.
Adams penned a number of books as part of the “Hitch Hiker’s” series — The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; and Mostly Harmless. The books told the continuing story of Arthur Dent, an average British citizen who’s suddenly thrust into an interstellar imbroglio after the Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar freeway. Adams also created two books based on the character of Dirk Gently, a “private detective who is more interested in telekinesis, quantum mechanics and lunch than fiddling around with fingerprint powder.”
Adams turned his attention to video games early in the medium’s development, as well. In the 1980’s “Hitch Hiker’s” was turned into a text-based adventure game by Infocom, which also produced another Adams original called “Bureaucracy.” More recently, Adams developed a graphical adventure game called “Starship Titanic.”
Always a dedicated Mac user, Adams pushed the development team and the publisher to create a Macintosh version after the PC game was released. His plans finally came to fruition with the release of “Starship Titanic” for the Mac in 1999.
“I’ve been a Macintosh user for as long as there have been Macintoshes, right from the very first one,” Adams said to Apple. “It was elegantly thought out, intuitive, and it was such a pleasure to use that you wanted to hug it. It was also ludicrously slow and underpowered, of course, but that was a small price, as Butch Cassidy said in the movie, to pay for beauty.”