Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are trapped in Earth’s past. Fortunately for them an anomaly in time/space opens a portal to the twentieth century. Only it is just three days before the Vogon constructor fleet blows up the planet. They find themselves at a cricket game in England just as a spaceship lands and takes the trophy. The two run into Slartibartfast that guy who loves designing fjords and did Norway for Earth. He takes the two off the Earth in time. Slartibartfash is on a mission. He tells how long ago a planet called Krikket was enshrouded in a dust cloud and never saw the rest of the universe. One day a spaceship crashed and this alerted the Krikketers that there must be something out there. When they build their own ship and saw the universe they decided it had to go. So they started a genocidal war against the universe. When they were defeated their planet was put in a stasis bubble where once the universe ended they would find themselves alone. Only a rogue ship of their killer robots managed to survive and are gathering the key components to release Krikket. Now the gang has to save the universe.
The final book in the trilogy that later became five books. (We’ll get to those later.) This was another wacky and funny story that was a real treat to read. There are just fun stuff like the party that goes on forever and raids a whole planet to get drinks and snacks. Or the being that is out to get Arthur Dent because Dent has killed his many reincarnations such as a fly or raw oyster. Then there is the omnipotent being who’s life goal is to insult everybody who ever lived alphabetically. A fun book that ending a trilogy at the time on a high note.
Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin the manic depressive android have escaped from the planet Megraetha. We find out that Zaphod is working with someone to find the real ruler of the universe. Soon they are attacked by Vogons. The Vogons we find out were hired by the association of psychiatrists because they wanted Earth destroyed so the answer to the question of Life, The Universe and Everything could never be answered. Now they want to make sure the answer is never revealed by killing the last two Earthlings. Well through a whole bunch of improbable events they find themselves at Milliway’s the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This restaurant is far in the future and caters to the rich and famous so they can watch the universe die while eating dinner.
After the show they steal a ship belonging to rock band Disaster Area. Only this ship is programed to crash into a sun as their act. They manage to get the escape transported working and Arthur and Ford wind up on a strange spaceship. It has thousands of people in cryogenic suspension. They find out that these people were the worthless people of Golgafrinchia. People like telephone sanitizers and ad executives. They are programed to crash into a planet which they do. Soon Arthur and Ford find themselves on Earth 2 million years in the past. Here they find out the most important question of Life, The Universe and Everything.
The second in the trilogy which later was expanded to five books is another brilliant work of satire. Arthur Dent and whole whacky crew have adventures. We get to find out the question to the answer 42 and it makes perfect sense. This is another story of the futility of trying to answer the question why we exist. The BBC series also adapted this book and it was a really cool series.
Arthur Dent is having a very bad day. He wakes up one morning to find that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a new bypass. His friend Ford Prefect though brings even worst news. A Vogon constructor fleet is about to destroy the Earth to make way for an interstellar bypass. Ford is actually an alien from Betelgeuse and has been stuck on Earth for fifteen years. He rescues Arthur by hitching a ride on the Vogon ship before it destroys the Earth. Arthur soon finds himself on a wild journey.
After being thrown off the Vogon ship, the two are picked up by Ford’s cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox who is the president of the galaxy. He has just stolen the new ship Heart of Gold with it’s new improbability drive. With his companions Trilliam an astrophysicist he picked up at a party on Earth and Marvin the manic depressive android they head for the legendary planet Magrathea a plant that would custom make planets for the rich. They find it isn’t deserted but the inhabitants were in suspended animation until the galaxy’s economy could afford their services. They have though awakened for a special client.
Arthur finds out that the Earth was created by a group of extradimensional beings that build it as a giant computer to give an answer to explain the answer of Life, The Universe and Everything. An advanced computer Deep Though came up with the answer 42 which didn’t satisfy anyone. So the Earth was supposed to explain the answer. Only it was destroyed at the minute the answer was about to be figured out. These beings were disguised as white mice and now they want to dissect Arthur’s brain to find the answer.
I was first introduced to this series by the excellent BBC series from the early eighties I caught on the local PBS station. This series adapted the first two books and I decided to check out the books. I thought they were the funniest books I ever read. Adams has this humor that just points out the absurdity of the universe. A true classic that I highly recommend.
The BBC did an excellent series in the eighties. There was also a big budget movie which I didn’t really care for.
A small town of Cornwell, Nebraska has its population go catatonic. Soon Boland, California has it’s residents become blind. Berwick, Maine the population becomes severely mentally retarded. McKay, Maryland the population comes up with a case of complete memory loss. It soon becomes apparent that the United States is under attack. Some unknown terrorist organization is launching biological attacks against small town America. Panic ensues and the President declares martial law. A director of the FBI recruits a former radical to infiltrate the terrorist group. He uncovers a plot that involves the highest levels of the government to seize complete power.
I decided to get this book because it had an intriguing cover and an interesting plot. So a conspiracy of rich elites have infiltrated all levels of government. They use some useful idiot leftists to cause a crisis. Then panic ensues and they are given absolute power to implement their agenda. Yeah that couldn’t happen in real life. I was amazed that a book written forty years ago is more relevant then when it first came out. It is all about how people will give up their freedom in times of crisis for security. Naturally they get neither freedom or security. We seen this with 9/11 and more recently with the pandemic. There was some truly creepy stuff in that this conspiracy would keep those they though they might use later on prisoner in a mental institution. They would regress then to be 4 years old so they could be easily controlled.
I found this book one of the best I have read in a long time. It kept my interest from beginning to end. It also had a happy ending. Basically the laws and bureaucracy this conspiracy created was used against them. It was a very poetic justice that happened. If you want to read a really fascinating thriller I would recommend this book.
Max Tag and his supertank XM-F4 No Slack Too is assigned to Saudi Arabia to stop a terrorist named al-Burka. Burka was a terrorist that was behind the Iranian-Yemen invasion of Oman that Tag managed to stop before WWIII. After that Burka flew into the Saudi desert where he found a gold mine. He lived as a hermit mining the gold. With enough he used the new Palestinian Mandate which was granted to the Palestinians and consists of the useless desert territory of Jordan and Iraq. He uses the gold to buy a few hundred APCs and tanks. Then he has them smuggled into Saudi Arabia. He also has kidnapped a revered Muslim cleric named al-Kabah. Kabah wants peace but is being used by Burka to deliver a message of Jihad. Burka also plans to attack Mecca and destroy the Kaaba which will inflame the Muslim world. Max must hunt down this terrorist to stop him.
A year later they released the final book in the series. I thought the series was over but apparently the author had a contract to write one more. So he crapped this waste of paper out. As the cover says this is the conclusion to the Tankwar series and I couldn’t agree more. This was just a mess of a book. Nothing exciting happens. They just wander around the desert and talk a bunch. Once in a while there is a fight but it was extremely dull. At a mere 167 pages it was the shortest book but sadly not short enough.
So the series ends and not on a high note. It was a decent attempt to cash in on the big success techno-thriller war books being done by Larry Bond, Harold Coyle and Tom Clancy. Unfortunately events were moving too fast and it became obsolete very quickly. If you think about it the whole concept didn’t really have a long shelf live. After the war in Europe was over then what? As this book shows making it into some type of elite international force going around the world wasn’t going to work. Which is why the big announcement of its conclusion on the cover. A fairly entertaining series that just went one book too long.