Starting in December 2017, Mythgard Academy will present a free seminar series on the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the quintessential humorous science fiction novel by Douglas Adams. Despite a popular and persistent rumor, Dr. Corey Olsen will not spend 42 weeks on this book (though, he may spend 42 minutes on each slide), nor are we moving the weekly chats to Thursdays.
This book represents an expansion into the realm of classic science fiction novels studied in the Mythgard Academy, including Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. In addition, it is the first primarily humorous book we are exploring as part of this series. Another first for the Academy is the exploration of a book that was not originally a book! First aired as a radio BBC broadcast in 1978, The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a lesson in the growth of a multimedia franchise from a time before such franchises really existed. It has been adapted into various formats including (of course) novels, television shows, films, and even a computer game. And who doesn’t love playing the ever popular 42 puzzle?
Hitchhiker’s Guide tells the story of life, the universe and everything, focusing in particular on the adventures of a man named Arthur Dent, who wakes up on a particularly hapless Thursday and winds up becoming an unwitting (and sometimes unwitful) traveler throughout space and time, leaving the Earth behind to be destroyed as part of a Vogon public works project. Fearing that we’ve already spoiled the story by giving away too many details, we will leave off there and let you read the rest of this tragic tale of intergalactic errantry on your own.