Life, the Universe, and Everything by Lucie Stein-Cartford

There’s a lot of information out there about space travel, space stations, the Big Bang, and how Pluto is no longer a planet (much to my chagrin). I am quite fascinated by space in general, but I get bogged down with all the math. That’s why I decided to talk about my favorite take on space travel, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” by Douglas Adams.

Douglas Adams Hitchikers Guide

Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide

Douglas Adams created one of the most accessible media around for people interested in space. His characters are normal humans caught up in the mysteries of the galaxy, and they react in spectacularly funny ways. One of the main characters, Ford Prefect, writes for a book called the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (hence the title), which provides the average traveller with tips and tricks for surviving their trip. Although the Guide doesn’t include formulae or numbers, it is in fact a very thorough look at the endless possibilities of the galaxy. It makes a nice change from hyper-scientific science fiction, which practically requires a degree to be understood.

The broad appeal of Hitchhiker’s Guide has increased recently, with the production of a movie:

Featuring Mos Def, Alan Rickman, and Martin Freeman, and with a screenplay by Douglas Adams himself, the movie further illustrates the broad appeal of space. Although the movie can’t possibly encompass the broad scope of the book, it provides the viewer with a teasing glimpse of the endless possibilities. In fact, rather than having a hyper-drive engine, or something similarly Star Wars -oriented, the spaceship is powered by an Improbability Drive, opening up an entirely new set of ideas.

Abstract:

Since literacy became widespread, books have provided a means of escape for thousands of people; film has done the same, but in a different format. I propose to create a device that will allow readers to enter and physically experience stories, as seen in Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. This will not only provide a cheap, varied source of entertainment, but will also encourage readers to view situations from other perspectives. This will inspire tolerance, and increase literary awareness and knowledge; it will also allow users to see a huge variety of places they would otherwise be unable to access. New horizons will unfold for readers and lovers of film everywhere.

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