When Douglas Adams died 20 years ago this year, he left behind not only a beloved series of novels, but boxes and boxes of letters and notes of his observations about the world. Those notes are the basis of a new Kickstarter project from Unbound—42: The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams, which reproduces a selection of those notes to give fans new insights into his life and views.
The book has well surpassed its original goal of $89,416—as of now, it’s raised more than $300,000. After his death, more than 60 boxes of Adams’ papers were sent to St. Johns College in Cambridge, and this book, Unbound says, “will reproduce in facsimile form extracts from the archive with explanatory text and footnotes to add context.”
Developed in close association with Adams’s family and literary estate, 42 will be a full-colour, large-format hardback that follows his career from early collaborations with Graham Chapman to his work on Doctor Who, through the Hitchhiker years, Dirk Gently, his groundbreaking non-fiction book Last Chance to See and his later digital work. Alongside this are details of projects that never came to fruition like a proposed theme park ride and a TV series provisionally entitled The Secret Empire.
The book will also include a series of tribute letters from names like Neil Gaiman, Stephen Fry, Brian Cox, and more. It’ll be edited by Kevin Jon Davies, a friend who worked closely with him for a number of years.
For £15 (~$21), backers will get an ebook version of the book, while £30 (~$42) will get a hardcover edition. Other tiers include collector’s edition artwork, and more. Keep in mind, it’ll be a little while before the book is printed and shipped to backers: the Kickstarter says that it’s anticipating delivery in September 2022.