Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic

Jones, Terry

Years ago it was just a little digression in Life, The Universe and Everything. I said that the Starship Titanic had, shortly into its maiden voyage, undergone Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure. It’s just one of those bits that you put in while you are waiting for the plot to develop.

At one point I even considered developing it as a novel in itself and then thought, no, it sounded too much like a good idea, and I’m always wary of those.

When someone stood up and recounted a story, the audience responded. And the storyteller responded right back at them. It was the coming of print that took away the interactive element and locked stories into rigid forms.

An edge of alarm had entered the Head Reporter’s voice. This was mainly because he had his entire commentary written down in advance—as he always did. The thought that an unforeseen turn of events might now force him to look at what was actually going on and then improvise was a nightmare that had dogged his sleep for all the years that he had been in the reporting business.

It was an oval space, marked out by columns. Around the perimeter wall was painted a frieze depicting the favorite recreational pastime of the Founding Fathers of Blerontin: posing for frieze-painters.

Leovinus had always felt secretly sorry for the project manager’s wife. He could not imagine what it must be like living with such a duplicitous, cold-blooded egomaniac as Antar Brobostigon-his pity was only slightly modified by the knowledge that Crossa Brobostigon herself was, if anything, marginally more duplicitous, cold-blooded, and egotistical.

"Tell me what’s going on!" The Journalist was pinning Scraliontis’s arms to his side. "What’s the scam?" "Scam?" sneered Scraliontis. "You’ll never find out!" "Oh yes I will!" said The Journalist. "Very well! I’ll tell you everything!" replied Scraliontis rather surprisingly. The Journalist was totally wrong-footed. He almost said: "Oh no you won’t!" but he fortunately managed to stop himself.

The overexcited riot police had been calmed down by their chief, and the Yassaccan protesters lay groaning in mangled bloody heaps on the ground. It had been a totally successful exercise in crowd management.

Lucy had a good brain even though she had lived all her life in L.A.

Dan decided to hold back his iron fist of retribution

The hair of the canadil is so fine you must weave it by the light of the moons, for in sunlight it will disappear like snow." The children loved these tales of craftsmanship and daring feats of engineering. It cut Bolfass to the quick to see how someone could mistreat such workmanship.

The children loved these tales of craftsmanship and daring feats of engineering.

crackling, Corporal Golholiwol refused to emerge from his gloom.

and again and even brought a tear to his eye. They were ancient songs of yearning for better tools and materials, songs of lament for construction projects that were never finished, and songs of regret for the great craftsmen of yesteryear who would never plane nor chisel again.