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Saturday, 10 October 2009

NASA's Hitch Hiker Fans 'Tweet' Their Praise

Penguin Books and NASA have very different ideas about celebrating the 30th anniversary of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

NASA did it by having their LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) vehicle tweeting lines from Hitchhiker’s, just before it slammed into the moon’s surface earlier this week.

Quoting the lines from Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide as a whale, brought accidentally and improbably into existence by last Earthman Arthur Dent, falls towards the surface of the planet Magrathea, it tweeted:

# “And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round,

about 4 hours ago from web

# it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'!”

about 4 hours ago from web

# “That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me?”

about 4 hours ago from web

Then it hit the moon, to mixed responses, with something of a 'plop', rather than the 'blam' some people thought it would (with the more extreme declaring NASA was 'bombing' the moon, as if one more crate would actually make any difference given the number already created every day by meteors that still hit it.)

Penguin, on the other hand is marking this occasion in what's been argued by some as a controversial way by publishing a sixth volume in the ever-more increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy on Monday (12th October). This isn't, however, a lost Douglas Adams manuscript but an entirely new novel by internationally best selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, Eoin Colfer.

Adams final book in the Hitchhiker’s series ended (as it began) with the complete destruction of Earth. Everyone is dead, which doesn’t leave much of an opening for Eoin to start the sixth book in the series. So how does Eoin bring the eternal pessimist Arthur Dent, his alien best friend Ford Prefect and the two headed Galactic President Zaphod Beelbebrox back from the dead?

For a sneak preview and a chance to join in the anniversary celebrations yourself, London’s Southbank Centre and Penguin Books have joined forces to create Hitchcon’09: a day of celebration, spectacle and delight voyaging deep into the Hitchhiker’s Universe on Sunday 11th October

The 30th anniversary of Hitchhiker’s and the publication of Eoin’s new book will be celebrated across the world in a whole manner of ways and in different mediums - for information, visit the official web site at www.6of3.com. But NASA's tweets have definitely sent the anniversary celebrations from global to intergalactic.

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