On the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

Words to Live By

By Amy Berner

“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”

“Why, what did she tell you?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I was fourteen when my mother gave me my first copies of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The third and fourth volumes of the inappropriately named trilogy soon followed. She had already read and loved the books, and she knew that they were right up my science fiction bookwormish alley. When I was younger, she had repeatedly tried to get my nose out of whatever book I was reading, suggesting that I play outside when the weather in Wisconsin was actually worth playing in. By the time that I’d become a teenager, she’d given up on this tactic (it never worked, and I was turning out okay anyway–besides, we lived in Southern California by this point, and nice days were plentiful).

Mom was pretty darn smart. Heck, she was the one who started me out in the realm of science fiction in the first place, fostering my interest in television shows such as Star Trek and Doctor Who and planning mother-daughter weekends at science fiction conventions. Not only did she enjoy these television shows and books  …

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