The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times over many years and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travelers and researchers.

The introduction begins like this:

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-boggling big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. Listen… and so on.

(After awhile the style settles down a bit and it begins to tell you things you really need to know, like the fact that the fabulously beautiful planet Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.)

To be fair though, when confronted by the sheer enormity of the distances between the stars, better minds than the one responsible for the Guide's introduction have faltered. Some invite you to consider for a moment a peanut in Reading and a small walnut in Johannesburg, and other such dizzying concepts.

The simple truth is that interstellar distances will not fit into the human imagination.

Even light, which travels so fast that it takes most races thousands of years to realize that it travels at all, takes time to journey between the stars. It takes eight minutes to journey from the star Sol to the place where the Earth used to be, and four years more to arrive at Sol's nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Proxima.

For light to reach the other side of the Galaxy, for it to reach Damogran, for instance, takes rather longer: five hundred thousand years. *

The record for hitchhiking this distance is just under five years, but you don't get to see much on the way.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says that if you hold a lungful of air you can survive in the total vacuum of space for about thirty seconds. However, it does go on to say that what with space being the mind-boggling size it is the chances of getting picked up by another ship within those thirty seconds are two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against.

*The editor of this page would like to suggest that it in fact takes one hundred thousand years, but would also like to stress that he has been wrong about things from time to time.

Notice: The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.

Editor's Note: It should be understood that certain of the passages contained herein may or may not be included in the actual internal Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (indeed, some may not even be from the external Guide), but are included here because there is a chance that they might be, and/or because they might be of some interest to the readers. Some entries external but not internal may have origins such as Informational Illusions, narration by the author, or et cetera. Some entries herein, in fact, may be composed partially of internal Guide entries and partially of external narration, or what have you. It should further be noted that this copy of the Guide is grossly incomplete, and also that some of the entries included herein may or may not be from parallel universes. Yet again I find myself forced to use the word "also," in order that I might also inform you that any ENWBNNBOEWBD (Entries Not Written By Nor Necessarily Based On Entries Written By Doug) will be in font color number A7AB42 (you're lookin' at it), while EWBOEBOTWBD (Entries Written By Or Essentially Based On Those Written By Doug) will be in green. Most if not all ENWBNNBOEWBD will be written by the editor- yours truly. Please note that these pages should be displayed in Adams Normal truetype font. You can download it if you haven't got it.

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY series was written by Douglas Adams. If you're amused by any of the entries here, trust me, you'll like his books, from which I took them, infinitely more. -tek

Absolutely Pointless