Section A- Introduction & general mish-mash

A.1. Preface- about the FAQ

These are the Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers) for the newsgroup There are all sorts of things here that may be of interest; biographical information about Douglas Adams, answers to the frequently asked questions that plague the newsgroup, interesting notes and tidbits that you may (or may not) have known, and anything else that I and other readers of the group have found interesting.

This FAQ is possible only through the support of the Douglas Adams fans around the world, mostly but not limited to the readers of Without their help, this document would be pretty skimpy indeed. It's sadly been impossible to maintain the names and originators of all the information found in this document, thanks to its sometimes unexpected progression. So accept this global thanks to all the contributors. As usual, any info you think pertinant, interesting, enjoyable, etc. that you think deserves a spot in this FAQ, send along to either Greg, Owen or Ben).

Where possible, pointers to existing information (such as books, magazine articles, and FTP sites) are included here, rather than rehashing that information again. Information is provided without guarantee- if you get stung using any of the information provided here, or send off your personal fortune and are stuck, then I accept no blame or responsibility. It's your own damn fault.

If you haven't already done so, now is as good a time as any to read the guide to Net etiquette which is posted to news.announce.newusers regularly. You should be familiar with acronyms like FAQ, FTP and IMHO, as well as know about smileys, followups and when to reply by email to postings.

The questions list for this FAQ will (theoretically) be posted to news.answers and All posts to news.answers are archived, and it is possible to retrieve the last posted copy via anonymous FTP from here. Contributions, comments and changes for this FAQ should be sent to either Greg (, Owen ( or Ben ( Alternatively a post to might be the best option.

A.1.1. About the MFAQ

The MFAQ is a seperate entity to this FAQ; it stands for 'Mini Frequently Asked Questions' or 'Most Frequently Asked Questions' depending on who you ask, and it is a list of about a dozen of the most frequently asked questions from It is posted to the newsgroup itself; in theory it is posted every Thursday but then, we never could get the hang of Thursdays.

The MFAQ is going to almost always be most up-to-date than the FAQ, since the MFAQ is updated and posted on a weekly basis. I will do my best to keep this FAQ as up to date as possible, too. The most recent version of the MFAQ is posted on another of the afda pages, here

A.1.2. FAQ history & credits

The FAQ was initially compiled by David Polak, continued by Nathan Torkington (both their e-mail addresses are almost certainly well out of date by now), the baton shifted to Nathan Hughes, and carried on assisted into HTML and to its current home on the Web by Stuart Bruce. Stuart Bruce left the newsgroup, so the FAQ was passed to Ben Brockert. He is now doing the web version, and working on a text version. Considerable additional work has been done by Owen "Nemo" Cameron (who's done the bibliography mostly on his own), Greg "CrazyOne" Pacek, Andrew Williams, and others who deserve mention but who for sheer cheekiness's sake aren't going to get one.

The current artwork (the smiling mattress) was drawn by Ruth Latchford, although we can't seem to find an email address for her. Since she granted permission to Stuart to use the matress, and the FAQ is no longer under Stuart's control, we are not using the image until we granted specific permission. If anyone happens to have an email address for her, would like to draw the matress themselves, or have any bright ideas, e-mail me!

However we will mention Richard Harris, Tim Browse and Yoz Grahame (and more) of The Digital Village for their attempts to keep us up to date. And we should at least faintly acknowledge everyone on who has assisted.

Just for the hell of it, we might as well thank Douglas Adams, because this FAQ would be a bit pointless if he hadn't done anything with his life.

A.2. Where can I find more information about Douglas Adams?

If you cannot find the answer to your question(s) within the whole of this FAQ, or any of the sources listed below, you might like to try posting a query to the newsgroup. We're usually a helpful, if silly, bunch of various species.

If the query is of a personal or very unusual nature, you could write to the 'ask Douglas Adams' e-mail address. See B.3.1. What's Douglas Adams' e-mail address?

A.2.1. What's "Don't Panic" by Neil Gaiman?
"Don't Panic" is an essential guide to 'The Guide' for any serious fans of the Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy and Douglas Adams. Details are as follows:

There have been two main editions of "Don't Panic", the first entirely written by Neil Gaiman, and the second greatly improved to accomodate the publication of Mostly Harmless- although this second edition is still credited to Gaiman, the updating work was done either entirely, or almost entirely, by David K. Dickson.

There is also a German edition of "Don't Panic" called "Keine Panik".

A.2.2. Information from ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha are the official Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy Appreciation Society. Their Web homepage is situated here. See also Section Z.3.

A.3. The Ultra-Complete Indices

This section is now section U. The Ultra-Complete Indices. Thanks.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Next page (about Douglas Adams) / top of this page / index