Douglas Adams: The Late Great … Prophet?

Craig Nybo - Allied Zombies for Peace

Click here to buy Craig’s Novel, Allied Zombies for Peace

My novel, Allied Zombies for Peace, is the story of a riot that happens during the 1968 Columbus, Ohio, Veterans Day Parade. The bulk of the story follows street brawling between an undead civil rights group called The Allied Zombies for Peace, and the Ku Klux Klan. The entire story takes place in 42 minutes.

A reader recently wrote me some praise—thanks by the way—about Allied Zombies for Peace’s fast-paced nature. He said: “A whole novel based on 42 minutes (nice number btw) can’t let up much.”

This got me thinking about the number 42. I did a little digging and soon found out that the 42 has much more significance than I imagined. I’m sure the number’s importance wasn’t lost on the late Douglas Adams.

The number 42 certainly isn’t lost on Douglas Adams fans. We learn in his brilliant series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that 42 is the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.

Jackie Robinson’s jersey number: 42. A jersey number also shared by James Worthy of the Los Angeles Lakers.

RISK, one of the greatest tactical board games in history, has 42 territory cards

If you slowly pronounce the numerals 4 and 2 together in Japanese, phonetically it roughly translates to “unto death.” It is considered unlucky to do so.

You can read in the Book of the Dead—an ancient Egyptian text—that there are 42 gods which personify each of the 42 aspects to ma’at (truth, balance, morality, and law).

The book of Matthew lists 42 generations in the genealogy of Jesus.

The Gutenberg Bible was printed in 42 lines per page.

The Buddhists possess a collection of aphorisms called the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters.

If you read Lewis Carroll, you will find exactly 42 illustrations in the text. Even further with Lewis Carroll, if one combines the ages of the White Queen (one hundred and one, five months and a day) and the age of the other queen who was born on the same day, the age in days of both queens together totals at 74,088 days, or 42 x 42 x 42 days.

By these observations, it becomes clear that the number 42 should never be taken lightly. It is no coincidence that the entire narrative of the novel, Allied Zombies for Peace, takes place in a mere 42 minutes. Just another validation of the enigmatic number pointed out by Douglas Adams.

—craig nybo

Comments: 1 Comment

One Response to “Douglas Adams: The Late Great … Prophet?”

  1. Parated2k says:

    There is also the fact that there are 42 gallons in a US oil barrel… and oil is “life, the universe and everything”. ;~D

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