Places in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This is a list of places featured in Douglas Adams‘s science fiction series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The series is set in a fictionalised version of the Milky Way galaxy and thus, while most locations are pure invention, many are based on “real world” settings such as Alpha Centauri, Barnard’s Star and various versions of the Earth.
“The Galaxy” is our home galaxy, the Milky Way, though it is referred to exclusively as “the Galaxy” in the series. Apart from a very brief moment during the first radio series, when the main characters were transported outside the galactic plane into a battle with Haggunenons, and a moment when one of Arthur’s careless remarks is sent inadvertently though a wormhole into “a distant galaxy”, the Galaxy provides the setting for every event within the series. It is home to thousands of sentient races, some of whom have achieved interstellar capability, creating a vast network of trade, military and political links. To the technologically advanced inhabitants of the Galaxy, a small, insignificant world such as Earth is considered invariably primitive and backward. The Galaxy appears, at least nominally, to be a single state, with a unified government “run” by an appointed President. Its immensely powerful and monumentally callous civil service is run out of the Megabrantis Cluster, mainly by the Vogons.
A “former Galactic Empire” is mentioned in several adaptations of the series. By the time set in the Hitchhiker’s series, the government of the Galaxy is referred to as the “Imperial Galactic Government”, though it is further explained that “the term ‘Imperial’ is kept, though it is now an anachronism.” In the television adaptation of the series, the name Imperatala Galacticon is used in one graphic as an alternate name for the previous Galactic Empire.
In the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the fit the third of the radio series, the empire is described as being known five million years ago for its richness, wildness and lack of taxes. People were described as daring “to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before“. However, the craving for luxury custom-made planets among the Galaxy’s mercantile elite led to the planet Magrathea gaining control of most of its wealth, which led to a financial Dark Age.
In the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and fit the twelfth of the radio series, it is established that by the present day setting of the various series, the real imperial rule has been long since abolished. It is explained that when the last Galactic Emperor was just about to die, he was put under a stasis field of static electricity, keeping his body perpetually alive in a coma. Over time, all the emperor’s heirs died and the Galactic Empire shifted from monarchy to democracy, with the galactic assembly of the imperial advisors switching from privy council to administration, with the head of the council becoming President of the Galaxy.
Thus it is further explained that since the shift to democracy brought an end to the previous absolutism, this meant there was a chance the head of state wasn’t just not in full power but not in power at all; and so the President of the Galaxy became an extreme figurehead; a celebrity, but someone who could reasonably be in power. Thus the president and the entire executive branch’s purpose is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. But only a handful of people know this fact, and only six of them know who actually wields power.
The current President of the Galaxy when the series begins is Zaphod Beeblebrox. Zaphod, along with Yooden Vranx, Roosta and Zarniwoop, found out how little power the president wields, and set out on a complex journey to find the real ruler of both the Imperial Galactic Government and in fact the entire universe. Their mission, which ends in the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, culminates in the discovery that power is actually wielded more or less entirely by a man in a shack. His extreme lack of desire to be a ruler of anything, so reasoned the old imperial government, allowed him to not be distracted by desire or eagerness and made him perfect to be ruler. Zarniwoop is crestfallen.
North West ripple
Relative to life on NowWhat, living on an affluent world in the North West ripple of the Galaxy is said to be easier by a factor of about seventeen million.
Outer Eastern Rim
The Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy where the Guide has supplanted the Encyclopedia Galactica among its more relaxed civilisations, and where in the novel Mostly Harmless Arthur Dent heads for “wisdom and truth were to be found” and goes to Hawalius.
Western Spiral Arm
In the radio series, the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy reports that ‘the wheel is economically unviable’, and in the “uncharted backwaters of [its] unfashionable end”, the ‘planet’ Earth is found.
Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha is a galactic sector containing Earth, Barnard’s Star, and probably other nearby systems. The “Plural” designation may indicate probability problems; after Fenchurch disappeared during a hyperspace jump, it was pointed out to Arthur Dent that the small print advised against hyperspace travel for inhabitants of Plural sectors.
Galactic Sector QQ7 Active J Gamma
Galactic Sector QQ7 Active J Gamma contains the Sun Zarss, the planet Preliumtarn of the famed Sevorbeupstry and Quentulus Quazgar Mountains. It appear in the novels Life, the Universe and Everything and So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish.
Aldebaran is a giant star in the constellation of Taurus. Max Quordlepleen claims that the only thing left after the end of the universe will be the sweets trolley and a fine selection of Aldebaran liqueurs. It is described as “great, OK,” in a song protesting against teleportation, and has fine wines that are on the Heart of Gold.
Algol is an eclipsing binary star in the constellation of Perseus. It is the home of the Algolian Suntiger, the tooth of which is one of the ingredients of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Before being placed into the Total Perspective Vortex, Zaphod Beeblebrox wished for Algolian Claret, an alcoholic drink presumably created by the gray humanoid species inhabiting the planet. Despite Zaphod’s apparent affinity for this drink, Algolian cuisine is equally noted for its unpleasantness. The Algolian Zylatburger is one such case; as related by Ford Prefect, “They’re a kind of meatburger made from the most unpleasant parts of a creature well-known for its total lack of any pleasant parts.” It is briefly mentioned as pretty neat in a song protesting against teleportation.
Apart from being the closest star system to Earth’s, (4.1 light-years northwest of earth) Alpha Centauri is home to both small furry creatures and a local planning department office of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. It has a rough, bumpy surface and sixteen cities (the fifteenth one is one of the best places to buy a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster), and is also inhabited by super-intelligent lizard squirrels. Its main spaceport, Port Brasta, has a massive duty-free shopping mall, the motto of which is, “be like the twenty-second elephant with heated value in space — bark!” This slogan contains an ingenious pun in Centaurian that the natives find hilarious.
Alpha Proxima is the smallest (and closest to Earth) member of the Alpha Centauri system. The first novel points out that it’s four light years from Earth’s solar system to Alpha Proxima, whilst Damogran is five hundred thousand light years away.
Altair is a blue star in the constellation of Aquila. The Altairian dollar is the main freely convertible currency in the galaxy, though it had collapsed in value by the time of the novels. The other major currencies in the galaxy are the Flanian pobble bead and the Triganic Pu. However, the Flanian pobble bead cannot be exchanged and the Triganic pu is only exchangeable for ningis, which are described as triangular rubber coins 6800 miles along each side. This renders them unviable, as the banks refuse to deal in “fiddling small change”. According to the Hitchhiker’s Guide TV series, one Altairian “long way” is equal to 37 Earth miles.
Antares is a red supergiant star in the constellation of Scorpius. In the first book, the guide relates smuggling Antarean parakeet glands, a notably unpleasant analogue of an olive in a typical cocktail.
The red giant star Arcturus is home to the great Arcturan megafreighters, automated cargo carriers that transport vast quantities of goods between star systems. So large that they eclipse a planet’s sun when in orbit, they are supposedly impregnable, though Zaphod Beeblebrox somehow managed it as a child. Former galactic president Yooden Vranx was a one-time megafreighter captain. Arcturus is also home to a staggering array of oversized and often deadly megafauna, from the Arcturan Megaleech to the Arcturan Megavoidwhale, Arcturan megagnat to the Arcturan megaelephant and megapuppy, as well as the megacamel, well known by the turn of phrase “one’s soul moves at the speed of an Arcturan megacamel”, presumably the reason for distilling Arcturan Mega-gin.
A red dwarf star only six light years from Earth, Barnard’s Star is an interstellar transit stop used by the Vogons after demolishing Earth.
Betelgeuse (pronounced “Beetle-juice”) is a red giant star approximately the size of Jupiter’s orbit about 600 light-years away which appears to Earthbound observers to be in the constellation of Orion. A song protesting against teleportation claims that “Betelgeuse’s pretty girls will knock you off your feet”, and that, “they’ll do anything you like, real fast and then real slow.”
Betelgeuse Five is the home planet of Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox and his semi-cousin Ford Prefect.
Presumably a planet somewhere in the Betelgeuse system. Cafe Lou is a dive bar in Gretchen Town, New Betel. There are rentable rooms on the floors above the bar. Ford Prefect spent many nights in one those rooms talking and drinking with Hotblack Desiato, who was often writing songs for his ajuitar in the neighbouring room.
Folfanga is a star system, the fourth planet of which is inhabited by a species of small slug, genus Arth-Urp-Hil+ Ipdenu.
Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged traveled to this planet to insult one such slug, calling it a “brainless prat.”
In the original radio series, the Frogstar system does not exist and the Total Perspective Vortex is said to be located on “The Frogstar”. It is described in little detail, save that it is “very unpopular”, and has been struck by several bombs. A travel brochure recommended the Frogstar for “sun, sand and suffering”. The books later elaborated the Frogstar into a full system with three known habitable planets.
Frogstar World A
Frogstar World A is the first planet of the Frogstar system and the home of the Frogstar fighters which take Zaphod Beeblebrox to Frogstar World B. Frogstar World A is an altogether more congenial place than Frogstar World B.
Frogstar World B
Frogstar World B is said to be “the most totally evil place in the galaxy“. It is somewhat like the books’ equivalent of Brontitall in the radio show; although there are differences between the two, they share some attributes. Although there is no statue of Arthur on Frogstar B, the bird people came about the same way; there is no archeologist called Lintilla in the part of the books that concerns itself with Frogstar B; however, the spaceport with the delayed spaceship is there.
Frogstar B was thrown into poverty through an event termed the Shoe Event Horizon. Many years ago, Frogstar World B was “a thriving, happy planet–people, cities, shops, a normal world.” However, there were slightly too many shoe shops on the high streets of the planet, and the number of shoe shops was steadily increasing. The more shoe shops there were, the more the shops had to make, and the more they had to make, the worse and more unwearable the shoes became. And the worse and more unwearable the shoes became, the more the people had to buy, and the more money the shops made until it became economically impossible to build anything other than shoe shops. The result was collapse, ruin, and famine. Most of the population died out, but a select few with the right kind of genetic instability mutated into birds and cursed the ground.
Frogstar B is the home of the Total Perspective Vortex, a machine that effectively annihilates one’s soul by showing one in an instant the whole infinity of creation and oneself in relation to it.
According to the books, Frogstar World B is the future site of Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. In the radio series this role is given to Magrathea.
Frogstar World C
Frogstar World C is the home planet of Gargravarr, the guardian of the Total Perspective Vortex. It is said to be a beautiful place with wonderful fishing opportunities. Its native intelligent life exists in two separate forms, minds and bodies, which cohabit in a similar fashion to married couples. The bodies have not been described physically in the series, save for the fact that they are said to be on their “last elbows” rather than “last legs”.
An inhabited solar system which boils away into the ultraviolet a few minutes before the rest of the Universe ends, thus providing Milliways’ patrons with a first foretaste of the apocalypse to come at the end of their meals.
The political hub of the Galaxy, which all the Vogons moved to from Vogsphere, where they “formed the immensely powerful backbone of the Galactic Civil Service.” The philosophers who had previously managed the galaxy were relegated to roles in the stationery room, licking stamps.
Orion Beta is a star system noted for its madranite mining belts. At a hyperspace port serving the mining belts Ford Prefect learned to play a drinking game similar to that of Earth’s “Indian wrestling.” (It might be Rigel; that is, Beta Orionis.)
Ford Prefect hacks into the British phone system from the Pleiades system (Epsilon and Zeta) in the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Pleiades Zeta is known in its local language as Zondostina.
Sesefras Magna is an orange gas giant in orbit around Zondostina. The space near the planet is home to space station Port Sesefron, a docking place for Xaxisian battleships and other spacecraft visiting the star system. Ford Prefect takes an Escape-O-Buggy from the sales ship he left in orbit around Epun to Port Sesefron in the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
Epun was a small cold blue moon of Sesefras Magna that Ford Prefect left a sales ship (with the speaking clock on the sound system) orbiting during the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
Sirius Tau system
The Sirius Tau Star system is home to the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, in the first novel, in which the anti-teleportationists’ poem recommends that you “See Tau before you’re dead”. A party of Young Conservatives from Sirius B visit Milliways in the second novel.
Home to the main administrative hub of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division, which now covers the major landmasses of three medium-sized planets. Eadrax is home to the Complaints Division spaceport, and originally home to the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division motto, “SHARE AND ENJOY“, which stood in 3-mile-high letters above the main office block, before it fell through said office block and into the ground. Only the top halves of the letters are now visible, and appear to read, in the local language, “Go Stick Your Head in a Pig”.
Squornshellous is a four-star system 27 light-years from Earth.
Squornshellous Alpha The first planet in from the four-star system Squornshellous, it is very cold and inhabited by giant, burrowing mattresses that spit acid.
Squornshellous Beta Two planets in from Squornshellous Zeta, it is inhabited by square cushions who enjoy being rubbed up against, especially with people’s shoulders. Unlike Squornshellous Zeta, it has desert terrain rather than swamps.
Squornshellous Delta The second planet in between Squornshellous Zeta and Beta, it is inhabited by flying pillows.there is no solid ground but only infinite clouds, indicating it is a gas giant.
Squornshellous Gamma Squornshellous Gamma is a quite, hot, bumpy little planet, with a thick, dense atmosphere. Probably the worst place to crash, because communication to other planets is impossible, due to the thick atmosphere, and the rain is solid. The 12′ by 9′ cushions have only a five-second memory.they’ll ask you who you are first, then who they are next, and, needless to say, most people die of annoyance within an hour.
Squornshellous Zeta Dimly illuminated and very very swamp-intensive, Squornshellous Zeta is the source of almost all the Galaxy’s mattresses. Said mattresses (all of which are called Zem) spend most of their time flolloping, globbering, volluing, vooning, and willomying. Said activities make the planet a favourite destination of etymologists. The Zem themselves remain a foot tall, until they are freeze-dried and cleaned, and made into mattress-size corpses (which are promptly used as mattresses). It is a process which, strangely enough, they don’t seem to mind at all. Very few mattresses have ever come back to life again.
Marvin the Paranoid Android was invited to the planet to give a speech marking the opening of a giant new bridge intended to revive the economy of the Squornshellous System, said bridge also costing the total sum of the economy of the entire planet to create and the whole ceremony ended in tears. Marvin was plugged into the bridge and the whole cyberstructure instantly folded itself up and collapsed (presumably after being directly exposed to Marvin’s chronically depressed view of the Universe). Marvin was left stranded in the swamp with only the mattresses to talk to, until robots from Krikkit stole his leg, and then the rest of him.
A small, unregarded yellow Sun in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy. It is home to a number of planets, including Earth and Rupert.
Earth is “an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy“. The sapient life forms on Earth are, in descending order of intelligence, mice, dolphins and human beings, the lattermost of whom may or may not be descended from a race of Golgafrincham telephone sanitisers, hairdressers, management consultants, and documentary film producers.” These Golgafrinchans arrived in a space ark which crashed into the planet circa 2 mya, and christened their new home “Fintlewoodlewix“.
Earth is widely regarded with derision and scorn by most sentient beings in the galaxy. That most other races have shunned Earth is in part due to its primitive technological state and also for its adoption of the game of cricket, an unfortunate product of racial memory that appears to make light of the genocidal Krikkit Wars. Right-thinking galactic citizens find it immensely distasteful. Before the arrival of Ford Prefect and the Vogons, Earth’s main form of extraterrestrial contact was with “teasers”: bored rich kids who cruise the galaxy looking for planets yet to make interstellar contact, find some isolated spot, land in front of a credulous soul they know no one will ever believe, step out of their ship with “silly antennas on their head” and make “beep-beep” noises at him.
Although often mistaken for a planet, Earth is in reality the greatest supercomputer of all time, designed by the second greatest supercomputer of all time, Deep Thought, to calculate the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe And Everything (to which the answer is 42).
Earth is also home to Arthur Dent and Trillian. Earth is located in Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy originally described Earth as “harmless” (the entry is short because of the limited amount of space the Guide handles). After lengthy research Ford Prefect expanded the entry, though his editor trimmed the new description to “mostly harmless”, but it was later reinstated in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
Earth was destroyed by the Vogons, allegedly to make way for a hyperspace bypass but in fact to prevent the Ultimate Question being discovered, as it was seen as a threat to the psychiatric industry. It was subsequently replaced by an exact duplicate by the dolphin “Save The Humans” movement, as shown in So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish (the dolphins having escaped by unspecified means shortly before the demolition). The dolphins themselves, however, elected not to return.
Boston is the home of Mrs. E. Kapelsen.
A town in Dorset, England, about which Ford Prefect wrote a baroque fiction that caused it to be visited by a mute giant robot.
Cottington is, or rather was, an obscure and unsung little country hamlet in the West Country of England which was, for the last three years prior to the demolition of Earth, Arthur Dent’s home. If the Vogons had not shown up, Cottington was scheduled to be transformed into a service station for the very “splendid and worthwhile” New Beddingford bypass, with the village being transformed into the Cottington Service Station, despite the unpopularity of this project with the locals.
The village has a small hotel with a saloon bar named the Horse and Groom.
A town in Surrey which is the home, at least metaphorically, of “Martin Smith”. When Arthur Dent, upon meeting Zaphod Beeblebrox for the first time, unexpectedly tells Ford Prefect that they had met previously, Ford angrily states that Zaphod is “not bloody Martin Smith from Croydon.” It turns out, however, that Zaphod has previously visited the Earth and indeed met Arthur at a party.
On Earth, Glastonbury was a short-lived location for the Guide’s financial records office – ten years’ worth of financial records were transferred to a magic hill just outside the town mere hours before the Vogons arrived, in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
Guildford, a town in southeastern England, is where Ford Prefect usually claimed to be from, as opposed to Betelgeuse, which is where he was actually from. The passage suggests, but does not specifically state, that Ford actually resided in Guildford during his time on Earth.
At a party in Islington (a section of London), about six months before the destruction of the Earth, Arthur totally failed to hit it off with Tricia McMillan (Trillian), who instead went off with “Phil”, a space alien who turned out to be Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Islington also was the location of the cave in which Arthur lived during Earth’s prehistoric period, as described in the third novel. Two million years later, exactly the same spot was the location of Fenchurch’s home as described in the fourth novel.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide advises any alien traveller to New York to get a job as a cab driver immediately, as it does not require that you understand the local language, have any knowledge of the basic topography, appear human or even understand the basic physics. It won’t matter where you land your ship, as no one will notice. The East River is particularly recommended for many amphibious lifeforms from the Swulling, Noxios or Nausalia systems, as its pollution is richer in nutrients than any known synthetic alternative.
A particular love of its creator, the Magrathean Slartibartfast, who eulogises its “lovely, crinkly edges”. For a time in the distant past, fjords were fashionable and he won an award for their design. During their trek away from the site of Golgafrinchan ark crash, Ford and Arthur see Slartibartfast’s likeness carved into an ice wall in one of the fjords, making them realize that they are on prehistoric Earth.
Rickmansworth is a place in England where, according to the prologue to the first novel, a young woman sitting on her own in a small cafe realized how the Earth could be made a good and happy place. In the fourth novel, the young woman is identified as Fenchurch.
A distorted version of Southend is the vision that confronts Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect when the Improbability Drive of the Heart of Gold transports them to the ship from outer space having been thrown out from the Vogon ship. This version of Southend created by the Improbability Drive is in all respects similar to the normal one, except that it is the buildings and the land that wash up onto the sea, rather than the other way round.
Stepney is the final resting place, the Guide says, of the chef who dies forgotten and alone among his cats in a back stair, whose memorial is those plastic pins in the shape of a chef’s hat found in pub sausages. In So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish.
In the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish Arthur and Fenchurch have a drink in a pub in Taunton (Somerset, England), and where Arthur wins a raffle and later spends time rooting though the bins.
A planet in Earth’s solar system beyond the orbit of Pluto. Rupert was named Persephone, but nicknamed Rupert after “some astronomer’s parrot.” It was eventually settled by the Grebulons.
In 2005, an actual tenth planet fitting Rupert’s description was discovered beyond Pluto (which was considered a planet then, as opposed to a dwarf planet now). In a poll of the public conducted by New Scientist magazine to search out potential names for the object, “Rupert” ranked #5, and “Persephone” was the top choice.  The planet was, however, ultimately named Eris.
Ursa Minor is home to some of the great galactic publishing and media corporations.
Ursa Minor Alpha
An award at the Annual Ursa Minor Alpha Recreational Illusions Institute Awards Ceremony was actually a key to the slo-time envelope that locked away the planet of Krikkit.
Ursa Minor Beta
The rich and sunny planet Ursa Minor Beta has the quite peculiar property that most of its surface consists of subtropic coastline. Even more peculiar, on this world it’s always Saturday afternoon, just right before the beach bars close. Light City, the only city on Ursa Minor Beta, which can only be reached by plane, is the very place where the editorial offices of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reside. A further anomaly in Light City is that the Lalamatine district, just behind the beach, is the only place on the planet not to enjoy a perpetual Saturday afternoon. Instead it is always early evening, with cooling breezes – this is where the nightclubs are located.
The the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe states that “Ursa Minor Beta is, some say, one of the most appalling places in the known Universe.” “Although it is excruciatingly rich, horrifyingly sunny and more full of wonderfully exciting people than a pomegranate is of pips, it can hardly be insignificant that when a recent edition of Playbeing Magazine headlined an article with the words, ‘When you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta you are tired of life’, the suicide rate there quadrupled overnight.”
Megadodo Publications are the original publishers of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The company’s headquarters were a thirty story tall building in the shape of an “H” on Ursa Minor Beta. The relocation of the offices to a resort planet caused the company to lose much of its credibility among its customer base. The offices were later abducted by a squadron of Frogstar fighters and brought to the Frogstar, in an attempt to capture and discipline rogue galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox. The Megadodo lobby is always filled with grubby looking hitchhikers wanting to complain about the Guide’s inaccuracy.
The president of Megadodo Publications is Zarniwoop, who is always too cool to see visitors. Megadodo was criticized by its customers for setting up an artificial universe in order to allow its editors and contributors to collect book information without leaving their offices. Notably secretive (or destructive) about their financial and historical records, the entire company was later (in the novel Mostly Harmless) bought out by Infinidim Enterprises, which stopped selling the Guide to hitchhikers entirely and eliminated all of what Megadodo had once stood for, much to the disapproval of employee Ford Prefect.
The Lalamatine district of Ursa Minor Beta has shops, bolonut trees and pavement cafes and enjoys a cool perpetual early Saturday evening, from the second novel.
Ydsdllodins is the star system which, centuries ago, was the centre of the galactic insurance business. Its star went supernova almost immediately after the destruction of the Starship Titanic. Its name is a partial anagram of “Lloyds ins”, a reference to the ancient insurance market Lloyds of London.
A star in Galactic Sector QQ7 Active J Gamma, beyond what used to be known as the Limitless Lightfields of Flanux, until the Grey Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine were discovered lying beyond them. It is orbited by the planet Preliumtarn, on which is the land of Sevorbeupstry, in which is the Great Red Plain of Rars, bounded on the South side by the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains. According to the dying words of Prak, written here in 30-foot-high (9.1 m) letters of fire is God’s Final Message to His Creation. In the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur and Fenchurch journey here, and do indeed see the Message.
Allosimanius Syneca is a planet noted for ice, snow, mind-hurtling beauty and stunning cold. The view from the top of the Ice Crystal Pyramids of Sastantua is widely known for its ability to release the observer’s mind to hitherto unexperienced horizons of beauty.
Argabuthon is a technologically advanced planet whose perspex Sceptre of Justice turned out to be part of the key to the Wikkit Gate. It is also the home of Prak, a man placed into solitary confinement after an overdose of truth drug caused him to tell the Truth in its absolute and final form, causing anyone to hear it to go insane. The planet’s Arglebard Forest provided the wood to build the Argabuthon Chamber of Law.
Motivated by the fact that the only thing in the Universe that travels faster than light is bad news, the Hingefreel people native to Arkintoofle Minor constructed a starship powered by bad news. Unfortunately, the ship’s drives didn’t work terribly well, and, even if they did, their fuel source rendered them incredibly unwelcome, thus defeating the whole point.
An Earthlike planet on which Arthur Dent lived for a short time. Inhabited by Bartledanians who neither breathe nor experience desire in any form.
Bethselamin is a fabulously beautiful planet which attracts billions of tourists each year. Unsurprisingly, erosion is a primary concern of the local authorities. Their solution is to remove any net imbalance between the amount of matter eaten and the amount subsequently excreted through amputative surgery. Thus it is vitally important to get a receipt after every trip to the lavatory while on the planet.
Blagulon Kappa is the planet which the police that attack Zaphod Beeblebrox are from. Its air is rich in methane, as its lifeforms depend on it for survival.
Brequinda on the Foth of Avalars was famed in myth, legend and incredibly dull tri-d mini-series as home of the magnificent and magical Fuolornis Fire Dragon. As the guide hardly ever updates, it now mystifies tourists who go to visit the City State of Brequinda.
Brontitall is a planet with a warm, rich atmosphere and no mountains. It is populated by highly evolved bird people who live in the right ear of a 15-mile high marble statue of Arthur Dent, built as a reminder of the moment when Arthur (due to a freak occurrence) appeared in the sky over the city arguing with a Nutrimatic Drink Dispenser, inspiring the people of the planet to get rid of all robots.
On the ground, three clones of an archaeologist called Lintilla discover the strata of shoes, thus revealing the planet’s history.
Nearby, a derelict spaceport contains a number of crumbling old spaceships, but one of which is still on power, “delayed” for over 900 years due to the non-arrival of its complement of lemon-soaked paper napkins.
Originally the bird people were ground dwellers, but gradually the planet was taken over by the shoe shops of the Dolmansaxlil Shoe Corporation, apparently thanks to the shoe shop intensifier ray deployed by the corporation in order to keep the populace buying more and more poorly made and ill-fitting shoes. The guide later reveals that the shoe shop intensifier ray “is, in actuality, a phony, designed to make Dolmansaxlil executives feel they are doing something excitingly aggressive, when in fact all they need to do is wait”. Rather than falling to the predation of the corporation, the planet had instead succumbed to the natural state of decay known as the Shoe Event Horizon.
Shoe Event Horizon
The foundation of the Shoe Event Horizon theory is that when depressed, people tend to look down, and when they look down, they see their shoes. To cheer themselves up, they might buy themselves a new pair. Thus, in a generally depressed society, demand for shoes will rise.
In the critical condition, demand for shoes rises faster than the capacity to make good quality footwear. As shoe quality decreases, the demand increases further because shoes wear out faster and need to be replaced more often; as the demand for shoes increases, cheap mass production causes shoe quality to drop even more. What results is a spiral of increasing shoe demand and decreasing shoe quality. Eventually, this destabilizes the economy to the point where it is “no longer economically viable to build anything other than shoe shops”, and planetary society collapses.
Adams had gone to London’s Oxford Street where, quoting him, “You can’t throw a brick without breaking a shoe shop window”. Despite every shop stocking thousands of shoes, none had a pair which was the right size, price, or colour, or which was comfortable, durable or stylish without being outrageous.
Brontitall is only mentioned in the original BBC radio show. However, in the books, Frogstar B has some (but not all) of the attributes of Brontitall.
Broop Kidron 13
Home to the Shaltanacs, the happiest race in the galaxy, due to not having a word or phrase for unhappy. Presumably the Shaltanacs never had a Shoe Event Horizon.
Ciceronicus 12 is the planet on which the Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Neutron Wrangler, the Magic and Indefatigable, is located.
A small, remote, uninteresting planet whose surface comprises a number of small, uninteresting islands surrounded by ocean. Two of these islands are coincidentally named “Easter Island” and “France”. The starship Heart Of Gold was built, and subsequently stolen from, here.
The background shot used in the film version contains a view of Church Rock, near Stackpole in Pembrokeshire in west Wales, UK. This location is later used (in unaltered form) during the flyby sequence of Slartibartfast and Arthur in the planet-builder’s factory.
Dangrabad Beta is noted for its sand blizzards. The Googolplex Star Thinker was said to have been able to calculate the trajectory of every single dust particle throughout a five-week Dangrabad Beta sand blizzard.
Mostly Harmless. For more information, see: The Sun
Place of residence of Eccentrica Gallumbits, a triple-breasted whore who has several cameos throughout the series. Her erogenous zones are thought to reach an area of 4 miles around her actual body. Ford Prefect disagrees, believing it to be 5.
Mentioned in a Guide entry on the first Hitchhikers LP sleeve, Esflovian is a “planet populated by the descendants of an ancient personal-growth-orientated hippy peace commune… It is rumoured to have destroyed itself in recent nuclear encounter therapy”.
The planet Fallia is best known for its marshes which, according to the instructions on how to make a proper Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, are quite dangerous. You should allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through the drink “in memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.” It can therefore be assumed that these gases are highly intoxicating, possibly even hallucinogenic.
The band Disaster Area were from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones. It is later referred to as a place with all that stuff going on out there in Mostly Harmless. It is one of the 85 percent of inhabited worlds in the galaxy that has, for reasons unknown, independently developed a drink named with a phonetic variant of “gin and tonics.” The Gagrakakan version, however, tzjin-anthony-ks, kills cows at a hundred paces.
Golgafrincham is a red semi-desert planet that is home of the Great Circling Poets of Arium and a species of particularly inspiring lichen. Its people decided it was time to rid themselves of an entire useless third of their population, and so the descendants of the Circling Poets concocted a story that their planet would shortly be destroyed in a great catastrophe. (It was apparently under threat from a “mutant star goat”). The useless third of the population (consisting of hairdressers, tired TV producers*, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, management consultants, telephone sanitisers and the like) were packed into the B-Ark, one of three giant Ark spaceships, and told that everyone else would follow shortly in the other two. The other two thirds of the population, of course, did not follow and “led full, rich and happy lives until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone”.
The B-Ark was programmed to crash-land on a suitably remote planet on one of the outer spiral arms of the galaxy, which happened to be Earth, and the Golgafrinchan rejects gradually mingled with and usurped the native cavemen**, becoming the ancestors of humanity and thereby altering the course of the great experiment to find the question for the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, or so Ford Prefect presumes. A lot of them didn’t make it through the winter three years prior to Arthur Dent‘s reunion with Ford Prefect, and the few who remained in the spring said they needed a holiday and set out on a raft. History says they must have survived.
People from Golgafrincham are called Golgafrinchans. In some versions of the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the planet is also referred to as “Golgafrinchan”, but this usage is less common and is thought to be an error of typography.
* Tired was a typo for Tri-D, but was left as is because D.A. thought there should be some tired TV producers too.
** Arthur reflexively called the primitive Earth primates “cavemen”, despite Ford pointing out that they didn’t actually live in caves as such, to which Arthur wittily replied “Maybe their caves are being remodeled”
The city of Vassilian on the planet of Golgafrincham is where the five princes journey of the traditional long poems started from, in the second novel.
An exotic holiday planet, Han Wavel is one of the wonders of the Galaxy, a world of fabulous ultra-luxury hotels and casinos, all of which have been formed by the natural erosion of wind and rain. However geophysicists, probability statisticians, meteoranalysts or bizzarrologists who are so keen to research it cannot afford to stay there to find how this “infinity to one against” situation came about. It appears in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
Home of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Teleport Systems factory. As per usual with the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, their teleport systems seldom work properly, and the results are, as can be imagined, rather drastic. For this reason the planet has seen an almost continuous mob of protestors outside the factory, chanting songs of defiance, one featuring the memorable lyrics: “I teleported home last night with Ron and Sid and Meg/Ron stole Meggy’s heart away and I got Sidney’s leg.”
Hawalius, was home to oracles, seers, soothsayers and take-away pizza shops, but was being Plutoed by time-travel taking away the planet’s trade. Arthur Dent travelled there and met the smelly Old Woman in the Cave (with a photocopier) and the Old Man on the Poles in the novel Mostly Harmless.
Jaglan Beta is, evidently, the second planet in a star system near the Axle Nebula. The entry on the usefulness of towels in the Hitchhiker’s Guide notes that Jaglan Beta’s moons are quite cold, and that a towel is useful for wrapping up with while on them.
In the parking lot at Milliways, Ford Prefect briefly recounts a tale about being passed by a Lazlar Lyricon Custom spaceship that subsequently crashed into the third moon of Jaglan Beta, observing that the ship looked like a fish and moved like a fish, but steered like a cow.
A popular showtune in the Hitchhiker’s universe is “I Left My Leg in Jaglan Beta.”
Jajazikstak is home to the warlike Strangulous Stilettans in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
Kakrafoon is an arid world which has a reddish surface similar to that of Mars. Unlike Mars, Kakrafoon has a sentient species known as the Belcerebons. Due to their highly antisocial habit of being quiet, the Belcerebons were sentenced by Galactic Tribunal to be telepathic, the only ways of blocking out these messages is to either talk constantly about anything and everything, or to play host to a Disaster Area rock concert.
In fact, one such concert, following Hotblack Desiato‘s visit to Milliways, was so loud that the whole landscape of Kakrafoon’s Rudlit Desert was turned upside down like a big pancake, then hit by the solar flares from the star nearest it when Hotblack’s stuntship hit it. These flares caused the desert land to turn into a great, beautiful fertile landscape. Also, the force of the explosion dispersed the telepathy of the Belcerebons. This may or may not have anything to do with the large Improbability Field floating around at this time. Hotblack’s agent would later call it “a good gig.”
Home world of the Azgoths, Kria is therefore home to the second worst poetry in the Universe according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Azgoth poetry was once exceeded in awfulness by a human poet from Essex, England (on Earth), though the Vogons’ demolition of that planet leaves the Azgoths in the top spot. Their poetry master, Grunthos the Flatulent, is best known for his work “Ode to a Small Lump of Putty I Found in my Ear One Midsummer Morning”, which caused four listeners to die of internal hemorrhaging and forced a fifth to gnaw his own legs off to survive. However, Grunthos was disappointed by this reception, so apparently the Azgoths’ poetry isn’t deliberately horrid like the Vogons’ poems are.
The planet Krikkit is (at the beginning of the novel Life, the Universe and Everything) located in a dust cloud composed chiefly of the disintegrated remains of the enormous spaceborne computer Hactar. Hactar was originally created by the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax to design the Ultimate Weapon. Hactar produced a very, very small bomb that, when activated, would connect every star to every other star, cause them to all go supernova simultaneously and, thus, destroy the universe. The bomb proved dysfunctional because Hactar had designed it with a tiny flaw, reasoning that no consequence could be worse than that of setting the bomb off. The Silastic Armorfiends disagreed and destroyed Hactar.
Due to the dust cloud, the sky above Krikkit was completely black, and thus the people of Krikkit led insular lives and never realised the existence of the Universe. With the population thus prepared, Hactar, disintegrated but still functional, built and crashed a model spaceship onto Krikkit in order to introduce its inhabitants to the concept of the Universe. Secretly guided by Hactar, the Krikkiters built their first spaceship, Krikkit One, penetrated the dust cloud, and surveyed the Universe before them. Unbeknownst to the Krikkiters, Hactar had been subliminally conditioning their minds to the point where they could not accept a Universe into their world view with the intention of putting them into a similar mindset to that of the Silastic Armorfiends. Sooner or later, they would require an Ultimate Weapon, and this would allow Hactar to finally complete his purpose, something he had felt considerably guilty about not doing before. Upon first witnessing the glory and splendor of the Universe, they casually, whimsically, decided to destroy it, remarking, “It’ll have to go.” Aided again by the mind of Hactar, the Krikkiters built an incredible battlefleet and waged a massive war against the entire Universe. The Galaxy, then in an era of relative peace, was unprepared, and spent the next 2,000 years fighting the Krikkiters in war that resulted in about two “grillion” casualties.
When Krikkit was eventually defeated, Judiciary Pag sentenced Krikkit and its sun to be sealed in a Slo-Time envelope within which time would pass almost infinitely slowly until the end of the Universe, thus serving the dual purpose of protecting the Universe from Krikkit, and allowing the Krikkiters to enjoy a solitary existence in the twilight of Creation. Light would be deflected around the envelope, making it invisible and impenetrable. The Wikkit Gate, the key that would unlock the envelope, was disintegrated into time, and could therefore not be used to free the planet from the envelope ahead of time.
However, a Krikkit warship carrying deadly white robots of the kind used in the war escaped before the envelope was sealed, and, within a brief ten billion years, managed to reassemble the Wikkit Gate. The Gate was composed of the Steel Pillar of Strength and Power (Marvin the Paranoid Android‘s artificial leg), the Golden Bail of Prosperity (The Heart of Gold, the small golden box that makes the Infinite Improbability Drive function), the Perspex Pillar of Science and Reason (The Argabuthon Scepter of Justice; “Plastic Pillar” in the American version), the Silver Bail of Peace (The Rory Award For The Most Gratuitous Use Of The Word “Fuck” In A Serious Screenplay.The Rory Award for the Most Gratuitous Use of the Word “Belgium” in a Serious Screenplay in the American version), and the Wooden Pillar of Nature and Spirituality (The reconstituted ashes of the stump signifying the death of English cricket: see The Ashes).
The robots unsealed the envelope, but Arthur, Slartibartfast, Trillian, and Ford Prefect, with the unintentional help of Marvin, were able to disperse Hactar’s particles, freeing the Krikkiters from his continued influence, and thus saving the Universe. Arthur then went to live on Krikkit for three years, before leaving for an unexplained reason.
Krikkit also managed to leave other marks besides the destruction of numerous worlds: due to racial memories, the Earth sport of cricket and the pan-dimensional sport of Brockian Ultra-Cricket were based on the Krikkit Wars. Slartibartfast enjoys the game of cricket, but he notes that most sensible citizens of the galaxy find the sport to be in rather bad taste.
The Krikketers are described as humanoid aliens who are charming and polite, despite their cosmocidal tendencies. They are capable of composing incredibly moving and poetic music. Some of the younger Krikketers are interested in developing sporting links with the rest of the Universe rather than destroying it.
(Most of the Krikkit material from the novel was adapted by Adams from an episode treatment, “Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen”, which he had written for the television series Doctor Who. It would have featured the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.)
The “Krikkit Song” was composed and performed by Philip Pope for fit the fifteenth of the radio series, featured on An Informational Visit and Arthur Diverted, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 5 October 2004.
The song’s lyrics provided clues to Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect that the people of Krikkit could never see any neighbouring planets or stars, and the odd effects that may have on them. The song also features in the radio series The Quintessential Phase when Ford Prefect pays Elvis to play the song at the Domain of the King and incidentally starts to cry.
Lamuella is the planet on which Arthur Dent lives and works as The Sandwich Maker at the start of the novel Mostly Harmless. The planet is mostly made up of villages, though there is only one significant settlement on the planet. It intersects a plural zone, allowing for teleportation to the Domain of the King. The primary species of the planet are humanoids, Perfectly Normal Beasts,so named by Old Thrashbarg, and Pikka Birds. The residents of Lamuella worship a deity by the name of Almighty Bob. Among the things Arthur likes about Lamuella are the number of suns and moons (one of each), the number of hours in a day (25, and thus an extra hour in bed and a few minutes every day adjusting his watch) and the number of days in a year (about 300, so the year doesn’t drag on). The planet is mostly unknown, so few space travelers ever taste the superbly made sandwiches that would be the planet’s claim to fame.
Magrathea is an ancient planet located in orbit around the twin suns Soulianis and Rahm in the heart of the Horsehead nebula. Magrathea is a planet whose economy was based on the manufacturing of other planets for the wealthiest people in the universe. It was the people of Magrathea (known as “Magratheans”) who created the Earth.
Magrathea is considered the home of the industry of “Custom-made luxury planet building.” It was a market aimed at the richest of the rich, during the days of the former Galactic Empire. The Magratheans would design and create entire planets for wealthy clients. They were so successful that Magrathea became the richest planet of all time. However, this resulted in the rest of the galaxy being plunged into abject poverty and the economy collapsing. The planet then faded from memory with most people believing it to be just a myth.
Amongst the clients who asked for planets to be created were a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who asked the Magratheans to create the Earth which, in addition to being a planet, was a super-computer designed to calculate the ultimate question to the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. Amongst the people who worked on it was Slartibartfast, a coastal designer who won an award for his work on Norway.
The surface of the planet appears to be dead, with the Magratheans kept in cryogenic state, not to be awakened until the economy was good enough to pay off Magrathea’s expensive services. The surface is described as “Blighted”. The book says that, “Bits of it were dullish grey, bits of it dullish brown, the rest of it rather less interesting to look at. It was like a dried-out marsh, now barren of all vegetation and covered with a layer of dust about an inch thick. It was very cold.” They were later awakened for the reconstruction of the Earth (the Earth, Mk. II).
The word Magrathea comes from Agartha, a supposed underground kingdom from which Aryans originated in Nazi and Tibetan ideology.
When the television version of the series was made, a clay pit in St Austell, Cornwall was used to film the exterior shots of Magrathea. Creator of the series Douglas Adams however, claimed that he wanted to film in Iceland or Morocco, but these locations were too expensive.
In the radio series and TV series (but not the novels or the film), Magrathea is the location of Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
In the computer game The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you complete the game once you set foot on Magrathea.
In the novel And Another Thing…, Nano is the home of an Earth colony lead by Hillman Hunter.
NowWhat is a planet in the Whole Sort of General Mish Mash formerly known as the Hitchhiker’s Guide universe. NowWhat can be found in place of planet Earth at an unlikely position along the probability axis, in a parallel universe.
According to the novel Mostly Harmless, “the planet of NowWhat had been named after the opening words of the first settlers to arrive there after struggling across light-years of space to reach the furthest unexplored outreaches of the Galaxy. The main town was called OhWell.”
The only export of NowWhat is the NowWhattian boghog skin, which no one in their right minds would want to buy because it’s thin and very leaky, and the export trade only manages to survive because of the significant number of people in the Galaxy who are not in their right minds.
Travelers that arrive on NowWhat are greeted by a picture of the president smiling a ghastly smile; the picture was taken after he shot himself, and the missing corner of his face has been drawn in crayon. No one wants to be the president of NowWhat. Everyone there pursues one ambition: to leave.
Arthur Dent arrives on NowWhat in search of Earth. After turning the map upside down and adjusting for different sea levels, he discovers that the shapes of the continents of NowWhat resemble those of the planet Earth. For lack of any other similarity Arthur Dent concludes that it is the right planet but the wrong universe and leaves again.
The large forest planet Oglaroon is home to the Oglaroonians, an “intelligent” species who reside in their entirety in one small nut tree, believing it to be the entire universe, and other trees to be merely Oglanut-induced illusions. From the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Located in the Pansel system, Poghril was once inhabited by a primitive tribe of humanoids, who were wiped out by famine, with the exception of one man. A few weeks after the Infinite Improbability Drive caused a space-time rip to dump two hundred and thirty-nine thousand lightly fried eggs on the planet, this man died of cholesterol poisoning.
Santraginus V is a planet known widely for its marble-sanded beaches. Seawater from the oceans adjoining those beaches, which contain extremely oblivious fish that apparently don’t care where they’re going, forms a key ingredient for the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. The drummer of rock band Disaster Area once stayed here while the rest of the band moved onto the next tour location (the planet Kakrafoon), and found a small pebble that he declared would be his friend.
Saquo-Pilia Hensha is the planet to which the Vogons move the headquarters of the Guide after InfiniDim Enterprises bought it out. One of Saquo-Pilia Hensha’s most renowned holidays is Assumption of St. Antwelm. Because King Antwelm assumed everybody wanted to be happy, enjoy themselves, and have the best possible time together, on his death he willed his entire personal fortune to financing an annual festival to remind everyone. Features of this holiday include an annual feast, dancing, and silly games such as Hunt the Wocket.
Stegbartle Major is a planet in the Constellation Fraz. In the novel Mostly Harmless, the Greater Drubbered Wintwock is no longer found there.
Striterax is the home world of the insanely aggressive Silastic Armorfiends in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything. A world ravaged by the insatiable combativeness of its sentient inhabitants, who abandoned the surface long ago and migrated into underground bunkers. Said Armorfiends have since blown themselves up, presumably taking the planet with them.
Stug is the home planet of Strenuous Garfighters, from the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
Traal is home to the infamous Ravenous Bugblatter Beast, and because of its inclusion in the Guide, an infamous court case about the literal interpretation of the entry came about because it said “Beasts often make a very good meal for visiting tourists” rather than “beasts often make a very good meal of visiting tourists” and a place where protection can be sought by wrapping a towel around the eyes but only from the aforementioned beast, which is “so mind-boggling stupid it believes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you”. The planet has only one surviving oral hygienist. From the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Viltvodle VI is the home world of the small, blue, fifty-armed Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of what they refer to as “The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief.” This is their cosmology’s version of the end of the Universe, and can be explained by the fact that they believe that the Universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.
The Jatravartids are also unique because they were the first people in Universe who invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel. In the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, they seem to not have invented the wheel at all, as a square-wheeled bicycle can be seen in the foreground.
Other Galactic religions have sent missionaries to Viltvodle VI to attempt to convert the Jatravartids to whichever religion the specific missionary in question happens to be a follower of. The most notable of these missionaries is Humma Kavula (although in the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he seems to be preaching the Jatravartids’ religion.)
In the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the guide describes a bit of it. This passage is also included in the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
In the beginning, the universe was created.This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. Many races believe it was created by some sort of God, but the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI firmly believed that the entire universe was, in fact, sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.
The Jatravartids, who lived in perpetual fear of the time they called “The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief” were small, blue creatures with more than fifty arms each. They were unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel.
A primeval planet (at least it was 10 billion years ago) with three suns, and at one time famed for its beaches, whose skies “glittered with some of the greatest tanning power ever known.” Judiciary Pag stayed here after passing judgement on the people of Krikkit.
This is the homeworld of the Vogons. In the books it is said to be long-abandoned, although in the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy it still seems to be a “thriving” (if the word can be used) administrative center. According to the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, anyone standing on Vogsphere must be careful not to think, because the planet is infested with shovel-like creatures which leap up out of the ground and smack you in the face if you do so. These creatures, parasites which prey on free thought and punish original ideas, were conceived by Adams and apparently represent the physical embodiment of bureaucracy. It may be that the existence of such creatures on the Vogons’ homeworld is the reason for their pathological hatred of independent thought, as survival on Vogsphere would entail avoiding such thinking. It is also home to the indigenous jewel-encrusted crabs and silky-coated gazelle-like creatures that the Vogons take such delight in tormenting and abusing.
In the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the exterior shots of Vogsphere were filmed at Trefil Quarry, a few miles north of Tredegar in south Wales.
Voondon is the home planet of the Holy Lunching Friars who were a great influence on the Guide’s fourth editor, Lig Lury Jr. From the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
Home of the Xaxisian Giant Robot ship from the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Xaxis is at war when Ford Prefect suggests that Bournemouth may be nicer. It is a democracy where the humanoid majority are ruled by a lizard elite. Although the humanoids hate the lizards, they won’t vote against them, in case the wrong lizard gets in.
Xaxis is fighting an automated war against Zirzla during the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
Artifactovol is the name given to the great shipbuilding asteroid complexes which produced the majestic, luxurious cruise-liner Starship Titanic. The ship was one of the first large experiments in Improbability Physics, with the intent being to make it Infinitely Improbable that anything would ever go wrong with any part of the ship. The shipbuilders were unaware that, due to the nature of Improbability calculations, that which is Infinitely Improbable is actually very likely to happen almost immediately upon the improper activation of an Infinite Improbability Drive. Before it could transmit its first radio message . an SOS . the ship underwent the most Infinitely Improbable occurrence: a most gratuitous Total existence failure.
In the novel Douglas Adams’s Starship Titanic by Terry Jones, the Starship Titanic was launched from the planet Blerontin rather than Artifactovol, and was built on the neighbouring planet of Yassacca, suggesting that there are two alternate versions of the Starship Titanic.
Near the Axel Nebula Ford Prefect was passed by limoship customized by Lazlar Lyricon.
The Big Bang Burger Bar
The Big Bang Burger Bar is mentioned by Max Quordlepleen as another place where he performs. It is the opposite of Milliways in that it is at the beginning of the universe, namely the Big Bang. It is known as The Big Bang Burger Chef in the radio and UK versions of the book.
The Bistro Illegal
A no doubt seedy nightclub fondly recalled by Ford Prefect during his one-way conversation with his former drinking buddy, the currently-deceased rock star Hotblack Desiato. According to the Guide’s onscreen playback at the beginning of the television series, the bar staff at the Bistro Illegal mix a very good Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.
The Carfrax Gamma Caves become a war front line between the Strangulous Stilettans of Jajazikstak, the Strenuous Garfighters of Stug and the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax.
Where the Cathedral of Chalesm once stood is now an ion mine. Because the construction of the mine took such a long time, its constructors decided to start building at some point in time (thanks to time travel) before the Cathedral of Chalesm was even present. This means that the Cathedral was never built in the first place, and so picture post cards of it are highly valuable (and according to the radio series, blank). The loss of the Cathedral was the pivotal event in the creation of the Campaign for Real Time.
Cruxwan has a University where Majikthise and Vroomfondel either once studied, currently study or hold professorial status.
Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax fought the Strenuous Garfighters of Stug in the Radiation Swamps of Cwulzenda.
The Domain of the King
The Domain of the King is a bar and grill restaurant located in a desert on an unspecified planet. This planet is apparently the true home of the Perfectly Normal Beasts that migrate across the Anhondo Plain of Lamuella twice yearly; for reasons and by means unexplained, the portion of the Beasts’ migratory path on this planet which would intersect with The Domain of the King is diverted to Lamuella. Elvis Presley, who appears to have not been abducted by aliens but gone to them himself, spends time there, hence the name.
The space pirates were wiped out in the Dordellis wars and caused Arcturan megafreighters to have the most fantastic defence shields known to science.
The Evildrome Boozarama
Noted in the television series’ animated graphics for its excellent Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, The Evildrome Boozarama was one of the clubs that Ford Prefect and Hotblack Desiato would frequent before Hotblack became a rock star and Ford wound up stranded on Earth in the course of his job as a field researcher for that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Flargathon Gas Swamps
Arthur contracted a virulent space disease in the Flargathon Gas Swamps a few days before his return to Earth. The disease was killed after he ate the three least-hairy things in his fridge. Had this not occurred, the disease would have killed off half the population of the Western Hemisphere, blinded the other half and left everyone else psychotic and sterile. (in the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Chapter eight)
Just beyond what were known as the limitless light fields of Flanux, before the Grey Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine were found lying just beyond them, lie the Grey Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine. From the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
Foth of Avalars
The planet Brequinda is located in the Foth of Avalars in the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
In the fire storms of Frastra, they say, life begins at 40,000 degrees.
The Fire Mountains of Frazfraga were a regular war location between the Silastic Armorfiends and the Strenuous Garfighters of Stug in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
Han Dold City
A far from harmless city on an unspecified planet, where police tribes lay ambushes for one another, bass players get machine-gunned for playing the wrong riff too many times, and call girls with degrees in sociology tell wealthy record company executives that it’s actually okay for them to be rich. The Old Pink Dog Bar is a far from harmless bar in Han Dold City where Ford Prefect discovers that Earth was not as demolished as he previously believed at the beginning of the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Before offering to write an entry for the bar in the Hitchhiker’s Guide, Ford attempted to pay for his drinks bill with an American Express credit card, and almost lost his breathing privileges.
Home to the Lord High Sanvalvwag, in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
In the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur Dent hitches to Earth from the Horsehead Nebula at the start of the book. In the beginning of the series, Zaphod is perplexed that the Heart of Gold took them to Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, when their trajectory should have taken them through the Horsehead Nebula.
Ford Prefect learned mind control techniques in the Hunian Hills from ex-Pralite monks at their Mind-Surfing resort in the second novel.
The great megamountain Magramal was the focus of a wager made by Effrafax of Wug, who claimed that, given a year, he could make it invisible. By the end of the time limit, Effrafax found himself unable to do this, and instead simply removed it with the aid of an interstellar trucking company. Effrafax lost the wager, however, partially because the megamountain could be demonstrated to be not present rather than simply invisible, partially due to the overnight appearance of a suspicious extra moon.
It is noted in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything that had Effrafax simply painted the mountain pink and erected a Somebody Else’s Problem field, he would have won his bet. Because no one would expect to see the Magramal thus colored, the effect of the Somebody Else’s Problem field would have rendered it invisible.
The University of Maximegalon (often simply called Maximegalon) is a very august institution of higher learning that has produced many marvellous discoveries in a myriad of fields scientific and otherwise. Its faculty is composed of many of the finest minds in the Galaxy, and includes the rock band Disaster Area’s chief accountant (he is the Professor of Neomathematics). The university also published the Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary of Every Language Ever. Only one copy of the Dictionary was ever printed, and requires a fleet of trucks to haul it around. Due to the Dictionary’s immense size, the University is trying to sell it and regain some valuable parking lots.
The university includes the Maximegalon Institute of Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Surprisingly Obvious (MISPWOSO), site of the famous Herring Sandwich experiments, where a robot was tricked into an infinite loop whereby it attempted eternally to eat a herring sandwich by picking it up, dropping it, picking it up again, et cetera. From this, the institute both correctly concluded that any intelligence with a function of logic can be deceived by an intelligence with a function of logic of equal or greater power, and incorrectly concluded that the driving force behind all change and evolution in life is herring sandwiches, a theory which was later recanted.
Among the other attractions present on or near the campus is the Museum of Diseased Imaginings.
Milliways, also known as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, can only be visited practically by time travel, as it exists at the end of time and matter. Marvin the Paranoid Android is one character who manages to reach Milliways without the use of time travel, merely by being very patient. One of the restaurant’s major attractions is that diners can watch the entire universe end around them as they eat. The terminal moment is followed by dessert. Reservations are easily obtained, since they can be booked once the patron returns to his or her original time after their meal, and the restaurant’s bill can be paid by depositing a penny in any bank account of the present time: by the end of the universe, Compound interest will be enough to pay the extremely high bill. Depending on when in Milliways timeline they visited, the diners’ vehicles may have been parked by none other than Marvin the Paranoid Android. Near-instant transportation to the restaurant can be achieved in certain rarefied circumstances, such as being next to an exploding hyperspatial field generator on the planet where Milliways will eventually be built several billion years after the explosion occurs.
Among the items on the menu are various cuts of meat from the very obliging Ameglian Major Cow and the slightly less obliging vegetables in a green salad. While water and Aldebaran liqueurs are in stock, tea is not.
Because of the special number of impossibilities surrounding all aspects of Milliways, their advertising firm penned the following slogan: “If you’ve done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways.the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!” Believing “six impossible things before breakfast” is a quote of the White Queen‘s from Lewis Carroll‘s Through the Looking-Glass.
In the book form of the series, the visit to Milliways takes place in the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. In the different versions of the story, Milliways is built on the ruins of either Magrathea or of Frogstar World B.
In fit the twenty-sixth of the radio series, when many of the main characters meet at Milliways, Thor the thunder god asks that champagne be sent to Trillian, and in the process reveals that Arthur Dent and company are seated at Table 42, almost without a doubt an allusion to The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.
At the end of the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy there is a gag about the “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” not being at the temporal end, but at the “other end” in terms of location. In the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, a similar venue is referenced that does exist at the beginning of the universe called “The Big Bang Burger Bar”.
According to The Salmon of Doubt, Douglas Adams came up with the idea while listening to Procol Harum‘s Grand Hotel.
By providing Hypermint extract for mixers of Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, Qualactin Zones are known for being “subtle sweet and mystic”, in the first novel.
In the novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Max Quordlepleen greets a party from the Zansellquasure Flamarion Bridge Club from beyond the Vortvoid of Qvarne.
The River Moth is a slow, heavy torrent which can be towel-sailed with a mini raft.
Slim’s Throat Emporium
One of the drinking establishments where very well-mixed Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are served to customers. Ford Prefect and Hotblack Desiato were patrons at least once before the success of Disaster Area.
In the novel Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur Dent is told by Agrajag, that he (Agrajag) was killed yet again when Arthur visits this planet and someone attempts to assassinate him (Arthur). However, Agrajag discovered that Arthur hadn’t been there yet, and despite the time paradox that would be created, Agrajag decided to attempt to kill Arthur anyway. When this failed, Arthur decided that “logically, he could not die until he had been to Stavromula Beta” (Mostly Harmless, US edition, pg. 106). By the end of Mostly Harmless, many of the major characters discovered themselves in a club called “Beta” (being the second club owned by a character named Stavro Mueller. Alpha being in New York City, Beta in London). An attempt is made on Arthur’s life, but he ducked and the bullet hit the human incarnation of Agrajag. Arthur realized that Agrajag meant this club, not a planet, and that he could now be killed. Then the Vogons, with the help of their new Guide and the Grebulons, finally destroy all parallel versions of the Earth.
Zentalquabula is noted for its ancient alabastrum quarries. Large slabs of lustrous stone cut from these quarries were used to pave a terraced plaza between the towers of The Hitchhiker’s Guide offices.
Beyond the Galaxy
Thor, the thundergod is from Halls of Asgard. A party of minor deities from Asgard were cheered by Max Quordlepleen at Milliways. In the novel And Another Thing…, Asgard is portrayed as the protected home of many Norse Gods and immortal beings. (See Asgard for mythological references.)
Ford says he has heard of a planet in the seventh dimension that got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards, in the second novel. Tragically, the act of potting this planet in a black hole and killing ten billion people scored only thirty points. The Guide describes the inhabitants of the higher dimensions as “a pretty nasty heathen lot”, that should be wiped out if only we could “work out a way of firing missiles at right angles to reality.” A favoured pastime in the higher dimensions is Brockian Ultra-Cricket, a team sport that involves people beating each other with sporting equipment, then apologising from a safe distance. Like real cricket, the rules of the game are massively convoluted, leading to a perpetual state of war between the players over their interpretation. Brockian Ultra Cricket was named after an old friend of Douglas Adams, Jonny Brock.
Seventh Galaxy of Light and Ingenuity
In the first novel, the giant computer the Googolplex Star Thinker is from the Seventh Galaxy of Light and Ingenuity.
According to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Universe has an infinite area (as far as anyone can make out), no imports whatsoever (because the Universe has no outside from which to import anything), exports (ditto), art (because “the function of art is to hold a mirror up to nature, and there simply isn’t a mirror big enough”), or population (because its population, by definition, must be finite, and any finite number divided by infinity is zero), or sex (well, there is an awful lot of this, largely because of the total lack of anything else that might keep the nonexistent people of the universe occupied).
Whole Sort of General Mish Mash
The Whole Sort of General Mish Mash (WSOGMM) is mentioned in Mostly Harmless. The Guide describes the WSOGMM as a way of understanding the sum of parallel universes in creation (in this context, creation is best described to a casual observer as spacetime). The theory of WSOGMM states that parallel universes are not parallel as such but rather each universe is simply a quantum physical perception of the same construct, which is the WSOGMM.
The last version of the Guide gives a description of the Mish Mash to Arthur Dent‘s daughter Random. The guide explains that individuals in her universe move freely in the first three dimensions, which they know as space, travel in a straight line in a fourth (Time) and are rooted to one place in a fifth, which is described as the first fundamental of probability.
The fifth dimension (and, it is implied, every other dimension up to the twenty-second) is actually an axis of probability that makes up the Mish Mash. Any multiverse in creation is actually a location in the fifth dimension. To an observer, a certain universe functions alone, but it’s proven that if something is introduced simultaneously into every dimension (such as the bird version of The Guide was as a marketing ploy), an action on that object can affect the entire Mish Mash. In the final chapter of the novel Mostly Harmless, when Earth is destroyed by the Vogons and the bird dies with it, the Earth is destroyed in all other universes.finally removed from the WSOGMM.
- ^ Gaiman, Neil (2009). Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. London: Titan Books. pp. 109. ISBN 9781848564961.
- ^ fit the fifteenth of the radio series
- ^ Adams, Douglas (2005-04-01). The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Fil Tie-In Edition. Basingstoke: Pan Macmillan. pp. 118.119. ISBN 0-330-43798-4.
- ^ fit the third of the radio series
- ^ Adams, 166-167
- ^ fit the fourth of the radio series
- ^ Adams, 142
- ^ Webb, Nick (2003-10-06). Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams. Chatham, Kent: Headline. pp. 211. ISBN 0-7553-1155-8.
- ^ “BBC Online – Douglas Adams – Service of Celebration – Jonny Brock”. https://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/celebration/brock.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
- Adams, Douglas. Life, the Universe and Everything. Basingstoke: Pan Macmillan, 1982. ISBN 0-330-26738-8.
- Webb, Nick. Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams. Chatham, Kent: Headline. 2003. ISBN 0-7553-1155-8.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- BBC H2G2: Golgafrincham
- 1 The Galaxy
- 2 Star systems
- 2.1 Aldebaran
- 2.2 Algol
- 2.3 Alpha Centauri
- 2.4 Altair
- 2.5 Antares
- 2.6 Arcturus
- 2.7 Barnard’s Star
- 2.8 Betelgeuse
- 2.9 Folfanga
- 2.10 Frogstar
- 2.11 Hastromil
- 2.12 Megabrantis Cluster
- 2.13 Orion Beta
- 2.14 Pleiades system
- 2.15 Sirius Tau system
- 2.16 Squornshellous
- 2.17 The Sun
- 2.18 Ursa Minor
- 2.19 Ysdllodins
- 2.20 Zarss
- 3 Planets
- 3.1 Allosimanius Syneca
- 3.2 Argabuthon
- 3.3 Arkintoofle Minor
- 3.4 Bartledan
- 3.5 Bethselamin
- 3.6 Blagulon Kappa
- 3.7 Brequinda
- 3.8 Brontitall
- 3.9 Broop Kidron 13
- 3.10 Ciceronicus 12
- 3.11 Damogran
- 3.12 Dangrabad Beta
- 3.13 Earth
- 3.14 Eroticon VI
- 3.15 Esflovian
- 3.16 Fallia
- 3.17 Gagrakacka
- 3.18 Golgafrincham
- 3.19 Han Wavel
- 3.20 Happi-Werld III
- 3.21 Hawalius
- 3.22 Jaglan Beta
- 3.23 Jajazikstak
- 3.24 Kakrafoon
- 3.25 Kria
- 3.26 Krikkit
- 3.27 Lamuella
- 3.28 Magrathea
- 3.29 Nano
- 3.30 NowWhat
- 3.31 Oglaroon
- 3.32 Poghril
- 3.33 Santraginus V
- 3.34 Saquo-Pilia Hensha
- 3.35 Stegbartle Major
- 3.36 Striterax
- 3.37 Stug
- 3.38 Traal
- 3.39 Viltvodle VI
- 3.40 Vod
- 3.41 Vogsphere
- 3.42 Voondon
- 3.43 Xaxis
- 3.44 Zirzla
- 4 Other locations
- 4.1 Artifactovol
- 4.2 Axel Nebula
- 4.3 The Big Bang Burger Bar
- 4.4 The Bistro Illegal
- 4.5 Carfrax
- 4.6 Chalesm
- 4.7 Cruxwan
- 4.8 Cwulzenda
- 4.9 The Domain of the King
- 4.10 Dordellis
- 4.11 The Evildrome Boozarama
- 4.12 Flargathon Gas Swamps
- 4.13 Flanux
- 4.14 Foth of Avalars
- 4.15 Frastra
- 4.16 Frazfraga
- 4.17 Han Dold City
- 4.18 Hollop
- 4.19 Horsehead Nebula
- 4.20 Hunian Hills
- 4.21 Magramal
- 4.22 Maximegalon
- 4.23 Milliways
- 4.24 Qualactin Zones
- 4.25 Qvarne
- 4.26 River Moth
- 4.27 Slim’s Throat Emporium
- 4.28 Stavromula Beta
- 4.29 Zentalquabula
- 5 Beyond the Galaxy
- 6 References