204 pages. Small octavo (7 1/2" x 5") bound in original publisher's black cloth with green gilt lettering to spine and pictorial to cover in original pictorial jacket. Inscribed by the author. First American edition.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book in the five-volume Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy science fiction trilogy by British writer Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, as described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The phrase has since been adopted by some science fiction fans as a humorous way to say "goodbye" and a song of the same name was featured in the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The novel has a very different tone from the previous books in the series. This is partly because it is a romance, and partly because the book bounces around in time more erratically than its predecessors. Adams even injects a humorous sub-plot. There is less outer-space time than in the previous books; Arthur leaves the new Earth only in the final chapters. The different tone also reflects the rushed nature of the writing; Adams' editor Sonny Mehta moved in with the author to ensure that the book met its (extended) deadline. As a result, Adams later stated that he was not entirely happy with the book, which includes several jarring authorial intrusions, which fellow author and Adams' biographer Neil Gaiman described as "patronising and unfair". The book also reflects a significant shift in Adams's view of computers. In the previous books, computers had been portrayed quite negatively, reflecting Adams' views on the subject at the time. However, between the writing of Life, the Universe and Everything and So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, his attitude toward technology changed considerably. Having been taken along to a computer fair, he became enamored of the first model of the Macintosh, the start of a long love affair with the brand (he claimed to have bought two of the first three Macs in the UK — the other was bought by his friend Stephen Fry). In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur Dent purchases an Apple computer for the purpose of star mapping in order to pinpoint the location of the cave he lived in on prehistoric Earth, and although Adams briefly mocks Arthur's methodology (noting that Arthur really has no idea how to go about such a task), the computer itself is not disparaged, and even somehow produces the correct result. In a later essay, Adams noted that some people had accused him of being a "turncoat" because of this change in his attitudes.
Inscribed on front end paper, head corners bumped else a near fine copy in like jacket.