Celebrate The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's 42nd on Towel Day With Wonderful New Art

The newly illustrated cover for Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Chris Riddell featuring Marvin and a tentacle sharing a cup of tea.
A crop of the newly illustrated cover.
Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey

Fans of author Douglas Adams in general and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in particular know that today, May 25, is the international holiday known as “Towel Day.” To celebrate, io9 has some wonderful illustrations to share from Del Rey’s new edition of Adams’ beloved classic.

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Just in case you didn’t already realize: 2021 is the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was first published in 1979. That adds special significance since, according to the supercomputer Deep Thought, 42 is “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.” So grab your towel (“about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”), order six pints of bitter (because the world’s about to end), and enjoy Chris Riddell’s illustrations below, starting with this lovely new cover:

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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey

In addition, here are some character portraits, starting with protagonist Arthur Dent and including some memorable creatures, a glimpse of Trillian at a certain infamous party, a dolphin bidding farewell to planet Earth, and the Heart of Gold.

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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey
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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey
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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey
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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey
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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey
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Image: Chris Riddell/Del Rey

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition, by Douglas Adams with illustrations by Chris Riddell, is now available; you can order a copy here.

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DISCUSSION

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The Homework Ogre

HHGTTG is such an odd beast — radio plays that turned into books that became TV shows and then a movie, almost none of which 100% work right. It’s so weird to me that people think of it as a book or book series foremost, when that’s almost certainly the worst way to experience it (they get worse as they go on, imo, as they stray from the source material and become more maudlin).