Fandom, help me find a thing!

Somehow Andy and i have misplaced our copies of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” series.  Of all the redundant books we had after we got together, i cannot believe THIS is what we’ve misplaced1.  Andy reports that he knows we have the hardcover of Mostly Harmless, which i think you will agree is not the least bit satisfying.

Update!  Since beginning this post we have come across my paperback copy of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.  At least this means we haven’t lost them all, but, again, this is not especially satisfying.

Anyway.  Clearly we need to re-obtain these.  I told Andy about the 1st copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that i ever read, and he agreed that the set sounded extremely cool and we should try to track down copies of our own.  Try.  I figure this will be extremely easy, because INTERNET.  Or, it will be a very long, slow, years-long process because….

The 1st time i read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was in the autumn of 19892.  My friend Jeff had just returned from a high school trip to England where he’d bought a fantastic set of the 1st 4 books.  As he was showing off his set to our favorite English teacher, i mentioned i’d never read them.  Our English teacher immediately demanded that Jeff loan me his copy of “Hitchhiker’s Guide…” right then and there.  He freaked out a little bit because it was brand new — he possibly hadn’t even read that copy yet himself — and he didn’t want me to bend the spine or smudge the edges of the pages and whatnot.  Oh, honestly, talk about not understanding the Wrdnrd very well.  I take obsessively good care of books.  Nevertheless, i read the Guide, returned it straightaway (completely unmarred), and promptly went out and bought copies for myself so i didn’t have to listen to another lecture on how not to damage his books.

BUT.  I have long coveted his set of the 1st 4 books.  The cover for each was quartered and had a different design in each corner.  If you set the books down in a rectangle together, the center corners would form a larger design.  If you shifted them around, each corner in the pattern would form its own separate picture.

Oh, internet fandom, we wants them our precious.

The relevant details again:

  • only the 1st 4 books in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” series.  (As mentioned above, we’re set on Mostly Harmless.)
  • U.K. editions
  • paperback
  • published before autumn 1989
  • covers form 4 designs depending upon arrangement

A quick scan of eBay (both .com and and of abebooks has turned up nothing (aside from concluding that, really, it’d be everso helpful if sellers on abebooks could able to include photos).  I expect this will be one of those things where i am going to wait half a lifetime again, then stumble across them in some 2nd-hand shop on the last day of some future trip to London.

Update, post copious Google Image searching:  OMG, i think these must be the covers!

Update, post finding images of the covers:  And now Andy says he isn’t particularly taken with those covers.  Well, fuck that guy.  Now I want them.

  1. I’d only be more shocked and upset if it were “The Lord of the Rings”.  And i’d be REALLY SHOCKED, since i think when we got together we had about 6 versions combined. []
  2. This date is known pretty exactly because i always wrote my name and the date of purchase inside all books i bought, and my copy of “Restaurant…” is dated 10/28/1989. []

2 thoughts on “Fandom, help me find a thing!”

  1. I just have to say, regarding the story about the friend that didn’t want to lend you the book, that I had a girlfriend who used to have nightmares about me yelling at her for breaking the spine of one of my books. She must have picked up the emotional vibes I still carried from being yelled at for breaking the spine of a book shown to me by Random Fan at the first SF convention I went to. Some wounds never heal.

    1. Ha! It’s so very true. I can definitely still remember the damage done to The Catcher in the Rye (which had been my aunt’s in the ’60s and then passed to me) when i loaned it to a friend. Sure, it was an older book and the cover was showing signs of wear, but it was most certainly ATTACHED to the book when i loaned it to M., and it was not really attached when it was returned to me.

      Makes me wonder who’d damaged what book of Jeff’s to so scar him that he was hesitant to loan me Hitch Hiker’s Guide.

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