Read Young Zaphod Plays It Safe by Douglas Adams Online


Young Zaphod Plays it Safe is a novella by Douglas Adams set in his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy universe. It doesn't appear as a standalone work, but is included with several collections. The story is a prequel to the events in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and has the young Zaphod Beeblebrox working as a salvage ship operator. He guides some bureaucrats toYoung Zaphod Plays it Safe is a novella by Douglas Adams set in his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy universe. It doesn't appear as a standalone work, but is included with several collections. The story is a prequel to the events in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and has the young Zaphod Beeblebrox working as a salvage ship operator. He guides some bureaucrats to a crashed spaceship which may be leaking some hazardous materials. The bureaucrats are determined to "make it safe". The comic asides in the story include some of the time travel paradoxes which are a common running theme in Adams' SF work, and plenty of material about lobsters...

Title : Young Zaphod Plays It Safe
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9785511976877
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 11 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Young Zaphod Plays It Safe Reviews

  • Don
    2019-01-25 01:48

    I first read this story in the Ultimate Hitchhiker omnibus, about twenty years ago. Though it was enjoyable to read a new Zaphod story, if brief, the denouement left me totally and completely baffled. Only today do I find that it's because the final sentence was edited, upon republication from the original:(view spoiler)[He also heard the Official from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration issue instructions to the effect that the missing escape capsule contained a 'Reagan' and the planet in ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha must be made 'perfectly safe'.to:He also heard the Official from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration issue instructions that the planet in ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha must be made 'perfectly safe'. (hide spoiler)]My reaction?To misquote Adams himself:"And this is very odd, because without that fairly simple and obvious piece of knowledge, nothing that ever happened [in this story] could possibly make the slightest bit of sense."

  • Dang Ole' Dan Can Dangle
    2019-02-11 05:23

    This short story is a prequel to the first Hitchhiker's novel and is a story about Zaphod Beeblebrox, the man with the odd, or rather even, number of heads. It's a very brief story and nothing much of interest happens at all. It is a bit intriguing that since this is a prequel about Zaphod it means that it takes place before he blocked off sections of his mind, so I suppose it's nice to see what he was like before he became what we know him to be in the main series. Plus there's some nice references to events that take place later on. Many people who read this in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy omnibus (which I did at first) may be slightly perplexed by it. This is due to the removal of a few words at the end. At the end of the original version it is very blatantly suggested that the escaped insane "Designer Person" is actually President Ronald Reagan. In the original, which ended up being omitted in many later editions, the thing was actually called a "Reagan." "A kindly looking man with lots of pleasant laugh lines around his face" and "seemed to be babbling gently to himself" and who was "totally benign, which is what makes him so dangerous" and there is "nothing he will not do if allowed, and there is nothing he will not be allowed to do."It's obvious that Adams only wrote this short story to express his political views. Reread it with Ronald Reagan in mind and it's actually quite funny.

  • AndrewP
    2019-02-08 01:44

    First off there is some confusion around this story. Goodreads seems to show it as being a 146 page novella, but the version I read was little more than a short story. I double checked with my B&N Omnibus edition and it's also a short story there. Online, it seems many other people had discoverd the same thing. It looks like the 146 page count is for some sort of collected shorts and not a singular work. Unless of course it's 146 pages in some higher dimension and we only see a small portion of it in our paltry 4 dimensions:)

  • DJ
    2019-01-28 02:44

    3.5/5 Rating Orignialy posted atMyLifeMyBooksMyEscape as part of theTime Traveler's Almanac group read. Follow along with #TimeTravelThursdayOne hundred percent perfectly safe!Might as well start off this review by saying, embarrassingly, that I have never read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Sorry, folks! I do own the ultimate edition though, and saw the movie! (Which I thought was hilarious!) So anyways, this an extract from a novella, I think? The narrator's voice is hilarious (which I've heard Adams is known for), and so are the characters, too. This is another story where time-travel takes a back seat to the main story, but this was still a fairly fun read.Zaphod has been hired by two officials from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration to find a space craft that had crashed into the ocean of this particular planet - a space craft that would one hundred percent never crash. As they venture deeper into the water, the find the ship - which is perfectly safe - has been it had been cracked open in half.Zaphod has been trying to figure out what is so "perfect safe" in there, that they won't tell him about. He jokes around asking if it's full of epsilonic radiating aorist rods. Turns out, his guess wasn't far off.The narrator's voice is hilarious! He puts his own two-cents into the situations, and give funny little one-liners. It felt more like I was being told a story, someone talking directly to me, rather me simply reading something. The narrator has their own personality. I guess what I'm saying, in the narrator almost felt a characters of the story too.The actual characters of the story were pretty good themselves. The main protagonist is Zaphod. (Before he has become president of the galaxy). He is a very free-spirited, loud, and energetic; very funny guy, with many good lines. Basically the complete opposite of the two up-tight officials he has sitting with him on the journey. The dynamic of hose three (or four?) was good, I got a lot of chuckles reading this.For time-travel, this is another story where it was very lacking. Not that that is a bad thing, but it was only as precursor to the story to set up the plot. The time-travel is pretty cool, and draws upon the butterfly effect!!! (My favorite!) The ship is actually hold aorist rods. What are aorist rods? When they are devices that are used to draw upon energy from the past, to feed the energy deficit of the present. Seems like a flawless logic, except when you realize that this means the people of your future are doing it to, which makes you their pasts, and means they are taking your energy. See where things can go wrong?That is pretty cool, and would be a great set up for a plot, but, like I said, it just background to the story. They are just what is in the ship.I'm not sure there was anything I didn't like. I mean, I thought the humor was amazing, but nothing really stood. The one thing that did bother we though was ending. (Read spoiler for that).I was quite confused and disappointed with that ending, so I checked up on Goodreads to see if the short story was on there and if there were reviews for it. When I did this, that is when I found out that Young Zaphod Plays it Safe is actually a 146 pages novella! If you go back to the top and read the author bio provided by the anthology, you will notice it is not mentioned there.With that in mind, the ending (or, lack-of) of the story doesn't bother me as much, and makes much more sense knowing that it is only a piece of the story - and by piece, I mean 8 pages.Now that I know this is a novella, I would absolutely read the full version. I wished the time-travel was more of a focus - the paradox those aorist cause would awesome to read about more - but maybe they actually in the full story? Regardless, before I do read this, I think I would read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy first. I think it would make more sense, and I now how funny a writer Douglas Adams is.And if you have read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I am going to guess that you would like this story.Be sure to check out my fellow time-travelers' reviews!Alesha EscobarH.M. JonesLaurel’s Writing DeskTimothy C. Ward3.5/5 Rating-DJ

  • Scarlet Cameo
    2019-01-26 01:31

    This doesn't give anything to the story, but is funny and sometimes kind of gross and i like that :D

  • Cristina
    2019-02-14 01:36

    The final book (book #5) or should I say the prelude to The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy....where the end is just the beginning. ^_^

  • Tiffany Russ
    2019-02-12 04:24

    An enjoyable short story. I have no idea what it had to do with anything, but it was enjoyable to read nonetheless.

  • Tommy Verhaegen
    2019-02-02 05:45

    It's comic and it's hitchhikers' guide to the galaxy. And it contains a young Zaphod. So it is weird, funny, dangerous and nonsense. But perfectly safe. And dangerous.Nice reading mostly, except for the vomiting part, for which the author apoligizes.Nice reading for the fans, frustrating it does not seem to have a goal, or a real ending at that.

  • Megan
    2019-02-10 01:47

    Lobsters.Young Zaphod works for a salvage company. He and a few bureaucrats are sent to the deep ocean of some planet looking for a crashed ship that was never supposed to be able to crash. It is apparently leaking something very toxic and was meant to be thrown into a black hole. It is apparently also perfectly safe. And we soon find out that, more dangerous than the toxic waste, are the designer people who have escaped. Their personalities are products that no one wants to buy because they turned out a lot like psychopathic kittens. They seem harmless but they'll murder you when your back is turned. There's also the aorist rods which I guess is like fracking but in time instead of space.I won't even pretend to understand how this is a prequel to Hitchhiker's.But it's obvious that one of these designer people might be wreaking havoc on the hitchhiker's timeline and I heard it might be Ronald Regan and I'm guessing the other one is Kris Jenner.

  • Scarlett
    2019-01-29 04:46

    This was just ok. I've always really liked Zaphod's character, and so it was interesting to have a little prequel about him. The bit about mining the past was awesome, but the rest was nothing special. Reading some other reviews it makes it clear that this short story was written just for Douglas Adams to make a political statement. I read it because it was included in my Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and it's very short, but otherwise it doesn't add anything to the series.

  • itchy
    2019-02-19 00:23

    looks like i've read this before from the ultimate hitchhiker's guide

  • Abhi
    2019-02-04 23:20

    Little more than a collection of paradoxes, but there were some parts of it that I liked. Like this bit: "The two officials waited calmly. They coughed slightly to help pass the time."

  • Keith Moser
    2019-01-24 07:42

    Amazing how the removal of a few little words can ruin a 10-page story.I read Young Zaphod Plays it Safe for the second time through my reread of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide but I only now understand what it's about thanks to the internet. As edited into the five-book "trilogy" I own, the story begins with Zaphod and two agents from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration exploring the depths of an ocean on a planet known primarily for its abundance of delicious lobsters. Zaphod may be there because he has his own salvage ship but it's probably more thanks to his wild storytelling—their mission is so secretive, the agents could only trust a "hippy adventurer" who everyone thinks is paranoid and crazy. Seems a bunch of dangerous cargo was being transported to dump into a black hole before the ship's Captain took an ill-advised detour for some delicious shrimp, and while most of the cargo is safely locked away in their respective holds, the most dangerous cargo is missing along with an escape pod. Here's where the publisher really ruins the story. (view spoiler)[The dangerous cargo is a set of triplet synthetic personalities that cannot exist naturally. The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation has created these triplets but need to destroy them because of their danger—you see the personalities look harmless but that's their main problem. They don't "ring alarm bells in other people" and therefore could be allowed to do anything at all. It seems the original text ended with He also heard the official from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration issue instructions to the effect that the missing capsule contained a "Reagan" and that the planet in ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha must be made "perfectly safe."whereas my copy shortens it to He also heard the official from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration issue instructions that the planet in ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha must be made "perfectly safe." (hide spoiler)]A simple case of censorship ruins the story. Without this one simple phrase, the punchline of the entire story is gone! I thought perhaps this prequel was making insinuations about Arthur (or maybe even Jesus) but neither made much sense. At least it didn't take long to read this pointless drivel (although it is kind of funny now that I know the real ending). It could perhaps be 3* without the censorship; maybe even 4*. Eff you Portland House Publishers.

  • Luke Waldron
    2019-01-27 06:49

    I actually read this short story while I was reading the salmon of doubt and I won't lie it was a very nice and welcome surprise I Almost wish he did more short stores like this as i know from reading the salmon of doubt he didn't want to carry on the story on hitchhikers at first then he felt like going back and I really wished that instead he wrote short stories like this one based on the characters we already know or completely new story's as Adams always told up the universe is big really big. but honestly this book was very much welcomed and I will say if you've read this or wanting to read this book and are looking at the reviews then your probably a Adams fan and I recommend you read the salmon of doubt.

  • Manisha
    2019-02-02 23:35

    I was confused. I was so very confused. (And this is the sort of confusion I get when nothing makes sense, not the Hitchhiker's Guide sort of confusion). I decided to do some digging only to find out that the edition I read was censored! Why, you ask? I have no idea. I had to hunt down another copy and it all clicked into place. (This is why I'm not a fan of censorship)With censorship, this novella gets one star from me. Without the censorship it gets three. But, because I had to go through the additional pain of research (I get that enough at my job, thank you very much), I'm ending this review with two stars. This was just frustrating.

  • Melissa Jacobson
    2019-02-21 06:20

    This was a fun and super quick addition to the HGTTG and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was super short but a ton of fun. Zaphod is such a great character and I cannot wait to wrap up the remainder of this series :)

  • Aaricia
    2019-02-14 05:49

    It was a nice short story, but it didn't add anything to the rest of the series. It was like 4/5 pages long, so I don't know why Goodreads says it is 146 pages. It was nice to read something about Zaphod again, because he didn't appear much in book 4. Hopefully he is there again in book 5!

  • Larper
    2019-02-22 00:43

    The story is fun and mild unless you open its Wikipedia article and see it ended differently in the original text. After that, the story is perfectly perfect because it perfectly fits Adams' humorously intelligent style.

  • Kissu
    2019-01-25 01:46

    Me gustó conocer a un Zaphod joven, aunque confieso que tuve que buscar la referencia del final.

  • Alex T.
    2019-02-07 03:30

    Meh. That is all.

  • Danny
    2019-02-16 05:36

    Witty, funny, and short

  • Emma Hebrew
    2019-02-03 06:29

    Total waste of time.Thumbs down both hands.

  • Jess
    2019-02-05 07:47

    A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.

  • Kathy Worrellツ
    2019-02-15 05:48

    Short story. Not quite as funny as his full length novels. But, I'm not a fan of the "short story".

  • Edward Petersen
    2019-02-16 04:49

    Cute little story.

  • Jānis
    2019-02-08 23:25

    Tāds riktīgs īsstāsts ar, ja godīgi, tad nepabeigtām beigām. Ja tas būtu ievads kaut kādam no HHGTTG turpinājumiem, tad būtu riktīgi labs.

  • Yasmine Ali
    2019-02-22 23:47

    Now I can start reading the oldest series in my To-Read list.

  • Jeannie
    2019-02-13 05:48

    A short story rather than a book.

  • Diane Adams
    2019-02-05 05:23

    Found this in the collected Hitchhiker's Guide. Interesting to get a bit of back story on Zaphod...

  • Frobeg Ochaeta
    2019-02-18 07:41

    Not really a book, but a book all by itself.