The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. In fact, it is probably the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor Beta. Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one – more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty-three More Things to do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Coluphid’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters, Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person, Anyway?
Following its presumed founding by Hurling Frootmig and subsequent acquisition by Megadodo Publications, it has been compiled and recompiled many times over many years and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travelers and researchers happened to wander into the empty offices on an afternoon and saw something worth doing.
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Milky Way, The Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its slipcover.
The Guide is advertised by the famous pamphlet, How Many Times Has This Happened to You?
Anyone who even notices, let alone calls attention to, the curious but utterly coincidental and meaningless fact that every world on which the Guide has ever set up an accounting department has shortly afterwards perished in warfare or some natural disaster, is liable to get sued to smithereens.