Sunday, August 03, 2003

Sasquatch and the speed limit

I learned from Puck at the Dreaming that the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game is online in a java version at You can't save, unfortunately.

This evening only got surreal when I found myself being driven along winding country roads at high speeds, while listening to a CD (belonging to the driver) of a lady making Bigfoot noises with what she said was a distant Bigfoot yelping back at her, followed by her teaching us words in elementary Sasquatch.

(I've failed to find the CD online -- although I'm sure it, or a page about it, must exist somewhere on the web. I did just find this though -- a definitive bigfoot site at


An alternate, rather longer, version of American Gods you say? How much longer, if I may ask? Are we talking twenty pages (meh), one hundred pages (well... HOW much did you say?) or two hundred pages (where's my wallet?!)?


Oh, probably about twenty or thirty pages. Maybe a bit more. And there really won't be any surprises, or whole missing scenes or anything. If you go to and go down to Nov 28 2001 you can compare a before and after version. The big leather version of American Gods will have most of that Before material restored. And it's really not about sending people who already have the book out to buy it again; more just that if it's going to be the gorgeous archival version, I may as well establish an "author's preferred text". I'll probably do the same for Neverwhere. Stardust is exactly what it is, though, and so are the short stories -- they won't change... So don't worry; your wallet won't sustain any damage.


Had a chat with my son Mike yesterday about GPS systems and speed limits. He thought that we weren't too far away from cars recognising speed limits and not breaking them, even if the driver wanted to. I suggested that the revenue generated by speeding motorists was too important: According to the Observer: Drivers face automatic speeding fines without being caught by the police or roadside cameras under a proposal being studied by the Government to fit all cars with satellite tracking devices for road tolls. ... and later: In Britain, the Freight Transport Association went further. It believes the equipment will be used to put speed limiters on every car. 'You won't be able to go faster than the limit, no matter how hard you press the pedal,' said Gavin Scott, the association's policy manager.

Echoes of an SF story I read as a boy called "The Speed that Kills" about motorists who snuck off to unregulated places and drove fast. I suspect that in the end the brave rebel speed-limit breakers may have murdered a traffic warden.... but I've not read it for well over thirty years, and may well be wrong...