The broad narrative follows the misadventures of the last surviving man, Arthur Dent, following the demolition of the planet Earth by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Dent is rescued from Earth’s destruction by Ford Prefect, a human-like alien writer for the eccentric, electronic travel guide The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by hitchhiking onto a passing Vogon spacecraft. Following his rescue, Dent explores the galaxy with Prefect and encounters Trillian, another human that had been taken from Earth prior to its destruction by the President of the Galaxy, the two-headed Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the depressed Marvin, the Paranoid Android.
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
Later in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the supercomputer Deep Thought is built by a race of hyper-intelligent alien beings to determine the answer to life the universe and everything. Deep Thought determines that the answer somewhat anticlimactically is – 42.
Firstly it sounds like a joke, but is there more to this answer?
Douglas Adams was an unabashed computer nerd and knew a heck of a lot about programming language and coding. In programming an asterisk (*) is commonly used to translate: whatever you want it to be. In ASCII language, the most basic computer software, number 42 is the designation for an asterisk.
So, when computer Deep Thought was asked what the true meaning of life was, it answered, as a computer would: