The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - invented by Web xxxxxx ??? Did I imagine this?

I’m sure I remember one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books mentioning that the Guide had first been created by a being named Web [something]. Web Garqulon, or one of those Douglas Adams-type names.

I remember thinking “That’s quite weird, 'cos the HHGTTG is kind of like the web, in a font-of-all-worthwhile-(and-worthless)-knowledge kind of way”. Douglas Adams foretold this in, what, 1980 or so.

But since trying to verify this bit of trivia, I have been unable to find it repeated anywhere. Plus, I no longer have the books. It was only a throwaway line, as I recall, but still - surely someone must have noted it?

I can only conclude that I must have imagined the whole thing — unless YOU know better?

I don’t have the book handy, so I can’t confirm or deny your recollection…but…

The World Wide Web is a late-80s creation (although the internet itself is much older). So not a chance. However, the word ‘web’ was presumably in common usage in techie environments long before then, because it so aptly describes how computers were being connected to one another. It’s not inconceivable that Douglas Adams picked up on this somehow. But without some decent evidence, it’s fanciful speculation.

I have the books, so I might have a quick flick through for this. From memory, I think ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’ talks about the origins of the guide.

The relevant bits:

Hope I haven’t quoted too much, mods.

Even if you had remembered the name accurately, Web is a common nickname for Webster, which means weaver and also comes in variations like Webb and Weber. Lots of people were named Web before the Web came along.

Off the top of my head, I seem to recall Ford Prefect updating his guide entries over the sub-etha web, or sub-etha net…is this in the ballpark of what you were thinking about?

I also want to say this is mentioned somewhere in the first three or four books, which would put all this no later than 1984.

Anyone with a handy copy of the book that could confirm my somewhat haphazard memory?

I know Ford used a sub-etha Sens-O-Matic to get information and to look for passing ships to hitch a ride.

The Guide’s founding editor was Hurling Frootmig. From Chapter 19 of Life, the Universe, and Everything:

Aw geez, when will i learn to preview? :smack:

So sorry, drewbert!

Hurling Frootmig. Even the names in this book make me laugh.

Gag Halfrunt and Wonko The Sane were the two that always cracked me up…

You can’t beat Slartibartfast.

Thanks for digging up those quotes. I obviously imagined it.

(By the way, I only ever saw it as a neat coincidence - I wasn’t trying to attach too much significance to it)

No, I knew about this, and that’s not what I meant. I do wonder, though, which came first - Ethernet or Sub-Etha? Not that that really proves anything, as “transmitting across the ether” as a pretty standard concept long before either of them…

Well, actually you can. In fact, every other name you can think of is better than “Slartibartfast.”

“I’m sorry.” Arthur Dent on hearing the name for the first time.

Why thank you!

I’ve always liked “Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged”, and “Prak”