World Book Day 2012: Patrick E. McLean

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

When I was younger, I closed out the science fiction/fantasy shelves at both the library and the bookstore. (This was easier back then, when the genre was smaller.) Heinlein and Asimov made tremendous impressions on me. So did Brooks, Howard and, of course, Tolkien. But they all took themselves very seriously.

Enter Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. When I first read it, it hit me like a board between the eyes. This is the book that ruined me. Before Hitchhiker’s, I could have been a serious writer. I could have played it straight. But after… Not only is the book funny and wonderful and rich, but the way it is written seems to say, “Yeah, yeah, it’s book. I get it. But just because I’m the author, don’t expect me to take it too seriously. I’m going to have some fun. You should too.”

It’s the 21st century. We’re living in Asimov’s and Heinlein’s future. And for me, it’s waaaaaay too serious and uptight.

Patrick E. McLean is the author of How to Succeed in Evil. A satire (not-so-serious book) about a consultant to Supervillians, available for Amazon Kindle. You can find out more about all of Patrick’s work at