So this week I’m reading, for, somehow, the first time ever, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame. (Yes, I did read HGttG, which made me laugh. And I read Last Chance to See, which also made me laugh, but made me sad at the same time. So that was confusing. Perhaps I needed a few decades to recover.)
In any event, the way I ended up reading Dirk Gently now is that, at some point in the past, I acquired its sequel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, probably from a BookBub sale, and―because the way I choose my next book is typically by telling my eReading software “Open a random book”―TLDTTotS was recently chosen as the next book I should read. At which point I realized that not only had I not yet read Dirk Gently, I didn’t even have a copy. So I went and bought it so that I could read it before reading its sequel. Which is no doubt exactly the way Pocket Books planned it. So, well played, Pocket Books.
As a result of two major pieces of software, one of which was Anthem (the other, more profitable one had never seen the light of day), WFT-II was the only British software company that could be mentioned in the same sentence as such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus. The sentence would probably run along the lines of “WayForward Technologies, unlike such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus . . .” but it was a start.
Now of course readers who are below a certain age may be looking at that and thinking, “Lotus? The car company?” But back in 1987, when this book was written, Lotus was in fact a very major software concern. They had 1-2-3. They had Notes. They had … other stuff which I can’t think of off the top of my head, but which some people remember the way the North remembers Ned Stark: Fondly, and with sadness and anger that it got its head cut off by Joffrey. I mean, IBM.
Meanwhile, speaking of things that are not being written on software made by Lotus (it’s not always easy coming up with these segues you know), editing continues on my current novel, Father’s Books:
He went to the basement door. He had a little trouble working the latch; he told himself it was because the old man hadn’t mounted it quite right, that it didn’t align properly, and not because his fingers kept shaking. When he got it open the door swung outward on its own, as if pushed by a dank flatulence from the bowels of the house.
A little tip: If the basement seems to be flatulent … don’t go down there.