20 Post-Apocalyptic Stories That Aren’t Totally Depressing

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8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Yes, it’s true that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has the end of the world as one of its major plot points. Many people have missed that. I mean, there’s Zaphod Beeblebrox, an alien with multiple heads and a time-bending ship. There’s Marvin, the Paranoid Android, who has a “brain the size of a planet” and still manages to become bored and depressed.

And, of course, you also may remember the Vogons, a bureaucratic species with awful taste in poetry. In the words of the Hitchhiker’s Guide itself: “On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry at you.”

But, at the center of it all, there’s the apocalypse. At least, there is one for Earth people. The Vogons, when they’re not busy with paperwork or their mind-bendingly bad poems, are constructing an intergalactic bypass. Earth, as it turns out, is right in their way. So, naturally, the Vogons blow it up. It’s only business, after all.

Now, most of humanity does apparently die. That’s certainly sad, but that doesn’t quite bother protagonist Arthur Dent (who is also one of the most English people to walk the… well, to have walked the former planet Earth). He’s far too busy going on crazy, hilarious adventures with Zaphod and Dent’s friend, Ford Prefect.

If you’re going to live through the end of your planet and species, you may as well have fun like Dent. Plus, you’ll have your pick from a radio adaptation, a television one, a film version, and, of course, the book series by Douglas Adams.