Parodying practically every well-worn sci-fi plot device in existence, Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has become a classic in its own right. A hapless hero with astonishing luck? Ill-tempered aliens hell-bent on destroying Earth? Pithy advice (e.g., "DON'T PANIC")? Check, check, and check — and so much more. Even non–sci-fi geeks will be charmed by this hilarious and endlessly entertaining read, with (of course) sequels following. – Jen C.