Remembering Vonnegut

Kurt VonnegutAuthor of one of my favorite novels, Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut shaped my taste in science fiction.   I read the book in Junior High and realized that science fiction didn’t have to be about vortices twirling in deep space, about cramped cabins, and tentacled alien races.  Like Philip K. Dick, Vonnegut took humans as his study, not the stars above.  I’ll never forget my sister pitching Galapagos to me.  “The last humans on earth evolved into something else, but even after a million years they still found farts funny.”  That sold me instantly.

He also had an unforgettable cameo in the film  “Back To School,” starring Rodney Dangerfield, where the lazy Rodney hires Vonnegut to write a biographical essay about Vonnegut for his class paper.  Upon reading the paper, Rodney’s teacher summarily declares, “Whoever did write this doesn’t know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut!”

I was very saddened this morning to hear that he died yesterday.

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