It’s always the right season to read science fiction or fantasy. Here are two important writers whose work you might want to explore.
Vonnegut was an American author who made unforgettable contributions to literature (there are more than 70 dissertations related to his work). The library has quite a few books about him and his work, including correspondence, interviews, and criticism and interpretation. From his New York Times obituary, we also learn that he suffered from depression and was a pessimist, as many of his writings reflect.
What do we have about this author that is not a book? How about a “non-musical recording” — this is a recording (yes, a vinyl record) of Vonnegut reading Slaughterhouse Five, which he wrote in 1969 (and which the library has in other formats).
There is also a musical recording of the music by Bach that was part of the soundtrack to the 2004 film adaptation of Slaughterhouse Five. You can also hear Vonnegut’s reflections about the movie My Life As a Dog.
Other sources of information about Kurt Vonnegut include
- A study aid about Slaughterhouse Five, from a database called Literature Online
- A database called Literature Resource Center, which gives author biographies, lists of publications, criticism, and references
In addition, there are 6 references to him in Philosopher’s Index, and 24 in the ATLA Religion Database. There are even 4 in General Science Full-text, in which we discover that the character of Dr. Felix Hoenikker in Cat’s Cradle was inspired by Dr. Irving Langmuir (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1932).
The subject headings alone on this guy’s books are fascinating (here are more books), and remember that when you click on any of these, you get a list of all of our other library items that are about that topic:
- End of the world – fiction
- Computer games – fiction
- Virtual reality – fiction
- Money laundering – fiction
- Computer hackers – fiction
From his biography in Literature Resource Center, we find that his first novel, entitled The Big U, sounds like a fun read: “[the story] revolves around the American Megaversity, a huge, modern university, funded by a radioactive waste dump… The satirical book [is] loaded with student pranks reminiscent of those in the 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House…”
Who is your favorite sci fi and/or fantasy author?