Kilgore Trout

Kilgore Trout is a fictional character created by author Kurt Vonnegut. In Vonnegut’s work, Trout is a notably unsuccessful author of paperback science fiction novels. ‘Trout’ was inspired by the name of the author Theodore Sturgeon (Vonnegut’s colleague in the genre of science fiction—Vonnegut was amused by the notion of a person with the name of a fish, Sturgeon, hence Trout), although Trout’s consistent presence in Vonnegut’s works has also led critics to view him as the author’s own alter ego. In a homage to Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout is also the titular author of the novel Venus on the Half-Shell (1975), written pseudonymously by Philip José Farmer. In 1957, Theodore Sturgeon moved to Truro, Massachusetts, where he befriended Vonnegut, then working as a salesman in a Saab dealership. At the time, both were writing in the genre of science fiction; Vonnegut had already published Player Piano, retitled Utopia 14 in paperback, while Sturgeon’s then more-successful career (mainly as a short story writer) stretched back to 1938. In fact, at the time of their initial meeting, Sturgeon was the most anthologized English-language science fiction author alive. Sturgeon would continue writing, but his pace dipped noticeably after the end of the 1950s, and he published no original novels after 1961. By the time of Kilgore Trout’s first appearance (in 1965’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater), both Vonnegut and Sturgeon had moved to different cities, and Vonnegut had begun to be perceived as a mainstream author. … Trout appears in several of Vonnegut’s books, but the character is deliberately inconsistent as Vonnegut habitually changes major details about his life and circumstances with each appearance. Trout is consistently presented as a prolific but unappreciated science-fiction writer; other details, including his general appearance, demeanor and his dates of birth and death, vary widely from novel to novel. …”
Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut (and Kilgore Trout?)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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