Thursday, December 02, 2010

Local Boy Makes Good

Politically, we were often poles apart and yet there's something in Kurt Vonnegut's authorial voice that speaks to me. Certainly, I agreed with him on one thing: people ought to be nicer to one another.

Indianapolis has decided to be nice to him: the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is up and running downtown. Is there a field trip in my future? Count on it!

And so it goes.

(A tip of the hair to Turk Turon for the tip. Geesh, ya gotta wade through the NYT to learn what's happening in your own back yard).


David aka True Blue Sam said...

Kurt Vonnegut's favorite joke came from this series of records made in the 1920's:

"I never believed in dreams until one night I dreamed I was eating flannel cakes; and when I woke up the blanket was gone!"

George Groot said...

I always wonder how authors would be different if they had the foresight into the future. Would Marx have written his evil tome knowing the hundreds of millions of deaths and untold suffering it caused?

However, Vonnegut was rather a visionary himself, in "Cat's Cradle" he described "ice 9" a crystalline form of water not found on Earth. The introduction of a seed crystal caused earths oceans to solidify, eventually destroying life on the planet. The idea that a crystal could cause such a calamity was purely science fiction, until researches discovered how prions actually worked. Then "ice 9" didn't seem so far fetched, at least as a concept.

Although James Blish described a bio-weapon in a 1954 pulp novel that destroyed the hosts immune system so that it would succumb to other diseases... Not a lot of Blish fans anymore, although he reads a lot like Heinlein to me.

Roberta X said...

I still read Blish!

Very late (and not so good) stuff released under his name, mostly Star Trek novels, was probably not by him: he had Alzheimer's and his wife and Mother-in-law were cranking out "James Blish" novels so they could keep a roof over his head -- and theirs.