Skip to comments.Kilgore Trout Biography (Greatest Science Fiction Writer Of All Time)
Posted on 03/07/2002 10:28:59 AM PST by PJ-Comix
Kilgore Trout was bom in 1907 of American parents on the British island of Bermuda. Trout attended grammar school there until his father's job with the Royal Ornithological Society terminated. The family moved to Dayton, Ohio, where Trout graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1924. Thereafter, he wandered around the country, workng at menial low-paying jobs and writing science-fiction in his spare time. His only known residences during, this period are Hyannis, Mass., Indianapolis, Ind., and Ilium and Cohoes, N.Y.
He has been married and divorced three times and has one child, Leo, a veteran of Vietnam.
As of 1974, Trout has written one hundred seventeen novels and two thousand short stories. Yet until recently he was little known. This regrettable situation is due to Trout's extreme reclusivity and his indifference to the publication of his stories. He was ill-advised in his choice of publishers, the chief one, World Classics Library, being a firm specializing pornographic novels and magazines. This ensured that his works would be distributed only to stores specializing in this genre. Yet Trout's work, with one exception,* contained no explicitly erotic content. Without Trout's permission or knowledge, World Classics Library put lurid covers on his novels and used his short stories as fillers in ''girlie'' magazines.
In the past few years, however, his fiction has come to the attention of some notable critics and writers in both mainstream and science-fiction. It has been praised for its high imagination and Swiftean satire. Professor Pierre Versins, for instance, in his massive study, Encyclopgdie de l'Utopie, des Voyages Extraordinaires, et de la Science Fiction, Editions l'Age d'Homme, S.A., Lausanne, Switzerland, 1973, says of Trout, ''A thesis on the too neglected works of this author would be most welcome.''
This is true, but the task of collecting his entire corpus of works is formidable. Even the wealthiest and most indefatigable of collectors cannot boast that they have all of Trout's stories. Venus on the Half-Shell is so rare that its only known possessor required payment of several thousand dollars for its purchase by Dell Publishing Company.
However, as one prominent writer has predicted, Trout's career is on the upswing. Dell is proud to be the first to launch Kilgore Trout into the literary-mainstream. That the author is no longer indifferent ,to his brain-children is shown by his insistence on rewriting Venus on the Half-Shell, updating it somewhat, and expanding the character of Chworktap.
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Sniff! Does this mean I'm a Black Sheep of the Free Republic. BTW, I object to the OTHER PJ's name used with mine. It is sacreligious to use our names on the same thread.
I remember reading Slaughterhouse Five on flight from New York in the early 1970's. In that book, Vonnegut said he would not let his children play with the children of anyone working for the defense industry. I have not read anything by him since.
If you look carefully at the picture on the back of "Venus on the Half Shell", you might imagine that it's a dog, not a person.
The movie made from that book wasn't bad. BTW, the first Vonnegut book I read was "Sirens Of Titan" which I checked out of the school library when I was in the fourth grade. Some of the words I didn't understand and when I asked my mother about them, she became upset and had the book pulled from the library. I've hated censorship ever since. (And I still learned what those nasty little words meant)
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