Kilgore Trout

1960s: Days of Rage


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…

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