Kurt Vonnegut "Bummer Quote" Mens and Womens Author T-Shirt
Kurt Vonnegut was known for his genre bending fiction--well regarded for Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions--as well as his humanist philosophy and outspoken pacifism.
Vonnegut's first short story, Report on the Barnhouse Effect, was published in 1950 for Collier's magazine. Playing to his own experiences in Indiana and witnessing the effects of the post-industrial workload, his first novel Player Piano, was set in a dystopian future where humans are replaced by machines. He continued writing short stories and publishing novels such as The Sirens of Titan and Cat's Cradle sticking to much more straightforward style until his semi-autobiographical novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, in which he employed time travel as a major plot device. He continued to experiment with this style in his oft-lauded Breakfast of Champions--in which the author himself appeared as a deus ex machina. He introduced the fictional science fiction author and recurring character Kilgore Trout(a reference to Theodore Sturgeon). To Vonnegut's dismay, Philip Jose Farmer published a novel called Venus on the Half-Shell, aping Vonnegut's style and releasing it under the Kilgore Trout pseudonym.
Vonnegut avidly incorporated his anti-authoritarian and pacifistic views into his works--very notably in his short story "Harrison Bergeron" and he battled with the idea that human's were helpless under the power of determinism throughout much of his fiction. Beyond just his work in literature, Vonnegut was an activist--defying the United States by refusing to pay any taxes throughout the Vietnam War--and he remained so inclined even up to his death. After he had retired from fiction, he continued to contribute as a columnist and journalist--a platform that often allowed himself to espouse his opposition to the Iraq war and hid disdain for President George W. Bush and his cabinet.
Vonnegut was a peaceful, but dynamic force to be reckoned with and his accessible but thought-provoking fiction has encouraged countless writers, and promoted similar activism among artistic communities.