Jailbird is a novel by Kurt Vonnegut published in 1979. The book is regarded as Kurt Vonnegut's "Watergate novel."The novel is narrated by protagonist Walter F. Starbuck, a man released from a minimum-security prison in Georgia after serving time for his small role in the Watergate Scandal. Jailbird is written as a standard memoir, revealing Starbuck's present situation coming full circle to tell the story of his first two days after being released from prison. Through Starbuck, Jailbird discusses the history of the American labor movement, alongside corporate America, McCarthyism, the Nixon administration, Watergate. Jailbird includes a cameo by Kilgore Trout, a recurring Vonnegutian character known for writing science fiction novels and short stories. Unlike other versions of the character, this "Kilgore Trout" is revealed to be the pseudonym of a character in prison, deliberately contradicting the autobiographical details of Trout's life in other Vonnegut novels; this is an example of Vonnegut using the unreliable narrator narration device.
The New York Times Book Review called Jailbird Vonnegut's "Sermon on the Mount". Kirkus Reviews described the book as "ot top-drawer Vonnegut...but...there's enough of the author's narrative zip to keep fans happy while the novel fizzles into foolishness."In a 2013 piece, Jacobin Magazine called Jailbird Vonnegut's "most extensive exploration of labor" and "Vonnegut's clearest articulation of sympathies with the labor movement"
Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! is a science fiction novel by American author Kurt Vonnegut. Written in 1976, it depicts Vonnegut's views of loneliness, both on an social scale; the novel, published in 1976, is presented as meditation on death, on Vonnegut's relationship with his sister Alice. As the author explains in an extended prologue, his sister died of cancer in 1958, a mere two days after her husband had died in a train accident. Vonnegut raised her three children; the novel was written shortly after the death of the author's uncle, in fact the idea for the entire book came to Vonnegut in a dream he had on a plane on the way to the funeral. Slapstick is dedicated to Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy, the title of the novel is in reference to the physical and situational comedy style that duo employed. Vonnegut explains the title himself in the opening lines of the book's prologue: "This is the closest I will come to writing an autobiography. I have called it "Slapstick" because it is grotesque, situational poetry -- like the slapstick film comedies those of Laurel and Hardy, of long ago.
It is about what life feels like to me." The novel is in the form of an autobiography of Dr. Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain. Dr. Swain tells us that he lives in the ruins of the Empire State Building with his pregnant granddaughter, Melody Oriole-2 von Peterswald, her lover, Isadore Raspberry-19 Cohen. Dr. Swain is a hideous man whose ugliness, along with that of his twin sister Eliza, led their parents to cut them off from modern society; the siblings came to realize that, when in close physical contact, they form a vastly powerful and creative intelligence. Through reading and philosophizing together and Eliza combated the feelings of loneliness and isolation that would otherwise have ruined their childhood. Throughout the book, Wilbur claims that his sister Eliza is the more intelligent of the two, but that no one realizes it because she can't read or write. Wilbur and Eliza are like two halves of a brain, with Wilbur the left brain—logical, able to communicate—and Eliza the right brain: creative, but unable to communicate effectively.
The siblings created, among other things, a plan to end loneliness in America through vast extended families. Under the plan, all citizens would be provided with new middle names, made of the name of a random natural object paired with a random number between 1 and 20. Everyone with the same name would be cousins, everyone with the same name and number would be siblings, their parents and the staff of the mansion believe the children are retarded, the children play this up when in the company of others, so as to not interfere with what they view as a perfect childhood. But after hearing their mother wish that they were normal, the children reveal their intelligence to their parents. Eliza is still deemed retarded, is sent to a mental institution. Wilbur however is sent to a prep school and goes to Harvard University and earns a doctorate. Armed with the plan created with Eliza and the slogan, "Lonesome No More!," Dr. Swain wins election to the Presidency, devotes the waning energies of the Federal government to the implementation of the plan.
In the meantime, Western civilization is nearing collapse as oil runs out, the Chinese are making vast leaps forward by miniaturizing themselves and training groups of hundreds to think as one. The miniaturization proceeds to the point that they become so small that they cause a plague among those who accidentally inhale them destroying Western civilization beyond repair; however as life as we know it collapses, Swain's middle name policy continues to unite the survivors. The American population risk their time and their lives to selflessly help their fellow cousins and siblings, ensuring that people may live their lives "lonesome no more." The novel has a typical Vonnegut pattern of short snippets ending with a punchline of sorts. These are separated by the words "hi ho", which Dr. Swain describes as a sort of verbal hiccup that has developed in his old age. Vonnegut does not believe that traditional religions can cure loneliness or provide significant comfort, his take on belief in the afterlife is satirical.
In his novel he describes a Church of Jesus Christ the Kidnapped which becomes a dominant American religion in the post-apocalyptic world of the novel. Vonnegut finds the church followers' behavior comical: He was jerking his head around in what seemed an eccentric manner, as though hoping to catch someone peering out at him from behind a potted palm tree or an easy chair, or from directly overhead, from the crystal chandelier. Vonnegut is concerned about the transitoriness of the modern lifestyle, wherein people are forced to leave their familial and cultural roots and trade those for professional and financial security, he explains in an interview: Well, I am used to the rootlessness that goes with my profession. But I would like people to be able to stay in one community for a lifetime, to travel away from it to see the world, but always to come home again... Until recent times, you know, human beings had a permanent community of relatives, they had dozens of homes to go to. So when a married couple had a fight, one or the other could go to a house three doors down and stay with a close relative until he was feeling tender again.
Or if a kid was so fed up with his parents that he couldn't stand it, he could march over his uncle's for a while. And this is no longer possible; each family is locked into its little box. The neighbors aren't relatives. There aren't other houses where people can be cared for. Vonnegut was influenced by the theories of Robert Redfield, from whom he
Tomorrow, the Stars
Tomorrow, the Stars is an anthology of speculative fiction short stories, presented as edited by American author Robert A. Heinlein and published in 1952. Heinlein wrote a six-page introduction in which he discussed the nature of science fiction, speculative fiction, escapist stories, literature. None of the stories had been anthologized. According to science fiction historian Bud Webster, Heinlein's introduction and name on the book were his sole contributions; this is confirmed by Virginia Heinlein in Grumbles from the Grave and by Pohl in chapter 6 of his autobiography, The Way the Future Was. However, the correspondence between Heinlein and Merril, now housed in Library and Archives Canada, shows that while Heinlein claimed to be uninvolved in the editing, he had some input into the structure and contents of the book: I am the lowest form of literary prostitute, swindling the public into thinking that I have done a piece of editing which I aint done and aint going to do... On the issue of whether or not the volume should have a theme: I don’t give a hoot about a theme.
I can’t think of any other real excuse for putting out another S-F anthology... I'll be of more help, I hope, a month from now when I can get at my files of books. "I'm Scared" by Jack Finney, 1951 "The Silly Season" by Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950 "The Report on the Barnhouse Effect" by Kurt Vonnegut, 1950 "The Tourist Trade" by Bob Tucker, 1950 "The Rainmaker" by John Reese, 1949 "Absalom" by Henry Kuttner, 1946 "The Monster" by Lester del Rey, 1951 "Jay Score" by Eric Frank Russell, 1941 "Betelgeuse Bridge" by William Tenn, 1950 "Survival Ship" by Judith Merril, 1950 "Keyhole" by Murray Leinster, 1951 "Misbegotten Missionary" by Isaac Asimov, 1950 "The Sack" by William Morrison, 1950 "Poor Superman" by Fritz Leiber, 1951 It was published in 1952 in hardcover by Doubleday and Company, Inc. published 1953 in paperback. The Library of Congress Control Number of the hardcover was 52-5218. P. Schuyler Miller found the stories to be "all smoothly professional, all enjoyable, some of them mind-tickling."
Damon Knight judged that of the fourteen stories in the volume, "ten are four B's. Anthopology 101: They Blinded Us... With Science!, column by Bud Webster in the Spring, 2006, issue of The Bulletin of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, *Anthopology 101: The Deans' List, in the December, 2004, issue of Science Fiction Chronicle. Tomorrow, the Stars title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Tomorrow, the Stars on Open Library at the Internet Archive
While Mortals Sleep (short story collection)
While Mortals Sleep is a collection of sixteen unpublished short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, released on January 25, 2011. It is the third posthumously published Kurt Vonnegut book, the first being Armageddon in Retrospect, the second being Look at the Birdie; the book begins with a foreword by Dave Eggers. Illustrations by Vonnegut himself appear throughout. "Jenny" "The Epizootic" "Hundred-Dollar Kisses" "Guardian of the Person" “With His Hand on the Throttle" "Girl Pool” “Ruth” “While Mortals Sleep” “Out, Brief Candle” “Tango” “Bomar” “The Man Without No Kiddleys” “Mr. Z” “$10,000 a Year, Easy” "Money Talks” "The Humbugs"
Timequake is a semi-autobiographical work by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. published in 1997. Marketed as a novel, the book was described as a "stew" by Vonnegut, in which he summarizes a novel he had been struggling with for a number of years. Vonnegut uses the premise of a timequake; the idea of determinism is explored—as it is in many of his previous works—to assert that people have no free will. Kilgore Trout serves again as the main character, who the author declares as having died in 2001, at the fictitious Xanadu retreat in Rhode Island. Vonnegut explains in the beginning of the book that he was not satisfied with the original version of Timequake he wrote. Taking parts of Timequake One and combining it with personal thoughts and anecdotes produced the finished product, so-called Timequake Two. Many of the anecdotes deal with Vonnegut's family, the death of loved ones, people's last words; the plot, while centered on Trout, is a sort of ramble in which Vonnegut relays tangents to the plot and comes back dozens of pages later: the timequake has thrust citizens of the year 2001 back in time to 1991 to repeat every action they undertook during that time.
Most of the small stories in the book expound on the depression and sadness wrought by watching oneself make bad choices: people watch their parents die again, drive drunk or cause accidents that injure others. At the end of the timequake, when people resume control, they gripped by ennui. Kilgore Trout is the only one not affected by the apathy, thus helps revive others by telling them, "You were sick, but now you're well, there's work to do." In the conclusion of this book, Vonnegut meets other authors for a celebration of Trout. The celebration, described as a "clambake," is foreshadowed throughout the novel's previous chapters; the novel is divided into 63 chapters arbitrarily. A new chapter offers any sort of "break" with a previous one. Timequake, like many Vonnegut works, features a large number of double-spaced paragraph breaks and triple asterisks within each chapter, creating a constant sense of the author pausing between paragraphs. Though his tone is cynical throughout Timequake, Vonnegut makes use of various light-hearted sayings, such as "Hold on to your hats!" or "Get a load of this!" when segueing between ideas.
Several phrases are continually repeated, such as "ting-a-ling" and "he's up in heaven now." The Art Brut song "Late Sunday Evening" uses Trout's mantra "You were sick, now you're better, there's work to be done" as its refrain. The band I Would Set Myself on Fire for You uses a passage from Timequake at the beginning of their song, "The First Word That Comes To Mind"". Philip K. Dick's short story "Breakfast at Twilight" refers to a "time quake" having occurred, which has propelled a family seven years into the future
A magazine is a publication a periodical publication, printed or electronically published. Magazines are published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content, they are financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by prepaid subscriptions, or a combination of the three. At its root, the word "magazine" refers to a storage location. In the case of written publication, it is a collection of written articles; this explains why magazine publications share the word root with gunpowder magazines, artillery magazines, firearms magazines, and, in French, retail stores such as department stores. By definition, a magazine paginates with each issue starting at page three, with the standard sizing being 8 3⁄8 in × 10 7⁄8 in. However, in the technical sense a journal has continuous pagination throughout a volume, thus Business Week, which starts each issue anew with page one, is a magazine, but the Journal of Business Communication, which starts each volume with the winter issue and continues the same sequence of pagination throughout the coterminous year, is a journal.
Some professional or trade publications are peer-reviewed, an example being the Journal of Accountancy. Academic or professional publications that are not peer-reviewed are professional magazines; that a publication calls itself a journal does not make it a journal in the technical sense. Magazines can be distributed through the mail, through sales by newsstands, bookstores, or other vendors, or through free distribution at selected pick-up locations; the subscription business models for distribution fall into three main categories. In this model, the magazine is sold to readers for a price, either on a per-issue basis or by subscription, where an annual fee or monthly price is paid and issues are sent by post to readers. Paid circulation allows for defined readership statistics; this means that there is no cover price and issues are given away, for example in street dispensers, airline, or included with other products or publications. Because this model involves giving issues away to unspecific populations, the statistics only entail the number of issues distributed, not who reads them.
This is the model used by many trade magazines distributed only to qualifying readers for free and determined by some form of survey. Because of costs associated with the medium of print, publishers may not distribute free copies to everyone who requests one; this allows a high level of certainty that advertisements will be received by the advertiser's target audience, it avoids wasted printing and distribution expenses. This latter model was used before the rise of the World Wide Web and is still employed by some titles. For example, in the United Kingdom, a number of computer-industry magazines use this model, including Computer Weekly and Computing, in finance, Waters Magazine. For the global media industry, an example would be VideoAge International; the earliest example of magazines was Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen, a literary and philosophy magazine, launched in 1663 in Germany. The Gentleman's Magazine, first published in 1731, in London was the first general-interest magazine. Edward Cave, who edited The Gentleman's Magazine under the pen name "Sylvanus Urban", was the first to use the term "magazine," on the analogy of a military storehouse.
Founded by Herbert Ingram in 1842, The Illustrated London News was the first illustrated magazine. The oldest consumer magazine still in print is The Scots Magazine, first published in 1739, though multiple changes in ownership and gaps in publication totalling over 90 years weaken that claim. Lloyd's List was founded in Edward Lloyd's England coffee shop in 1734. Under the ancient regime, the most prominent magazines were Mercure de France, Journal des sçavans, founded in 1665 for scientists, Gazette de France, founded in 1631. Jean Loret was one of France's first journalists, he disseminated the weekly news of music and Parisian society from 1650 until 1665 in verse, in what he called a gazette burlesque, assembled in three volumes of La Muse historique. The French press lagged a generation behind the British, for they catered to the needs the aristocracy, while the newer British counterparts were oriented toward the middle and working classes. Periodicals were censored by the central government in Paris.
They were not quiescent politically—often they criticized Church abuses and bureaucratic ineptitude. They supported the monarchy and they played at most a small role in stimulating the revolution. During the Revolution, new periodicals played central roles as propaganda organs for various factions. Jean-Paul Marat was the most prominent editor, his L'Ami du peuple advocated vigorously for the rights of the lower classes against the enemies of the people Marat hated. After 1800 Napoleon reimposed strict censorship. Magazines flourished after Napoleon left in 1815. Most were based in Paris and most emphasized literature and stories, they served religious and political communities. In times of political crisis they expressed and helped shape the views of their readership and thereby were major
Psychokinesis, or telekinesis, is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction. Psychokinesis experiments have been criticized for lack of proper controls and repeatability. There is no convincing evidence that psychokinesis is a real phenomenon, the topic is regarded as pseudoscience. Psychokinesis as an ability is common in popular culture, to the point of becoming a stock superpower; the word "psychokinesis" was coined in 1914 by American author Henry Holt in his book On the Cosmic Relations. The term is a linguistic blend or portmanteau of the Greek language words ψυχή – meaning mind, spirit, or breath – and κίνησις – meaning motion, movement; the American parapsychologist J. B. Rhine coined the term extra-sensory perception to describe receiving information paranormally from an external source. Following this, he used the term psychokinesis in 1934 to describe mentally influencing external objects or events without the use of physical energy.
His initial example of psychokinesis was experiments that were conducted to determine whether a person could influence the outcome of falling dice. The word telekinesis, a portmanteau of the Greek τῆλε – meaning distance – and κίνησις – meaning motion – was first used in 1890 by Russian psychical researcher Alexander N. Aksakof. In parapsychology, fictional universes and New Age beliefs and telekinesis are different: psychokinesis refers to the mental influence of physical systems and objects without the use of any physical energy, while telekinesis refers to the movement and/or levitation of physical objects by purely mental force without any physical intervention. There is a broad scientific consensus that PK research, parapsychology more have not produced a reliable, repeatable demonstration. A panel commissioned in 1988 by the United States National Research Council to study paranormal claims concluded that "despite a 130-year record of scientific research on such matters, our committee could find no scientific justification for the existence of phenomena such as extrasensory perception, mental telepathy or ‘mind over matter’ exercises...
Evaluation of a large body of the best available evidence does not support the contention that these phenomena exist."In 1984, the United States National Academy of Sciences, at the request of the US Army Research Institute, formed a scientific panel to assess the best evidence for psychokinesis. Part of its purpose was to investigate military applications of PK, for example to remotely jam or disrupt enemy weaponry; the panel heard from a variety of military staff who believed in PK and made visits to the PEAR laboratory and two other laboratories that had claimed positive results from micro-PK experiments. The panel criticized macro-PK experiments for being open to deception by conjurors, said that all micro-PK experiments "depart from good scientific practice in a variety of ways", their conclusion, published in a 1987 report, was that there was no scientific evidence for the existence of psychokinesis. Carl Sagan included telekinesis in a long list of "offerings of pseudoscience and superstition" which "it would be foolish to accept without solid scientific data".
Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman advocated a similar position. Felix Planer, a professor of electrical engineering, has written that if psychokinesis were real it would be easy to demonstrate by getting subjects to depress a scale on a sensitive balance, raise the temperature of a waterbath which could be measured with an accuracy of a hundredth of a degree centigrade, or affect an element in an electrical circuit such as a resistor, which could be monitored to better than a millionth of an ampere. Planer writes that such experiments are sensitive and easy to monitor but are not utilized by parapsychologists as they "do not hold out the remotest hope of demonstrating a minute trace of PK" because the alleged phenomenon is non-existent. Planer has written that parapsychologists have to fall back on studies that involve only statistics that are unrepeatable, owing their results to poor experimental methods, recording mistakes and faulty statistical mathematics. According to Planer, "All research in medicine and other sciences would become illusionary, if the existence of PK had to be taken seriously.
Planer has no scientific basis. PK hypotheses have been considered in a number of contexts outside parapsychological experiments. C. E. M. Hansel has written that a general objection against the claim for the existence of psychokinesis is that, if it were a real process, its effects would be expected to manifest in situations in everyday life. Science writers Martin Gardner and Terence Hines and the philosopher Theodore Schick have written that if psychokinesis were possible, one would expect casino incomes to be affected, but the earnings are as the laws of chance predict. Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey argues that many experiments in psychology, biology or physics assume that the intentions of the subjects or experimenter do not physically distort the apparatus. Humphrey counts them as implicit replications of PK experiments; the ideas of psychokinesis and telekinesis violate several well-established laws of physics, including the inverse square law, the second law of thermodynamics, the conservati