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Back Cover: Stalking Kilgore Trout is a collection of short stories inspired by the late great Kurt Vonnegut. Author R.C. Thom credits Vonnegut with her interest in writing but she claims to be more a writer after Vonnegut's alter ego character Kilgore Trout. "Nobody writes like Kurt," she says, "he was slicker than wale poop and just as deep." Like Vonnegut, R.C. Thom enjoys poking a finger in the eye of our realities. Some of these stories are ridicules, some serious, some funny, and others critical but what they have in common with Vonnegut are ideas worth considering.
Introdction from the book:
First a warning, my stories deal with ideas and some are dangerous to some people. My hope is that there is something offensive for everyone here. If you are religiously sensitive, offended by base language, that is to say locker room words--or ideas outside of your choir, this is not for you. If you enjoy poking a finger in the eye of religion, history, science, society and politics, you are in the right place. My intent is entertainment that tickles one's intellect; I will count it a success if you walk away laughing and thinking and a little angery.
I admit it; I'm a fan of Kurt Vonnegut. This anthology is a tribute to him. The late Mr. Vonnegut is why I've read, why I write, and why I explore the universe and the human condition. I discovered him in the 1960's at a young age and he rocked my inner world. So the following is a collection of stories after his influence. I hope to honor his memory here.
To me, Vonnegut was an idea man. Sure, he wrote good characters but for me they were there to illustrate his ideas and observations. Perhaps that is why, when I write, I start with ideas and create characters that flesh-out concepts. Like Vonnegut, I enjoy taking an idea to the extreme with humor. Vonnegut's are hard shoes to fill. Also, my aim is to tell a good story.
For you non-Vonnegut people, I'll explain my title, Stalking Kilgore Trout. Kilgore Trout was a fictional person of Vonnegut's. It's been said that Kilgore was Kurt's alter ego, but there is evidence to the contrary. The character appears in many Vonnegut stories and in each, Trout serves a different purpose. That is fitting, if Trout is Vonnegut, Vonnegut wasn't a one dimensional man. One of Trout's characteristics may be biographical of Vonnegut; Trout was constantly writing and immediately rejecting what he just wrote. I've read that in Kurt's early writing life he did much the same. It's a writer's thing, I think. All writers write trash before we find our voices. Maybe Trout is a nod to struggling writers; Trout was that for me. But as you'll see in the title story that's not true for everyone.
Vonnegut had his favorite ideas and I have mine. I'm fascinated by concepts surrounding history, aliens, politics, God, GLBT issues and the core realities of our human condition. It's fun to mix them all up. I've asked myself many bizarre 'what if' questions and wrote ridiculous answers. Also here you will read serious stories with serious questions or observations and ideas concerning human nature. Looking at life, I've got to laugh. Vonnegut did a lot of that sort of thing too, "and so it goes."