Venus on the Half Shell

“The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.” — Kilgore Trout

Once upon a time, before Douglas Adams did Hitchhiker’s Guide in 1979, there was Kilgore Trout‘s Venus on the Half-Shell “for the first time without lurid covers!” (see cover photo) in 1975. The book is a great combination of humor and absurd science fiction.

Kurt Vonnegut created the fictional character Kilgore Trout, who made his first appearance in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. He was featured in Slaughterhouse-Five before becoming the central character in Breakfast of Champions and Timequake. He was mentioned in Jailbird and his son Leon narrated Galapagos. Everyone assumed that Vonnegut wrote Venus, although there was a lot of discussion about who really did it.

It’s old news now, but I just found out that it was written really by Philip Jose Farmer, not Vonnegut. I read his Image of the Beast many years ago, also the Riverworld series (made into a bad movie) and a few others. It’s time for a re-read.