I was really sadden to hear that Kurt Vonnegut died today. He was 84. He is one of my favorite authors and one of the greatest American authors ever.
I love how Vonnegut mixed Sci-Fi with social commentary with satire. He has this great writing style that sucks you in and you feel like you're stuck in his strange world. It is a very simple style, but it is so highly effective. I have never been a big fan of Sci-Fi Lit (I avoid it at all costs), but I can't put his books down. It's nothing like reading a Star Trek book, his books are more a commentary about humanity than fighting the Klingons in outer space. I recall reading Player Piano in an English class in college and just being in awe of Vonnegut's writing ability. It was like nothing I had ever read. Very powerful and moving. He combines the terrifying with the funny. As a writer myself, Vonnegut motivated me to be a better writer.
If you haven't read one of his books, I recommend picking up Slaughter House-Five. Fabulous.
So it goes, Kurt Vonnegut.