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Newly Discovered Kurt Vonnegut Short Story Available for Free

Newly Discovered Kurt Vonnegut Short Story Available for Free

It’s been over 10 years since Kurt Vonnegut passed away, but like the true literary rock star he was, it turns our he had some unreleased tracks for us to find. And one of them, a lost short story from the start of his publishing career, was just made available for us to read for free.

The Atlantic shared a recently discovered short story of his, “The Drone King,” that was found by his friend Dan Wakefield and Vonnegut scholar Jerome Klinkowitz, while the pair was working on a new comprehensive edition of the late author’s short stories. This is one of five they unearthed in Vonnegut’s papers at Indiana University’s Lilly Library, and they date it to the early 1950s, before he had released his first novel. So that would mean before Player Piano came out in 1952.

It’s a great melancholy little tale, so we don’t want to spoil it for you, but “The Drone King” doesn’t have the type of humor of Slaughterhouse-Five, and there’s not the biting social commentary like in his fantastic short story “Harrison Bergeron.” But it is clearly the work of a skilled young writer, featuring a sad protagonist who has much more going on that what is revealed in the short time we spend with him.

This story, along with the other four newly discovered ones, will be included in Complete Stories, a collection of his 97 short stories (only half of which were ever officially released) he wrote between 1941 and before his death in 2007. The collection comes out later this month, on September 26.

Of course we’re not surprised we’re getting new works from him over a decade after he died. All the best artists leave something for us to find after they’re gone.

What do you think of “The Drone King?” What is your favorite Kurt Vonnegut story? Write your ideas in the comments below.

Featured Image: Comedy Central

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