IMAGINARY WORLDS IS A BI-WEEKLY PODCAST ABOUT SCIENCE-FICTION AND OTHER FANTASY GENRES HOSTED BY ERIC MOLINSKY. CLICK BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE OR SUPPORT THE PODCAST. FULL ARCHIVE OF AD-FREE EPISODES ARE AVAILABLE AT STITCHER PREMIUM, PROMO CODE: IMAGINARY.
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50 years ago this month, Kurt Vonnegut introduced Billy Pilgrim and the aliens who gave him time traveling powers in his novel Slaughterhouse Five. Many critics were baffled as to why Vonnegut used sci-fi tropes to explore the horrors of World War II. But the novel was deeply personal to Vonnegut, who struggled for years to figure out how to talk about his wartime experiences. Vonnegut experts Marc Leeds, William Rodney Allen and Julia Whitehead connect the dots from the author’s real traumas to the fantastical adventures of Billy Pilgrim. And professor Philip Beidler explains why the novel speaks to him as a Vietnam veteran.