The Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century
A Composite List and Ranking
by Brian Kunde


<- Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr., 1922-2007.
         American novelist, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, known for his satirical works mingling black comedy with science fiction. Vonnegut's fiction often deals with mature themes.
  • <- Cat's Cradle. 1963.
             Story of the legacy of atomic scientist Felix Hoenikker, who has developed a catalitic crystaline form of water called ice-nine that solidifies all other water to which it comes in contact. Now in the possession of its creator's children, it is bargained away to Caribbean dictator Papa Monzano, who uses it to commit suicide. A final catastrophe catapulting his frozen form into the sea converts all the oceans into ice-nine, wiping out life on Earth. The philosophical system of Bokononism, practiced by the population of Monzano's country of San Lorenzo, forms an important feature of the novel.
  • <- Slaughterhouse Five. 1969.
             A somewhat non-linear narrative featuring Billy Pilgrim, a man whose consciousness moves back and forth in time, bouncing at random between his experience as a prisoner of war during World War II's horrific bombing of Dresden, his post-war middle-class life, and his ultimate destiny as a zoo-exhibit of the alien Tralfamadorians. Adapted to film in 1972; the film won the Prix du Jury at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, a Hugo Award, and a Saturn Award.

Posted Mar. 29, 2007, and last updated May 14, 2013.
Please report any errors to the compiler.
Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.