Peace in Amber: The World of Kurt Vonnegut

Peace in Amber: The World of Kurt Vonnegut - Hugh Howey I'm twenty-one years old. With no home to call my own, I'm currently sleeping on my sister's couch. I've recently returned from a trip to California to see my father because he lied and said he was dying so that I would sit on a Greyhound bus for 1800 miles and come visit him. I spent the last money I had in this world to do so. I cannot afford rent, so when I return to Alabama, I'm evicted. I'm not in a chipper mood.

The front door flies open and my sister comes barreling into the living room. I come awake instantly at the discordant symphany that is her entrance. She shoves my legs off the couch and flops down beside me. The remote is in her hand, and she's frantically flipping channels. Doesn't matter though, because every station is playing the same disaster movie. Or is it a war movie? Some kind of alternate history thing, like RED DAWN, where some country's military has breached America's borders, has dared step a foot down on our soil with violent intent... But these aren't movie networks my sister's scrolling through. These are news outlets. CNN. FOX. MSNBC... Local stations...

We all know where we were the day those planes flew into the towers, and most of us do not want to be reminded of that day other than to remember the slain, and author Hugh Howey seems to get that. He doesn't dwell on the carnage, and when he must broach the topic, he does so tactfully. In this short piece, Howey channels Vonnegut to perfection. If Vonnegut weren't gone from this world, I'd have thought he wrote this. So it goes.

Slaughterhouse Five is one of my all time favorite works of fiction based on war. Vonnegut's novel moved me and molded me into the individual I am today: a peaceful soul that respects life. This is not to say that I am anti-war or anti-military or any other such nonsense. It's only to say that I don't like death and destruction, whether it be large-scale or intimate, and think that any loss of life is a tragedy. Funny thing for a horror writer to say, but it's the truth.

This is the first thing from Hugh Howey that I've read all the way through. I couldn't get into the WOOL books, or Silo Saga, or whatever they're called, and I believe my enjoyment of this novelette stemmed from my love of Vonnegut style and not Howey's. Howey does a spot on impersonation, and, for that reason alone, I tip my nonexistent hat to him.