Monday, August 17, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr's "Confido" (short story): Now no one need be lonely!

According to US Playboy, September 2009 issue, this is a never before published story of Vonnegut, making its first appearance in this magazine now. Story, however, was written early in the carrier of Vonnegut.

Story summary.

Bowers - Henry, his wife Ellen, daughter Susan (7), & son Paul (8) - have been leading a happy contented middle class life.

Now Henry - a "tinker, maker, & mender who had a touch close to magic with materials & machines" - has invented a gadget that promises to make them super rich. A tiny device that you keep in your pocket, connect it to earpiece with wire - like a modern pocket MP3 player. Only it's way beyond even our modern devices.

What does the gadget - dubbed "Confido" by Ellen - do? It helps you gossip with someone - someone mysterious, someone who's neither a god nor a man. When the device is switched on, this someone has access to your thoughts & can sense your environment; & it can speak to you - speech that is picked up by a tiny mike set in earpiece which plays back the sound.

When testing the device in the family, the family will discover something very ugly about the "voice"...

Collected in.

  1. Kurt Vonnegut's Look at the Birdie (coll), due out November 2009 from Delacorte Press.

Fact sheet.

First published: US Playboy, September 2009.
Rating: A.
Added to my "best of the year 2009" list.
Related: Stories of Kurt Vonnegut; Stories from 2009 issues of Playboy.