Kurt Vonnegut began his writing career as a writer of short stories published in local and national magazines. These stories were primarily of the science fiction genre, and, even though he wrote a couple of science fiction novels early in his career, he made the most money from writing the short stories.
This changed when television swept the nation causing many people to lose interest in reading magazine stories and serials. As a result, Vonnegut turned to writing paperback novels. Most of these were still science fiction, but as a result of suffering tragic loss, he turned to writing autobiographical introductions to these novels and even some general essays.
Critics agree that within his stories' and novels' themes, Vonnegut employed satire, often asking the question:
How can the individual maintain dignity and exercise free will in a world overrun by death and destruction, a world in which both science and religion are powerless to provide a solution?
Vonnegut later went on to republish his novels in hard cover form and to write plays and television screenplays. Later, after his fame was firmly established, he became a much sought after speaker.