A previously unpublished short story by the late Kurt Vonnegut has been released for the first time. Basic Training is a 22,000 word semi-autobiographical tale about a young man who visits the farm of a relative who insists on being called The General.
Basic Training was written more than half a century ago, and was apparently originally set to be published under the pseudonym Mark Harvey. The story is believed to have been written when Vonnegut was still working for General Electric. During this period he sold many short stories to magazines, and it’s not clear why Basic Training never saw the light of day.
The Kindle Single route for publication of the story is interesting, because it shows that there could still be a market for short stories, especially if they can be easily promoted due to their authorship or unusual backstory. If Basic Training is a success, we could see a raft of ‘new’ old stories being released by a range of writers.