American novelist and short‐story writer who attended Cornell University before serving in the air force in the Second World War. Captured by the Germans, he survived the bombing of Dresden in 1945, an experience that he later used in his most famous novel, Slaughterhouse Five: or, The Children's Crusade (1969). His earlier works drew on science fiction and fantasy to satirize the increasing mechanization and dehumanization of the post‐war world. His first novel, Player Piano (1952), envisages a New York factory town whose automated structure turns its workers and scientists into virtual robots. In The Sirens of Titan (1959) the human race is stumbled upon by aliens searching for a new spaceship. Other novels include Cat's Cradle (1963), Breakfast of Champions (1973), Slapstick (1976), Jailbird (1979), and Deadeye Dick (1983). He also wrote plays and collections of stories. A Man Without a Country (2005) is a collection of essays and speeches.