Editors putting together an upcoming collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s short fiction have stumbled across five never-before-published stories from the American literary master. Dating from a period in the early 1950s, before Vonnegut published any of his novels, all five of the stories will be included in the 97-entry Complete Stories, out later this month. But one, “The Drone King,” is also already online, courtesy of The Atlantic.
Centering on a rich eccentric with a fascination with bees, the story doesn’t necessarily see Vonnegut at the height of his form. (Which is to say, it’s merely good and funny, instead of a work of empathetic genius.) But it does have many of the hallmarks of the author’s later fiction, including plenty of subtle jabs at sexual politics and the lives of the idle rich, and it’s a nice teaser for Complete Stories, which comes out September 26.