Amazon announced Thursday that users of its new fan-fiction platform, Kindle Worlds, will be free to run wild with the characters from Kurt Vonnegut's books, including "Cat's Cradle" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," starting this month.
Kindle Worlds launched this spring as a fan-fiction hub for writers to self-publish stories online based on existing works and characters. The idea is that authors of the fan fiction will get up to 35% of net revenue for the books, available in the Kindle Store, while the other 65% will go to Amazon and the original copyright owner.
The addition of Vonnegut adds a veneer of prestige to the site, which started with the rights to three big Alloy Entertainment series: "Gossip Girl," "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Vampire Diaries," all notably popular online. The catalog has been expanding rapidly, moving into comic books ("Archer & Armstrong") and novels ("Wayward Pines," which may soon be a TV show on Fox). So far, 120 stories have been published on Kindle Words.
Although Vonnegut's books continue to be read and rediscovered, a rumored movie adaptation of "Slaughterhouse-Five" by Charlie Kaufman and Guillermo del Toro would broaden the author's fan base even further.
Vonnegut may have passed away in 2007, but his work is no stranger to Kindle. In 2012, Amazon Publishing's Kindle Serials released "Sucker's Portfolio," a collection of seven previously unpublished works by the author.
"We've been very pleased with the success of the Kurt Vonnegut backlist on Kindle," said Donald C. Farber, a trustee of the Kurt Vonnegut Trust, in a statement. "With Kindle Worlds we have an opportunity to further his reach with today's readers."
Referring to the protagonist of "Slaughterhouse-Five," Farber continued, "Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in time, is going to quickly become a Kindle Worlds favorite."
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