The introduction examines the popular and academic image of Kurt Vonnegut and his work, noting in particular his reputation as a liberal humanist writer. Vonnegut’s position on the value of the human and on humanism itself is more contradictory than generally assumed, however, and a posthumanist approach represents a better way to engage with these contradictions. The fields of humanist, anti-humanist, and posthumanist thought are examined, and a working definition of the latter is delineated. Vonnegut criticism to date is broadly summarised as approaching his work from postmodernist, psychoanalytical, or autobiographical and humanist theoretical backgrounds, with notable exceptions that are considered more direct antecedents to this book, which is then summarised in the remainder of the introduction.