After a set of socially critical, sometimes psychedelic reads with Pohl , Silverberg , Dick , and Farmer , even a sophisticated satire like The Space Merchants feels stodgy and quaint. Pohl and Kornbluth are no different in this regard. Can he trust his competitive colleagues? His wife? And what about those crazy Conservationists?
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Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. An alternate cover edition can be found here. It is the 22nd Century, an advertisement-drenched world in which the big ad agencies dominate governments and everything else.
Now Schoken Associates, one of the big players, has a new challenge for star copywriter Mitch Courtenay. Volunteers are needed to colonise Venus. It's a hellhole, and nobody who knew anything about it wo An alternate cover edition can be found here.
It's a hellhole, and nobody who knew anything about it would dream of signing up. But by the time Mitch has finished, they will be queuing to get on board the spaceships. Biographical Notes Pohl and Kornbluth started writing together as early as , although both authors produced a wide variety of stories separately, under their own names and pseudonyms. Each wrote sections, starting where the other left off, and through long experience they developed an almost telepathic awareness of each other's intentions.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. The Space Merchants 1. Mitchell Courtenay. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Space Merchants , please sign up. I am about half way through this book and enjoying it. I am only just dipping into the water with SciFi abandoned many years ago. I have also read 'I Robot' and loved that. Suggestions for a novice, please.
Vincenzo Iuppa It's hard to base a recommendation off of just this book because it is admittedly unique in the genre. If you are interested in more positive sci-fi …more It's hard to base a recommendation off of just this book because it is admittedly unique in the genre.
If you are interested in more positive sci-fi because even though the world in this book is dystopian it's from a pretty positive angle I would suggest Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. If you are interested in more fiction from the time, you may really like the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov you can always start with I Robot to just dip your toes in the deep end. If more stories about ad-men is where it is at, Philip K.
Good luck in your journeys! What are the main differences between the original version and the update? Hushour I've never read the original but I noticed a lot of things that might have been updates, like more relevant "past" corporations like Enron.
See also, h …more I've never read the original but I noticed a lot of things that might have been updates, like more relevant "past" corporations like Enron. See all 4 questions about The Space Merchants…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 29, Lyn rated it liked it.
I like Frederik Pohl more the more of his books I read. Space Merchants, first published in is a science fiction gem. Then corporate espionage and the nefarious I like Frederik Pohl more the more of his books I read. Somewhat dated, this is told with humor and intelligence and was no doubt wildly influential on the genre. That's true of much of Pohl's work, he was an underrated master. View all 15 comments.
Are you one of those people who miss Madmen desperately? Do you also have a taste for classic science fiction? If so, here is a book that could have been created just for you. Published in , The Space Merchants tells the story of the USA some centuries hence, a land still stuck in the morals and mores of the Madmen era, with sexist men who take their privilege as a given and take their sexy and intelligent, and capable women for granted.
But things are much worse in the future than they we Are you one of those people who miss Madmen desperately? But things are much worse in the future than they were in the 50's. Population is soaring, nature polluted, wildlife decimated, fossil fuels exhausted.
The quality of peoples' lives, the wealthy not excepted, is poor: even luxury apartments are tiny, food is synthetic and tasteless, and the bicycle rickshaw has replaced the limousine. Now who would you put in charge of a world like this, a world where the most important thing is to make people who have every reason to be miserable think they aren't miserable after all?
Why, advertising agencies, of course! Enter our hero, Mitch Courtenay, an advertising executive, who—like most great salesmen—is an expert at fooling himself. Are these the machinations of his firm's powerful rival?
Or of the dreaded Consies ecological terrorists? Or could it be somebody else entirely? Then Courtenay is kidnapped, his identity wiped from the records, and soon he finds himself a virtual prisoner, condemned to slave labor.
It is then that he learns, to his dismay, about the rank human misery his civilization creates to fuel its survival. You could do a lot worse than to give this book a try.
It is outdated, but that is part of its charm. Its prose is straightforward and muscular, and what it lacks in elegance it makes up for in clarity and the briskness of its pace. Don't ask. There are some horrors, o reader, you must discover for yourself. View all 10 comments. Oct 13, Duane rated it really liked it Shelves: audio-books , reviewed-books , book-challenge , rated-books , american-classics , guardian , science-fiction.
This future world is run by several large corporations, primarily ad agencies, and based entirely on the idea of consumerism. The novel is of course satire, an exaggerated satire that almost reaches the level of comedy. Also, casual public smoking was still around which is an irony in itself because of the success that tobacco advertising had on that generation. They had trouble finding a publisher originally until Ballantine agreed to do it.
The rest is history. It has now sold over 10 million copies in 25 languages and is considered a science fiction classic. Sep 02, Spencer Orey rated it it was amazing. This book freaked me out in the same way that Brave New World did years ago.
This one left me a little more paranoid? Anyway, the two books would pair really interestingly well together. The story itself is okay. The main character is generally unlikable but fascinating in how he uses his one skill to constantly manipulate his way through the world, for good and bad. The strength of the book is the real biting focus on the total power of advertising and the treatment of people as mere consumers.
I was blown away. I mean, it's not actually that deep, but it sure feels like it at times. It definitely gets at something. Another classic that deserves to be so.
I listened to it on audiobook, and the advertising terms really hit hard.
The Space Merchants (1953) by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
Published in this novel is included in the Science fiction masterwork series. I hated the first half. It improved after he got bopped on the head, and became much more going, and funnier. Like a mix of Mad Men and Brazil. More interested in writing than in school, he dropped out of high school in his senior year and took a job with a publishing company.
The Space Merchants
Originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine as a serial entitled Gravy Planet , the novel was first published as a single volume in , and has sold heavily since. It deals satirically with a hyper-developed consumerism , seen through the eyes of an advertising executive. In , Pohl published a sequel, The Merchants' War. Pohl revised the original novel in with added material and more contemporary references. In a vastly overpopulated world, businesses have taken the place of governments and now hold political power. States exist merely to ensure the survival of huge trans-national corporations.
The Space Merchants Series
Earth is vastly overpopulated. Food is scarce. So is fuel. Drinking water even more so. Governments have become tools of giant corporations. The world is divided into the haves and have-nots. And the best news of all: globalisation has triumphed, capitalism has delivered on its promise of a hyper-consumerist market-driven world, which runs on marketing and materialism and is controlled by advertising agencies.