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Julian Meynell's Books

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Pohl and Kornbluth's The Space Merchants

The Space Merchants - C.M. Kornbluth, Frederik Pohl

This book was in many ways a surprise.  It was written by two authors and is seamlessly written, so that you cannot tell where one writer leaves off and another begins.  I expected some sort of Heinleinesque adventure of Space Merchants plying the space ways and trading amongst the stars.  It is nothing like that and is a satire on commercialism that is both sharp and prophetic and reminds me a but of Dick crossed with Swift.

The main character is an advertising executive in a world where advertising firms rule.  The plot is a complex mixture of events and conspiracies with a strongly anti-commercialism tone.  It is withering satire and intelligently written.  With sharp albeit humourous characterizations.  It is a kind of absurdist Mad Men set in a science fiction universe.

Its really very good.  Its considered by hard core science fiction fans to be a classic, quite rightfully and it is a good example of the many little known science fiction novels, which deserve a much greater readership.