The Space Merchants

From Clockworks2
Jump to navigationJump to search

Pohl, Frederik, and C. M. Kornbluth. The Space Merchants. New York: Ballantine, [1953]. "A condensed version of this novel appeared in GALAXY magazine under the title Gravy Planet" (June, July, August 1952).

One of the great satires on human greed, pride, and stupidity generally, and capitalist consumption and advertising more particularly. In the reading by J. P. Brennan, SM has at its heart the image of "Chicken Little," an organic thing with mechanism literally superimposed upon it (and a way into it)—an image that works well in an attack on "the text's mechanistic psychology" (see under Literary Criticism, Brennan's "The Mechanical Chicken," here 107-8).

For the historical and literary context of Space Merchants, and the precision of its attack on the advertising industry, see B. N. Malzberg's "The Fifties" essay in The Engines of the Night: Science Fiction in the Eighties, pp. 34-39.


RDE, initial, and finishing 19Feb24