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The Space Merchants

Cover of The Space Merchants

The Space Merchants

Space Merchants Series, Book 1

In a vastly overpopulated near-future world, businesses have taken the place of governments and now hold all political power. States exist merely to ensure the survival of huge transnational corporations. Advertising has become hugely aggressive and boasts some of the world's most powerful executives. Through advertising, the public is constantly deluded into thinking that all the products on the market improve the quality of life. However, the most basic elements are incredibly scarce, including water and fuel. The planet Venus has just been visited and judged fit for human settlement, despite its inhospitable surface and climate; colonists would have to endure a harsh climate for many generations until the planet could be terraformed. Mitch Courtenay is a star-class copywriter in the Fowler Schocken advertising agency and has been assigned the ad campaign that would attract colonists to Venus, but a lot more is happening than he knows about. Mitch is soon thrown into a world of danger, mystery, and intrigue, where the people in his life are never quite what they seem, and his loyalties and core beliefs will be put to the test.

In a vastly overpopulated near-future world, businesses have taken the place of governments and now hold all political power. States exist merely to ensure the survival of huge transnational corporations. Advertising has become hugely aggressive and boasts some of the world's most powerful executives. Through advertising, the public is constantly deluded into thinking that all the products on the market improve the quality of life. However, the most basic elements are incredibly scarce, including water and fuel. The planet Venus has just been visited and judged fit for human settlement, despite its inhospitable surface and climate; colonists would have to endure a harsh climate for many generations until the planet could be terraformed. Mitch Courtenay is a star-class copywriter in the Fowler Schocken advertising agency and has been assigned the ad campaign that would attract colonists to Venus, but a lot more is happening than he knows about. Mitch is soon thrown into a world of danger, mystery, and intrigue, where the people in his life are never quite what they seem, and his loyalties and core beliefs will be put to the test.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 19, 2011
    In 1953, Pohl and Kornbluth (1923–1958) published this wry tale of a future run by corporations, a groundbreaking narrative in its time. Mitch Courtnay is a ruthless ad-man with a prestigious job and high-class lifestyle. He also has pangs of conscience, and his idealistic wife, Kathy, won’t move in with him until he becomes a better person. After Mitch lands a cushy account, persuading colonists to take the long, arduous trip to Venus, his identity is stolen, forcing him into a grim subsistence life farming vat-grown meat. Pohl has attempted to make this classic novel relevant to modern readers with new references to Wal-mart, Enron, and Reagan, but the revisions only throw the 1950s attitudes and gender stereotypes into sharp relief, resulting in a dated, muddled mess.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Space Merchants
The Space Merchants
Space Merchants Series, Book 1
Frederik Pohl
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