Brilliantly written in the 1950s, "The Space Merchants" is a deeply cynical and darkly prescient dystopian novel in which advertising, conspicuous consumption and capitalism have run rampant in a world beset with overpopulation and environmental degradation.
Mitch Courtenay is an executive copywriter with Fowler Schocken, an advertising agency that has been given the task of selling the notion of colonizing Venus, an environmental hell-hole, to an over-populated and environmentally stressed earth. Courtenay, born with a proverbial silver spoon in his mouth and unaccustomed to anything but a pampered lifestyle is attacked by a deadly corporate conspiracy, robbed of his identity and imprisoned in an impoverished third world environment, the very existence of which came as a complete shock to him.
At the end of the day, whether you believe Courtenay to be an incorrigible villain or a reformed conservationist, "The Space Merchants" is a soft sci-fi classic well ahead of its time that explores thought-provoking themes and disturbing political issues that will be with us for many years to come. A gripping novel that well deserves it place in classic sci-fi libraries.