Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $3.35 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Space Merchants has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials; notes or highlighting may be present. Ships within one business day via USPS.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Space Merchants Paperback – December 6, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

See all 30 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$33.30
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.64
$9.20 $4.94
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$19.99

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
$13.64 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Space Merchants
  • +
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Total price: $22.56
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

“A novel of the future that the present must inevitably rank as a classic.” ―The New York Times

About the Author

FREDERIK POHL's writing career spans over seventy years. He won the National Book Award in 1980 for his novel Jem. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine, If, winning the Hugo Award for it three years in a row. His writing also won him four Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993. Pohl won the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer, based on his writing on his blog, "The Way the Future Blogs."

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Rev Rep edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250000157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000156
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written over 50 years ago, this book anticipated much of what is wrong in the world we now live in -including corporate imperialism, environmental degradation and the villification of conservationists, the replacement of humanity with two categories of people -those who sell and those who consume, the death of spiritual values and the total ascendancy of materialism. Pohl and Kornbluth have created a materialist, consumerist dystopia that ranks with Vonnegut's Player Piano (also written in the early 1950s), and anticipates books like Harry Harrison's Bill the Galactic Hero and Joseph Heller's Catch 22. And, like the latter books, it manages somehow to be funny much of the time. What a tremendous loss it was for science fiction, and literature in general, when Cyril Kornbluth died prematurely. He had the makings of another Swift, if only he could have lived another 20 years.
Comment 30 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
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.

Paul Weiss
Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Space Merchants is an interesting little science fiction novel which describes the world in the 23rd century. By then global capitalism, especially the top advertisers, almost literally rule the plant. Excessive population and pollution have driven the masses underground. People are nourished by the flesh of weird genetically modified beasts. Considering this book was written fifty years ago I found the subject matter surprisingly fresh and relevant.
The story involves a top ad man who finds his task of developing a campaign for the colonisation of Venus dramatically undermined by dark forces. In this complex stew of industrial espionage are competing ad companies and the underground conservationist guerillas. The mystery moves along at a good clip although it sputters a bit towards the end.
Overall this book touches some deep issues along the lines of Aldous ('Brave New World') Huxley, and has a satiric (and weird) feel like the works of Philip K. ('Ubik') Dick. Certainly a minor classic in its own right.
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
He has been largely forgotten by the mainstream now, but C.M. (Cyril) Kornbluth was one of the giants of science fiction. He was just hitting his stride when cancer claimed him in 1958 at the age of 35. "The Space Merchants," a collaboration with the legendary Frederick Pohl, has been rated one of the seminal works in the entire field. A quick look at the logo-addicted styles of today will show you just how on-target Kornbluth and Pohl were four decades ago.
If you enjoy reading "The Space Merchants," I suggest you prowl the used-book stores for a copy of Kornbluth's "The Syndic," another satire.
Comment 6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Wow, what an over-rated book!
Yes, the first third of the book is a wonderful lenses of the future (though written in 1952) to view our current culture. Cynical (a common word used in other reviews) views are presented on the two main topics of corporate America and American consumerism (again, remember this was written in 1952)! In this point it was a visionary novel. Then the novel morphed itself into a rambling story of class struggle from being kicked down to the filth of lower class and having to prove oneself to work ones way back up the ranks. This middle third could be seen as another cynical view of class struggle, workers' rights or corporate greed. However, all of this simply dissolves when the last third of the book comes into light... or rather into darkness. Characters constantly pop-up, are gone again and up again in a jumble of plot points and twists ranging from New York to the moon. In this, the entire breadth of cynicism is lost and everything Pohl worked for in the first two-thirds is buried under the incoherence.
1 Comment 8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"The Space Merchants" is one of those science fiction novels that succeeds as social criticism and political satire even though its literary merits are slim. On the negative side, the book has flat characters, ridiculous plot twists, and not one cool scientific idea. Even worse, the story races from scene to scene, never fully imagining the world it tries to create. But in the context of the era in which it was written -- the insane McCarthyite 1950s -- "The Space Merchants" was surely a subversive bombshell. It depicts a crazy 23rd century world in the grip of Big Business and market fundamentalism: ad agencies brainwash the public, private companies own Senate seats, conservationists are hunted down like Reds, and food is laced with opium (the better to build brand loyalty). "The Space Merchants" had a lot of anger hidden beneath its irreverent humor. It must have prompted smart teenagers to think about the warped social values of capitalist America in the 1950s. Smart teenagers will still enjoy it today.
Comment 16 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Space Merchants
This item: The Space Merchants
Price: $13.64
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com