Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth created a masterpiece in the writing of ‘The Space Merchants’ a science fiction novel written in the early 1950’s in New York.
‘The Space Merchants’ tells the story of Mitchell Courtenay, a senior advertising executive at Fowler Schlocken Associates, one of the worlds largest advertising companies. In goes without saying that the satire and tongue-in-cheek references to corporate power structures are accurate renditions of real-life ones. Even though it was written in 1950 the story has become true in a number of ways and this novel is essential reading amongst other soothsayers such as ‘Catch 22’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984’.
One theme that is particularly memorable is ‘Chicken Little’ – a reference to meat grown in a vat for human consumption:
Scum-skimming wasn’t hard to learn. You got up at dawn. You gulped a breakfast sliced not long ago from Chicken Little and washed it down with Coffiest. You put on your coveralls and took the cargo net up to your tier. In blazing noon from sunrise to sunset you walked your acres of shallow tanks crusted with algae. If you walked slowly, every thirty seconds or so you spotted a patch at maturity, bursting with yummy carbohydrates. You skimmed the patch with your skimmer and slung it down the well, where it would be baled, or processed into glucose to feed Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.