Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, Space Merchants

Earlier this week, Grandmaster Frederik Pohl passed away at the age of 93. He’s the last of a major generation in the genre, and was a legendary contributor to science fiction from every possible direction. It’s a great loss for Science Fiction.

I’d been wanting to write about Pohl and Kornbluth’s novel The Space Merchants ever since I picked up the book a couple of years ago. I blew through it, and loved every word – it, for the most part, holds up just as well in 2013 as it seems to have back in 1953.

Go read Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, Space Merchants over on Kirkus Reviews.

Sources used:

  • Trillion Year Spree: Brian Aldiss: Aldiss’s work has some good contextual information in brief about The Space Merchants, its publication and its reception.
  • New Maps of Hell, Kingsley Amis: Amis writes that TSM is one of the best SF novels written to date, and talks a bit about the story in his genre survey.
  • Science Fiction Writers: Second Edition, Richard Bleiler: This book has a good overview of C.M. Kornbluth’s life, and it helped me fill in some details about his participation.
  • The Futurians: The Story of the Great Science Fiction Family of the 30’s That Produced Today’s Top SF Writers and Editors, Damon Knight: This book focuses on the Futurians as a whole, and there’s some good details about these two authors here.
  • The Way the Future Was, Frederik Pohl: When in doubt, primary sources are good, and Pohl talks extensively about the subject here.
  • The Way the Future Blogs, Frederik Pohl: Pohl’s blog provided some good information on his military service, and a bit on Kornbluth.
  • Survey of Science Fiction Literature, Frank Magill: This volume provides a good summary and critical review of TSM.
  • The Faces of Science Fiction, Patti Perret: I’ve been waiting to use this book: it’s a photography book about SF authors, and I found Pohl’s quite particularly enlightening.
  • American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels, 1953-1956, edited by Gary K. Wolfe: And, of course, the source book. The LOA books also provide an excellent biographical thumbnail.
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