The Space Merchants (8/10) by Kyle Vernier


The Space Merchants is a sci-fi classic about an advertising copywriter, Mitch,  in a future where advertisers essentially rule the world. The lowest classes, consumers, scim proteins off scum ponds to feed a giant ever growing blob called Chicken Little. Chicken little is constantly having chunks sliced off its body to be used as meat.  Mitch is eventually caught up in s double cross linked to the Consies, a conservationist organization who the corporate world view as terrorists, and a competing ad firm. 

The Space Merchants feels a lot like Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano. Also it was clearly a huge inspiration for M.T Anderson's Feed. 

The Dain Curse (****) by Kyle Vernier


I've now read all of Hammett's novels. It isn't a huge feat, there are only five. Still, it was fun.

I don't think this one gets enough recognition. The structure is weird. Probably because it was serialized before being printed as a whole novel. But it kind of has it all; ghosts, religious cults, bumbling police, mad scientists, diamond thieves, a girl with elf ears. Everything. I liked it.