The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl
In an over-populated future, Mitch Courtenay follows fame and fortune as one of the best ad copywriters in the solar system. But how does one sell products on worlds were resources are scarce but the desire to consume products is overwhelming? A dark and unflinchingly hilarious look at the uniquely American invention of advertising as religion. It’s a compressed little epic that is topical and timeless like the best satirical works of Kurt Vonnegut.
The Complete Roderick by John Sladek
A young robot learns about humanity by watching television shows and commercials while being adopted by an elderly Kansas couple, but his quest to become fully human is put to the test by the inhumanity of the world around him. Cutting social commentary and witty dialogue makes this a classic of the genre and a must-read for Vonnegut (again!) fans and
Kingdom Come by JG Ballard
An advertising exec down on his luck becomes obsessed with his father’s killer after the man is released from police custody without being charged in this dystopia that explores the decayed and decadent life of suburbia in the near-future. It’s Ballard so you know it’s going to be a) weird and b) awesome. Hypnotically readable with a twisty narrative that will make you absolutely woozy with tension.
Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan
The executives of Shorn Associates manufacture war and sell it to the highest bidder as well as the public. Life isn’t much better for the execs themselves in a world where human life is privatized and profitized and the employees of these high paying jobs have car chases to the death for coveted promotions. Though the initial concept of this book takes some suspension of disbelief, once you let Morgan’s cynical world-building wash over you it’s impossible not to get swept away in his decadent morality play.