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Mead, Shepherd

Entry updated 15 April 2020. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US author Edward Mead (1914-1994), in either Switzerland or the UK after 1957; he worked in advertising before turning to writing, and was active in various genres. Satire and comedy combine in most of his works, most pointedly in his best-known work, the nonfantastic mock instructional manual, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1952), for the staged version of which he shared a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony. Satire also permeates his sf and fantasy novels: The Magnificent MacInnes (1949; vt The Sex Machine: (The Magnificent MacInnes): A Ribald Novel 1950), in which consumer society is satirized through the story of an electronic device that can make Predictions of personal preferences; The Big Ball of Wax: A Story of Tomorrow's Happy World (1954), in which Madison Avenue techniques are applied to corrupt a device that permits people to enter vicariously into the lives of others, a technique whose potential for good is subverted into a kind of feelie; and The Carefully Considered Rape of the World: A Novel About the Unspeakable (1966), in which Aliens artificially inseminate Earth females. [JC/PN]

see also: Leisure; Media Landscape.

Edward Mead

born St Louis, Missouri: 26 April 1914

died London: 15 August 1994

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