Sunday, June 6, 2010

Paperback 322: The Syndic / Cyril M. Kornbluth (Bantam 1317)

Paperback 322: Bantam 1317 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Syndic
Author: Cyril M. Kornbluth
Cover artist: uncredited (I want it to be Richard Powers, but who knows?)

Yours for: $13


Best things about this cover:
  • "Are we not men? We are DEVO!"
  • In the background, generic scifi cover ... but in the foreground: Dirk Studly models his Kanye3000 spex and his real boss new flashlight holder.
  • I love this guy. The cover dies without him. "I'm here to rescue your cover, ma'am. Don't worry."
  • "Syndic?" The "-ate" was just too much of a mouthful? I am pronouncing this title "The Sin Dick," and hope you do the same.

Best things about this back cover:
  • More outrageous exclamation point action. Love it! Start with a timid "Tomorrow?" and end with a big fucking exclamation point slamming down on your cover: "Hell yes, tomorrow!"
  • Oooh, the "twenty-first century" ... I'm going to look out my window now and there better be little people running frantically through sand pits, away from a dystopic city and toward their badass, flashlight-wielding savior, or I'm going to feel very ripped off.

Page 123~

"I'm Ken Oliver, a figure man in the Blue Department, Picasso Oils and Etchings Corporation. Dr. Latham sent me here for—what do you call it?—a biopsy."

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

12 comments:

Katie said...

Who's up for a game of machine-gun-jeep polo?

Tulse said...

Yep, Katie, machine-gun jeep polo sounds pretty damned awesome to me. Then again, I'm from the twenty-first century.

Deb said...

Is there a more disspiriting author's name than Cyril M. Kornbluth? It sounds like the creation of a writer who wants to communicate that the character is dull, dull, deadly dull.

undyingking said...

A syndic is a member of a syndicate. This novel is about just one of them. The coolest one.

Rex Parker said...

Hey look, commenters. I knew y'all would come back around if I just kept at it. "If you build it ..."

If machine gun jeep polo is an ageless passion, then why is everyone in my neighborhood still playing polo on horseback and using their machine-gun jeeps only for getting to work and taking the kids to school?

Tulse said...

Because, silly, the corporate apocalypse of The Running Man/Rollerball/Idiocracy hasn't happened yet. Give it time...

Xerxes Iguana said...

Oh to have a time machine, go back to 1955 and tell the cover artist "I'm from the 21st century ... you got the sunglasses right!"

Rick said...

The artist for this one certainly appears to be the artist for the late 50s Signet editions of Robert Heinlein's REVOLT IN 2100 and THE MAN WHO SOLD THE MOON, among others.
Were those Richard Powers', Rex?

capewood said...

I've read a number of books by C. M. Kornbluth. I never know his first name was Cyril.

Ah, the 21st century. According to all the science fiction I read in the '60s. we should be living in glass domes on the moon. What went wrong?

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David C. Matthews said...

We may not have machine-gun jeep polo yet, but hey, we're only 9 1/2 years into the 21st century, give it time. We've gotten a good start on the dystopian cities...

Xerxes Iguana said...

And in breaking news ... Lindsay Lohan snapped wearing the Syndic Sunglasses!