The Cartels Jungle

Cover image for


Author: Irving E. Cox
Published: 1955
Language: English
Wordcount: 16,020 / 54 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,686
Added to site: 2010.03.17 27033

In most ideally conceived Utopias the world as it exists is depicted as a mushrooming horror of maladjustment, cruelty and crime. In this startlingly original short novel that basic premise is granted, but only to pave the way for an approach to Utopia over a highway of the mind so daringly unusual we predict you'll forget completely that you're embarking on a fictional excursion into the future by one of the most gifted writers in the field. And that forgetfulness will be accompanied by the startling realization that Irving E. Cox has a great deal more than a storyteller's magic to impart.

Show Excerpt

odds, he would have put her adjustment index on a par with his own.

"I haven't seen Ann for a month," she told him.

"Where is she? My last micropic from her said something about a commission-job--"

"She's all right, Max. Did you join the U.F.W.?"

"I'll be damned if I will."

Why had she asked him that? Her question seemed totally unrelated to her reassurance as to Ann--another clear symptom of her emotional unbalance.

"About Ann, Mrs. Ames," he persisted. "Do you know what clinic gave her the commission?"

Mrs. Ames stared at him in surprise. "Ann didn't tell you in her micropic?"

"We use a personal code," he explained. "That makes a certain type of communication extremely difficult."

"I didn't see her, Max. After she took the commission some men came for her things. They brought me a note from Ann, but it didn't tell me where she was. It just authorized the men to move out her belongings."

"Is the work outside of Los Angeles? Do you know tha


Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***
Lisa Carr

The author does a great job of building up tension on an Earth that is controlled by two huge cartels--corporations. In its way, the world is every bit as dismal as the movie Bladerunner.
A space captain cashes in his commission and sets out looking for his girlfriend, who has turned up missing. The search makes him very unpopular.
It's a good yarn until the end when an unprotected powerplant, Venusian crystal, and a blaster-wielding shrink make the conclusion too pat.
A couple of details date the story: the typewriter, and the lack of cameras on every corner, but they don't intrude. It's just too bad the author didn't have a better ending.


Not bad an action SF novelette, pulpily compressed. Would have been worth of a longer treatment.

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