The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

This novel, first published in Swedish, depicts a polluted future world dominated by crass commercialism. The main character struggles to make a living in the corrupt advertising profession. This world’s economy is unfortunately dependent on a bored oil sheik who plays games with the international financial market.

Sam Lundwall’s novel opens in Stockholm, Sweden, where the reader witnesses a wedding in a department store. The wedding is televised, accompanied by subliminal advertising. Only the salespeople have transmitters that shield them from the flood of advertising. One of the salespeople steps on the foot of a young woman, who runs out of the store when she suddenly comes back to her senses. That woman turns out to be Anniki Norijn, whose claim to fame was that she was the first Swedish baby born in the year 2000. She is also one of the people not listed anywhere in the extensive network of computers; her name was lost by the computer system. That means that she was not exposed to the controls of the government. This lack of a proper identity forced her into becoming an unofficial prostitute because she could not use the official system of credit-exchange.

Society has forgotten about the first Swedish baby of the new millennium, but Leonard W. Kockenbergh, Jr., the director of the Inter-Ad advertising company, has plans to use her in his latest campaign for Yonston’s new armpit cream. It is his intent to promote the product as a...

(The entire section is 593 words.)