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Harvey Jacobs

By / September 30, 2017 / no comments

On the same day that Kit Reed died, we also learned of the death of Harvey Jacobs, also, it would seem, from a brain tumor. He was 87.

Beautiful Soup   Side Effects   American Goliath: Inspired by the True, Incredible Events

Jacobs was a writer mostly known for his comic satires of near-future urban American life. Beautiful Soup, for instance, tells the story of an ordinary man who is accidentally imprinted with the barcode of a tin of soup, and as a consequence loses his official identity. The comic consequences of a little man coming up against the might of a cold and impersonal society is also at the heart of Side Effects, in which the protagonist is given a wonder drug that has bizarre and unexpected side effects, consequently he is given another wonder drug which has a new set of side effects, so he needs yet another new drug, and so on. In the end he becomes a threat to the pharmaceutical industry and so faces execution. The often bawdy wit of Jacobs is also evident in his non-sf novel, American Goliath, about a 19th century American who set out to prove that there had once been giants on the Earth.

The Egg of the Glak: and other storiesJacobs’s black humour is often best displayed in his short stories, a regular feature in, for instance, New Worlds magazine, which have been gathered in two collections, The Egg of the Glak and My Rose & My Glove.

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