In 1954, Galaxy and Simon & Schuster ran a contest inviting science fiction readers to write a novel. The winning novel would be serialized in Galaxy and then published in hardcover by Simon & Schuster. Well, a year went by and the editors at Galaxy and Simon & Schuster determined that none of submitted novels were worth publishing. They approached Lester del Rey and Frederik Pohl to write an acceptable “winning” entry. That’s how Preferred Risk by the pseudonymous “Edson McCann” came to be published. It’s the story of a future world run by The Company, an insurance agency. If you’ve read any of the C. M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl sociological SF novels like Gladiator-at-Law where the world is run by law firms, you’ll know what you’re in for. Preferred Risk doesn’t compare with classics like The Space Merchants, where advertising agencies run the world, but I found reading it great nostalgic fun. And, I love the wrap-around Richard Powers’ cover!