Ben Marcus claimed new territory for the short story with "The Grow-Light Blues" in the June 22 New Yorker. The story pushed beyond the usual young love gone awry in Brooklyn theme to examine the start-up economy and its new forms of employee abuse. With satirical sharpness, "The Grow-Light Blues: takes aim at today's corporate ethos of efficiency and utility at all costs to human sensibility. That philosophy is at the center of the Republican presidential agenda.
After a brilliant depiction of a company that's a nightmarish version of Apple or Google, Marcus falters with a conventional ending. The overall thrust of the story remains strong.