Frederik Pohl 1919-2013

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Frederik Pohl 1919-2013

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Editado: Set 3, 2013, 1:43 am

His grand-daughter Emily Pohl-Weary posted this earlier today:

"Rest in peace to my grandfather Frederik Pohl, who showed me by example how to be an author: consistent hard work, honing your curiosity, finding a balance between public and private life, and sheer persistence. He is much loved. 1919-2013."

Set 2, 2013, 5:04 pm

A major loss, especially as Pohl's work was informed by a very strong social conscience.

Set 2, 2013, 5:21 pm

Sad news.

Set 2, 2013, 5:37 pm

One of the giants in the field who didn't just write great stuff but helped shape the careers of a lot of authors.

Set 2, 2013, 5:52 pm

very sad ... one of the leading lights in the field has passed

Set 2, 2013, 8:50 pm

Yeah, back in the day, Pohl's editorship of Worlds of If was a big influence, both on the field and on my own taste. When he was good, he was one of the best the field could offer. I saw him briefly at a con, and I'm glad I got the chance to thank him in person.

When people ask me "What's good?", I sometimes point them to one of the few books to have won the field's "Triple Crown" (the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel; oh, and in this case, also the Locus Award for Best SF Novel): Pohl's Gateway.

Set 3, 2013, 12:40 am

I know he was a grandfather of SF but I never really read him....he and AC Clarke are similar in that they can be quite cerebral in their writing and when I tried reading his books in my teens that was a way over my head and I guess it stuck with me later in life .... that and confusing his many with Pohl Anderson who I do like.

What are the favourite books of Fredrick Pohl in this group so I can rediscover him?

Set 3, 2013, 1:45 am

I'm a huge fan of the whole Heechee Saga, first of which is the incomparable Gateway. I also really loved the Eschaton Sequence, starting with The Other End of Time. The writing is always excellent, but the ideas are mind-blowing and will stay with you for a very long time.

Set 3, 2013, 5:56 am

I managed to meet him many years ago and got a few of my books signed. He had a great impact on my love for SF.

Editado: Set 3, 2013, 7:34 am

Lynxear >7 Lynxear:,

The thing about Pohl is that since he had such a long career, there are many great stories. From his earlier years, I suggest the short stories in the earlier collections, e.g. The Man Who Ate the World and The Case Against Tomorrow. I don't know how many of these stories show up in the later retrospective collections like Platinum Pohl. The Space Merchants, with C. M. Kornbluth, recently appeared in the 1950s sf omnibus from the Library of America, and properly so. Jem is a darker vision of human depravity. The novella "Stoppping at Slowyear" is about what we do to improve our own situation regardless of what that does to others. If you prefer lighter, sense-of-wonder sf adventure to the social satire he was known for, his collaborations with Jack Williamson, e.g. The Reefs of Space and Farthest Star, are a great deal of fun (both of these are the first books of series). The Age of the Pussyfoot more-or-less predicted the smartphone, although my iPhone does not dispense mood-altering drugs.

I've never actually read a bad Pohl story, though I suppose there must be some.

Editado: Set 3, 2013, 8:39 am

Should have said: but per tottman, start with Gateway, if you're only planning to read one Pohl. Combines sf and introspective human drama as few novels ever have.

Set 3, 2013, 11:16 am

One of the key influences in my development as a reader. Sad to see him go.

Set 3, 2013, 1:53 pm

7> I believe he once said he would like his "Day Million" carved on his tombstone. That's a good, short place to start. It's perhaps the first Singularity story.

Set 3, 2013, 11:16 pm

I know it's not as important as The Space Merchants, or as popular as Gateway, but I retain a special fondness for Wolfbane, written with Cyril Kornbluth. It's gotten a bit creaky in tone (so have many of his), but remains a striking story, and has interesting ideas. I think it might have been one of the earliest SF stories in which humans are fully integrated with computer systems: a sort of proto-cyberpunk.

Set 4, 2013, 6:58 am

rshart3 >14 rshart3:,

Seconded! Wolfbane's a fabulous story.

Set 5, 2013, 10:08 pm

Well I went to my local used bookstore and found Pohlstars...which is a group of short stories described as "New vistas, wild visions and outrageous villainies" and the book is true to that description. I really liked We Purchased People...there seems to be a bit of the dirty old man in least in this book...nothing graphic but lots of hints and innuendo. "Second Coming" is pretty funny...cannot say much as the story is only 3-4 pages long.

Yeah...think I will read a lot more of Pohl....

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