RIP, science fiction grand master Frederik Pohl


Frederik Pohl’s obit in the NY Times:

Many of the posts on Pohl’s blog were rough drafts of sections of an updated edition of The Way the Future Was, his autobiography. There were bits about his meeting Elizabeth Anne Hull, his military experience, and his “discovery” of various writers, including Jack Vance and Samuel Delaney.

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A third legend, that the city was obliterated in a nuclear conflict, has been conclusively disproved by phase-analysis methods based on a study of human psychological traits as reconstructed from surviving documents. Clearly they were crazy, but no race could be *that* crazy.

Hail and farewell, Mr. Pohl.

I loved the Gateway series because one whole book was spent on him getting psychotherapy. And it helped!

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The last post on his blog says that his family will continue posting for some time from the “thick file” of items he intended to put up.

I think he would be pleased by the idea that he will continue to write for some considerable time after his own cremation.

I had the great fortune to meet him in 2011. As it says in his obit, he was very active in his community - which is where I live. I remember back in high school reading Gateway and loving it. When I got to the end, and read the about the author section (yes, someone reads those), I found out he lived in my own town! He was even in the phone book! However, I was terrified of being some sort of stalker, so I never acted upon it.

Fast forward 21 years later, I met him at our local library. I told him this story and he told me I should have stopped by. He said he loved when people talked to him about his writing, and that was why he was listed in the directory! Despite being fairly ill at the time, and having recently had a nasty fall that left him with a large cut on his balding head, he was spry and quick witted. I sheepishly got his autograph and a picture to remember the moment. I was even showing the picture to my kids a few months ago, sharing with them my enjoyment at meeting such a distinguished writer.

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