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Friday, September 6, 2013

Inspirational SF writer and editor dies

I was saddened to read that Frederik Pohl has passed away

Not only was a great science fiction writer, but he was a fine editor, too, one who encouraged new talent.  When I was in my late teens, he did me the honor of accepting a short story of mine -- and paid me $50 US for it, which was a munificent sum, at the time.

Frederik Pohl, born 1919 in New York City, was one of the earliest SF fans, attending the first SF conference in Philadelphia in 1936, and was one of the founders of the Futurians and the Hydra Club. He served in the Italian theaters of World War II and afterward became a literary agent, representing many of America's top SF writers. In the '50s he went back to writing and editing, producing his first novels in collaboration with C.M. Kornbluth, beginning with classic The Space Merchants (1953) and continuing with Search the Sky (1954), Gladiator-at-Law (1955), and Wolfbane (1959). He also collaborated with Jack Williamson and Lester del Rey.

Pohl's solo novels include Slave Ship (1957); Drunkard's Walk (1960); A Plague of Pythons (1965); The Age of the Pussyfoot (1969); Nebula winner Man Plus (1976); and Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial award winner Gateway (1977), which began his Heechee series and was followed by Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980), Heechee Rendezvous (1984), Annals of the Heechee (1987), The Gateway Trip (1990), and The Boy Who Would Live Forever (2004).

An influential editor, Pohl edited Ballantine's original anthology series Star Science Fiction in the ’50s. In the ’60s, he edited SF magazines Galaxy and If, and in the ’70s he was executive editor at Ace, then SF editor at Bantam. He won Hugo awards for editing in 1966, '67, and '68 and a Retro Hugo for best professional editor of 1953 in 2004. 

Read a full literary biography HERE

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