Thursday, September 5, 2013 — Frederik Pohl, 1919–2013

Frederik Pohl (middle) in 1938

Fred­erik Pohl (mid­dle) in 1938

Frederik Pohl in 1968

Fred­erik Pohl in 1968

To remain cul­tur­al­ly rel­e­vant for sev­en­ty-six years is a rare accom­plish­ment for any writer. Fred­erik Pohl’s career as a pro­fes­sion­al writer began in 1937, and end­ed this last Mon­day with his death. His last pub­lished nov­el was in 2011, and he was work­ing on a sec­ond vol­ume of auto­bi­og­ra­phy when he died. His blog, The Way the Future Blogs, was one of my favourites on the web in recent years — and his sto­ries and nov­els were among my favourites when I was grow­ing up. He found new read­ers with each decade of his long career. His influ­ence as an edi­tor was equal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. The field of Sci­ence Fic­tion owes much to him, though he was nev­er a flashy atten­tion-get­ter, nev­er the sub­ject of a per­son­al­i­ty cult. At SF con­ven­tions, he remained just a fan, some­one to chat with ami­ably at a par­ty, who did not care whether you were a big shot or a pim­ply teenag­er. I can vouch for that from per­son­al expe­ri­ence. Ascer­bic wit co-exist­ed with gen­tle­ness and human­i­ty in his demeanor. He was, as they used to say on the stage, “a class act.”

13-09-05 BLOG Frederik Pohl recent

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