Frederik Pohl, blogger

Frederik Pohl, an 89-year-old living science fiction legend, has started a blog. It's charming, slightly cranky, filled with fascinating reminiscences, and altogether great. I've met Pohl on several occasions and he's a twinkle-eyed, sharp gent, just the sort of person you could imagine co-authoring such classics as The Space Merchants. Here he is on Arthur C Clarke:
I first met Arthur C. Clarke in the 1950s, on the occasion of his first cross-Atlantic visit to New York City By then Arthur had established himself as a first-rate science-fiction writer and he did what sf writers do in a strange city: He looked for other sf writers to talk to.

He found them in the rather amorphously shaped group that called itself the Hydra Club, where I was one of the nine heads that had been its founders. We became friends. We stayed that way for all of the half century that remained of Arthur’s life. We met when chance arranged it – at a film festival in Rio de Janeiro, at an occasional scientific meeting, at assorted “cons” – sf-speak for science-fiction gatherings – in many places at many times.

In the early days Arthur spent a lot of time visiting New York, usually staying at the Chelsea Hotel on West 23d Street, and when possible I would join him for dinner or a drink – that was all expense-account money and happily paid for by my publisher, because I was an editor in those days and eager to publish as much Clarke as I could get my hands on. But by the turn of the millennium our friendship had reduced itself to a desultory correspondence and the odd phone conversation. I had given up editing to concentrate on my own writing. What Arthur had given up was ever leaving his island home in Sri Lanka, where I had never been. (Although I visited a number of other countries, Sri Lanka wasn’t one of them.)

The Way the Future Blogs: Frederik Pohl (via Making Light


  1. Cool! I loved THE COMING OF THE QUANTUM CATS, and am currently reading THE DAY THE MARTIANS CAME. I will check both links out.

  2. Pohl is a name I haven’t heard in awhile. Despite not being too interested in sci-fi stuff, I did chance upon his Heechee saga and ended up reading it all. I can still vaguely remember checking-out Gateway from the school library, then going through all of them, one by one. Pohl is an excellent author, and it’s cool that he would write a blog and connect with his audience like this.

  3. Huh? Frederick Pohl is ALIVE?
    Soon you’ll be telling me Abe Vigoda’s alive.
    (There’s a little Firefox plugin somewhere that gives you a constant readout telling you AV’s status as a living being.)

  4. Pohl is best known for the Gateway stuff, but y’all should check out the books he wrote with Cyril Kornbluth.

    And man, also, especially, the short-short “Day Million.” A posthuman love story between a cyborg space pilot and a prenatally transgendered otter-woman, with arch commentary about the rate of progress.

    Last time I met Pohl, I suggested that “Day Million” was the first SF story about the Singularity.

    Then I had to explain the Singularity.

    He thought it was utter horseshit.

  5. Man Plus. I read a bit in Fantasy & Science Fiction. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Fred Pohl staying at the same hotel that Sid ‘n’ Nancy would years later.

    It’s not so hard on second thought.

    Long may he wave.

  6. Wow!

    I have great memories of random elevator conversations with him in the 80s and early 90s at various cons.

    A legend and a fantastic author. I’ll definitely be following his blog!!!

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