Frederik Pohl, one of our oldest living science fiction masters, died on September 2. I was privileged to know Fred for more than twenty years, and looked up to him as a writer and colleague (I was honored to contribute the story "Chicken Little" to Gateways, an anthology in Fred's honor, which also included work by Neil Gaiman, Gene Wolfe, Vernor Vinge, Harry Harrison, Joe Haldeman, and many others).
Pohl was an active figure in science fiction right up until the day of his death -- literally. He updated his blog mere hours before he went. That blog, by the way, won him the Hugo award for Best Fan Writer, which went alongside his Hugos for best novel (for Gateway), and the Hugos won by Galaxy magazine under his editorship. It's no coincidence that he was celebrated as a writer, an editor and a fan -- Pohl covered all the bases in the field. The Space Merchants, a satirical novel co-written with Cyril Kornbluth, remains one of my favorite novels of all time -- a trenchant and hilarious commentary on mass commodification and the human cost of using markets as the sole arbiter of worth.
My most sincere condolences to his family and friends, especially his granddaughter Emily Pohl-Weary, his daughter Ann Pohl, and his wife Elizabeth Anne Hull. Fred will be sorely missed.
(Image: The Way the Future Blogs)
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