Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Frederik Pohl RIP

Frederik Pohl, that giant of science fiction writing, has died in hospital, having suffered from respiratory problems, aged 93 (CLICK). Not only was he a famous author, but also a magazine and book editor and literary agent, helping to launch the careers of sci-fi novelists such as Fritz Leiber, John Wyndham, James Blish, Larry Niven and Isaac Asimov. He regarded his own novel Gateway (1977) as his greatest work. It won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, the Locus Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and spurred a number of sequels. It's central idea, that of playing Russian roulette with the unknown destinations of an advanced race the Heechee, no doubt inspired the hit movie Stargate and the long-running TV series Stargate SG-1. It also introduced its protagonist to therapy by a computerised psychiatrist, a futuristic idea which is now coming to fruition. Shown is Boris Vallejo's cover art for the first edition of Frederik Pohl's Gateway, published by St Martin's Press in 1977. The same artwork was used for the Del Ray paperback (cover shown) also published in 1977.


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