I am saddened to learn of the passing of Frederick Pohl, one of the titans of science fiction that profoundly shaped the genre both as an author and an editor. I’ve read Pohl’s brilliant work over the years; the most memorable of his novels for me were the Heechee series, Jem, Man Plus, and Black Star Rising.
Frederik Pohl was born November 26, 1919 in New York City. He was one of the earliest SF fans, attending the first SF convention in Philadelphia in 1936. He attended Brooklyn Tech, but dropped out without a high school degree. From 1939 to 1943, he worked as an editor in charge of new magazines Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories.
After serving in World War II, he became a literary agent and represented many of America’s top SF writers. In the ’50s, he returned to both writing and editing, producing his first novels in collaboration with C.M. Kornbluth, beginning with the early classic The Space Merchants. He went of to edit Galaxy, If, and do a bunch of other stuff that elevated and shaped science fiction for over 70 years. He won Hugo and Nebula awards for editing and writing and in 1977 his novel Gateway swept the awards, winning the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. He was named a SFWA Grand Master in 1992.
RIP Frederik Pohl. Your mark on science fiction literature is indelible. Your influence and memory will shine on as brightly as a supernova.