Transreal Fiction

Scotland’s sf & fantasy bookstore

Frederik Pohl 1919 – 2013

The last of a great generation of sf authors has died, aged 93.

Over the decades he wrote some great fiction, but his parallel career in editing was very influential as well and helped transform the field. He also wrote non-fiction, not least his auto-biographical books and latterly his website reminiscences about all sorts of corners and little-remembered niches of genre publishing.

I don’t know when I first read him but it was almost certainly back in the late 1960s. Either something he co-wrote, like The Space Merchants (with C. M. Kornbluth), or more likely various short stories.
I do know the first book of his I actually bought was the collection Gold at the Starbow’s End in 1972, which included a story I liked a lot called The Merchants of Venus (groan!) which 15 years on I recognised was the original story Gateway and it’s sequels sprang from!
The first novel I bought was Gladiator-at-Law a couple of years later in 1974 and I continued to read most of his new work, and dip into more of his back catalogue including his classic collaborations with C. M. Kornbluth and Jack Williamson.

I’ve not read it, but his final novel, two years ago, was All the Lives He Led, which seems like a fitting note to end on for a man with such an influential career in so many ways.

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September 3, 2013 - Posted by | Author News

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