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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Transreal Fiction is a shop dedicated to selling science fiction, fantasy & related books, together with a limited selection of other merchandise.But really, it’s about books. Transreal Fiction opened in April 1997 in Cowgatehead and moved to it’s present location nearby in June 2011. The owner, Mike Calder, first sold sf & f books many years ago and has worked in the business either part- or full-time since. For years he also had a respectable job as well, but that’s another story…
The shop is named after the term coined by Rudy Rucker to describe his fiction and I thought it an apt name for a shop specialising in speculative fiction. And, in case you’re wondering, yes, Rudy Rucker was happy to allow me to use of the term as a name for my shop.
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