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Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl at the 2008 UCR J. Lloyd Eaton Science Fiction Conference
Born November 26, 1919 (1919-11-26) (age 90)
Pen name Cyril Judd, Edson McCann, Jordan Park, Elton V. Andrews, Paul Fleur, Lee Gregor, Warren F. Howard, Scott Mariner, Ernst Mason, James McCreigh, Dirk Wilson, Donald Stacy, James MacCreigh
Occupation Novelist, short story author, essayist, publisher, editor, literary agent
Nationality American
Genres Science fiction
Official website

Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (born November 26, 1919) is an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine if, winning the Hugo for if three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.

Contents

Early life and family

Pohl is the son of Frederik George Pohl (a salesman) and Anna Jane Pohl. Pohl Sr. held a number of jobs, and the Pohls lived in such wide-flung locations as Texas, California, New Mexico and the Panama Canal Zone. The family settled in Brooklyn when Pohl was around seven. He attended the prestigious Brooklyn Tech high school, but due to the Great Depression, Pohl dropped out of school at the age of 14 to work. It was not until 2009 that he was awarded an honorary diploma from Brooklyn Tech.[1]

While still a teenager, he co-founded the New York–based Futurians fan group, and began lifelong friendships with Donald Wollheim, Isaac Asimov, and others who would become important writers and editors.

During 1936, Pohl joined the Young Communist League because of its stands in favor of unions and against racial prejudice, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. He became president of the local Flatbush III Branch of the YCL in Brooklyn. Pohl has said that after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the party line changed and he could no longer support it, at which point he left.

Pohl has been married five times. His first wife, Leslie Perri, was another Futurian; they were married in August 1940 but divorced in 1944. He then married Dorothy LesTina in Paris in August 1945 while both were serving in Europe; the marriage ended in 1947. During 1948, he married Judith Merril; they divorced in 1952. From 1953–1983 he was married to Carol M. Ulf Stanton, with whom he collaborated on several books. Since 1984, he has been married to science fiction expert and academic Elizabeth Anne Hull, PhD.

He fathered five children: Ann (m. Walter Weary), Karen (m. Robert Dixon), Frederik III (deceased), Frederik IV and Kathy.[2] Grandchildren include writer Emily Pohl-Weary.

Since 1984, he has lived in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was previously a resident of Red Bank, New Jersey.

Career

Pohl's writing career began in the late 1930s. For the first fifteen years of his writing career, he used pseudonyms: Pohl's first published piece was a poem in the October, 1937 issue of Amazing Stories credited to "Elton Andrews."

From 1939 to 1943, Pohl was the editor of two pulp magazines - Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories.[3] Stories by Pohl often appeared in these magazines, but never under his own name. Work written in collaboration with Cyril M. Kornbluth was credited to S.D. Gottesman or Scott Mariner; other collaborative work (with any combination of Kornbluth, Dirk Wylie or Robert A.W. Lownes) was credited to Paul Dennis Lavond. For Pohl's solo work, stories were credited to James MacCreigh (or, for one story only, Warren F. Howard.)

In his autobiography, Pohl says that he stopped editing the two magazines at roughly the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Regardless, works by "Gottesman," "Lavond," and "MacCreigh" continued to appear in various SF pulp magazines throughout the 1940s.

During World War II, Pohl served in the U.S. Army from April 1943 until November 1945, rising to sergeant as an air corps weatherman. After training in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Colorado, he primarily was stationed in Italy.

Pohl started his career as a literary agent in 1937, but it was a sideline for him until after WWII, when he began doing it full time. He ended up "representing more than half the successful writers in science fiction"--for a short time, he was the only agent Isaac Asimov ever had—though, in the end it was a failure for him as his agenting business went bankrupt in the early 1950s.

Pohl began publishing material under his own name in the early 1950s. He collaborated with friend and fellow Futurian Cyril M. Kornbluth, co-authoring a number of short stories and several novels, including a dystopian satire of a world ruled by the advertising agencies, The Space Merchants (a belated sequel, The Merchants' War [1984] was written by Pohl alone, after Kornbluth's death). This should not to be confused with Pohl's The Merchants of Venus, an unconnected 1972 novella which includes biting satire on runaway free market capitalism and first introduced the Heechee.

Though the pen-names of "Gottesman", "Lavond" and "MacCreigh" were retired by the early 1950s, Pohl still occasionally used pseudonyms even after he began to publish work under his real name. These occasional pseudonyms, all of which date from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, included Charles Satterfield, Paul Flehr, Ernst Mason, Jordan Park (two collaborative novels with Kornbluth) and Edson McCann (one collaborative novel with Lester del Rey).

From the late 1950s until 1969, Pohl served as editor of Galaxy and if magazines, taking over at some point from the ailing H. L. Gold. Under his leadership, if won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine for 1966, 1967 and 1968.[4] Judy-Lynn del Rey was his assistant editor at Galaxy and if.

In the mid-1970s, Pohl acquired and edited novels for Bantam Books, published as "Frederik Pohl Selections"; the most notable were Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren and Joanna Russ's The Female Man. Also in the 1970s, Pohl reemerged as a novel writer in his own right, with books such as Man Plus and the Heechee series. He won back-to-back Nebula awards with Man Plus in 1976 and Gateway, the first Heechee novel, in 1977. Gateway also won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Two of his stories have also earned him Hugo awards: "The Meeting" (with Kornbluth) tied in 1973 and "Fermi and Frost" won in 1986. Another notable late novel is Jem (1980), winner of the National Book Award. Pohl continues to write and had a new story, "Generations", published in September 2005. A novel begun by Arthur C. Clarke called The Last Theorem was finished by Pohl and published on August 5, 2008.

His works include not only science fiction but also articles for Playboy and Family Circle. For a time, he was the official authority for the Encyclopædia Britannica on the subject of Emperor Tiberius. (He wrote a book on the subject of Tiberius, as "Ernst Mason".)

A number of his short stories were notable for a satirical look at consumerism and advertising in the 1950s and 1960s: "The Wizards of Pung's Corners," where flashy, over-complex military hardware proved useless against farmers with shotguns, and "The Tunnel Under the World," where an entire community of seeming-humans is held captive by advertising researchers. ("The Wizards.." was freely translated into Chinese and then freely translated back into English as "The Wizard-Masters of Peng-Shi Angle" in the first edition of Pohlstars (1984)).

He was a frequent guest on Long John Nebel's radio show, from the 1950s to the early 1970s.

He was the eighth President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, taking office in 1974.

He is a member of the all-male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group of mystery solvers the Black Widowers.

Pohl has been announced as the recipient of the second Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the University of California, Riverside.[5]

Works

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Series

Undersea Trilogy (with Jack Williamson)

  1. Undersea Quest (1954)
  2. Undersea Fleet (1956)
  3. Undersea City (1958)

Heechee

  1. Gateway (1977) -- Nebula winner, 1977;[6] Hugo, Campbell and Locus SF winner, 1978 [7]
  2. Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980) - Nebula and British SF Awards nominee, 1980; Hugo and Locus Awards nominee, 1981
  3. Heechee Rendezvous (1984) -- Locus SF Award nominee, 1985 [8]
  4. Annals of the Heechee (1987)
  5. The Gateway Trip (1990)
  6. The Boy Who Would Live Forever: A Novel of Gateway (2004) -- Campbell Award nominee, 2005 [9]

Eschaton trilogy

  1. The Other End of Time (1996)
  2. The Siege of Eternity (1997)
  3. The Far Shore of Time (1999)

Mars

  1. Man Plus (1976) -- Nebula Award winner, 1976;[10] Hugo, Campbell, and Locus Awards nominee, 1977[6]
  2. Mars Plus (1994) (with Thomas T. Thomas)

Saga of Cuckoo (with Jack Williamson)

  1. Farthest Star (1975)
  2. Wall Around A Star (1983)

Starchild Trilogy (with Jack Williamson)

  1. The Reefs of Space (1964)
  2. Starchild (1965)
  3. Rogue Star (1969)

Space Merchants

  1. The Space Merchants (1953) (with Cyril M. Kornbluth)
  2. The Merchants' War (1984)
  3. Venus, Inc. (1985) Omnibus of the 2 novels (published by the SFBC)

Other novels (not part of a series)

Collections

  • Alternating Currents (1956)
    • "Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus," (original here)
    • "The Ghost Maker," 1954
    • "Let the Ants Try," 1949
    • "Pythias," 1955
    • "The Mapmakers," 1955
    • "Rafferty’s Reasons," 1955
    • "Target One," 1955
    • "Grandy Devil," 1955
    • "The Tunnel Under the World," 1955
    • "What to Do Until the Analyst Comes [“Everybody’s Happy But Me!”]," 1956
  • The Case Against Tomorrow (1957)
    • "The Midas Plague," 1954
    • "The Census Takers," 1956
    • "The Candle Lighter," 1955
    • "The Celebrated No-Hit Inning," 1956
    • "Wapshot’s Demon," 1956
    • "My Lady Green Sleeves," 1957
  • Tomorrow Times Seven (1959)
    • "The Haunted Corpse," 1957
    • "The Middle of Nowhere," 1955
    • "The Gentle Venusian [“The Gentlest Unpeople”]," 1958
    • "The Day of the Boomer Dukes," 1956
    • "Survival Kit," 1957
    • "The Knights of Arthur," 1958
    • "To See Another Mountain," 1959
  • The Man Who Ate the World (1960)
    • "The Man Who Ate the World," 1956
    • "The Wizards of Pung's Corners," 1959
    • "The Waging of the Peace," 1959
    • "The Snowmen," 1959
    • "The Day the Icicle Works Closed," 1959
  • Turn Left At Thursday (1961)
    • "Mars by Moonlight," 1958
    • "The Richest Man in Levittown [“The Bitterest Pill”]," 1959
    • "The Seven Deadly Virtues," 1958
    • "The Martian in the Attic," 1960
    • "Third Offense," 1958 [orig as by Charles Satterfield]
    • "The Hated," 1958
    • "I Plinglot, Who You?," 1959
  • The Wonder Effect (1962) (with Cyril M. Kornbluth)
    • "Introduction,"
    • "Critical Mass," 1962
    • "A Gentle Dying," 1961
    • "Nightmare with Zeppelins," 1958
    • "Best Friend [as by S. D. Gottesman]," 1941
    • "The World of Myrion Flowers," 1961
    • "Trouble in Time [as by S. D. Gottesman]," 1940
    • "The Engineer," 1956
    • "Mars-Tube [as by S. D. Gottesman]," 1941
    • "The Quaker Cannon," 1961
  • The Abominable Earthman (1963)
    • "The Abominable Earthman," 1961
    • "We Never Mention Aunt Nora [as by Paul Flehr]," 1958
    • "A Life and a Half," 1959
    • "Punch," 1961
    • "The Martian Star-Gazers," 1962
    • "Whatever Counts," 1959
    • "Three Portraits and a Prayer," 1962
  • Digits and Dastards (1966)
    • "The Children of Night," 1964
    • "The Fiend," 1964
    • "Earth Eighteen," 1964
    • "Father of the Stars," 1964
    • "The Five Hells of Orion," 1962
    • "With Redfern on Capella XII," 1965 (writing as Charles Satterfield)
    • "How to Count on Your Fingers," 1956
    • "On Binary Digits and Human Habits," 1962
  • The Frederik Pohl Omnibus (1966) [abridged as Survival Kit 1979]
    • "The Man Who Ate the World," 1956 (not in Survival Kit)
    • "The Seven Deadly Virtues," 1958
    • "The Day the Icicle Works Closed," 1960 (not in Survival Kit)
    • "The Knights of Arthur," 1958
    • "Mars by Moonlight," 1958
    • "The Haunted Corpse," 1957
    • "The Middle of Nowhere," 1955
    • "The Day of the Boomer Dukes," 1956
    • "The Snowmen," 1959 (not in Survival Kit)
    • "The Wizards of Pung’s Corners [Jack Tighe series]," 1958 (not in Survival Kit)
    • "The Waging of the Peace [Jack Tighe series]," 1959 (not in Survival Kit)
    • "Survival Kit," 1957
    • "I Plinglot, Who You?," 1959
  • Day Million (1970)
    • "Day Million," 1966
    • "The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass," 1962
    • "The Day the Martians Came [“The Day After the Day the Martians Came”]," 1967
    • "The Schematic Man," 1969
    • "Small Lords," 1957
    • "Making Love [“Lovemaking”]," 1966
    • "Way Up Yonder," [orig as by Charles Satterfield] 1959
    • "Speed Trap," 1967
    • "It’s a Young World," 1941
    • "Under Two Moons," 1965
  • The Gold at the Starbow's End (1972)
    • "The Gold at the Starbow's End," 1972
    • "Sad Solarian Screenwriter Sam," 1972
    • "Call Me Million," 1970
    • "Shaffery among the Immortals," 1972
    • "The Merchants of Venus," 1972 (in "Heechee" series)
  • The Best of Frederik Pohl (1975)
    • Introduction: "A Variety of Excellence," by Lester del Rey
    • "The Tunnel Under the World," 1954
    • "Punch," 1961
    • "Three Portraits and a Prayer," 1962
    • "Day Million," 1966
    • "Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus," 1956
    • "We Never Mention Aunt Nora," 1958
    • "Father of the Stars," 1964
    • "The Day the Martians Came," 1967
    • "The Midas Plague," 1954
    • "The Snowmen," 1959
    • "How to Count on Your Fingers," 1956
    • "Grandy Devil," 1955
    • "Speed Trap," 1967
    • "The Richest Man in Levittown," 1959 (orig. pub. as "The Bitterest Pill")
    • "The Day the Icicle Works Closed," 1959
    • "The Hated," 1961
    • "The Martian in the Attic," 1960
    • "The Census Takers," 1955
    • "The Children of Night," 1964
    • Afterword: "What the Author Has to Say About All This"
  • In The Problem Pit (1976)
    • "Introduction: Science-Fiction Games," 1974
    • "In the Problem Pit," 1973
    • "Let the Ants Try," 1949
    • "To See Another Mountain," 1959
    • "The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass," 1962 (aka The Time Machine of Phineas Snodgrass)
    • "Golden Ages Gone Away," 1972
    • "Rafferty's Reasons," 1955
    • "I Remember a Winter," 1972
    • "The Schematic Man," 1968
    • "What to Do Until the Analyst Comes," 1955 (aka Everybody's Happy But Me!)
    • "Some Joys Under the Star," 1973
    • "The Man Who Ate the World," 1956
    • "SF: The Game-Playing Literature," 1971 (aka The Game-Playing Literature)
  • The Early Pohl (1976):
    • "Elegy for a Dead Planet: Luna," 1937, (writing as Elton Andrews) [a poem, his first published piece]
    • "The Dweller in the Ice," 1940, (writing as James MacCreigh)
    • "The King's Eye," 1940, (writing as James MacCreigh)
    • "It's a Young World," 1940, (writing as James MacCreigh)
    • "Daughters of Eternity," 1940, (writing as James MacCreigh)
    • "Earth, Farewell!" 1940, (writing as James MacCreigh)
    • "Conspiracy on Callisto," 1943, (writing as James MacCreigh)
    • "Highwayman of the Void," 1943, (writing under Dirk Wylie's name)
    • "Double-Cross," 1943, (writing as James MacCreigh)
  • Critical Mass (1977) (with Cyril M. Kornbluth)
    • "Introduction," (Pohl)
    • "The Quaker Cannon," 1961
    • "Mute Inglorious Tam," 1974
    • "The World of Myrion Flowers," 1961
    • "The Gift of Garigolli," 1974
    • "A Gentle Dying," 1961
    • "A Hint of Henbane," 1961
    • "The Meeting," 1972
    • "The Engineer," 1956
    • "Nightmare with Zeppelins," 1958
    • "Critical Mass," 1962
    • "Afterword," (Pohl)
  • Survival Kit (1979) (abridged from The Frederik Pohl Omnibus 1966, see)
    • "The Seven Deadly Virtues," 1958
    • "The Knights of Arthur," 1958
    • "Mars by Moonlight," 1958
    • "The Haunted Corpse," 1957
    • "The Middle of Nowhere," 1955
    • "The Day of the Boomer Dukes," 1956
    • "Survival Kit," 1957
    • "I Plinglot, Who You?," 1959
  • Before the Universe (1980) (with Cyril M. Kornbluth)
    • "Mars-Tube," 1941
    • "Trouble in Time," 1940
    • "Vacant World," 1940
    • "Best Friend," 1941
    • "Nova Midplane," 1940
    • "The Extrapolated Dimwit," 1942
  • Planets Three, 1982 (a collection of 3 novellas written as James MacCreigh):
    • "Figurehead, " 1951 (orig as "The Genius Beasts" by MacCreigh)
    • "Red Moon of Danger," 1951 (orig as "Danger Moon" by MacCreigh)
    • "Donovan Had a Dream," 1947
  • Midas World (1983)
    • "The Fire-Bringer," (original here)
    • "The Midas Plague," 1954
    • "Servant of the People," 1983
    • "The Man Who Ate the World," 1956
    • "Farmer on the Dole," 1982
    • "The Lord of the Skies," 1983
    • "The New Neighbors," 1983
  • Pohlstars (1984) [later Gollancz edition omits the last story]
    • "The Sweet, Sad Queen of the Grazing Isles," [original here]
    • "The High Test," 1983
    • "Spending a Day at the Lottery Fair," 1983
    • "Second Coming," 1983
    • "Enjoy, Enjoy," 1974
    • "Growing Up in Edge City," 1975
    • "We Purchased People," 1974
    • "Rem the Rememberer," 1974
    • "The Mother Trip," 1975
    • "A Day in the Life of Able Charlie," 1976
    • "The Way It Was," 1977
    • "The Wizard-Masters of Peng-Shi Angle (né The Wizards of Pung's Corners)," original story 1958, retranslation 1984.
  • BiPohl (1987) [omnibus of 2 novels]
  • Our Best: The Best of Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth (1987) (with Cyril M. Kornbluth)
    • "Introduction," (Pohl)
    • "The Stories of the Sixties," (Pohl, section introduction)
    • "Critical Mass," 1962
    • "The World of Myrion Flowers," 1961
    • "The Engineer," 1956
    • "A Gentle Dying," 1961
    • "Nightmare with Zeppelins," 1958
    • "The Quaker Cannon," 1961
    • "The 60/40 Stories," (Pohl, section introduction)
    • "Trouble in Time [as by S. D. Gottesman]," 1940
    • "Mars-Tube [as by S. D. Gottesman] · ss Astonishing Stories Sep ’41
    • "Epilogue to The Space Merchants," (Pohl, section introduction)
    • "Gravy Planet," (extract from the magazine serial, not used in the book)
    • "The Final Stories," (Pohl, section introduction)
    • "Mute Inglorious Tam," 1974
    • "The Gift of Garigolli," 1974
    • "The Meeting," 1972
    • "Afterword," (Pohl)
  • Platinum Pohl (2005)
    • "Introduction," (by James Frenkel)
    • "The Merchants of Venus," 1972 (in the "Heechee" series)
    • "The Things That Happen," 1985
    • "The High Test," 1983
    • "My Lady Green Sleeves," 1957
    • "The Kindly Isle," 1984
    • "The Middle of Nowhere," 1955
    • "I Remember a Winter," 1972
    • "The Greening of Bed-Stuy," 1984
    • "To See Another Mountain," 1959
    • "The Mapmakers," 1955
    • "Spending a Day at the Lottery Fair," 1983
    • "The Celebrated No-Hit Inning," 1956
    • "Some Joys Under the Star," 1973
    • "Servant of the People," 1983
    • "Waiting for the Olympians," 1988
    • "Criticality," 1984
    • "Shaffery Among the Immortals," 1972
    • "The Day the Icicle Works Closed," 1960
    • "Saucery," 1986
    • "The Gold at the Starbow’s End," 1972
    • "Growing Up in Edge City," 1975
    • "The Knights of Arthur," 1958
    • "Creation Myths of the Recently Extinct," 1994
    • "The Meeting," 1972 (with C. M. Kornbluth)
    • "Let the Ants Try," 1949
    • "Speed Trap," 1967
    • "The Day the Martians Came [“The Day After the Day the Martians Came”]," 1967
    • "Day Million," 1966
    • "The Mayor of Mare Tranq," 1996
    • "Fermi and Frost," 1985
    • "Afterword: Fifty Years and Counting"

Autobiography

  • The Way the Future Was (1978)

Non-fiction

  • Tiberius (1960) (writing as Ernst Mason)
  • Practical Politics 1972 (1971)
  • Science Fiction Studies in Film (1980) (with Frederik Pohl IV)
  • Our Angry Earth (1991) (with Isaac Asimov)
  • Chasing Science: Science as Spectator Sport (2000)

References

  1. ^ Dominus, Susan (August 24, 2009). "Big City - At 89, Frederik Pohl, Sci-Fi Author, Gets Brooklyn Tech Diploma". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/nyregion/22bigcity.html. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. Document Number: H1000078817
  3. ^ "Frederik Pohl: Chasing Science". Locus Online. October 2000. http://www.locusmag.com/2000/Issues/10/Pohl.html. 
  4. ^ "The Hugo Awards by Category". worldcon. http://www.worldcon.org/hc.html#pm. 
  5. ^ The 2009 Eaton Science Fiction Conference Press Release, University of California, Riverside, September 19, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "1977 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1977. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  7. ^ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1978 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1978. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  8. ^ a b "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1985. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  9. ^ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2005. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1976 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1976. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  11. ^ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1979 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1979. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award: 1980 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1980. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 

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