Wed, 4 September 2013
Frederik Pohl, one of the legends of science fiction, passed away just a few days ago on September 2, 2013. In memory of his life and work today's episode contains an interview he gave me back in 2010 shortly after he'd turned 90 years old.
Topics: How he and Arthur C. Clarke became friends many decades ago; and how in Arthur's declining years Arthur asked Fred to finish a book that he had started but could not complete. Fred's years working as a literary agent--during which he became Isaac Asimov's first agent, and sold Isaac's first novel: A Pebble in the Sky. His work as the editor of various magazines including Astonishing, Galaxy and If--which is when he bought Larry Niven's first few professional stories, and when he hired Judy-Lynn del Rey as his secretary at Galaxy Magazine even though she knew nothing about Science Fiction at the time. (This was long before she worked at Ballantine Books, married Lester del Rey, and became so influential at Ballantine that they put her in charge of an imprint and named it after her.) Miscellaneous topics include: how he came to write for Playboy Magazine; why he wrote under so many pseudonyms; his method of collaborating with other authors; and how he become Encyclopedia Britannica's first official authority on the Roman Emperor Tiberius; predicting the future using the Delphi Method; his co-founding ofThe Futurians; his nonfiction books: The Way the Future Was, Our Angry Earth, and Science as a Spectator Sport; the Americanization of the world (which he has witnessed by traveling to more than 50 different nations); his modest contribution to democracy in Moscow; how he was excluded from attending the very first WorldCon; and a few insights about his long-term friends: Donald A. Wollheim (the creator of DAW Books), andIsaac Asimov.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the September 4, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 61 minutes] This interview was recorded on January 30, 2010.
Frederik Pohl is a science fiction writer, and has been a book and magazine editor, as well as a poet, critic, literary agent and teacher. He 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.