Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Frederik Pohl (1919-2013)
SFWA Grandmaster, author, editor, agent, and fan Frederik Pohl, 93, died yesterday September 2, 2013.

Frederik George Pohl, Jr. 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, and was one of the founders of the Futurians and the Hydra Club. He attended Brooklyn Tech, but dropped out without graduating. From 1939-43 he was editor of new magazines Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories. He sometimes published his own fiction, often in collaboration with fellow Futurians C.M. Kornbluth, Robert W. Lowndes, and James Blish, under assorted house names and pseudonyms including James MacCreigh and S.D. Gottesman.

He served in the Italian theaters of World War II and afterward became a literary agent, representing many of America’s top SF writers. In the ’50s he went back to writing and editing, producing his first novels in collaboration with Kornbluth, beginning with classic The Space Merchants (1953) and continuing with Search the Sky (1954), Gladiator-at-Law (1955), and Wolfbane (1957). He also collaborated with Jack Williamson on a number of books, including the Undersea Trilogy, the Starchild trilogy, and the Cuckoo duology, along with standalones Land’s End (1988) and The Singers of Time (1991). He collaborated with Lester del Rey on Preferred Risk (1983, as by Edson McCann).

Pohl’s solo novels include Slave Ship (1957); Drunkard’s Walk (1961); A Plague of Pythons (1965, later reissued as Demon in the Skull); The Age of the Pussyfoot (1965); Nebula winner Man Plus (1976); Gateway (1977), which won Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial awards, and began his Heechee series, which also includes Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980), Heechee Rendezvous (1984), Annals of the Heechee (1987), The Gateway Trip (1990), and The Boy Who Would Live Forever (2004); American Book Award winner JEM (1980); The Cool War (1981); Syzygy (1981); Starburst (1982); Campbell Memorial winner The Years of the City (1984); Black Star Rising (1985); The Coming of the Quantum Cats (1986); Terror (1986); Narabedla Ltd. (1988); Homegoing (1988); The World at the End of Time (1990); Outnumbering the Dead (1991); Mining the Oort (1992); The Voices of Heaven (1994); The Eschaton trilogy, including The Other End of Time (1996), The Siege of Eternity (1997), The Far Shore of Time (1999);  and O Pioneer! (1998);  The Last Theorem, written in collaboration with Arthur C. Clarke (2008); and All the Lives He Led (2011).
A prolific story writer, Pohl’s short fiction has been collected in more then 20 volumes, including Alternating Currents (1966), The Best of Frederik Pohl (1975), The Early Pohl (1980), Pohlstars (1984) and, most recently Platinum Pohl (2005). “The Meeting” (1972), with C.M. Kornbluth, won a Hugo, as did solo story “Fermi and Frost” (1985). Other notable stories include Nebula Award finalists “Under Two Moons” (1965), “Shaffery Among the Immortals” (1973), “Growing Up in Edge City” (1976), “Mars Masked” (1979), and “The Greening of Bed-Stuy” (1985); “Day Million” (1966); Hugo and Nebula Award finalist “The Gold at Starbow’s End” (1972); and Hugo finalists “Servant of the People” (1983) and novella Stopping at Slowyear (1992).

An influential editor, Pohl edited Ballantine’s original anthology series Star Science Fiction in the ’50s. In the ’60s, he edited notable SF magazines Galaxy and If, and in the ’70s he was executive editor at Ace, then SF editor at Bantam. He won Hugo awards for editing in 1966, ’67, and ’68 and a Retro Hugo for best professional editor of 1953 in 2004.

Pohl wrote about his life in memoir The Way the Future Was (1978). Other non-fiction includes a biography of Roman emperor Tiberius (1960), political guide Practical Politics 1972 (1971), Our Angry Earth: A Ticking Ecological Time Bomb with Isaac Asimov (1991), and Chasing Science: Science as Spectator Sport (2000). He also wrote non-SF novels, including A Town Is Drowning (1955), Presidential Year (1956), and Sorority House (1956, as by Jordan Park), all with C.M. Kornbluth; The God of Channel 1 (1956, as by Donald Stacy); Turn the Tigers Loose (1956, with Walter Lasly); and Chernobyl (1987).

He was president of SFWA from 1974-76. He was named a SFWA Grand Master in 1992; a living inductee in the SF Hall of Fame in 1998; won a Hubbard Award for life achievement in 2000; and received the Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He is survived by his fifth wife, Elizabeth Anne Hull.

Pohl wrote online extensively about his life in SF, politics, and other topics at The Way the Future Blogs.

For more about Pohl, see his entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

Monday, September 2, 2013

 Looking forward at this weekend just about a year ago I was torn between planning for 2 majors conventions, The World Science Fiction Convention, known as WorldCon and DragonCon.
 Worldcon was in the lead for the simple reason that LonestarCon3 in San Antonio was picked to host Worldcon 2013, getting there would be no problem either a few hours drive or ride on the Big Bus down I-35 from Dallas. Attending  Dragoncon on the other hand meant a long drive or a flight to Atlanta. Alas "Dame Fortune" did not smile upon me and I did not find decent employment, which would have provided funds for my trip.
 2014 is a different story I will plan on working towards attending DragonCon since the WorldCon is in London, England too far and expensive a journey to contemplate. On the other hand the 2014 North American Science Fiction Convention (held when the WorldCon is outside the U.S.) could be either in Phoenix, AZ or Detroit, MI. So we shall see. 

Why the above?  Well, because one of the major events at WorldCon is the announcement of the Hugo Awards, the top honor for writers and artists that is voted upon by fans rather than professional authors (those are the Nebulas) and now (drum roll please) the winners:

Redshirts, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Blackout, Mira Grant (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon)
On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion)
San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit Short Fiction)
‘‘The Stars Do Not Lie’’, Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)

‘‘The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi’’, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity)
‘‘In Sea-Salt Tears’’, Seanan McGuire (Self-published)
‘‘Rat-Catcher’’, Seanan McGuire (A Fantasy Medley 2)
‘‘The Boy Who Cast No Shadow’’, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Postscripts 26/27: Unfit For Eden)
‘‘Fade to White’’, Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)

‘‘Mono no Aware’’, Ken Liu (The Future Is Japanese)
‘‘Immersion’’, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
‘‘Mantis Wives’’, Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld 8/12)

Writing Excuses, Season Seven, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler & Jordan Sanderson
‘‘I Have an Idea for a Book’’: The Bibliography of Martin H. Greenberg, John Helfers, compiler & ed. (The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box)
The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn (Cambridge University Press)
Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who, Deborah Stanish & L.M. Myles, eds. (Mad Norwegian)
Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them, Lynne M. Thomas & Sigrid Ellis, eds. (Mad Norwegian)

Saga, Volume One, Brian K. Vaughn, art by Fiona Staples (Image)
Saucer Country, Volume 1: Run, Paul Cornell, art by Ryan Kelly, Jimmy Broxton & Goran Sudžuka (Vertigo)
Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks, Joe Hill, art by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Grandville Bête Noire, Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse Comics; Jonathan Cape)
Schlock Mercenary: Random Access Memorabilia Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (Hypernode Media)

The Avengers
The Cabin in the Woods
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hunger Games

Game of Thrones: ‘‘Blackwater’’
Doctor Who: ‘‘The Angels Take Manhattan’’
Doctor Who: ‘‘Asylum of the Daleks’’
Doctor Who: ‘‘The Snowman’’
Fringe: ‘‘Letters of Transit’’

Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Lou Anders
Sheila Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Toni Weisskopf

Stanley Schmidt
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Jonathan Strahan
Sheila Williams

John Picacio
Vincent Chong
Julie Dillon
Dan Dos Santos
Chris McGrath

Apex Magazine
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Strange Horizons

SF Signal
Banana Wings
The Drink Tank
Elitist Book Reviews
Journey Planet

SF Squeecast
The Coode Street Podcast
Galactic Suburbia Podcast
SF Signal Podcast

Tansy Rayner Roberts
James Bacon
Christopher J Garcia
Mark Oshiro
Steven H Silver

Galen Dara
Brad W. Foster
Spring Schoenhuth
Maurine Starkey
Steve Stiles

*Mur Lafferty
*Zen Cho
Max Gladstone
*Stina Leicht
*Chuck Wendig
*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

The Big Heart Award went to Tom Veal.

There you have it the winners for 2013. I'll let you know what happens as we progress to the major cons of 2014.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Two months after he announced he had terminal cancer Scottish author Iain Banks, creator of the "Culture " series and other noteworthy literature, died early on 9. June 2013. He will be sorely missed. 
I discovered his books when I read Consider Phlebas, Bank's first science fiction novel which introduced the "Culture". He wrote his sci-fi books as Iain M. Banks and his mainstream works were published under the name Iain Banks.

After announcing his illness in April, Banks asked his publishers to bring forward the release date of his latest novel, The Quarry, so he could see it on the shelves. It was revealed the book - to be released on 20 June - would detail the physical and emotional strain of cancer. It describes the final weeks of the life of a man in his 40s who has terminal cancer. 
Banks told the BBC he was some 87,000 words into writing the book when he was diagnosed with his own illness.

"I had no inkling. So it wasn't as though this is a response to the disease or anything, the book had been kind of ready to go," he said.

"And then 10,000 words from the end, as it turned out, I suddenly discovered that I had cancer."
 You can leave a comment for his family here:

and here is the link to his official website:


Father Greeley, who described himself as a "Loud mouthed Irish priest" died in his sleep on 29. May 2013, he was 85.
Greeley was a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction writing at least 100 non fiction works and 50 novels, including some science fiction. 
He was a sociologist, journalist as well as a novelist and was known for his outspoken criticism of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Grand Master has passed on...

Jack Vance, (1916 - 2013) passed away at his Oakland CA home on May 23rd. He was 96. Vance who is best known for his Dying Earth novels and the Demon Princes. He was named the 14th Grand Master of Science Fiction in 1997.
Vance lived a colorful and varied life, he missed the attack on Pearl Harbor by a month and was turned down for military service due to poor eyesight. He ended up serving in the Merchant Marine after memorizing an eye chart to pass the medical exam. While at sea he wrote his first science fiction story.
Before becoming a full-time writer in the 1970s, he worked as a seaman, surveyor, and carpenter, among other occupations. Vance was a talented musician and released a jazz album just a couple of months ago.

For more on Vance and his work visit the official website:


Monday, May 27, 2013

An apology....

Dear reader;

I have really been too busy reading and working toward a degree in computer graphics to post here.

Shortly after my last post I discovered the joys of the Kindle...I have been devouring e-books every since and I have some reccomendations for you.

From sword and knife smith Michael "Tinker" Pearce and his wife bring us Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman , book one of a series. I found the tales of Engvyr Gunnarson adventures from youth to maturity entertaining and quite believable, with a somewhat different take on dwarves, goblins and humans. Well worth the time.

I also suggest the Mongoliad Trilogy, the first three books in the Foreworld Saga. Its a shared universe the brainchild of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey. and Cooper Moo. A fantasy set in an alternate history at the time of the 13th century Mongol invasion of the west. The three books are full of action and adventure. There are also stand alone side quests (stories and novellas that follow a secret order called the OMVI that is

bound by honor to protect humankind. The stories travel through various times from the Classical to the Victorian Age. I haven't read any of them yet, when I do I will tell you about them.

My latest read on my Kindle The Spinward Fringe Series by Randolph Lalonde, pure space opera. It chronicles the fight of a valiant skipper and his crew agaisnt corporate baddies.. a good read all around.. I just finished books 0 through 5 he's working on number 8. There was also a 3 book prequel, its pricey these days and IMHO you can get into the series without them and not be lost. Lalonde has a blog here:

In the vein of "Space Opera" I also endorse Defiance on the Sci-Fi channel. I know they changed itbut I detest syffy.

That's it for the good news now for some comments on bad news. By now I guess you've heard Scottish author Iain M. Bank's cancer and the death sentence he is dealing with. He's completed and delivered his final book "The Quarry" and its expected to come out later this year. More on this at his web page:


I am certain that I am among many who will miss his tales of "The Culture", which I have been reading since forever.

Following this, Portland OR author Jay Lake announced he has terminal cancer. From his blog post: “the short form version is that I have a large mass in my peritoneum, two inches or more in size, along with another somewhat smaller mass. These are more omental tumors. Multiple masses of various sizes spread throughout my liver, some of them confirmed tumors, some of them suspected. Also two spots in my right lung which are suspected tumors. Tumors this widespread are not subject to surgical treatment. Not to mention which my liver is too fragile for further surgery in any case.”

He is going to start the drug Regorafenib later this month, which may arrest tumor growth enough to provide six to twelve months of life extension. After the Regorafenib treatment, he expects “about three months of decent quality of life, followed by six to nine months of decline, ending in death. In the mean time, of course, I will have to tolerate the rather substantial side effects of the drug.

“In other words, I will most likely die within nine to twenty-four months from now, depending on Regorafenib’s effectiveness. I will never again be out of treatment or free of cancer.”

Lake won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2004, and has been nominated for one Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, three World Fantasy Awards, and 26 Locus Awards, as well as others. Lake has a story nominated for the Nebula, Locus, and Hugo this year, and plans on attending all three awards ceremonies, health permitting.

He has a blog here:


That's it from me for now.. I promise I will post at least once amonth from now on, keep reading!