Frederik Pohl

From Academic Kids

This article is about the writer and editor. For the historian, see Frederick J. Pohl.
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Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl (born November 26, 1919) is an American science fiction writer and editor. In early adulthood, he lived in New York, and was a member of the Futurians fan group.

When he was a teenager he attended the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, and formed a lifelong friendship with fellow writer Isaac Asimov. But, it was during the Great Depression, and Pohl had to drop out when he was fourteen, to get a job.

Pohl joined the Communist Party as a teenager. But he was expelled from the Communist Party because more senior members of the Communist Party thought that his science fiction fandom risked corrupting youth.

Pohl was married several times. One of his wives was Judith Merril, also an important figure in the world of science fiction. Pohl and Merril had some children.

He was a friend and collaborator with C.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. In addition to The Space Merchants (a.k.a., perhaps more wittily, as The Merchants of Venus), a number of his short stories were notable for a satirical look at consumerism and advertising in the 1950s and 1960s: The Wizard of Pung's Corner, where flashy, overcomplex military hardware prove useless against farmers with shotguns, and The Tunnel Under the World, where an entire community is held captive by advertising researchers (this one-line summary omits several plot twists).

In the 1970s, he made a comeback as a writer with novels like Heechee series and Man Plus. Gateway, the first novel in the Heechee series, won the 1978 novel Hugo Award, while Man Plus won him a Nebula Award in 1976. Another notable late novel of his is Jem (1980).

From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine If, winning the Hugo for If three years running.


He has published an autobiography, The Way the Future Was (1978).

Frederik Pohl has won four Hugo awards. His works include not only science fiction but articles for Playboy and Family Circle. He has also written several non-fiction books, the most recent of which is Chasing Science: Science as Spectator Sport (2000).

External links

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