Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Frederik George Pohl, Jr., November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013 — RIP

Frederic Pohl has died.  I grew up reading him. From the New York Times:

Frederik Pohl, whose passion for science fiction while growing up in Brooklyn led to a distinguished career as one of its most literate and politically sophisticated practitioners, though one who was skeptical about attempts to perfect society through scientific means, died on Monday. He was 93.

Beth Rooney for The New York Times
Frederik Pohl in 2009.
Mr. Pohl, who lived in Palatine, Ill., a Chicago suburb, died in a nearby hospital, according to his agent, Mitchell Waters, who confirmed the death.
Mr. Pohl was involved in publishing since he was a teenager, when he served as a literary agent for his science fiction-writing young friends. He went on to edit magazines and books before finding renown as a writer, often with collaborators.
Perhaps the most famous of his anti-utopian novels was “The Space Merchants,” a prescient satire that Mr. Pohl wrote in the early 1950s with Cyril M. Kornbluth. More than a decade before the surgeon general’s report on smoking and health, the authors imagined a future dominated by advertising executives who compete to hook consumers on interlocking chains of addictive products. One such chain is started by a few mouthfuls of Crunchies.
“The Crunchies kicked off withdrawal symptoms that could be quelled only by another two squirts of Popsie from the fountain,” the authors wrote. “And Popsie kicked off withdrawal symptoms that could only be quelled by smoking Starr Cigarettes, which made you hungry for Crunchies.”

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